Vatican II review/the Church & China+(reblogged)

Letter #16, Tuesday, July 28, 2020: Dossier Vatican II Reply #1: Prof. Anthony Esolen     This Letter contains a reply by Prof. Anthony Esolen to commenters on and critics of his recent essay on the Second Vatican Council.     In this reply, Esolen makes a dramatic proposal: that the “Last Gospel,” the beautiful verses from the beginning of the Gospel of John which speak so eloquently of Christ the Logos of God, should be added once again to the end of every Catholic Mass. It is a simple, startling, and beautiful suggestion, and we ask readers to write to us with their thoughts, after reading Esolen’s essay.     Esolen’s original essay, which has sparked a great many comments from readers, will run in an upcoming Inside the Vatican Dossier on the present debate over the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), touched off in June by a long essay published by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò (link).     Esolen’s original essayEssay #1, by Prof. Anthony Esolen, may be found here.     Essay #2, by Father Thomas Weinandy, OFM Capuchin, may be found here.     Essay #3, by Dr. John C. Cavadini, may be found here.     The entire Vatican II Dossierwill appear in the August-September issue of Inside the Vaticanwhich will go to press in a few days.     (Special Note: I myself am also working on an essay on the topic of Vatican II, held in Rome from 1962 to 1965. I have found some interesting, little-known material about how certain interests sought to influence the Council. I believe this material, once it is better known, will have to play a role in any overall assessment of that Council, today and in years to come. I hope to finish the essay in the next few days. —RM) ===============     I ask that you please consider subscribing to the print magazine because it would be very helpful to us to have your support (to subscribe, click here.) Each subscription, even if it is only $40, is a very important support for a small journal like ours. We have published for 27 years now, since 1993, but we today are confront a peculiar challenge: this difficult time of the Coronavirus, and the ceasing of most travel between the US and Europe… So please consider taking out a subscription!     Also, we are offering free Zoom Pilgrimages. We invite you to check us out! Join us as we visit Rome, Assisi and other places “virtually,” and talk with special guests. For more information, please visit our website Write back to this email if you have any questions.—RM. ===================     “I will here recommend one possibility, to stand as an exemplar for all the rest”     A reader wrote to us: “It is a joy to read Professor Esolen’s work, any work. And this essay on the Second Vatican Council was spot on. I must ask, should we expect (more) direction from Professor Esolen on how to “forget” Vatican II? I am curious as to how we can forget something without some event, maybe even symbolic, to make the forgetting a common understanding. Thank you for all the work you do. —Tim Harding”     Prof. Esolen responded with a beautiful reflection on the “Last Gospel,” that initial chapter of the Gospel of John which used to be read at the end of every Mass celebrated in the Latin rite, but which was eliminated after the liturgical reform which followed Vatican II. Here is Esolen’s reflection:     “My general recommendation is simple. We restore.”      By Prof. Anthony Esolen     In my last essay, I argued that Catholics should accept the documents of Vatican II as reconcilable with the perennial teachings of the Church, because what can be reconciled must be reconciled.       What can be seen as the deepening or the elaboration of an already held truth may be seen as such, and if that and rupture are the only possibilities, rupture must be rejected, regardless of the intentions of the human actors.      That is because the human actors in this case are not the lawgivers.  The Holy Spirit is, and He cannot contradict Himself.       As for the “Spirit of Vatican II,” it is a human fiction, an advertisement, or a specter, and that specter needs to be laid to rest.      The sooner we see the innovations in the aftermath of the Council as peculiar to their time, a time that has passed, I said, the better. But the next question is, “How on earth do we forget what is thrust upon our attention every time we enter a Catholic church?” It is a ponderous chain.      My general recommendation is simple. We restore.        In doing so, we necessarily reject the time-bound minimalism that was introduced into the Church and her liturgy after it had already done its baleful work in western arts and letters generally.       I have visited country churches in Sweden whose ceilings had once been covered with the bright folk art of late medieval frescoes, but were painted over in bare cold white during the Enlightenment. Sometimes you can see an odd shadow of color showing through the white from underneath, an odd survival from a time long gone; rather like an old woman in a modern Catholic church remaining in her pew after the Mass is over, to say a largely forgotten prayer in silence.      To restore is to strip away the whitewash. It is to repudiate the repudiation. It is to take those statues, hymns, altars, communion rails, prayers, and public devotions out of the basement to which they were confined, and put them back where they once were, to do their work.      I will here recommend one possibility, to stand as an exemplar for all the rest.      When you went to any high Mass in the days before Vatican II, you remained in attentive prayer after the dismissal, because you were about to hear the most world-shaking paragraph ever written.       In a handful of simple yet profoundly poetic sentences, Saint John reveals to us in unmistakable terms that God indeed, the Word through whom all things were made, the eternal Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world, who alone gives to those who accept him the power to become children of God, was made flesh and dwelt among us, and this same Word made flesh is the man whose glory John beheld.        This affirmation of the being of the Word is as far from mere admiration of Jesus as a moral teacher as is possible to conceive.       One who says that the disciples were so wonder-struck by the beauty of Jesus’ teachings that they made a divinity of him has got the matter exactly reversed.       They were not so wonder-struck.       They were often confused, troubled, even appalled.       Who wants to take up a cross? Who wants to do good for his enemies? Who wants to be chaste in thought as well as in deed?       It was only because Jesus was who he was, as was made manifest by the signs he worked, signs consummated in his Resurrection, that they put their entire trust in what he said.      Those sentences from Saint John permit us to say, in his own words and without the slightest sentimentality that God is love.       Before there was ever a human being on this earth, before the earth itself, before the sun and the other stars, before the instantaneous burst of matter into existence, God is, and God is love: the love that is the life of the Trinity, the love that we are invited to share, because heaven is no other than that life.       We do not say that love, the love that we happen to feel, is God, because our loves are frail and often misdirected and sometimes wicked: love, as desire, is the seedbed of every good and evil deed we do.       We say that God is love, and from God alone do we understand what really deserves to be called by that glorious name. (See below for the full text of Esolen’s moving essay.)

