Rorate Caeli

The Council and the Eclipse of God by Don Pietro Leone: CHAPTER 11 (part 1) : The Effects of Council Teaching


After having terminated his analysis of the Council and its causes, Don Pietro returns to the quotation at the beginning of the book: "How does the city sit solitary that was full of people...?" attempting to understand the present state of the Church and the world in the light of his findings. He first surveys the heterodoxy and the chastisement of the Church and the World subsequent to the Council, and then the role that the devil has played in that work of devastation.          F. R.

 The Angel with the Key to the Bottomless Pit  
by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

‘And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from Heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit.’ Apc. 9.1-2.


The Patristic Commentaries on the Book of Apocalypse understand the angel here mentioned as the devil, given a key by a High Priest in order to unleash heresies and evils, so contaminating the pure air of the Faith. Father Wolfe [1] suggests that the person identified by the Fathers of the Church as a High Priest is in fact the Pope himself who gives the key of Peter to the devil for the opening of the pit. In this connection we mention the remark of Father Congar: ‘The Council destroyed what I would call the unconditionality of the system. What I understand by ‘system’ is a complete and very coherent body of ideas transmitted by the teachings of Roman Universities, codified by Canon Law, protected by the strict and quite efficient vigilance of Pius XII, with reports, admonitions , the submission of writings to Roman censors etc. - in short, a whole ‘system’. With the Council, this was broken up. Tongues were loosened. The subterraneous elements surfaced ...” [2].

We have above seen Father Congar as protagonist of collegiality, ecumenism, and indifferentism regarding the Jews [3]. As such he himself played an important rôle in the destruction of the ‘unconditionality of the system.’


The heresies and evils unlocked by the key of the angel may be understood as the Council’s abuse of its munera, an abuse which constitutes Antirealist Subjectivism in the form of self-deifying atheism. This abuse in its turn has, in our view, also merited chastisement and augmented the devil’s power over the Church [4]. We shall accordingly proceed to examine:


                       A.     The Effects of Council Teaching in terms of Postconciliar Heterodoxy;

                       B.     The Effects of Council Teaching in terms of Chastisement;

                       C.     The Effects of Council Teaching in terms of Demonology.




A.     The Effects of the Council in terms of Postconciliar Heterodoxy


I shall send a famine in the land, not of bread and water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, seeking the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. [5]

                                                                                                                                       Amos 8. 11-12


Historical Sketch [6]


The Council’s abuse of the munus docendi, the office of teaching, has done notable harm to the Church and to the World in subsequent years, the most remarkable harm being the mass apostasy of the clergy and the people.


Of course it is impossible to ascribe to the Council all the harm inflicted on the Church and the World subsequent to its session, but rather to the Spirit of the World, that is of Fallen Nature, consolidated by the various philosophical, theological and religious factors that we have presented above. This spirit was adopted and augmented by the same Council.


Subsequent to the Council it became crystallized into two positions which we described in the preface to this book as Modernism and Neoconservatism, the first being the spirit of the World in its pure form, and the second in a diluted form. Each position had its own journal: Concilium and Communio, respectively. Bishops, periti and other intellectuals favorable to Council teaching in some way or another adopted the former or latter positions.


The Modernist position was adopted by periti such as Fathers Rahner, Küng, and Schillebeecx. They were not slow to fall into overt and formal heresy denying the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Transsubstantiation, and the Assumption; they pushed for more extreme liturgical reforms for the sake of inculturation and pastorality.


The Neoconservatist position was conceived as a reaction to Modernism and its journal was founded in 1972 by Fathers Ratzinger, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Walter Kasper, Marc Ouellet, and Louis Bouyer. This group advocated the ‘Reform of the Reform’ (of the Novus Ordo Missae) and the ‘Hermeneutic of Continuity’; Pope John Paul II subscribed to it. Under the influence of Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), it has continued to attract theologians to this day and represents the official Catholic attitude towards the Council, although ‘in nearly every diocese, chancery, and seminary’ one can witness an inclination towards Modernism.


