New King is good for the RCC. Oh really?

New King is good for the RCC. Oh really?

WRITING for the Catholic Herald on June 20 following Felipe’s accession to the throne in Spain, Frank Pell declared:

This can only be a good thing for practising Catholics in Spain, as the King will likely make no comment regarding his country’s policy on gay marriage and abortion … nor is he likely to challenge the position which the Catholic Church still enjoys in Spain.

What planet is Pell on?

Most Spaniards today are totally indifferent to the Catholic Church and many have nothing but contempt for it.  In 2010 I wrote a piece in which I pointed out that ex-Pope Ratzinger had voiced his displeasure over the fact that Spain was less Catholic now than at any time in its past, and he warned of an “aggressive anticlericalism” in Spain which he said was akin to that experienced during the 1930s.

Five days after Pell penned his piece, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia demonstrated just how far Spain has distanced itself from the Church by holding a reception that included the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB). This was the first time that the organisation had met a Spanish head of State.

Gay rights leader José María Núñez, President of Fundación Triángulo, said:

This invitation is a very good way to begin a reign. It sends out a message of normality and integration to the gay community.

The gathering took place inside the Pardo Palace, the same place where, back in 1954, dictator Francisco Franco signed an amendment to a law with the goal of including homosexuals on the list of “dangerous” individuals, along with “ruffians and procurers.”

Both Núñez and Boti García of FELGTB used the occasion to remind King Felipe and Queen Letizia that there were still “many forms of homophobia” inside and outside Spain, and Núñez said that Queen Letizia in particular demonstrated “intense empathy” throughout the meeting.

A recent survey showed that Spain has become the most gay-friendly country in the world.

The comments section beneath Pell’s piece of flaccid nonsense was peppered with messages from outraged readers.

Wrote “Christopher”:

I am flabbergasted that the reputable Catholic Herald would publish such a facile and blatantly ignorant article on the accession of Philip VI.  Philip VI, like his father before him, is NOT good for the church, quite the contrary.

His father, Juan Carlos completely delegitimized his reign by allowing the Left to trample on the rights and privileges of the Church, thereby failing in the oath he expressly took in 1975, and, especially in the 1970s and 80s, he  definitely had the power and authority to at least shield her from  attack, if not continue the historical privileges.

He pointed out that the Socialist Party is thinking of lifting the fiscal privileges the Church enjoys, particularly the exemption of property taxes.

Make no mistake, lifting those fiscal privileges will mean that the Church, as a ?juridical personage, will LOSE CONTROL OVER HER PROPERTIES. In Cordoba the local authorities are planning to expropriate the Cathedral. Juan  Carlos said nothing, and neither will his son.  Catholics should cease to defend the monarchy …

And this from “Maggie”:

How is he good news for the Church when he is married to a divorcee – who also (I believe) was living with a man when she met the future King?

Henry (apparently hankering after the Franco era) wrote:

To say that the new monarchs are “good news for the Church” is difficult to understand given the state of the Church in Spain. For many years the Church in Spain was a dominant institution in national affairs with churches well attended and, in many areas, attendance being almost obligatory. That all changed dramatically in the 1970s with the departure of the dictator.

Now the Church’s influence on social matters is very low and the wonderful cathedrals and religious processions in Spain have been reduced just to tourist attractions. What, therefore, is the reason for the ‘good news’ and what is ‘the position that the Catholic Church still enjoys in Spain’?

Two other readers lamented the absence of a religious dimension to the new King’s accession. “Adam” said:

I don’t see how it can be good for the Church when every mention and symbols of God, the Church, the Blessed Virgin, etc. were removed [at the ceremony].

“More Tea Vicar?” agreed:

I watched footage of the ceremony of King Juan Carlos I’s swearing-in as King of Spain 39 years ago on YouTube. There was a crucifix placed beside the crown and sceptre. There was also a Mass celebrated for the King and Queen of Spain shortly afterwards. There was an absence of the crucifix from King Felipe VI’s swearing-in. Unless I missed something, a Mass should follow their swearing-in.

And “Dave” pointed out:

One of her [Letizia’s] relatives gave an interview recently and described her as ‘secularist, red and republican’, which has been taken to mean she is an atheist or agnostic. That the Queen did not want her daughters going to Catholic formation classes first appeared in an online “news” (gossip) site last year and was picked up by some papers.

12 responses to “New King is good for the RCC. Oh really?”

  1. andrewm031 says:

    Sounds like, if you have to have a monarchy, you could do a lot worse than these two. And we’re stuck with Brian, “defender of the faiths.”

  2. chrsbol says:

    They should put our royal family in a two up and two down in Toxteth.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    For many years the Church in Spain was a dominant institution in national affairs with churches well attended and, in many areas, attendance being almost obligatory.

    Obligatory church attendance – those were the days! I bet a tear also wells in the writer’s eye every time he looks back longingly to that golden era when the Inquisition enjoyed its rightful place in Spanish life, too.

  4. Broga says:

    Charles, our environmentally friendly prince, had £250,000 of taxes to provide him with a private plane to fly to Nelson Mandela’s funeral. I suppose his wish to “serve the subjects” didn’t extend to taking the risk of sharing a plane with them. This is a royal family of scroungers and mediocrities, living off the state on a wonderful scam and with no feelings of shame or sense of restraint.

  5. Barry Duke says:

    Aaargh! Comments all vanished as I was trying to re-establish Disqus. I am working to get them back.

  6. barriejohn says:

    AC: This just shows what the Church is really after. I know that Islam is really barbaric, but I would never trust ANYONE who admits to religious belief, as however reasonable and rational they might appear on the surface they still think that woo takes precedence over reason.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    OT but here we go again as persecuted xtians are ‘reduced to tears for wearing a cross’ and claim to have been bullied out of a job by the harassment of fundamentalist muslim colleagues. That victim card must be getting awfully dogeared by now.

  8. tony e says:


    At least Felipe only appears to wear a handful of medals unlike our beloved Charlie, who, looking at his outfit on D Day, you would have thought fought in both WWI and WWII.

    How he can stand next to real heroes (and outnumber them on medals) and not feel embarrassed I am left for words.

  9. Broga says:

    tony e: Charlie does love his gold braid and medals. I’m old enough to have done National Service, I entered when I was 18, and to have known men who had won gallantry medals e.g. the MM in WW2. This was in the Artillery. One thing they never did, and would never respond to a question about them, was mention their medals.

    Charlie gets his medals handed to him by mummy, I suppose. He really is a silly man. Whom does he think he is fooling?

  10. Robster says:

    This is good news for the Spanish. They did host the Inquisition after all so they have quite a nasty ‘catholic’ history along with 300,000 babies stolen by the catholic church. That they’ve managed to cast off this enormous shadow in only a few decades is quite remarkable.