The Reign Of Christ The King


Oh my LORD! Oh my King Jesus Christ; for I know your return is soon…

I picked up a book a few months ago, but in packing it up, and unpacking, rediscovered it and read it at Adoration this morning. I was covered in goosebumps! For Christ is my King and there is no other!

The book: The reign of Christ the King. Below, is what I have ascribed to for some time, without knowledge of this book and it was written about in 1992.

From the book:

On 11 December 1925, Pope Pius XI promulgated his encyclical letter Quas primas, on the Kingship of Christ. The encyclical dealt with what the Pope described correctly as “the chief cause of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring.” He explained that the manifold evils in the world are due to the fact that the majority of men have thrust Jesus Christ and His holy law out of their lives; that Our Lord and His holy law have no place either in private life or in politics; and, as long as individuals and states refuse to submit to the rule of our Saviour, there will be no hope of lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ—Pax Christi in Regno Christi.

Let all the earth fear the Lord: and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of Him. For He spoke and they were made: He commanded and they were created.

encyclical of Pius XII,
Quas Primas.

Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: ʺHis empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.ʺ Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. ʺNeither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.ʺ He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. ʺFor a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?ʺ If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. ʺWith God and Jesus Christ,ʺ we said, ʺexcluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.ʺ

From the book:

THE UNIVERSAL RIGHTS OF CHRIST

The answer to these questions is that in this encyclical Pope Pius XI reaffirmed the unbroken teaching of his predecessors upon the papal throne that states as well as individuals must submit themselves to the rule of Christ the King. In affirming this fundamental truth of our faith, Pope Pius was not referring simply to Catholic nations, or even to Christian nations, but to the whole of mankind. He stated this truth unequivocally by quoting a passage from the encyclical, Annum Sacrum of Pope Leo XIII:

The empire of Christ the King includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.
All men, both as individuals and as nations, are subject to the rule of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, and this for two reasons. Firstly, because, as God, He is our Creator. We are His creatures. Without Him we could not exist. We owe Him everything, and He owes us nothing. Those who are created have an absolute obligation to love and serve their Creator, This obligation is unqualified; there are no “ifs,” no “buts,” and, as we shall see, no question of any possible right on the part of any man at any time to withhold his obedience.

It is only when men live their lives within the correct perspective of the Creator-creature relationship that social and political harmony and order prevail. “the peace of Christ is the Kingdom of Christ.” When men repudiate this relationship, disharmony and disorder take over, the disharmony and disorder of sin, the disharmony and disorder introduced for the first time into the whole creation when the Archangel Lucifer. the most magnificent of all God’s creatures, was overcome with pride and boasted: Non serviam — “I will not serve.” The Catechism teaches us that our purpose in life is to know, love, and serve God in this world so that we can be happy with Him forever in the next. We cannot claim to love God if we do not serve Him, and we cannot claim to serve God if we do not subject ourselves to the law of Christ the King.

“If you love Me, He warned, “keep My Commandments.” [John 14:15]

In Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI explains the second reason that we must subject ourselves to Our Lord. He explains the beautiful and profound truth that Christ is our King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for He is our Redeemer. “Would that those who forget what they have cost Our Savior,” the Pope admonished us, “might recall the words: ‘You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Iamb unspotted and undefiled.’ We are no longer our own, for Christ has purchased us ‘with a great price;’ our very bodies are the ‘members of Christ.’ ”

The double claim of Our Lord Jesus Christ to our allegiance, as our Creator and our Redeemer, is well summarized in the Book of the Apocalypse, where St. John tells us that Christ is “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” (Apoc. 17: 18). The fact that the kings of the earth —– in other words, the nations and those who rule them —– are subject to the Kingship of Christ pertains to what is known as His Social Kingship, that is, His right to rule over societies as well as individuals.

THE SOCIAL KINGSHIP OF CHRIST

No one claiming to be a Christian would, one hopes, dispute the fact that as individuals we must submit ourselves to the rule of Christ the King, but very few Christians, Catholics included, and conservative Catholics among them, understand, let alone uphold, the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is an attitude which is very common among certain well-known politicians in the United States who, while claiming to be Catholics, state with apparent pride that they do not permit their private beliefs to impinge upon their public duties. They uphold with apparent certainty the principle of the separation of Church and State. [This is a very strange attitude fur a Catholic to take, but some of these politicians appear to be very strange Catholics.]

