Revisiting Paul VI’s Masonic Portrait

This article was updated on July 4th, 2021, in order to somewhat reduce the extremities of my speculations – AC

In 1971, Paul VI was presented with a painting, said to be his portrait, and which, to be honest, is one of the more disturbing images this author has come across. The picture emits a demonic violence that almost leaps out of the frame, leaving the viewer feeling oppressed and unsettled.

Most startling of all, the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church is surrounded by cold, dark Masonic symbols, hiding in plain sight.

Hansing described the portrait as showing “the tension-fraught situation of the church, caught in a multiplicity of issues, as reflected in the countenance of the Pope.”

I don’t profess to be the first to discover this particular connection between Pope Paul VI and Masonry – the articles cited in this one are testimony to that. But since I have only just come across this rather disconcerting episode in Paul’s life, I thought I’d write on it anew and add some further research.

Firstly, there are not one but nine versions of this scene. Each tells, I believe, a part of a story that begins at the Second Vatican Council and culminates in the very public accusations that Paul was a homosexual. Shown below are three versions, created in 1970, 1970/1 and 1975 respectively. The third is part of a series of screen prints, which are based on the second painted version of the portrait.

The artist, Ernst Guenter Hansing, was initially associated with Cardinal Josef Frings, for whom he painted two portraits. Hansing had trained under the abstract artist, Fernand Leger, and had mixed with many avant-garde artists of Europe. This of course, would have appealed to Montini, who was known for his love of the cultural elite. Fring invited Hansing, a Lutheran, to observe the final session of Vatican Two in 1965, in order to “internalise the atmosphere.”

Hansing claims to have been struck by the Pope’s meekness, describing Paul as “humility personified” and as a “pleading” or “begging” person. Hansing at once expressed a desire to paint the Pope, so the story goes, wanting to encapsulate the scene presented by the massive Bernini columns dwarfing the humble Pope, he who alone carried the burden of determining the Church’s future. Hansing also wanted to capture the rays of light which issued from the great dome surmounting the canopy. So the story goes.

Paul apparently did not commission a portrait, but was approached by Hansing who was eventually given a room to work from inside the Vatican from 1969. The artist was then allowed to sit in on 13 papal audiences over the next two and a half years to make his sketches. The Pope’s secretary, then-Fr Pasquale Macchi, acted as go-between for the artist and pontiff.

Strangely, the image of the Pope at the centre of the painting was not based on the sketches Hansing made during those many papal audiences. Rather, it is based on a photograph taken during the Pope’s trip to Jerusalem in 1967. A drawing made from that photograph was then transposed onto the “Papacy” work. The many sessions that saw Hansing scrutinising Paul’s speeches were justified by the artist’s need to ‘internalise” the character of Paul.

Upon seeing a working sketch of himself, Paul is said to have uttered the cryptic comment: “One almost needs a new philosophy to grasp the meaning of this in its context.” [Emphasis added.]

The first version of the painting is made from two separate pieces of canvas: one above and one below. The bottom canvas is horizontal and the top one is vertical – which is like an inverted cross when you come to think of it.

Two vertical white blocks – red in the second painting – on either side of the piece are in fact said to represent an inverted cross – the Petrus cross – according to the artist, ostensibly calling to mind the martyrdom of the first Pontiff.

According to Hansing, his trademark blue colour represented “mystical depth” and was more prominent in the second painting. He referred to the use of red as denoting “blood circulation,” and indeed, much of the red in Hansing’s works resembles blood either dripping or in pools.

In the top of the internal space of the real dome, which was designed by Michelangelo, we can find the image of God the Father. In Hansing’s version, God has been replaced by a mere swirl, which could also be interpreted as an All-Seeing Eye, from which emanates a beam of light.

Hansing replaced God the Father
with this ambiguous symbol

A ray of light proceeding from beneath this All-Seeing Eye, seems to pierce the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, then continue vertically downwards right through the person of the Pope. Blood appears to drip down this central axis, through Paul and merging with his own grotesque hands that grasp a threatening dagger-like implement.

