Rorate Caeli

The Council and Eclipse of God- by Don Pietro Leone: Installment XX - Chapter V: The ‘Church and the World.’


This last chapter of Part I deals with the Church's relations with the World. Don Pietro shows how the Council teaching here combines the errors of Ecumenism and Religious Liberty, and has the net result of constructing a sort of notional 'Church-World', an aberrant fantasy condemned By St. Pius X over a century ago, and now being re-proposed by the contemporary global powers as the Masonic 'One World-Order.'  F.R.





Now Catholic Tradition divides the whole of mankind into two distinct parts: the Church and the World. ‘The World’ is the term it gives to that part of mankind which does not (yet) enjoy membership of the Church. In this sense, the term has a morally neutral connotation; inasmuch as God loves the World and died for it, it has a positive connotation; inasmuch as it is imbued with a non-Catholic spirit, it has a negative connotation. In all three cases the Church and the World are viewed as antithetical, one to the other.


The Council’s teaching on the Church’s relation to the World amounts to an application to human society in general, of the principles that it has enunciated for the Church’s relations to the other Christians, to the other Religions, and to the State. In other words the principles of Ecumenism, Indifferentism, and Religious Liberty are here applied in the interests of political peace between all men, and of humanitarianism, whereby the Social Reign of Christ the King and the ultimate goal of existence are ignored or set aside.


Now since it is the end of a thing, its final cause, which determines its nature, we shall in the present chapter examine the Council’s teaching on:


  1. The Church’s Goal for This Life;
  2. The Church’s Goal for the Next Life.



A.    The Church’s Goal for This Life


The Council effectively substitutes the Church’s goal for this life with that of the World.


The Council’s teaching on the Church and the World was prefigured by a group of early Christian Democrats known as ‘Le Sillon’. Michael Davies describes their doctrine as ‘an utopian attitude in which Catholics are encouraged to co-operate with men of any beliefs or none in building up an earthly paradise based on the ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity – and in the construction of this earthly paradise Catholicism is only to be considered as on equal terms with other religions or philosophies’ [1]. Their idea of democracy, which was Masonic rather than Catholic, together with their other errors, was to be condemned by St. Pius X in his encyclical Notre Charge Apostolique (1910), from which we shall quote below.


'Le Sillon' National  Congress - 1909 

Now the Church’s goal, as we have said above, is the salvation and sanctification of all mankind. We shall show how the Council reduces or substitutes it with that of the World, and in particular with that of the Revolution, thereby nullifying it. We shall afterwards show how it claims Divine Authority for this doctrine. This section will accordingly be ordered in the following way:


a)      Reduction of the Church’s goal;

b)      Substitution of the Church’s goal with that of the World;

c)      Substitution of the Church’s goal with that of the Revolution;

d)     The claim to Divine Authority for the Church’s new goal.



       a.) Reduction of the Church’s Goal


‘It is… quite clear that all Christians in whatever state or walk in life are called to the fullness of christian life and to the perfection of charity, and this holiness is conducive to a more human way of living even in society here on earth’ (LG 40).


In this passage, as in the whole chapter in which it is located, we find edifying words about Charity and holiness. But notwithstanding the chapter’s title: ‘The Universal Call to Holiness’, this Charity and holiness is only enjoined on the hierarchy and the faithful, and not also made the subject of the Church’s missionary and evangelical activity. Salvation and sanctification are thereby no longer  presented as a goal of the Church ad extra but only ad intra. We have seen a similar sentiment expressed above in the field of ecumenism where Catholics are encouraged to lead ‘holier lives’ [2], but are not encouraged to assist non-Catholics to do likewise.


