A Refutation of the Liberal-Masonic Heresy that the Authority of Rulers Comes from the Consent of the Governed
A Refutation of Bishop Williamson’s Heresy that God Becomes our King when We Choose to Accept His Grace
Bishop Williamson falsely asserts that God is only King over souls in the state of grace. Since God forces no one to live in the state of grace, Bishop Williamson thus promotes the heresy that God only governs those who consent to His rule. Here are Bishop Williamson’s words:
Wherever souls are in the state of grace, there God is King, not only in Heaven but also already here below on earth.1
Bishop Williamson asserts: where there is grace, God is King. That is, grace is a condition for God’s Kingship. If Bishop Williamson held God is King of all men, he would not need to mention that God is King where a man has grace. Bishop Williamson would have simply said God is King of all men.
Let’s examine a grammatically-analogous conditional statement: Where there is life, there’s hope. This proverb means that that if someone is not alive, there is no hope (e.g., for the cure of his cancer). If there were hope of a cure after he was already dead, then this proverb would be changed to “there is always hope”.
Similarly, when Bishop Williamson teaches where there is grace, God is King, he is teaching that grace makes God the King where He otherwise would not be King. Bishop Williamson contradicts the truth that God is King of all men whether they have grace or not.
If what Bishop Williamson taught were true, then men could correctly deny their duty to obey Christ’s (i.e., God’s) laws. Because a person owes obedience only to his own superiors, if God is not also King of atheists, an atheist could rightly refuse obedience to God’s law.
The truth is that God is King over all men, now and forever, whether they choose to accept God’s grace or not, “ and whether they choose God as their King, or not. Pope Pius XI teaches the Catholic truth that Christ is “King of all mankind.”2 Bishop Williamson’s denial of God’s universal Kingship is a pernicious heresy!3
A faithful and informed Catholic might see many reasons Bishop Williamson is wrong (and why God is truly King of all men, including all non-Catholics and other men without grace4). Here are eight reasons why Bishop Williamson is wrong:
Bishop Williamson agrees with the liberal-Masonic American revolutionaries concerning the source of a ruler’s authority;
By analogy to earthly kings, whose kingship also extends over unwilling subjects;
By the example of saintly kings who enforced God’s law over unwilling subjects who are not in the state of grace.
Because otherwise the Last Judgment would be unjust and unfair.
Because Our Lord Jesus Christ is King of all men as God (i.e., in His Divine Nature).
Because Our Lord Jesus Christ is King of all men as Man, because of the Hypostatic Union5;
Because Our Lord Jesus Christ is King of all men as Redeemer, by His glorious conquest in His Passion and Death; and
Because Our Lord Jesus Christ is King of all men since the perfection of His Humanity gives Him a natural and necessary right to rule as King over all men.
Below, we examine each of these eight reasons why God is King of all men (both the willing and unwilling), and why Bishop Williamson is wrong to teach otherwise.
Any Catholic should be greatly alarmed if he agrees with the liberal-Masonic founders of the United States, concerning where authority comes from.
Bishop Williamson claims that, when a man accepts grace, God becomes his King. This is the heretical claim of the (so-called) “Enlightenment” concerning the source of a ruler’s authority.
The Catholic Faith has always taught that God is the source of all power and authority.6 He is supremely the King (Ruler) of all men and is the King of kings.
The liberal-Masonic founders of the United States oppose Catholic teaching by proclaiming that authority comes from those governed. These Masonic founders declared:
Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Quoted from the U.S. Declaration of Independence (emphasis added).
Bishop Williamson teaches this same liberal-Masonic doctrine, in the context of God’s Kingship. Compare their position to his:
The Masons declare that authority comes from the consent of the governed.
Bishop Williamson declares that God’s Kingly authority comes from man’s consent to accept His grace (and, thereby, God’s Kingship).
Bp. Williamson wrongly agrees with the Masonic U. S. founders that authority comes from the consent of those governed. God’s Kingly authority over us does not come from our consent.
No citizen (subject) may choose, even once in a lifetime, whether to submit to or to opt out of the just laws of his country’s ruler (king).
But Bishop Williamson’s error is much more radical. His error would allow a man to enthrone and then remove God as his King simply by consenting to and later rejecting God’s grace.
