By Eleison Comments in Eleison Comments on May 9, 2009
Ever since, with the Second Vatican Council, Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth substantially parted company, the Catholics who clung to Authority have had problems with the Truth, and the Catholics who clung to Truth have had problems with Catholic Authority. What could be more logical? Catholics on both sides long for a reunion. Especially amongst decent Conciliar Catholics, this takes the concrete form of the ardent wish that Pope Benedict XVI and the Society of St. Pius X come to an understanding.
Well and good. But there is a problem. Vatican II contradicts Catholic Truth, outside of which Catholic Authority dissolves, is now dissolving, because its Divine Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn. XIV,6). For proof of the contradiction, read for instance Michael Davies’ The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty, where he shows that while the Catholic Church has always taught that no man has a true right not to be prevented from propagating error, Vatican II (Dignitatis Humanae) taught that every man has a true right not to be prevented from propagating error (save public order – see Davies’ Chapter XXII in particular). The contradiction is direct.
At first sight it may seem unimportant, because what does it matter if a few crazy people more or a few crazy people less spout nonsense in public? But in fact the difference between the right and the non-right to propagate error is all the difference between Hollywood’s candy-on-a-leash deity, and the Lord God of Hosts, whose thunder and lightning struck terror into the hearts of the Israelites even miles distant from his flaming Mount Sinai (Exodus XX, 18–21).
For indeed all human action follows on some thought. But thought is uttered between men, or socialized, mainly with words. Thus the being and action of any human society hangs on exchanges of words. Therefore either truth and error in those exchanges are of no importance to the existence of any society or the direction it is taking, or any society must control public speech in its midst, at least sufficiently to check significant transmission of significant error.
Now the only limit set by Vatican II to public discourse is that it should not disturb “public order.” So for Vatican II, any heresy or blasphemy may be uttered in public so long as the police do not have to be called in, and any deity that may exist must bow down before this “freedom and dignity of the human person”! On the contrary the Lord God of Sinai, the Holy Trinity whose Second Person is Jesus Christ, tells us we will answer for every idle word (Mt. XII, 36), and even for sinful thoughts (Mt.V, 28). So in accordance with God’s Truth (and so long as it will do more good than harm), Catholic society checks the public propagation of error against Faith or morals.