Pope Pius XI, encyclical Quas primas (1925) instituting the feast of Christ the King, says that the "lordship of Christ […] consists […] in a threefold [tripartite] power which is essential to lordship" (§14):
- "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love: as I also have kept my Father's commandments and do abide in his love." (Jn. 15:10; also Jn. 14:15)
- "If any one saith, that Christ Jesus was given of God to men, as a redeemer in whom to trust, and not also as a legislator whom to obey: let him be anathema." (Conc. Trid. Sess. VI, can. 21)
- Judicial: "neither does the Father judge any man: but hath given all judgment to the Son." (Jn. 5:22)
- Executive: "Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed."
Cdl. Ottaviani, Compendium Iuris Publici Ecclesiastici (1954) defines each of these powers:
1. Legislative: "right of determining in an obligatory manner the things which are necessary and useful for attaining the end of the society" (p. 43)
2. Judicial: "the right of declaring and proposing in an obligatory manner which concrete acts of subjects are conformed or contrary to right, and the legitimate effects of this conformity or contrariety" (p. 49)
3. Executive: "right of enforcing the application of laws and sentences, of directing persons or of disposing of things, and of removing all obstacles which impede the full possession of the social end" (p. 61)
Pius XI shows the tripartite power is united in the one Divine Person, the Son.
Yet Jn. 15:10 shows that the Father and the Son both have legislative powers, but Jn. 5:22 shows the Father does not have judicial power (at least not over men). And what about the Holy Ghost's power of governing the Church?
from the indissoluble union of the Holy Spirit with the Church flow […] the endowments of the Church; namely, Indefectibility in life and duration, Infallibility in teaching, and Authority in governing the flock of Jesus Christ.
¿Have theologians compared the tripartite division of authority to the Trinity, e.g.:
- Father → legislative
- Son → judicial
- Holy Ghost → executive