The Church Is Much Higher and Far Broader Than the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution

April 22, 2021


1. The Church Is Much Higher and Far Broader Than the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution

The Revolution and the Counter-Revolution are extremely important episodes in the history of the Church, for they constitute the very drama of the apostasy and the conversion of the Christian West. Even so, they are mere episodes.

The mission of the Church does not lie only in the West, nor is it bound by time to the length of the revolutionary process. Amid the storms through which she passes today, she could proudly and tranquilly say: “Alios ego vidi ventos; alias prospexi animo procellas” (“I have already seen other winds, I have already beheld other storms”)1 The Church has fought in other lands, against adversaries from among other peoples, and she will undoubted continue to face problems and enemies quite different from those of today until the end of time.

The start of the Battle of Lepanto

The Church’s objective is to exercise her direct spiritual power and her indirect temporal power for the salvation of souls. The Revolution is an obstacle that arose to prevent the accomplishment of this mission. For the Church, the struggle against this specific obstacle (among so many others) is no more than a means limited to the dimensions of the obstacle — most important means, of course, but, nevertheless, only a means. Thus, even if the Revolution did not exist, the Church would still do everything she does for the salvation of souls.

Confession by Giuseppe Molteni

We might make the matter clearer if we compare the position of the Church in face of the Revolution and the Counter-Revolution with that of a nation at war. When Hannibal was at the gates of Rome, all the forces of the Republic had to be marshaled and directed against him. This was a vital reaction against a most powerful and nearly victorious foe. Did it make Rome a mere reaction to Hannibal? Could anyone believe such a thing?

Hannibal crossing the Alps.

It would be just as absurd to imagine that the Church is only the Counter-Revolution.

In this regard, it should be made clear that the Counter-Revolution is not destined to save the Spouse of Christ. Supported as she is on the promise of her Founder, she does not need men to survive. On the contrary, it is the Church that gives life to the Counter-Revolution, which, without her, is neither feasible nor even conceivable.

The Counter-Revolution wants to contribute to the salvation of the many souls threatened by the Revolution and to the prevention of the catastrophes that menace temporal society. To do this, it must rely on the Church and humbly serve her, instead of vainly imagining that it is saving her.

1. Cicero, Familiares, 12, 25, 5.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part II, Chapter XII, pg. 114-116.


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