Rorate Caeli

‘THE COUNCIL AND THE ECLIPSE OF GOD’ by Don Pietro Leone – Chapter 9 – THEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS – part 2 – ‘The Council’s Attack on the God of Revelation’- that is to say: ‘The Council’s Direct Attack on the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.’


'ECCE HOMO' by Tintoretto

I     The Council’s Attack on the God of Revelation


The Council’s attack on the God of Revelation constitutes first an attack on Truth Itself and then on a number of Catholic dogmas.


The Attack on Truth


The Council attacks the God of Revelation first by attacking Truth Itself, for Revelation teaches that God is Truth. He is Truth in the first instance in His Divinity, as Subsistent Being Itself, as ontological Truth. The Council’s attack on Truth, however, as we showed in the Introduction, is a double attack: an attack not only on ontological, but also on logical, Truth: it is not only an attack on Truth as Being, namely, but also an attack on Truth as the expression of Being. For this reason we would give a more complete theological analysis of the Council’s attack on Truth if we said that is was an attack on the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, that is to say on the Divine Son. For the Son is not only ontological Truth, Being Itself, in His Divinity; but also logical Truth: as the Word, the perfect expression, of the Father.


The Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, however, when regarded as Incarnate, in other words as Our Lord Jesus Christ, is, moreover, Truth not only in the ontological and logical senses of the term, but also in two other senses relevant to the present book, and that is as Truth in the specifically supernatural ontological sense, and in a moral sense.


By saying that Our Lord Jesus Christ is Truth in a specifically supernatural ontological sense, we mean that Christ is the formal object of the Faith: that the Faith is nothing else than the knowledge of Christ. Now St. Thomas teaches that the formal object of Faith is God and all the truths that relate to God; and we may synthesize this doctrine by saying that the formal object of Faith is in fact Our Lord Himself, since He is at the same time God and the One around Whom revolve all the truths that relate to God [1].


In other words, all the articles of Faith have Him as their object, and the knowledge of Him constitutes the knowledge of the Faith. To know Him, that is to say, to know the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, Who became man, died for us, instituted the Church and all the sacraments for our salvation etc., is nothing other than to know the Faith. This is why preaching the Faith is often known in the New Testament simply as ‘preaching Christ’ or ‘preaching Jesus’ [2]. The Council attacks Christ in this sense by its heterodoxy: by all the teachings that we have criticized above.


By saying that Our Lord is Truth in the moral sense of the term, we mean, by contrast, that He is the one truth that can give meaning to human life. The Council attacks Our Lord as moral Truth indirectly by its heterodoxy; by its lack of clarity and of courage in proclaiming the Faith; by its openness to non-Catholic Christians, to other religions, and to the State, and to the World. It attacks Him as moral Truth more directly by the passage we quoted in the introduction: ‘... Christians are joined to others in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems which arise both in the life of individuals and from social relationships…’ (GS 16). This passage implies that Christians do not know the meaning of life.



The Attack on Catholic Dogmas


Now in view of the magnitude of the evil unleashed by the Council, we would expect that there be an underlying system or logic to its heterodoxy: that the heterodoxy did not simply consist in the 40 theses enumerated above, but in one formal principle which gave form to all of these theses and, as it were, streamlined them the more effectively and violently into the attack.


What is this formal principle? We have just noted that Christ is the formal object of the Faith. If this is true of the Faith in its entirety, it must be true also of every article of Faith. And indeed when we  examine the Council’s attack on individual doctrines, we may identify in each case an attack on one and the same target, the target that is none other than Our Blessed Lord Himself: this, then, is the attack that constitutes the formal principle of all the Council’s heterodoxy [3].


In the order in which the book is structured we shall proceed to demonstrate this in regard to:


i)   the Church in Herself;

ii)  the Church in Her relationship to non-Catholic Christians and to other Religions;

iii) the Church in Her relationship to the State;

iv) the Church in Her relationship to the World;

v)  Marriage;

vi) Priesthood;

vii)  Religious life;

viii) the Holy Mass.



i) The Church in Herself


In eliminating Catholic teaching on the Mystical Body of Christ, the Council eliminates, and thereby attacks, the supreme, formal principle, the formal cause, of the Mystical Body, which is Christ as Her Head. We have seen this in detail [4] in its attack on the doctrines that the Church is a Hierarchy, Supernatural, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.


We add here that the attack on the Church in Herself is an attack on Our Lord Himself not only in the sense that He is the formal principle of the Church, but also in the sense that He is the Church, the Church being His Mystical Body. In this latter sense Our Lord reproved St. Paul with the words ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?’ [5]



ii) The Church in Her Relationship to non-Catholic Christians and to Other Religions


We have seen that the Ecumenical and Indifferentist enterprises place peaceful co-existence with non-Catholic Christians above the Truth. But since the knowledge of the Truth is ultimately ordained to Salvation, we may conclude that this enterprise ultimately constitutes an attack on Christ the Savior;



iii) The Church in Her Relationship to the State


We noted above [6] that the Council eliminates Christ as the formal principle of the State, in other words as Christ the King, substituting Him with man;



iv)  The Church in Her Relationship to the World


We also noted above that the Council’s teaching about the World is a combination of Her teaching on Ecumenism, Indifferentism, and Religious Liberty. Its teaching on the World therefore constitutes an attack on Christ both as Savior and as King;



v)  Marriage


The Council’s attack on marriage is essentially an attack on Christ as the Head and the Spouse of the Church because sacramental marriage is the institution by which Christ aims to build up His Mystical Body the Church by giving couples a share in His spousal love for Her;



vi) The Priesthood


The priest is essentially an alter Christus. He is conformed to Christ by his priestly ordination so that he is able to act in persona Christi primarily in the administration of the Sacraments, and particularly in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and in the sacrament of Penitence. The final end of this ministry is to prolong Christ’s priesthood on earth for the salvation and sanctification of souls. The Council, in silencing the doctrine of the priest as alter Christus [7], silences Christ’s identity as One and Only High Priest;



vii)  The Religious Life


We have stated above that the formal principle of the religious life is the perfect love of Christ as is authentically taught by the Church. In substituting this perfect love of Christ with an imperfect love, the Council effectively attacks Christ as Spouse of the soul;



viii)  The Holy Mass


The Council’s obscuration of the sacrificial nature of the Mass together with the anthropocentric bias of its liturgical doctrine represents an attack on Christ Crucified in His Real Presence: both in His Divinity and in His Humanity. Such is the thesis of our book on the Novus Ordo [8].



[1] as the perfect expression of God and as the Author and the Consummator of the Faith

[2] St. Philip ‘preached Christ’ (Acts 8.5); ‘preached Jesus’ (Acts 8. 35); ‘Christ... whom we preach’ (Col 1. 28-9); ‘preach Christ’ (Phil 1. 15); ‘preach Christ’ (Phil 1.17); ‘preach Christ’ (Phil 1.18); ‘we preach... Jesus Christ, Our Lord’ (2 Cor 4.5); ‘we preach Christ crucified’ (1 Cor 1.23) etc.

[3] we may say that the principal theme of the Council is the Church; that the principal object of its attack is Catholic teaching concerning the Church, the Faith, Salvation, and the sacraments (according to our schema above), which may all be synthesized in its attack on Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself 

[4] in chapter 1

[5] Acts, 9.4

[6] in chapter 4

[7] except for the one passage we have noted above which refers to being ‘made sharers of Christ’s priesthood’ (PO 5)

[8] The Destruction of the Roman Rite, op.cit.

NEXT: Chapter 9 – Theological Analysis – part 3: Conclusion to the Council’s Attack on the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.