LIBER ACCUSATIONIS SECUNDUS
2. Of Jesus Christ’s divinity and kingship :
WHEN politicians claim that every man is king, they are shameless liars, and their lies contribute to the politician’s role being regarded as one of the lowest in the world. Because such a lie is the act of a demagogue, who, in so flattering the people, only seeks to enslave them still further. For a philosopher to affirm the transcendent character of the human person, and therefore the unparalleled dignity of each man and of all men, is an absurdity, as unreal as it is unrealisable. And it is such theories that have contributed to philosophy being regarded as the most frivolous and contemptible of professions.
When a priest or a theologian grants transcendence and kingship to Man, to every man, naturally and supernaturally, for no other reason and under no other condition than that of being simply human, then it is much more disturbing. It is obviously not Catholic ; it is not Christian either. It is not biblical or religious in any sense. Because, by any sound reasoning, it is God alone who is transcendent ; the word was invented to designate just that ! And for all believing souls it is God who is King. The kings of the earth only hold their authority from Him, and as an emanation of His. It would be act of impiety, crime, of lese-majesty human and divine, to contest this.
So, for the Pope, the Successor of Saint Peter, the Sovereign Pontiff of the Catholic Church, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, to reduce this same Lord, Son of God and Saviour, whose delegate he is, to the role of witness, prophet, priest and martyr to Man’s transcendence and kingship, whether by lowering Him to the level of every man or by raising every man to His level – for the Pope to contest the proper and peculiar total transcendence and kingship of Jesus Christ, as though He had made no such claim before Caïphas and Pilate, is so enormous, so incomprehensible, so scandalous, so impious and so blasphemous, so suicidal and subversive of all order both Christian and human, so ANTICHRIST, that one reads and re-reads what is written, in an effort to persuade oneself that there is a misunderstanding, that the words must have another meaning, that it just cannot be. It is too appalling to be true. If it were, one would have to conclude that the Pope is antichrist, that the Antichrist today is the Vicar of Christ on earth !
There are errors that are so obvious that they can only be a deliberate deception. There are also deceptions so well contrived and calculated that they discourage criticism. Assuredly, this is one of them.
GOD ALONE IS HOLY, CHRIST ALONE IS KING
Let us search the Bible – and we really need to search hard to find those three or four verses which you ceaselessly quote from among tens of thousands of others – to find some glorification of man, as though he were a god or a king, a lord of the universe and a master of himself ! In the Old Testament there is no question of this transcendence, but rather of the Splendour, Glory and Majesty of I AM (Yahweh) when it concerns what we may call His essential perfection, and of His Holiness when it concerns what on the human level would pertain to the laws of morality. You say, every man is transcendent; the Bible answers : God alone is Holy. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.
It is also of God the King, and of His future kingdom, that the prophets and inspired writers speak, and sing in the Psalms. There is no king in this world who can stand before Him, other than him whom He has first accepted – Saul – and then chosen for himself – David, whom He treated like a son and to whose lineage was given dominion in Sion, in Jerusalem and over His holy people for ever. It is from his descent that the King of kings, the Lord of lords will arise, the Messiah to whom is promised universal and eternal dominion, the Son of David and Son of God, Jesus Christ.
That man is in any way declared by Jesus in the Gospel to be a king or transcendent, that is to say holy, is something that no one would dare to maintain and certainly that no true Christian would ever accept. There is no question in the Gospel of man’s excellence or superiority in general or in particular – philosophical, moral or political. To suppose any such language or mentality in the time of Our Lord and of the Apostles would be an enormous anachronism. Secular humanism and democracy, even Christian democracy, were quite inconceivable at that time !
One must never have read the Gospel, or else have deliberately falsified it, not to be mindful that God the Father is always the Holy One, the Lord and the Master of all things, the King and Father of the family… That His Son is the Messiah, the Son of David, and by virtue of this twofold filiation, the King of Israel, to whom moreover was promised dominion over every nation… That the prophets before Him, and the Apostles whom He chose to be His successors, are those servants to whom is promised a share in the power and the glory of His Kingdom to come… And that, in the end, the only ones who are saints and have a share in His very priesthood, prophetic power and kingship, are His faithful ones – those who, through faith in His divinity, are made sons of God by adoption and members of His Mystical Body, whose Head He is.
Thus, in His famous appearance before Pilate, which you use to justify your theory – a masonic rather than a Christian theory – Our Lord Jesus Christ and He alone, not just any man, is the King, and He is “ King of the Jews ”, not as the ideal representative of a collectivity of kings, all equally transcendent, free and fraternal. If you object that it is precisely this political title of “ King of the Jews ” that Jesus rejected, then the answer must be that, on the contrary, He did accept it, and in so doing He sublimated and universalised it by making Himself King as God is King. Indeed it was foretold that the Messiah, the “ Son of Man ”, would be a spiritual King, a universal King, an eternal King, deserving and demanding of all men their entire subjection of body and soul, of their private and social life, their political life in particular, Jewish as well as Roman, ancient as well as modern.
