The Hijacking of St. John XXIII’s Ecumenical Council
This is a Guest Post By David Martin
When the announcement was made on September 30, 2013, that Pope John XXIII was going to be canonized, glaring eyebrows went up in the Traditionalist camp. After all, saints are usually martyr figures that are persecuted for their uncompromising fidelity to the Faith, and Pope John is generally regarded as the flaming modernist who compromised the Church by convoking the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962.
There is no disputing the disaster wrought by Vatican II and how it set into motion an insidious departure from tradition that has left the Holy City “half in ruins.” Even as we report on the canonization of John XXIII, the gale force of “his” conciliar tempest continues to uproot the Faith, blow apart revered Catholic practices, topple the Church's edifice, and spread doctrinal debris throughout the Church. So why the tribute? Should his “aggiornamento” be rewarded this way?
Pope John deserves tribute, but it’s important that people see his canonization in the right light and that they have the inside scoop on his true intentions for Vatican II, otherwise it will appear that heresy and modernism are being glorified. For he is known as the founding father of Vatican II, which is why modernists are now beaming over the prospect of his canonization, because their hope is to see Vatican II “canonized.” But the good Lord has His own reasons for glorifying His servant John, as we will see shortly.
The fact is that Vatican II was started with the best of resolves. Pope John’s purpose for convening the Council was not to change the Church but to restate Holy Tradition, evidenced in his opening speech on October 11, 1962: “The major interest of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and expounded with greater efficacy.”
Without diluting the Faith, the pope was simply trying to adopt a more effective means of projecting the orthodox Faith to the modern world. His “update” did not include the watering down of doctrine or the alteration of liturgy, but consisted in utilizing the media and state-of-the-art technology to better project the light of tradition to a spiritually darkened world.
After all, there were dangers threatening the Faith at that time, especially the evils of evolution and abortion. Apostasy was forthcoming and man was already on the eve of forgetting his Maker, so the pope was making a special effort to dispel the ensuing darkness and uphold the orthodox Faith “with greater efficacy.”
To this end he and his best men worked arduously for almost three years to draft up the outline for the Second Vatican Council, known as the 72 schemas or schemata. According to the most conservative thinkers of Rome, the preparatory schemata were orthodox and worthy of use, but modernists were enraged that the Holy Father had put together the preparatory outline without conferring with them beforehand. Hence a decision was made before the Council to block Pope John’s plan for Vatican II.
According to Michael Davies and many others, a number of "suspect theologians" hijacked the opening session of the Council by seizing control of its drafting commissions, thus enabling them to scrap Pope John's plan and draft a new agenda of their own. A key instigator of the pack was Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx of the Netherlands, a known heretic who denied the historicity of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Eucharist (Transubstantiation), and who had drafted and disseminated a 480-page critique aimed at rallying the progressive “Rhine bishops” to reject the original plan for Vatican II. The design of these progressivists was to revive Luther’s Reformation under the pretext of a renewal, something that Schillebeeckx openly confessed to.
Pope Benedict himself pointed out in 2013 how a “virtual council” had risen up to usurp the “real Council” at Vatican II, and lamented how “it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy.” (Benedict XVI, addressing the parish churches of Rome, February 14, 2013) This echoes the words of Paul VI who stated that the good efforts at Vatican II were hampered by “the devil” who came along “to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council.” (June 29, 1972) Hence it is worth recounting the opening session so that we have a clearer perspective of what really took place at the Second Vatican Council.
At the center of the coup to overthrow the Council were Cardinals Alfrink, Frings, and Lienart of the Rhine Alliance. A crucial vote was to be taken to determine the members of the conciliar drafting commissions when Cardinal Lienart, a 30th degree Freemason, seized the microphone during a speech and demanded that the slate of 168 candidates be discarded and that a new slate of candidates be drawn up. His uncanny gesture was heeded by the Council and the election was postponed. Lienart’s action deflected the course of the Council and made history, and was hailed a victory in the press. The date was October 13, 1962, the 45th Anniversary of Our Lady’s last apparition at Fatima. (Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, the Rhine Flows into the Tiber)
In his February 14, 2013, address to the clergy of Rome, Pope Benedict brilliantly recounts this incident at Vatican II: “On the programme for this first day were the elections of the Commissions, and lists of names had been prepared, in what was intended to be an impartial manner, and these lists were put to the vote. But right away the Fathers said: 'No, we do not simply want to vote for pre-prepared lists. We are the subject.' Then, it was necessary to postpone the elections, because the Fathers themselves…wanted to prepare the lists themselves. And so it was. Cardinal Liénart of Lille and Cardinal Frings of Cologne had said publicly: no, not this way. We want to make our own lists and elect our own candidates."