A second painting was begun after Fr Macchi and Hansing’s poet friend, Stefan Andrew, suggested to him that the first work was too small. The second work contains a few changes: more “Hansing Blue” is incorporated and the pillars are emphasised. The Pope’s face is “more humble” and the phrase, Pro hominibus constitutus, meaning ‘appointed for service to the people’ – is written in the lower right hand corner. Surprisingly, this motto is also found on Cardinal Frings’ Coat of Arms.

The finished work was a massive 21.6 m x 3.6m (71ft by 12 ft) and was presented to the Pope in 1972.

Cardinal Fring’s Coat of Arms.
Detail from the painting.
No, I can’t read it either.

In his speech at the time the second painting was presented to the Pope, Bishop Wilhem Cleven referred to John’s Gospel, stating “The time comes when someone else girds you and leads you where you do not want to go.” (John. 21:17).

When he saw the finished second portrait, he remarked that the it was “very useful” to make an “act of reflection’ in studying the painting. The artist then went on to make seven screen prints of the portrait, apparently at the behest of Paul, in order that they may be sources of “acts of reflection.”

Interpretation

The definitive explanation of the Masonic symbols found in the work was written by researcher and author, Craig Heimbichner, who detected, among other symbols, the three pillars of Masonry, inverted crosses, pentagrams, and at least one square and compass. Heimbichner also explains that the initiation rite of the 30th degree Mason, the Kadosh Degree, involves thrusting a dagger into the papal tiara. He believes the pope is represented as holding that dagger.

It is certainly true that Paul VI surrendered the Papal Tiara at the start of his pontificate. Could his devastating reforms and the emptying of papal authority on his watch also be considered as “killing” the papacy?

I am not normally given to making wild speculations on subjects that are outside my competency. However, this case is an exception. While we will never know the true meaning of this mysterious episode, or of the paintings themselves, I proffer the following hypothesis. You may like to think of it as fan-fiction:

Paul is represented as both victim and perpetrator in Hansing’s portrait: this is an image of his character and of his pontificate…..

Prior to the conclave, the blackmailable Montini promised his Progressive/Masonic coalition supporters that he would allow sweeping reforms once he was elected Pope. As Pope Paul VI, he went along with changes to the Mass, leaving details to the Freemason Bugnini, and approved the other innovations introduced during and after the Council.

Although the Council reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on birth control, Cardinal Frings later challenged Paul to review the that stance, leading Paul to establish a commission to look into the matter. The commission returned to Paul with their conclusion: birth control should be allowed.

This was a bridge too far for Paul. Already cracks were appearing as the Council’s love-fest aura began to wear off. The unity and renewal Paul had, far too optimistically, hoped for had not eventuated, and his latitude in doctrinal matters was being exploited by those closest to him.

Paul decided to risk the ire of the Masonic brotherhood, stand his ground and defend the Church’s teaching in Humanae Vitae, which was released it in 1968.

Frings and the Masonic forces he represented were furious. Paul needed to be reigned in but they knew him to be pliable and timid. (“Begging” and “pleading”, as Hansing said.) They decided to send him a warning – of the most severe kind. Hansing was conscripted to deliver the message on behalf of the Lodge.

Hansing is moved onsite although he didn’t really need to sketch Paul: he already had chosen the photograph taken in Jerusalem as a model – an indication, perhaps, that the Ecclesiastical Lodge that commissioned him had powerful Jewish connections. He sat in on thirteen of Paul’s Audiences merely to intimidate him.

The pressure mounted and Paul began to waver. He was shown a working sketch of himself and mused aloud: “One almost needs a new philosophy to grasp the meaning of this in its context.” Perhaps that “new philosophy” was something antithetical to Catholic teaching to which Paul had ambivalently subscribed.

Once the first painting was finished, the seriousness of the threat became even more apparent. The looming threat of violence overwhelmed him and Paul sensed that his life may be in danger. The angles of the painting resembled an axe cleaving his skull in two but also represented to him his double-mindedness.

He knew he was under pressure to fulfil the ancient decrees of Masonry and demolish Catholicism, as represented by the weapon in his bloody hands, and as symbolised in the stabbing of the Papal Tiara.

Paul finally relented and resigned himself to following the Masonic programme for the rest of his pontificate. He then informed the Lodge.