The separation of Church and State was condemned unequivocally by the Roman Pontiffs until the Second Vatican Council. The Church’s teaching is that the State has an obligation to render public worship to God in accord with the teachings of the True Church, the Catholic Church, and positively to aid the Catholic Church in the carrying out of her functions. The State does not have the right to remain neutral regarding religion, much less to pursue a secular approach in its policies. A secular approach is by that very fact an anti-God and an anti-Christ approach. This unequivocal teaching was summarized very clearly by Pope St. Pius X, who, in his encyclical Vehementer Nos, condemned the principle of the separation of Church and State as “an absolutely false and most pernicious thesis.”

The practical consequences of this Catholic teaching are difficult to imagine for those of us who have known nothing but a secular state, in which the State claims to have no responsibilities in matters of religion and morality. [The secular state outlaws certain immoral acts, not because they are immoral, but because the majority wish them outlawed.]

Nevertheless, we must admit that this claim of the secular state is profoundly wrong.

The only word adequate to describe the claim by a Catholic politician that he will not allow his private beliefs to impinge upon his public duties is blasphemy —– or at least open rebellion against God. For the Commandments of God are binding in public as well as in private, and it is blasphemous for a Christian to maintain the contrary.

The Commandment “Thou shalt not kill” precludes the taking of innocent human life. We can take another human life only as an act of self-defense, to save our lives, those of our families or friends or our fellow citizens against an unjust aggressor; but never, never, never, does any human being have the right to take the life of an innocent person. Unborn infants certainly come into this category, a fact stated forcefully, courageously, and unambiguously by our Holy Father Pope John Paul II in his encyclical letter Centesimus Annus of 1 May 1991, commemorating the centenary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. May God bless him for it.

Who could be more innocent of aggressive intent than an unborn child within the womb of his mother? Who could be more clearly protected by God’s absolute prohibition against taking the life of the innocent than an unborn child within the womb of his mother?

What exactly is a politician such as Governor Cuomo claiming when he states that he is personally against abortion but that, as a politician, he must respect the right of a woman to murder her unborn baby? He is basing this alleged right on the fact that it has been “granted” by the law of the United States, just as it has been granted by the governments of almost every country in the Western World. In other words —– and I am sure that Governor Cuomo would not dispute this —– he believes that a right is acquired when it is accorded by the majority of citizens within a state. In believing this, he has accepted, in place of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His right to rule over societies as well as individuals, the abominable theory of democracy enshrined in the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man, the declaration which constituted a formal and insolent repudiation of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the declaration which enshrined the greatest heresy of modern times, perhaps of all times: that authority resides in the people. On the contrary, as the Popes have taught, Omnis potestas a Deo —–”All authority comes from God.”

“Not so!” reply the revolutionaries. Omnis potestas a populo —–”All authority comes from the people.”

How well the term “revolutionaries” applies to these men! A revolution is best defined as the forcible overthrow of an established government, and this is precisely what they did. They overthrew the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ in favor of what is rightly termed the heresy that authority resides in the will of the majority —– the heresy that is the source of all the evils in society today.

THE RISE OF A HERESY:
AUTHORITY COMES FROM THE PEOPLE

It would be a mistake to imagine that the dethronement of Our Lord began at the end of the 18th Century with the promulgation by the French Revolutionaries of the so-called “Rights of Man.”

The process began four centuries earlier, in 14th-century Italy, during what has become known as the “Renaissance.” The word is French and means “rebirth.” It refers to the rebirth of classical studies which began in Italy in the 14th Century. Those engaged in these studies were known as “humanists” because their studies were concerned with purely human topics, whereas in Europe, until that time, God had been the focus for almost every aspect of scholarship and art. Music, architecture, literature, painting, drama, philosophy, cosmology and, above all, theology —– the Queen of the Sciences —– were centered upon the Creator, and the Creator-creature relationship was axiomatic to every aspect of human thought.

Initially, there was no conflict between Humanism and the Church. Many humanists were also ecclesiastics. But as time passed, it became clear that the movement was tending to relegate religion to a place where it had little or no influence on human thought or human behavior; This tendency was implicit rather than explicit. It gave rise to the attitude that whereas faith is valid in its own domain, reason should be concerned only with what is scientifically demonstrable. The Creator-creature relationship was not formally denied, but attention became focused almost exclusively on man, to the neglect of God, who was, effectively, confined to the sacristy. Man was seen as an autonomous being, the focus of truth in a world of which he was master and which he had the ability to subdue and perfect, a being capable of building an earthly paradise by his own efforts, a utopia. The extent to which these ideas were reflected in the principles of the French Revolution, and later in atheistic Communism, hardly needs pointing out.

