Jesus Christ Has Officially Been Declared The King Of Poland
Jesus has been declared King of Poland in a ceremony attended by the country's president Andrzej Duda.
The ceremony was held at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow on Saturday and the liturgy was repeated in churches across the country the following day.
According to the Conference of Polish Bishops, it was timed to coincide with the end of the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy and 1050th anniversary of Polish Christianity.
The ceremony included the prayer: "In our hearts, rule us, Christ! In our families, rule us, Christ! ... In our schools and universities, rule us, Christ! ... Through the Polish nation, rule us, Christ! ... We pledge to defend your holy worship and preach Thy royal glory, Christ our King, we promise!"
It continued: "We entrust the Polish people and Polish leaders to you. Make them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with your laws. ... rule us, Christ! Reign in our homeland and reign in every nation – for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of mankind."
The initial impetus for the move came from Polish nurse Rosalia Zelkova, who in the early 20th century claimed to have received a divine revelation that Jesus should become king.
A previous attempt by right-wing MPs in 2006 failed, with the Church itself opposed to it. Monsignor Tadeusz Pieronek, a member of Poland's episcopate and rector at Krakow's Papal Academy of Theology, said then: "Christ doesn't need a parliamentary resolution to be the king of our hearts."
A previous King of Poland, John Casimir, declared Mary honorary queen of the country more than 350 years ago.
According to the Conference of Polish Bishops, the act was "not the culmination, but the beginning of the work of enthronement of Jesus Christ in Poland and the Polish nation". The bishops stressed that the rule of Jesus was not coercive and that the 'enthronement' was not intended to add to Jesus' honour or power but was a national recognition of his sovereignty over the universe.
After the ceremony, Bishop Andrzej Czaja said: "It is not a declaration of Christ the King, because he is king. It is not a declaration of Christ the King of Poland. His kingdom is not of this earth, and his dominion is over the whole universe," adding that we should recognise Christ's reign over the whole world and submit to his law and his will.