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican opened on October 11, 1962, in St. Peter’s Basilica

Imagine the power of the Last Gospel, then; imagine that it is itself set aside, formally, the focus of everyone’s attention, while the church is silent, and no one moves. It would be as if the entirety of the Mass were drawn into one sharp point, one everlasting light. — Prof. Anthony Esolen, in his reply to critics of his essay on the Second Vatican Council, in which he proposes that the “Last Gospel” be read at the end of every Catholic Mass

(By Prof. Anthony Esolen, continued)     You would have heard those first eighteen verses from Saint John at the end of every high Mass, as I said.       It was called the Last Gospel.       It might well have been called the Consummate Gospel.       You would kneel as you heard it.     Who hears it now?     Almost nobody hears it now.       You will hear those world-changing words only once a year, and only by happenstance. If you attend the final Mass for Christmas, the Mass “during the day,” you will hear it.  Otherwise never.      Obviously I cannot ask Catholic priests saying the Novus Ordo to make up their own lectionary. But suppose we think of the Last Gospel as a prayer to be heard by the congregation once Mass has concluded. After all, at many churches the people remain after the recessional hymn to pray the prayer to Saint Michael, or when the time of day warrants it, to pray the Angelus. Then nothing prevents us from hearing the Last Gospel after the recessional. Saint Michael would wish it, I think.      As I said, this act of restoration would not be solitary, nor would it be a merely verbal and formulaic thing.       Think of the restoration of the adjective “holy” to the English translation of the Mass, when the people pray to God for the benefit of “all his holy Church.”       Is that word “holy” just an adjective?       Is it not like a seed sown in the earth, to bear fruit a hundredfold?      Imagine the power of the Last Gospel, then; imagine that it is itself set aside, formally, the focus of everyone’s attention, while the church is silent, and no one moves.       It would be as if the entirety of the Mass were drawn into one sharp point, one everlasting light.     Would it bear fruit?     How could it not bear fruit?     (End, Reply by Prof. Anthony Esolen)

Letter #17, Wednesday, July 29, 2020: China     This Letter is devoted to the question of the Catholic Church in China.     The question is important because the historic “secret agreement” between the Holy See and China to regulate the relations of the Church to the Chinese Communist government — especially regarding the selection of bishops for the Church — signed on September 22, 2018, must either be re-signed and extended in September 2020, or lapse.     What will the two parties do? No one knows, but it is worth looking at some of the issues that may play a part in the decision.     I have asked my Assistant Editor, Christina Andres Deardurff, a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, a clear-minded writer and editor who has assisted me for the past five years, to wrap up a number of stories concerning China that are presently unfolding. Christina writes with a profound understanding of the present struggles faced by Catholic families on the “peripheries” of the Church — from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to China. Christina is the mother of 10 children and the grandmother of 15.     A version of this story, with photos showing how churches in China are being asked to remove crosses from their roofs, will appear in the August-September issue of Inside the Vatican which will go to press in a few days.     It would be very helpful to all of us to have your support (to subscribe, click here.) Each subscription, even if it is only $40, is a very important support for a small journal like ours. We have published for 27 years now, since 1993, but we today are confronting a peculiar challenge: the Coronavirus, and the consequent ceasing of our pilgrimages from the US to Italy and Europe… So please consider taking out a subscription!—RM.

Photo of Chinese altar boys: Chinese acolytes pray at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, a government-sanctioned Catholic church in Beijing. (Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press)

