Editor’s note: Below follows the full text of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s latest essay, “DE HOC MUNDO: The ‘secularization’ of authority as a premise for religious freedom and ecumenical dialogue theorized by Vatican II.”
“Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo.” (My kingdom is not of this world) – Jn. 18:36
(LifeSiteNews) — The wound inflicted by the Second Vatican Council on the ecclesial body and – consequently – on the entire social body is anything but healed after sixty years, and indeed continues to become gangrenous with very serious damage before the eyes of all.
The enthusiastic and self-congratulatory tones with which the Bergoglian Sanhedrin praises the Council cannot cancel the ruin it has brought to the Church and to souls.
In my previous essay on the self-referentiality of the “conciliar church,” I highlighted some crucial aspects of this identity crisis, to which an element that I consider fundamental in understanding the subversive nature of the Council has recently been added. I am referring to the letter that Benedict XVI sent to the rector of the Franciscan University of Steubenville on October 7.
I have wanted to address this theme in greater depth: examining Ratzinger’s thesis is indispensable in order to identify the ideological premises and the methods of practical fulfillment of the revolution inaugurated by Vatican II on the doctrinal, moral, liturgical, and disciplinary fronts within the Catholic Church.
The permanent revolution
I have used the expression “revolution inaugurated by Vatican II” because it now seems clear to me that the intolerable excesses that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has indulged in for almost ten years are simply the coherent application in the ecclesial sphere of the principle of “permanent revolution” theorized in the social sphere by Marx, Engels, and Trotsky. The idea of “permanent revolution” arises from the observation of the ideologues of Bolshevism that the proletariat was not so enthusiastic about communist methods and that, if they wanted to spread class struggle throughout the world, it was necessary to force it by means of authority and make it irreversible: because only in the revolution does the χάος (chaos) occur that drives the subversive action against the social order.
A similar way of proceeding has been adopted by the Bergoglian church: since the conciliar revolution has not been welcomed with enthusiasm by the “Catholic proletariat,” the Central Committee of Santa Marta resorts to what Lenin called the “transcription of the revolution,” extending the mentality of Vatican II also into those doctrinal areas which initially none of its proponents would have dared to touch.
This is why the Synod on Synodality is necessary, that is, the establishment of a sort of “permanent Council,” or rather a “permanent aggiornamento” which makes itself the promoter of supposed instances of the base – the ecclesial version of the proletariat – such as the female diaconate and the “radical inclusion” of couples who are divorced and remarried, cohabiting couples, polygamists, and homosexual couples with adopted children who adhere to the LGBT movement.
It will be noted that these requests, which are all completely inadmissible from a doctrinal and moral point of view that is faithful to the Magisterium, do not constitute a faithful and spontaneous picture of what the clergy and faithful are demanding from the Supreme Authority of the Church, but rather the fraudulent fiction of Bergoglian propaganda, along the lines of the manipulations that have already been experienced earlier at the Synod on the Family that gave birth to the heretical monstrum called Amoris Lætitia.
And also in this case, reality is distorted by the revolution in order to adapt it by force to its own dystopian thought, with the presumptuous idea of having a solution that is better than that which the two-thousand-year-old wisdom of the Church or the will of its Founder intended to arrange. We are dealing with mass manipulation applied in the ecclesial field, using the techniques of the worst totalitarian regimes that today are adopted both by the globalist elite with the pandemic farce and the ecological transition, and also by the Bergoglian sect that is an ally and supporter of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Agenda 2030.
The Ratzingerian synthesis of the people of God and the Mystical Body
Benedict XVI’s letter of October 7, 2022, lays out what he had already stated in his speech to the German Parliament on September 22, 2011. His first formulation of his criticism of medieval Augustinianism,1 however, occurred in his dissertation “People and House of God in Augustine’s Doctrine of the Church,” presented in Paris long ago, on the occasion of the 1954 Augustinian Congress.
Recalling an idea developed by the Harnack school, Ratzinger stated:
The two Civitates did not mean any corporate bodies, but rather the representation of the two basic forces of belief and unbelief in history… The Civitas Dei is not simply identical with the institution of the Church. In this respect, the medieval Augustine was indeed a fatal error, which today, fortunately, has been finally overcome.