And those who rejected His Kingship because they refused to have the Son of the Great King to reign over them (Lk.19.14), those who, in their blindness and foolish insubordination, claimed to have no other king but Caesar (Jn.19.5), justly incurred the divine malediction.
It is thus – how could it have been otherwise ? – that the Church has always interpreted, understood, commented on and taught about the Kingship of Jesus Christ, together with the Kingship of His God and Father, in the unity of one and the same Spirit. And it was precisely to bar the way to any contestation of this kingship that your predecessor, Pope Pius XI, wrote – as though he saw your contestation coming, Most Holy Father – that admirable encyclical Quas Primas on December 11, 1925, which is a new and invigorating proclamation of Christ the King’s “ absolute and sovereign dominion over the entire created universe ”, over every people and over every person, over all orders and powers, both temporal and spiritual. You surely must have read it, and, having read it, how could you dare not accept it ?
AND ALL IS SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF CHRIST THE KING
You proclaim, as though it were obvious, as a clear and certain teaching rediscovered by the Second Vatican Council, that Jesus is king simply because He is man, just as any individual human being is and ought to be. And that He claims the honours and respect due to their common kingship, not just for Himself alone, but primarily for every man and for all men. That, supposedly, was His mission in the service of mankind ; that was the truth, whose prophet He was, and the cult to which He would in the end be sacrificed. Jesus, the martyr of mankind, the defender of human dignity, sovereignty, transcendence and inviolability. And it is this faith in man, this cult of man and passion for man, that Christ supposedly bequeathed to His Church, who only became conscious of the fact at the Second Vatican Council. It is this humanism, therefore, that will dominate your pontificate.
To this end, you have made a radical separation between your Christianity – which is evangelo-conciliar – and politics, in other words, the temporal order of human life in society. More by omission than by negation, you have also separated it from the entire supernatural order of religion, faith and worship, so as to focus it on an anonymous, pluralist and universal humanism of historically masonic substance. As for the operation of this humanism, you have placed it entirely at the service of revolutionary militancy for the respect and service of transcendent and kingly Man.
Pius XI proceeded in quite the opposite way. Knowing that God alone is Holy, that God alone is King, he showed that Our Lord Jesus Christ, and clearly He and He alone, shares as man in the fullness of God’s royal Holiness and in God’s holy Kingship. Even if you have never read this Encyclical in its entirety, you must have read the essential extracts from it in your Breviary on the Feast of Christ the King for the last twenty-five years.
It is a total contradiction of your supposed Christian humanism. Read this appeal to the nations, with which the Encyclical begins :
“ The profound causes of the calamities weighing on mankind and against which mankind struggles are as follows. Not only has this unleashing of ills invaded the universe because the majority of men have banished Jesus Christ and His most holy law from their customs and from their private life as well as from family society and from the State, but still the hope of lasting peace among people will never shine whilst individuals and states obstinately reject the authority of Our Saviour. That is why We have warned that the peace of Christ must be sought for in the reign of Christ, and We have promised to contribute to that peace with all Our might. In the reign of Christ, we said, because to help in solidly re-establishing peace, there seemed to Us no more efficacious means than the restoration of the reign of Our Lord… ”
Celebrating this holy teaching forty years afterwards (text and commentary in Lettres à mes amis, No. 219, December 11, 1965), I ventured to comment, “ Christians, sickened by the propaganda of politicians, hope to find here or there the strong Man who will deliver them from the evils they suffer. Our theologians, however, imagine “ the Spirit ” or “ the Christ ”, incarnate in the whole human mass, distributing infinite powers of perfection. Some regard themselves as having salvific powers while others attribute such a messianic vocation to their race, their class or their party… There has been far too much talk of Christ dwelling within each and every man and of mankind as a whole being the People of God advancing towards a radiant earthly future. Such optimism is far removed from the faith and, because it rests on illusion, it makes our destiny that much worse.