We also note in this passage, even if only as a secondary ideal, the harnessing of holiness to humanitarian ends. We shall see in the subsection (c) below how spiritual values in general will in fact become subordinated to humanitarianism.



    b.) Substitution of the Church’s Goal with that of the World


i)‘… although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society…  (GS 39).


ii) [The Church’s] ‘… duty is to foster and elevate all that is true, all that is good, and all that is beautiful in the human community, consolidate peace between peoples for the glory of God.’ (GS 76);


iii) … in establishing this kingdom [the Kingdom of Christ], the church or people of God does not detract from any-one’s temporal well-being. Rather it fosters and takes to itself, in so far as they are good, people’s abilities, resources and customs. In so taking them to itself, it purifies, strengthens and elevates them.’ (LG 13);


iv) ‘… not only does he [Christ] arouse in them a desire for the world to come but he quickens, purifies, and strengthens the generous aspirations of humanity to make life more humane and conquer the earth for this purpose’ (GS 38).


v) The faithful act… so that ‘the world may be filled with the spirit of Christ, and may the more effectively attain its destiny in justice, in love and in peace… Let them do all in their power to ensure that through human labor, technical skill and civil culture (arte technica, civilique cultura), the goods of creation (bona creata) may be… more equitably distributed among all men and women, and may make their own contribution to universal progress in human and Christian liberty. Thus, through the members of the church, Christ will increasingly illuminate the whole of human society with his saving light.’ (LG 36).



Despite making a distinction between the Church’s goal and that of the World in text (i), the Council in all of these passages presents the Church’s goal as that of promoting the goal of the World.


Text (i) presents the Church’s goal as merely worldly activity, describing it as ‘earthly progress’; text (ii) states that the Church’s duty is ‘to foster and elevate’ and to ‘consolidate peace’; the similar text (iii) [3] exhorts the Church to ‘purify, strengthen, and to elevate’ natural elements in the interest of ‘temporal well-being’; text (iv) claims that Christ ‘quickens, purifies, and strengthens’ natural elements ‘to make life more humane’; text (v) encourages the faithful to imbue the World and the whole of human society with the Spirit of Christ and His saving light for the ends of justice, love, peace, and ‘progress in human and Christian liberty’.


It is true that all these texts also refer favorably to spiritual values: text (i) views earthly progress as ‘of vital concern to the Kingdom of God’ and approves of the Kingdom’s ‘increase’; text (ii) views peace as ordered to ‘the glory of God’; texts (iii)-(v) foresee a preliminary spiritual work of ‘purification’ etc. and of communication of the ‘Spirit of Christ’; text (iv) favors ‘the desire for the world to come’; text (v) favors ‘Christian liberty’. And yet these spiritual values are vague and unspecified: they are never presented as specifically Catholic goals, that is to say as essentially supernatural, and oriented to the salvation and sanctification of mankind; and in texts (iii)-(v) they are merely presented as a preparation for, and in subordination to, worldly objectives. In a word, these spiritual values are acknowledged but not particularly encouraged; they are cast into the shade by non-Catholic objectives, namely by the goals of the World. We have seen a similar situation in the field of Ecumenism in regard to the work of evangelization [4].



c)   Substitution of the Church’s Goal with that of the Revolution


‘We have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and enterprise – human dignity, fraternal communion and freedom’ (humanae dignitatis, communionis fraternitatis, et libertatis)…’ (GS 39)


This text presents the the Church’s goal as the spreading of ‘human dignity, fraternal communion, and freedom’: in effect, then, as ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’, the exclusively innerworldly and Masonic ideals of the French Revolution. The text proposes ‘human dignity, fraternal communion, and freedom’ as elements common to both of them. This proposition, is however, subject to two objections:


The first is that it prescinds from the supernatural order. That is to say, in trying to find common ground between the Church and the World, it ignores what separates them, namely the supernatural order, which is the order to which in fact the true dignity, fraternity, and freedom of the Catholic belong. For the dignity that is proper to the Catholic is his dignity of union with Christ through baptism and Charity; the fraternity that is proper to him is his union with other Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ; the freedom proper to him is his freedom to perform acts of the supernatural love of Charity, and so to gain merits for Heaven.


The second objection is that the proposition not only prescinds from the supernatural order, but is also veritably opposed to it. For the putative common elements here evoked have a positively Revolutionary, Masonic ring to them, recalling the battle-cry: ‘Liberty, Fraternity, Equality’, the historical symbol of hostility to the supernatural order represented by the Church [5].


