Spanish king, enthroned without religious ceremony, meets with Pontiff


I find this interesting simply because up until now, as Catholic monarchs, they were one of a handful of royals who could appear before the Pope dressed in white. Since they were enthroned without a religious ceremony. Since the Church was not involved in the crowning, I believe they can no longer claim to be a Catholic monarchy.


I don’t know anyone (and I’m betting this includes Pope Francis) who is concerned with who wears what color when meeting the pope. More importantly, with the Spanish monarchy being even more of a figurehead position than the British version - to say nothing of the liberal abortion laws in Spain - it’s not clear what the concept of a “Catholic monarchy” would even mean there.


Believe me, there are people in every court (including the White House) who are in charge of protocol. Protocol is a language, a very specific language. It’s why we genuflect on our right knee – which you do to the King whom you have sworn fealty – instead of our left knee – which you do to your lesser lord of your local manor. Protocol must be followed if you don’t want to send the wrong message.

If His and Her Majesties appeared before the Pope wearing white, they were making a statement that they are loyal to His Holiness. Yet by not being crowned by the Church when his predecessors have been, demonstrates that his loyalty to His Holiness is … questionable. His Majesty’s appearance in white would be a lie.

Maybe the secular world would not care. But G_D does take the honesty of kings very seriously.


I am not sure that the Spanish monarch is less of a figurehead than the British monarch. However, I agree that the color the king wore when he met the pope is immaterial. I doubt either person took it into consideration.

As for the liberal abortion laws of Spain, they were enacted during the rule of the Socialist party. The current government is working to roll back those laws.


The Spanish monarchy was full of lies even when it was Catholic. Take it from someone whose country it colonized for 300 years. :thumbsup:


I believe it was his wife who was allowed to wear white.

Michelle Obama had to wear black if I recall correctly.


Yeah I also have a slight animosity for Spain. Yet somehow I still respect and see them as Madre España. The cultural affiliation is still there. It’s not the same as so-called “colonial mentality” (which I would argue doesn’t exist). And also I’m a monarchist so I have great respect for the Spanish monarchy. Although as a side note I honor and respect democracy as much as I honor monarchy. The most democratic countries on Earth are themselves monarchies.

On the topic at hand:

To explain the lack, the king didn’t have a religious ceremony because he was being sensitive of the economic situation most Spaniards are experiencing right now. Then again there is great animosity among Spaniards against the Church, being it was tied to Franco and all that. We should stop calling Spain a “conservative Catholic” country because its apparent it no longer bears that stereotype. Yet somehow American media depicts Spain that way.

So is Spain a Catholic monarchy? If His Majesty is enthroned without a religious ceremony because of Spain’s cataclysmic change in culture and not merely a way of showing solidarity with the people; then no, it isn’t.


I’m sure Rizal thought the same way. Reading some of his works, I can see there may be be a place for Spain in our heritage. It’s just that when you had the friars, the revolution, and the loss of cultural heritage… you have to wonder what kind of king would allow this? India. China. Thailand. Japan. All of these were colonized by other Christian/Catholic monarchies yet their culture was left more intact.

I for one am more Americanized that Hispanized but even I wish I had more than just churches, bandurias, and the Barong Tagalog to represent my heritage. Just last week I came down from my first trek to this country’s tallest peak. At the end, we stopped by a souvenir shop where our guides started playing some ethnic instruments. This was all that I could see of the culture prior to Magellan.

Compare that to what I saw in my hometown of Cebu. Magellan’s Cross. The Basilica de Sto. Nino. All of them majestic tributes to Spanish influence and the Spanish crown that brought it. It’s just sad and sometimes I wonder if this is how Native Americans feel.


I love spain. I lived there from august 1972 to may 1973. Franco was still in power. There were soldiers visible on the streets with their rifles. It was also very safe. I lived in madrid. Took the metro and bus late at night.
Beautiful museums. Beautiful architecture.
So much history. Toledo, Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada were so beautiful.
Influence from the Moors was visible in the art, the architecture, the music and the language.
Thankfully the Arabs were vanquished and there is nothing more the new caliph would want more than the reconquest of spain. I pray that never happens!