The above statement is of no small significance. Herein Benedict confesses that Lienart and his clique rejected the list of candidates that John XXIII had rightfully approved in an “impartial manner,” so that they in turn could create their own list and elect their own candidates in a partial manner. And that’s exactly what they did!
When the "election" resumed, a number of radical theologians were then appointed to chair the commissions, including Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, de Lubac, Schillebeeckx and others whose writings had been blacklisted under Pius XII. The liberals now occupied nearly 60% of the seats, giving them the needed power to steer the Council in their direction. Thereupon they proceeded to trash the pope’s carefully prepared agenda that had taken nearly three years to formulate.
Through deceitful promises and skillful use of the media, the Council approved their plan for a new Mass on December 7, 1962, known as the “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” and this became the hub of the liturgical reform that was to set the Church on a new revolutionary course of change. The Constitution was principally the work of the infamous Annibale Bugnini whom the pope had earlier removed from two posts because of sinister activity. It in fact was the outgrowth of the one preparatory schema, drafted by Bugnini, which Vatican liberals had spared because of its designs for a new Mass. Note that Bugnini, and not the pope, was the author of the New Mass.
What is mind boggling is the dictatorial force wherewith the conciliar elite took the law into their own hands and were able to junk Pope John’s outline for Vatican II without a rebuttal. With the procedural rules laid down by the pope a mere one-third vote was needed to get the schemata passed, which in fact did pass by a 40% vote. But the Rhine fathers stirred up a ruckus and insisted that this minority vote not be honored in favor of the 60% vote against the schemata, even telling the pope, “This is inadmissible!” They abhorred the orthodoxy of the preparatory outline with its strict formulations and resented the idea of having it imposed upon them by a pope who “clung to the old absolute traditions.”
The pope, fearing a tumult, backed down and consented to let the Rhine fathers have their way against game rules. Though he had planned it differently, his strength failed him at this point, thus allowing the pirates of reform to wrest the Council from his hands. Hence the most meticulous and painstaking preparation ever undertaken for any council of Church history was suddenly dumped to the glee of this Council confederacy. Only the liturgical schema remained.
We gather that Cardinal Tisserant, the key draftsman of the 1962 Moscow-Vatican Treaty who presided at the opening session, was at the center of this coup to usurp the Vatican Council. According to Jean Guitton, the famous French academic, Tisserant had showed him a painting of himself and six others, and told him, “This picture is historic, or rather, symbolic. It shows the meeting we had before the opening of the Council when we decided to block the first session
by refusing to accept the tyrannical rules laid down by John XXIII.” (Vatican II in the Dock, 2003)
This story of what happened at Vatican II is well documented and has been told in great depth by the most qualified witnesses, including Father Ralph Wiltgen, Monsignor Bandas, Michael Davies, Cardinal Heenan and many others. Archbishop Lefebvre who was on the Central Preparatory Committee for checking and overseeing all the Council documents had this to say:
“From the very first days, the Council was besieged by the progressive forces. We experienced it, felt it…We had the impression that something abnormal was happening and this impression was rapidly confirmed; fifteen days after the opening session not one of the seventy-two schemas remained. All had been sent back, rejected, thrown into the waste-paper basket…The immense work that had been found accomplished was scrapped and the assembly found itself empty-handed, with nothing ready. What chairman of a board meeting, however small the company, would agree to carry on without an agenda and without documents? Yet that is how the Council commenced.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics, 1986)
And this is how the modern reform was born. Pope John’s agenda for Vatican II would never resurrect from that point, but would remain buried even to this day. The rebellious “virtual council” would now proceed to put together the Vatican II we know today, including its sixteen documents and its reform of liturgy. The documents would contain elements of orthodoxy here and there, but this would only be done for cosmetic purposes. Under the pretext of a “restoration” or “reform,” the documents would apologize for tradition and attempt to unite the Catholic Church with other world religions on secular terms. That is to say, the documents themselves, and not any misinterpretation thereof, would generate the problems ahead since they would largely be penned by Peter’s enemies, and not his friends. “By their fruits you shall know them.” (Mt. 7:20)
