Parts 1-5 of this continuing series, we have been discussing
the "mentality" of the Second Vatican Council,
generally and in particular. In Part 6 we will concentrate
on its doctrinal errors regarding 1) religious
and the role of moral conscience, and 2)
the first part of a treatment on its interpretation
of the meaning of the modern world (which we will conclude
in Part 7).
Errors Concerning Religious Liberty and the Role of
announcement of a "right to religious freedom"
that "has its foundation in the very dignity of the
human person, for this dignity is known through the revealed
word of God and through reason itself": "This
right of the human person to religious freedom is to be
recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is
governed and thus it is to become a civil right."
(Dignitatis Humanae §2) [hereafter abbreviated DH-Ed.]
announcement is presented as being in agreement with the
pre-conciliar magisterium. On the contrary, the documents
of Popes Pius XII, Pius XI, and Leo XIII cited in a note
in DH demonstrate that the right of the person to
freely profess his faith, as invoked by those Popes, only
concerns the profession of the true religion, thus of the
Catholic Faith, and refers to the freedom of conscience
of Christian souls, and not to a religious "liberty"
simpliciter without further clarification and applying
to all religions.
DH §3, the following:
light is shed on the subject if one considers that the
highest norm of human life is the divine law-eternal,
objective and universal [the adjective "revealed"
is missing -Ed.]-whereby God orders, directs
and governs the entire universe and all the ways of the
human community by a plan conceived in wisdom and love.
Man has been made by God to participate in this law, with
the result that, under the gentle disposition of divine
Providence, he can come to perceive ever more fully the
truth that is unchanging. Hence every man has the duty,
and therefore the right, to seek the truth in matters
religious, in order that he may with prudence form for
himself right and true judgments of conscience, under
use of all suitable means.
however, is to be sought after in a manner proper to the
dignity of the human person and his social nature. The
inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching
or instruction, communication, and dialogue. In the course
of these, men explain to one another the truth they have
discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus
to assist one another in the quest for truth.
principle causes the truth "in matters religious"
to be something that is "discovered," found by
the conscientious individual via inquiry done with "others,"
through reciprocal "communication and dialogue."
In this process of inquiry, "others" are not simply
other Catholics, but others in general, all other
men, no matter what their faith, who, significantly, have
for their object the divine law, etc....placed by
God in our hearts, the eternal law of natural morality,
as do Deists. In fact, by including everyone, revealed
Truth cannot be the object, and this revealed Truth is denied
in toto by non-Christians and, in part, by heretics.
doctrinal statement openly contradicts traditional teaching
legislating that, for Catholics, in "religious matters"
(and also in moral ones), God reveals the truth, and it
is conserved in the deposit of the Faith safeguarded by
the Magisterium. It is a truth that requires and
necessitates the consent of our intellect and will, a consent
possible with the determinant help of grace: the believer
must recognize and accede to it. Thus, he cannot "find"
it through his own efforts. The conciliar document does
not speak of the Holy Spirit's help. Moreover, the conciliar
document recommends communal inquiry with heretics, non-Christians
for an objective and properly Catholic criterion
of the truth "in matters religious" which is such
because revealed by God, is the subjective criteria
of truth that is of Protestant origin and typical of modern
thought. Truth is then truth because it is "found"
by individual conscience in his "inquiry" along
with "others" as a result, then, of collective
and individual inquiry. In Catholicism, this then opens
the door to an eruption of an anomalous, individual "religiosity,"
a "religiosity" of inquiry of the "heart,"
human feeling, of "conscience," dialogue. Much
in the way of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, this is cloying, sugary.
idea of "moral conscience" tainted by Pelagianism,
viewed as the basis of the idea of "truth as inquiry,"
which in turn is founded on "religious liberty,"
defended by the Council.
et Spes §l6 [hereafter abbreviated GS -Ed]
a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is
fulfilled by love of God and neighbor. In fidelity to
conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men
in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution
to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals
from social relationships. Hence the more that a correct
conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn
aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the
objective norms of morality.
truth is this? In all likelihood, truth concerning religion
and customs. Yet, wouldn't truth have to come from the infallible
teaching of the Church, of Tradition? But, for the sure
possession of the truth of faith and customs, established
over the course of the centuries by the Magisterium, the
Council substitutes "inquiry" into the truth as
a general criterion of a general truth, something indeterminate.