The theme addressed by the dissertation and briefly touched on by the letter is the ecclesiological doctrine of the Mystical Body, which, according to the author, ended with Pius XII’s Encyclical Mystici Corporis. In the last years of the 1950s, as Pius XII was ill, there was a resurgence of the rerum novarum cupiditas2 of the progressive theologians, for whom the supernatural dimension of the Church was too spiritual and therefore had to be replaced with the more seductive Augustinian phrase of “people of God,” easily interpretable both in an ecumenical key for its inclusion of the Jewish people of the Old Law and also in a democratic key for possible sociological and political developments. Obviously, this ideological definition reveals its modernist background perfectly coherent with the thought of Harnack and his pupil.
It will not escape notice that this theme of the 25-year-old Ratzinger would also be addressed by the Council, and therefore there is no surprise in the pride with which the Pope Emeritus refers precisely to the themes that were decisive in his theological formation and in his ecclesiastical career and which are now put into practice by his successor.
The philosophical approach of Joseph Ratzinger is essentially Hegelian, and therefore it is imbued with “absolute idealism,”3 following the scheme of “thesis-antithesis-thesis.” In this case, between the Catholic thesis of the Mystical Body and the progressivist antithesis of the people of God, Vatican II and the post-council supposedly ended by accepting the exact synthesis that he had theorized in his 1954 dissertation: “the Church is the people of God existing as body of Christ,” in which Christ gives himself to the believer as Body and transforms him into his own Body.
A bold thesis, on closer inspection, that risks confusing the substantial difference between the Body of Christ truly present in His entirety in the Eucharistic species and the Body of Christ realized mystically by the union of the living members of the Church with her divine Head. This confusion would have then permitted not a few progressive or completely heretical theologians to wink at Protestants thanks to the imprecise formulation of “Body of Christ.” It would equally have given Francis the opportunity to appropriate the daring pauper-eucharistic metaphors of Raniero Cantalamessa, who defines the poor as the “true Body of Christ,” whose “real presence” is supposedly realized among those who by welcoming them welcome Him.
***MAJOR UPDATE, November 10, 2022*** LifeSiteNews reported the bombshell statement issued by Archbishop Viganò, declaring that members of the “Bergoglian church” are no longer in union with the Church of Christ.
According to Archbishop Viganò:
the visible church, to which the world gives the name of Catholic Church and of which it considers Bergoglio as Pope, is no longer Church...
This statement was long overdue, and Archbishop Viganò is finally sounding the alarm — Pope Francis is leading the Church into something radically different than the Church established by Christ. Pope Francis cannot continue betraying the faithful by abdicating his duty as Universal Shepherd.
The time to redouble our efforts and fervently request that Pope Francis repent and be reconciled with the Church is NOW.
SIGN and SHARE. Defend the Church and demand that Pope Francis faithfully uphold the authentic Catholic faith!
Bishops from across the world have raised concern over Pope Francis' unfaithfulness to the 2,000+ years of Catholic teaching, and the recent statement by Archbishop Viganò is truly the breaking point into a new era for faithful Catholics.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM LIFESITENEWS AND SIGN THIS PETITION TO DEFEND THE CHURCH NOW.
Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr. James Altman, and two dozen more faithful Catholic priests & scholars are publicly calling out Pope Francis for his outrageous, dangerous, and heretical teaching concerning reception of Holy Communion.
Pope Francis stated that "faith" is the only requirement for those who wish to receive Holy Communion in his June 29 Apostolic Letter on the liturgy, Desiderio desideravi.
This statement is dangerous because:
- The Council of Trent explicitly anathematized those who make this claim calling it 'heresy'
- Pope Francis omitted the essential step of repentance for sin to worthily receive the Eucharist.
- Pope Francis is thereby allowing the faithful to eat and drink condemnation on themselves, should they receive Holy Communion unworthily
- Pope Francis is supporting moral relativism, eradicating the clear distinction between good and evil
- Pope Francis is eradicating the need for the Sacrament of Confession
- Pope Francis is damaging the teaching office of the Church by sowing doubt and division among faithful Catholics
But there is a way to stop Pope Francis' modernist attack and defend the true Catholic teaching on Holy Communion.
