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It is Time to Reclaim the Hidden Treasure of the Doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ

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Note: the French-language original of this letter may be found here. Many thanks to Stefan Jetchick for the translation.

The Doctrine of Jesus Christ's Social Kingship -- A hidden Treasure Due for Reinstatement. That's what we need to build a Culture of Life in Quebec, Canada and around the world!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
[Matthew 13:44]

Today I feel a lot like the man in the parable who has found a hidden treasure. Yet the treasure I have the joy of making you discover has been consistently honored by the popes of the 19th century and early 20th century. On the other hand, shortly before I was born (in 1974), this treasure was buried among the rubble of a practically ruined civilization... It was only through Providence and the hard work of Catholic faithful that I was recently able to discover this treasure of inestimable value.

What is this treasure? I spoke about it last month: it's the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This doctrine, reaffirmed by several popes, teaches us that it's Jesus Christ who has power in society and not the people. [1]

In this letter, which will be longer than usual, I'd like to give a more in-depth presentation of this very important doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ which I mentioned last month, to basically tell you how, in my opinion, it can influence all future activities of Quebec Life Coalition, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of our country.

All power comes from God

It's difficult to overestimate the scope of the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ! Although it can be summed up in the phrase "All authority comes from God" [2], it has serious consequences. The first is that it's opposed to a certain idea of "democracy" which claims that the legitimate use of power absolutely requires the consent of the persons concerned. On the contrary, according to the doctrine of Social Kingship, if a leader commands, it's in the name of God that he commands, and not in the name of those under his responsibility.

We can't accept that a politician tells us: "I have no choice but to vote in favor of abortion, for my constituants are in favor." To this we must respond: "Your authority comes from God, not from those who voted for you; and therefore, you must obey God, not the multitude!"

Jesus Christ is King of the temporal and spiritual

In addition, it's important to understand that, in our doctrine, the God who is the source of all legitimate power is none other than Jesus Christ. Any family, any company, association, and especially, any State, has the duty to formally recognize the supreme authority not only of a vague and formless "god", but that of Jesus Christ, true man and true God.

To those who claim that Jesus Christ would have abdicated earthly rule, and would only be the king of our souls, Pope Pius XI replies: "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 recognize His empire" [3]. Jesus Christ is the perfect union of divine and human nature; it's this union which enables the royalty of Jesus Christ "on earth as it is in heaven."

Leo XIII, for his part, explains the statement of Jesus to the Apostles "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth" [4] as meaning that the empire of Jesus Christ "must be supreme, absolute and independent of the will of any other, so that none is either equal or like unto it: and since it has been given in heaven and on earth it ought to have heaven and earth obedient to it." [5]. Therefore Christ reigns on earth -- not just in heaven.

Only the Catholic Church can give us all the truth about our King Jesus Christ

Moreover, it's not just any "Christ" who's the source of all power on earth. Because we all know how easy it is to make up a "Christ" that lets us do whatever we want! We therefore need an authority to tell us unerringly what is the will of this Jesus Christ whose Kingship we recognize.

But then what is this authority? The popes of all times answer: None other than the Catholic Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth" [6]. Therefore, according to this doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, any State, family, association, etc., not only has the duty to recognize the authority of Jesus Christ, but that of the Catholic Church, which has the privilege of infallibly teaching Christ's will.

Such recognition must lead to concrete actions, i.e. by practicing the Commandments of God as taught by the Church. [7] For a State, it means enacting laws against abortion, against euthanasia, in favor of real marriage, in favor of rest on the Lord's Day, etc.

All peoples of the world must recognize Jesus Christ and His Church

We are not just talking here about Christian States, families and associations! In the words of Leo XIII, the kingdom of Christ "comprises also all those who are deprived of the Christian faith, so that the whole human race is most truly under the power of Jesus Christ" [8]. All peoples, all cultures, all persons of different religions, all families, all unions, all political parties, all human societies, all, without exception, have the duty to recognize Jesus Christ as King, and His Catholic Church as queen and teacher in matters of faith and morals.