China allegedly hacks into the Vatican even as it prepares to renew bishops’ agreement     By Christina Deardurff     The website, which covers religious freedom issues in China, recently reported on the Chinese Communist Party’s now-two-year-old campaign to replace religion in the lives of the Chinese people with Xi Jinping’s “Civilization Practice Stations for a New Era,” installed in converted churches, temples and “ancestral halls” all over the country.     A propaganda video shown to villagers in Jiangxi province, for example, tells of the successful transformation of Christians through education,” including the story of one unregistered Protestant church: “‘After a month’s work, the church director proactively dissolved the congregation of this religious venue. Its members were later registered and transformed,’ the film’s narrator explains, adding that ‘more and more believers are now being transformed into practitioners’ of such civilization stations.” (Link)     This is the environment in which the Roman Catholic Church is trying to operate in China, via an undisclosed agreement with the Chinese government on the naming of bishops, signed the same year that the “Civilization Practice” campaign began, 2018, and due in September to be renewed — or scrapped.     Now comes news which may very well affect the decision to sign or scrap. (For the importance of this agreement, see link).     According toUCA News (Union of Catholic Asian News), China has been caught hacking into Vatican computers (link to the original story):     By Michael Sainsbury, July 29, 2020     (UCA NEWS) — China has been accused of hacking Vatican computers as well as those in the Diocese of Hong Kong and other Catholic organizations from May.     The hacking appears to be an attempt to gain an advantage in talks between the Vatican and China, due to resume as early as this week, about a fresh deal on the appointment of bishops.         US data monitoring group Recorded Future and its Insikt Group used sophisticated data analysis tools to uncover the cyber espionage.     “From early May 2020, the Vatican and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong were among several Catholic Church-related organizations that were targeted by RedDelta, a Chinese-state sponsored threat activity group tracked by Insikt Group,” the Recorded Future report stated.      “This series of suspected network intrusions also targeted the Hong Kong Study Mission to China and the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Italy. These organizations have not been publicly reported as targets of Chinese threat activity groups prior to this campaign.”     (End, UCA NEWS report)     The UCA report explicitly mentions the Vatican agreement, as well as the Vatican’s reaction to Hong Kong’s new and draconian security laws, as areas of interest to the CCP:     “The suspected intrusion into the Vatican would offer RedDelta insight into the negotiating position of the Holy See ahead of the deal’s September 2020 renewal,” the report said.     It added that targeting of the Hong Kong Study Mission and its Catholic diocese could also “provide a valuable intelligence source for both monitoring the diocese’s relations with the Vatican and its position on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement amidst widespread protests and the recent sweeping Hong Kong national security law.”     The Vatican-China agreement stipulated, among other things, that the Chinese government would select the country’s new bishops but that final approval would belong to the Holy See.     The agreement also regularized China’s previously government-appointed bishops (those of the government-sponsored Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, as opposed to the “underground” Chinese Catholic Church, which has always maintained communion with the Holy See), allowing many of them to be recognized by the Vatican.     But according to the South China Post, the agreement has to date failed to produce results in new bishop appointments: “No new heads have been chosen for the 52 bishop-less dioceses in the two years since the agreement was signed, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, who declined to be named.”      The intention of the agreement, its architects said, was to bring unity to Catholics in China, fractured by membership in two competing versions of the Church.      The hope seemed to be that Vatican-Chinese government cooperation would lead to the eventual amalgamation of all Catholics into one Chinese Catholic Church, retaining enough Vatican affiliation to remain Catholic while still meeting the government’s requirements of Sinicization.


Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli

Cardinal Joseph Zen

    One of the agreement’s architects, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, told an interviewer June 7, “We have to see what to do after this [September 2020] deadline. I think we should probably reconfirm it for one or two years.” (link)     But Hong Kong’s retired archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Zen, an outspoken critic of the agreement, warns that the 2018 agreement has further marginalized the faithful of the Vatican-loyal “underground” church and increased pressure on Catholics to join the government’s Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association by pointing to the Vatican’s acquiescence to its demands for oversight of choice of bishops.      Cardinal Zen said of the situation in a March 2020 blog post that “during the last 20 years, because of the wrong policy of the Holy See in dealing with the Church in China, pursued by a group of people who dared even not to follow the line of the Pope, the underground community was more and more like abandoned, considered inconvenient, almost as an obstacle to unity, while in the community officially recognized by the Government the ‘opportunists’ grow more and more numerous, fearless and defiant because encouraged by people inside and around the Vatican, intoxicated by their illusions of the Ostpolitik (“Eastern policy”).” (link)     The deal, whose exact contents remain a secret, has so far resulted in five “underground” bishops being installed by the CPA.     However, Catholic clergy in China are required by law to “register” with the government, and many clergy of the “underground” church began to appeal to Rome to ask whether they should do so.     The registration also contained an affirmation of the independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China — part of a campaign of “Sinicization” of all religions in order, ostensibly, to root out foreign influence in society.     In response, the Vatican issued a set of directives in September 2019, advising priests that they may, in good conscience, sign the registration and statement, but including a further recommendation to add a sentence affirming respect for authentic Catholic doctrine, if possible.     The Vatican also said that no priest should be forced to sign the statement if his interpretation of it was opposed to his conscience.     Unfortunately, examples of clergy who have been hounded and detained by the government for refusing to register have been documented, including Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of the diocese of Mindong. According to Asia News, Bishop Guo was placed under supervision of two state security officials in November of 2019 and visited daily in an attempt to force him to sign the registration. He finally escaped and went into hiding.     The majority of the diocese’s priests had also refused to sign.     Although Pope Francis has commented little on the specific issue of Hong Kong (other than to pray for China during a late May Regina Caeli address: “Dear Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in trials”) it was noted in the world’s press that he had dropped a reference to Hong Kong, and a plea for religious freedom there, that had been included in the prepared text of his message at his Sunday public Angelus on July 5.     The omitted passage ran: “I hope therefore that all the people involved will know how to face the various problems with a spirit of far-sighted wisdom and authentic dialogue. This requires courage, humility, non-violence, and respect for the dignity and rights of all. I thus express the desire that societal freedom, and especially religious freedom, be expressed in full and true liberty, as indeed various international documents provide for it.”     The text was in the prepared version of the address handed out to journalists that morning, but the Pope simply did not speak the words, leaving them out.     “The curious omission of those sentiments led to speculation that the Pope’s message—mild as it was—was suppressed out of concern that it would provoke an angry reaction from sensitive officials in Beijing. The Vatican has been extremely careful to maintain friendly relations with the Chinese regime, and has avoided public expressions of concern about threats to religious liberty—both in Hong Kong and on the mainland,” reported Catholic News Agency.

