A fascinating paragraph from the book Iota Unum, written by the Italian layman Romano Amerio and much admired by Archbishop Lefebvre, has already been quoted in these “Comments.” In the book Amerio takes apart in masterly fashion all the doctrinal errors of Vatican II. In section #319 he writes: (1) If the present crisis is tending to overthrow the nature of the Church, and if (2) this tendency is internal to the Church rather than the result of an external assault as it has been on other occasions, then (3) we are headed for a formless darkness that will make analysis and forecast impossible, and (4) in the face of which there will be no alternative but to keep silence (English edition, p.713; Italian edition, p. 594).
This is strong meat, if one thinks about it. Amerio is saying we are on the brink of chaos, because of course (1) the present crisis is both tending to overthrow the nature of the Church and (2) it is internal to the Church, when the Pope himself is making statements like, “There is no Catholic God,” and “Homosexuals need to be evaluated,” statements whose deliberate ambiguity opens the door wide to the overthrow of all Catholic dogma and morals. But why should (3) Catholic analysis and forecast become impossible, and (4) how can there be nothing more to say? How can Amerio draw such a dark conclusion?
Because Our Lord says, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness” (Jn.VIII, 12), which strongly suggests that the mass of the world’s population that does not now follow him is already in darkness. He also says to those that do follow him, “You are the light of the world” (Mt.V, 14), which strongly suggests that if convinced Catholics are fewer by the day, then the darkness in Church and world is growing darker by the day. Alright, one might say, but darkness is only a metaphor. Why should Catholic analysis and forecast become impossible?
(3) Because more and more people today are unable to think. Because ever since Our Lord with his Incarnation brought supernatural grace to the rescue of wounded and struggling nature, that nature has no longer been able to stand upright without that grace. So when men turn their backs on Jesus Christ and God, they are undermining their own nature, and they repudiate that common sense with which they are endowed by nature to think, as to the content of their thinking in accordance with reality, and as to its procedure in accordance with logic. They want freedom from reality and logic in order to defy God, by remaking the world in accordance with their fantasy.
It follows that if Jesus Christ came to the rescue of mankind and of human nature through establishing his Catholic Church, and if at Vatican II the Gentiles too finally repudiated that Church, then the process of men tearing themselves and their nature and their thinking to pieces took at the Council such a huge step forward that it is virtually irreversible. Here is how Amerio can see, implicit in Vatican II, a “formless darkness” of which the belligerent chaos of opinions proudly today prancing on the Internet might serve as an example and a foretaste.
But (4) why not cry out in that darkness? Why should there be “no alternative but to keep silence”? Because in a chaotic din the truth simply cannot be heard, except, one might add, by a few souls whom God has preordained to hear it (Acts XIII, 48). These souls are chosen by God, not by men, and they can come from the most surprising backgrounds. They do not like “formless darkness,” and Our Lord leads them to the Father (Jn.XIV, 6). They will be an important help for the Church and a hope of the world.