Rorate Caeli

THE COUNCIL AND THE ECLIPSE OF GOD by Don Pietro Leone – Chapter 9 – C) Moral Analysis – part 2 - ‘Truth has Pre-eminence over Love’


‘The Sermon on the Mount’ 

Painting by Ivan Makarov 



 i)    That the Condemnation of Error is Not an Act of Mercy


Let us take as an example of a condemnation of error the anathema of the Council of Trent that: ‘If any-one says that baptism is free, that is, not necessary to salvation, Anathema sit.’ The declaration is a dogma, which signifies that the Church proposes it to be believed as a divinely revealed Truth; the anathema with which it concludes signifies that he who rejects this Truth is excluded from the Church, so that, if he dies without renouncing the error, he will be damned.


Now mercy, according to St. Thomas, is the love for one who is in need; and it is an act of love to warn some-one who is in danger of being damned, of his possible damnation. Indeed two of the spiritual acts of mercy are to instruct the ignorant and to admonish sinners. It follows, in contradiction to the thesis in question here, that the condemnation of error is indeed an act of  mercy.



    ii)  That Love has Pre-eminence over Truth


The fact that showing ‘mercy’ to a given individual is alleged to be more important than caring for his eternal destiny, effectively lends Love pre-eminence over Truth, which is simply the expression of the false principle of antirealist subjectivism that is the principal theme of this book. And yet authentic, objective love must be based on truth, on reality: if I love some-one, I will want to save him, so I will warn him of the danger that he may be running of eternal damnation.



   iii) That the Church Should Show the Validity of Her Teaching, rather than Condemn


It is here suggested that it is enough for the Church to present Catholic Truth [1], without exerting Her authority as Teacher or as Ruler. And yet it was Our Blessed Lord Himself Who entrusted the Church with Her mandate to teach, to rule (which includes the power of condemnation), and to sanctify (which requires a preliminary work of teaching and government).


It follows that it accords with the very nature of the Church to exercise all of these three functions: in other words not just to present Catholic doctrine, but to teach it, to condemn doctrines opposed to it, and in this way to sanctify mankind.



     2.    The Council’s Abuse of the Church’s Duty to Provide Spiritual Care for Mankind


Conciliar heterodoxy has deprived faithful not only of the integral and pure body of the Faith, but also of the moral and spiritual principles which belong to it. If the Faith is confused, so are the morals. Faithful believe that they can combine Catholicism with Buddhism, with Esotericism, and with impurity of all types. The sheep have gone astray and the Pastors have not gone out in search of them [2].


'The sheep have gone astray and the Pastors have not gone in search of them.'

Painting - Strayed Sheep' ('Our English Coasts') 

 by William Holman Hunt (19th century)


As for those outside the Church’s bounds, but for whom the Church is also responsible [3], the Council’s Ecumenism, its Indifferentism towards other Religions, together with its failure to condemn error and evil in the State and in the World in general, represent, in the light of God’s Will that the Church should be the instrument of salvation for the whole world, an egregious abuse of the Church’s pastoral office. This abuse is the more remarkable for concealing itself under the guise of ‘love’ in the first two cases, and ‘justice’ in the third. In a word, we see the Council abandoning the Church’s duty of spiritual care to all mankind: we see it repudiating mankind. 



     III   The Office of Sanctifying


In our treatment of the Second Note of the Church, HHHher sanctity, we have averted to the Council’s heterodox doctrine concerning the Ecclesia peccatrix [4]. Here we are considering a different field, namely that of the use that the Council made of her duty to sanctify. Now the Office of sanctifying is the end (goal) of the other two offices, since the Church’s final end is the sanctification of man on this earth. More fully, the Church exercises the office of sanctifying in a mediate sense through Her offices of teaching and of ruling, and in an immediate sense through Her sacraments.


We have seen certain fine passages regarding sanctification in the Council, although the Council addresses them to the hierarchy, to the clergy and the faithful, and not to those outside the Church’s bounds. But despite this fact, we are nowhere told that the Church is ‘Militant’, nor that She is engaged in a spiritual battle, nor that there is such a thing as Hell – all of which robs the appeal to sanctification of its force.


