3. Revolution and Bad Faith

June 13, 2019

One could pose the following objection: If the passions are so important in the revolutionary process, it would seem that its victims are always, at least to some degree, in bad faith. If Protestantism, for instance, is a child of the Revolution, is every Protestant in bad faith? Does this not run contrary to the doctrine of the Church, which admits there may be souls of good faith in other religions?

It is obvious that a person who has complete good faith and is endowed with a fundamentally counter-revolutionary spirit may be caught in the webs of revolutionary sophisms (be they of a religious, philosophical, political, or any other nature) through invincible ignorance. In such persons there is no culpability.

Mutatis mutandis, the same can be said of those who accept the doctrine of the Revolution on one or another restricted point through an involuntary lapse of the intelligence.

But if someone, moved by the disorderly passions inherent to the Revolution, shares in its spirit, the answer must be otherwise.

A revolutionary in these conditions may have become convinced that the Revolution’s subversive maxims are excellent. He will not therefore be insincere, but he will be guilty of the error into which he has fallen.

Also, a revolutionary may have come to profess a doctrine of which he is not convinced or is only partially convinced. In this case, he will be partially or totally insincere.

In this respect, it seems to us almost unnecessary to stress that when we affirm that the doctrines of Marx were implicit in the denials of the Pseudo-Reformation and the French Revolution, we do not mean the adepts of these two movements were consciously Marxist before the Marxist doctrine was put into writing and were hypocritically concealing their opinions.

The orderly arrangement of the powers of the soul and, therefore, an increase in the lucidity of the intelligence illuminated by grace and guided by the Magisterium of the Church are proper to Christian virtue. This is why every saint is a model of balance and impartiality. The objectivity of his judgments and the firm orientation of his will toward good are not even slightly weakened by the venomous breath of the disorderly passions.

On the contrary, to the degree a man declines in virtue and surrenders to the yoke of these passions, his objectivity diminishes in everything connected to them. This objectivity becomes particularly disturbed in the judgments a man makes of himself.

In each concrete case, it is a secret of God to what degree a slow-marching revolutionary of the sixteenth or of the eighteenth century, his vision beclouded by the spirit of the Revolution, realized the profound sense and the ultimate consequences of its doctrine.

In any event, the hypothesis that all were conscious Marxists is to be utterly excluded.

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