Cardinal John Tong Hon, 80, the current interim head of the Diocese of Hong Kong

    As Cardinal Zen has said of the position of Cardinal John Tong Hon, 80, the current interim head of the Diocese of Hong Kong and on record as supporting the new security laws, it is “a tricky situation” for all concerned.       “On the one hand, it will be a lot of trouble if we don’t support the government,” Zen said. “We never know what they will do to our Church. On the other hand, [Tong] disappointed many within the Church by giving his support.”      Similarly, the Vatican is faced with the question “How do we fearlessly stand up for each one of Christ’s faithful ones, and risk provocation of a soulless communist dictatorship like China’s, and yet bring no harm, no increased persecution or vengeful destruction, to an already beleaguered people?”     Meanwhile, the credibility of the Christian West — even its very will to survive — is being called into question as Marxist-style destabilization of society proceeds apace.     Anti-Western-civilization rhetoric is now the norm; violent protest, destruction, arson and even murder occur on a weekly basis in Western countries where the creeping political and social anarchy have been preceded by moral anarchy for decades: perhaps it is no surprise that a decadent West, groaning under the strain of its own sensual and material excess, seems to be breaking apart.     And not unrelated to the issue of sensual and material excess is the history, in the past decades of China-Vatican relations, of the involvement of now-disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. As has become evident, McCarrick was an orchestrator of and participant in high-level diplomatic meetings between Chinese and Vatican officials, in later years in a more unofficial capacity, but nevertheless influential. What mark, if any, did McCarrick leave on the negotiations leading to the 2018 Vatican-China agreement that Cardinal Zen spurns?     We hope to delve into this subject in a later report.     Against this backdrop, it is difficult to predict how Rome will navigate the dangerous waters of communism in a burgeoning global economic and political power like China. But it is also difficult to imagine how it can be done without prayer and sacrifice, as the spirit of atheistic communism seems to be one of those spirits of which Christ said, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer and fasting.”     And so we issue a call to all Christians to pray:     —for the Church in China, that is being targeted, apparently as never before during the reign of Xi Jinping, and     —for the Chinese people, from whom the communist government is attempting to steal their souls.      Pray also for the Pope and all his counselors, and, not least, for the once-Christian West, which is losing not only its spirit, but its own will to exist. 

Letter #18, Thursday, July 30, 2020: Archbishop Viganò     The McCarrick Case     “It’s so much deeper than anyone knows.” —Michael Voris, speaking about the McCarrick case in a Church Militant article published on July 20, 2020 (link). Voris contends that “investigators Church Militant has communicated with” have “revealed to us that McCarrick had offshore accounts they believe were funded by the Kremlin to the tune of enormous sums of money — money McCarrick used for bribes in the Vatican and across the world stage.” Voris concludes: “The level of betrayal and deceit, the treachery in all of this, is brain-numbing, but there it is, all coming to light.”     “Let’s not forget that the legitimization of homosexuality is part of the agenda of the New World Order — to which the Bergoglian church adheres openly and unconditionally — not only for its destabilizing value in the social body, but also because sodomy is the principal instrument with which the Enemy intends to destroy the Catholic priesthood, corrupting the souls of the Ministers of God. For this reason, at least as far as what seems possible, the entire truth about McCarrick will never officially come to light.” Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in his July 22 interview with Italian journalist Marco Tosatti. The entire interview is published below

    Almost two years ago, at the end of August, 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published his famous Testimony.     A few days later, Vatican officials stated that they would investigate the matter and release a full report on the Theodore McCarrick, (left), case.     That report has still not appeared, after two years.

    I have been able to confirm that many witnesses have in fact been questioned, and at considerable length, by the man entrusted by Pope Francis with investigating the case, the American lawyer Jeffrey Lena.          But it is not clear whether the investigation is complete, nearly complete, or still months away from completion.     According to a recent Church Militant article by Michael Voris, the McCarrick report is complete, but is still sitting on the desk of Pope Francis.     Voris writes: “James Grein — the premier victim (of McCarrick)… is suing McCarrick, the archdiocese of New York, the diocese of Metuchen and the archdiocese of Newark… Part of each of these lawsuits entails Theodore McCarrick actually being deposed by Grein attorney Mitchell Garabedian. Garabedian is the noted attorney from the original homopredator scandal cases dating back to Boston in 2002. Specifically, regarding the long-anticipated McCarrick report from Rome, Grein has been told by Pope Francis’ attorney that it’s not only done, but has been for a while.”     So a long investigation has been conducted, and it is reported that it is complete, but the investigation’s results still remain unpublished.     Amid this uncertainty, Italian journalist Marco Tosatti — an accomplished veteran reporter whom I have known since we worked together in the Vatican Press Office in the 1980s — recently conducted a lengthy interview with Archbishop Viganò.     Below is the text of that interview. It offers many insights into the various questions that remain open regarding this case. The interview is lengthy, but is a fascinating read, and quite helpful in setting forth the context in which key aspects of the tough issues facing the Church today need to be viewed.—RM

    Here is Marco Tosatti’s introduction to his interview:     Marco Tosatti:The commitment of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, [photo below], the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, to denounce the veil of silence and cover-ups in the management of abuse cases by members of the clergy, is well known. The spicy and annoyed response by the Vatican authorities – and in particular of various prelates – to the well-argued refutations of the combative prelate is also well known. In this interview, we investigate with His Excellency the developments in the case of former Cardinal McCarrick, also in light of a recent article at Church Militant entitledThe McCarrick Bombshell.[1]     But before we get into the content of this article, let’s make a brief review. From February 21 to 24, 2019, a meeting was held in Rome of all of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences on the topic of The Protection of Minors in the Church.[2] A few days earlier, on February 16, 2019, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced the dismissal from the clerical state of Theodore McCarrick, who was accused of other serious crimes, and added: The Holy Father has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata(i.e.,admitting of no further recourse).”[3]

