Friday, April 27, 2007

My Ideal Monarchy

, I know that some of my readers have remarked on the fact that I have not updated in a while, and others are patiently awaiting the next. After a hiatus of over a year I returned to school earlier this month, so anyone who has been to college knows that sometimes we college students just don't have a lot of free time (in my case it's a mix of lack of free time and procrastination). So, here we go.

I have been asked both directly and indirectly what type of monarchy I would like to see, so I thought that I would write on my ideal type of monarchy. My ideal monarchy is a hypothetical one, never before having existed exactly like my ideal but borrowing aspects from pre-existing monarchies. Note: as I am still quite a young monarchist and my views are still evolving, some of the particulars of my views are subject to change based on wisdom and/or age.

My ideal monarchy would mix a constitutional monarchy and an absolutist monarchy. The kingdom would have a constitution declaring the form of government, the rules for succession, standards for holding the office of king, and some general laws that cannot be changed.

Let's start with the form of government. The government would consist of the king and a high council, along with a system of courts made up of judges appointed by the king. The king would have nearly absolute legislative, executive, and judicial powers. The only limits on his power would be the power to declare war (he would need the approval of the high council--some sort of majority would suffice, such as a 2/3 majority approval--as well as approval from the Church as to the war's morality under the Catholic Just War doctrine) and the inability to change or violate a law set forth in the constitution. He would also have the power to override any ruling made by one of his judges (think of the king as the Supreme Court). The judges would be in place to see the king's justice served, and the king would be the ultimate arbiter of justice within his realm.

The government would also have a high council. This council would be made up of a small number of Catholic men only (some symbolic number such as seven or twelve comes to mind--I personally think seven better for the smaller number). This council would primarily act as an advisory council to the king, giving him advice on all maters pertaining to the government. The men on this council would be appointed for life by the king. Each member of the council would be given the noble title of Lord (so as to distinguish them from inherited titles such as duke and count). Each lord would serve for life or until he wishes to retire. The king would "inherit" the lords of his predecessor; he would not have the power to dismiss any lord on the council but would have the power to appoint new lords once an opening becomes available. The council would have the power to approve a declaration of war (as stated above with something like a 2/3 majority). The council would also have the power to veto any law made by the king which was declared by competent Church authorities to be immoral, or violating the rights and freedoms of the Church.

Now let's move on to the rules for succession. The monarchy would be an hereditary monarchy along the male line only. This would be within the tradition of the continental European monarchies which were male-only. Although St. Thomas Aquinas thought that women, while being unfit for spiritual rule are fit for temporal rule, I prefer a male-only reigning monarchy. Because a monarchy mirrors the "government" of heaven as well as the human family, I deem it most prudent to exclude women from ascending the throne. Since men are the head of their households just as Christ is head of the Church, I think it makes the most sense for the reigning monarch to be a man. If the king does not have any legitimate male heirs, the crown would pass on his death to his closest male kin (brother, male cousin, nephew). If he had a grandson at the time of his death, the crown would pass to the grandson. If the king has no close male kin, the high council would rule until one of the king's daughters produced a male heir. The council would also rule in regency in the case of a successor being under the age of majority (based on Catholic Canon Law of marriage, currently at 16 for men). Any child of the king (male or female) who leaves the Catholic faith would be stripped of all royal titles and any issue from such a child married outside the Catholic Church would be declared unfit for either royal title or succession.

The constitution would also have standards for the office of king. The throne, as stated above, can only be succeeded by a man. This man must also necessarily be a Catholic in good standing with the Church. Indeed, an heir can be declared unfit for succession if he is not a good Catholic, and any king who becomes an obstinate heretic or unrepentant public sinner can and must be removed from office. Similarly the king can and must be removed from office upon any excommunication from competent Church authorities, unless the king were to repent and be fully accepted back into the Church. The king must also work very closely with the Church in regards to issues of morality. He must have a religious advisor (a priest or bishop), appointed by the pope or the local bishop. This last rule would be to ensure the Church's influence over the monarchy.

Lastly, the constitution would set forth certain laws which would be unchangeable. Some laws would pertain to the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. These laws would make abortion, contraception, euthanasia, human cloning, etc. illegal in perpetuity, as well as any other medical procedure or technology that violates the sanctity of human life. Other laws would be set forth to protect the rights and freedoms of the Catholic Church, overriding any law that infringed upon the rights thereof. There would also be constitutional laws requiring the king to enforce censorship of the media, making pornography illegal, as well as slander, libel, detraction, and anything else deemed to be harmful to society. The constitution would also declare Catholicism to be the official state religion, but participation in and union with the Church would not be mandatory for citizens within the kingdom. The king would, however, have the duty to suppress any religion deemed harmful to society (e.g. Satanism, Wicca, paganism, Islam, etc.).

Thus is my ideal monarchy. Will my views change in the future? Perhaps they will; I may change a detail here and there, but I think the foundation within this vision will essentially remain constant.