However, we know that this conforms to the Zeitgeist,
the spirit of the times, which loves "inquiry,"
experience, novelty, and perpetual motion.
that is not all. Always conforming to the spirit of the
age, this inquiry ought to be done in union "with other
men" and thus also and above all with non-Catholics
and non-Christians, with those who deny all or almost all
of the truths taught by the Church. How can this type of
inquiry arrive at positive results for the faith and believers,
in as much as it must also be applied to "moral problems"?
Henceforth, "Christians" and Catholics ought to
resolve these "moral problems" ecumenically through
dialogue, and not by applying the rules transmitted by their
faith and morality. In effect, an entente "with
other men is entrusted to the certitude of the existence
of objective norms of morality" which can be generally
found by all men of good will who are faithful to their
absurdity of this thesis is obvious. For example, it is
impossible to understand how a general moral norm for healthy
family life might be found by Catholics, for whom the indissolubility
of marriage is a dogma of the Faith, and by Protestants
and the Orthodox who, on the contrary, deny it. Here we
have not even included those allowing polygamy, concubinage,
repudiation, and trial marriage. But, above all, what is
important is the stated principle: the "objective norms"
of morality no longer depend on Revelation, but on "moral
conscience" which finds these objective norms of morality
through inquiry done with "other men."
GS §16 also refers to the law written by God in
"man's heart," in the "objective norms"
of morality, man will verify the truth of this law. However,
it is not revealed Truth, but (dialoguing) conscience that
causes the law to emerge from the depths of "the heart."
Thus, conscience is the authority determining the end applied
to moral norms: again, Rousseau's shadow emerges, the Savoyard
Vicar's "profession of faith," a faith that is
both Deist and Pelagian.
conciliar text specifies that, when "right conscience"
leads him, man moves away from "blind choice."
But in order to resist the "blind choice" of the
passions and temptations, mustn't man be aided by grace?
That's what was always the Catholic truth, founded on Tradition
and Scripture: without grace, without the help of the Holy
Spirit, man does not come to observe either natural or revealed
morality. But the Council makes no allusion to this grace.
"Conformity" to "objective" norms of
the moral law, placed in our hearts by God, now exclusively
depends, for Catholics too, on "right" conscience,
and therefore on the individual being plunged into his "search
for the truth" along with everyone else. So, as with
the Deists, it is in fact stated that "moral conscience"
unites men above and beyond revealed religions.
In fact, then, to a greater degree, isn't conscience represented
in what is human, in these "human values" so dear
to Vatican II's progressive wing? So, this amounts to asserting
that we no longer possess the "truth," even the
truth that ought to apply to practical moral questions.
Thus, this arrives at asserting that we can no longer know
the "truth," even that truth that applies in practical
moral questions. Rather this truth must result from communal
and communitarian effort involving each person's "conscience."
principle, comprehensible only in terms" of non-Catholic
ideas of conscience and truth, that states the necessity
of granting "free exercise of religion in society"
to all men, who are defined as individuals. At the same
time, nothing must be done to "cause harm to the human
person" so that the "just demands of public order"
[a vague term] are safeguarded (DH §3). Also stated
is that it is necessary to grant to "religious bodies"
the right to public worship of the "numen supremum"
(an expression that refers to the Supreme Being of the
Deists and revolutionaries, of Robespierre).
its sole generic limitation, this principle has always had
"the just demands of public order" (DH §4).
And finally, and most importantly, "[R]eligious bodies
should not be prohibited from freely undertaking to show
the special value of their doctrine in what concerns the
organization of society and the inspiration of the whole
of human activity" (DH §4).
to the above stated idea, Catholicism is also defined as
being one among "religious bodies," on a completely
equal level with other groups. According to the Council,
then, the result is that revealed Religion's "special
virtue" is not to cause itself to occupy a position
of absolute supremacy in relation to other religions, which
are not revealed! This amounts to stating that all other
religions have the same right to public worship as does
Catholicism. This openly contradicts Proposition 78 of the
Syllabus of Errors which condemned this right.
