Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prince Max of Saxony: missionary

October 6, 1907

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that Prince Maximilian of Saxony "has applied for and received leave of absence from the great Catholic university of Fribourg in Switzerland, where he holds the professorship of canon law and of divinity." The Prince plans a long journey to Asia, "which is to extend over a period of a couple of years," in order to undertake missionary work. The prince has already done work working with the poor in London's slums.
There is an attempt to link the Prince's trip with his brother, King Friedrich August's decision to convert to the Lutheran faith in order to remarry. The king cannot "contract another matrimonial alliance without deserting the church of Rome," as the Vatican has declined to annul his marriage to the former Archduchess Luisa of Austria, who is now known as the Countess of Montignoso.
Prince Max, "having done all in his power" to prevent the king's decision to join the Lutheran church, has decided that he does not wish to be in Europe when "it takes place, lest he should be called upon as a priest to raise his voice in public condemnation of the king."
It is true that "efforts have been made in many influential quarters to persuade" the king to remarry, "even at the cost of his conversion to that Lutheran church to which the vast majority of his subjects belong."
A chance for reconciliation with his former wife is now impossible as she was recently married in a civil ceremony to her Italian companion, Sgr. Toselli. The civil ceremony is a legal wedding, but, according to the Roman Catholic church, Luise is still Friedrich August's wife.
The king does not need an heir, as he has four sons by his former wife. But remarriage would end the king's "domestic sorrow to which he has been subjected."

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