CHRIST THE KING
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CHAPTER IV: THE CONDITIONS AND EXACT MEANING OF THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST



S. What is the fundamental condition of the Kingship of Jesus Christ over society?
T. This condition consists in the explicit will of the Holy Trinity to give to Jesus Christ as man a true and absolute royal power. It is not a question of the rights of the Word of God, which are infinite, but of the rights and powers which God gives to the Sacred Humanity assumed by the Word.
S. God has made known to us His Will in this matter?
T. Undoubtedly. In the Encyclical of "Quas Primas" Pope Pius XI brings forward two proofs, indicating the Divine Will in this matter. He sets out the first proof thus:-
"The foundation of this power and dignity of our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. 'Christ,' he says, 'has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped; but His by essence and by nature' (Luke x.). His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to Him, as Man, angels and men are subject, and must recognise His empire; by reason of the hypostatic union Christ has power over all creatures." 1

This is how the Pope reasons on the subject: the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Person of the Word confers on the human nature assumed by Christ
a transcendent dignity. This necessarily demands every other dignity with which a human nature can be invested. It would be unacceptable and inadmissible
that, beside that human nature taken by the Word, could be placed any dignity which should have a right to any kind of superiority over Christ as Man. It would be inadmissible that a prince or a legislative assembly could pronounce itself legally or in effect

S. Explain the second doctrinal foundation of this truth taught by Pius XI.
T. "But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this, 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 their Saviour might recall the words: 'You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled' (1 Peter, i. 1819). We are no longer our own, for Christ has purchased us 'with a great price' (1 Cor. vi. 20); our very bodies are the 'members of Christ' (1 Cor. vi. 15)."

Here again let us follow the Pope's reasoning. Every creature belongs to God. Man had lost the Divine Life by sin. He had no means of redeeming himself. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, made Man, took upon Himself the payment of this debt by His loving death. In return the Holy Trinity made Him a gift of the whole human race and of all created things. Especially It conferred on Jesus Christ the privilege of forming one body, one moral entity with all those who should be united to Him by grace.

S. Did Jesus Christ make known the intentions of the Holy Trinity on the subject of His royal power?
T. Jesus, with a majesty wholly divine, declared to the whole world and to all ages "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. xxviii. 18). Notice that the
power of which He speaks has been given to Him; hence He has obtained it. Notice again that all power having been given to Him, there exists on the earth no other power than that of Christ. The power has been given to Him by the Blessed Trinity; consequently the power of  kings, of princes, of all constituted authority is the power of Christ. This explains the words of St. Paul, "There is no power except from God" (Rom. xiii. 1). This is the genesis of power. All power comes from God and can come only from Him. All power has been given to Christ, hence all power passes through Christ and comes from Christ.
S. Can it be deduced from this that Jesus Christ has real authority over every society?
T. That question must be answered with a very clear affirmative. First of all, as Leo XIII says, authority is an essential property of every society. Without authority there is no society. Every society is regulated by authority. Put these truths together and you will reach the following conclusion: the authority to be found in a society or a country is given by Christ; it comes from Him and depends upon Him. It is then necessarily of such a nature that it ought to be subject to Christ. Jesus is in fact the true King of all societies and their authority belongs to Him.
S. Is the threefold power---legislative, executive and judicial---spoken of by Pius XI, also vested in Christ?
T. Yes: for His power would be meaningless if it did not include the right to make laws, judge, pardon, condemn. This threefold power is inseparable from the authority with which Christ our Lord is vested by God.
S. We were speaking of another reason proving the Kingship of Christ over society.
T. In the very nature of every society, and especially in its end and object, we meet with another proof of the Kingship of Jesus Christ over the whole social order.
S. Is not the end of every society laid down by authority?
T. Yes: to recognise that authority exists in a society is to affirm that that authority should guide the society to its special end. The authority brings about the union of the wills that tend to effect the end. The end of any community may be looked at from its own special angle, but this special angle must never allow us lose sight of the supreme and last end.

Now, if authority has the mission of conducting to its end the community which it governs, it is clear that authority deriving from Christ---and we repeat that all authority comes from Him---must have for supreme end the end of the life and death of Jesus Christ. It is impossible that our Lord should agree to delegate to anyone an authority over which His own should not remain supreme in view of the final end; the communication of the Divine Life by incorporation into his Mystical Body. In like manner it must be impossible for Him to renounce the least atom of authority over the means employed by society to attain its end, or over the wills which are linked together into society.


1. The translation of the Encyclical Quas Primas, which appeared in the Tablet of January 16, 1926, has been used here and in some other places.
superior to Him whom God has clothed with the transcendent prerogative of the hypostatic union. This is the first and essential foundation of the kingly power attributed to Jesus Christ.


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