Yes the Spaniards did ruin us big time. But do you think it’s right to villainize the Spaniards in Philippine history? Alternatively do you think it’s right to make heroes out of our American colonizers? If you delve into the history of the Philippines during the American colonial period you’ll see that the Americans can be as cruel as the Spaniards. Filipinos during the early 20th century were forced to learn English by the American colonial government, and essentially we were the poster child for America’s continuation of manifest destiny outside the North American continent. To be honest I hate how Americanized the Philippines is and how most of us would always look to America for support even though most Americans don’t even care or know we exist.

Why can’t we accept that our identity as Filipinos is not only that which is pre-colonial but also colonial? An anthropologist can tell you that no culture is purely pure. The Germans themselves adopted their eagle and legal system from the Romans. Culture is like a sieve; some parts are accepted, others are thrown out.

Look at all the good things the Spanish had brought us. If it wasn’t for the Spanish you and I wouldn’t be Catholics. Some of our foods are of Spanish origin. The language we speak has Spanish words. Our legal system is based on Spanish civil law. Because of this I can say Spain already has an important place in our heritage.

Even Americans aren’t “pure” in their culture. They owe a lot of their value for liberty and freedom, their legal system, their form of government from the English. Native Americans themselves aren’t “pure” in a sense that they are not untouched. The Iroquois Confederation was a group of tribes with different cultural identities who interacted with each other, borrowed cultural norms with each other, and eventually formed a nation before the English arrived on the East Coast of North America.

It seems that we Filipinos keep on searching for our cultural identity because it seems we can’t accept aspects of our identity that are foreign. I say we should embrace our colonial heritage as well as our pre-colonial heritage. We have interacted with other cultures before the colonial era - the Chinese, the Indians, the Malays. We have to come to terms with our own history if we are going to find our cultural identity. If we keep denying who we are, foreign or not, already then we would fall into ruin.

Sorry for the long nationalistic post for those of you who are Americans or other nationalities. Hehehe. We Filipinos have an cultural identity crisis. Heck even the British have a firm sense of identity than we do.


You want something more ironic on my part? I’m a Japanophile and Japan was the most brutal of the three. :o And yet, my textbook on Philippine literary history taught that even they had a stronger desire to encourage Filipino language and literature compared to the Spanish. I certainly have no love for any of our colonizers. I just can’t deny that Spain spent the longest and therefore had more time to have any real, lasting impact on our cultural identity.

Don’t you think it’s a wee bit unfair that Spain, having being conquered by Muslims themselves wasn’t any better in helping us preserve our own identity? Why couldn’t they be more like the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch, or the English?

I’m not asking for elimination. I’m just asking for more volume. As you said, our cultural identity is fragmented.

That’s because we’re like a freed slave who can only remember bits and pieces of who he/she was prior to 1521.

Is it too much to ask more about my pre-colonial ancestors? Who were their legendary heroes? Who were their gods and goddesses? How did they fight? What were the key elements in their dress? Did you know that when I was in high school, I had never heard of the Bakunawa, the Philippine’s own dragon? There is so much of our pre-colonial past that we’re just only rediscovering (don’t even get me started on how our local media barely catches up on it). The tragedy is that we’re only doing it now whereas even a country as poor as India has no trouble recalling its vast cultural mythology.

Sure, we can embrace both but all I’m saying is this doesn’t change the imbalance. We can easily embrace the Spanish in our heritage because there is a lot that Spain left behind. Alas, we can only embrace so little of anything before because there is only so little left. The Spanish crown was instrumental in destroying so much (and in the name of God no less). Best case in point: Our own system of handwriting. Gone.

Maybe it’s high time the Spanish monarchy helped us repair the damage. Even now, it’s identity is nowhere near as whittled as the lumad tribes here. It’s the least it can do for the country it had conquered hundreds of years ago.


Just a thought here: didn’t the Spanish throw out the Islamic colonizers?


Yes they did. About 500 or 600 years ago.


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