The practical result of Humanism was the divinization of man. The more God was diminished, the more man exalted himself and became his own God. In his book Christian Humanism Professor Thomas Molnar provides us with the following definition:

“Humanism was a doctrine, or network of doctrines, putting man in place of God, and endowing him with features that he was inevitably to abuse.” [1]

I have mentioned the extent to which the principles of Humanism reached their logical conclusion in the French Revolution and in Communism, but the Protestant Reformation cannot be exempted from this charge. Our Lord Jesus Christ founded a visible Church, His Mystical Body, to continue His mission in the world until He comes again in glory. This Church was endowed with a visible head, the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. A vicar is a person who is authorized to perform a function on behalf of another, as his officially designated deputy.

The Bishop of Rome has the authority to teach infallibly the true meaning of the Scriptures as intended by their Divine Author. The Protestant Reformers repudiated the authority of the Vicar of Christ, and hence the authority of Christ Himself. They claimed to accept the authority of the Scriptures, but the inevitable logic of Protestantism is that they accept the authority of Scripture as each individual Protestant interprets it. In other words, every Protestant makes his own reason his ultimate authority in religious matters. It has often been said that, in the final analysis, every Protestant is his own pope. We can go further still and state that in the final analysis Protestantism makes each Protestant into his own god. This is Humanism with a vengeance.

Catholics did not, of course, remain free from these influences, and in 1907, in the fifth year of his pontificate, Pope St. Pius X felt obliged to promulgate his encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis, condemning the errors of that Protestantized version of Catholicism known as Modernism, the ultimate logic of which, explained the Pope, was atheism. The most deplorable example of man’s self-deification in our day is man’s arrogation to himself of God’s supreme and most fundamental authority, that is, His authority over life and death.

“I,” says contemporary man, “shall decide for myself when a new human life shall begin and, once it has begun, whether it shall continue or be terminated. I shall use contraception to ensure that no new life is conceived without my consent, and, should a conception take place that I deem inconvenient, I shall terminate it by abortion.” The next step in this diabolical process will be the legalization of euthanasia.

Although I have said that it would be a mistake to imagine that the dethronement of Christ the King was inaugurated by the promulgation of the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man, there can be no doubt that this Declaration constituted the first formal repudiation of Our Lord’s Social Kingship, and that it was the most influential act in the process of securing His virtually universal dethronement during the next two centuries.

Before examining the extent to which this Declaration constituted a repudiation of Catholic teaching on the authority of the State, it is necessary to have a clear grasp of the content of this teaching. The doctrine of the Popes on the authority of the State is clear and self-evident to those with a proper understanding of the Creator-creature relationship, which is fundamental to a well-ordered society.

THE CHURCH AND DEMOCRACY

A state is composed of two elements: the government, or those who govern, and the governed, authority being vested in those who govern. The Church is not committed to any particular form of government, and despite the tendency of Popes to refer to “princes” in their encyclicals, they were in no way opposed to democracy, if all that is meant by this term is that those who govern are chosen by a vote [based on either limited or universal suffrage]. What the Popes maintain, logically and uncompromisingly, is that the source of authority is precisely the same in an absolute monarchy, such as that of Louis XIV in 18th-century France, as in a country where the government is chosen in a democratic election in which every citizen has the right to vote, such as the United States today. In either situation papal teaching on the source of authority is clear and has already been stated: Omnis potestas a Deo. —– “All authority comes from God.” Pope Leo XIII explained in his encyclical Immortale Dei that:

Every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author. Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God. FOR GOD ALONE IS THE TRUE AND SUPREME LORD OF THE WORLD. Everything without exception must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. “There is no power but from God.” [Rom. 13:1].

“There is no power but from God.” This quotation from Romans 13: 1 states all that needs to be stated concerning the source of authority. Because those who govern derive their authority from God, and govern as His legates, and not as holding their authority from the people, no government can have a true right to enact any legislation contrary to the law of God, even if such legislation is the manifest wish of the majority of the people. The Church is totally opposed to any concept of democracy in which authority is said to reside in the people and in which those who govern are said to receive their authority from the people. Pope Leo XIII insisted in lmmortale Dei that:

In a society grounded upon such maxims, all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people; and the people, being under the power of itself alone, is alone its own ruler . . .The authority of God is passed over in silence, just as if there were no God; or as if He cared nothing for human society; or as if men, in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God; or as if there could be a government of which the whole origin and power and authority did not reside in God Himself: Thus, as is evident, a state becomes nothing but a multitude, which is its own master and ruler.