The third position expounded in the Preface as the only authentic Catholic position, being the only one that completely corresponds to Objective Reality, that of Traditionalism, has enjoyed less influence in postconciliar years. Cardinal Ottaviani moved away from such a position to one of Neoconservatism. In his ‘Secret Letter’ of 24th July 1966 to all Bishops and Superior Generals of the world he affirmed the orthodoxy of the Council and complained about abuses in its interpretation: ‘Since the Second Vatican Council, which was recently and successfully brought to a close, promulgated most wise documents in both doctrinal and disciplinary matters for the efficient promotion of the life of the Church, the entire people of God has the grave duty of making every effort to implement all that as been solemnly proposed or decreed in that great assembly of Bishops under the presidence of the Supreme Pontiff’ [7].


Two of the Council prelates present that maintained their traditionalist stance and were to defend it in writing were Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer; a peritus who did likewise was Romano Amerio [8]. Two other influential Catholics not present at the Council, Abbé Georges de Nantes and Professor Plinio Corrêa di Oliviera, made important contributions to Traditionalism by their subsequent writings,.


Archbishop Lefebvre, in reply and in opposition to the view of Cardinal Ottaviani expressed in the above-cited letter, situated the heterodoxy of the postconciliar Church in the documents themselves: ‘… [the work of the preparatory commissions] was odiously rejected to make way for the worst tragedy that the Church has ever endured. We have witnessed the marriage of the Church with liberal ideas. It would be hard to deny the facts, to close one’s eyes, not to affirm boldly that the Council has allowed those who profess the errors and the tendencies condemned by the aforementioned Popes [Bl. Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII] to believe legitimately that their dctrines are now approved… we must conclude that the Council has fostered the spreading of liberal ideas in an inconceivable way: Faith, morals, ecclesiastical discipline: these are shaken to their foundations…’ 


The Traditionalist movement continues to gain ground to this day and, since Truth always conquers, will eventually overshadow both the other positions. Its flagship, the Old Mass, which Pope Paul VI attempted to sink, was greatly promoted by Pope Benedict; the second attempt to sink it, that we are witnessing to-day, has happily overall been having the opposite effect. 




We examine the harm to Catholic teaching according to the thematic schema afforded us by the chapters of the first and second parts this book, in which we attempted to analyze individual Council texts. We append a subsection on the effects of antirealist subjectivism, as the fundamental error underlying all conciliar evil and error. This section thus amounts to an overview of the development of Neo-Gnosticism, the mixture of the Faith and falsehood which was the Council’s principal achievement. 



     1.       The Church in Herself;

     2.       The Church in Relation to Non-Catholic Christians and to the Other Religions;

     3.       The Church and the State;

     4.       The Church and the World;

     5.       Man in His Choice of Life;

     6.       The Holy Mass;

     7.       Man;

     8.       Antirealist Subjectivism.



1.      The Church in Herself


Council doctrine, once it was diffused amongst the faithful, was not much disputed, presumably because of its conformity to Fallen Nature and because of their general ignorance of the Faith and of theology. This ignorance would in itself and alone have furnished ample justification for a dogmatic Council. Instead the Council’s lacunae and heterodoxy were to serve not only to deepen their ignorance, but also to confuse them. As to the former point, we find almost universal ignorance among the faithful of postconciliar years concerning the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church Militant, Suffering, or Triumphant, the Fall, Original Sin, Mortal Sin, Purgatory or Hell; concerning the Church as a Hierarchy, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.


Many faithful seem to think that the Catholic Church is merely some sort of human society among many others, and not holy at all - the latter heresy being encouraged by recent Pontiffs in their zeal to perpetuate the Council’s program of ‘apologizing’ for the Church’s past. Other members of the faithful seem to think that the Church, even if She is divine, is, at least now, a promoter of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality: of liberal morality, fraternal liturgy, and ecumenical equality.


