Rorate Caeli

Don Pietro Leone: The Council and the Eclipse of God – PART VIII: THE CHURCH: Holy, Catholic, Apostolic

In this installment we see how the Modernists attack the supernatural dimension of the Church, treating Her as a purely natural society prone to sin, being no more than the sum of its parts, having no claim to possess more truth than any other human society and no claim moreover to possess truth which is immutable, let alone a Divine Mandate to proclaim it to the whole world, so that the whole world might be saved.        F.R.                                                                                                                  




Catholic Tradition teaches that the Church is holy in:


-         Her Founder and invisible Head that is Christ;

-         Her Soul that is the Holy Spirit;

-         Her origins in the open side of Our Blessed Lord on the Cross;

-         Her possession of all the means of sanctification (i.e. the whole Faith and all Sacraments)

-         Her Goal: the glorification of God through the sanctification of mankind;

-        The Faith, Hope, and Charity of Her members.


The Council opposes Tradition in regard to the last of these doctrines, namely the holiness of the members of the Church. It teaches:

    i) ‘The Church, whose mystery is set forth by this sacred synod, is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy’ (LG 39);


    ii) ‘The Church, embracing in her bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal.’ (LG 8);


   iii) ‘Christ summons the church… to that continual reformation of which she always has need… Consequently, if… there have been deficiencies in moral conduct… these should be set right…’ (UR 6);


    iv) [Sinners by the sacrament of Confession] ‘are reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins’ (L11);


   v) ‘…the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity that is real but imperfect.’  (LG 48).


Despite its clear affirmation of the Church’s holiness in (i) and in the whole chapter that it introduces (‘The universal Call to Holiness’), the Council casts doubt on Her holiness in texts (ii)-(v).


In regard to this doubt, it should be said that the baptized are united to the Church both corporally (by virtue of their bodies) and supernaturally (by the sacraments, by Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and by holiness), but not morally. For this reason the sins of the members of the Mystical Body do not attach to the Body itself. Consequently the Church is not ‘wounded’ by their sin, nor rendered ‘imperfect’ in sanctity by it, nor is She in need of ‘penance’, ‘purification’, ‘reformation’, or ‘renewal’ in Herself. We note that to attack the Church on the basis of Her putative sinfulness is a naturalizing ploy of Her enemies, deriving from ignorance or malice, and is typical of Communism.   




The  Catholc Missal  1962


The term ‘Catholic’ derives from the Greek phrase kath’holon which means universally or totally. This totality has been understood in Tradition as:


   -     the totality of Truth;

  -  the totality of the means of salvation (principally the sacraments) that the      Church possesses;

  - the Divine Mandate to ‘…teach all nations: baptizing them…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…’ (Mt. 28. 19-20);

   -  the moral totality of the Commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”


Now the Council opposes the Catholicity of the Church by opposing two of these four forms of totality, namely:


    a)     The Church’s possession of the entire Truth;

    b)    The Church’s Mandate to evangelize and baptize all men.


Having already treated the Council’s opposition to (a) in the Introduction, we proceed to examine (b).



  b)    The Church’s Mandate to  Evangelize and Baptize all men


We shall here first examine the Council’s abandonment of the Divine Mandate to evangelize, to baptize and to rule all men; thereafter its abandonment of evangelization in particular.



The Abandonment of the Divine Mandate to Evangelize, Baptize, and to Rule


As we have noted earlier, the Church’s final end is to save and sanctify souls, and the means that She uses to this end are the three offices of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling. These are expressed in the Divine Mandate to evangelize, baptize, and to teach all men to observe whatever Our Lord had taught them [1]. And yet by adopting Ecumenism in regard to non-Catholics and similar attitudes and behavior in regard to non-Christians, and by proclaiming religious liberty for all men, with its implicit repudiation of the Church’s duty to ensure that the State worship God and suppress error [2], the Council effectively renounces the Church’s offices of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling entrusted to Her by Our Blessed Lord.



The Abandonment of the Divine Mandate to Evangelize in Particular


The Church, as we have noted above, teaches that: ‘… the doctrine of faith that God has revealed… has been committed to the Spouse of Christ as a divine trust to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared… (Vatican I, Dei Filius, c.4).


Now it is true that certain Council texts promote this duty of the Church, namely the following:


   i) ‘We believe that this one true [Christian] religion exists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all peoples…’(DH 1);

   ii) ‘… the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the teacher of truth. It is its duty to proclaim and teach with authority the truth that is Christ…’ (DH 14)


These two texts, which bear the mark of the traditionally - minded Council Fathers, clearly express the Church’s duty to teach the Truth, of which She is the Possessor, Guardian, and Teacher [3]. And yet they are contradicted by the texts that we have examined in the Introduction to this book, where the Council effectively renounces the Church’s office of teaching the Truth in favor of the project of attaining, seeking, or formulating it. In short, the abandonment of evangelization is the logical consequence of the Council’s skepticism concerning Truth.


Peter receives the Keys and the Divine Mandate from Our Lord Jesus

The Church is Apostolic in that She derives from the Apostles in origin, teaching, and succession of office. In other words the Church begins with the Apostles; She teaches the same doctrine as they did; and the Popes and Bishops are connected to them in an unbroken chain by succession of office.


We have already observed that the Council opposes the second element of this dogma, namely the immutability of Catholic doctrine, by teaching novelty. We have seen how it does so variously:


-         by arguing to dogmatic evolution;

-         by claiming to change dogma solely in its expression; 

-         by presenting the novelty as Catholic implicitly;

-         by presenting it as Catholic explicitly [4].



[1] also by Our Lord sending the Apostles into the world as the Father sent Him into the world (Jn 17.18; 20.21): in other words in order to perform the work of man’s salvation by their continuation of His exercise of the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.

[2] see chapter 4

[3] Jacques Mitterand, erstwhile Grand Master of the high-sounding Masonic ‘French Grand Orient’, complains of the passage partially quoted in text (i) on account of its ‘triumphalism’, asserting that the Church can never have stated in terms so categorical, so definite in their brutality, her imperious claim to impose her own dogmas, and underlined the fact that she considers these dogmas to be the whole truth (MD pjc p.170). The only regret about this passage that a Catholic is able muster is that there are not more of them.

[4] as when it declares: ‘Catholic theologians should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists an order, or ‘hierarchy’, of truths’ (UR 11). The author of the text seems to have forgotten that this is in fact a Protestant doctrine that he is evoking. Perhaps he should do some memory exercises before telling others to do so. A similar example of such deceit we shall identify later in a Council footnote which purports to justify the novel doctrine on Religious Liberty as continuous with past Papal pronouncements, chapter 4, section 3