1. T. Molnar, Christian Humanism [Chicago, 1978], p. 29.

Part Three

THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN

Few English-speaking Catholics are familiar with the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man or with its background. The Rights of Man were discussed by the French National Assembly during the meetings of August, 1789 and adopted in October of the same year. Some of the articles are not simply acceptable but actually commendable, e.g., Article 7, concerning the detention of citizens; Article 8, stating that laws cannot have a retroactive effect; and Article 9, concerning those who have been arrested but whose guilt has not been proven. Other articles are ambiguous. But some others are positively incompatible with Catholicism, particularly Article 6, which begins by stating that the law is the expression of the general will. This is a complete negation of the teaching of the Church that all authority comes from God. Pope Pius VI had no hesitation in condemning the Declaration as “contrary to religion and to society.” [2] Acceptance of the Declaration of the Rights of Man rules out the possibility of a Catholic state and the social reign of Christ the King. This is hardly surprising in view of the Masonic origin of the Declaration. Father Denis Fahey wrote:

That the preparation and the triumph of the French Revolution were the work of Freemasonry does not need proof since the Masons themselves boast of it. Accordingly, The Declaration of the Rights of Man is a Masonic production. [3]

Father Fahey quoted in support of this contention a statement by Monsieur Bonnet, the orator at the Grand Orient Assembly in 1904:

Freemasonry had the supreme honor of giving to humanity the chart which it had lovingly elaborated. It was our Brother, de la Fayette, who first presented the project of a declaration of the natural rights of the man and the citizen living in society, to be the first chapter of the Constitution. On 25 August 1789 the Constituent Assembly, of which more than 300 members were Masons, definitively adopted, almost word for word, in the form determined upon in the Lodges, the text of the immortal Declaration of the Rights of Man. [4]

Father Fahey summarized the Declaration as a formal renunciation of allegiance to Christ the King, of the supernatural life, and of membership in Christ’s Mystical Body. He continued:

The French State thereby officially declared that it no longer acknowledged any duty to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, and no longer recognized the dignity of membership of Christ in its citizens. It thus inaugurated the attack on the organization of society under Christ the King which has continued down to the present day. [5]

The principle that all authority comes from the peopIe is now all but universally accepted throughout the West. The basis of public morality is whatever the contemporary consensus of citizens is prepared to accept. It would be very hard to convince the average Catholic today that his country should not be governed by the will of the people or that our elected representatives are anything more than delegates of the people who voted them into power.

WHAT IS A “RIGHT”?

In his encyclical letter Tametsi futura, published in 1900, Pope Leo XIII commented: “The people have heard quite enough about what are called the rights of man. Let them hear about the rights of God for once.”

This is precisely what we shall do now. Strictly speaking, God alone has rights which belong to Him of His very nature. As human beings we possess only contingent rights, rights which are accorded to us by God. We have a right to do only what is pleasing to God. This is synonymous with stating that we are free to do only what is pleasing to God, and the freedom referred to here is moral freedom, or moral liberty.

Whenever the term “right” is used in this study, it must be taken to mean “moral freedom.” To state that a man has a right to perform an action means that he is morally free to do so, and he can never be morally free to perform any act that is displeasing to God.

The fundamental meaning of the word “liberty” is the ability to act without constraint. There can be three forms of constraint: physical, psychological, and moral.

Freedom from physical restraint simply means the absence of any external constraint which could pre- vent a person from carrying out a desired action. A football player who wished to take part in an important match, but who had broken his leg and was in hospital at the time of the game, would not be physically free, or able, to participate in the event.

Psychological liberty is better known as free will and involves the capacity to make moral choices. It is thus restricted to angels and to men. Beings who possess free will, or psychological liberty, are the masters of their acts, and hence are responsible for them. Animals have physical but not psychological freedom. A pair of blackbirds necessarily selects the tree in which they will build their nest on the basis of which tree seems most useful; they cannot choose to sacrifice the better tree and select a poorer one. Nor do they possess the free will enabling them to decide whether or not to build a nest and raise a family, or even what type of nest to build.

It should be clear that being physically able to perform an action, and being psychologically able to choose whether to perform it, do not mean that one has a right to perform it. There may be a moral constraint against performing the action. Two simple examples should make this clear. A bank clerk might find himself in a position to defraud his employers of a large sum of money with very little likelihood of being detected. He would be physically free to perform the action, that is, he would be able to remove the money without being detected. He would be psychologically free to perform it, that is, he would be able to use, or rather misuse, his free will to commit the theft. But he would not be morally free to steal the money, since theft is forbidden by the Commandments of God. In this case the law of God and the law of the State concur, and just as there is no moral right to steal, there is also no legal right to steal.