    Marco Tosatti:Your Excellency, can you tell us what the news is on the McCarrick case?     Abp. C.M. Viganò: I fear that there is no news, and this is precisely the news. With the reduction of McCarrick to the lay state, it was hoped to put an end to an age-old affair that came to light with my testimony only in 2018, but everything possible has been done so that the details and results of the process did not emerge. The deception perpetrated through the strategy of proceeding administratively rather than judicially, as well as the decision of Bergoglio to authoritatively confirm the sentence [so that there was no further recourse], prevented not only McCarrick’s objective crimes from coming to light, but also the responsibility of those who for years contributed to hiding the nature and extent of the crimes he committed, protecting his accomplices and those who, with their silence, have covered up his crimes. In this way the conviction of the culprit did not clarify the obscure details. As a simple layman, Mr. McCarrick now enjoys a total freedom of movement and action, and he is still capable of intervening at every level: on the ecclesial level – even with those who covered up for him and supported him, in the Vatican and elsewhere; on the political, social and financial level, by means of the people who remained in contact with him and who received favors from him. The reduction to the lay state does not constitute in any way a medicinal punishment (this is only the necessary premise, because of the proven indignity of the offender), it does not include any form of reparative penance, nor does it render justice to the victims, but rather it grants to Mr. McCarrick the ability to continue undisturbed in his criminal activity, including sexual predation.     The administrative procedure also prevented the victims from being heard, while the testimonies gathered only recently by the lawyer Jeffrey Lena, the legal representative of the Holy See, seem to have been written under dictation: those who have suffered harassment give excuses for the delay in the publication of the Report, attributing itto the large volume of testimonies,[4] with indulgent and justifying tones that are difficult to reconcile with the extreme gravity of the crimes contested by the accused.[5] It seems that some victims, protected by a pseudonym, have lent themselves to an operation aimed at lightening the responsibility of the Holy See and validating the narrative that it maintains before public opinion. There is also the suspicion that these anonymous testimonies are pure fiction. In any case, this is a deception that must be denounced forcefully, because if the corruption of an individual prelate is a scandal, the guilty silence of the one who represents the Church is even more so. If these episodes had been verified under the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, they would have unleashed the fury of the media: their demure attitude of understanding towards Jorge Mario reveals the complicit attitude of mainstream information.     Marco Tosatti: The convocation of the summit at the Vatican was announced as the occasion of giving a firm and determined response to the clergy sexual scandals. In his introductory address,Pope Francis had declared: “In this meeting, we sense the weight of the pastoral and ecclesial responsibility that obliges us to discuss together, in a synodal, frank and in-depth manner, how to confront this evil afflicting the Church and humanity. The holy People of God looks to us, and expects from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken. We need to be concrete.”[6] Abp. Viganò: The solemn proclamations which preceded, accompanied, and followed this meeting absolutely did not lead to any concrete practical action, as was hoped for.[7] Just as during the meeting no answer was given to the legitimate and insistent demands made by journalists to Bergoglio on August 26, 2018, after my denunciation.[8]     With regard to the content of the interventions at the summit, it seems that even the clergy sexual scandals, instead of toughening the penalties and making the interventions more incisive, have only led to almost obsessive repetition about the new “synodal” aspect of the Church, which corresponds to a precise intention to change her constitution in a democratic key. The Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich – a friend of Theodore McCarrick and the president of the Vatican summit – focused his own intervention at the summit on synodality” as a necessary passage of structural, legal and institutional reform”[9] of action only nominally intended to stem abuse.     Marco Tosatti: In what way can “synodality” help the bishops to resolve the problem of clergy abuse?     Abp. Viganò: The proposal to establish a commission of independent lay persons who would have overseen the work of the bishops, formulated during the plenary assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2018, was blocked by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.[10] This intervention by the Vatican disavowed the proclamations of “synodality” as soon as the decisions of the Bishops’ Conferences did not coincide with what Rome wanted. However, I consider His Eminence Cardinal Ouellet to have been merely the executor of maneuvers that were imposed on him from higher up.     Marco Tosatti: Isn’t it a good thing that the Vatican is keeping decisions that involve doctrinal and moral questions to itself?     Abp. Viganò: The authority of the Roman Pontiff, which expresses itself also through the Roman Congregations, cannot obviously be delegated to merely consultative organs that do not have any jurisdiction and that are not a part of the hierarchical structure of the Church as Christ instituted it: on this point we need to be clear. However, it is significant that the “synodal path” hoped for by the highest authorities in Rome does not encounter any obstacle, except for the moments in which it risks becoming embarrassing in the media, as in the case of a special commission appointed to receive denunciations against the bishops.     This call for “synodality” is a theme that is dear to the progressive theological current that wants to strip away the hierarchical structure of the Church. In this regard, the recent articles of Massimo Fagggioli are very clarifying. He is a professor at Villanova University, where on October 11, 2013 then-Cardinal McCarrick affirmed that he had supported the election of Cardinal Bergoglio during the General Congregations prior to the Conclave that had been held just a few months earlier, and that he had spoken with a very influential Italian gentleman”[11] who had confided to him that within the span of five years the new pope would reform the Church.     It ought to arouse alarm that the same school today is giving disturbing signs of dissatisfaction with the work of Bergoglio, whose pontificate is defined as being “in crisis” by “people who feel they have been deluded”[12] – perhaps because the five years that McCarrick alluded to have not yielded the results they hoped for.     