According to Bishop Williamson’s position, a man could (hypothetically) make God his King (through confession) on the even days of the week, and remove Him as his King on the odd days, by relapsing into sin. A man could tell God: “tomorrow I might choose to make You my King”.
Plainly, Bishop Williamson teaches heresy! God is always King over all men, not merely if (and when) a man consents to accept grace and so consents to accept God as King!
Earthly rulers govern not only obedient subjects but also the stubborn criminals in their realm. A thief has no right to steal simply because he never agreed to obey the law. Likewise, God is King of all men, not merely Catholics who accept God’s grace.
Thus, by analogy to earthly rulers, we see that Bishop Williamson is wrong that God’s Kingship over us depends on our choice to accept His grace. Those men who do not voluntarily submit to God’s Kingship, are like criminals who are unwilling to submit to the laws of their earthly king (ruler). God is King of the unwilling, just as an earthly king is ruler over criminals.7
By analogy to earthly rulers, we see that a man is not free to “opt out” of God’s Kingship by rejecting God’s grace. Rather, God is King over all men, at all times.
Saintly and Just Catholic Kings have given us many examples of enforcing God’s law over unwilling subjects. Because these kings themselves obeyed God as their King, they enforced God’s law against unwilling subjects, who must obey God’s law even as kings must. We take just two examples:
King St. Louis IX of France, gave this order to enforce God’s law:
[N]o man, unless he is a skilled theologian, should debate with Jews. Instead, when a layman hears the Christian law [i.e., God’s law] slandered, he should defend it only with his sword, which he should thrust into the offender’s guts as far as it will go.8
In about 1000 AD, King St. Olaf II of Iceland, enforced the laws of God the King, by forbidding the practice of all false religions in Iceland.9
Those saintly kings were not unjust. But it would have been unjust to enforce God’s law against those who are not subject to it. Thus, the example of these saintly kings shows us that all men “ even unwilling men who do not have grace “ are subject to God as King. Thus, Bishop Williamson’s position is heresy.
It is unjust to judge a man based on laws to which he was not subject when he acted. For example, it would be unjust to arrest a man who is driving a car, for violating a speed limit which applies only to trucks.
Our Lord will judge all men at their death, even men without grace who rebelled against His laws during life. However, Our Lord would have no right to judge and punish men for disobeying His laws, if He were not their King now, during their lives.10 Thus, because there is a just Judgment after death, Our Lord must be King over all men, even those refusing His grace and denying His Kingship.11
Because it is just for Our Lord to judge all men after their deaths, He must be their King during their lifetimes. This shows Bishop Williamson teaches heresy when he asserts that grace makes God a man’s King.
God made us and He owns us. We are His property. God does not need our agreement to submit to His laws and Kingship. God has full right to rule all men and to be their King, even if they refuse to submit to Him.12
This shows the heresy of the liberal-Masonic founders of the U.S. who declare that authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed. This also shows Bishop Williamson’s heresy, when he teaches that men’s choice to accept grace makes God their King.
Because of His Hypostatic Union,13 Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Man, received from God the Kingship over all men, even unwilling men. This right to universal Kingship is in addition to Christ’s right of Kingship as God.14
Christ’s right of Kingship over all men, because of His Hypostatic Union, shows the heresy of the liberal-Masonic founders of the U.S., who assert that a ruler’s authority comes from consent of the governed. This further reason for Christ’s Kingship also shows Bishop Williamson’s heresy that Christ (God) is only King of those who consent to receive His grace and Kingship.
Besides Christ’s Kingship as God and also His Kingship as Man through the Hypostatic Union, another reason Christ is King of all men, is by conquest. He purchased all men through His glorious Passion and Death, so He owns all men (even unwilling men).15
Christ’s right of Kingship over all men, because of His conquest, shows the heresy of the liberal-Masonic founders of the U.S., who assert that a ruler’s authority comes from consent of the governed. This additional reason for Christ’s Kingship also proves Bishop Williamson promotes heresy by asserting that grace makes Christ (God) the King of a man.
All men have a duty to support (and they sin when they oppose) the Catholic Faith, the salvation of souls, and whatever else promotes society’s goodness, virtue, and true happiness.16
Christ as Man rules much more wisely than anyone else. Christ promotes goodness, virtue and true happiness much better than anyone else.
Thus, all men must obey Christ as their King. Any man sins by opposing Christ as King, because he would be opposing what brings society much greater goodness, virtue and true happiness.