A second painting was commissioned and the Pope was now represented with a “more humble” countenance. The pillars of Masonry were emphasised, representing Paul’s triumph of “reason” over “superstition”. Bishop Cleven was on hand to remind Paul that someone else “girded him and led him where he does not want to go.” (As if he needed the reminder)

A humbled Paul then acknowledged that his “acts of reflection” led him to make the right decision. To prevent a relapse, the Frings-led Lodge commissioned seven prints of the portrait – one for each day of the week.

Paul later had a crisis of conscience (as did Frings). He was forced to confront the implications of his progressive reforms as the Church continued to implode and he grieved that no one anywhere on the Catholic spectrum respected him.

When he tried to impose his papal authority, the Lodge reacted swiftly: a staged attempt was made on his life when he visited the Philippines in 1975. Macchi and Marcinkus “saved his life,” and Paul was again beholden to the Masonic forces that elected him.

Paul wavered again, trying to warn Catholics of the Pandora’s Box that had been unleashed by the Council. His furious minders began to lose their patience. It was time for a showdown.

When Paul again publicly held his ground on the Church’s approach to sexuality morality, it was the last straw for the Ecclesiastical Masons. In 1976, a campaign was orchestrated to suggest that the Pope had a very dark secret: that he was a homosexual. Paul was crushed and defeated; he never issued another encyclical and openly expressed his regret for the direction taken by the Council, never admitting his part, overwhelmed as he was by the pressure that had been brought to bear on him.

No wonder Paul whispered to his biographers, “You will crucify me.”

Just to complete the flight of fantasy, on the left is a diagram commonly used in Gnostic Judaism, or Kabbalah.

It is interesting to note how many points line up with Paul’s “portraits.”

SOURCES:

Hieronymopolis.wordpress.com

Novus Ordo Watch

wilfried-hansmann.de

Ernst Guenter Hansing

The Bugnini Effect: part 1

FROM: Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II: The Destruction of Catholic Faith Through Changes in Catholic Worship

by Michael Davies

The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Annibale Bugnini

Before discussing the time bombs in the Council texts, more specifically those in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which would lead to the destruction of the Roman Rite, it is necessary to examine the role of Annibale Bugnini, the individual most responsible for placing them there and detonating them after the Constitution had won the approval of the Council Fathers.Annibale Bugnini was born in Civitella de Lego [Italy] in 1912. He began his theological studies in the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) in 1928 and was ordained in this Order in 1936. For ten years he did parish work in a Roman suburb, and then, from 1947 to 1957, was involved in writing and editing the missionary publications of his Order. In 1947, he also began his active involvement in the field of specialized liturgical studies when he began a twenty-year period as the director of Ephemerides liturgicae, one of Italy’s best-known liturgical publications. He contributed to numerous scholarly publications, wrote articles on the liturgy for various encyclopaedias and dictionaries, and had a number of books published on both the scholarly and popular level.

Father Bugnini was appointed Secretary to Pope Pius XII’s Commission for Liturgical Reform in 1948. In 1949 he was made a Professor of Liturgy in the Pontifical Propaganda Fide (Propagation of the Faith) University; in 1955 he received a similar appointment in the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music; he was appointed a Consultor to the Sacred Congregation of Rites in 1956; and in 1957 he was appointed Professor of Sacred Liturgy in the Lateran University. In 1960, Father Bugnini was placed in a position which enabled him to exert an important, if not decisive, influence upon the history of the Church: he was appointed Secretary to the Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy for the Second Vatican Council. [Biographical details are provided in Notitiae, No. 70, February 1972, pp. 33-34.] 

