Today, I come before you with an unusual confiteor.
I have changed my mind.
I was wrong.
We are nearing the last Sunday in October. Time was, when I would have written something about how this was the 'correct' day for celebrating Christ the King, being the day fixed by Pius XI in 1925 ... and that the Novus Ordo date, the Sunday before Advent, was wrong.
The reason for my change of mind is ... the following.
The two sets of liturgical texts are so different, that I think it is important not to confuse them ... not to imagine, or encourage others to think, that they are the Same Thing but (simply) on Different Dates. Better, for the orthodox to celebrate the orthodox version on the orthodox day fixed by Pius XI ... and to leave Trendiland to celebrate the Kingship of Bugnini on its Bugnini date.
So what's the difference? Mega! The 1925 propers vigorously emphasise the Social Kingship and Rule of our Lord Jesus Christ, something communal, even political. The 1970s texts eliminate that very necessary ... and very Catholic ... teaching. Examples:
Second half of Collect, 1925: " ... graciously grant; that all the families of the Nations, dispersed by the wounds of sin; may be made subject to his most gracious governance."
Second half of Collect, 1970: " ... graciously grant, that the entire creation, set free from servitude, may serve thy majesty and praise thee together without end."
And here is part of one of the original Office Hymns: " ... The wicked mob [scelesta turba] keep shouting: / We do not wish Christ to rule ..." Thes lines are simply eliminated.
And so on.
There are other problems about the Novus date just before Advent; with it, you lose the ancient and beautiful Sunday Mass with the first of the 'Excita', 'Stir up', collects; we have Calendar problems about S Andrew. We miss out on what Pius XI offered us in terms of the link with All Saints Day: "we proclaim and extol the glory of Him who triumphs in all the Saints and all the Elect".
But I think the graver, because more radical, problems are the ones I print above in bold type.
Pius XI pointed out that the institution of his (October) feast had been on its way ... in fact ... since (or since before) the 1899 Encyclical of Leo XIII Annum sacrum (1899: Pius writes: "... ad hanc diem festi celebritatem instituendam, inde ab exeunte superiore saeculo viam feliciter egregieque munitam esse conspicimus"). Indeed; much of the authentic and highly edifying Magisterium of the first half of the twentieth century is a working-out of what came towards the end of the nineteenth under Pope Leo.
Pope Pius quotes these words from Pope Leo: "then [that is, with the social rule of Christ] will many ills be cured; then will the law regain its former authority, peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."