is a grave doctrinal deviation because it
gives error the same rights as the one revealed Truth, thus
making the difference between truth and error, as well as
the difference between light and darkness, disappear for
believers. The meaning of the Church's constant teaching
was that there is practical tolerance of false religions,
who are understood to be in a position necessarily juridically
inferior relative to the one Revealed Religion. This tolerance
originated from reasons traceable to social peace and public
order, and had the reservation that such worship would not
include any immoral elements. And in fact the Pope, in his
States and throughout Christendom, always tolerated Jewish
worship, protecting it against possible over-zealousness,
opposition, and attempts to persecute it: but this was a
matter of tolerating an error, not of papal recognition
of the same freedom of expression accorded to the authentic,
unjustly including the Church's parity with "religious
bodies," that is, of equalizing Catholicism with false
"religions," the Council came to the logical conclusion
that the religious liberty which by right belongs to the
Catholic Church is only a "particular case of religious
liberty" which must be indiscriminately extended to
all "religious bodies."
conclusion results in the phrase: "The Church also
claims freedom for herself in her character as a society
of men who have the right to live in society in accordance
with the precepts of the Christian faith" (DH §13).
This sentence seems to be from a letter of Pius XI (Firmissimam
Constantium, March 28, 1937, A.A.S., 29 ,
p.196). But in it, the Pope prevents himself from making
an ad hominem argument on the subject of those States
that deny the Church even the right to exist, with the Pope
wanting the Church to be justly recognized like all other
legitimate organizations and associations.
Vatican II transforms this request for minimal and preliminary
freedom into a fundamental principle of the Church's civil
rights, as if it only requests a general type of freedom,
as if she were simply an association comparable to other
associations existing within the State (Immortale Dei,
November 1, 1885, Leo XIII, Acta, vol. V, p.118).
is a grave doctrinal error that the Popes always condemned,
since it misapprehends the Church's superior nature, i.e.,
that of its being the perfect society, as well as its
necessary primacy over all other societies, in themselves
imperfect, that works in a subordinate way to procure the
temporal common good for the "political community."
Moreover, on the historical level, this also amounts to
an unbelievable regression: after nearly two millennia,
in the middle of the 20th century, the hierarchy asks that
the Church, even in countries where she is recognized as
the sole State religion, be reduced to the status of simply
a "licit religion." Furthermore, the hierarchy
accepts the designation of the Church as a cult permitted
alongside all the others, as it was at the time of the Edict
of Constantine, which put an end to the persecutions (313
false statement that "freedom of the Church,"
as we have discussed herein, is "the fundamental principle
in what concerns the relations between the Church and governments
and the whole civil order" (DH §13).
statement is erroneous because the fundamental principle
of the public right of the Church has always been that the
State has the duty of recognizing the social kingdom of
Christ (Leo XIII, Immortale Dei; St. Pius X, Lettre
sur le Sillon, Aug. 29, 1910). "For He must reign..."
(I Cor. 15:25), in the relations between the State and the
Church, and is at the heart of society itself. With and
since Vatican II, the hierarchy has allowed this principle
to be forgotten. This has resulted in the State illegitimately
reducing the aid it must give the Church by only recognizing
her freedom and independence in a reductive way so that
all that remains is a single negative aspect of non-interference.
Whereas, on the contrary, the Church has an equal right
to positive aid, which consists of supporting her in every
Errors in the Interpretation
of the Meaning of the Contemporary World
GS §3, the Council alleges that contemporary man
agonizingly questions his role and meaning, and the meaning
of the major problems of the day:
mankind today is struck with wonder at its own discoveries
and its power, it often raises anxious questions about the
current trend of the world, about the place and role of
man in the universe, about the meaning of its individual
and collective strivings, and about the ultimate destiny
of reality and of humanity.
ideas are reprised elsewhere, for example, in GS
in the face of the modern development of the world, more
and more people are raising the most basic questions or
recognizing them with a new sharpness: what is man? What
is this sense of sorrow, of evil, of death, which continues
to exist despite so much progress? What is the purpose
of these victories, purchased at so high a cost? What
can man offer to society, what can he expect from it?