Catholics everywhere must renounce Pope Francis' heresy and uphold the truth: only Baptized Catholics in the state of grace, and therefore free of mortal sin, can receive Holy Communion*.
For those in mortal sin, repentance and absolution must first be sought in the Sacrament of Confession before receiving the Eucharist*.
Pope Francis' statement would mislead many souls, which is why we need your help today to stand with Bishop Strickland, Fr. Altman, Bishop Schneider, and more.
TELL POPE FRANCIS: HOLY COMMUNION CAN ONLY BE RECEIVED IN THE STATE OF GRACE!
The growing list of faithful Catholics who are standing for the truth and bravely resisting Pope Francis' attempt to dilute the Church's moral authority is only growing. This is great news, but the news can't simply stop with you.
You must join the growing list of supporters to but a STOP to Pope Francis' heresy.
WATCH: LifeSiteNews' co-CEO and Editor-in-Chief, John-Henry Westen, fully breaks down the growing list of faithful Catholics choosing to resist Pope Francis' attack on the faith.
Stand with these faithful Catholics: Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, Bishop André Gracida, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop Robert Mutsaerts, Father Gerald E. Murray, Father James Altman, Father John Lovell, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. John Lamont, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Professor Anna Silvas, Dr. Anthony Esolen, Professor John Rist, Professor Paolo Pasqualucci, Julia Meloni, George Neumayr, and LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen.
*However, if a Catholic is unable to attend Confession but has a grave reason for receiving the Eucharist (such as a priest who may be required to celebrate Mass at a given time but who is unable to go to Confession), such a person must be confident to the best of his ability that he have perfect contrition for any mortal sins that he may have committed before receiving Holy Communion in an exceptional situation.
Civitas Dei and civitas diaboli
The problem that arises is complex and developed: it consists of two aspects, one ad intra, relative to what the “conciliar church” is and wants to be; the other ad extra, relative to its role in the world and relations with other religions.
The ad intra aspect touches the nature of the institution, seeking to deconstruct it in a democratic and synodal key under the false pretext of a rediscovered “wider spiritual dimension” to the detriment of dogma; the ad extra aspect implies an “ecumenical” approach to the world, dialogue with sects and false religions, and the renunciation of the evangelization of peoples, replacing it with an ecological and philanthropic message that has neither dogmas nor morality.
The error of the “medieval Augustine,” according to Benedict XVI, supposedly consisted in having wanted to identify the Civitas Dei with the visible Church, while it is evident that that is valid as a model for the Christianitas: that is, the transnational society in which the laws and regulations achieve the Psalmist’s hopes: “Beatus populus, cuius Dominus Deus eius” (Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord – Ps. 143:15).
Doctrine teaches us that precisely because of her earthly dimension, the Church Militant is at the same time holy like the heavenly Jerusalem and sinful in her members, infallible in her Magisterium and fallible in her ministers. Nor is it true that St. Augustine or his medieval commentators pointed to the State as the civitas diaboli; on the contrary, they recognized its providential role in the economy of salvation and the need for civil authority to conform not only to the natural law but also to the Catholic Magisterium.
If there is a civitas diaboli recognizable by its ontological evil, it must be identified in the New World Order and in all those equally transnational organizations that work for the establishment of the globalist synarchy. The Bergoglian sect is no exception, which not by chance is an ally and supporter of these subversive criminals.
The Ratzingerian critique of medieval Augustinianism
Another very serious theological error that adulterates the true nature of the Church lies in the essentially secularist foundations of conciliar ecclesiology, which seeks to adapt the objective reality to its own ideological scheme that is in continual mutation.
I use the term “secularist” (laicista) because it seems clear to me that this vision is totally devoid of a supernatural gaze: that all-encompassing gaze that knows how to see earthly realities sub specie æternitatis (under the form of eternity) not for mere intellectual speculation but because it is animated by the theological virtues. In the nonsense of these intellectuals there emerges a disconsolate lack of passion, of guts, of blood: it is all theoretical, all established in order to aseptically frustrate (Christ’s) redemption and cancel the ordo christianus (Christian order), appropriating the Orwellian methods of cancel culture.