Christ’s right to rule all men because He is God;
Christ’s right as Man, to rule all men, because of His Hypostatic Union;
Christ’s right to rule all men because of His glorious conquest in His Passion and Death,
Christ also has an absolute right to rule all men because His rule brings much greater goodness, virtue and true happiness than the rule of any other man. Anyone opposing Christ’s rule sins gravely and opposes the good. For this reason also, Christ is King, with a right to rule all men.
Conclusion of the entire article
All authority comes from God. Authority does not come from the consent of the governed, as the liberal-Masonic founders of the U.S. heretically declare. God’s Kingship over all men does not depend on whether they accept grace or accept His Kingship, as Bishop Williamson heretically teaches.
Let us pray for poor, blind Bishop Williamson and for the world’s blind liberal-Masonic nations.
Let us also pray for Bishop Williamson’s cowardly followers who condone his heresy by their silence. Qui tacet consentire videtur (he who is silent gives consent).
Eleison Comments, #527 (emphasis added).↑
Quas Primas, §27 (bold added).↑
Heresy is an error about the Catholic Faith. Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth:
We are speaking of heresy now as denoting a corruption of the Christian Faith. Now it does not imply a corruption of the Christian faith, if a man has a false opinion in matters that are not of faith, for instance, in questions of geometry and so forth, which cannot belong to the faith by any means; but only when a person has a false opinion about things belonging to the faith.
Now a thing may be of the faith in two ways, as stated above, in one way, directly and principally, e.g. the articles of faith; in another way, indirectly and secondarily, e.g. those matters, the denial of which leads to the corruption of some article of faith; and there may be heresy in either way, even as there can be faith.
Summa, IIa IIae, Q.11, a.2, respondeo (emphasis added).↑
Non-Catholics do not have grace. For if they had grace, they would be Catholic since grace always causes the Catholic Faith in a man’s soul. Summa, IIa IIae, Q.4, a.4, ad 3. Further, if any non-Catholic had grace, then non-Catholics could go to heaven. Yet, no one can go to heaven without being Catholic, since it is a dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. See an explanation of this dogma here: ↑
The Hypostatic Union is the union of Christ’s two natures, Divine and human, in one Person who is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.↑
St. Paul teaches:
[T]here is no power but from God: and those [powers] that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. ... For [the ruler] is God's minister. ... Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for [the ruler’s] wrath, but also for conscience’s sake.
Romans, ch.13, vv. 1-2 & 4-5 (emphasis added).
Faithfully echoing St. Paul, Pope Pius IX taught:
[A]ll authority comes from God. Whoever resists authority resists the ordering made by God Himself, consequently achieving his own condemnation. Disobeying authority is always sinful except when an order is given which is opposed to the laws of God and the Church.
Qui Pluribus, November 9, 1846, §22 (emphasis added).↑
Invoking St. Paul, here is how Pope Pius XI taught this truth:
for He must reign until, at the end of the world, He hath put all his enemies under the feet of God and the Father. Cf. 1 Cor. Xv:25.
Quas Primas §11.↑
These words of King St. Louis IX are quoted in Life of St. Louis, by John of Joinville, a courtier and fellow-crusader, Part I, Ch. 53, page 155 of the 2008 Penguin Classics edition which is called Chronicles of the Crusades, translated by Caroline Smith.↑
Church History, by Fr. John Laux, TAN Books and Publishers, page 279.↑
Here is how St. Thomas explains this principle that we are obliged to obey (and can
be justly judged) only by those superiors who are our superiors at the time we are acting:
Judgment ought to be congruous as far as concerns the person of the one judging. ... It is not prohibited to superiors but to subjects; hence they [viz., the superiors] ought to judge only their own subjects.” Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.7, §1.
St. Thomas elaborates on this truth:
[J]ust as a law cannot be made save by public authority, so neither can a judgment be pronounced except by public authority, which extends over those who are subject to the community [i.e., subject to that particular public authority]. Wherefore, even as it would be unjust for one man to force another to observe a law that was not approved by public authority [to which he is subject], so too it is unjust, if a man compels another to submit to a judgment that is pronounced by anyone other than the public authority [to which he is subject].
Summa, IIa IIae, Q.60, a.6, respondeo (bracketed words added for clarity).