Marco Tosatti:In the addressCardinal Reinhard Marx gave about the Vatican summit, he said: “Proper legal proceedings serve to establish the truth, and form the basis for imposing a punishment which is appropriate for the relevant offence. People in the Church also need to see how this judge comes to the sentence and what the sentence is; nearly all are secret, we cannot see this. I think that in our situation it is not good. In addition, they establish trust in the organization and its leadership. Lingering doubts about the proper conduct of court proceedings only harm the reputation and the functioning of an institution. This principle also applies to the Church.”[13]     Abp. Viganò: The publication of the procedural acts should be one of the cornerstones of the operation of transparency and honesty towards the victims of abuse by members of the clergy. It appears evident to me that the words of Cardinal Marx have been disregarded, beginning with the McCarrick case, precisely through Bergoglio’s initiative.     I further recall that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the United States Bishops’ Conference, was disavowed with little regard by the Vatican intervention, which replaced him at the meeting in Rome the following February with Cardinals Blase Cupich and Joseph William Tobin, who are also not exempt from suspicions on their own account. These interferences, clearly desired from on high, have created a media image that does not correspond to reality, in which Bergoglio is presented as the architect of a non-existent reform, for mere propaganda purposes. Even the request made by Francis for the resignation of the entire Chilean Episcopate is part of a facade operation that is clearly denied by the facts.     I think that the two-fold measure reserved for the American and French Bishops’ Conferences is emblematic: on the U.S. side, Bergoglian interventionism prevented an operation of transparency by authority; while on the French side, it allowed clear violations of canon and civil law, permitting the investigations of the ecclesiastical forum to be entrusted to a Masonic judge who is also in favor of euthanasia. The Jacobin spirit in pursuing French clerics accused of child molestation fails however to recognize the responsibility of the Ordinaries and religious Superiors, who are guilty of those same cover-ups that are consolidating in practice also in Rome.     Marco Tosatti: And yet we have also heard the Pontiff recall, in his final address, the words he had already spoken to the Roman Curia in 2018: “The Church will never try to cover up or underestimate any case.”     Abp. Viganò: This solemn affirmation is disavowed by the most emblematic case, the very case of Theodore McCarrick, and makes us think that other interests may have led to the decision to liquidate the matter through the administrative path, and, even more gravely, without the publication of the judicial acts.     Marco Tosatti: What are those other interests, in your opinion?     Abp. Viganò: They want to focus attention on the abuse of minors, moving it away from the clear and dutiful condemnation of the homosexual behaviors which are often the cause of these abuses. For Bergoglio and his entourage sodomy is not a sin that cries out for vengeance in the presence of God, as the Catechism teaches. Bergoglio’s words on this topic – and even more the actions and words of those who surround him – unfortunately confirm that an operation of legitimization of homosexuality is currently underway, and that prelates and theologians are carrying this discussion forward who have manifested without equivocation that they are unfaithful to Catholic teaching.     Cardinal Tobin himself – whose embarrassing messages on his cell phone speak for themselves[14] – has clearly stated that he does not agree with the condemnation of sodomy present in the Catechismrefusing to define homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered.”[15] And these statements follow Cardinal Tobin’s support for the book Building a Bridge by Father James Martin, S.J., that has the same content. Thus we find a cardinal who is a friend of McCarrick lined up in favor of the LGBT movements and the Jesuit whom Bergoglio appointed as a Consultor of the Secretariat for Communications of the Holy See, even inviting him to speak at the World Encounter of Families in Dublin in 2018 and receiving him in audience.[16]     Cardinal Cupich has expressed himself many times in favor of homosexuals, and during the Synod on Youth – to which he was sent to participate by direct appointment of the Pope without having been elected to represent the American bishops – the controversial theme of homosexual relations was inserted into the Instrumentum Laboris even though no group of young people had requested it. I recall, en passant, that Cupich was imposed on the See of Chicago by Bergoglio, against the opinion of the Nunciature.     The interests are therefore clearly those of the “gay lobby” that has infiltrated into the Church and that is literally terrified that good pastors will shed light on the influence that it exercises in the Secretariat of State, in the Congregations of the Roman Curia, in the Dioceses, and over the entire Church. The obscene, even sacrilegious homoerotic fresco that Archbishop Paglia commissioned for the cathedral of Terni[17] is an arrogant ideological manifesto that no Authority has ever censured or deplored; the excessive financial affairs of the Substitute of the Secretariat of State Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra[18] – tied to Cardinal Maradiaga (involved in the scandal of homosexual abuse by his auxiliary bishop, Juan José Pineda, without there being news of any ecclesiastical initiative against him) – and the very grave accusations de Sexto that weigh on him[19] and that I have amply denounced,[20] have not in any way interrupted his cursus honorum in the Vatican; the same holds for Bishop Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta,[21] whom Bergoglio has promoted and, while a criminal trial is still pending, has recently reappointed as Assessor of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.[22] After the order to bring all the current accounts of the dioceses and religious congregations of the world to APSA, Zanchetta finds himself managing the finances of the Church (being able to boast in his own curriculum of having the authoritative diploma of an electrician) and being at the same time easily the object of internal and external blackmail.[23] And let’s not forget the work of Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari, Secretary of the Congregation of Bishops, Secretary of the Sacred College and vice-Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, in the name of and on behalf of those who elevated him to the highest ranks of the Roman Curia as a reward for his fidelity.     I believe it is essential to clarify once and for all the close link between sodomy and pedophilia, which is also confirmed by the statistics themselves: a link that the Vatican summit scrupulously kept silent about in order not to offend the current mentality that is widespread even among many prelates. But it would be hypocritical and culpable to condemn pedophilia in the wake of current civil legislation without equally condemning sodomy, which today’s aligned thought does not consider to be criminally relevant but which the Church identifies among the sins that cry out for vengeance in the presence of God.     