Long Live the King!

This Sunday we conclude the liturgical year with the Solemnity of Christ the King. This week on the “Sunday Homilies” page at the CUF website we have a beautiful homily for the occasion by Most. Rev. John F. Donoghue, retired Archbishop of Atlanta. To view this homily, click here.

Archbishop Donoghue includes a quote from Pope Pius XI, who initiated this feast day in 1925, which I think is especially applicable to contemporary debates regarding the role of faith in political life. Here’s the quote:

“Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast [of Christ the King] that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected, and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.”

One response

  1. Leon Suprenant should be commended for posting this excerpt from Pope Pius XI’s encyclical *Quas Primas*, the encyclical devoted to the Church’s teaching on the social reign of Christ the King.

    *Quas Primas* is cited in the *Catechism of the Catholic Church* (section 2105, footnote 33). For this reason alone, Catholics should not think or behave as if this encyclical has been superseded.

    One of the principles that underlie *Quas Primas* is that the ideal situation as far as the Catholic Church is concerned–the situation for which Catholics must urgently work–is the Catholic confessional state, rather than a religiously indifferent or antagonistic state. It is this principle that is implied in the aforementioned section of the new catechism in the following words, which incorporate a quotation from Vatican II (*Dignitatis humanae*, section 1):

    “The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is ‘the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.’”

    Someone may object: “But a Catholic state in the United States would, in accordance with the ‘political prudence’ of which the new catechism also speaks (section 2109), require the conversion of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens to Catholicism.”

    Response: I agree. So, let’s get busy.

    Keep and spread the Faith.

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