Friday, December 05, 2008

A Catholic Leader Votes His Conscience; How Novel


Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg will veto a bill legalizing euthanasia which will inevitably result in a Constitutional crisis as Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker promises to strip the monarch of his already limited authority.  The last surviving sovereign Grand Duchy, Luxembourg is one of several remaining constitutional monarchies in the world.

Thanks to Father Tim Finigan (Hermeneutic of Continuity) who broke this story in the blogosphere, we are now aware of an actual Catholic leader who votes according to his properly formed conscience despite the personal and/or professional consequences.  We should all applaud, commend, support and pray for His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri for standing up and being counted (unlike many of his Catholic compatriots in Parliament who chose to vote for this bill that chooses death over life.)  Unlike Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Vice President Elect Joe Biden, this Catholic made a conscious choice to DEFEND LIFE.  The same cannot be said of his uncle, King Baudouin I of Belgium, who enacted euthanasia and same-sex marriage laws in his nation.


miss book said...

God bless the Grand Duke for standing up for the Truth.

Diane M. Korzeniewski said...

I called it a heroic stand by the Grand Duke, then after I pondered it, it considered heroic or orindary what he is doing.

How do we define heroic in terms of the faith?

I suppose it has to do with consequences and being willing to endure them.

Yeah - he may not be sacrificing his physical life, but he is undergoing death to self by standing firm.

Pray for this man that he remain strong in his resolve. May his actions result in conversion of hearts in his country.

Anonymous said...

King Baudouin actually abdicated in 1992 rather than enact an abortion bill and the parliament of Belgium asked him the next day to re-assume the throne. There is a cause for the King's beatification underway

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

My initial and cursory research showed that King Baudouin only abdicated TEMPORARILY for two days and was then reinstated. He said he could not in conscience sign the abortion bill into law HOWEVER, his two day abdication allowed the bill to become law by default, so although he did not sign it, his 2 day abdication seems to have enabled the bill to become law.

I hope the information I read was wrong and invite anyone to provide further evidence to exonerate the King.

Stephen V. said...

King Baudouin, as I understand it, did not abdicate, but was temporarily declared "unable to reign" by the government (as a result of his refusal to sign the bill into law), which caused the royal powers to devolve upon the government as a whole, which then signed the bill into law. The King knew, of course, that this measure would be taken, but it was the only way to preserve his principled stand without causing the fall of the monarchy or the complete loss of its powers (as has now happened in Luxemburg).

A Belgian Thomist said...

As a Belgian Catholic, I have to react to the last phrase of this post. It was in fact the brother of King Baudouin I, the currently reigning Albert II, who approved of euthanasia and same-sex 'marriage' laws in Belgium. These are facts.
Stephen V. is partly right. King Baudouin I informed the government back in april 1990 that, according to his conscience, he was unable to sign the abortion law and the king asked the government to find a solution. The government than declared the king "de facto unable to govern" which caused the royal powers to devolve on the parliament, which signed the bill. 36 hours later the government decided the unability to govern had seized to exist. This was in fact a kind of constitutional 'enginering' for the clause in the constitution was written in case a king would mentally be unable to govern. This decision by the government constituted a real novelty within constitutional jurisprudence and was, even for the most well-known scholars of the Belgian constitution, a surprise. So it is very unlikely that king Beaudoin could have foreseen such a solution.
Also there is currently no cause for the king's beatification underway. There are two possible explanations going around; first that cardinal Danneels is opposed to it for it would damage the position of the Catholic Church, which is highly funded by the state. A second reason, which I heard from a Belgian priest who is a vice-postulator for many cases, would be that the subsequent research would bring to light a lot of acts by king Beaudoin in favor of the Catholic Church, which would undermine the position of the monarchy
I hope this clarifies some questions

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