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Abp. Viganò: Christ the King has been ‘dethroned’ not only ‘from society but also from the Church’

Full text of comments Archbishop Viganò delivered to the LifeSiteNews team at our annual meeting
Wed Aug 12, 2020 - 4:25 pm EST
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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

August 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in a meditation delivered at the recent annual meeting of the staff of LifeSiteNews, described how important the Kingship of Christ is and how it has been undermined in society, under the influence of Masonic forces. But also in the Church, he added, the papal monarchy and with it the Kingship of Christ have been undermined since the Second Vatican Council. 

“And when Paul VI deposed the triple royal diadem with an ostentatious gesture,” the Italian prelate explained in his meditation (see full text below), “as if he was renouncing the sacred vicarious Monarchy, he also removed the Crown from Our Lord, confining His Kingship to a merely eschatological sphere.” As a proof for this diminishment of the Social Kingship of Christ – also within the Church – Viganò points to the fact that the Liturgy of the Feast of Christ the King has been moved to the end of the liturgical year, thereby giving it a more eschatological meaning and less of a meaning in our daily lives.

In the first part of his reflection, which Archbishop Viganò delivered via telephone to some 40 members of the LifeSiteNews team during our annual meeting on August 6, he referred to the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord of that day. Referring to the scriptural passage speaking on this event, as well as other scriptural passages, the Italian prelate then established the Kingship of Christ over mankind. He explicitly chose this topic for his meditation for LifeSite, “because I believe that in a certain way the focal point of our and your commitment as Catholics may be summarized in it; not only in private and family life but also and above all in social and political life.”

With it, the prelate reminded us that all mankind is called to follow Christ and His Commandments, or, as the Our Father prayer says, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Viganò therefore called upon us to “revive our faith in the Universal Kingship of Our Divine Savior,” and he later added that “it is not possible to question the regal character of the work of Jesus Christ. He is King.”

After establishing and reminding us of these crucial facts, Archbishop Viganò went on to describe our current situation. “The fury of the Enemy, who hates the human race,” he expounded, “is unleashed primarily against the doctrine of the Kingship of Christ, because that Kingship is united in the Person of Our Lord, True God and True Man. The secularism of the nineteenth century, fueled by Freemasonry, has succeeded in reorganizing itself into an even more perverse ideology, since it has extended the denial of the royal rights of the Redeemer not only to civil society but also to the Body of the Church.”

That is to say, not only has the Kingship of Christ been increasingly denied in civil society, but also in the Catholic Church. Here, Viganò pointed to the Second Vatican Council which he argued undermined, by weakening the principle of papal monarchy (that is, by strengthening the aspect of collegiality) also the Kingship of Christ, since the Pope is the vicar of Christ on earth.

Stated the prelate:

This attack was consummated with the renunciation by the Papacy of the very concept of this vicarious Kingship of the Roman Pontiff, thereby bringing into the very heart of the Church the demands for democracy and parliamentarianism which had already been used to undermine nations and the authority of rulers. The Second Vatican Council greatly weakened the papal monarchy as a consequence of the implicit denial of the Divine Kingship of the Eternal High Priest, and by doing so inflicted a masterful blow against the institution which until then had stood as a wall of defense against the secularization of Christian society.

By weakening the  “sovereignty of the Vicar,” the “sovereign rights of Christ over His Mystical Body” were weakened. Here, Archbishop Viganò refers to an important and symbolic act by Pope Paul VI on November 13, 1964, when the Pope removed his papal crown from his head and placed it on the altar, in front of 2,000 bishops. As an Aleteia article states: “Following a Mass, attended by 2,000 bishops, the pope rose from his chair and solemnly placed his tiara on the altar. According to news accounts at the time, Pope Paul VI was said to have been moved to make the gesture by discussions of world poverty during meetings of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II.”

