At the period of Jesus’ ministry, Pilate was the Roman prefect to Judaea in Israel. The proceedings of the trial of Jesus Christ have been the subject of attention for historians and exegetes alike; in particular, the Messiah’s treatment by the Romans. Flagellation, was in Roman criminal processes, a particularly severe prelude to crucifixion. As recorded in the Gospel of St. John, it was actually an attempt by Pontius Pilate to spare the life of the Christ. After having been flogged, Pilate presents Christ to the Jews: “Ecce Homo”.
The process of apostasy that is at the origin of the contemporary civilization, concerned with the temporal edification of the earthly City, of the City of Man, is reaching its finality. On September 8th 1907, Pope St. Pius X released the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis that was determinant in condemning the error of modernism, which the Pastor termed “the synthesis of all heresies” (Paragraph 39). The novelty of modernism is the assault on Catholic dogma itself, resulting in firstly, the denial of the supernatural within the historical process – this itself being a materialist pose inherited from Marxist philosophical theory – since Catholicism is a Christian historical Revelation, and the more marked stance that dogma, and furthermore, truth, can be subject to evolution – a position incarnate in the naturalist claims of Darwinian evolution. Certainly, and evidently, for that fact, Pope St. Pius X vehemently opposed modernism and actually operated to cleanse Roman Catholicism of its partisans.
The chief developments during the modern period, have occurred in rebellion to the authority of Roman Catholicism, and of Christianity in general. The modern period, is an epoch of apostasy that progressively denies truth, to the point of obscuring Truth itself – the truths of the natural world, the truths of religion, the truths of man, the truths of the objective moral order. Modernism, in truth, has no finality, safe, the complete dissolution of truth – incarnate in the social reality of Catholic Christianity – in favor of paradigms discovered through scientifically elaborated and tested systems of knowledge.
In the current climate, to state that the Church has enemies is worthy of great suspicion, and at the same time, of ridiculed indifference. In reality, the Catholic Church’s primary antagonists are those powers of the world which act on man’s spiritual will in order to deviate him from his finality, his destiny in the beatitude of Heaven in company of the Godhead, the Virgin Mary, the Angels, and the Saints. In Humanum Genus released on April 20th 1884, Pope Leo XIII condemns Free Masonry as the primary instigator of the spread of naturalism, popular sovereignty, and the separation of church and state; an act in the lineage of papal interventions that affirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition of Liberal Democracy and Socialism.
“Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves”
The denial of authority that is part of the modernist stance, is based on rationalism, an inordinate pride that prevents human reason from submitting to legitimate Divine authority, and actually elevates human reason above Divine Reason as the sole criterion of truth, and the exclusive source of knowledge. At the same time, naturalism deprives legitimate authority from its Divine origin and its supernatural character, it is a spirit of emancipation that substitutes the dignity of all human persons for their apparent political equality resulting, in the end, in a political order of uniformity and sameness which eliminates all distinctions and all differences by sacrificing the whole, that is, the political society, for the part, that is, the individual person. In a naturalist, or perhaps, secular setting, progress is measured in terms of economic production, and in a democratic government, the resources of technical achievement are put at the service of impersonal forces that ineluctably lead towards a mutated form of totalitarian Communism. To put the edification of the City of Man as the central hope of man, and the chief concern of social activity, is to confer upon it an absolute character particularly in an environment lacking the presence of the element of an historical, social, and cultural faith that would evidence its relativity in favor of more perennial spiritual reality; – in this case, Christianity – soon, secular progress and liberal idealism become the faith that motivate human life and man, is willing to sacrifice resources in terms of material and technical achievement, and human blood, in order to realize the ideals of temporal civilization: the eradication of disease, the elimination of poverty and injustice, the education of man and the abolition of ignorance, the achievement of peace and of concordance within nations, and the realization of harmony with the physical world of nature.
The edification of the earthly City as it presently stands, is itself animated with the ideals, transposed to the natural domain and earthly realm, of the heavenly City, the Kingdom of God. It can be conceived sufficiently, the final form of Liberal Democracy as it orients towards Communist totalitarian government, a form in which men co-exist in relative peace through the abolition of truth, inequality, or rather, difference, and conscience.
“The New Age which is dawning will be peopled by perfect, androgynous beings who are totally in command of the cosmic laws of nature.” (“Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life”)
The Catholic Church, the City of God and the promise of the Kingdom of God on the Earth, is the only obstacle in this grand programme.
“Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self.” (“The City of God”, Chapter 28, St. Augustine)
In truth, it is animated by a different law that is Other from the earthly City, from the world: agape love. This law has for its principle supernatural and divine Grace, its origin God, its cause the God-Man, and its final end God Himself.
The Second Vatican Council operated a definite change in the orientation of Roman Catholicism, a reality that put into contradiction, the actions of the papacy and of the Magisterium in previous centuries. The changes in the liturgy are well documented, but more importantly, the more notable developments are the novel openness to the spiritus mundi that has been its character and particularly, the emergent belief that: the Church must accord with the times – a reality specially evident in the theological acceptance of Aggiornamento, which favored an updating of the Church’s theological language in accordance with the contemporary world, or modern world – in order to continue the performance of the necessary work of evangelization in order to operate the further Redemption of the human species and the assimilation of renewed regenerate humanity into the Mystical Vine, the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Catholic Church. In essence, the Second Vatican Council was a “modernist” council that was in many respects, conceived as revolutionary, that is, as a pastoral and, perhaps, a dogmatic departure from the millennial Tradition of the Catholic Church of Rome, led by the successor of Peter in unity with the bishops. The innovations as a result of the Council such as the New Order of the Mass with its liberties evidenced in the new posture of the priest, communion on the hand and dispensed by the laity, and the increased role of women at the altar; the novel theological emphasis apart from the Thomistic Scholastic synthesis and the abandonment of Traditional Catholic truths such as its Being the Church of God; the movement towards ecumenism that reduces the importance of religious truth, appears to affirms the equality and the goodness of all religions, and fosters religious indifference; the reconciliation with the spiritus mundi, the secular world, the continued exaltation of the secular world as the true partisans of the Light as certain in the celebration of the partisans and of the apostates of error of the past all point towards the admission of a tragic, manifest, but apparent tangential direction: the realization of religious syncretism in the officious recognition of Truth in all religions and in their desired unification in order to realize peace between divergent cultures, the abolition of dogma in the loosening of the capital truths of faith and of morals and the relaxation of spiritual and pastoral discipline, and the abolition of the Perpetual Sacrifice as Faith, resulting from the preceding conditions, dies, Hope becomes furthermore identified with temporal progress, and Charity is cooled, emptied from its substance, which is agape, or self-denying love.
It appears that such a direction is not the Catholic Church’s finality, and yet, the evidence of history reveals that the Head of the Church itself, subject to uncertainty and moral fallibility, can too, be exposed and contaminated to the spiritus mundi. Those enemies, the spiritual powers, the Free-Masons and their allies, the Communists, have labored to move the Church from its true position, which is the obedience of faith to the deposit of Faith expounded by the Magisterium in charity, by transposing its spiritual ideals and historical eschatological expectations to their temporal vision and their materialist understanding of the historical process.
“Ecce Homo”. The modernist notion of progress and of evolution has penetrated the human and the hierarchical elements of the Catholic Church. Again, Christ is being revealed before his accusers: battered, bruised, bloodied, but silent. Really, this silence, appears to be the final end of the faithful Church before the powers of its enemies. As Truth is progressively deprived of its substance in the compromises of the Magisterium with its hidden masters, only the silent testimony of the faithful Church is to be the appropriate answer.
The Church no longer speaks. It simply suffers.