He was the moving spirit behind the drafting of the preparatory schema (plural schemata), the draft document which was to be placed before the Council Fathers for discussion. Carlo Falconi, an “ex-priest” who has left the Church but keeps in close contact with his friends in the Vatican, refers to the preparatory schema as “the Bugnini draft.” [Carlo Falconi, Pope John and His Council (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1964), p. 244.] It is of the greatest possible importance to bear in mind the fact that, as was stressed in 1972 in Father Bugnini’s own journal, Notitiae (official journal of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship), the Liturgy Constitution that the Council Fathers eventually passed was substantially identical to the draft schema which he had steered through the Preparatory Commission. [Notitiae, No. 70, February 1972, pp. 33-34.] According to Father P. M. Gy, O.P., a French liturgist who was a consultor to the pre-conciliar Commission on the Liturgy, Father Bugnini “was a happy choice as secretary”:

He had been secretary of the commission for reform set up by Pius XII. He was a gifted organizer and possessed an open-minded, pastoral spirit. Many people noted how, with Cardinal Cicognani, he was able to imbue the discussion with the liberty of spirit recommended by Pope John XXIII. [A. Flannery, Vatican II: The Liturgy Constitution (Dublin: Sceptre Books, 1964), p. 20.]

The Bugnini schema was accepted by a plenary session of the Liturgical Preparatory Commission in a vote taken on January 13, 1962. But the President of the Commission, the eighty-year old Cardinal Gaetano Cicognani, had the foresight to realize the dangers implicit in certain passages. Father Gy writes: “The program of reform was so vast that it caused the president, Cardinal Gaetano Cicognani, to hesitate.” [Flannery, p. 23.] Unless the Cardinal could be persuaded to sign the schema, it would be blocked. It could not go through without his signature, even though it had been approved by a majority of the Commission. Father Bugnini needed to act. He arranged for immediate approaches to be made to Pope John, who agreed to intervene. He called for Cardinal Amleto Cicognani, his Secretary of State and the younger brother of the President of the Preparatory Commission, and told him to visit his brother  and not return until the schema had been signed. The Cardinal complied.Later a peritus of the Liturgical Preparatory Commission stated that the old Cardinal was almost in tears as he waved the document in the air and said: “They want me to sign this but I don’t know if I want to.” Then he laid the document on his desk, picked up a pen, and signed it. Four days later he died. [Fr. Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D., The Rhine Flows into the Tiber: A History of Vatican II (1967, rpt. Rockford, IL. TAN, 1985), p. 141.]

A Future Pope’s Masonic/Mafia Connections

From: THE RITE OF SODOMY V by Randy Engels

Montini and the Mafia:

Archbishop Montini Meets “the Shark”

Michele Sindona, aka, “the Shark” was an underworld financial fixture in Milan long before Montini became Archbishop.[80]

Born in Messina at the eastern end of Sicily in 1917, the Jesuit educated Sindona was studying law when the British and American troops invaded Italy during World War II. The enterprising Sindona decided to take advantage of the lucrative black market and went into the lemon and wheat business. Since the Sicilian Mafia controlled the produce trade, Sindona cut a deal with Mafioso head, Vito Genovese, whereby he would turn over a certain percentage of his earnings for protection from the mob for his business and his person.

In 1948, Sindona left the poorer war-ravaged southern boot of Italy and migrated north to the richer industrialized city of Milan where he became a “financial advisor” to a number of influential and wealthy Milanese. His Mafia credentials traveled north with him.

In 1954, when Sindona learned that Pius XII had appointed Msgr. Montini to the See of Milan, he secured a letter of introduction to the new Archbishop from the Archbishop of Messina, his home diocese. Sindona soon had a new client in Montini and the Milanese Church.

Archbishop Montini was so grateful to Sindona, that he took the Sicilian to Rome and introduced him to Pope Pius XII and Prince Massimo Spada, a senior official at the Istituto per le Opere de Religioni (the Institute for Religious Works). The IOR, which is popularly known as the Vatican Bank functions as a depository for the Church’s patrimony earmarked for charitable works.[81] Sindona became “a man of confidence” and was given virtually full control over the IOR’s foreign investment program.

The gross assets of the IOR at the time were over $1 billion, but money was secondary to the IOR’s tax-free status and its potential as a laundry for washing dirty money, specifically, Mafiosi earnings from heroin trade, prostitution and illegal political contributions from underground sources including Freemasons.[82]

In 1960, Sindona, operating under the old adage “the best way to steal from a bank is to own one,” purchased his own bank, the Banca Privata, and within a very short time was receiving deposits from the IOR. He used these funds to pyramid his own financial investments and started to launder illegal funds through the Vatican Bank.