This error, insinuated in the texts of Vatican II and in particular in Dignitatis Humanæ concerning religious freedom and in Nostra Aetate concerning the relation of the Church with non-Christian religions and Judaism, places the “conciliar church” in deliberate discontinuity with the Catholic Church, “for the first time,” according to the words of Benedict XVI. He states:
It addressed the freedom to choose and to practice religion, as well as the freedom to change it, as fundamental rights of the liberty of man. Precisely by virtue of its most profound reasons, such a conception could not be extraneous to the Christian faith, which had entered the world with the claim that the State could not decide on the truth and could not demand any type of worship. The Christian faith claimed freedom for religious conviction and for its practice in worship, without thereby violating the right of the State in its own order: Christians prayed for the emperor but did not worship him. From this point of view, it can be said that Christianity, with its birth, brought the world the principle of freedom of religion.4
The misunderstanding is based on the double meaning that is attributed to the term “freedom of religion.” In the Catholic sense it indicates the freedom of the baptized person to publicly profess the true Faith without obstacles on the part of the state. In the modernist sense it refers to the abstract liberty of anyone with a belief to have the same right and the same liberty recognized on the part of the state.
Another misunderstanding arises when the state that recognizes particular rights and privileges for the Church is considered indifferently in comparison with the state that professes a false religion or declares itself “secular” and forbids the profession of the true religion or equates it with any other cult. The Church has always sought, over the centuries, to prudently reconcile her rights with the diverse situations of the nations in which Catholicism was not tolerated or was persecuted: provoking anti-Catholic rulers to persecute their Catholic subjects would be a reckless or imprudent act. Nevertheless, the fact that the Church can ask for tolerance for herself and for her faithful in situations of numerical minority does not imply that equal rights apply to other situations in which the Church sees her institutional role recognized by a state that officially professes to be Catholic.
And yet, in the name of the “freedom of religion” theorized by Vatican II, it was the hierarchy itself that asked nations like Spain or Italy to renounce recognizing it as the state religion, modifying the Concordats and abrogating the privileges that centuries of Catholicism had legally recognized. From this point of view, it is therefore improper to affirm that “Christianity, with its birth, brought to the world the principle of freedom of religion,” indeed, because of its diversity it had face the persecution and martyrdom of its own faithful. The first Christians did not ask to have the Most Holy Trinity admitted to the Pantheon, but rather to be left free to practice their own monotheism that so amazed the Romans. And they claimed this “freedom of religion” for themselves, certainly not for the pagans, whom they sought (successfully) to convert to the true Faith.
It seems that it is being forgotten that the Church is the holder of rights that derive directly from God, and that it is up to the state to recognize them and protect them, not merely as a quantitative matter, but because the Catholic religion is objectively true and socially indispensable to the pursuit of the common good. In this regard, it is worth quoting Leo XIII:
If there is a remedy for the evils of the world, this can happen in no other way than a return to Christian life and customs. This is a solemn principle, that in order to reform a society in decadence, it is necessary to bring it back to the principles that have given it being, the perfection of every society is placed in the effort to reach its purpose: in such a way that the generating principle of the motions and social actions may be the same that generated the association. Therefore to deviate from the primitive purpose is corruption; returning to it is salvation.5
The fact that the state may deny the recognition of these rights is accidental, and the Church can also decide not to impose herself; but it is not up to her to claim rights for those who spread error, with the sole purpose of ingratiating herself with them or giving proof of an ecumenical zeal that is totally extraneous to her mission.
The falsification of reality to make a false idea seem true
On closer inspection, traditional thought is much more attentive to the role of persons who hold institutional positions – popes, kings, prelates and rulers, faithful and subjects – than to the abstract concept of the institution: because the Lord died to save our souls, not legal entities; and because the Church has the task of converting all peoples, including the rulers of nations, in such a way that even the role they play may be enlivened by grace and may contribute to the greater good of the people they govern.