As to the hierarchy of the Church, we have already mentioned that collegiality was to engender further fragmentation in terms of ‘synodality’[9]. Furthermore, Pope Paul VI [10], in opposition to the dispositions and anathema of the Council of Trent [11] abolished the hierarchical grades of ascension towards the priesthood from the tonsure (the entry into the clerical state), through the four minor orders of porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte; and through the first major order which is that of the subdiaconate. In fact he left only the diaconate untouched, which the New Code of Canon Law was later to define (in contrast to past teaching) as the entry into the clerical state [12].


The tenets of the new Church, Faith, and Religion that we have just outlined in the previous subsection, have become the new criteria for Catholicity, or in other words ‘acceptance of the Council’ has substituted the Four Notes of One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic as the sole guarantee of Church membership: this we have seen in the negotiations with the Fraternity of St. Pius X and with ‘traditionalists’ in general; this we have also seen in the attempts to restrict the use of the Roman Rite in the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes’ and in the subsequent ‘clarifications’ with their appeal to ‘Ecclesial Communion’ [13] - meaning nothing other than conformity to conciliar heterodoxy.



1.          2. The Church in Relation to non-Catholic Christians, and to the Other Religions


Ecumenical gatherings, which, as we observed above, constitute perhaps the most eloquent of all expressions of the Council’s ideology, have become an important feature of the postconciliar Church: at the Papal level (particularly at Assisi), and at the diocesan and even parochial level [14]; words such as ‘heresy’, ‘schismatic’, ‘apostate’, ‘dogma’, ‘infallible’, and ‘excommunication’ are no longer in common use [15]


We consider that the gravest abuse to which Council heterodoxy has led has been the veneration of a ‘fertility goddess’ in the Basilica of St. Peter, Rome. As an act of idolatry this act may be traced back to:


-         -  the Council’s openness to other religions as expressed in Nostrae Aetatis; 

 r-       -its recommendation of religious gatherings with non-Catholics in Unitatis Redintegratio;

-        - its promotion of inculturation in Sacrosanctum Concilium [16], Gaudium et Spes [17], and Ad Gentes [18].


The vision manifest in these documents was to be concretized in the initiatives of Pope John Paul II to visit places of pagan worship and receive on his person the marks of other Religions, and to host in the Basilica of Assisi representatives of other Religions, invited to perform acts of idolatry such as the strangulation of a cock on the altar of St. Clara, and the veneration of ‘The Buddha’ on a tabernacle. Such co-operation with idolatry was the forerunner of the formal idolatry of the said ‘fertility goddess’ under the later Pope. The personal participation of Supreme Pontiffs in all these events, especially that of receiving the marks of other religions and in venerating the said ‘goddess’ will have had a deleterious effect on the entire Mystical Body of which he was (or is) the visible Head. We here mention a universal upsurge of idolatry, occultism, sacrilege, and impiety, especially that of ‘Communion in the hand.’


The act of idolatry towards the ‘fertility’ goddess in the Vatican may be criticized on the following counts:


      a)     It is opposed to Catholic marital teaching in representing the greatness of woman as fertility [19] rather than Sacred Virginity in the first place and motherhood within marriage in the second;


      b)     It is opposed to Catholic mariology in symbolizing the greatness of womanhood by a fictitious 'fertility goddess' rather than by the Blessed Mother of God, symbol and paradigm both of Sacred Virginity and of motherhood within marriage;


      c)     It is an offence against the Blessed Mother of God in venerating such a figure rather than her, especially since the figure is depicted as naked, unchaste, and immodest, whereas the Blessed Virgin is the very paradigm of chastity and modesty;


      d)     It is an offence against the Church in occurring in the Church's most important place of cult, St. Peter's Rome; 


      e)      It desecrates the said place of cult;


      f)       It is an offence against Our Lord Jesus Christ in occurring in His Real Presence;


      g)      It is a offence against the One God in offending against the First Commandment.