Here is how Pope Pius XI teaches this same truth:
Not only do the gospels tell us that He [Our Lord] made laws, but they present Him to us in the act of making them. Those who keep them show their love for their Divine Master, and he promises that they shall remain in his love. He claimed judicial power as received from his Father, when the Jews accused him of breaking the Sabbath by the miraculous cure of a sick man. “For neither doth the Father judge any man; but hath given all judgment to the Son.” In this power is included the right of rewarding and punishing all men living, for this right is inseparable from that of judging. Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed.
Quas Primas §14 (emphasis added; footnotes removed).↑
Here is how Pope Pius XI teaches this truth:
We were created by God, the Creator of the universe, in order that we might know Him and serve Him; our Author therefore has a perfect right to our service.
Mortalium Animos, §6.
Concerning God the Son, St. Paul teaches: “in Him were created all things in the heavens and on the earth .... All things have been created through and unto Him...” Colossians, 1:15-16.
While explaining the Gospel parable of a king taking an account of his servants and finding a servant who owed him 10,000 talents, here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explained that God in His Divine Nature is King of all men:
Concerning the parable’s words: “A king”, St. Thomas explains:
This king is God, and may be understood to be either the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Ghost.
Concerning the parable’s phrase: “Who would take an account of his servants”, St. Thomas explains:
By the servants of the Lord are understood the prelates of the Church, to whom was committed the care of souls. “The faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family” (Lk. 12, 42). Therefore, what else does it indicate to take an account of things committed, except that they are obliged to render an account? “They watch as being obliged to render an account of your souls” (Heb. 13, 17).
Also, because God commits to each man his own soul, anyone whosoever can be called a servant; hence “Hast thou considered my servant, Job” etc. (Job 1, 8). Hence every single person is appointed to render an account of all the things committed to him: for it is necessary to render an account even for the least idle word, as it was said above.
Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, ch.18 (emphasis added).↑
As explained above, the Hypostatic Union is the union of Christ’s two natures, Divine and human, in one Person who is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.↑
Here is how Pope Pius XI explains that Christ as Man, is King, with a universal empire:
It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to Him by the Father, all things are in his power. Quas Primas, §17.
Pope Pius XI quotes the Book of Daniel:
Lo, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and He came even to the Ancient of days . . . And He gave Him power and glory, and a kingdom.” Daniel, 7:13-14, quoted in Quas Primas, §9.
Then Pope Pius XI explains why this passage shows that Christ is King as Man, because of the Hypostatic Union:
If we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father “power and glory and a kingdom”, since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created. Quas Primas, §7.
Quoting Cyril of Alexandria, Pope Pius XI adds a further explanation that Christ’s Hypostatic Union results in His Kingship as Man:
The foundation of this power and dignity of Our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. “Christ”, he says, “has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.” His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to Him as man angels and men are subject, and must recognize his empire; by reason of the hypostatic union, Christ has power over all creatures. Quas Primas, §13 (emphasis added).
Here is how Pope Pius XI explains this truth:
But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this that Christ is our King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for he is our Redeemer. Would that they who forget what they have cost their Savior might recall the words: “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled”. We are no longer our own property, for Christ has purchased us “with a great price”; our very bodies are the “members of Christ”. Quas Primas, §13 (footnote citations omitted). ...
Thus, the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: “His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.” Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. Quas Primas, §18 (footnote citations omitted).
The great philosopher Aristotle explained this truth as follows:
If, there be some one person, or more than one, although not enough to make up the full complement of a state, whose virtue is so pre-eminent that the virtues or the political capacity of all the rest admit of no comparison with his or theirs ... the only alternative is that all should joyfully obey such a ruler, according to what seems to be the order of nature, and that men like him should be kings in their state for life.
The Politics of Aristotle, Bk 3, ch13
St. Thomas Aquinas affirms the teaching of Aristotle in these words:
If a man is found who exceeds all others in virtue, he should rule. ... He who is best should never be repelled. Nor aught he be taken as the ruler just as others are, who rule at some times but at other times not. For this would be like wishing to sometimes be ruled by God and sometimes not “ this idea is worthy of ridicule! And therefore we are left with the truth that when there is a man who is best, who is worthy and just, he is owed joyful obedience by all, as king; ... not sometimes but not at other times, but rather always.
Commentary on the Politics of Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bk. 3, ch.13, lecture 12.↑