“ In truth, one man alone is Christ the King, the Saviour-Messiah, because ‘ in him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead ’ (Col.2.9) and because He has redeemed us by His Holy Cross. That is the principle of our faith, the foundation of our hope and the ardent source of our charity. We acclaim this Child in his crib because for millions of men he is ‘ Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace ’ (Is.9.5) ‘ whose truth was to instruct the ignorant, whose holiness was to justify sinners and whose strength was to sustain the weak ’ (Advent preface). And this, moreover, is what the Vicar of Jesus Christ says (Pius XI, but not You, alas !) :
“ It has long been customary to call Christ ‘ King ’ by analogy because of the highest degree of excellence by which He excels and surpasses all created things. And therefore He is said to reign in men’s minds, not only because of the power of His mind and the fullness of His knowledge, but also because He is Himself the Truth and it is necessary for men to draw truth from Him and to receive it obediently. He is to rule in men’s wills not only because the integrity and obedience of His human Will correspond perfectly with the holiness of the divine will, but also because He subjects our free will to His grace and inspiration, so that we may be fired with desire for nobler things. And finally, Christ is recognised as King of men’s hearts because of His immeasurable charity, His mercy and kindness, which draw men’s souls to Him ; for there has never been, or will be, anyone who is loved by the men of all nations as Jesus Christ is loved. ”
“ But ”, I continued – and it was only three days after the closure of that accursed Council, which had heard the Pope proclaim the ‘ cult of man ’ in St. Peter’s Square – “ But the infallible Teacher insists that Jesus Christ receives this universal supremacy, this eternal kingship from His Father as man, and not only as the Word of God. ‘ Christ must not only be adored as God by angels and by men, but angels and men are also to be obedient and subject to His rule as man. ’ There is no question therefore of some sort of deism or pantheism of which Christ would be no more than a symbolic myth, like Krishna or Horus (R. Guenon, Le Théosophisme, p. 192). It is Jesus of Nazareth who possesses the ‘ royal power ’ and who has received ‘ power over all created things ’ in such wise that all our interests, all our earthly future, as well as our eternal beatitude, are dispensed by Him in proportion to our fidelity to the grace He will give us.
“ Some would establish the peace of the human city on a mutual pact or on an oath whereby all peoples would agree for their greater good. They deceive themselves, because such saving power does not belong to men. Others propose, as a means of reaching this same earthly happiness, that we honour God in our consciences but in accordance with our diverse religious forms. They deceive themselves still more, because the true God holds in horror all such religious liberty. He has also given all power to His Son Jesus Christ, and it is in Him alone that the world’s salvation is henceforth to be found. Do not seek God in a faceless or a voiceless heaven, nor in your idols, your dark consciences, or in the human masses. The Way, the Truth and the Life for the world are in this Jesus, the knowledge, adoration, love and faithful service of whom is proposed to you by the Church. All belongs to Him in this world and in the world to come. ‘ The Catholic requires us to believe that Jesus Christ has been given to men as a Redeemer, in whom we are to believe, and as a law giver, whom we are to obey. ’ (Lettres à mes amis, No.129) ”
That dismisses your humanism, with its struggle on behalf of man, to the outer darkness of heresy or rather of modern apostasy. But the remainder of the encyclical returns to this calculated indifference to things political, which you totally and absolutely distinguish and separate from religion, the better to dismiss them both. Yes, you dismiss politics as nothing and religion as far too lofty, both of which must give way to your humanism. Pius XI, and with him the entire tradition, subjects all things human, temporal powers especially, to the royal authority of Jesus Christ, who Himself holds all His power and glory from His Father…
THE PEACE OF CHRIST THROUGH THE REIGN OF CHRIST
Pius XI specified three areas where the sovereignty of Christ the King Our Lord is exercised. This passage has purposely been retained in our Breviary readings : “ The powers of the Legislator, whom we are to obey… the powers of judging, which have been given to Him by His Father… the powers of execution are also attributed to Christ, because it is necessary that all obey His rule ; and this is made dear by the imposition of penalties on the disobedient – penalties which no one can escape. ”
Now, regarding your humanist, naturalist, and positively absurd explanation of the “ dialogue ” between Jesus and Pilate, this Encyclical of Pius XI and these readings from the Breviary explain things in a quite different manner – one that is Catholic, luminous, and persuasive – and they render your explanation inexcusable and truly criminal. They teach that Christ, although already the sovereign King by virtue of His Incarnation, is also King in a new and special manner “ as Redeemer who has bought the Church by His blood, and as Priest who has offered and perpetually offers Himself as victim for sin… Thus His royal dignity itself is adapted to and participates in the nature of each of these functions. ”
Pope Pius XI concludes that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is spiritual, supernatural and religious and not earthly, military, philosophical or cultural. But this does not exclude its superiority extending into the whole area of temporal life. And there, if I may use a sporting term, you are beaten. For Pius XI seemed to foresee your rejection of Christ’s sovereignty over the political domain when he added with particular and august vehemence :
