From The Catholic Esquire
We know Modernists hate the Feast of Christ the King because of what they did to it. To understand why Modernists hate the Feast of Christ the King, it is necessary to see what the feast really stands for and then we can more fully appreciate and interpret their actions. In doing so, we will see that the Modernist hates the Feast of Christ the King because in their arrogance and pride they believe they are above the authority of Christ and the deposit of faith.
Purpose of the Feast
After nearly a century of dogmatic explication and teachings concerning the role Christ’s kingship should play in the modern world, it was Pope Pius XI in 1925 that solidified this body of authoritative teachings and instituted the Feast of Christ the King, which was to be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of the month of October.
Notice Pius XI did not make up this feast day out of whole cloth. It was a culmination of decades of explicitly clear teachings from multiple pontificates, grounded in Holy Scripture, that emphasized the need to make Christ and his teachings an essential part of our political and social life—both our public and private lives. We commonly refer to this as the Social Kingship of Christ.
For example, Pope Gregory XVI, in his 1832 encyclical Mirari Vos, warned Bishops of modern trends attempting to weaken the “sanctity and indissolubility” of marriage. He also recognized that the Church was afflicted by indifferentism, essentially a rejection of Christ’s saving action on the Cross, in which it was erroneously claimed that “it is possible to obtain eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is obtained.”
Blessed Pope Pius IX continued these strains of thought in his 1864 encyclical Quanta Cura in which he addressed the “absurd principle” of a society attempting to govern itself without religion. We can see Pius IX’s thoughts more clearly when we review his Syllabus of Errors, in which he condemns the following proposition:
“Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil; it is law to itself, and suffices, by its natural force, to secure the welfare of men and of nations.” (Syllabus of Errors, para. 3)
Pope Leo XIII likewise made papal pronouncements on the role of Christ and His Church in public life in numerous encyclicals applying Catholic social teaching to various social ills and public policy problems. Leo recounted the days before the protestant revolt and the so-called Enlightenment
“when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society.” (Immortale Dei, Para. 21).
Leo would lament that over the course of the nineteenth century,
“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, whether in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God[.]” (Immortale Dei, para. 25)
Pope St. Pius X, also building upon the foundations laid by prior pontificates, strongly condemned legislation in France in 1905 mandating the separation of church and state:
“that the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error…this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion…Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State” (Vehementor Nos, para. 3).
This is just a sampling of the prior teachings from the Holy See that set the stage for Pope Pius XI to institute the Feast of Christ the King in his encyclical Quas Primas. By 1925, it was clear that Christian morality was being excluded from both private and public affairs. Citing to Holy Scripture where Christ’s kingship is established in numerous passages (see e.g. Luke 1:32-33, Matthew 25: 31-40, John 18:37, Matthew 28:18), Pius declares it must surely be right then “with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings.”
And what is the nature of Christ’s kingship? Certainly, this kingship is a spiritual one and concerned with spiritual things. But that does not mean Christ must be excluded from our social and political life either. Pius goes on to state,
“It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Nevertheless, during his life on earth he refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although he himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, he did not, nor does he today, interfere with those who possess them. Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat caelestia (emphasis added).” (Quas Primas, para. 17).
We know that Christ does not exercise his rightful direct temporal power over civil governments; rather, he charges our elected politicians and leaders with the duty to honor, defend, and implement His kingdom here on earth. Yes, it is OUR job to influence our society and culture in order to bring it in line with requirements of the natural and divine laws. The Kingship of Christ, in other words, is not an excuse to accommodate our lives to the secular, godless world we find ourselves living in while waiting for Christ to fix all of this at the end of time. No—WE are supposed to be working for the Kingdom in the here and now—for the good of souls!
How would the celebration of a liturgical feast help hasten the return of civil society to Christ’s dominion?
“Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast 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 (emphasis added.)” (Quas Primas, para. 32).
Is there any doubt what the purpose of the Feast of Christ the King was supposed to accomplish? Pius XI, consistent with the Church’s Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture, sought to remind the faithful that Christ’s kingship extends not only over the spiritual realm but the earthly one as well, including our political and social lives. This means that Christ demands we follow His commandments in our personal lives as well as upholding the divine and natural laws in civil affairs, no matter how unpopular or counter-cultural those positions may be. We must uphold the sanctity of marriage, defend innocent life, protect children from evil influences, and develop civil laws that support morality and the natural law.
Modernizing the Feast of Christ the King
And now you can see why the Modernist infiltrators of the Church needed to rid themselves of this Feast of Christ the King.