This mythical “medieval Augustine” did not commit any error: neither in pointing out the supernatural paradigm to which the earthly authorities – both spiritual and temporal – must conform, nor in theorizing the subordination of civil power to religious power, with both together subject to the power of God.
The fatal error was committed rather on the strongly ideologized front of ecclesiastical neo-modernism and political progressivism, whose followers seek, without any foundation, to attribute to “political Augustiniansm” a doctrinal formulation that according to them does not correspond to the message of the first centuries. St. Augustine never claimed that the authority of the state is in some way detached from true religion. Instead, the Bishop of Hippo declared:
We say that [Christian emperors] are happy if they rule justly; if they are not lifted up amid the praises of those who pay them sublime honors, and the obsequiousness of those who salute them with an excessive humility, but remember that they are men; if they make their power the handmaid of His majesty by using it for the greatest possible extension of His worship; if they fear, love, and honor God; if more than their own they love that kingdom in which they are not afraid to have rivals; if they are slow to punish and ready to pardon; if they apply punishment only as necessary to govern and defend the state and not to gratify their own enmity; if they grant pardon, not that the violation of the law iniquity may go unpunished but with the hope that the transgressor may amend his ways; if they compensate the severe decisions that they are often constrained to make with the mildness of compassion and with munificence; if their luxury is as much restrained as it might have been uncontrolled; if they prefer to govern depraved passions rather than many nations, and if they conduct themselves this way not out of longing for a futile glory but for love of eternal felicity; if they do not neglect to offer to the true God the sacrifice of humility, clemency and prayer for their own sins. We say that Christian emperors endowed with such qualities that they are happy in the present age through hope, and in the age that follows they will be happy in the enjoyment of the reality itself, when the object of our waiting will have come true.6
In fact, it is not possible that a society composed of individual persons who each have the moral duty to recognize Divine Revelation and obey the Commandments of God and the authority of the Church may evade the same duty. Just as it is not true that the presence of other religions, numerically relevant regardless of the aberrations of doctrine that they teach, can legitimize an attitude of resigned acknowledgment of the marginalization of the one true religion, above all when this loss of consent and of support from the state and society is mainly due to the abdication of the Catholic hierarchy on the basis of conciliar deviations.
The sacrality of authority against totalitarian drifts
The formulation of St. Augustine – which is not exhausted in the “De Civitate Dei” but finds ample orthodox clarification in the entire corpus of his writings – should be read in coherence with Sacred Scripture and the Catholic Magisterium, which moreover are heirs of the vicarious vision of civil authority that belonged to the people of Israel itself, whose kings were representatives of the authority of God, as also were the Christian monarchs, beginning with Byzantium.
The sacrality of civil authority, inherited from Greco-Roman civilization, was so deeply rooted in the Christian world that it even assumed ceremonial connotations proper to Holy Orders: we may think of the anointing of the monarch with Chrism, or the liturgical vestments of the eastern emperor and the czars of Russia, the coronation ritual of the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the prelate-like ceremonies of the doge of Venice. But also in the Comuni of Italy, apparently presented as more “secular” with respect to the monarchies, the concept of the well-ordered res publica was developed in the Middle Ages in coherence with the Faith and exemplified by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the frescoes of the “Allegory of Good Government” in the Palazzo Publico of Siena.
Artificially separating the harmony and hierarchical complementarity between spiritual authority and temporal authority was an unfortunate operation that created the premise, whenever it was realized, for either tyranny or anarchy. The reason is all too obvious: Christ is king of both the Church and of nations, because “all authority comes from God” (Rom. 13:1). Denying that rulers have the duty to submit to the Lordship of Christ is a very serious error, because without the moral law the state can impose its own will, regardless of the will of God, and therefore subverting the divine κόσμος (order) of the Civitas Dei in order to replace it with arbitrary free will and the infernal χάος (chaos) of the civitas diaboli.
