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The Kingship of Christ According to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas
By Reverend Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., B.A., D.D., D.Ph., D.D.
First Published 1931; Reprinted 2017
Loreto Publications, Fitzwilliam, New Hampahire

Reviewed by Patricius Anthony


Ninety years ago, Fr. Denis Fahey published what would become the theological foundation upon which all of his subsequent empirical studies flowed, The Kingship of Christ (KoC). The book incorporated many of the points contained in a series of essays which he had previously written for the Irish Ecclesiastical Record* and for the Catholic Mind. One of these articles from the latter journal, "Our Supernatural Life and Nationality," appeared as an appendix in the KoC.

The preface for the book was penned by a former student of Fr. Fahey's at Blackrock College and an important figure in 20th century Irish Catholicism, Fr. John C. McQuaid, C.S.Sp. Fr. McQuaid would play a key role in framing the Irish Constitution of 1937 and, later as Primate of Ireland, attended the opening session of the Second Vatican Council, 1962-65. In highlighting the book, McQuaid notes Fr. Fahey's academic credentials - doctorate degrees in Scholastic Philosophy and Theology with First Class Honors Degree of the Royal University of Ireland in Civil and Constitutional History, Political Economy, and General Jurisprudence. McQuaid would distance himself from Fr. Fahey and his ideas as he moved up the ecclesiastical ladder. Fr. Fahey was disappointed in the Irish Constitution of 1937 which McQuaid had a significant hand in drafting and how it placed the Church in civil affairs. After the priest's death in 1954, McQuaid would curtail the activities of Maria Duce, the religious group that the former was closely associated with.

Besides the Magisterium and the teaching of St. Thomas, McQuaid mentions three non-clerical authors who Fr. Fahey frequently cites: Nesta Webster, Godefroid Kurth, and Jacques Maritain. As Maritain became increasingly progressive, Fr. Fahey used him less as a source and authority while he always held Webster and Kurth in high regard. The priest would later write a lengthy introduction to Kurth's The Workingmen's Guilds of the Middle Ages in 1943 and referenced his Les Origines de la Civilisation Moderne in a number of his own publications.


Fr. Fahey's historical approach is unabashedly Christocentric:

. . . the real history of the world is the account of the acceptance or rejection by the world of God's plan for the restoration of the divine life. . . . the history of the world, viewed from the highest standpoint, to which everything else is subordinate, turns around the social acceptance and rejection of the kingship of Christ, and thus the attitude of states to the one supernatural society and to the indirect power of the Catholic Church is the keystone of the arch of the world's social order. [11-12]

He believed that human existence reached its pinnacle in the 13th century and, ever since, there has been spiritual decay which has been the main cause of the temporal order's decline. The Protestant Revolt accelerated the regression, for it not only split Christendom, but had profound and harmful effects on Catholicism. The French Revolution shattered Christendom while the last of the aristocratic order - Germany, Austria, Russia were liquidated by the end of WWI.

After the cataclysm of 1789, each successive generation became increasingly secularized and egalitarian as mankind pridefully dethroned Almighty God and His Church. While the Church gallantly fought this trend, it, too, would eventually succumb to Modernism by the time of the Vatican II Anti-council.

The Christian social order was replaced with the secular nation state whose foundation rested upon the notions of religious liberty and separation of Church & State. In the social realm, it adopted a whole host of welfare schemes - social security, socialized medicine, public schooling, etc. The welfare state destroyed the natural bonds of society, most importantly the family which led to dependency on the state by ever growing segments of the population. In the financial field the elimination of the gold standard, the rise of central banking, and an overall increase in taxation provided the means for the implementation of social engineering measures mostly for the benefit of a new class of anti-Christian political elites.

The new social order was largely the creation of Enlightenment thinkers who were virulently anti-Catholic, consisting mostly of Masons and their fellow travelers. The Enlightenment not only effected Protestant countries, but Catholic realms as well with many advisors and ministers of kings and princes under its sway. By the 20th century, Catholic Churchmen and the laity had imbibed the new secular order and embraced the ideals of religious liberty and separation of Church and State, taking positions in the corridors of power.