What follows this earthly life?
the profound metaphysical question "What is man?"
hadn't been posed by almost anyone at that time. Communism
and its left wing allies (in all of their colors) were attacking
on all fronts, the models being the Soviet Union, Mao's
China, and Cuba. Marxism raged in the universities, the
schools, and throughout the culture. Emerging subcultures,
typified by the "hippy" drug subculture, were
suffused with hedonism as well as consumerism. Thus, the
revolutionary spirit birthed in the US and Europe by the
large student movements of 1966-68 and beyond came into
being less than three years after the close of the Council,
their model being the 1966 Chinese Red Guards. The problem
of man would now have to be viewed and resolved in the light
of revolutionary utopianism. Man had to be seen as a product
of his environment and of history. Marxism's revolutionary
praxis replaced existing structures by creating the new
man, liberated from all of his faults and all contradictions.
Even those who looked to define man according to his individuality,
by reverting to the fluid and imprecise categories of existentialism
and psychoanalysis, always ended up by finding the solution
to the problem of Man in Marxism, and therefore, in social
revolution. That was the then-dominant "humanism."
the 1960's of the 20th century are unanimously recognized
as the years during which finally launched women's liberation
and "sexual liberation." Its subversive force
was at the time felt mainly in the politico-economic arena
as well as in that of morals. These were the years of the
"student movement" and of the organized and systematic
"confrontation" of the principle of authority
in all its forms. The storm was already brewing when Vatican
II began, and it was at our doors when it ended. But the
Council seemed immune to it. What, in fact, did GS say
change in attitudes and in human structures frequently
calls accepted values into question. This is especially
true of young people, who have grown impatient on more
than one occasion, and indeed become rebels in their distress.
Aware of their own influence in the life of society, they
want to assume a role in it sooner. As a result, parents
and educators frequently experience greater difficulties
day by day in discharging their tasks.
institutions, laws and modes of thinking and feeling as
handed down from previous generations do not always seem
to be well adapted to the contemporary state of affairs.
Hence arises an upheaval in the manner and even the norms
of behavior. (§7)
than three years afterward, it could be well observed just
how the young masses searched "to take responsibility."
order to protect youth from the seduction of the world,
the Council could have begun by condemning the dominant
false doctrines of existentialism, psychoanalysis, Marxism,
etc. Rather than do so, it abandoned the distinction
between Nature and Grace by explicating and proffering a
new "social" and "human" religion that
was, therefore, necessarily open to all of the world's "values,"
including those belonging to the revolutionaries' "humanism."
By referring to the "men who are truly new and artisans
of a new humanity," believers in the "values"
of progress, liberty, and Man (GS§§30,39J, the Council contributed
to the revolutionary overthrow that began to manifest itself
a little later. At the same time, it ridiculed the optimism
and triumphalism that this same revolution articulated in
its celebration of Man and the World. Yet, the Council contributed
to this overthrow by demolishing the rampart of the Church's
eternal doctrine and sane, healthy shepherding to the extent
that many Catholics and non-Catholics saw the Council as
a component of the revolutionary movement. In the broadest
meaning of the term, "opposition" involved, pervaded
and overthrew an important sector within Catholicism, beginning
with the Church hierarchy itself.
§4 makes the following stupefying statement on man:
the human race is passing through a new stage of its history.
Profound and rapid changes are spreading by degrees around
the whole world. Triggered by the intelligence and creative
energies of man, these changes recoil upon him, upon his
decisions and desires, both individual and collective,
and upon his manner of thinking and acting with respect
to things and to people. Hence we can already speak of
a true social and cultural transformation, one which has
repercussions on man's religious life as well. As happens
in any crisis of growth, this transformation has brought
serious difficulties in its wake. Thus while man extends
his power in every direction, he does not always succeed
in subjecting it to his own welfare. Striving to penetrate
farther into the deeper recesses of his own mind, he frequently
appears more unsure of himself. Gradually and more
precisely he lays bare the laws of society (leges
vitae socialis) [emphasis added] only to be
paralyzed by uncertainty about the direction to give it.
would like to know to which laws it is referring. "Social
life" in the last half of the 20th century evolved
in a more hedonistic and anti-Christian way, thanks to great
progress in science, technology, and thus in the development
of unprecedented material well-being. We must say that all
of these came about following the "progressive discovery"
of the "laws of social life," until then little
known. Must one suppose that they were also little known
to the Church's Magisterium over the course of the centuries?