Archbishop Viganò, in his meditations, commented on this event as follows: “And when Paul VI deposed the triple royal diadem with an ostentatious gesture, as if he was renouncing the sacred vicarious Monarchy, he also removed the Crown from Our Lord, confining His Kingship to a merely eschatological sphere. The proof of this is the significant changes made to the Liturgy of the Feast of Christ the King and its transfer to the end of the liturgical year.”

The prelate then also reflected upon the question as to whether the Council Fathers were aware that “they in fact ousted Our Lord Jesus Christ, stripping him of the Crown of his social Kingship?” This act, however, had grave consequences. In Viganò's eyes, “the Authority conferred by Our Lord on the Prince of the Apostles has substantially disappeared.” Instead of speaking authoritatively and infallibly, the post-conciliar popes rather chose to speak “in favor of pastorality that created the conditions for equivocal formulations that are strongly suspected of heresy if not bluntly heretical.”

The Italian archbishop and former papal nuncio of Washington, D.C. concluded: “We therefore find ourselves not only besieged in the civil sphere, in which for centuries dark forces have refused the gentle yoke of Christ and imposed the hateful tyranny of apostasy and sin on the nations; but also in the religious sphere, in which the Authority demolishes itself and denies that the Divine King should also reign over the Church, her Pastors and her faithful.”

The consequence of this abandonment of the social Kingship of Christ is, according to Viganò, tyranny: “Also in this case, the sweet yoke of Christ is replaced by the hateful tyranny of the Innovators, who with an authoritarianism not dissimilar to that of their secular counterparts impose a new doctrine, a new morality, and a new liturgy in which the only mention of the Kingship of Our Lord is considered as an awkward legacy from another religion, another Church.”

This new church can be characterized by “clergy who give scandal to the faithful by their reprehensible moral conduct, spreading heresy from the pulpits, favoring idolatry by celebrating the pachamama and the worship of Mother Earth in the name of an eccologism of a clearly Masonic matrix,” he added.

But Archbishop Viganò does not leave us with these distressing insights; on the contrary, he stated, “we have the joy and honor of rebuilding.” There is “a new generation of laity and priests” who are “participating with zeal in this work of reconstruction of the Church for the salvation of souls.” They allow themselves, weak and humble as they are, to be “used by God as docile instruments in his hands.” With our humility and docility, the prelate explained, we may counter those who “rebel against the King in a delusion of omnipotence, uttering their own non serviam.” Here, Our Lady will be at our side. Viganò went on to say that “there can be no Kingship of Christ without the sweet and maternal Queenship of Mary.”

Below is the full text of Viganò’s remarks.

TE ADORET ORBIS SUBDITUS

O ter beata civitas
cui rite Christus imperat,
quae jussa pergit exsequi
edicta mundo caelitus!

Thrice happy city, basking fair
beneath His royal sway,
where at the mandates from His throne
all hearts with joy obey!

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shine like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they felt prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying: “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of man has been raised from the dead” (Mt 17: 1-9).

Permit me, dear friends, to share with you some reflections on the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, manifested in the Transfiguration that we celebrate today, after other significant episodes of the earthly life of the Lord: from the Angels over the Cave of Bethlehem to the Adoration of the Magi to His Baptism in the Jordan River.

I have chosen this theme because I believe that in a certain way the focal point of our and your commitment as Catholics may be summarized in it; not only in private and family life but also and above all in social and political life.

First of all, let us revive our faith in the Universal Kingship of Our Divine Savior.

He is truly the Universal King, that is, he possesses absolute Sovereignty over all creation, over the human race, over all people, even over those who are outside his fold, the Holy Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church.

Each person is truly a creature of God. Every person owes his entire being to Him, both in his nature as a whole and in each of the individual parts that compose it: body, soul, faculties, intelligence, will, and senses. The actions of these faculties, as well as the actions of all the organs of the body, are gifts of God, whose dominion extends to all of his goods as fruits of His ineffable liberality. The simple consideration of the fact that no one chooses or can choose the family to which he belongs on earth is sufficient to convince us of this fundamental truth of our existence.