As author Michael Davies so aptly stated,
“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.” (Michael Davies, The Reign of Christ the King, Tan Books (1992), e-book 253).
That’s right, the Feast of Christ the King was embarrassing to the hierarchy who desperately sought the approval of secular civil leadership and protestants; certainly, it was inconsistent with the idea of a new world order grounded in principles of the Enlightenment, public vice, and liberalism. Pius XI’s feast pointed the faithful back to a time when the natural moral law was defended and upheld in various Christian kingdoms in association with the Catholic Church who guarded the souls of Christian subjects. Such ideas were simply incompatible with modern, respectable world opinion and so this feast (and what is stood for) became unacceptable as well.
At this point, many would would note that all the Vatican did was move the feast to a different day! What’s the big deal?!
Hat tip to Dr. Peter Kwasniewski who turned me on to this bit of important information. Pope Paul VI did not just move the Feast of Christ the King to a different date and change its name, he replaced it entirely! That’s right, Paul VI abolished Pius XI’s Feast of Christ the King and replaced it with the Solemnity of Our Lord Christ, King of the Universe. Here is the Latin with a rough English translation, contained in the Calendarium Romanum from 1969 where the new feast day was declared:
Ultima dominica per annum fit sollemnitas D. N. I. C. universorum Regis, loco festivitatis institutae a Pio Papa XI, a. 1925 et ultimae dominicae octobris assignatae. Hac ratione, momentum quoque eschatologicum huius dominicae meliore in luce ponitur.
My rough translation (non-official) translation:
“The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe occurs on the last Sunday of the liturgical year in place of the feast instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and assigned to the last Sunday of October. For this reason, the eschatological importance is brought to light.”
As Dr. Kwasniewski pointed out, the use of the Latin word “loco” is significant because it shows Pope Paul VI intended to replace not just transfer Pius XI’s Feast of Christ the King. The new Solemnity was designed to replace the old feast with a new one that on the surface appeared to be the same feast [probably to avoid alarm from the rigid traditionalists!] but was designed to take the focus off of Christ’s temporal authority over civil affairs and redirect it to Christ’s everlasting Kingdom that will be perfected at the end of time. As Dr. Kwasniewski also pointed out, Paul VI’s changes removed the feast from appearing to conflict with Reformation Day, also celebrated at the end of October by protestants.
Modernists Hate What “Christ the King” Stands For
Of all the innovations and distortions that modernist infiltrators have imposed on the Catholic Church, the effective suppression of Pope Pius XI’s 1925 Feast of Christ the King in exchange for Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Solemnity of Our Lord Christ, King of the Universe is one of the most glaring and shameful examples.
This transformation (actually replacement) of the 1925 Feast for the 1969 Solemnity is a fascinating example of how Modernist thought fuels the Antichurch and shines a light on how the Modernist churchman views the role of Catholicism in society. If you think this is much ado about nothing, just remember to ask yourself: did Paul VI HAVE to change the feast day? If not, then WHY was it changed?
He changed it because the Modernists do not believe real Catholicism has anything to contribute to the way society is governed. In fact, it hinders mankind’s progress they think. They believe the will of man is the sole guiding principle for how society, government and politics should operate. Christ apparently is just watching all of this from Heaven and will assert His authority one day at the end of time and just confirm with approval all the great things these brilliant geniuses are doing now. Of course, we don’t really have to worry about what Christ wants in the here and now! Wrong.
We have seen this play out with glaring examples just over the past two years with the rise of the Great Reset and COVIDism as the Vatican and the world’s bishops surrendered their authority and duty to protect the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass to global elites and their politicians. We see a shining example of this when the same hierarchy shamed and forced faithful Catholics into injecting their bodies with abortion-tainted poisons to avoid conflict with secular ideals. We saw parish priests forcibly remove pregnant mothers from Mass and refuse sacraments to the faithful in effort to comply with health department requirements and an evil CDC political agenda. There are so many other examples.
This complete cowardly surrender of the Church’s (and by extension Christ’s) authority in the face of secular pressure can only happen if you reject the idea that Christ’s commands and the Gospel can and should play a role in the way our civil society operates. It’s an affront to the Church and to Christ Himself, to whom we all owe our ultimate allegiance.
All of this goes to show that defeating Modernism within the Church matters because it affects what happens in civil society as well as eternal souls. How we worship, including our feast days, reflects our faith. Our faith must guide us in our lives. Our faith demands that we restore Christ to His throne and defeat the Great Reset. In doing so, we begin the long process of restoring Christendom. Viva Cristo Rey!