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Fatima Perspectives
from the Roman Conclave

Article No. 7

The Return of Christ the King?

by Christopher A. Ferrara
March 20, 2013

During the rite for the inauguration of the pontificate of Pope Francis, which preceded the papal Mass, the schola intoned repeatedly: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat — Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. And, at the conclusion of the rite, the schola intoned: “May the peace of Christ come!” to which the assembly replied: “May the reign of Christ come!”

Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. Christ is, in fact, our King. The papal inauguration rite proclaimed this as well: “King of Kings. Our King.”

The concept of the Kingship of Christ has disappeared from post-conciliar preaching, in keeping with the supposed democratization of the Church since Vatican II. The new regime of bishops’ conferences and presbyteral councils does not comport well with monarchy, even if the monarch is divine. After all, the “modern world” is done with monarchy and regards it as the bygone relic of the dark age of “the tyranny of popes and kings.”

But Christ is King. And the universe is a monarchy ruled by a King. Which is why the commonest form of government in the history of the Western world is monarchy, a human reflection of the divine pattern of Creation itself. Mass democracy and the illusion of “government by consent of the governed” — how has that worked out for us? — is a rather recent innovation arising from the practice of revolution against ancient monarchies. Democracy has always been imposed at its inception, not by the people’s “consent,” but by force and violence, as I show in my book Liberty, the God that Failed.

Just as Christ is King — not just in Heaven but on earth, as the Our Father attests and as Pope after Pope insisted before Vatican II — so is the Pope the vicar of a King. He is not merely the Bishop of Rome, but rather God’s vice-regent with universal jurisdiction over the entire Church. The Pope and the Pope alone exercises this jurisdiction — not as a first among episcopal equals, but as the superior of every bishop, and of every living member of the Catholic Church.

The Message of Fatima is a prescription for the exercise of the Kingship of Christ by the Pope, who is nothing less than the vice-regent of God Almighty to whom Christ gave the power of binding and loosing in Heaven itself. By a single act of papal governance — the act of consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the bishops being commanded to join with him in this act — the Pope can change the face of the earth, unleashing untold graces from a heavenly treasury to which the Pope alone holds the Keys: the Keys of Peter. That is the power of Christ our King mediated to mankind through His Vicar.

Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. So it will be when the Pope finally consecrates Russia to the Queen Mother of Christ the King, showing the world both the power of the papacy and Mary’s exalted standing as Mediatrix of All Graces.