But there is also another interest, of a political nature, that should not be underestimated…     Marco Tosatti: What are you referring to?     Abp. Viganò: I am speaking of the political role of McCarrick, which the latest article by Church Militant also mentions: It was McCarrick who worked out the Vatican-China accord, a mission given to him personally by Pope Francis. Francis unshackled him from Benedict-imposed restrictions just weeks after becoming pope — a fact confirmed by Abp. Viganò. Likewise, sources in China […] show that McCarrick may have been instrumental in working out the ongoing secret payments of billions of dollars from the Chinese communists to Francis’ Vatican. If that’s true (and it looks plausible given McCarrick’s communist ties and friendliness with Beijing) that could go a long way in explaining why the report remains sitting on the pope’s desk, unpublished.”     Just in the last few days the news has been divulged on Christian Todayaccording to which China has ordered Christian villagers to renounce their faith and worship the nation’s Communist Party leaders instead.”[24] In the face of this persecution of Christians – and of those Catholics faithful to the Holy See – by the communist dictatorship, the silence of Santa Marta is literally deafening, as it was a few days ago when at his Angelus message Bergoglio omitted the appeal on behalf of Hong Kong that had been given to the press.[25] The secret agreement made between the Holy See and Beijing that has been denounced publicly by Cardinal Zen, demonstrates the subjection of the Bergoglian church to the diktats of the communist dictatorship, handing over the local Hierarchy into the hands of its persecutors and keeping silent on the human rights violations perpetrated by the regime.     I recall that in the spring of 2014 I wrote to the Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, asking him if the provisions taken by Benedict XVI towards McCarrick were still valid or not, following an article that appeared in the Washington Times which reported about his trip to the Central African Republic on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.[26] Cardinal Parolin never responded, but the news that is coming out in recent days seems to clarify these aspects too. The freedom of movement given to McCarrick was also known,[27] and he himself wrote in 2012I was in Doha last week and go to Ireland… and following that… I begin one of my longest trips – Beirut, Jordan, Egypt, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Hong Kong… before I start again in the Holy Land and Belarus.”[28] And in 2014I leave for China on Thursday the 27th… I am sure that [Secretary of State]Cardinal Parolin would see me since he is involved with my China trip.”[29]     Among other things, the cooperation of the Society of Jesus in the diplomatic moves of the Vatican with the dictatorship of Beijing – beginning with the special Chinese edition of Civiltà Cattolica – confirms the willingness of the Holy See to give an endorsement to China, just as suspicions materialize about its responsibility for the spread of the Covid virus in order to destabilize the international geo-political balance. The role of Antonio Spadaro and other Jesuits – all frequent visitors to Villanova University – is emblematic and demonstrates the red thread that links doctrinal progressivism to moral perversion and political corruption. On the other hand, these three elements – heresy, sodomy, and corruption – are so recurrent that they are almost a trademark of the deep state and of the deep church.     Speaking of the deep state, it is not surprising that the World Health Organization has made itself complicit in this operation of social engineering in order to please China, nor that President Trump has decided to withdraw the funding that has benefited it to date. What surprises and scandalizes is rather the complicit silence of the Vatican, faced with a sort of coup d’état that makes the Bergoglian church the spiritual arm of the World Government, under the aegis of communist tyranny and with the complicity of globalist parties. Italy, with its unelected government and the majority in a most serious political crisis, seems to be following the agenda and does not seem to want to review its positions towards Beijing: the constant threats of a return to the Covid emergency and to a lockdown are clearly instrumental in maintaining a power which in the presence of democratically convened elections would demonstrate its inconsistency. What is certain is that a slightly more incisive and less-aligned opposition to the mainstream narrative could be seen positively by both the electorate and the international partners of Italy.     Marco Tosatti: Let’s return to the question of the clergy scandals. On February 19, 2019, two days before the beginning of the summit presided over by Cardinal Cupich, an Open Letterwas published by Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences: “Before the drift in process, it seems that the difficulty is reduced to that of the abuse of minors…which is, however, only part of a much greater crisis…. Sexual abuse is blamed on clericalism. But the first and primary fault of the clergy does not rest in the abuse of power but in having gone away from the truth of the Gospel… In the face of this situation, Cardinals and Bishops are silent. Will you also be silent?… Today, [our] dubia have not only not had any response [from the Holy Father] but are part of a more general crisis of the Faith. Therefore, we encourage you to raise your voice to safeguard and proclaim the integrity of the doctrine of the Church.”[30] What result came from this appeal of the eminent Prelates?     Abp. C.M. Viganò: Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller, like other Prelates, have done nothing but laudably reaffirm Catholic doctrine: the unheard of thing is that they are the ones who are considered “strange” in the ecclesial structure, while a voice is given to those personalities who for their acquaintances, their endorsements of the LGBT agenda, and in some cases even for the shadows that hang over their conduct ought to be removed from the Church and severely censured.     In April 2019, Benedict XVI published a strong intervention in Klerusblatt, which was then reprinted in Italy by Corriere della Sera[31]and was fiercely censored by Marco Politi at Il Fatto Quotidiano.[32]This article was in reality intended for the summit in Rome through the Secretariat of State, but it was boycotted, confirming the intervention of the lavender mafia” to impede the Holy Father from making his position on the subject known to the Bishops.     Marco Tosatti: Can you remind us of what this intervention of Benedict XVI consisted of?     Abp. Viganò: The focal point of the article of Ratzinger that infuriated the supporters of Bergoglio was precisely that it pointed out the connection between homosexuality and pedophilia and also between the relaxing of morality following the Council and the spreading of the plague of abuse.     