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Eighty years ago, Fr. Denis Fahey's second book, The Social Rights of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ the King (SRODLJCK), appeared. It was a translation and augmentation of the French priest, Reverend A. Phillipe's work, Christ the King of All Nations published in 1926. Instead of the original question and answer format, Fr. Fahey reworked the text into a "conversation" between a Teacher and student. The student was "an earnest seeker after truth. . . who is puzzled by the statements he meets with in the newspapers and in current literature, and who wants to have a clear grasp of the order of the world." The Teacher explains to him the "Catholic Doctrine on the Rights of our Lord Jesus Christ in society." (vii-viii)
SRODLJCTK came on the heels of Fr. Fahey's first book, The Kingship of Christ According to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas, and a string of scholarly articles written for Irish ecclesiastical journals where he set out the philosophical framework in his lifelong crusade in service of the Kingship of Christ. Both books seek to enunciate the principles laid out in Pope Pius XI's most important and much neglected encyclical, Quas Primas ("On The Kingship of Christ"), and to counter the dramatic secular drift of the Western world since the liberal revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries and the earlier, so called, "Reformation."
A rereading of this minor classic would do well for those who seek to revitalize a socially and, now economically declining Western world. The ideas which reigned supreme during Fr. Fahey's time are still dominant today, what has changed is that the world has fallen even more precipitously from its Christian past with the ugly and debauched social consequences now before everyone's eyes.
The Fundamental Error
Fathers Fahey and Phillipe speak of the Fundamental Error of Our Day, the extent to which has become so pervasive throughout the Westen world that neither priest could have ever imagined. Based on the "Spirit of '89," the Fundamental Error is explained:
.... the most pernicious error, ... is the view that there neither is nor can be, for the individual or for society, any binding, that is any objective truth. Thus, neither in theory nor in practice is there any such thing as either truth or error. (p. 38)
This leads, of course, to baneful social and eternal implications:
The strictly logical consequence is that there is neither good nor evil, neither right nor wrong, neither justice nor injustice. Rights are granted to error and truth, to good and to evil, as if the claims of both were equal. Ibid
Since objective truths, especially those of theology, the most important of the sciences, cannot be determined, God's laws and dictates are no longer binding, giving man license to commit all sorts of transgressions against the moral law. Western society's acceptance of divorce (for Novus Ordo Catholics, "annulments"), abortion, and now the abomination of "same-sex marriages" are just some of the diabolical consequences of the belief that objective truth cannot be found.
While the truths of God cannot be objectively determined and, therefore, not binding, mankind's beliefs in particular those that have emanated from the so called "Enlightenment" are "self evident." The "rights of man" are sacrosanct which stem from the notion that man is the center of existence and he is the ultimate judge and determinant of his earthly life and eternal destiny.
This philosophy is now enshrined in all governing bodies and laws and taught without dissent throughout academia, proclaimed in the press, and sermonized in nearly all religious bodies as Fr. Fahey states: "All official social organisms, and especially and particularly national constitutions, have adopted as their practical foundation the 'Declaration of the Rights of Man' of 1789. The rights of man are absolute: he is master. Everything, even truth, depends upon him and is made by him." (p.39)
This error has contemptuously overthrown the Divine Plan for social order where God was the center of human existence:
.... formerly, God was the center, the origin and end of all things, both for the social organism and for the individual. At the root of national constitutions was to be found, as the nature of God's rights undoubtedly demands, the recognition of God, of Christ and of the Church's mission. With one blow God's rights have been suppressed, so that whenever God was Ruler and reigned as such, He has been replaced by man, whose ideas and will take the place of God's ideas, of Divine Truth, of the Will and of the Law of God. Ibid.
With the Blessed Trinity expelled from the public realm and His Church effectively neutered from any meaningful role in society, man is left to his own devices:
Each man has the definte right to conceive and cherish whatever thoughts he chooses and to direct his life by them. This clearly proves that the only reality which exists for man and of which he ought to take account, is his own thought as conceived and moulded by himself. Outside himself truth is non-existent. It follows from this that each one has a perfect right to teach what he likes in speech or writing. For the same reason the law itself by which countries are governed is of value, not according to the degree in which it expresses the Divine Truth and Will, but according to the degree in which it expresses the general will, as made known by the election and by votes. In short, modern law does not recognize or profess any truth: it bows down before human thought alone. (p. 41.)