But a legal right does not necessarily confer a moral right, as the following example will demonstrate. A woman may be physically, psychologically, and legally free to have an abortion, but the so-called legal right to murder her baby does not confer a true right, since murder is forbidden by the Commandments of God.

CIVIL LAW AND THE ETERNAL LAW

In his essay The Church and the Modem State, published in 1931 and referring specifically to the United States, Hilaire Belloc noted that laws declared invalid by the Catholic Church are not binding. He continued: “Where there is a conflict between the civil law and the moral law of the Catholic Church, members of the Catholic Church will resist the civil law and obey the law of the Church.” [6]

At the risk of being repetitious, I will state once more that the teaching of the Church is that the terms “right” and “moral liberty” are synonymous. We can speak of a “right” only when its object is morally licit. The Popes, Pope Leo XIII in particular, taught time and time again that there can only be a true right —– that is, the moral liberty —– to choose that which is good and true. No human being can ever have a right to choose what is evil or false.

To quote Pope Leo XIII, writing in Libertas:

The true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State: but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the ETERNAL LAW.

The teaching of Pope Leo XIII is, then, that the purpose of civil law in any state, Catholic or non-Catholic, should be to assist its citizens to conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. However, today the laws of Great Britain and the U nited States are designed —– I repeat, designed —– to have precisely the opposite effect. The laws of both countries incite each and every citizen to imitate Lucifer and to say: Non serviam —–”I will not serve.”

The average citizen, and this is not hard to under stand, equates what is legally permissible with what is morally permissible. Let us take divorce as an example. In Great Britain the figure for divorce is around 30% and rising, and the reason that it is not rising far faster is due to the fact that such a high proportion of couples now live together without even the formality of a civil ceremony. In the U.S.A., I understand that the divorce rate is now in the region of 50% . If the law did not sanction divorce and remarriage, the number of those who would abandon their spouses to live in new unions that would be legally as well as morally illicit would be reduced to a very small fraction of this figure.

The same can be said in the matter of abortions. If abortion had not been made legal, millions of women who have had abortions would not have done so, and, as is almost invariably the case, would have loved and cherished the babies they have murdered.

Pope Leo XIII insisted in Libertas that:

The binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . WHERE A LAW IS ENACTED CONTRARY TO REASON, OR TO THE ETERNAL LAW; OR TO SOME ORDINANCE OF GOD, OBEDIENCE IS UNLAWFUL, LEST WHILE OBEYING MAN WE BECOME DISOBEDIENT TO GOD.

Can these words not be considered a charter for the Rescue Movement? We are forbidden to obey any law that is contrary to the eternal law of God, lest while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.

This unequivocal papal teaching certainly has grave implications for any Catholic involved in the enforcement of the law. By what right can a Catholic policeman arrest those who try to rescue the unborn from abortion? By what right can a Catholic district attorney prosecute them? By what right can a Catholic judge convict them? Let such public officials not protest that they have sworn to uphold the law, because any human law contrary to the eternal law cannot be considered valid by any Catholic. But, alas, many, perhaps most, Catholics holding public office today are certainly not worthy of the glorious title of Catholic.

I quoted Hilaire Belloc earlier as stating that when there is a conflict between civil law and the moral law of the Catholic Church, members of the Catholic Church will resist the civil law and obey the law of the Church. Belloc was somewhat naive in believing this since, alas, now that precisely such a conflict has arisen in the United States with the emergence of the Rescue Movement, the overwhelming majority of Catholics involved in enforcing an immoral civil law have preferred to uphold that law rather than endanger their livelihood.

2. Encyclical Letter Adeo nota, 23 April 1791.
3. Forward to G. Dillon, Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked[London: Britons Publishing Company —– now, Chulmleigh: Augustine, 1965], p. 16.
4. Ibid., pp. 16-17.
5.Ibid., p. 17.
6. H. Belloc, Essays of a Catholic [London, 1931], p. 84.
[This work was republished in 1992 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.]