You'll therefore understand why this doctrine, which was reaffirmed constantly for nearly a century and a half by Popes like Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X and Pius XI, is so important in our fight for a Culture of Life: It shows us that our struggle for human life is part of the broader recognition of the rights of God and his Church. As Leo XIII said, "The world has heard enough of the so-called "rights of man." Let it hear something of the rights of God." [9]

Distinct but complementary roles of State and Church

To better grasp the doctrine of Christ's Kingship, we must understand the relationship between Church and State. The State's immediate goal is the physical and moral welfare of all citizens. But the State must recognize that its citizens each have an ultimate goal in life i.e., eternal Life in God. Therefore the "common good" the State must defend includes all conditions, including the moral and spiritual conditions that help man achieve his ultimate goal, which is heaven. [10]

The Church, for its part, is a society separate from the State, "perfect" in the sense that She has everything in Herself to accomplish Her mission, which is to lead souls to Heaven [11]. She alone is entrusted with the task of providing God's grace through the Sacraments; She alone is entrusted with the task of teaching faith and morals. Since the founding of the Church by Jesus Christ, the State can no longer assume the role of master in matters of faith and morals it was playing before. Now the State must "render to God what is God's" [12] and recognize the Church's authority in this matter, and support Her.

To make a long story short, the State must be subject to the Church in regard to divine and moral things. Although the Church is not generally called to govern things here below, Her divine teachings on matters of faith (e.g. the worship due to God) and morality (including abortion, euthanasia, marriage, etc.) must be listened to and practiced by all peoples and societies.

The State is empowered to recognize the Catholic Church as the one founded by Jesus Christ

Some claim it's impossible for the State to choose a religion and designate it as true, since a State does not have jurisdiction in this matter, lacking the ability to have faith. Pope Leo XIII taught that faith is not necessary to see the Catholic Church is the one true Church; reason by itself can do so:

Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfilment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. [13]

A YES to Jesus' Kingship is a NO to neutrality

The neutrality of the State (under which we are laboring today in Quebec and in Canada) is a sham -- worst, a blasphemy. Indeed, the State cannot take as a model Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the fate of Christ. Either the State recognizes Jesus Christ as King, or the State denies His rights -- there is no third way. (The path often taken by our governments, that of giving equal rights to all religions, is not legitimate since in that case Christ is not recognized as King, but as a mere "idea" entitled to float around, which is akin to blasphemy.)

The State can not legitimately be neutral, but must acknowledge the Kingship of Jesus Christ. This recognition must be expressed by a formal recognition of the Catholic Church as the true and only Church and by cautious but diligent support for Her.

A YES to Jesus' Kingship is a NO to secularism ("laïcisme" in French)

Even worse is secularism, which claims that the best form of society is one where religion is completely separated from the State. Pope Pius XI called this secularism "the plague of our time" [14]. Leo XIII teaches that if the separation of body and soul leads to physical death, the separation of Church and State leads to social death [15]. John Paul II could have said that the separation of Church and State leads to a "Culture of Death". This is what we are stuck with today!

To those who persist in saying that, by affirming the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, we "confuse" religion and politics, we answer: Union there must be between the Church and State, but never confusion, because each has its distinct role. The State ensures peace and tranquility here below, the Church opens the door to eternal life. But the State must be submitted to the Church, otherwise it runs the risk, through bad policies caused by its secularism, of closing the door of salvation that the Church wants to open wide, and thus the State would prevent its citizens from achieving their ultimate objective.

Religious freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience?

Some will ask: Is it not disrespectful to citizens of differing beliefs and religions to assert (even with tact, caution and moderation) the truth of the Catholic religion and denounce as false all other systems of morality and religion? To this question we must answer "No" because a society that asserts the truth does not, by that very fact, impose this truth; this society only proposes it to all as a Way to follow. And although, according to time and circumstances and the informed judgment of the leaders, it is appropriate not only to encourage Catholicism in society, but to suppress error, including religious error, with sanctions, here again the idea is not to force anyone to become a Catholic. The goal of the repression of errors is the safeguarding of faith and morals among simple people [16]. Such is the traditional teaching of the Church on the duties of individuals and societies toward the true religion, a teaching that remains "in force" today, and forever. [17].