And here we understand how both the one and the other civitas constitute a model to strive for and not an actuated reality, without either abstruse “spiritualizations” or coarse “realisms.” We also understand how behind these merely intellectual speculations lies the idealist approach of a Hegelian matrix, which arises from the desire to create a fictitious reality to be opposed to the reality willed by God, indeed to impose a Promethean alternative to the Passion of the Savior, which scandalizes precisely because of the redeeming cross and the fact that, in the economy of redemption, the cross is a royal throne: regnavit a ligno Deus (God reigned from the tree).
To believe that the world is able to not be Christian and can do without God by surviving on its own is a hellish and blasphemous chimera.
The secularization of ecclesiastical authority
On the other hand, those who wanted to give a theological patina to the secular nature of the State – as a necessary consequence of the “freedom of religion” that was theorized for individuals – necessarily had to deny the doctrinal premises of Scripture, the Fathers, and the Magisterium, appealing to an alleged corruption of the true Christian message in the work of the medieval thinkers. As can be seen, doctrinal deviation is always based on lies, historical falsification, and the ignorance of the interlocutors on whom they want to impose their errors.
The consequences are devastating and visible for all to see: if a societas perfecta is not required to recognize the Lord as its sovereign, this must necessarily also apply to the earthly Church, whose hierarchy can therefore decide to exercise its authority simply for the purpose of maintaining power and not within the well-defined boundaries established by Her divine Founder.
It is no coincidence that the post-conciliar period did everything to cancel the doctrine of the Kingship of Christ, tampering with the liturgical texts of the feast instituted by Pius XI in 1925 with the Encyclical Quas Primas.
Ratzinger speaks of “my ecclesiology,” affirming that the Church can neither call herself Civitas Dei nor can she presume to consider still current the doctrine that Pius XII defined in his 1943 Encyclical Mystici Corporis. The Pope Emeritus writes: “But the complete spiritualization of the concept of the Church, for its part, misses the realism of faith and its institutions in the world. Thus, in Vatican II the question of the Church in the world finally became the real central problem.” So central as to modify Catholic doctrine in order to appear à la page, dialoguing, inclusive, philanthropic. But it was precisely the loss of its role as Domina gentium (Lady, or mistress, of the gentiles) which led the “conciliar church” to a renounced, marginal position of social irrelevance: it is the pretium sanguinis (blood price) with which it stained itself, betraying the mandate of Christ and allowing itself to be polluted by the ideas of the world. And if the Church up until Pius XII had the Civitas Dei as a model and considered herself the Mystical Body of Christ, despite the weakness of her members, it appears that in recent decades the model which has inspired the proponents of Vatican II is rather that of the civitas diaboli, judging by the support that the Holy See offers to globalist ideology, to the neo-Malthusian delusions of the “green economy,” to transhumanism, and to the entire gender and LGBT repertoire.
30 October 2022
Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Regis
 The term medieval Augustinianism means the development of Augustinian thought, in particular relative to the political and social implications of the doctrine about the Civitas Dei and the civitas diaboli, which according to the innovators distorted the original thought of Saint Augustine, exasperating for example the theocratic vision of power, both civil as well as ecclesiastical. It goes without saying that this criticism is specious and is based on real historical falsifications: the idea that all power originated from God was already very clear to the Bishop of Hippo and its explanation in medieval political Augustinianism is perfectly coherent with Tradition.
 Sallust, Bellum Catilinæ, 48 Rerum novarum cupiditas Catilinæ animum incendebat. Catiline burned with desire for a revolution [literally: with the desire for novelty].
 Hegelian idealism marks the abandonment of Aristotelian logic (also called the logic of non-contradiction), in favor of a new so-called substantial logic. Being is no longer statically opposed to non-being, but is made to coincide with the latter by passing into becoming. Hegelian idealism, which resolves all the contradictions of reality in absolute Reason, will have an immanentistic outcome, recognizing in itself, and no longer in a transcendent principle, the goal and ultimate aim of Philosophy.
 Joseph Ratzinger, Opera omnia, volume VII/1, Gli insegnamenti del Concilio Vaticano II, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2016, Prefazione (Castel Gandolfo, 2 Agosto 2012).
 Encyclical Letter Rerum Novarum, 27 (15 May 1891).
 De Civitate Dei, V, 24.