After the election of Pope Paul VI, Sindona followed Montini to Rome and became a major player at the IOR. His operations and financial portfolio grew exponentially. In 1964, Sindona formed an international currency brokerage firm called Moneyrex with 850 client banks and annual financial dealings of $200 billion. Many members of the Palazzo, the rich and famous of Rome, used the firm to shield their fortunes from taxation through illegal offshore accounts. Sindona kept a secret ledger of his clients’ transactions with Moneyrex as insurance for a rainy day. The Vatican and Pope Paul VI, along with the name and numbers of the secret accounts of high ranking members of the Christian Democratic Party as well the Socialist and Social-Democratic Parties were all in Sindona’s little black book.

By the late 1960s, the “Gruppo Sindona” included six (later nine) banks in Italy and abroad and more than 500 giant corporations and conglomerates. One of the banks, the Franklin National Bank of New York, the 18th largest bank in the United States with assets of more than $5 billion, was purchased in part with money Sindona had skimmed off from his Italian banks.[83] He also skimmed off funds from his secret masters, that is, the Sicilian Mafia and, after 1971, from the Propaganda Duo (P2), a Mafia-inspired Masonic Lodge catering to Italy’s elite headed by Grandmaster Licio Gelli. In addition, Sindona was handling financial transactions for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which during the post-war period was pouring large sums of money into Italy, some of which made its way to the Vatican Bank.[84]

Meanwhile Sindona’s friend, Pope Paul VI was the recipient of bad tidings from the State. The Italian government was threatening to remove the fiscal tax exemption on the Church and Church properties and investments that the Holy See had enjoyed since the days of Mussolini’s Fascist regime. Under the revised tax-code, the Vatican State would be taxed like any other corporate entity. Sindona proposed a scheme to hide Vatican money in offshore investments and the pope agreed.

One of Sindona’s prominent protégés was a native Milanese by the name of Roberto Calvi.

Calvi was the central manager of the Banco Ambrosio, Italy’s most prominent Catholic bank as distinguished from the lay or secular banking institutions operated by the Jews and Freemasons. Calvi was a man after Sindona’s own heart, which spelled disaster ahead not only for the Banco Ambrosiano, but also for its major depositor, the Holy See. Calvi had his own connections to the IOR through Monsignor Macchi, Montini’s personal secretary. He was also on excellent terms with an American priest at the Secretariat of State, Msgr. Paul Marcinkus.

FOOTNOTES

Footnotes.

  1. This section on Vatican finance is based in information taken from a large number of publications and web sites including Conrad Goeringer, “History of the IOR – Murder, Bank, Strategy – the Vatican.” See also David A. Yallop “In God’s Name – An Investigation into The Murder of Pope Paul I.” (Free downloadable e-book available at this site.)

Other footnotes available on request.

A Conciliar Pope with the Odour of Masonry

While there is little indication that Paul VI was a formal Mason, there is no doubt that his programme of reform was completely in line with the agenda of Freemasons to create an ape of the Church.

Anonymous Catholic

FROM: Society of Saint Pius X

Archbishop Lefebvre’s assessment

On December 20, 2012, Benedict XVI authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree recognizing the “heroic virtues” of Paul VI, pope from 1963 to 1978. Now only a miracle obtained through the intercession of Paul VI is necessary to proceed to his beatification. Apparently the postulator for his cause, Fr. Antonio Marrazzo, has already chosen a case to present to the medical commission, the cure of an unborn child diagnosed with severe malformation. According to Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, the beatification could take place in 2013.

Paul VI is the pope who closed the Second Vatican Council, opened by his predecessor John XXIII. It was during Paul VI’s pontificate that the Novus Ordo Missae was developed. He wrote unhesitatingly to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1976, “The Second Vatican Council is no less authoritative than the Council of Nicea, and is even more important in some respects.”

Archbishop Lefebvre, who was suspended a divinis during Paul VI’s pontificate, gave his opinion of Paul VI to the seminarians of Econe in the lecture series he gave on the Magisterium that provided the material for his book They Have Uncrowned Him (Angelus Press, 1994).