From this it follows that Our Lord God is the Sovereign of all men, both considered individually and also united in social groups, since the fact that they form various communities does not mean that they lose their condition as creatures. In fact, the very existence of civil society obeys the designs of God, who made human nature to be social. Thus all people, all nations, from the most primitive to the most civilized, from the very smallest to the superpowers, are all subjected to the Divine Sovereignty and, in and of themselves, have the obligation to recognize this sweet celestial Dominion.

THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST

As the Sacred Scriptures frequently attest, God has conferred this Sovereignty on his Only-Begotten Son.

Saint Paul affirms, in a general way, that God made his Son “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2). Saint John, for his part, confirms the thought of the Apostle of the Gentiles in many passages of his Gospel: for example, when he recalls that “the Father does not judge anyone, but He has given all judgment to His Son” (Jn 5:22). The prerogative of administering justice belongs, in fact, to the king, and whoever possesses it does so because he is invested with sovereign power.

This Universal Kingship that the Son has inherited from his Father should not be understood only as the eternal inheritance through which, in his Divine Nature, He has received all of the attributes that make him equal and consubstantial to the First Person of the Most Holy Trinity, in the unity of the Divine Essence.

This Kingship is also attributed in a special way to Jesus Christ inasmuch as he is truly man, the Mediator between heaven and earth. In fact, the mission of the Word Incarnate is precisely the establishment on earth of the Kingdom of God. We observe that the expressions of Sacred Scripture relative to the Kingship of Jesus Christ refer, without a shadow of a doubt, to his condition as man.

He is presented to the world as the Son of King David, for whom he comes to inherit the Throne of his Father, extended to the ends of the earth and made eternal, without a count of years. Thus it was that the Archangel Gabriel announced the dignity of the Son of Mary: “You shall bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom shall have no end” (Lk 1:31-33). And, furthermore, the Magi who came from the East to adore him seek him as a King: “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” they ask Herod, on their arrival in Jerusalem (Mt 2:2). The mission that the Eternal Father entrusts to the Son in the mystery of the Incarnation is to establish a Kingdom on earth, the Kingdom of Heaven. Through the establishment of this Kingdom, the ineffable Charity with which God has loved men from all eternity, mercifully drawing them to Himself, becomes concrete: “Dilexi te, ideo attraxite, miserans”. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer 31:3)

Jesus consecrates his public life to the proclamation and establishment of his Kingdom, at times referred to as the Kingdom of God and at others as the Kingdom of Heaven. Following the Eastern practice, Our Lord makes use of fascinating parables in order to inculcate the idea and the nature of this Kingdom that he has come to establish. His miracles aim to convince the people that his Kingdom has already come; it is found in the midst of the people. “Si in digito Dei eiicio daemonia, profecto pérvenit in vos regnum Dei” – “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God is upon you” (Lk 11:20). 

The constitution of his Kingdom so absorbed his mission that the apostasy of his enemies took advantage of this idea to justify the accusation raised against him before Pilate’s tribunal: “Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Caesaris” – “If you release him, you are not a friend of Caesar.” They cried out to Pontius Pilate: “Everyone who makes himself king opposes Caesar” (Jn 19:12). Validating the opinion of his enemies, Jesus Christ confirms to the Roman governor that He is truly a King: “You say: I am a king” (Jn 18:37).

A KING IN A TRUE SENSE

It is not possible to question the regal character of the work of Jesus Christ. He is King.