The pro-life battle is part of a doctrinal "whole" we must defend

Some will perhaps say: "Frankly, with this Christ the King doctrine, Quebec Life Coalition would go way past its primary mandate which is the defense of the unborn and persons vulnerable to euthanasia ..." To these we will answer: The pro-life movement needs to take a step back, in order to better move forward. Our movement, needless to say, has not been successful in recent years ... And why? I think this is because the underlying reasons for our beliefs have not sufficiently been defended or promoted. Here below you will see, represented schematically, the structure that incorporates our pro-life argument. Note that the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ is like the culmination, the keystone of this doctrinal structure, and our organization currently defends only part of this vision, one that deals with the dignity of human life starting from conception.

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But today, we find that we are losing the battle on this small lot of "pro-life" territory. But wasn't this defeat inevitable, once we gave up to the enemy, without much resistance, all the other parts of this overall vision that underlies our convictions and forms a kind of doctrinal "whole"?

Nevertheless, each part of this vision can and must be defended. But to defend all of these parts, we must first know that they exist within the magnificent edifice of the Catholic worldview, and then do battle for each of these strategic areas of confrontation between the visions of Catholic Church and those of the fallen world. Once these battles are won (or at least fought) we can, far more easily and confidently, push our assault into all the political objectives dear to our hearts, especially the defense of unborn children [18].

That is why I had announced earlier this year that one of our main objectives for 2016 was to develop and provide an apologetics course on fundamental issues such as the existence of God, the spiritual soul, free will, etc., in addition to presentations on abortion, euthanasia, etc. [19]. For we can't defend the unborn child without defending the foundations of our morality. And, ultimately, we can't defend our legal rights without affirming Christ the King and His Church.

What I intend to propose to the Quebec Life Coalition Board

Adherence to the doctrine of Jesus Christ's Social Kingship is not made lightly. The discovery of this treasure fills me with both joy and terror: joy of having found the truth, terror in the face of persecutions of all kinds which will inevitably be attracted by the assertion of this truth. Having discovered this treasure, I felt obliged to bury it again and to re-hide it, as told in the Gospel parable, to make sure I had enough money to buy the field -- i.e. enough courage to face the consequences of a commitment to this Way of Christ the King.

But here today I am ready to announce my discovery. What could this change for Quebec Life Coalition?

Changes the assertion of Jesus Christ's Kingship will bring to Quebec Life Coalition

In accordance with the obligations of all societies to recognize the Kingship of Jesus Christ and the rights of His Church, I will propose the following changes to our founding Charter to the Board of Directors of Quebec Life Coalition:

First, I ask that Objective 1 of our organization be worded as follows:

1. Defending and promoting the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all that goes with it, especially the defense and promotion of the rights of the one true Church of God, the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome and headed by the Pope.

... And that this objective be preceded by the preamble:

As an organization that acknowledges Jesus Christ as King and the Roman Catholic Church headed by the Pope as infallible teacher of the will and teachings of the same King, Quebec Life Coalition will have the following objectives:

As explained above, the key to any well-crafted policy is the recognition of the supreme authority. This supreme authority, we have seen, is not the people, but Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ has given us a Church so that we may know without a shadow of a doubt His will. So it follows that the key to any policy is the recognition of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, which is the Catholic Church.

As a second objective, and in order to include in our charter the objective to defend not only human life and the family, but the doctrinal body that protects our beliefs on these issues against all errors, I propose the following:

2. To defend and promote the perennial philosophy and theology in the tradition of Saint Thomas Aquinas, which underlies any robust defence of, among others, the role of the Church and State, Natural Law, the protection of life from conception to natural death, marriage, etc.

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary

So much for the changes to our founding Charter. I will then propose an act of religion, that is to say, a consecration of our movement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This consecration is absolutely not arbitrary, since devotion to the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary is intimately connected to the recognition by individuals and peoples of the Social Kingship of Our Lord.