And so we again witness a diabolical act of mockery, this time even more violent than before, as:


      1.     Sacred Virginity is mocked;

      2.     Marriage is mocked;

      3.     The Bishops are mocked;

      4.     The Pope is mocked;

      5.     The Church is mocked;

      6.     The Blessed Virgin Mary is mocked;

      7.     Our Lord Jesus Christ is mocked;

      8.     The one God is mocked.




2.           3. The Church and the State


The same skepticism regarding the Catholic Faith that lies behind the document Dignitatis Humanae accounts for the indecorous precipitation of contemporary Churchmen into the Council’s enterprise to separate Church and State. They renounce their duty to condemn moral evil in the political sphere, such as the State enforcement of the ‘Gender’ theory in education; they renounce their duty to limit the errors diffused by the non-Catholic Christian confessions and by the world religions. Rather they actively adopt immoral state initiatives (such as the promotion of the same ‘Gender’ theory [20]) and encourage false cults (as by allowing the building of mosques or even by allowing churches to be transformed into them). Christ the King, the very formal principle and symbol of any authentic Catholic political teaching, is passed over in silence.


One of the Council’s most significant and grave acts of renunciation of its duty to condemn moral evil came, as we recounted above, with its conciliatory response to Communism. This approach was to be perpetuated in the Vatican’s Ostpolitik involving the betrayal of the heroic Cardinal Mindszenty [21], and in its current policy regarding China involving the betrayal of the Underground Catholic Church.



3.           4. The Church and the World


As we observed above, the Faith teaches that the Church and the World stand in diametrical opposition one to the other; in postconcilar times we note that the distinction between the two is no longer made and that the term ‘World’ in the traditional senses that we already elucidated, is no longer in current use.


So much for the Church and the World in the spiritual domain; as for the political domain we have in recent years witnessed the Vatican busily promoting the ‘New World Order’ condemned by St. Pius X in his encyclical on the Sillon, the realization of which Order would represent the final dissolution of the Catholic Church into the World. We recall that this is an aim of the Freemasonry [22], and in that connection note the comment on Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti by the Spanish Freemasonry: ‘The latest encyclical of Pope Francis shows how far the current Catholic Church is from its former positions. In Fratelli Tutti, the Pope embraces the Universal Brotherhood, the great principle of Modern Freemasonry.’


If the Catholic Church were per impossibile [23] to be dissolved into the World, it would constitute the visible society of those who already invisibly belong to Satan in this world by mortal sin and enmity to Catholicism: an ‘Anti-Church’ of which Satan would be the invisible head and the Antichrist the visible.



[1] see his masterly 'Novena of Conferences on Our Lady of Revelation '

[2] Jean Puyo interrroge le Père Congar, p. 220

[3] we shall see in chapter 10, II.5, on our subsection on the periti, how great a part he claimed in the redaction of the Council documents

[4] for the sake of completion, we add to this treatment of the effects of the Council the economic and visible effects. In his book ‘Pope John’s Council’, Michael Davies (pjc, p. 258) counts the cost of the Council for the Holy See, placing it in material terms at £3,430,000 (in the then currency, and excluding the contributions of National hierarchies), together with several hundred million lire for the two coffee-bars installed in St. Peter’s alone and half-a-million cups of coffee that they dispensed. ‘On a more positive note’, he adds, ‘some very attractive commemorative stamps were issued by the Vatican Post Office.’ In visible terms, by contrast, he considers that the greatest cost was to the unity of the Church: to the Church as a whole, to the parish, and to the liturgy. He quotes the words of Pope Paul VI in the General Audience of 31st March 1976 regarding the same pluralism.

[5] the author, growing up in postconciliar years in a practicing, Catholic family, himself wandered from the seas of Europe to the seas of America in search of the Truth, and did not find it.