Since the Council praised development, progress, and "humanity's
achievements" (Lumen Gentium §36; GS §§4,34,39,
etc.), and was only disturbed by whatever
concerned humanity's unity and its achievements in the realm
of "human rights" (GS §4), are these then what
was enshrined and made flesh in the "laws" so
gradually discovered? Are these the laws and values that
would, in and of themselves, constitute the "laws of
social life," all of them conceived in complete opposition
to the social Kingdom of Christ?
the 1950's, there was absolutely no trace of that "hesitation"
evoked above. In the West, the development of "social
life" would demonstrate a clear tendency to orient
itself toward consumer society in all of its forms. Behind
the revolutionary slogans, the masses were also pressured
to participate in materialism's banquet, predicted as being
sumptuous as never before. For those who well remember that
era, the following sentence, from GS §4, rings
totally false: "Marked by a situation so complex...,
anxiety took hold [of many of our contemporaries] and they
questioned themselves regarding the evolution of the world
with a mixture of hope and anxiety." The only real
fear, the only authentic anxiety in the West, was provoked
by Communism due to China's and the Soviet Unions' powerful
military presence, as well as their subversive activity
on the world scale. These two powers utilized national Communist
parties to hold specific countries (for example, Italy)
hostage through permanent blackmail threatening civil war,
prevented only-as most believed-by the military presence
of NATO and the US.
§11 expresses the relativist perspective that claims
to seek to "purify" the world's values in order
to link them to Christ:
People of God believes that it is led by the Lord's Spirit,
who fills the earth. Motivated by this faith, it labors
to decipher authentic signs of God's presence and purpose
in the happenings, needs and desires in which this People
has a part along with other men of our age. For faith
throws a new light on everything, manifests God's design
for man's total vocation, and thus directs the mind to
solutions which are fully human.
Council, first of all, wishes to assess in this light those
values which are most highly prized today, and to relate
them to their divine source. For insofar as they stem from
endowments conferred by God on man, these values are exceedingly
good. Yet they are often wrenched from their rightful function
by the taint in man's heart, and hence stand in need of
"values" are invoked here? It's easy to see they
are indicated in G/S"§39. Here again, the Council wants
us to believe that we shall find them "purified"
in the Kingdom of God, and that they I are "the dignity
of man, fraternal unity, and liberty" which must serve
"universal progress in human and Christian freedom"
(LG §36). But it is necessary to comment:
These laicist values are said to be "exceedingly good."
The purely lay ideal of progress, which includes the idea
of humanity's "education" through "reason
alone" and exalts worldly happiness and earthly well
being, is totally anti-Christian and cannot be "exceedingly
good." Nor can "human dignity," "universal
brotherhood," and "liberty" be "exceedingly
good" since they are the French Revolution's well-known
triad. Therefore, under the banner of the "rights of
man," they signal Deism's and Illuminism-Masonry's
philosophy of rationalism, which inspired the famous Charter
of Rights based on "Immortal Principles."
The same text that asserts that these values are "good,"
although "deflected from the rightful order,"
is the result of an equivocation and relativism that has
spread widely among liberal Catholics as well as among their
modernist and neo-modernist counterparts. It is well known
that these values, as was said about the French Revolution,
"apply Christianity's ideas which, however, await their
application and are not recognized as such before that application"
(Romano Amerio, Iota Unum). Actually, laicist-driven
fraternity, equality and liberty are a distortion
of their Catholic equivalents because they derive
from a vision of the world based solely on man, seen as
being exempt from the stain of original sin, and, so, superior,
exalted, and proud. Consequently, these values are opposed
in themselves to the equivalent Catholic ones, which they
negate and attack in every way. This does not even include
a discussion of the ideal of progress which, in concept
and meaning, is alien to Catholicism. Actually:
Christian freedom is interior and comes from faith
in Christ (Jn. 8:31-32). It has nothing to do with freedom
of the individual, who makes every choice in terms of absolute
self-determination, in the absence of all law and constraint.
This is the basis of contemporary democracy and the "rights
of man." And it is precisely to this laicist
liberty-value that the Council continually referred.
From the Christian point of view, brotherhood
among all men is authentically felt because all men
come from God the Father, Creator. It presupposes belief
in the Blessed Trinity and is nourished by love of neighbor
loved for the love of God, not for man's alleged "dignity."
