Readers of this blog, those who follow me on Facebook, and those who participate on fora with me will know that I seldom rant, but I think I'm going to let go here!
I began my post, Reasons I reject the 'Jacobite Claim' to the British Throne, with these words,
Whilst I believe them to be wrong, I do not believe Jacobites are silly or traitorous to the Crown. I was once a Jacobite myself.I then went on to lay out what I consider to be six reasons that the so-called 'Jacobite claim' is specious, three substantive and three essentially emotional reasons. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect them to engage my arguments with reason and not ad hominem, emotional attacks.
I seem to fight this argument with Traditional Catholics on a recurring basis. Just recently I had it on a Facebook group for Catholic Monarchists, in which I was accused of 'cognitive dissonance' for my refusal to ignore the weight of evidence, legal and canonical, against the so-called 'Jacobite Claims'.
Here are a few posts from a debate I was in, back in 2011, on FishEaters Forum (link in the sidebar) and this is not the only such debate I've had there. However, this one was a bit different in that my attacker was not a Jacobite, but seemed to claim that no successor of Henry VIII could be the legitimate monarch and that the 'true' line lay with the descendants of Mary, Queen of Scots. This point is actually quite amusing for a reason I emphasise in the exchange.
Quote from: BMinor mass (my interlocutor or attacker), with all grammatical, typographical, and spelling errors left intact.
And here was my answer:
if you swear an oath you swear it to God. if you are a catholic you cannot swear an oath to uphold the ( current ) British monarchy because you will automatically perjure yourself and commit a grave sin. You swear to uphold her rights as queen and her successors. in catholic canon law she has no such rights. She is a protestant queen, she is a successor ( and in fact only a faint Hanoverian successor but non the less a successor ) to a declared heretic, murderer and adulterer, Henry VIII.
the true succession runs to the heirs of Mary Queen of Scots ( who are by the way still in existence ) whom Elizabeth murdered - and NOT james her son who became a protestant so he could inherit the crown. Mary had a stronger claim to the throne than Elizabeth who usurped her. Mary is a red martyr for the faith.
i am sorry if you have only just become aware of this.
i have nothing personally against queen elizabeth II - i amsure she has many sterling qualities but dont forget who we are - thats what its all about - our identity which they want to steal like they steal everything else off us.
James was deposed william re legitimized - his reign is a legal interregnum.
OK, here goes. You are correct that Mary Queen of Scots had heirs who still exist. However, your problem is that they are descended from that very 'james her son who became a protestant so he could inherit the crown', since he was her only child. The line is represented today by Franz, Duke of Bavaria, who has absolutely no interest in the British Throne. Indeed, many years ago I wrote to his father Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria asking his position on the question. He replied that he had 'no desire to disturb his cousin, Elizabeth, in the lawful possession of her Throne.
The fact is that absolutely none of the heirs of HRH Henrietta, the daughter of HM Charles I have ever made a claim on the British Throne, for reasons I will point out in a moment. And I'm not at all sure what you mean by, 'James was deposed william re legitimized - his reign is a legal interregnum.' I've never heard such a claim, even from the most rabid 'Jacobite'.
Also, you seem to be basing your argument on the false assumption that succession to the Throne in Britain is governed by absolute laws of descent as it is in France. This is not true. In fact, the old Saxon Kings were 'elected' by the Witangemote. It is true that the Throne usually went to a son of the King (if there was one) but in such cases as St Edward the Confessor, who died childless as the result of a Josephite marriage, the Witangemote elected Harold Godwinson, the King's brother-in-law who had no English Royal blood at all. Later, well after the Conquest, The first English king to explicitly use parliament to confirm his succession was Henry IV, who described himself on at least one occasion as an elected king. His reign began in 1399, so this well predated the 1689 Bill of Rights (a model for the better-known US one, as is seldom acknowledged). Before him Richard II in several addresses to parliament indicated his ever-shifting ideas for the succession, but did not actually enact any law.