Fr. Fahey continues: "[M]an is free to live as he likes and to teach what he will. He may write and publish whatever he pleases, he may join in associations for a good end or for a bad. Finally, every man is free to worship whom he will: God, Christ, Mohammed - Satan if he chooses." (p. 40)
Modern man's constraints are not from the Supernatural or the Church but from his own conscious and that of the legislature which he supposedly delegates "authority to." The one ironclad rule of popularly elected legislatures and governments in general is that there can be no religious influence especially that of Catholicism in public affairs. "Separation of Church & State" is an "infalliable" doctrine of Western life.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man
In his typically incisive way, Fr. Fahey gets to the heart of the now infamous Declaration of the Rights of Man. While it enunciates a number of liberties and freedoms (those of the press, association, speech, religion), its essence is spelled out: "But the real meaning, the one behind which is the whole driving force of masonry and secret societies generally, is that each man in the state of nature, to which we must return to be happy, is free and indepenent like God." All are equally God. Man is born free; that is, unrestrained license is an absolute exigency of human nature; any kind of submission to any man is contrary to nature. As all are equally God, nature demands that the strictest equality should be realized amongst men, and that, therefore, everyone should have a vote." (p. 141)
Not surprisingly, as Almighty God has been pushed out in the realm of human affairs, the State has taken over His and His Chuch's role in society, the result of which has led to totalitarian democracy:
Men are born free and equal but they make themselves citizens. By nature, they are untrammelled by any social bond, but by an arbitary contract, called the Social Contract, they create a society. Human reason, before the social fact, was absolutely mistress and completely autonomous in each man; now under the name of State it has, of course, the same independence and autonomy, only more enlightened. The general will is the expression of the will of the immanent God. The rule of the majority is the rule of the pantheistic multitude-God. The State is God. The will of the State is not limited by natural or supernatural law. The people can do no wrong. (pp. 142-3)
Conservatives, libertarians and confused Catholics should take note of the following passage and see the futility of secular constitutions and other man- created designs to limit State power:
Of course most of those who proclaim the Sovereignty of the People are far from being aware of the full significance of the Rousseauist-Masonic dogma. Catholics may think that in proclaiming it, they are only rejecting the arbitary power of absolute monarchs and holding that the nation has the right to choose its rulers and to determine the form of authority. Those, however, who enter into the inner meaning of those formulae know that the phase, the People is sovereign, means that the popular will is the supreme and final law, superior to all natural and supernatural law, always legitimate and sacred. The will of the people, in the minds of those who accept the principles of 1789, is 'the exclusive judge of truth and falsehood, of good and evil, no account being taken of God.' (pp. 143-44)
"Sovereignty of the people" is an absurd notion which was used by the 18th century revolutionaries to foment support of the populace in their ultimate goal to overthrow the monarchial order of Europe. All societies including democracies are ruled by a small cadre of elites. Elections and "the right to vote" do not make "the people" sovereign. In fact, as the franchise has expanded, individual liberties have been curtailed while real incomes and wages of "the people" have continuously fallen.
While not emphasized by secular historians, the idea of "equality" within the Declaration of the Rights of Man was meant not so much as a reaffirmation of natural rights, but as an attack on the hierarchial structure of the Church and the eradication of that order as it related to society at large (it would have to wait until Vatican II and the machinations of the Modernist revolutionaires before the hierarchial structure of the Church would be leveled). Instead of society guided by the principles of Christ and His Church carried out through the example of His priests, religious and prelates, the notion of equality and other liberal doctrines would destroy European social order for good.
Since the 18th century, there has been a virtual mountain of literature written about man's rights while the "rights" of His Creator have been largely ignored. Almighty God is due from every individual, family, organization, association, and political entity worship, praise, and honor. At one time, Western man understood this and constructed a magnificent civilization whose ethos reflected this belief and, in return, was rewarded with many graces.