This means that we are connected, each of us to the other,
because we are tainted by original sin and are all sinners.
Therefore, Catholic brotherhood has nothing in common with
the political type of brotherhood based on the ideology
of egalitarianism, which spread through the world
beginning with the American and French revolutions, and
which is also the foundation of contemporary democracy.
This is why it is legitimate to judge laicist equality as
the reigning political value. Oppositely, Catholic equality
has always been our equality as sinners before God, and
of Christians before the promises of our Lord, thanks to
which they are made potential "co-heirs" of the
Kingdom (Eph. 3:6).
the Catholic meaning, equality, fraternity and liberty are,
above all, religious values, founded on revealed Truth.
The same values, such as the world defines and understands
them are, above all, political, the fruits of the Deism
and rationalism of the Enlightenment, and of a world willfully
hostile to the Catholic Faith. Therefore, the Council's
desire "to purify" these values appears to be
stripped of all meaning. How should they be "purified?"
In order to be in harmony with ageless teaching, the Council
would have had to condemn them because of
their opposition to their authentic Christian meaning. In
reality, there was no "purification." As we have
seen, there was only the bastardization of the Church's
doctrine through its adapting these values of the world.
And that was done as a result of adopting the false idea
of man, his "dignity," his "vocation,"
all of these taken from a doctrinally erroneous idea of
the Incarnation and Redemption. It was an idea of man that,
rather than being "purified" of its laicist origin,
introduced "humanism" born of revolutionary ideas
into the Church's doctrine.
§41 expresses the unjustified evaluation of the "rights
of man" and of struggles on their behalf, already going
on at the time of the Council:
man is on the road to a more thorough development of his
own personality, and to a growing discovery and vindication
of his own rights—Therefore, by virtue of the gospel committed
to her, the Church proclaims the rights of man. She acknowledges
and greatly esteems the dynamic movements of today by
which these rights are everywhere fostered. Yet these
movements must be penetrated by the spirit of the gospel
and protected against any kind of false autonomy. For
we are tempted to think that our personal rights are fully
ensured only when we are exempt from every requirement
of divine law. But this way lies not the maintenance of
the dignity of the human person, but its annihilation.
know that the "rights of man" are not the same
as "natural rights," which the Holy Church has
always conceded. Actually, natural rights come from God,
but the "rights of man" are based on the (non-Catholic)
idea of the self-sufficiency and intrinsic perfection of
Man as man and is commensurate with the rejection of the
dogma of original sin.
nature is governed by two laws: natural law and custom.
Natural law is contained in the Holy
Scriptures and in the Gospel" (Deer. Grat).
The basic precept of natural law or natural rights is
"do good and avoid evil" (Summa Theologica, II-II,
Q;94, Art.2). This is an ethical precept of divine origin,
perfectly understood and integrated by right reason, and
posited as the basis for obeying the Ten Commandments. It
is also the basis of all juridical and natural relationships.
As well, individual rights or law ought always to have for
their object "what is just" (ST, II-II,
Q.57, Art.l); just according to the moral order established
by the eternal and divine law of God, confirmed by revelation
and Church teaching and not configured to man's personal
opinions and desires.
the contrary, the "rights of man" are "affirmed"
by their subject (Man) as universal claims supporting the
acquisition and enjoyment of all that the subject (again,
Man) desires because he believes it conforms to his individual
dignity, seen as being morally and intellectually self-sufficient
and capable, of itself, of determining what is just and
good. These rights even include the right "to happiness,"
sanctioned by the US Declaration of Independence. Because
of these things, the claim to these rights is often manifested
in extreme, subversive and even violent ways because, in
reality, they express the will to power and the drive for
individual and mass domination which particularly characterize
our era's type of barbarism and corruption.
did the Council "impregnate" the movement for
the rights of man with the spirit of the Gospel? Did it
do so by reaffirming the teaching of the Church on law and
natural law and rights? Certainly not. On the contrary,
it sought to give the "rights of man" a Catholic
ideological platform built on the false doctrine,
already cited here, of the dignity of the extremely elevated
and sublime rights of man. These are said to result from
Christ's union with each man by virtue of the Incarnation
and Redemption which has already been produced in every
man, as expressed in GS §41:
only God, who created man to His own image and ransomed
him from sin, provides a fully adequate answer to these
questions. This He does through what He has revealed in
Christ His Son, who became man. Whoever follows after
Christ, the perfect man, becomes himself more of a man.