[6] see Infiltration, Dr. Taylor Marshall, Sophia Institute Press, 2019, p. 144-6

[7] Lettre à nos frères prêtres, which contains both this Secret Letter and the reply of Monsignor Lefebvre referred to in the following paragraph, see article by Dr. John Pepino.

[8] in Iota Unum

[9] We may distinguish three forms of synodality; 1) that exercised by a synod convoked by the Pope for advisory purposes (CIC 1983, can. 334) where ‘a group of bishops who have been chosen from different regions of the world and meet at fixed times to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world’(CIC 1983, can. 342); 2) the synodality of permanent synods of a patriarchal or archiepiscopal church who have not just advisory, but also legal power within their individual churches (Code of Canon Law of the Eastern churches, chapters 3 &4); 3) the synodality, as yet undefined, of miscellaneous sections of the Church, consisting of both clerics and laity, which lends a certain pre-eminence to the laity, to whom the clerics should are supposed to listen. (We gave an example above.) Synodality in all these three senses represents a development of the concept of collegiality and a further erosion of the principle of the hierarchy of the Church.

[10] Ministeria quaedam, 1972

[11] ‘From the very beginning of the Church, the names of the following orders, and the ministrations proper to each one of them, are known to have been in use: that is, those of subdeacon, acolyte, exorcist, lector, and porter; though these were not of equal rank: for the subdiaconate is classed amongst the greater orders by the Fathers and the sacred Councils, wherein also we very often read of the other inferior orders.’ S.23, ch.2; ‘If any-one says that besides the priesthood there are in the Catholic Church no other orders, both major and minor, by which as by certain grades, there is an advance to the priesthood: Anathema Sit.’ S.23, can.2. We note that the new functions of ‘lector’ and ‘acolyte’ are not comparable to the minor orders, being conceived no longer as sacramental, but solely as ministerial.

[12] ‘Through the reception of the diaconate a person becomes a cleric…’ (CIC 1983, can. 266.1).

[13] a French friend and confrère of the author, asked by the local Bishop to concelebrate with the diocesan clergy on Maundy Thursday on this basis, rightly replied: What Ecclesial communion can I have with priests who deny the Real Presence and other dogmas of the Faith?

[14] the heavenly powers seem by contrast to have other ‘sensibilities’: the gatherings at Assisi were followed by an earthquake damaging the priceless affreschi of Giotto and one of the author’s penitents reported to him last week that the upper Basilica which hosted the said gatherings has now been converted into a museum. Ecumenical gatherings in churches meanwhile, at least in the city where the author began his ministry, are invested with a solemnity higher than any other celebration. In that same city the occurrence of the 500 years anniversary of Luther’s ‘Reform’ offered the occasion for such euphoric, bizarre, and outlandish excesses. For the Church to fête anniversaries of Martin Luther is as absurd as for Jews to fête anniversaries of Adolf Hitler.   

[15] if they are used at all, they are met with frowns or unease, with perspiration on the brow, or with the exchange of conspiratorial glances - ‘Let us exchange a conspiratorial glance.’

[16] see above

[17] 44

[18] 10 & 22

[19] so corresponding to the spirit of eroticism that we have identified of the Council’s treatment of marriage in Gaudium et Spes, a spirit which was subsequently to be divinized by ‘Theology of the Body’

[20] in Amoris Laetitia,op.cit. See our section on marriage above

[21] after being warmly encouraged in his resistance to Communism by Pope Pius XII and welcomed to Rome by Pope Paul VI, he was induced by the Vatican to leave Hungary on the assurance that he could retain his authority as Archbishop of Esztergom and Primate of Hungary, only to be informed that the Pope had stripped him of these titles (on the 25th anniversary of his arrest by the Communists). MD pjc p.143

[22] cf. ch.10, II. 3

[23] although impossible (because of the Church’s indefectibility)