Pope John XXIII’s reluctance in releasing the Third Secret of Fatima in 1960 undoubtedly caused him unspeakable sorrow for the rest of his life, for he was now witnessing the tragic fulfillment of the Fatima Secret. The very forces of hell marched into Rome to take the Holy City captive, which was accomplished through the conciliar apparatus provided them by the rebellious Rhine fathers and their periti. This is not to say that the gates of hell had fully prevailed against the Church, but that we had arrived at that point in history when the Church would be handed over to the Gentiles, at which time “they shall tread the holy city under foot two and forty months.” (Apocalypse 11:2)
It is said that the pope was struck to the heart, and in great pain, so that the cancer he had earlier contracted was greatly augmented now, leaving him only eight months to live. On his deathbed he cried out: “Stop the Council, Stop the Council,” but his “trusty” aides made sure that this didn’t circulate to the other cardinals. The Council was already too well advanced, the liberals had put too much stock in their revolution, so they weren’t about to give up their fun at this point.
Pope John certainly made some mistakes, he wasn’t perfect. Perhaps the biggest mistake he made was to convoke the Second Vatican Council, since it provided an opening for the hidden enemy to infiltrate the Church. According to Pope Paul VI, the Council of Vatican II was that “fissure” through which “the smoke of satan entered into the temple of God.” (June 29, 1972) Even the future Pope Paul was alarmed when he learned in January 1959 that Pope John had announced the upcoming Council, to which he responded: “This holy old boy doesn’t realize what a hornet’s nest he’s stirring up!” Clearly he didn’t realize it.
Nay, the calling of Vatican II wasn’t too smart, but was a huge blunder which showed poor judgment and terrible foresight. We might even say the pope was playing Russian roulette with the Church, literally. Were not the representatives of the Soviet Union present at Vatican II with a plan to get their clenched fist agenda implemented in a spiritual way with “human rights” and the “empowerment of the laity?” Maybe Pope John should have heeded those prophets that had been forecasting disaster. Popes Pius X, XI, and XII had all refrained from calling a council, fearing it would hatch the very problems we have today. But the pope somehow believed it was now time for a Council.
However we have to remember that saints are not canonized for their smarts, talents, or administrative skills, but for their charity. And this, Pope John was loaded with. He was big hearted and wanted to extend the benevolence of God to all, and somehow was convinced that a united effort at the Vatican Council would avert the impending doom that hung over the world. Unfortunately his “virtuous fault” of refusing to see the evil in his fellow man blinded him to the reality of infiltrated Judases, and allowed these enemies to countermand and overrun him.
Pope John has sometimes been criticized for quietly lifting the ban on some of these suspect theologians whose activities were formerly restricted by Pius XII, but conservatives have faltered in not recognizing his good intentions. The traditional Monsignor Rudolph Bandas who was one of the brilliant and outstanding periti at Vatican II understood clearly how John XXIII was being overrun and abused, and had this to say: “No doubt good Pope John thought that these suspect theologians would rectify their ideas and perform a genuine service to the Church. But exactly the opposite happened. Supported by certain Rhine Council fathers, and often acting in a manner positively boorish, they turned around and exclaimed: ‘Behold, we are named experts, our ideas stand approved.”’
Pope John’s vision of Vatican II was truly noble and well intending, though he was naïve. This excerpt from his opening speech nicely reflects his pastoral spirit: “The great desire, therefore, of the Catholic Church in raising aloft at this Council the torch of truth, is to show herself to the world as the loving mother of all mankind; gentle, patient, and full of tenderness and sympathy for her separated children.”
Unfortunately this kind of talk made Vatican II progressives sick. The good pope didn’t realize he was going to get clobbered for this. The fact is that Pope John XXIII was viciously stabbed in the back by those he trusted. When they wanted their way with him they would crouch and kiss his ring, and in the next hour or minute they were plotting on how they would take Vatican II away from him.
