An anecdote about Roman law and political legitimacy.
During the first half of the 15th century, there arose between the Crowns of Castile and Portugal a dispute about the right to conquer and settle the Canary Islands, off the northwestern coast of Africa.
The issue was raised both before the Court of Pope Eugene IV at Bologna and the Council of Basel, then in conciliarist rebellion against the Pontiff.
The territorial dispute is complicated a bit by the concilliarist-papalist question, but it suffices to say that, ultimately, ...
both kings, John II of Castile and Edward of Portugal, rejected the pretended authority of the Council over the Pope, and sought resolution of their quarrel at the feet of the Pontiff, choosing to remove, by their own authority, the issue from the Council's deliberation.
A joint letter of the Spanish Episcopate to all the Bishops of the world, explaining the circumstances of the war and the reasons for the Church's decision to seek shelter with, and to give a blessing to the Nationalists, is not exactly "silence." archive.org/details/jointl…
Nor is a letter from the Cardinal Primate of Spain to the president of the Basque government, to which dozens of Bishops publicly gave their endorsement, on the situation of the Basque people and clergy during the war, "silence." atzoatzokoa.gipuzkoakultura.net/1937/index.php
Nor is the radio speech given by Pope Pius XII upon the conclusion of the war, congratulating himself and the people of Spain "for the gift of peace and victory, with which God has deigned to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity," a form of "silence."
Butt this is a rationalist deception. Theorists can never be neutral "experts," as the liberal would have us think. Their approval is thus, in truth, a rubber stamp for the party who hired them. Law still enacts a moral vision, but under the pretense of technical neutrality. 2/4
Liberalism thereby masks its true formative character under the guise of neutral legislative technology.
Aquinas is still right: law teaches, but liberal law does it covertly. It thereby strips us of any remedy against its action. 3/4
Near the turn of the 17th century, the Neapolitan theologian Tommaso Campanella OP wrote to his ruler, Philip I of Naples (and II of Spain), asking him for suppression of the Neapolitan language and its replacement with Castilian.
He argued that by permitting a diversity of tongues in his empire, Philip was preventing a more perfect union of all peoples, and because Neapolitan (Campanella’s mother tongue) was a less extended tongue, as well as allegedly barbarous, it was ripe for annihilation.
The King replied (likely years later, with his usual bureaucratic circumspection) denying the request in the most absolute terms. He said that he was, for Campanella, not the king of Castile, but of Naples, and would rule the land in accordance with its own ancient laws & ways.