Quas Primas

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Quas Primas (Latin: In the first) was an encyclical of Pope Pius XI. Promulgated on December 11, 1925, it introduced the Feast of Christ the King.

In 1925 Pope Pius XI asked Édouard Hugon, professor of philosophy and theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum to work on Quas Primas.[1]

The encyclical summarizes both the Old Testament and the New Testament teaching on the kingship of Christ. Invoking an earlier encyclical Annum Sacrum of Pope Leo XIII, Pius XI suggests that the kingdom of Christ embraces the whole mankind.

An important element of the encyclical involved the reiteration of the social doctrine that Christ must reign temporally, not only in the hearts of individual men and women, but in society and the state. This means that the rights of the Church and authentic morality must be given pride of place in the governance of a state.[2] Some have mistakenly believed that the placement of the feast on the last Sunday of Ordinary Time Pentecost, in the later Mass of Paul VI Novus Ordo calendar symbolized a new orientation of the Second Vatican Council in that Christ will reign, not now among nations, but at the end of time. However, such an interpretation is ultimately flawed as it relies on misunderstanding of the Council as replacing previous teaching, whereas it is actually in continuity with all that was taught by the Church prior to 1962. In fact, Christ's kingship is to occur both here and now, and at the end of time.[3]


  1. ^ http://www.edizioniamiciziacristiana.it/presfuoridellachiesa.htm Accessed Feb. 6, 2013
  2. ^ "Quas Primas". Paragraph 31. Vatican. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Solemnity of Christ the King". Catholic Culture. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 

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