Sunday, October 28, 2018

Christ the King

Much to think about with this feast, which is recent (Pius XI in 1925). You can argue that only traditionalists really still teach the social ideas of the church, the Social Reign of Christ the King and maybe Fr. Coughlin's ideas, part of the "integralism" that even Novus Ordo conservative Catholics dismiss. Catholic ghetto is Christian community that liberals hate. Monarchy is probably the best way. Reunite Christendom in the Catholic Church by reconciling the kings, not setting up republics against them unless you really have to. Of course we've always liked confessional states even when they're not kingdoms, such as Franco's Spain and de Valera's Ireland. They're good. But we don't need them. We can live under a Protestant king (and we Americans should have been loyal to ours) or neutral republic (Ron Paul's America) if we have to. Jesus said, as quoted today, his kingdom is not of this world but he is a king. Not a president, nor a mere idea or model for good behavior; a king. So what is this kingdom on earth? The institutional church? Not quite. That's unique and apolitical; we're not really clericalists (a caricature of the church) nor a theocracy. If you believe dopey liberal Catholics, it's really secular humanism, "bland ecumenicism" with some God-talk and pro-life stuff tacked on. If you were forced to listen to them 30 years ago, you might be forgiven for thinking the kingdom on earth was the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Nor is it about unrestricted immigration, which is a kind of theft. No; again we're apolitical. We welcome a Catholic king and confessional state but can work with anything not actually hostile to Christ and to us. The laity have a lot of freedom in making political arrangements; again, we're not clericalists. (Fr. George Rutler: We're sacerdotalists. Easy to confuse the two but they're distinct.) All the church says socially is be fair (don't defraud the worker of his wages), help those in need (how is up to you; real refugees, not people trying to steal from citizens, bomb you, or spread their false religion), promote the family (such as traditional marriage and pro-life), and support the church's freedom, not necessarily a freedom for those in error. (You can do that, as in America, but it's at your own risk.) Shorthand for Catholic social teaching is being conservative on social issues but slightly left of center economically. We should criticize capitalism and our whole modern system, which is based on usury. But what works? According to our doctrine, we can have a mildly socialist system. But it would fail. As I wrote, much to think about.

As the choir sang in plainchant for the processional at Mass this morning, "Christus vincit. Christus regnat. Christus imperat." True God and true man, he's not a life coach or smile balloon in the sky. He is the king.

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