As for the particular means that Our Lord instituted for sanctification: the Council introduces into the reform of the sacraments an optimistic, this-worldly spirit; into the priesthood a spirit of naturalism; into the Religious Life a spirit of worldly humanitarianism.



     Conclusion to Section C


We shall here summarize the Council’s exercise of the offices of teaching, ruling, and sanctifying:


a)     in its use of the munus docendi it taught no less than 40 heterodox doctrines [5];

b)    in its use of the munus regendi it renounced its duty to condemn error and evil, and to save the World;

c)  in its use of the munus sanctificandi it hindered sanctification, rather than furthering it.


Had the Council wished to perform the function of a dogmatic Council like all the others, there would have been ample doctrines to clarify and deepen, and ample errors to condemn, in the face of the errors of Modernism which, as we have seen in our brief historical sketches above, were steadily gaining ground in the Catholic world.


Had the Council wished, by contrast, to perform the function of a pastoral Council (in any serious way), there would have been equal scope for the pronouncement of Catholic Truth in the face of the rapidly expanding evils of Communism and impurity. Instead, it condemned neither doctrinal nor moral evils. Rather:


    -  it officially opened up the Church to the errors of Modernism;

    -  it adopted a conciliatory attitude towards impurity; and

    -  it relegated its disavowal of Communism and contraception to obscure footnotes.


In the Council’s exercise of the office of sanctifying, in fine, we observe the same lack of Faith and of courage, and the same openness to the spirit of the World as we have observed in the exercise of the other offices.


We conclude that the Council declarations represent an egregious abuse of the Church’s three divinely mandated munera, the triple office of teaching, ruling, and sanctifying, and consequently describe the Council as defective, or bad. Should any-one object that certain doctrines of the Council are orthodox, we would reply that even if a given doctrine is orthodox, then it necessarily belongs to a context of unorthodox doctrines, which fact has the four following adverse effects, namely that:

    1. The whole offends against the principle of non-contradiction (when the contrary may also be found in the Council texts), so that, as noted above, it renders the theme in question and Truth itself irrelevant, and discredits the Church;

     2.The whole amounts to that amalgamation of Truth and Falsehood which is neo-Gnosticism[6]                 

     3.An unorthodox doctrine can be passed off as orthodox by association [7] with orthodox ones [8].

    4. The unorthodox doctrine renders the whole Council bad according to the principle of bonum ex integra causa, malum ex aliquo defectu [9].


‘...that the Church should be the instrument of salvation for the whole world’

Painting - La Nave de la Iglesia

by Jesuit Brother - Martin Coronas -  1909.

As for Pope John XXIII’s original inspiration to open the Church to the World – presumably by a more effective exercise of the munera, we must admit that the union that the Council was to effect was not one of absorption of the World in the Church by conversion, but one of absorption of the Church in the World by apostasy; a union effected not by teaching the Truth, by ruling, and by sanctifying, but by dismantling the Truth, by renouncing authority, and by imbuing the Church with the Spirit of the World [10]. 



[1] We recall the text cited above: ‘Truth can impose itself on the human mind by the force of its own truth’ (DH 1). As we there mentioned, only natural truth imposes itself on the mind in this way, not supernatural truth.

[2] when the author, not long after his ordination suggested, as Confessor to the Italian Cathedral referred to above,  spiritual direction to a penitent, the latter did not even know what the words meant   

[3] see ch. 11

[4] ‘the sinful Church’

[5] not to mention all the other erroneous doctrines that we have examined in the metaphysical analysis above

[6] see the next chapter

[7] by the principle of noscitur sociis: it is known by its associates

[8] explicitly by Modernists or implicitly by neo-conservatizing Traditionalists, the latter blithely quoting some orthodox text in an article or sermon to give the impression that the Council is acceptable and that all the texts are orthodox, in order ‘to keep the peace.’ Basta con le piroette! - the time for clarity is long overdue 

[9] a thing is good if it is wholly good: it is (made) bad by a single defect

[10] We observe that this impregnation of the Church with the Spirit of the World, rather than the inverse, was advocated by Father Chenu and Teilhard de Chardin, as the outcome of cosmic and historico-social evolution respectively RdM II 13