Our faith, however, requires that we understand well the scope and meaning of the Royalty of the Divine Redeemer. Pius XI immediately excludes the metaphorical sense by which we call “king” and “kingly” whatever is excellent in a human way of being or acting. No: Jesus Christ is not king in this metaphorical sense. He is King in the proper sense of the word. In Sacred Scripture, Jesus appears exercising royal prerogatives of sovereign government, dictating laws and ordering punishments against transgressors. In the famous Sermon on the Mount, we may say that the Savior promulgated the Law of his Kingdom. As a true Sovereign, He requires obedience to His laws under pain of nothing less than eternal condemnation. And also in the scene of the Judgment, which announces the end of the world, when the Son of God will come to administer His judgment to the living and the dead: “The Son of Man will come in his glory [...] and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats [...]. Then the King will say to those on his right: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father [...]. Then He will say to those on his left: “Depart from me, you accursed, into the everlasting fire [...]. And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Mt 25:31 ff.). A sentence that is both sweet and terrible. Sweet for the good, because of the unparalleled excellence of the prize that awaits them; terrible and frightening for the wicked, because of the terrifying judgment to which they are condemned for eternity.

A consideration of this sort is sufficient in order to realize how it is of the highest importance for people to identify rightly where the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is here on earth, because belonging or not belonging to it decides our eternal destiny. We have said “here on earth” since man merits the reward or punishment for the afterlife in this world. On earth, therefore, men ought to enter and become part of this ineffable Kingdom of God, which is both temporal and eternal, because it is formed in this world and flowers forth fully in heaven.

THE PRESENT SITUATION

The fury of the Enemy, who hates the human race, is unleashed primarily against the doctrine of the Kingship of Christ, because that Kingship is united in the Person of Our Lord, True God and True Man. The secularism of the nineteenth century, fueled by Freemasonry, has succeeded in reorganizing itself into an even more perverse ideology, since it has extended the denial of the royal rights of the Redeemer not only to civil society but also to the Body of the Church.

This attack was consummated with the renunciation by the Papacy of the very concept of this vicarious Kingship of the Roman Pontiff, thereby bringing into the very heart of the Church the demands for democracy and parliamentarianism which had already been used to undermine nations and the authority of rulers. The Second Vatican Council greatly weakened the papal monarchy as a consequence of the implicit denial of the Divine Kingship of the Eternal High Priest, and by doing so inflicted a masterful blow against the institution which until then had stood as a wall of defense against the secularization of Christian society. The sovereignty of the Vicar was diminished, and this was progressively followed by the denial of the sovereign rights of Christ over His Mystical Body. And when Paul VI deposed the triple royal diadem with an ostentatious gesture, as if he was renouncing the sacred vicarious Monarchy, he also removed the Crown from Our Lord, confining His Kingship to a merely eschatological sphere. The proof of this is the significant changes made to the Liturgy of the Feast of Christ the King and its transfer to the end of the liturgical year.

The purpose of the Feast, namely the celebration of the social Kingship of Christ, also illuminates its place in the calendar. In the Traditional Liturgy it was assigned to the last Sunday of October, so that the Feast of All Saints, who reign by participation, would be preceded by the Feast of Christ, who reigns by his own right. With the liturgical reform approved by Paul VI in 1969, the Feast of Christ the King was moved to the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, erasing the social dimension of the Kingship of Christ and relegating him to the merely spiritual and eschatological dimension.

Did all these Council Fathers, who voted for Dignitatis Humanae and proclaimed religious freedom with Paul VI, realize that they in fact ousted Our Lord Jesus Christ, stripping him of the Crown of his social Kingship? Did they understand that they had very concretely dethroned Our Lord Jesus Christ from the throne of his divine Kingship over us and over the whole world? Did they understand that, making themselves the spokesmen of apostate nations, they made these execrable blasphemies ascend towards His Throne: “We do not want this man to be our king” (Lk 19:14); “We have no king but Caesar” (Jn 19:15)? But He, faced with that confused rumor of senseless men, withdrew his Spirit from them.