Obstinately closing his eyes in the face of the evidence, the progressive Marco Politi wrote: What does the abandonment by the Church of an ethic based on natural law have to do with pedophilia? What do changes in Catholic moral theology have to do with it, what do gay cliques in seminaries have to do with it, what do porn films have to do with it, what does the relativization of values and moral judgment have to do with it?”[33] And yet it is evident that where the formation of candidates for the priesthood and religious life cancel discipline and the interior life, vices and sins multiply that degenerate even into the most grave crimes against minors, and not only that.     The cause of this change resides precisely in the “spirit of the Council,” which Benedict XVI wanted only to mention but which did not fail to be immediately grasped by those who saw the superdogma that was being questioned: Truly grotesque [sic] is the attempt by the ex-pontiff to attach to the “conciliar” spirit the position of extreme guarantism of ecclesiastical processes, aimed at the protection of the accused to the bitter end “to the point of practically excluding the condemnation of the guilty,” the essay says. Thus would it be the fault of the advocates of the Council, said more plainly the fault of the reformers, if the network of cover-up artists and pettifoggers, which in any case tried and still tries to impede the trial and condemnation of clerical predators, was revealed to have always been so overbearing and powerful?”[34]     Marco Tosatti: Do you think that Marco Politi is right?     Abp. Viganò: I believe that the answer to this rhetorical question of the Vaticanist Politi can be indisputably affirmative: there is a very strict relationship between the doctrinal crisis of the Church and the immorality of the clergy, that scandalously reaches up to the highest levels of the hierarchy. But it is also apparent that this crisis is being used by the ultra-progressive wing not only to impose a false morality together with a false doctrine, but also to irremediably discredit the Holy Church and the Papacy before the faithful and the world, through the action of its own leaders.     Marco Tosatti: Don’t you think that in the end the Report that everyone is waiting for will be published?     Abp. Viganò: If it is possible to shed light on this affair, this will happen despite the Vatican: the interests at stake are enormous and directly affect the very top of the Church, and not only for questions of a doctrinal, moral, or canonical nature, but also for political and diplomatic aspects that have seen the Holy See become the object of a coup d’état with the complicity of those who should have defended it in its sovereignty and independence. What did not succeed during the pontificate of Benedict XVI was brought to fruition after his resignation. How can we hope that the one who is indebted for his own election to McCarrick – who was one of the main proponents of the secret agreement with China – will be able to clarify a series of events that involve him personally, demonstrating the connivances with the Chinese dictatorship against Catholics faithful to the Holy See and perhaps also the responsibility of that regime for the resignation of Pope Benedict? How can we imagine that the murky events of Saint Gallen will become clear, when it was there that the conspirators organized the election of Bergoglio? And how can we believe that the Church will purify herself of the corruption and vice of her clerics and prelates, when they are the ones who have taken power and who are promoted to the highest levels in a web of complicity between heretics, perverts, and traitors?     The one who ought to investigate the scandals is heavily involved in the appointment, promotion, and protection of those who are guilty: Bergoglio has surrounded himself with compromised and thus blackmailed personalities, whom he has no qualms about getting rid of as soon as they risk compromising him in his media image.      Let’s not forget that the legitimization of homosexuality is part of the agenda of the New World Order – to which the Bergoglian church adheres openly and unconditionally – not only for its destabilizing value in the social body, but also because sodomy is the principal instrument with which the Enemy intends to destroy the Catholic priesthood, corrupting the souls of the Ministers of God.     For this reason, at least as far as what seems possible, the entire truth about McCarrick will never officially come to light.     Marco Tosatti: How can we respond to this corruption?     Abp. Viganò: Today what cannot be deferred is a joint action of those who are good – those who in my Open Letter to President Trump I defined Biblically as “the sons of Light” — in order to bring to light the complicities and crimes of those who make war on the Good so as to establish the New World Order. In this operation of truth and transparency, the role of the United States may be decisive, above all when those who should and could contribute from the Vatican practice a code of silence. As the Lord said, I tell you that if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out.”[35]     But there is a more important aspect, of a spiritual nature. We must understand that the ecclesial crisis was caused by having wanted to remove the crown from the Church’s King, Our Lord: He must return to reign not only in our hearts and families but also in civil society and most of all in the Church. Oportet illum regnare. And along with the King of Kings, Our Lady must also reign, the Queen and Mother of the Church, which has culpably disobeyed her by not consecrating Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. This is my most sincere wish, to which I ask all people of good will to unite themselves. + Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop 22 July 2020 Saint Mary Magdalene Official translation by Giuseppe Pellegrino ================ Footnotes below:

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Crimes to which are added others that have recently been documented: [6][7] Cf. ad esempio [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] McCarrick, in his correspondence with his secretary Msgr. Figuereido, qualified himself as “an adjunct member of the foreign service.” cf. [27] According to Catholic News Agency: “In a 2009 visit to China, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi conveyed McCarrick’s greetings to Bishop Aloysius Jin of Shanghai, a priest who was a leading Chinese Jesuit, then spent decades in prison on charges of aiding counterrevolution before his release in 1982. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop without Vatican approval in 1985, though he received Vatican recognition in 2005. The bishop said he and Cardinal McCarrick had exchanged visits “beginning when the latter was Bishop of Newark (sic).” Pelosi said she would convey the bishop’s greetings back to Cardinals McCarrick and William Keeler, then an Archbishop emeritus of Baltimore». Cf. [28] [29] Ibid. [30] [31] cf [32] [33] Ibid. [34] Ibid. [35] Lk 19: 39

End of these quoted Letters

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