(Madrid) The emancipatory Zeitgeist has ignored the numerous and grand Catholic, female figures. Perhaps that is because while it is indeed feminist, but not very female friendly? Among the women who are ignored by the liberal historiography, is Isabella I "the Catholic" of Castile. In Catholic Spain through the ages she has been venerated as the "gran reina de la madre patria" (Great Queen of the Fatherland), while political opponents and later Protestant anti-Catholics caricatured her.
It was the anti-Spanish Leyenda Negra (black legend), that has darkened her memory since the 16th century by insinuations and untruths in Europe. A blackout that until now prevented her beatification, although she "deserves far more than others," this, as the Argentine priest, Javier Olivera-Ravasi, founded the order in Argentina beginning in 1984, Institutum verb Incarnatum (Institute of the Incarnate Word, IVE) as InfoCatolica writes. Currently Father Olivera is working his way on his dissertation in history about the counter-revolution of the Mexican Cristeros .
Why this aversion to the Catholic queen?
"Why this angry aversion," asks Olivera Father. Because the Queen in the eyes "of those who rule the world today, is guilty of four unforgivable deeds":
- She united Spain
- She ordered the expulsion of the Jews
- She conquered Granada back from the Muslims
- She evangelized America
Is the ideological and pseudo-historical veil beginning to lift, which has been placed over this queen? Is her public perception corrected? "We hope so, even though she does not need it. But we need it to be able to hope to one day say: Sancta Isabella, ora pro nobis" says Father Olivera.
Religion en Libertad conducted an interview of the non-fiction author José Maria Zavala, a proven expert in this historical figure of world renown. Zavala, who studied Communication Sciences at the University of Navarra and made a name as a business journalist, is interested in Spanish history, on which he published more than 30 books. He has just released his new book Isabel intima. Las Armas de la mujer mas y reina de la historia de España celebre (Isabella. The Armory of the Most Famous Wife and Queen of Spanish History, Planeta Publishing 2014, 352 pages). Zavala evaluated the records of the blocked beatification process for the Queen of Spain and presented a book that "smashed" the "Black Legend" against the Catholic Queen ( InfoCatolica ).
"John Paul II. Wanted to Beatify Isabella, but Lustiger Was Definitively Against"
Are you ready for the controversy?
Yes, if one understands by controversy dismantling of an unjustified "black legend" against the most famous woman and queen of Spanish history. Yes, I think, yes I'm ready. Even though this should basically not be necessary if the files of the beatification process are subjected to an unprejudiced examination. I can assure you that the abundance of documents that support the most important decisions of her rule, is overwhelming.
They contradict not only the leyenda negra, but are in favor that the Church recognizes the virtues of the queen.
I hope that this book is turned into an effective tool to revive the beatification process of Isabella again. We remember that Cardinal Rouco Varela 1 gave a new impetus to the process in 2002, as he described the queen as a "great Christian" and as a precursor for the defense of human rights in a meeting at the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.
Was there a real intention to perform this beatification?
Pope John Paul II was prepared to beatify Isabella. He was convinced of the sanctity of this woman and queen who led a life of heroic virtues. A conviction which is confirmed by more than 100,000 documents examined, of which 3,160 were selected and grouped into 27 volumes, of which the first volume consists of two double volumes. They form the Positio of the beatification process. I had access to them for my book.
Why was the beatification then shelved?
As the beatification process should have been completed positive, the French Cardinal, Jean Marie Lustiger, a friend of Pope Wojtyla and as a Jewish convert, a proponent of Jewish-Christian dialogue was decidedly against it.
Who was Isabella the Catholic?
Above all else, she was an exemplary woman as a daughter, wife and mother. A woman and queen with a transcendent understanding of life. The Catholicity was not just lip service, as we experience it often today, but deep conviction for them. She was convinced that God in life always comes first and everything else must be subordinated to the supreme will.
Including the expulsion of the Jews?
A Catholic queen of the 15th century as she was, was of the firm conviction that the Christian religion is the absolute truth and therefore had to be protected at all costs: including this decision and above all the unrelated phenomenon of the question of false Jewish converts to the Christian faith who procured a harmful proselytism. And do not forget: The Church thought then just like her. By today's criteria, the expulsion of the Jews was a serious mistake.
What exactly do you mean?
Well, the expulsion, in contrast as it is today claimed by some, had neither a racist nor an anti-Semitic motive, simply because racism as such at that time did not exist. It is a recent phenomenon. Nor was the greed for wealth a reason, since the measure led to significant revenue losses for the Crown. In addition, the legal situation of the Jews of Castile was that of "tolerated foreigners", who can not speak of an expulsion in the true sense.
If there was no expulsion, what was it?
To be precise, in the language of today, the non-renewal of the permit to continue residence in Spain, without this being connected to any defamation and without, in legal terms, representing an injustice as the postulator of the beatification process, Anastasio Gutierrez noted. The decree of the king is the only thing mentioned as a "great harm, detriment and disgrace to our holy Catholic faith." It should also be remembered that Isabella, at the time of her proclamation as queen, made an oath in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to govern her subjects, "as God gave her best to understand it" Soon after, she consecrated their kingdom to God in the church of San Miguel de Segovia, so that she did nothing with the expulsion decree but as her duty and the fulfillment of her oath. Now we could talk at length about the details of this question, but I invite the reader to solve their issues and insecurities with my book.
What do you say to those who condemn the Inquisition condemned as a repressive and cruel instrument against non-Christians?
Historians have often focused on this issue on secondary and rather inconsequential aspects. The real reason, however, as to why the establishment of the Inquisition in the Kingdom of Castile came to be, was ignored. The real reason was the religious phenomenon of "converts". I am referring to the Jews who outwardly took off their Jewish faith and were even baptized as Christians, but remained secret Jews as before, including attempts to win others for the Mosaic rites. Apart from the establishment of the Holy Office was in Castile was not an invention of the Catholic Monarchs.The most important precedent goes back to a delegation of Pope Nicholas V to King John II of Castile in 1451. I must again refer the reader to my book, because it is impossible to cover this topic so briefly.
Some even want to expropriate the Cathedral of Cordoba today. What do you say about the much-maligned Reconquista of the Emirate of Granada?
The reconquest of Granada was first, primarily, the culmination of a long process of restoration of Christian Iberia. A process that has already taken place at that time on the basis of the ideal of the Renaissance of national unity under the rule of a modern state. With the recovery of Granada, Isabella and her husband Ferdinand of Austria were crowned, an undertaking that had begun in the year 718 in Covadonga and lasted eight centuries: the liberation of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim conquerors. The Reconquista was already agreed on the initiative of Isabella in the marriage capitulations and was concluded in 1480 by the Cortes of Toledo.
The "Black Legend" against Isabella also relates to the discovery and Christianization of America. How do you answer those who say that the real motive for the expedition of Columbus was to increase the wealth of the crown?
From the wealth of documents that were collected for the Positio, it is clear that the main motivation was the spread of the Christian faith. Nothing in this expedition indicates a calculus with any future financial gains, as it is assumed. More, the Queen presented her own jewels as collateral to make a loan available to finance the expedition. We can therefore say with the postulator for the beatification process, that the inclusion of America in the Western culture and the evangelization of the New World is of such importance that they can only be compared with two other outstanding missionary events: the Christianization of the Mediterranean peoples and the Christianization of the Germanic peoples in Europe.