Can a ruler be both powerful and pious?
This combination may be rare in our political leaders today. But the life of Blessed Karl of Austria teaches us that the answer to this question can indeed be a resounding “yes.”
With April 1, 2022 marking the 100-year anniversary of his death, in this episode we examine the legacy and witness of the last emperor of one of Europe’s most long-standing Catholic dynasties. Proving that a deep faith in God was not at odds with service in the highest imperial office, Blessed Karl strove for a peaceful resolution to the First World War and ultimately died in exile after only two short years on the throne.
Karl’s life represents a compelling example of Church-State cooperation in an authentic pursuit of the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people - and serves as a contrast to the corrupt entanglement of altar and throne in modern-day Russia.
Joining us to explore these themes is Father Raymond de Souza. One of North America's most well-known Catholic commentators, he is a regular columnist for the National Post and the National Catholic Register. Father de Souza is a Senior Fellow at Cardus, Canada's leading Christian think tank. He also serves as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario.
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Father Raymond de Souza (biography)
Blessed Karl of Austria (Vatican biography)
Blessed Karl of Austria - Cause for Canonization USA / Canada
K.V. Turley, “Blessed are the peacemakers: Lessons from the life and legacy of Blessed Karl”, National Catholic Register (October 21, 2020)
Father Raymond de Souza, “The Kirill Question”, National Catholic Register (March 9, 2022)
Father Raymond de Souza, “Putin is using a ‘spiritual’ lie to further his imperialist aims”, National Post (February 26, 2022)
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.