Pride and Sensuality: Fiducia Supplicans Overturns the Divine Order

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Pride and Sensuality: Fiducia Supplicans Overturns the Divine Order
Pride and Sensuality: Fiducia Supplicans Overturns the Divine Order

Cardinal Prefect Victor Manuel Fernandez’s statement, Fiducia supplicans (FS), bears some characteristics of Revolutionary thought. Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira would summarize them as pride and sensuality. In fact, the document rejects the order willed by God and submits the intellect and will to sensuality.


The document Fiducia supplicans (FS), which legitimizes the blessings of “irregular” couples and homosexual couples, bears characteristics peculiar to revolutionary thinking, that is, thinking that wages war against God’s established order. Let us look at a couple of characteristics by quoting a few pages from the essay Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1959) by thinker Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

The latter writes: “Two notions conceived as metaphysical values express well the spirit of the Revolution: absolute equality, complete liberty. And there are two passions that most serve it: pride and sensuality” (p. 46). Let us start by dealing with the equality-pride tandem. Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira notes, “The proud person, subject to another’s authority, hates first of all the particular yoke that weighs upon him. In the second stage, the proud man hates all authority in general and all yokes and, even more, the very principle of authority considered in the abstract. … And in all this, there is a true hatred for God” (p. 47).

It is no mystery that this pontificate, on the one hand, rejects the authority of the Church understood as a hierarchical reality. Think of the inverted pyramid figure evoked by the pope, the non-teaching but listening Church and the distorted concept of synodality. However, on the other hand, he governs the Church with authoritarianism.

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Rejection of the Church’s authority, understood as a rejection of the hierarchy, seemingly allows transferring this authority to the people of God or simply to the people, and thus to clothe with moral and theological validity anything coming from them because it is the people, and no longer the Church, who teach the truth.

We have added the adverb “seemingly” because the insistent harping about dutifully listening to grassroots only promotes a cultural agenda of the few to be imposed upon the unruly masses.

This explains the inevitable appearance of authoritarianism in current Church governance—a truly pastoral engine commanded by a single pastor and charging ahead at full speed behind the screen of equality, or rather, egalitarianism.

The item “homosexuality” is definitely on this agenda of egalitarianism. Since the Synod on Synodality was perhaps too timid in dealing with this issue, those involved now acted authoritatively and published FS. Among other things, blessing homosexuality expresses a rejection of its condemnation and a discomfort with the ‘unjust’ yoke of virtue.

Hence, there appears rebellion against authority. It is focused on pride, the primary sin from which others spring in a temporal sense and in the order of importance.

In FS, rebellion is evident. We see rejection of the authority of Revelation that condemns homosexuality and thus the rejection of the authority of the Church when it teaches the opposite of what FS expresses. Humility would command obedience to both sources (Revelation and Church authority) even if the whole world arose, demanding that homosexuality be blessed.

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Ultimately, one wonders why homosexuality must be blessed, that is, why must we consider this orientation and conduct so good that it must be promoted, even within the liturgy. Here, we turn to the second binomial indicated by Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira: complete freedom and sensuality.

“The intelligence should guide the will, and the latter should govern the sensibility. … [The revolutionary process] once transposed to the relations among the powers of the soul, it leads to the lamentable tyranny of the unrestrained passions over a weak and ruined will and a darkened intelligence, and especially to the dominion of a raging sensuality over the sentiments of modesty and shame. When the Revolution proclaims absolute liberty as a metaphysical principle, it does so only to justify the free course of the worst passions and the most pernicious errors” (pp. 51-52).

Indeed, evil is considered trivial in FS. Its whole focus is on the dominance of sensuality over the intellect and will. Because unnatural passion demands to be satisfied, the person’s intelligence begins to see it as a good toward which the will must strive on pain of having one’s freedom restrained. The person considers temperance and/or orienting the passions according to the dictates of recta ratio [right reason] as attacks on one’s personal freedom. Thus, we have an inversion of the hierarchical pyramid God intended to order the powers of the soul: the passions now dictate the law to the intellect and will.

So, we have authoritarianism that preaches equality but imposes some very different ideas:

“Liberalism [i.e., freedom understood in an absolute sense] is not interested in freedom for what is good. It is solely interested in freedom for evil. When in power, it easily, and even joyfully, restricts the freedom of the good as much as possible. But in many ways, it protects, favors, and promotes freedom for evil. … [while] a thousand good or at least innocent things are tyrannically forbidden, the methodical satisfaction (sometimes with a show of austerity) of the worst and most violent passions, such as envy, laziness, and lust, is favored” (p. 52).

Finally, the only freedom sought is that which tends toward evil. The freedom proper to those who live an upright life is seen as a threat and must be suppressed if only because it annoyingly reminds everyone where the truth lies.

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It could be argued that FS does not require blessing irregular and homosexual couples. However, this is not the case. The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s press release dated January 4, 2024, was issued to explain the nature of the document and thus its authentic interpretation. It explicitly states that, despite some reservations, the document will have to be received by bishops’ conferences and individual priests sooner or later. The text is clear:

“Prudence and attention to the ecclesial context and to the local culture could allow for different methods of application, but not a total or definitive denial of this path that is proposed to priests…It remains vital that these Episcopal Conferences do not support a doctrine different from that of the Declaration signed by the Pope, given that it is perennial doctrine” (nos. 2-3).1 (Note that inevitably, a pastoral indication such as the blessing of same-sex couples can only refer back upstream to a doctrine.)

To recapitulate, the process begins with passions that rule over the intellect and will. Indulging them appears to be the only way to be free, so reason makes decisions in sharp contrast to God’s will. Then, pride refuses to bend its knees before God and respect His authority and that of the Church’s perennial Magisterium, but exclaims “Non serviam!” Finally, the rule of the unbridled passions that are considered good must ultimately be imposed on everyone. This is partly the underpinning of the ideological structure on which FS stands.

This article was first published on the Italian site La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and can be accessed here.



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