Not only must God receive from his creatures the proper form of worship, but His "rights" must be integrated into the social order. These rights and mankind's obligations to his Creator are transmitted through Revelation via the Holy Catholic Church. This is how a true Christian social order is constructed, any other paradigm is a perversion and does not merit heavenly recognition.
When a society deliberately refuses to acknowledge God's rights and mocklingly rejects His law it will be severely punished. This is why the current apostasy which includes the Conciliar Church is all the more wicked. Western man was given the special privilege of spreading the Gospel and had Christ's Holy Church established in the Eternal City. Tragically, the day is coming when retribution for this apostasy will be exacted. Fr. Fahey writes:
.. . . countries which have abandoned God must make expiation and reparation here below, and it pertains to the wisdom of God to inflict on them such punishments as are in conformity with His eternal designs. . . . God's action in regard to communities is motivated by His desire to save souls. . . . (pp. 76-77)
Since the Second Vatican Council, the notion that collective entities including those of a political nature face chastisement for their crimes has been forgotten. The immunity of states from the moral law and Divine punishment for their heinous acts has given governments carte blanche to commit all types of atrocities, confiscate vast amounts of wealth, and engage in senseless wars.
The coming economic collapse and ensuing decline in living standards can be seen as Divine retribution not only for the frequent state infringement of individual rights, but also the legitimation of crimes that cry to heaven for vengenance such as "same-sex marriages."
The Modernist revolution which took place prior to and in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council had as one of it objectives the eradication of the Social Reign of Christ the King. While the secular world had long since abandoned this notion, the Church, until the mid 20th century, upheld the doctrine enshrined in Quas Primas. The principle, long a part of Catholic thinking, was issued as a counterweight to the "Reformation," the various social theories of Protestantism, and the 18th and 19th century revolutions all of which contributed to the demise of Christendom. While Modernism was successfully driven underground by the determined efforts of Pope St. Pius X, it was allowed to resurface and tolerated during the reigns of his successors which came to its diabolical fruition at Vatican II. While SRODLJCK was written for the world at large, its principles can now be applied to the Conciliar Church.
A reconstituted Church based upon the principles of Christ the King will not take place through negotiations or compromise with the present ruling structure. The Novus Ordo and its current corrupt head are simply not Catholic. Discussions, dialogues, or even debates with these false shepherds lends to them a legitimization that they have long ago lost. Non recognition and, ultimately, forcible removal of these usurpers from their places of authority is the only method for the re-enthronement of the Divine King in His Church.
The rectification of any social problem can only come by the recognition of its ultimate source. Happily, SRODLJCK identifies what lies at the heart of the present crisis. When it is acknowledged that the current crisis stems from man's abandonment of God and that the world is dependent on Him for true social order, the seemingly insurmountable social, economic and political problems of the day will be resolved:
God is the Supreme Being, independent and sovereign. All that exists apart from Him has been created by Him, and its dependence on Him is absolute and complete. He alone has complete power and authority over all things. Not only does all depend on Him, but all must return to Him as its only ultimate end. In a word, all societies, nations, and States, belong to God, Who is their Creator and final end. (p. 153)
SRODLJCK is as vital today as when it was first penned. The Western world is in the midst of a long-term economic decline which will have considerable negative social and political repercussions. Policy prescriptions for a rebound from both the Left and Right have been found wanting mainly because neither side understands what lies at the heart of the present malaise. The pages of this book not only document the cause of the decline, but, just as important, lay out a paradigm for the reconstruction of society on the basis for why it was originally created. Earthly peace can only be obtained when Almighty God's creatures place at the summit of their societies the King. Fr. Fahey quotes a wonderful passage of Pope Leo XIII's Apostolic Letter of 1902 which aptly underscores this:
So society, in its foolhardy effort to escape from God, has rejected the supernatural order and divine revelation; and it is thus withdrawn from the salutary efficacy of Christianity, which is manifestly the most solid guarantee of order, the strongest bond of fraternity, and the inexhaustible source of all public and private virtue. This sacrilegious divorce has resulted in bringing about the trouble which now disturbs the world. Hence it is the pale of the Church which this lost society must re-enter if it wishes to recover its well-being, its repose, and its salvation. (pp. 84-85)