Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Christ King of Poland?

Daniel writes: What do you think? Would you consider this part of the ideal state? (A small group of Protestants, the Reformed Presbyterians, refused to go along with the British Revolutionary Settlement in 1688 because it made no reference to Jesus as King, interestingly. They are still active today, though I think they are now allowed to vote etc.)
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> ** Polish MPs bid to make Jesus king **
> A group of Polish MPs submit a bill seeking to proclaim Jesus Christ king of their country - a move criticised by clerics.
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Respondeo: Yes, I saw that. Also that the Polish bishops aren't keen. It's a nice idea, and it can be done in a number of ways. There was a huge fight before the Revolution in France about consecrating France to the Sacred Heart. The King finally did it, by Royal Decree, at a very late stage. A similar fight is going on about consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The people opposed to all these moves want to keep religion out of the public domain. Including the Polish bishops, unfortunately.

Declaring Christ King seems particularly appropriate, and it's suprising that it's not been done before. However I think that it was taken for granted in the Christian monarchies: the king receiving his crown from God etc., as depicted in ceremonial and art. God was always the King of Israel, as I understand it, and the human king a kind of deputy, just as the Pope is Christ's deputy as Head of the Church.

(When Henry VIII made himself Head of the Church of England, he wasn't just usurping the role of the Pope, but of Christ. As Elizabeth seemed to realise; at least she rejected that title.)

It's very interesting about the Presbyterians.

1 comment:

djhill said...

I agree that it's taken for granted. Indeed, that's why I'd agree with the Polish bishops -- Christ is already King of the Universe; we cannot make him so. We can, of course, acknowledge him to be so. But I think it is the responsibility of individuals and of the church so to acknowledge him. I'm not so sure about the state. Why is it incumbent upon the state but not upon the model-train club so to acknowledge him?

You can see a bit about the view of the Reformed Presbyterians at http://www.rpc.org/beliefs/community.htm:
A distinctive witness to the nation is borne through an emphasis on the duty of recognising Christ as king, as was once done in the seventeenth century covenants. The church considers the repudiation of those covenants to be a sin, to be repented of and corrected, and Reformed Presbyterians will only support candidates for political office who promise to work for such a national recognition of the authority of Christ. They seek to be good citizens and to support policies and participate in initiatives aimed at the true well-being of the community.