While Fr. Fahey touched upon these subjects in KoC, he would develop them further in his later works. His insights and warnings about what would happen if mankind did not return to the true worship of Almighty God has proven to be quite perspicacious. The anti-Christian forces which he exposed and spoke about have only grown more powerful and now, for all intents and purposes, rule the world.

The Divine Plan for Social Order

In a familiar diagram found in many of his writings, Fr. Fahey demonstrates what he believes is the Divine Plan for social order and, if followed by individuals and societies, will lead to the beatific vision:

GOD As He is in Himself
OUR LORD CRUCIFIED AND RISEN FROM THE DEAD Head of His Mystical Body - The Catholic Church
SUPERNATURAL LIFE Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity Gifts of the Holy Ghost Infused Moral Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance
NATURAL LIFE Rational Life of Intellect and Will

The KoC sought to refute the philosophical principles which the modern world rested upon based on the teachings of the Angelic Doctor and the Magisterium. Fr. Fahey produced a "blueprint" for the reconstruction of society in how he believed Almighty God wanted the world to function. The Trinity was to be re-enthroned to its rightful place in society and it was to be worshipped in the prescribed manner.

The proper worship of Almighty God, which is the duty of all mankind, is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This implies that all other forms of worship (including the Novus Ordo "Mass") do not fulfill the obligation of God's creatures to worship Him. In addition to the proper form of worship, the Catholic Church is the sole medium between man and heaven, and all other faiths, creeds, denominations, cults, and sects (including the Novus Ordo) are false and not pleasing to the Divine Majesty.

In contrast to modern thinking, Fr. Fahey contends that the Church is not only the sole spiritual authority on earth, but it is also the ultimate arbitrator in the secular realm. International organizations such as the U.N. (which the Novus Ordo Church recognizes and promotes) are creatures of those who seek to build a New World Order where Christianity is either abolished or under the thumb of a world state and its governing bodies. The notion that there is "equality" between Church and State is condemned by the priest as it was by most churchmen prior to the Enlightenment. It was only after the liberal revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries when this pernicious error came into general acceptance even among most Catholics.

The restoration of the Christian social order depends on the family and doing away with any laws, ideas or trends which undermine its vitality. Divorce which after the French Revolution was liberalized and during the 20th century became widespread, should be limited. Of course, the Novus Ordo Church through its corruption of marriage annulments has, in effect, allowed for Catholic divorce and remarriage directly countering the solemn words of Christ. This has had a devastating effect on Catholic families especially in their reproductive capacity.

Another disturbing trend which has hurt the family and has been a direct cause of the demographic collapse among Occidental peoples has been the appearance and promotion of working and now professional women in the labor markets. The Conciliar Church has gone out its way to encourage women in the workforce and has placed them in its hierarchy. It has allowed "altar girls" and both lay male and female lectors at its worship service.

The KoC was written when socialism and communism were at their height. The Bolsheviks had triumphed in Russia and had outlawed private property. Most Western nations adopted many socialistic planks and had taken over many aspects of economic life through central planning. Free enterprise had been discredited by the Great Depression when, in fact, it was government intervention - bank credit expansion - which was the cause of the financial collapse.

Despite collectivism seeming to be the wave of the future, Fr. Fahey countered with a defense of private property as an essential feature for Western rejuvenation. "This idea," writes the priest, "is just as absurd as that of the Communists, who deny the rights of families and individuals to own land, and other temporal goods, in the form of private property." [105]

With the abolition of private property, the stage is set for the elimination of the family, then the nation and with it the eventual establishment of a one-world state:

According to the Communist doctrine, everything in the bosom of the nation must be in common amongst individuals: the family must cease to be. [T]o internationalism, everything in the world must be in common amongst men nations must disappear. Communism and internationalism complete one another; the second is simply a prolongation of the former. Internationalism, which dreams on the temporal plane of a World-Republic, which can exist only on the spiritual plane, is not less hostile to the Church than imperialism. [ibid]

The Omnipotent State

If one were to dispute Fr. Fahey and others' view of the modern state as an omnipotent beast, an enemy of mankind and the Church, the events of the past two years should quell any such criticisms. Nearly every government has used the "pandemic" to enlarge their power to the extent never before seen. States have wantonly violated the most basic of individuals rights including those of religion.