Chapter 31, “Paul VI, a Liberal Pope,” provides a strong indication of what the Society of St. Pius X’s founder would have said about the pending beatification. DICI has introduced headings in the form of questions into Archbishop Lefebvre’s text, the better to follow his analysis.

How will Paul VI be judged by the Church of the future?

Obviously, the Church will one day judge this council and these popes. How will Paul VI, in particular, fare? Some call him heretic, schismatic, and apostate; others believe themselves to have proved that he could not have acted for the good of the Church, and that therefore he was not in fact pope—the theory held by sedevacantists. I do not deny that these opinions have some arguments in their favor. Perhaps, you will say, in 30 years secrets will have been revealed, or elements that should have been obvious to contemporary observers will stand out, statements made by this pope in complete contradiction to the traditions of the Church, etc. Perhaps. But I do not believe that such hypotheses are necessary; in fact, I think it would be a mistake to espouse them.

Others think, simplistically, that there were two popes: one, the true pope, imprisoned in the cellars of the Vatican, and the other, an imposter, his double, seated on the throne of Peter, working for the destruction of the Church. Books have been published about the two popes, based on the ‘revelations’ of a possessed person and on supposedly scientific arguments that state, for instance, that the double’s voice is not the same as that of the real Paul VI…!

What is your own explanation of Paul VI’s pontificate?

The real solution seems entirely different to me, much more complex, more difficult, and more painful. It is given us by a friend of Paul VI, Cardinal Danielou. In his Memoirs, published by a member of his family, the cardinal clearly states, “It is clear that Paul VI is a liberal pope.”

Such is the solution that seems the most historically likely, because this pope was himself a fruit of liberalism. His whole life was permeated with the influence of the men he chose to surround him or to rule him, and they were liberals.

Paul VI did not hide his liberal leanings; at the Council, the men he chose as moderators to replace the presidents appointed by John XXIII, were Cardinal Agagianian, a cardinal of colorless personality from the Curia, and Cardinals Lercaro, Suenens and Dopfner, all three liberals and the pope’s friends. The presidents were sidelined at the head table, and these three liberals directed the conciliar debates. In the same way, Paul VI supported the liberal faction that opposed the tradition of the Church throughout the entire Council. This is a recognized fact. Paul VI repeated—I quoted it to you—the exact words of Lammenais at the end of the Council: “L’Eglise ne demande que la liberte” – the Church only seeks freedom—a doctrine condemned by Gregory XVI and Pius IX.

Paul VI was undeniably very strongly influenced by liberalism. This explains the historic evolution experienced by the Church over the last few decades, and it describes Paul VI’s personal behavior very well. The liberal, as I have told you, is a man who lives in constant contradiction. He states the principles, and does the opposite; he is perpetually incoherent.

Could you provide some examples in support of your analysis?

Here are a few examples of the thesis-antithesis conundrums that Paul VI loved to present as so many insoluble problems, mirroring his anxious and conflicted mind. The encyclical Ecclesiam suam, (August 6, 1964), provides an illustration:

If, as We said, the Church realizes what is God’s will in its regard, it will gain for itself a great store of energy, and in addition will conceive the need for pouring out this energy in the service of all men. It will have a clear awareness of a mission received from God, of a message to be spread far and wide. Here lies the source of our evangelical duty, our mandate to teach all nations, and our apostolic endeavor to strive for the eternal salvation of all men. (…) The very nature of the gifts which Christ has given the Church demands that they be extended to others and shared with others. This must be obvious from the words: ‘Going, therefore, teach ye all nations,’ Christ’s final command to His apostles. The word apostle implies a mission from which there is no escaping.” 

That is the thesis, and the antithesis follows immediately:

To this internal drive of charity which seeks expression in the external gift of charity, We will apply the word ‘dialogue.’ The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make.” 

And finally he attempts a synthesis, which only reinforces the antithesis:

Before we can convert the world—as the very condition of converting the world—we must approach it and speak to it.”[1] 

Have you another example?