In fact there was none, no law to amend. One can go back to the Normans to illustrate the various ways by which the succession proceeded, but there was never a fixed law, just a universal acceptance that a son would follow his father and if there was no son, well, we'll see. Edward I made an entail of the Crown which was in fact according to the male-preference primogeniture system which eventually became law. However this was just his will, not law, and was never tested as there was always a son to succeed anyway. Edward III made his own (secret) entail which shifted the system to Salic or semi-Salic. Although this was followed in practice, with Richard II being succeeded by his agnatic heir Bolingbroke, it was not because of the will, which few people knew about, but because Richard had to go and the idea of replacing him with a mature man of the direct royal line appealed more than the idea of a seven-year-old Mortimer.
Anyway, election by Parliament was the device Henry IV used, thereby setting a precedent. Followed by Richard III with the infamous Titulus Regius, by Henry VII with an Act settling the crown on himself and the succession on his heirs, and by Henry VIII with several pieces of legislation as one wife succeeded another and the legitimacy status of his children changed. He ended with an Act which authorised him personally, that is without extending the power to his successors, to settle the Crown by will. Which he did, and it was followed until the last of the named persons in it died, which was Elizabeth I. The successor after that was debatable and none of the possibilities appealed, so despite being the law of the land the will was simply ignored and James VI of Scots, of a line specifically excluded by the will, was invited to take the English throne, Which he did of course.
In other words, HM the Queen holds her title by Parliamentary right, just as many of her predecessors, both Catholic and protestant, did.
Now, to the general question of whether a Catholic can swear allegiance to a protestant monarch, whether HM George III as did the Loyalists or HM Elizabeth II as I and probably millions of other Catholics have.
First of all, I point to scripture. Our Lord, Himself, says in the Gospel according to St Matthew, chapter 22, v. 21, 'Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.' of the pagan Emperor.
And the First Epistle of St Peter, chapter 2, v. 17 says 'Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.' also of the pagan Emperor.
Then we have the fact that the English martyrs did not take the position that they owed no obedience to an Anglican Monarch. For instance, St Thomas More, as he stood on the scaffold awaiting the headsman’s axe that would conduct him to eternity, said that he died ‘the king's good servant, but God's first’. His only refusal of loyalty to his schismatic King was to refuse to recognise him as ‘Supreme Head of the Church’ which Henry claimed to be.
St Edmund Campion S.J., who was hanged, drawn and quartered on Tyburn Hill in the reign of Elizabeth I, went to his death professing his absolute loyalty to the Crown in all things but sin, i.e. the renunciation of the Faith demanded of him to preserve his life.
And, lastly, the reason that no heir of HRH Henrietta, the so-called 'Jacobite succession' has ever made a claim. Concerning the Church’s position, as I have pointed out, the last Catholic King was James II&VII. When he was overthrown by the Dutch usurper, William, the Church continued to recognise James as King and, indeed, recognised his son as James III&VIII. However, when the ‘Old Pretender’ died on 1 January 1766, the Holy See refused to recognise his son, Charles Edward, the ‘Young Pretender’, a/k/a ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, as King, thus de facto recognising George III as King. This was despite the fact Charles Edward’s brother Henry who was an influential Cardinal in the Roman Curia, petitioned the Holy Father to recognise Charles as King. I’ve included links to the relevant documents in this matter so that you can read for yourselves the Church’s response:
The Memorial on "The Indispensable Necessity for the Holy See to Recognise the House of Stuart as the Only True and Legitimate Successors of the Kingdom of England" of His Most Eminent Royal Highness, Henry, Cardinal Duke of York to the Holy See imploring recognition of his brother, His Royal Highness Charles Edward Stuart as King of England
Diplomatic relations were restored, under HM King George V, in 1914 with a ‘Special Mission to the Vatican’ which was renamed ‘His Majesty's Legation to the Holy See’ in 1923. The Mission was raised to full Ambassadorial status in 1982 in the Reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II.
Further evidence that the Church does not oppose support for the existing Monarchy is that the Traditional Missal contains prayers for the Sovereign:
This prayer can be found on page 923 of the Roman Catholic Daily Missal from Angelus Press (probably the most common English-Latin Missal), after the Leonine Prayers . It is also found in the St. Andrew Daily Missal.
