17 July 2015

The Social Reign of Christ the King: Lake Garda (3)

I have considered Fr Genovesi's hymns which were eviscerated, emptied of the Social Kingship of Christ, in the post-Conciliar years. But there is even worse. The Collect for Christ the King, used at every liturgical celebration on that feast, also had its guts wrenched out.

I wonder how many people realise that the original Collect for the Feast of Christ the King put in place under Pius XI in 1925 was radically changed and given a new meaning in the post-Conciliar 'reforms'? And I suspect that even fewer are aware that, by what just must be a most amusing paradox, the Church of England still employs, for the Third Sunday Before Advent, that original papal collect, unmodified, ungutted! Vatican II had mandated that liturgical changes should only be made when the certa utilitas of the Church requires it; can it have been all that necessary to change this Collect if the original version remains uncontroversially acceptable even in the Church of England? Yes! The dear old C of E! It makes you wonder if B Paul VI might not have been a trifle over-carried-away by his Ostpolitik.

You see, the Pian Collect expressed clearly the Sovereignty of Christ over all the nations (... ut cunctae familiae Gentium, peccati vulnere disgregatae, eius suavissimo subdantur imperio). But the modern version eliminates that and introduces instead the notion of the eschatological transformation of the whole of creation. We can hardly complain about that doctrine in itself. S Paul clearly teaches, in Romans 8, just such a glorious understanding of the End. But we must complain about the concomitant loss of the old concept of Christ's Lordship over all sorts and conditions of men, and over all areas of communal life including sexual morality, here and now.

For a quite a time in this country, the only doctrine deemed more or less peculiar to the Church of England was that of the union of Crown and Altar, the old Tory 'Squire Western' toast of 'Church and State', an understanding in which a Christian government sustains the Christian State, its rules, its worship, its moral code. This old Stuart, Jacobite, Ancien Regime notion, so dear to the country squirearchy and the Inferior Clergy, was despised by the Whiggish Court Party, the Upper Clergy, and the 'Hannover Rats'. You won't find me criticising you if you argue that this is a piece of Patrimony which the Ordinariate should be bringing back into the Catholic Church! And it is very close to the polity to which Mgr Lefebvre and French adherents of Tradition and Integrisme bore and bear witness. Are we really totally sure that, on this question, Classical Anglicanism and French Traditionalism, not to mention the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, are all so completely misguided? Or, OK, if they are, what about the Magisterium of Pius XI? By what sophisticated hermeneutic do you propose to rubbish that?

In the next part of this post, I shall cite a passage of Fr Aidan Nichols, arguing that the Social Kingship of Christ is something on which, "despite its difficulties in a post-Enlightenment society, we must not renege". There is here a troubling question which the annual celebration of Christ's Kingship places starkly before us all; every year more starkly as every year the powers that be in this country repudiate ever more decisively our Saviour's Lordship ... and most especially in areas of sexual morals. This repudiation renders them - and us - subject to the rather striking menace in the final Antiphon attached to the psalmody of Lauds in the old Pius XI Office: The nation and kingdom which shall not have served Thee shall perish: and the nations shall be laid waste with a wilderness. I think somebody should explain this delightfully juicy threat to the Obamae and the Camerones.
Viva Cristo Rey.


Matthew Roth said...

Moving the feast has also caused problems. We focus on the eternal kingship of Christ and the eschaton by placing it rigjt before Advent. By placing it right before All Saints, we meditate on the here and now, the Church Militant, before celebrating the Church Triumphant and then pausing to pray in a special way for the Church Suffering.

Liam Ronan said...

The admonition of Isaiah is right on the mark, Father. I fear (if one may judge from their conduct) that the Obamae and Camerones of this world would glean nothing from this stark warning found in Peter:

"Remember always that in the last days mocking deceivers must needs come, following the rule of their own appetites, who will ask, What has become of the promise that he would appear?

Ever since the fathers went to their rest, all is as it was from the foundation of the world. They are fain to forget how, long ago, heaven stood there, and an earth which God’s word had made with water for its origin, water for its frame; and those were the very means by which the world, as it then was, came to perish, overwhelmed by water.

That same word keeps heaven and earth, as they now are, stored up, ready to feed the fire on the day when the godless will be judged, and perish." 2 Peter: 3-7

'Fire' as in Sodom and Gomorrah one would think.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Mr. David Wemhoff ("Culture Wars" columnist) will soon have his book, John Courtney Murray, Time/Life, and the American Proposition, published which will be a must read for how to think about all of the sturm und drang now coalescing around the critical questions y'all examined at Lake Garda.

As a bit of a foretaste, Mr. Wemhoff notes, correctly, that America is not a nation (See OED) but a country which means that the country of America is organised appertaining to the operation of the country and not to the society or the people and he notes that while anyone can be an American not everyone can by, say, a Mexican for Mexico is a nation; that is, (accord to OED) An extensive aggregate of persons so closely associated with each other by common descent, language, history, so as to form a distance race or people...

In America, one can easily see that ours is a country not a nation when ones goes to a big box store in Vermont and sees six foot tall Ethiopian Muslim women shopping; as recently as 1960 America was 90% white but race is not a principle one can organise around (See War to Prevent Southern Independence) but race, as an organising principle is a real and present danger today in many countries whereas organising nations/peoples within the reality of the Kingship of Christ and a Catholic Confessional Sate is the only way to a possible peace.