A Response to Matthew T. Scarince

The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi notes the comments made by one Matthew T. Scarince on his Twitter account recently that refer to our organization in insulting terms and that reproduce photographs from this website of the late Prince Kermit de Polanie-Patrikios and Prince Hugo-José Tomassini Paternò without our permission.

Matthew T. Scarince (pictured left), who has a second Twitter account under the alias “Matteo Scaringi” describes himself as Catholic Restorationist, Legitimist, Habsburgtreuer Ciarsèano. Maria Laach Liturgical Movement. Author at thewarforchristendom.com”. 

It would appear that he is a young man in his early twenties and a resident of the United States of America.

It is clear from Scarince’s postings that he supports the modernist direction of the present Papacy, the Maria Laach liturgical movement having prefigured the Mass of Paul VI. If we wish to understand this movement better, perhaps we should recall the words of the Abbot of the Maria Laach monastery, Dom Ildefons Herwegen,

“What the liturgical movement is in the religious field is fascism in the political field. – The German person stands and acts under authority, under leadership … Those who do not follow are a pest for the community. … Let us say an unreserved yes to the new structure of the total state, which is thought to be entirely analogous to the structure of the church. The Church is in politics in the world like Germany today.”
Ildefons Herwegen at the third special sociological conference of the Catholic Association of Academics in Germany, Maria Laach July 1933 (Thomas Ruster: The lost usefulness of religion, Catholicism and modernity in the Weimar Republic (2nd edition 1997) Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 1994, ISBN 3-506-77381-X, p. 105).

Our organization, by contrast, while respecting the person and office of the Pope, stands without apology for Catholic Tradition unimpaired and uncompromised, even though this prevents us at the present time from being in full communion with the Holy See. It is not uncommon to find those with a limited understanding of the theology behind Catholic traditionalism falling back on the argument that anything in union with the Pope is legitimate and anything else is not. This is not an argument that bears scrutiny, and it has been answered eloquently and comprehensively by the theologians of the Society of St Pius X and other traditionalist Catholic groups over the past decades.

Elsewhere Scarince has copious words of praise for Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, who was largely responsible for creating the European Union from which Britain has thankfully now extricated herself. Coudenhove-Kalergi also wished to destroy the European peoples, writing that “The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice…the Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.” We reject such ideas entirely, holding that the God-given diversity of mankind has given rise to distinctive races, cultures and nations that should at all costs be preserved, and holding that the promotion of mutual respect for the traditions and established ways of life of the different peoples of the world is the path towards lasting peace and understanding between them.

Elsewhere Scarince appears to be involved with the world of fantasy and fictional monarchy. We could add further observations concerning his published writings, but much of the material reviewed was frankly too dull and poorly written to hold our attention.

Scarince’s curious attention to the restoration of the Habsburg dynasty is again marred by his lack of knowledge. He is clearly unaware that the British representative of the Empress Zita of Austria for many decades (and who received both the Golden Fleece and numerous titles of nobility from the de jure Emperor Otto under her Regency during the 1920s) was a prominent and senior member of our organization. The late Mar Georgius of Glastonbury worked tirelessly to restore the rightful Austrian and Hungarian monarchy. His efforts, it would seem, are now worthy only of being traduced by pompous and opinionated young Americans.

Scarince, like many of his ilk, is all too ready to criticize actual experts in one-line Twitter posts without having any serious factual arguments to put forward. This is the mark of the internet troll rather than the scholar. Of the lawyer and expert on nobility Bob Juchter van Bergen Quast, who is not associated with our organization but has written about it and many others in the past, Scarince opines that he has “some of the worst takes on nobility and house-law I’ve ever seen”. Unlike Scarince, Quast provides sources for his statements and supports his arguments and conclusions in a thorough and scholarly manner. We do not always agree with every point that Quast makes, but we certainly consider that he is among the most significant writers on nobility today. For Scarince, however, Quast is beyond the pale because he criticises the almighty Wikipedia, “Dude [sic] cites himself in an article on his own blog about how Wikipedia is totally wrong. Amazing:” It has clearly not occurred to Scarince that Wikipedia, which is not written by experts and is party to all manner of bullying and influencing tactics by powerful partisan forces, is susceptible to considerable bias and inaccuracy on subjects that are controversial.

It is obvious from Scarince’s comments that he is woefully ignorant concerning the question of Byzantine nobility, as is further proven by his ignoble and base attack on the late Prince Hugo-José Tomassini Paternò. This seems more to be based on the late Prince’s political support for Mussolini (for whom he fought heroically during the Second World War) than on any objective judgement. How curious that this political alignment should be criticised, given Scarince’s endorsement of the Maria Laach liturgical movement as discussed above.

As an indicator of his lack of scholarship, Scarince states entirely incorrectly that the Prince claimed “to be the head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta”. The correct position is that the Prince in 1975 became Grand Protector of one of the numerous branches of the Order of St John that descend from a common foundation in the original medieval Johannine Order. He certainly did not claim authority over the Order of Malta with which he had no official relationship. It would doubtless harm Scarince’s case to mention that the Prince received the Lateran Cross from the Pope and acted in an official capacity as heraldic advisor to the Venezuelan government. The Prince was certainly no phoney; he was a remarkable and principled individual whose life honoured both his dynastic forebears and the traditions and causes for which he stood. His successor today is also a distinguished member of our organization.

Sadly there are many in our society today who claim to stand for monarchy and legitimism but are in reality little more than modern liberals in disguise, keen to throw mud at those who stand for genuine principle and have sacrificed much to do so.  They will remain safely within the boundaries of the mainstream, even when that mainstream betrays everything that it had inherited. Real monarchy, which is to say monarchy not tethered by a constitution but exercised in absolute form in accordance with sacred tradition, terrifies them. It is no surprise, then, that in order to convince themselves of the rectitude of their position they turn to attacking others. In doing so they can gain the attention that they so crave and the support of those who enjoy the resulting spectacle, while ignoring the shaky foundations of their own beliefs.

We by contrast adhere to Tradition, in religious, cultural and political matters, and will not hesitate to defend our principles and organization against modernist keyboard warriors.