What are the putative ‘goods’, then, of the Revolutionary, Masonic vision of reality? They are no supernatural goods, as we have just explained, but rather the merely natural goods of human dignity, liberty, fraternity, and equality. And yet these are no authentic natural goods either: the dignity of knowing and loving the True and the Good, and God as their ultimate ground; the liberty of doing good; the fraternity of love for the neighbor; the equality that all men have on the natural level as creatures before the Creator and as subjects before the Divine Judge and King. No, the natural ‘goods’ within their vision of reality consist rather in values radically opposed to the Faith: they are the freedom to do as one wishes, the dignity which (allegedly) derives from this and from man’s other so-called ‘rights’, and the fraternity and equality of egalitarianism: the ‘goods’, in short, of the man who has made himself God in the place of God. As for the final good of the Revolution, it is not the Kingdom of Heaven in this world, and above all in the next, but mere hedonism, some sort of ‘ideal happiness where suffering is banished’, writes St. Pius X.


Marc Sangnier (1873-1950)  - founder of 'Le Sillon'

The same Pontiff writes: ‘The truth is that the Sillonist leaders are self-confessed and irrepressible idealists’, at the beginning of the encyclical he had written of times: ‘…when evil and error are presented in dynamic language which, concealing vague notions and high-sounding words, is likely to set ablaze the hearts of men in pursuit of ideals which, while attractive, are none the less nefarious. Such were not so long ago the doctrines of the so-called philosophers of the 18th century, the doctrines of the Revolution and Liberalism which have so often been condemned…’ The Pope complains that the Sillonists allege that the Church ‘has not understood the social notions of authority, liberty, equality, fraternity, and human dignity’, and again that they preach ‘a purely verbal and chimerical construction… [of ] the words… liberty, justice, fraternity, love, equality and human exaltation, basing all of it on a misunderstood human dignity.’


A gathering  of the members  of 'Le Sillon' 

He particularly criticizes their notion of: ‘Fraternity, which they found on the love of common interest or, beyond all philosophies and religions, on the mere notion of humanity, thus embracing with an equal love and tolerance all human beings and their miseries…’. Their notion is one of ‘the reign of justice and love, with workers coming from anywhere, from any religion or from none, with or without beliefs, provided that they forget what separates them: their religious and philosophic convictions; and share what unites them: a generous idealism and moral strengths taken where they can.’ ‘The beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action can only be a democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion… more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the ‘Kingdom of God’.’


The movement had, according to the same Pontiff,  been ‘harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world… the reign of legalized cunning and power, and the oppression of the weak and of all who toil and suffer.’[6]




     d.) The Claim to Divine Authority for the Church’s New Goal


Now not only does the Council ascribe the World’s goal to the Church, but goes so far as to claim that this goal is mandated to the Church, and promoted, by God Himself.


i) ‘When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and enterprise – human dignity, sisterly and brotherly communion, and freedom according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit…’ (GS 39, cited above);


ii) ‘…He [Christ] quickens, purifies, and strengthens the generous aspirations of humanity to make life more humane and conquer the earth for this purpose’ (GS 38, cited above);


iii) [the faithful act in such a way that] ‘…the world may be filled (imbuatur) with the spirit of Christ, and may the more effectively attain its destiny in justice, in love and in peace… the goods of creation… may make their own contribution to universal progress in human and Christian liberty. Thus… Christ will increasingly illuminate the whole of human society with his saving light.’ (LG 36, cited above).


All these three texts present the Church’s Divine mandate and Will for the Church as exclusively humanitarian. Text (i) teaches that such humanitarian ends as here described are ‘according to the command of the Lord and in His Spirit’; texts (ii) and (iii) that Christ Himself furthers such ends; text (iii), in addition, that the attainment of these ends fills the world with Christ’s ‘Spirit’ and His ‘saving light’. 


