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The Kingship of Christ and the Duty of Catholics

The Kingship of Christ and the Duty of Catholics


WHEN instituting the Feast of the Kingship of Christ, Pope Pius XI insisted upon the duty of Catholics to combat bravely for the Rights of God by proclaiming Christ's Kingship over States and Nations. "The annual and universal celebration of the Feast of the Kingship of Christ," he wrote, "is very much calculated to fix men's attention on, and remedy in some way, this public revolt from Christ that may be traced to secularism, to the great ruin of society. While nations insult the sweet name of Our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we ought all the more loudly acclaim it, and all the more universally affirm the Rights conferred on Him by His royal dignity and power…We earnestly hope that the Feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Saviour.
"It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of them, however, do not seem to occupy the position in the social scale or to wield the influence befitting those who bear the torch of truth. This disadvantage may, perhaps, be due to slowness and timidity on the part of good people, who shrink from resistance or make but a feeble struggle, with the result that the enemies of the Church become more and more reckless and more daring in their attacks. But if the faithful would generally understand that it is their duty to fight bravely and continually, under the banner of Christ their King, then fired with apostolic zeal, they would endeavour to win over to Our Lord those who are estranged from Him or know Him not, and would endeavour to maintain His Rights intact." (1)

(1) Encyclical Letter, Quas Primas, On the Kingship of Christ.


Cardinal Pie of Poitiers (1815-1880), one of the great champions of the Kingship of Christ during the 19th century, again and again urged Catholics never to relinquish the struggle for God's Rights, never to become resigned to the dethronement of Christ the King.
Speaking of the Church's mission to the nations of the world, the Cardinal said: "Remark the last words addressed by Our Lord to His Apostles before He ascended into heaven; "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations." Notice that Our Lord Jesus Christ does not say all men, all individuals, all families, but all nations. He does not merely say: Baptize children, teach the catechism, bless marriages, administer the sacraments, give religious burial to the dead. Of course, the mission He confers on the Apostles comprises all that, but it comprises more than that, for it has a public and social character. Jesus Christ is King of peoples and nations." (1)
Again. when commenting on the first three petitions of the Our Father, "Hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven," he insisted that all these demand the public social reign of God, through the acknowledgement of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom the Father has sent. The Name of God is not hallowed as It should be, if It is not hallowed publicly and socially. Our Lord's Kingdom is meant to come, not only in individual souls and in heaven, but on earth, through the submission of States and Nations to His rule. The will of God is not done on earth as it is in heaven, if organized societies here below do not acknowledge their duties to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ. "The Catholic," he goes on to say, "is not a being who shuts himself up in an oratory, from which the tumult of the world is carefully excluded and who, occupied exclusively with saving his own soul, takes no interest in the way the world is going...

(1) The Kingship of Christ according to Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, pp. 24, 25.

When Our Lord taught His Apostles the Our Father, He made it clear that none of His followers could accomplish the first act of religion, which is prayer, without putting himself in relation with all that can advance or retard, favour or hinder, the reign of God on earth, and he must do this in proportion to his intellectual attainments and to the extent of the horizon open before him...As long as this world lasts, let us never consent to limit the reign of God to heaven or even to heaven and the interior of souls. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The dethronement of God on earth is a crime, to which we must never become resigned. Let us never cease to protest against it." (1)
This is especially necessary nowadays when proposals are being made in view of remedying economic and financial evils, while leaving God's Rights and Our Lord's Programme for their orderly acknowledgement out of account. "There would be to-day neither Socialism nor Communism," wrote Pope Pius XI, "if the rulers of the nations had not scorned the teachings and maternal warnings of the Church. On the basis of Liberalism and Laicism, they wished to build other social edifices which, powerful and imposing as they seemed at first, all too soon revealed the weakness of their foundations, and to-day are crumbling one after another before our very eyes, as everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus." (2)

(1) The Kingship of Christ according to Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, pp. 26, 92.
(2) Encyclical Letter, Divini Redemptoris, On Atheistic Communism.

THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST AND ORGANIZED NATURALISM, By REV. DENIS FAHEY, C.S.Sp., D.D., D.Ph., B.A., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Kimmage, Dublin, CORK: THE FORUM PRESS, 1943, PRINTED IN IRELAND, Imprimi Potest: D. MURPHY, C.S.Sp., Praep. Prov. Hib., Nihil Obstat: P. SEXTON, D.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: +DANIEL, Episcopus Corcagiensis, Corcagiae, die 20 Maii, 1943, p. 123-125
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