Part Four

REACTION TO QUAS PRIMAS

When Pope Pius XI promulgated Quas Primas in 1925, Christ the King had, to all intents and purposes, been dethroned throughout what was once referred to as Christendom. In October, 1941, in an article in The Dublin Review, Christopher Dawson described Europe as a secularized Christendom, its character having been largely destroyed by 200 years of secularization. “The resultant culture,” he wrote, “the culture of the Liberal 19th century and of western democracy, may be described as post-Christian, i.e., it was built on Christian foundations and Christian values, but it was divorced from an organic union with Christian faith and practice.”

When he wrote Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI had no illusions concerning the state of what had once been Christendom. He anticipated Christopher Dawson’s analysis in the opening paragraph of the encyclical, noting that the manifold evils of the world are due to the exclusion of Jesus Christ and His holy law from the private lives of individuals and from the political life of almost every state.

It was the insistence of the Pope upon the social reign of Christ the King —– on the fact that states, as well as individuals, must submit themselves to His rule —– which caused such embarrassment to the bishops of the world [and nowhere more so than in the United States], which has resulted, as Hamish Fraser expressed it, in Quas Primas becoming the greatest non-event in the history of the Church.

LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE?

We are all familiar with the saying that “Everyone has the right to his own opinion,”. It is not unusual to hear a Catholic state that while he disagrees with the beliefs of a member of another religion, he would give his life to defend that person’s right to hold these beliefs. I would be surprised if most Catholics today did not agree with these sentiments, but they are both untrue and reflect the classic Liberal position on liberty of conscience, which has been condemned frequently and forcefully by the Popes.

Pope Leo XIll warned in Libertas that there are certain so-called liberties which modern society takes for granted that every man possesses as a right. These are the liberties, the Pope explained, “which the followers of Liberalism so eagerly advocate and proclaim.”

WHAT IS LIBERALISM?

The essence of Liberalism is the view that the individual human being has the right to decide for himself the norms by which he will regulate his life; that he has the right to be his own arbiter as to what is right and what is wrong; and that he is under no obligation to submit himself to any external authority. In the Liberal sense, “liberty of conscience” is the right of an individual to think and believe whatsoever he wants, even in religion and morality. He has the right to choose any religion, or to have no religion; and he has the right to express his views publicly and to persuade others to adopt them, using word of mouth, the public press, or any other means.

A dramatic and depressing instance of this Liberal thesis being translated into practice is the campaign for so-called “Gay Rights” in the United States and in Great Britain. Here with a vengeance are so-called “liberties,” which modern society takes for granted that every man possesses as a right. In the United States you are witnessing the scarcely credible spectacle of Catholic bishops taking it for granted that homosexuals have a right to indulge in and to propagandize in favor of their unnatural vice, and even, in some cases, helping them actively in their campaign. In Connecticut in 1991 a so-called “Gay Rights Bill” was passed, primarily due to the support of the Catholic Bishops in that state. The bill even allows homosexuals to adopt or to become foster parents of young children. Dom Prosper Gueranger wrote, at a time when such an act on the part of Catholic bishops would have been unthinkable, that when the shepherd becomes a wolf, the flock has a right to defend itself. There cannot be the least doubt that the faithful in Connecticut need to defend themselves against wolves masquerading under the guise of Catholic bishops.

Part Five

IF CHRIST IS DETHRONED, WE BECOME INHUMAN

Dozens of books have been written examining the contemporary crisis within the Church from an orthodox Catholic standpoint. Among the two or three that should definitely be owned by every Catholic who loves his faith is The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich von Hildebrand. In this book the author lamented the terrible decline of humanity, which is nearing the point of actual dehumanization. He stated that it is the superhuman task of the holy Church to save humanity, or at least her own children, from this downfall. I was interested to note that this great book was written in 1973, and that since that date 25 million unborn children have become the victims of legalized murder in the United States alone, and this slaughter is continuing at the rate of 4,300 a day. Was not Professor von Hildebrand right to refer to what he termed “this apocalyptic decline of humanity,” which is nearing the point of actual dehumanization? [7] What other word but “dehumanized” will do for a society which extends its protection to sexual perverts and withdraws it from unborn children so that they can be massacred by the million? Christ the King has indeed been dethroned, and the evil fruits of Liberalism can be seen everywhere around us.

Professor von Hildebrand warned that the Church can only help mankind to draw back from the precipice upon which it is poised “if the vineyard of the Lord blossoms anew. And therefore we must storm Heaven with the prayer that the spirit of St. Pius X might once again fill the hierarchy, that the great words anathema sit might once again ring out against all heretics, and especially against all the members of the ‘fifth column’ within the Church.” [8] We could do no better than begin by praying that they will ring out in Connecticut.

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