St. Pius X explicitly condemns attempts such as we here see, of justifying such social ideals on the basis of the Gospel [7]: ‘… in an attempt to justify their social dreams they put forward the Gospel, but interpreted in their own way; and what is even more serious, they call to witness Christ, but a diminished and distorted Christ’. Similarly he writes: ‘… their ideal being related to that of the Revolution, they are not afraid blasphemously to connect the Gospel and the Revolution…’ And yet Jesus did not come to inaugurate: ‘… the reign of ideal happiness, from which suffering will be banished, but… He traced out the path of that happiness which is possible on earth and of perfect happiness in Heaven: the royal way of the Cross’.


The Divine Mandate and Will for the Church is not humanitarian, and far less revolutionary, then, but rather of an entirely spiritual and supernatural order: that is to say, to ‘Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and teach them to observe all the commandments I gave you’ [8]. This exercise of the three offices, or munera, of the Church is commanded by Our Blessed Lord in order to prolong His work of Redemption. As for Christ’s ‘spirit’ (text iii), that is to say the Holy Spirit, the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Church necessarily corresponds to the relation of Christ to the Church: The Holy Spirit, as noted above, is the Church’s Spirit of Truth and Sanctification.


In a word then, the Church’s goal, as She has always taught and endeavored to attain it in accordance with the Christ’s Mandate, as a prolongation and imitation of His work on earth, and as a work of the Holy Spirit, is the salvation and the sanctification of all mankind.




The Church teaches dogmatically that Her goal is that which Our Lord mandated to Her through Her exercise of the three offices or munera, that is: ‘to prolong forever the salvific work of redemption [9]. But the Council implicitly denies this goal by promoting Ecumenism; it renders it otiose by claiming that the whole of humanity has been saved by the Redemption without the necessity of baptism, Faith, and a good life; it substitutes this goal finally with the goal of the World, namely humanitarianism.


It remains true that the Church has a secondary goal, which is that of human welfare and flourishing, particularly in the fields of education, hospital care, and culture, but this goal derives from Her primary goal and is essentially ordered to it. To pass over Her primary goal in silence, to allude to it only opaquely, or to subordinate it to Her secondary goal, is tantamount to denying and disowning it. But to deny and to disown it in preference to the goals of the World is to assume a stance hostile to the Church: to adopt the consciously anti-Christian humanitarianism of the World. This stance is none other than that of bodies such as the Freemasons and the world ‘health’ organizations, in all their scorn for, and defiance of, God, life, chastity, and sanctity.

B.   The Church’s Goal for the Next Life


Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectation of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come… When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and enterprise – human dignity, sisterly and brotherly communion, and freedom according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again cleansed this time…, illuminated, and transfigured, …Here on earth the kingdom is mysteriously present; when the Lord comes, it will enter into its perfection’ (GS 39).


According to Catholic teaching, the prefigurement of Heaven on earth is the Church on earth, the Church Militant, destined, as She is, to be transformed in Heaven into the glorious and definitive Church Triumphant. In this Council text by contrast, the Church Militant has been substituted by merely worldly, naturalistic, and secular activity: activity which will one day purportedly be transformed into its definitive perfection in Heaven. From the metaphysical standpoint this is impossible because it entails that something purely natural can, by its own dynamic, become something supernatural, but what is of a lesser order cannot become, of itself, something of a higher order: ex minore non fit maius [10]. The Council is here spinning a pure fantasy, no different from the dreams of the worldling: that Heaven (if indeed it exists) is like this world when things are going well, only better.


The distinction between the traditional and the novel doctrine may clearly be seen by comparing the two types of activity which prefigure (or are alleged to prefigure) ‘the world to come’. In the first case it is the supernatural Charity of the Church Militant; in the second case it is humanitarianism. In the former case it is work performed in the state of Grace for love of God and neighbor; in the latter case it is work not necessarily performed either in the state of Grace, or for love of God and neighbor. 


