Dr. Timothy O’Donnell is President of Christendom College, located in Front Royal VA. On Friday evening, January 14, 2022, he spoke to a group of faithful Catholics at the Rock Creek Council of the Knights of Columbus in Bethesda, MD. This lecture was sponsored by Defend Life.
The title of Dr. O’Donnell’s talk was “The Kingship Of Christ And The Defense Of Life”. Before his talk, Dr. O’Donnell himself gave an introduction to his topic; that can be found at https://defendlife.org/2022MarchForLifeKickoffLecturePreview.mp4. A recording of the talk is below.
He based his talk on documents written by two popes at the dawn of the 20th century. They are:
- Annum Sacrum, written by Pope Leo XIII in 1899
- Quas Primas, written by Pope Pius XI in 1925
Please watch the recording and study these two papal writings. Both writings can be found at the website www.papalencyclicals.net.
When one reads these two papal letters, they cannot help but notice that they are lamenting the spiritual and moral climate that oppresses us today. The situations that we see today are nothing new; the spiritual and moral rot of modernism and atheism has been festering for some time now. In 2022 the rot has so progressed from the early 20th century that remnants of Christianity that lingered back then have eroded, and continue to do so.
We’re in the midst of full-blown secularism. That is painfully obvious. Pope Pius XI listed seven effects.
- Christ’s rule over mankind is denied.
- The Church’s right to evangelize is denied. (Look at what constitutes “hate speech”.)
- The Christian religion is made equal to other religions and is lowered to their level
- The Catholic religion is made subject to civil powers (Lockdowns are a prime example)
- There is an effort to substitute a vague, naturalistic religion for the truth of Jesus Christ (Pachamama, new age, etc)
- Governments carry on without God and even promote disrespect for God
- Selfish egotism attacks and destroys families. When the family, bedrock of society, collapses, we see society collapse.
1. For these reasons, he instituted the Feast of Christ the King who reigns through His Sacred Heart. He asked for a consecration to the Sacred Heart. In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the feast to the end of the liturgical year and made it a solemnity, naming it “Feast of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe”. This was intended to give Christ’s Kingship more prominence to fight the ongoing secularism.
We can’t expect civil leaders to acknowledge Christ’s Kingship if the Church doesn’t do so. We need to step out in courage. That is incumbent not only on the clergy but also on laypeople. We need to proclaim the truth, even in the face of inevitable mockery and opposition. The March for Life is an opportunity to bear witness to the truth of our Faith.
Dr O’Donnell ended his talk with quotes from Popes Francis and Leo XIII.
- Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, writes, “I invite all Christians everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her. No one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk. Whenever we take a step towards Jesus we come to realize that He is already there waiting for us with open arms.”
- Leo XIII, in Annum Sacrum, wrote, “When the Church in the days immediately succeeding her institution was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young emperor saw in the heavens a cross which became at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory that soon followed. And now today behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight the most Sacred Heart of Jesus with a cross rising from it shining forth the dazzling splendor of its flames of love. In that Sacred Heart all our hopes should be placed from it the salvation of men is to be confidently besought.”·
· Dr O’Donnell added that if we placed our hopes in the Sacred Heart, the pro-life movement will be victorious, that many lives will be saved. And now, the video.