By dedicating ourselves to the Heart of Jesus, says Leo XIII, "not only do we recognize and accept [the empire of Jesus] openly and with joy, but we really testify that, if what we give actually belonged to us, we would give it with all our hearts ...". Moreover, for legal entities (States, associations, etc.), such a consecration also brings benefits, "for this act of piety may establish or strengthen the ties that naturally unite public affairs to God." Especially, according to this august pope, public consecration helps overcome this pride in us that claims to "chase God Himself out of our land", for the greatest misfortune of the republic. [20]

The Immaculate Heart of Mary?

I explained earlier that good politics means we have to do the will of Jesus Christ, and that to achieve this, it's necessary to recognize and hear the Church. Now here I repeat the same thing, but differently: If we want to submit with joy our people, our families, our associations and even our States to the loving and tender will of the Heart of Jesus Christ, we must entrust our people, our families, etc., to the care of the Mother Christ has given us.

I will furthermore propose that this consecration of our movement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary be renewed every year.

The future of Quebec Life Coalition

Concerning future activities, there will be no significant changes in the short and medium terms. Regular activities will continue: aid to pregnant women in need through our Pregnancy care centre and help-line service, our 40 Days for Life prayer vigils, participation in the annual National March for Life in Ottawa, the maintenance of our news website, etc. To the above will now be added presentations on various topics (God, the soul, the foundations of morality, etc.). In terms of new projects, such as the political party project which I discussed at the beginning of the year, all will be steeped in the doctrines which I have presented to you in this letter.

Basically, the explicit affirmation by Quebec Life Coalition of the rights of God and his Church is just a public assertion of what has always implicitly informed our work. By Quebec Life Coalition's consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I hope to draw spiritual and temporal advantages and exclude many ailments: Far from us the temptation to deny Christ before men! [21]

Finally, this reinstatement of Jesus Christ's Social Kingship to a place of honor is not just a way to invoke the blessings of heaven on our organization, but it especially aims the dissemination, throughout the whole social organism's bloodstream, of the only remedy that can restore its life, and stay the punishment that our individual and collective rejection of Christ the King is bringing down upon us. Because, as Cardinal Pie famously said: "If Christ does not reign by the benefits attached to His presence, then He shall reign by all the evils inseparable from His absence." [22]. And so, that God may keep us from the punishment we deserve, let us ask Him today to rule over ourselves, our organizations, our families and our country!

Long live Christ our King! Long live Mary our Queen!

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Georges Buscemi


[1] Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, #3.

[2] Romans 13:1.

[3] Pius XI, Quas Primas, #13.

[4] Matthew 18:18.

[5] Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum.

[6] Timothy 3:15.

[7] John 14:15.

[8] Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum.

[9] Leo XIII, Tametsi futura prospicientibus.

[10] John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, 57-59.

[11] Immortale Dei.

[12] Luke 20:25.

[13] Immortale Dei, #8.

[14] Pius XI, Quas Primas, 18.

[15] Immortale Dei, #8 and Leo XIII, Inter innumeras sollicitudines, 5-7.

[16] See Matthew 18:6, and Saint Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis, lib. 4 d. 13 q. 2 a. 3 ad 5: "The Church does not punish heretics so as to force them to believe using violence, but to prevent them from corrupting others, and so that such a great sin does not go unpunished."

[17] Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom -- Dignitatis Humanae, 1. For a thorough treatment of the issue of reconciling Dignitatis Humanae with the Church's traditional teaching on the duties of individuals and States towards the true religion, read Lamont, John, Catholic Teaching on Religion and the State.

[18] I am not suggesting here that our organization alone and by itself must fight all the battles of the great confrontation between the children of light and those of darkness, just that in order to fight effectively, we must be aware of this conflict's big picture and know where we stand on the battlefield, so as to distinguish friend from foe, to identify which battles to prosecute, etc.

[19] There were three other objectives: 1) The development of a political offer for the 2019 Federal elections; 2) The foundation of a center for pregnant women in difficulty in Montreal; and 3) The implementation of a post-abortion healing ministry to leverage the year of Mercy currently underway.

[20] Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum.

[21] Matthew 10:33.

[22] Cardinal Pie, speech at the Freedom Tree Blessing Ceremony, Chartres, April 11, 1858.


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