Pastoral Letter from Bishop John for the First Sunday of Advent
 
 

Christ the King

What is “truth” asks Pilate. The truth is what Christ came into the world to witness to. It is the truth that God is love: the truth to which he witnessed to the full with the sacrifice of his own life on Calvary. Every person if they are to be saved must freely accept this truth. He is Love and Truth, and neither Love nor Truth are ever imposed: they come knocking at the doors of the heart and the mind and where they can enter, they bring peace and joy. This is how God reigns; this is his project of salvation, a “mystery” a plan that is gradually revealed in history.

This is what gives meaning to our culture, our civilization, our world and the whole of creation. The gift of self in service of the other. We proclaim that living according to truth means to respect and serve others because they are loved by God, and made in his image. A love and an Image revealed in Christ. What we do to them or for them we do to God.

Pope Pius XI inaugurated this feast in 1925 to challenge societies, governments and political ideologies – to remind and teach them that their authority is not absolute, it is not based on power. It is based on service, and on respecting and protecting the dignity of human life which finds its meaning and value in Christ.

This might seem obvious with tyrannies like Communism or Nazism or corrupt governments but it applies equally to democratic Governments. The decisions they make, the laws they pass are only right, are only worthy of respect and obedience if they correspond to that requirement of respecting and protecting the dignity of human life which finds its meaning and value in Christ.

Never forget that just because something is lawful doesn’t make it right and just because something is against the law doesn’t make it wrong. For us morality, right and wrong, isn’t determined by this or that Government, this or that judge, it is determined by Christ our King who reveals the truth. This is the standard against which everyone of us including our politicians and every earthly authority must measure themselves.

 
 
 


Contact details

Parish priest: Fr Ian Farrell
Phone: 07546 852229
Email: ian.farrell@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

Parish secretary: Catherine Peet
Phone: 01254 884211
Email: catherine.peet@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

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