For instance Monsignor Bugnini, a notorious Freemason and sweet-talker, assured the pope that he was most committed to fostering a deepened love and appreciation for the liturgy. So the pope blindly entrusted to him the task of heading the new Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy that was established on June 6, 1960, believing that a deepened love for the old Mass would result from this. But what he failed to realize is that Bugnini and his cohorts were secretly at work drafting up a new Mass for the Church which they were determined to get passed at Vatican II.
And it did pass with flying colors! The Bugnini Schema superseded all the other schemas and became the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy on December 7, 1962. (Later called Sacrosanctum Concilium) This was the document that directly led to the implementation of the New Mass in the vernacular. Yet the pope in 1960 had no idea what Bugnini and his men were cooking up for the Council. The conservative Cardinal Heenan of Westminster even says in his autobiography that “Pope John did not suspect what was being planned by the liturgical experts.”
If it wasn’t bad enough that the good pope had to endure spiritual martyrdom from the devil and his agents, let us take a look at his actual death on June 3, 1963. The unofficial word is that Pope John XXIII was murdered. For when he began crying out from his deathbed to “Stop the Council,” his death suddenly ensued. Though he was ill with terminal cancer, he wasn’t supposed to die quite so soon. As they saw it, it was urgent that his outcry be silenced, so they gave him a little extra sedative to calm his nerves. We have to remember that euthanasia didn’t start with Obamacare, but existed in the hospitals even back then.
Needless to say, John XXIII was persecuted and laid low. The allegations from the Sedevacantist camp that he was a Freemason display ignorance and have contributed to his martyrdom of spirit. It was the Freemasons that generated the revolt at Vatican II, but a key part of their plan was to hide and shift the blame onto the pope in order to sell their revolution and smear the pope’s reputation. Pseudo traditionalists by their detraction have effectively and unknowingly assisted the Masonic plan to discredit the papacy in these latter times.
The Pope’s own Words
If nothing else convinces us of Pope John’s innocence, we turn to his own words: “I repeat once more that what matters most in this life is: our blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, and in the Gospel above all else the Our Father according to the mind and heart of Jesus, and the truth and goodness of his Gospel, goodness, which must be meek and kind, hardworking and patient, unconquerable and victorious.”
This angelic philosophy echoes what the saints of history have said concerning our purpose in life. Sanctity means being Christ centered with a burning aspiration to bring all men to the love and knowledge of God. With this very aspiration the pope in his opening speech at Vatican II expressed the intentions of the Council: “Its intention is to give to the world the whole of that doctrine which, notwithstanding every difficulty and contradiction, has become the common heritage of mankind—to transmit it in all its purity, undiluted, undistorted. It is a treasure of incalculable worth, not indeed coveted by all, but available to all men of good will.”
Are these the words of a Freemason, a Judas, a progressivist? Or are these rather the words of a saint? Would that the pope and bishops of today would speak this way! The Church’s mission for 2000 years has been precisely to bring this deposit of Faith to mankind so that, if it were possible, the entire earth would be enkindled with its flame. The Traditional Roman Faith is that sacred legacy which God originally intended as “the common heritage of mankind,” though the Reformation did much to destroy this ecclesial unity, as did its reemergence at Vatican II.
What is needed today is a true renewal of Catholic tradition, so that the Mystical Body can once again be whole as in former times, with unity and soundness. What is needed is what John XXIII originally prescribed in his opening speech at Vatican II: “…that this doctrine shall be more widely known, more deeply understood, and more penetrating in its effects on men’s moral lives. What is needed is that this certain and immutable doctrine, to which the faithful owe obedience, be studied afresh.”
As John XXIII is raised to the altars of Holy Mother the Church this April 27, 2014, let us be encouraged to assume a new perspective of holy pontiff whereby we cease from blaming him for all the problems that have ravaged the Church since Vatican II. He made some mistakes which he had to pay dearly for. May he now be rewarded for all the good he proposed and all the evil he endured.
And especially, may we be resolved to assist him and his Maker in the cause of restoring the Holy Roman Catholic Church to its former glory. St. John XXIII, pray for us!