Reading through KoC, however, the latest power grab by governments is predictable as Fr. Fahey explains because of the nature of the modern state it has an inherent tendency to totalitarianism, and in the last two years and in a broader context over the past two centuries, this valuable insight has only been confirmed.

One of the pillars of the modern state is that in theory, at least, it is indifferent to religion whereby it does not favor one over another. While this supposed neutrality was seen as a way to avoid strife among various denominations on the one hand, on the other the state has not been bounded by the dictates and rules of any religion in its actions and acts "independently." Of course, the modern state's "sovereignty" from the Catholic Church means independence from Almighty God. "The state or nation," the priest states, "falsely holding that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion tends henceforth to stand supreme over all the various forms of religion professed by its subjects." [17]

This leaves the state free from the moral law which the Catholic Church is the guardian of. Once the state is unbounded by the moral law, the natural consequence is the appearance of abominations such as abortion and gay marriage.

While the ideal of the indifferent state was refined in the Enlightenment and became a reality after the French Revolution, the concept stretches back to the Protestant Revolt in the 16th century:

This Lutheran ideal received international recognition at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years War. That 'Peace' has been well termed the funeral of the Catholic order of the world. Luther's separation of the Christian from the citizen prepared the way for the deification of the state, realized in modern times, and the social influence of Protestant society thus made easy the advent of the modern public man will get himself represented at Protestant worship or even on occasion assist thereat. [16]

The state's supreme status in human affairs has led to confusion among Catholics about one's loyalty to one's country and the duty and obligation to the Church as Fr. Fahey points out:

Thus we find enunciated expressly the supremacy of the natural in public life, never-ending source of disorder and confusion for Catholics in their endeavor to follow Christ the King. [17]

Because the state allows a multitude of religions, there will inherently be "conflict" for Catholics and their allegiance to the Faith: "As Catholics . . . believe in the existence of one True Church, through which alone one becomes member of the Mystical Body of Christ, which they know to be supra-national, and to which they claim that all states should be indirectly subordinate, in view of man's real end, union with God in supernatural life, they are bound to oppose this sectioning of public and private life." [38] In order, therefore, not to be compromised Catholics should refrain as much as possible from involvement in the state's military, attendance in public schooling including almost all college and universities, and taking part in prominent positions in the state apparatus.

Since Fr. Fahey's time, however, both the laity and Catholic intellectuals have no difficulty with the modern state and see no conflict between it and the Church and have willfully joined its service sometimes taking the highest positions in government.

Secret Societies

The instruments for bringing about the de-Christianization of the world has been the emergence of secret societies and organizations which sprung up after the Protestant Revolt as Fr. Fahey makes clear: "Masonry, then, is the organized promoter of the natural man's contempt for God's plan of restoration of the supernatural life of the world, with, of course, inevitably, the persecution of the Church by the state." [36]

One reason for the appearance of secret societies was that Protestantism had splintered into a myriad of groups which undermined the intellectual arguments that the earlier "reformers" had made against the Faith. As more and more "Christian" denominations proliferated and claimed to be the true religion, they looked more ridiculous in the eyes of the growing class of secular intellectuals. For the most part, the secret societies did not try and espouse their own versions of Christianity or establish churches, but instead sought to undermine Catholicism by working, in many instances, against the Faith within the Church and in royal courts.