Do note though that these prayers would have been composed and mandated by the hierarchy in England rather then directly from Rome, just as in the United States the bishops composed a prayer for the republic. Nonetheless this shows that after the restoration of Catholicism in England the Church saw no contradiction between the Faith and loyalty to the crown.
PRAYER FOR THE SOVEREIGN OF ENGLANDChanted in Great Britain after High Mass on Sunday
V. Domine, salvum (-am) fac Regem nostrum (Reginam nostram), N.
R. Et exaudi nos in die, qua invocaverimus te.
Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut famulus tuus N., Rex noster (famula tua N., Regina nostra), qui tua miseratione suscepit regni gubernacula, virtutum etiam omnium percipiat incrementa; quibus decenter ornatus (‑a), et vitiorum monstra devitare (tempore belli: hostes superare), et ad te qui via, veritas, et vita es, cum (Regina consorte et) prole regia gratiosus (-a) valeat pervenire. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
V. O Lord, save our King (Queen), N.
R. And mercifully hear us, when we call upon thee.
Let us pray.
We beseech thee, O almighty God, that thy servant N., our King (Queen), who by thy mercy hath assumed the government of the kingdom, may likewise receive an increase of every strength, whereby becomingly endowed, he (she) may be able to avoid the evils of vices (in time of war: to overcome his (her) enemies), and with (her) his (Queen consort and) royal children, in all grace attain to thee who art the way, the truth, and the life. Through Christ our Lord.
Thus, given Scripture, the Martyrs, history, law and the express refusal of the Holy See to recognise the 'Jacobite succession' and the intendant recognition of the House of Hanover and its Successor Houses, up to and including that of Windsor, which HM the Queen heads, I would argue that a Catholic, living in a Commonwealth Realm, not only may legitimately swear allegiance to HM, but that one who refuses on false religious grounds actually sins in doing so.
After this he replied with a lengthy quote from St Thomas More that did nothing for his argument, but, ironically, supported mine. Then after some more of his dancing around, I posted this:
I'm curious how well you do other dances, since you are certainly dancing around the questions I raised. Let's make it simple.
1) Do you deny that Holy Scripture requires obedience to even a pagan monarch?
2) Do you deny the historical fact that St Thomas More went to his martyrdom protesting his loyalty to King Henry?
3) Do you deny the historical fact that St Edmund Campion went to his martyrdom protesting his loyalty to Queen Elizabeth?
4) Do you deny the historical fact that since 1766 the Holy See has recognised the House of Hanover and its successors as the lawful Sovereigns of Britain, with an explicit refusal to recognise the 'Jacobite' succession?
5) Do you still deny the established historical fact that James II&VII was the last (de facto) Catholic Sovereign of Britain?
6) How do you refute the Council of Constance and St Robert Bellarmine in their condemnation of the Wycliffite heresy of 'Dominion founded in Grace'?
I'm also curious if you really want to cripple the Catholic civic presence in the Commonwealth Realms and deprive Her Majesty's Catholic Forces of their padres, since all Parliamentarians, most judges and all members of the Forces take the Oath of Allegiance?
And finally, your statement that ' james her son who became a protestant so he could inherit the crown' is a bit of slander since he was only 13 months old when his mother was forced to abdicate and he was crowned King of Scotland. He had absolutely no say in the fact that he was raised a protestant.
When he totally ignored all my questions, I followed with this:
Since history, law, the testimony of Martyred Saints and the voice of our Holy Mother Church, all of which disagree with you, fail to move you, will you at least give a straight answer to one question?
To take just two examples from the sixteen Commonwealth Realms, Canada is 45.2% Catholic and Belize is 49.6% Catholic. Do you really suggest that none of these Catholic men and women should serve as Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assemblies, in the Judiciary, in the military or in many police forces, since all these positions require taking the Oath of Allegiance? Aren't the forces of protestantism, atheism and freemasonry already strong enough? Do you want to give them absolute power?For the record, that was the end of the exchange, except for some ad hominem attacks from BMinor mass on me and anyone who asked him to answer the questions I had posed to him.