For those who are not blinded by bias, it is impossible not to see the perverse intention to downsize the Feast instituted by Pius XI and the doctrine expressed by it. Having dethroned Christ not only from society but also from the Church was the greatest crime with which the Hierarchy could have been stained, failing in its role as the custodian of the Savior’s teaching. As an inevitable consequence of this betrayal, the Authority conferred by Our Lord on the Prince of the Apostles has substantially disappeared. We have had confirmation of this ever since the edict of Vatican II, when the infallible authority of the Roman Pontiff was deliberately excluded in favor of a pastorality that created the conditions for equivocal formulations that are strongly suspected of heresy if not bluntly heretical. We therefore find ourselves not only besieged in the civil sphere, in which for centuries dark forces have refused the gentle yoke of Christ and imposed the hateful tyranny of apostasy and sin on the nations; but also in the religious sphere, in which the Authority demolishes itself and denies that the Divine King should also reign over the Church, her Pastors and her faithful. Also in this case, the sweet yoke of Christ is replaced by the hateful tyranny of the Innovators, who with an authoritarianism not dissimilar to that of their secular counterparts impose a new doctrine, a new morality, and a new liturgy in which the only mention of the Kingship of Our Lord is considered as an awkward legacy from another religion, another Church. As Saint Paul said: “God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie” (2 Thess 2:11).

It is therefore not surprising to see that, just as in the secular world judges subvert justice by condemning the innocent and acquitting the guilty, rulers abuse their power and tyrannize citizens, doctors violate the Hippocratic oath by making themselves accomplices of those who want to spread disease and transform the sick into chronic patients, and teachers do not teach love of knowledge but cultivate ignorance in and ideological manipulation of their students, so also in the heart of the Bride of Christ there are Cardinals, Bishops, and clergy who give scandal to the faithful by their reprehensible moral conduct, spreading heresy from the pulpits, favoring idolatry by celebrating the pachamama and the worship of Mother Earth in the name of an ecologism of a clearly Masonic matrix that is perfectly in accord with the plan of dissolution intended by globalism. “This is your hour, the hour of darkness” (Lk 22:53). The kathèkon wouldseem to have disappeared, if we did not have the certainty of the promises of Our Savior, Lord of the world, of history, and of the Church herself.

CONCLUSION

And yet, while they destroy, we have the joy and honor of rebuilding. And there is a still greater happiness: a new generation of laity and priests are participating with zeal in this work of reconstruction of the Church for the salvation of souls, and they do so well aware of their own weaknesses and miseries, but also allowing themselves to be used by God as docile instruments in his hands: helpful hands, strong hands, the hands of the Almighty. Our fragility highlights the fact that this is the Lord’s work even more, especially where this human fragility is accompanied by humility.

This humility ought to lead us to instaurare omnia in Christo, beginning from the heart of the Faith, which is the official prayer of the Church. Let us return to the Liturgy in which Our Lord is recognized in his absolute Primacy, to the worship that the Innovators adulterated precisely out of hatred for the Divine Majesty in order to proudly exalt the creature by humiliating the Creator, claiming the right to rebel against the King in a delusion of omnipotence, uttering their own non serviam against the adoration that is owed to the Lord.

Our life is a war: Sacred Scripture reminds us of this. But it is a war in which “sub Christi Regis vexillis militare gloriamur,” (Postcommunio Missae Christi Regis) and in which we have at our disposal very powerful spiritual weapons, a deployment of angelic forces before which no earthly or infernal stronghold has any power.

If Our Lord is King by hereditary right (since he is of royal lineage), by divine right (in virtue of the hypostatic union), and by right of conquest (having redeemed us by his Sacrifice on the Cross), we must not forget that, in the plans of Divine Providence, this Divine Sovereign has at his side as Our Lady and Queen, His own August Mother, Mary Most Holy. There can be no Kingship of Christ without the sweet and maternal Queenship of Mary, whom Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort reminds us is our Mediatrix before her Son’s Majestic Throne, where she stands as a Queen interceding before the King.

The premise of the triumph of the Divine King in society and in nations is that He already reigns in our hearts, our souls, and our families. May Christ also reign in us, and His Most Holy Mother along with him. Adveniat regnum tuum: adveniat per Mariam.

Marana Tha, Veni Domine Iesu ! Oh come Lord Jesus!

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
Translated from Italian by Giuseppe Pellegrino


  carlo maria viganò, catholic, christ the king

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