Difficulties in the Beatification of Isabel the Catholic

Source: FSSPX News

While the Archdiocese of Valladolid revived the cause for beatification of Isabel the Catholic last year, the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints just made it known that it was, given the current context, “almost impossible” to advance the process to completion.

The Spanish monarch could be the latest collateral victim to date of the bloody conflict which broke out between Israel and the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas on October 7, 2023.

While Cardinal Marcello Semeraro--Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints--had not ruled out “future steps forward” concerning the beatificaiton of Isabel the Catholic, several internal sources at the Dicastery suggest that this would actually be “almost impossible in the short term.”

In Rome, we would be “annoyed” by the communication strategy deployed by partisans of the beatification of the Spanish monarch: on the occasion of the 520th anniversary of her call to God, a large delegation--around 80 people--visited the Vatican during the last week of February 2024, in order to further her case.

The group was led by the Director of the Commission for the Beatification of Isabel the Catholic, José Luis Rubio Willen, and by the Grand Master and President of the Chapter of Noble Knights and Ladies of Queen Isabel the Catholic, José María Gomez. They were also joined by the Archbishop of Valladolid--one of the most prestigious Spanish dioceses--Archbishop Luis Argüello García.

The climax of the pilgrimage: the audience on February 28 with the Supreme Pontiff, who received from the hands of the high Spanish prelate the proceedings of the colloquium on the theme Isabel the Catholic and the Evangelization of America.

The diocese of Valladolid is attempting to highlight the spiritual and social dimension of the deceased queen, as well as her leading role in the defense and protection of the American Indian peoples after the discovery of the New World.

Not enough, according to the Holy See, to overshadow the decree given by Isabel in 1492, in which she ordered the Jews who did not want to convert to the Catholicism of the State to leave the kingdom. And if we add to this the context of the deterioration of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican after the Israeli offensive on Gaza, we imagine that the Secretariat of State has prepared to freeze a beatification file that could not be more explosive.

A source from the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints implicitly confirms this: “If some suspected before the trip to Rome that few things would change, it is now a certainty for everyone.”

A certainty confirmed by the very laconic communiqué from the diocese of Valladolid, published after the audience of February 28: “The Supreme Pontiff encouraged our bishop to continue to live his ministry and to follow the various projects in his archdiocese.” That’s one way to again bury the beatification file of Isabel the Catholic: a file which dates back to 1972.

When she died in 1504, the Spanish monarch left to her successors a centralized and unified State. The conquering Spain, whose expansion it stimulated, ceased being a country on the fringes of Christianity, and seemed ready to occupy a leading position in Europe.

But its policy had to again wait a few years to truly bear fruit in the person of the Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II, who learned how to collect and exploit all the possibilities of Isabel’s legacy, at the dawn of Spain’s “golden century,” which she largely participated in bringing out.