(The League of the Kingship of Christ.)

"When once men recognise, both in private and public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony."---Pius XI in the Encyclical on the Kingship of Jesus Christ.


On the occasion of the first celebration of the Feast of Christ's Kingship, 31st October, 1926, a group of Catholics resident in Dublin who had been holding regular weekly meetings for six months before, formed an Association which they named An Rioghacht. A provisional constitution was drafted and a governing committee appointed. The founders included a number of priests, secular and regular. The organisation has grown and now includes a number of affiliated branches and several school branches.


The League aims at doing in Ireland work on somewhat similar lines to that done by the "Volksverein" and kindred Catholic associations in Germany and other countries.

It is, in other words, a Society for Catholic social study and action. Hence its objects are:---
(a) To propagate among Irish Catholics a better knowledge of Catholic social principles.
(b) To strive for the effective recognition of these principles in Irish public life.
(c) To promote Catholic social action. Among the means adopted or proposed by the League for attaining these objects, the
following may be specially mentioned:---
1. The establishment of study centres, where the members can work through a systematic course of social science under competent lecturers.
2. The organisation, especially in colleges and secondary schools, of branches for juniors, for the purpose of arousing interest in the subject of Catholic organisation and reconstruction.
3. Public lectures.
4. The organisation of summer schools for the training of members.
5. The publication of pamphlets and books, as well as articles in current reviews and magazines. The League hopes also to have soon its own weekly journal, and so to help in the establishment of a fully equipped Irish Catholic Press.
6. Independent research work on social matters by the members of the League.
7. The encouragement and support of such other Catholic organisations as are engaged in works of social betterment of a constructive nature such as the promotion of Catholic libraries, co-operative credit societies, home industries, aftercare of boys and girls, etc.
8. The organisation, after a time, with the sanction and help of the Hierarchy, of a Catholic Social Congress.


In every country inhabited by the European race a relentless war is now being waged, openly and covertly, by highly organised anti-Christian forces, not merely against the Catholic Church but even against Christian morality and the whole Christian ideal of life. This war, backed by all the resources which limitless wealth can supply, is carried on through the press and the cinema and by associations of all kinds, some of which are openly anti-Christian while others, professedly neutral, are not less dangerous. Ireland is by no means immune from attack. To counteract this widespread anti-Christian movement, fidelity to their religious duties on the part of the faithful, though essential, will not suffice. Two other things are necessary, viz.:

(a) A widespread knowledge of Catholic social principles and of their application to public life, and
(b) Catholic organisation of the laity.

It is a fact, which has been stated publicly by some of the Mexican Bishops, that the want of Catholic organisation in Mexico has been in large part the occasion of the troubles of that country. The Mexican Catholics, who form the overwhelming majority of the nation, neglected to organise themselves, and so fell victims to a minority hostile to the Catholic faith.

Leo XIII and succeeding Pontiffs have repeatedly insisted on a sound knowledge of Catholic social principles and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. These repeated exhortations of the Holy See have borne fruit in most countries of Europe and America. There is no part of contemporary history more striking than the rise of the great Catholic lay organisations during the past forty years. These organisations are already an immense force in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.

In Ireland there is a very special need of such organisations. Although the people are predominantly Catholic, and for the most part faithful to their religious obligations in private life, the whole framework of the society in which they live is unCatholic.
The civic institutions and social organisation of the country, which for more than three centuries had been dominated by a non-Catholic or anti-Catholic foreign influence, is today mainly secular. The country has lost touch with the traditional Catholic culture of Europe. The English literature upon which the mind of the people is largely formed is predominantly Protestant. The books and papers which circulate amongst them are too often degrading, mostly saturated with Naturalism, and frequently marked by a strong anti-Catholic bias. The result is that the Irish Catholic nation is in many ways more exposed to unCatholic and even unChristian influences than any other Catholic people in Christendom. In such circumstances, and in the face of the immoral and anti-Christian campaign above referred to, the urgent need in Ireland of an organisation such as An Rioghacht cannot be too strongly emphasised.


The League, while not a religious association nor attached to any religious confraternity, is definitely Catholic in membership as well as in aim. It assumes as the basis of its programme the fundamental laws of Christian society and the principles of Catholic social action, as laid down in the Encyclicals of Leo XIII, and succeeding Pontiffs. It is not associated with any political party, and takes no part in political controversy or activities, except where and in so far as the objects of the League (viz., Catholic social interests) are involved. While taking for granted the right of the Irish nation to its integrity and independence, the League is not directly concerned with that aspect of the national life.

Members of the League are expected not merely to work gratis for its objects, but even to be ready when occasion occurs to make reasonable material sacrifices, from motives of religion and patriotism, which are the driving forces in all the League's activities. Hence, neither the League itself nor any branch thereof concerns itself with the temporal affairs of its members:
None of the funds may be used for any purpose that does not come within the direct objects of the League, nor for the payment of any member for doing the work of the League, nor, without the special sanction of the Ard-Chomhairle, even for defraying the personal expenses incurred by members in doing such work.

Although the business of the League may be conducted in Irish or in English, according to the choice of each branch, the public prayers are always, where possible, said in Irish. All meetings are opened and concluded with prayer.

The supreme governing authority of the League is the Ard-Fheis, or General Congress, composed exclusively of those who 'have worked through the prescribed course of lectures on Catholic social science. The Ard-Chomhairle or governing council (elected by the Ard-Fheis), which meets at least once a week, carries on the ordinary work of the League.

The ordinary members meet weekly in their respective branches for lectures and discussions. The lecturer is usually a priest. A definitely arranged programme is followed, and books for reading or reference are suggested. The members who have not completed the prescribed course are expected to attend as regularly as possible, and to supplement the lectures by reading and study. From time to time the ordinary routine of the weekly meetings is varied by the reading of a paper on some mattes of social interests by one of the members, followed by a discussion. Subjects are chosen to suggest some definite course of social action. Thus, papers have been read on the Press, the Cinema, the Poor Law in Ireland, Catholic Social Activities in Belgium and Holland, Fascism, Catholic Labour Associations, etc.

Members pay an enrolment fee of 2S. 6d., and a monthly subscription of is to cover the working expenses of the League. All practical Catholics who have reached r6 years of age are eligible for membership. Persons who approve of the work of the League, but do not wish to become members, may assist it by contributing to its funds, subscribing to its publications, etc. . Further information, copies of the Constitution, and other literature dealing with the work of the League may be obtained upon application to the Hon. Secretary, Mr. P. Waldron, 34 Belmont Avenue, Donnybrook, Dublin, S.E.I.


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