wasn't it revealed that those who follow our Lord by faith
and works receive the "power to be made the sons of
God" (Jn. 1:12)? Now we are told that, on the contrary,
"whoever follows after Christ...becomes himself more
of a man"! Isn't this an inversion doctrine?
well that the Council did not at all combat the false idea
of the superior dignity of man just because he is man (which
derives from the equally false idea of his perfection and
intrinsic self-sufficiency) . Rather, it reinforced this
false idea by ascribing to every man objective and anonymous
redemption by Christ. Because of this, it is not the movement
for the "rights of man" that is under the influence
of the spirit of the Gospel; rather, it is the spirit of
the Gospel as interpreted by the progressive wing of the
Council that has become imbued with the subversive, revolutionary
spirit of the movement for the "rights of man."
evaluation and appreciation of culture, identified, in short,
by a neo-Illuminist, scientist idea, popular at the time,
which included the exaltation of the "conquest of the
cosmos." Having adopted this outlook, the Council was
led, at the outset, to praise mass culture as evocative
of a "new humanism." This cultural revisionism
is defined in GS §53:
word "culture" in its general sense indicates
all those factors by which man refines and unfolds his
manifold spiritual and bodily qualities. It means his
effort to bring the world itself under his control by
his knowledge and his labor. It includes the fact that
by improving customs and institutions he renders social
life more human both within the family and in the civic
community. Finally, it is a feature of culture that throughout
the course of time man expresses, communicates, and conserves
in his works great spiritual experiences and desires,
so that these may be of advantage to the progress of many,
even of the whole human family.
§54 finds the Council affirming, with satisfaction, the
development of "a more universal form of human culture,
one which will promote and express the unity of the human
race to the degree that it preserves the particular features
of the different cultures." This allegedly provides
us with "evidence of the birth of a new humanism,"
raised to the level of being our currently assigned mission,
namely, that "we build a better world based upon truth
and justice" (GS §55).
can hardly imagine an evaluation more erroneous or more
far removed from the reality contained therein: to see "mass
culture" as the bearer of a new humanism, whose characteristic
mark was to consign our customs to a return of barbarism
that destroyed all true culture, and bring us to the sad
domination of whatever is "politically correct"
at any given moment.
behold the bad shepherding that resulted. For shouldn't
Catholics be opposed to this laicist culture (envisioned,
it must be said, according to its worst features), already
completely developed after the Council? What about Catholics'
supernaturally based world vision? In no way did the Council
uphold the Catholic vision. In fact, GS §56 states
the actual mission:
culture must evolve today in such a way that it can develop
the whole human person harmoniously and at the same time
assist men in those duties which all men, especially Christians,
are called to fulfill in the fraternal unity of the one
exists for the "person," for "man's dignity,"
and not for God's glory. "Culture" is anthropocentric.
And Catholics ought to open themselves to this culture,
cooperate with it. They have the "the obligation to
work with all men for the construction of a more human world"
(GS §57). They ought to fight for a "human culture
favorable to personal dignity and free from any discrimination
on the grounds of race, sex, nation, of religion, or social
condition" (GS §60}. This is the type of culture
programmed by the UN and its institutions, and whose characteristics
necessarily mandate the disappearance of the entire idea
of Catholic culture.
to the Council, there has to be the attempt to construct
"a human person in his totality," who must be
educated by a "universal culture." Consequently,
all collective cultural activity must be impregnated
with "the Christian and human spirit" (GS
§61). This is expressed throughout the Council's documents:
as we have seen, LG §36 affirms that the lay faithful
ought to cooperate "in universal progress in human
and Christian freedom." What is human is placed on
the same level as what is Christian, and even above it,
because collaboration in the dialogue with the world-now
the main mission-has its basis in human values, to which
Catholic values must adapt themselves. The decree on the
apostolate of the laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem §27)
verifies that cooperation with non-Catholics is proclaimed
by "common human values," which ought, therefore,
to unite men beyond religions. Thus, it also wants
to affirm the religion of humanity.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)
2003 Volume XXVI, Number 11