Very shrewdly the leadership of secret societies came up with the idea of religious indifferentism and Skepticism to undermine the Faith. Religious indifferentism would later be enshrined into state constitutions under the guise of religious liberty and pluralism. It placed Catholicism on the same plane as any other religion, and the state - which Masons came to dominate - became the ultimate arbitrator not only in civil affairs, but in religious matters as well. As Fr. Fahey sums up: "State supremacy over and indifference to all religions is then the steady aim of Freemasonry, according to Pope Leo XIII." [38]


One defect of the book (which happily is not elaborated upon) but one which has plagued other Catholic authors such as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc is Fr. Fahey's criticism of usury and industrial capitalism. Despite a number of Catholic authors debunking the Church's condemnation of usury (see Cardinal Cajetan for one) and despite its prohibition, usury became a de facto part of economic life in the Christian era. Fr. Fahey, and to a larger and more misguided extend Belloc, see usury as one of the great evils of modern times.

It is surprising that these two usually astute authors would focus on usury and ignore the real bane of social and economic life - central banking and the practice of fractional-reserve banking. Not only has central banking caused immense economic misery throughout the world, but it has been used by political and financial elites to push forward an anti-Christian agenda which has enriched themselves at the expense of the middle and lower classes.

It has been the rise of central banking and the abandonment of the gold standard which has provided one of the means for the transformation of a Christian social order into a secular, state-dominated world.

Central banking is one of the chief pillars of the modern, religiously-neutral system of nation states which has provided the ruling class with a ready and almost limitless source of funding for its social engineering and war-making schemes. It is unlikely that most of the wars and the welfare measures which states have undertaken for the past hundred years would have been possible without central banking.

Yet, despite this, Fr. Fahey and others harp on usury as the cause of innumerable social and economic ills. To his credit, however, Fr. Fahey did address central and fractional-reserve banking in Money Manipulation and Social Order.** In that work he downplayed his attack on usury and recognized the pernicious effects of central banking. His analysis was marred, however, in his wrongheaded criticism of the gold standard which he does not see as the antithesis of the paper-fiat monetary systems which dominate the world today. A true gold standard prevents governments from inflating the money supply and protects the public's purchasing power.


The KoC remains relevant today since many of its themes and descriptions of the way the world was trending a little under a century ago have worsened to an unimaginable degree. The past century has witnessed the near total triumph of secularism where irreligiosity among the human race has reached unprecedented levels. The reasons why this has taken place and the remedy for the restoration of a Christian social order are discussed in this insightful work.

What was not anticipated was that Christ's Church would lead the way in the secularization of the world. The groundwork for the Great Apostasy was laid at the time of the book's publication, and by the time of Fr. Fahey's death - 1954 - the Modernists were in positions of power (many appointed by Pius XII) to bring about their hoped for and planned revolution. Very few prognosticated that the Church itself would adopt the Modernist creed.

What is misunderstood by Novus Ordo neoconservatives and even among traditional Catholics is that the replacement of the current Apostate in Rome with a more "conservative" or even a fully traditional pope will not fix the problem. The whole edifice has been infected with Modernism and needs to be leveled before a return to a traditional order can take place. Too much focus within traditional circles has been on the Papacy instead of the Church as a whole and, of course, Christ. St. Paul and the early Church fathers preached Christ, the unity of the Church and the fidelity among the Faithful to the Church.

The book's balanced approach demonstrates not only what ails the Church, but the world at large. Fr. Fahey's centers his analysis on the restoration of Christ the King as the essential ingredient for the re-establishment of a Christian society. Before any social change can occur, Christ's Church must be first restored as the medium between the natural world and the supernatural. The Kingship of Christ According to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas provides the groundwork for this necessary task and if mankind ignores these words the result will be utter social, economic and, most importantly, spiritual destruction.

*See in particular, "The Introduction of Scholastic Philosophy into Irish Secondary Education" (July-Dec, 1923); "The Metaphysics of Suarez" (Jan-June, 1924); "The Twenty-Four Theses of St. Thomas" (Jan-June, 1924); "St. Thomas: Official Metaphysician of the Catholic Church" (Jan-June, 1925).

**See the reviews of these books in the Fr. Fahey Archive.