The text represents an unhappy amalgamation of Catholic teaching and worldly thinking, whereby the men of the world are promised Heaven as a fruit of their worldly labors. Just as we saw in the previous section the World’s goal for this life attributed to the Church, so we here see the Church’s goal for the next life attributed to the World [11].                                                                  



Conclusion to Part I


In our brief synopsis of Council teaching in chapters 1-5, we have seen how the Council progressively erodes the concept of the Church. In the first chapter we saw how it silences Catholic doctrine on the Mystical Body of Christ and in particular on Christ as the Church’s formal principle; we then saw how it erodes Catholic teaching on the Church’s hierarchy on the human level by dissolving the Papacy into the Episcopacy, the Episcopacy into the Episcopal Conferences, and the Priesthood into the laity; how it erodes Her teaching concerning the Church as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic;  in the second chapter we saw how it purports to dissolve the Church further into an amalgam of Christian confessions; in the third and fourth into an amalgam of the World Religions; in the fourth we also saw how it repudiates the Church’s duty to rule over Society, contenting itself with the freedom it advocates for any religion; in the fifth chapter we saw how it purports to dissolve the Church into the World by identifying Her goal with that of the World.


In the process of dissolution to which the Church is here submitted, we observe a dissolution in the concept of universalism to which the Church aspires: the term ‘Catholicism’, as we observed above, signifies universalism inter alia in the sense that God desires that all men enter the Church; this ideal gives way to the ideal of ‘Ecumenism’ which signifies a universalism encompassing not only the Church, but also all the non-Catholic Christian denominations, and, in a further step,  all the Religions; finally it gives way to the concept of ‘Globalization’ which encompasses all humanity.


Extra Ecclesiam non est Salus

As the Church’s boundaries and defining contours are gradually removed, the dogma Extra Ecclesiam non est Salus loses all meaning, and the Church and the World merge into one another, the Council creating a sort of amalgam of the Church and the World, co-extensive with, and absorbed into, one other, to create that putative body, the Church-World, the One-World Church [12], or the ‘New World Order’ as it is known to-day, which comprises the entirety of mankind.  


Membership of this putative body, as well as Salvation itself, it presents as automatically given, as the simple consequences on the one hand of the humanity of its members, and on the other hand of the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord; its divinely mandated goal it presents as societal hedonism in this life, and Heaven in the next. While the World is elevated thereby to a pseudo-divine status, the Church is ever more deeply degraded and debased by its absorption into the World, assuming in the process the ghoulish features of Communism and Freemasonry and a form ever more grotesque: first two-headed [13], then partly united to other bodies [14], until at last it turns into that monstrous intellectual construct, the chimerical Church-World, entirely devoid of supernatural light:


Monstrum informe, nefandum, ingens cui lumen ademptum[15]

[1] MD pjc Appendix 5

[2] UR 7

[3] to which text (ii) refers back

[4] ‘it is evident that the work of preparing and reconciling those individuals who wish for full catholic communion is of its nature distinct from ecumenical action.’ (UR 4, see above)

[5] as well as to the temporal order represented by the State and King.

[6] We refer in this context to the words of the eminent theologian and Council Father, Bishop Graber of Regensburg, concerning the ultimate aim of the secret societies such as the Freemasons, to integrate all financial and social forces under a world government in which ‘Catholicism like all religions would consequently be absorbed into a universal syncretism... in its final stages the completely achieved synarchy would represent the anti-Church.’ They aim to create ‘an anti-church or a ‘new’ church by undermining and changing the function of the old Church and of achieving this less by an attack from the outside than by... the march through the institutions.’ They aim to ‘derive the Church of Her supernatural character, to amalgamate Her with the world... and thus to pave the way for a standardized world religion in a centralized world state’, Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, op.cit., pp. 33 & 37, MD pjc, pp. 164-5

[7] in the same Notre Charge Apostolique, MD pjc, p.280

[8] Mt. 28. 19-20, cf. the parallels in the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke

[9] ut salutiferum redemptionis opus perenne redderet, First Vatican Council D1821 REFERENCE

[10] the greater does not proceed from the lesser

[11] we shall return to such reflections in chapter 8 concerning man

[12] In the phrase of St. Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique quoted above

[13] see our discussion on the Hierarchy in chapter one

[14] see our discussion on the Oneness of the Church in chapter 1

[15] monster without form, abominable, enormous, deprived of light, Aeneid, Vergil III 658