“ However, anyone would err shamefully (sic) who would take away from Christ as man the rule over civil affairs – of whatever sort they may be – since He has been given by the Father such complete power over created things that all are subject to His Will… Our Redeemer’s kingship, therefore, embraces all men. ”
It is true that “ during His earthly life, He refrained totally from exercising this authority and, as He had gained the possession and direction of human affairs beforehand, He then abandoned them and still abandons them to their possessors. A truth magnificently expressed in this verse : He does not ravish the thrones of this earth, He who gives thrones in heaven… ”
Yet, I continued, “ Jesus Christ, having left the princes of this world with their empires, He nonetheless demands of them the religious homage due from vassal to suzerain Lord, from faithful stewards to Him who owns all… But in their obedience to Christ the King, Christian princes can hope for all things from His power and goodness ! Pius XI explained this in such magnificent terms that his words are still capable of raising hope amid the many terrifying perils threatening mankind today. ”
Then, so that the whole Church, faithful to this dogma and filled with this hope, be impregnated with it and proclaim it to the impious as the Good News and the perpetual Gospel, he instituted the Feast of Christ the King and decreed that each year on that day “ the dedication of the human race to the Sacred Heart should be renewed. ” He explained his reason for this in a magnificent lesson which gives every appearance of anticipating the justification of our ACCUSATION against your apostate humanism and of your CONDEMNATION, in the same terms as those of the Catholic Renaissance, to which we have devoted all our efforts and even our lives :
“ If We decree that the entire Catholic world venerate Christ the King, we are thereby providing for present day temporal needs and We are opposing with a sovereign remedy the plague infesting human society… In effect, the plague of our times is secularism with its errors and wicked endeavours. This scourge, as you know Venerable Brethren, did not reach maturity in a single day ; it has been smouldering deep within our societies for a long while. It began by denying Christ’s power over all the nations ; the Church was denied the right, derived from the right of Christ Himself, to teach the entire human race, to give laws and so lead people to their eternal beatitude. Then, the religion of Christ was gradually treated as though it were the equal of false religions and, with shocking impropriety, placed on the same level with them. The Church was then made subject to the civil power and all but given over to the whims of princes and magistrates ; some even went so far as to advocate replacing the divine religion with a purely natural sentiment, a natural religion. ”
Every one of these reproaches strikes at your supposedly evangelical and undoubtedly Conciliar secularism ! The salvation of souls, the human good of poor peoples, to which you show yourself indifferent compared with your enthusiasm for the illusion of Man’s universal kingship, the peace and legitimate prosperity to which nations aspire, depend on your conversion to the universal Kingship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and, with the whole Church, to that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in accordance with the uplifting hopes of your predecessors :
“ If Christ’s Kingdom in fact comprised all those whom it embraces as of right, why should we despair of the Peace brought to this earth by the King of Peace, He who came to reconcile all things, He who came not to be served but to serve and who, being the Master of all things, gave Himself to be a model of humility and made of this virtue a capital law and related it to the law of charity – He who said ‘ My yoke is sweet and my burden light ’. Oh ! what happiness we should taste if all men, all families and societies, allowed themselves to be governed by Christ ! To use the words addressed by Our Predecessor Leo XIII to all the bishops twenty five years ago : ‘ It will be possible to heal so many wounds, law will regain the vigour of its former authority and the riches of peace will return, swords will be let fall and weapons will drop from hands, when all men willingly accept Christ’s dominion and submit to Him, when every tongue proclaims that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the Glory of God the Father ’. ”
Alas, we are not there yet. “ It would behove Catholics to prepare for and hasten with their action this return of Jesus Christ, lamented Pius XI, but a great many of them seem not to hold their normal place in society nor to possess the authority befitting those who bear the torch of truth. This setback must be attributed to the slowness and timidity of the good who abstain from offering any resistance or else resist too feebly. It is the Church’s enemies who necessarily gain an increase of temerity and audacity from such weakness. The faithful, on the contrary, should understand that they must fight with courage and always under the banner of Christ the King. May they be ardent with the fire of the apostolate, and may they work to reconcile to their Lord the distant and the ignorant and always strive to safeguard His rights. ”
In the meanwhile, “ let this Feast of Christ the King be publicly celebrated with magnificence, so that the splendour of these celebrations affects all peoples, and may the triumph of these celebrations compensate for the insulting silence of so many human assemblies. May the power of these manifestations end in persuading some and in obliging others to recognise the Sovereign Dominion of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world. ” Is not the universal celebration of such a feast, notes Pius XI, most necessary “ in order to condemn and to make reparation in a sense for the defections caused by secularism, with such painful consequences for society ? In fact, the more that international gatherings and national assemblies cover the sweet name of Our Redeemer with an ignominious silence, the more must we acclaim and make known the rights and dignity of Jesus Christ’s royal power. ”