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Defending the FaithGlobal Histories of Apologetics and Politics in the Twentieth Century$
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Todd Weir and Hugh McLeod

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266915

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266915.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Vivat Christus Rex! The Cult of Christ the King, Vatican Apologetics, Catholic Action, and the Far Right

Vivat Christus Rex! The Cult of Christ the King, Vatican Apologetics, Catholic Action, and the Far Right

Chapter:
(p.57) 3 Vivat Christus Rex! The Cult of Christ the King, Vatican Apologetics, Catholic Action, and the Far Right
Source:
Defending the Faith
Author(s):

John Pollard

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266915.003.0004

This essay will explore the origins of the cult and doctrine of Christ the King in the encyclicals of pope Pius XI and the role which the doctrine it played in his closely-twinned strategies of ‘a Christian restoration of society in a Catholic sense’ and the propaganda battles with the Church’s enemies, especially Communism, as the theological inspiration of Catholic lay mobilisation through the organisations of Catholic Action in the world-wide Church, from the early 1920s to the 1960s. Focussed on the use of the doctrine of Christus Rex as the key tool of Vatican apologetics against the enemies of the Roman Catholic Church, the essay will also show how it came to be exploited by more right-wing Catholic groups in the inter-war period, and how it has remained a major weapon in the armoury of traditionalist Catholics, as well as far right groups, down to the present day.

Keywords:   Cult/doctrine of Christ the King, Vatican apologetics, Catholic Action, Pius XI, traditionalist Catholics, far right

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