Catholic Life

Bishop marks feast of Christ the King

Bishop David McGough preaches in St Chad’s cathedral, Birmingham Peter Jennings

Speaking on Sunday, November 20, Bishop David McGough, auxiliary bishop of Birmingham, said: “At the very least we must concede that the demonstrations outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London and in the financial centres of north America, highlight the debate that is to be had concerning the power of wealth and the competing claims of the individual’s right to a just and equitable distribution of wealth in the world”, writes Peter Jennings.

Bishop McGough, Provost of the Metropolitan Chapter, was speaking at the annual civic Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham, on the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Bishop McGough said: “To proclaim Christ as King must surely begin a debate about power. All kingdoms, be they ancient or modern are in some ways about power. At the level of civil life the institution of this Feast was intended to lead to a debate about the powers that hold sway in our society.

“Of equal importance, at the level of the individual, are questions about the attitudes and values that have the power to rule our hearts, to rule our consciences.

“While it is easier to ask the question than to provide the answers, those who are entrusted with the governance and justice of our society, can never ignore these questions.

“In terms of today’s feast day, Christ the King, we must ask how these competing powers are to be balanced for the benefit of society.”

Bishop McGough added: “We are not our own judges. There is a judgment, be it that of the ballot box or history, that we cannot escape. In the vision of the judgement, the Gospel implies a vision for the future.

“That vision for the future is encapsulated in the words of judgment reserved for those described as blessed in the Gospel of Matthew for today: ‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand. Come, you whom my Father has blessed. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you made me welcome, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me.’”