Of greater gravity are the words with which Paul VI suppressed Latin in the liturgy after the Council, and they are even more characteristic of his liberal psychology. After restating all the advantages of Latin: a sacred language, an unchanging language, a universal language, he calls, in the name of adaptation, for the “sacrifice” of Latin, admitting at the same time that it will be a great loss for the Church. Here are his very words, reported by Louis Salleron in his book La nouvelle messe [The New Mass] (Nouvelles Editions Latines, 2nd ed., 1976, p. 83)

On March 7, 1965, he said to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s square: 

‘It is a sacrifice that the Church makes in renouncing Latin, a sacred language, beautiful, expressive, and elegant. The Church sacrifices centuries of tradition and unity of language in the name of an ever-growing desire for universality’.” 

The ‘sacrifice’ of which he spoke became a reality with the Instruction Tres abhinc annos (May 4, 1967) which established the use of the vernacular for reciting the Canon of the Mass aloud.

This ‘sacrifice,’ in Paul VI’s mind, seems to have been final. He explained it once again on November 26, 1969, when he presented the new rite of the Mass:

The principal language of the Mass will no longer be Latin, but the vernacular. For anyone familiar with the beauty and power of Latin, its aptness for expression of the sacred, it will certainly be a great sacrifice to see it replaced by the vernacular. We are losing the language of centuries of Christianity, we become as intruders, reduced to the profane in the literary domain of expressing the sacred. We lose, too, the greater part of the admirable, incomparable wealth of art and spirituality contained in Gregorian chant. It is with good reason, then, that we experience regret and even distress.” 

Everything therefore should have dissuaded Paul VI from imposing this ‘sacrifice’ and persuaded him to maintain the use of Latin. On the contrary, deriving a singularly masochistic pleasure from his ‘distress,’ he chose to act against the principles he had just set forth, and decreed the ‘sacrifice’ in the name of promoting understanding of prayer, a specious argument that was only a modernist pretext.

Never has liturgical Latin been an obstacle to the conversion of infidels or to their education as Christians. Quite the opposite: the simple peoples of Africa and Asia loved Gregorian chant and the one sacred language, the sign of their affiliation to Catholicism. And experience shows that where Latin was not imposed by missionaries of the Latin Church, there the seeds of future schism were planted.

Paul VI followed these remarks with this contradictory pronouncement:

The solution seems banal and prosaic, but it is good, because it is human and apostolic. The understanding of prayer is more precious than the dilapidated silks in which it has been royally clad.  More precious is the participation of the people, the people of today who want us to speak clearly, intelligibly, in words that can be translated into their secular tongue. If the noble Latin language cuts us off from children, from youth, from the world of work and business, if it is an opaque screen instead of a transparent crystal, would we fishers of men do well to maintain its exclusive use in the language of prayer and religion?” 

Alas, what mental confusion. Who prevents me from praying in my own tongue? But liturgical prayer is not private prayer; it is the prayer of the whole Church.  Moreover, another lamentable lack of distinction is present: the liturgy is not a teaching addressed to the faithful, but the worship the Christian people address to God. Catechism is one thing, and the liturgy is another. The point is not that we “speak clearly” to the people assembled in the church, but rather that these people may praise God in the most beautiful, most sacred, and most solemn manner possible. “Praying to God with beauty” was St. Pius X’s liturgical maxim. How right he was!

How would you describe a liberal?

You see, the liberal mind is conflicted and confused, anguished and contradictory. Such a mind was Paul VI’s. Louis Salleron explained it very well when he described Paul VI’s physical countenance, saying “he was two-faced.” Not duplicitous—this word expresses a malicious intent to deceive which was not present in Paul VI. No, he had a double personality, and the contrast between the sides of face expressed this: traditionalist in words, then modernist in action; Catholic in his premises and principles, and then progressive in his conclusions; not condemning what he should have, and then condemning what he ought to have preserved.

This psychological weakness afforded an ideal opportunity for the enemies of the Church. While maintaining a Catholic face (or half-face, if you like) he contradicted tradition without hesitation, he encouraged change, baptized mutation and progress, and followed the lead of the enemies of the Church, who egged him on.

Did not the Izvestia, official newspaper of the Communist Soviet party, demand from Paul VI my condemnation and that of Econe in the name of Vatican II? And the Italian Communist paper L’Unita followed suit after the sermon I gave in Lille on August 29, 1976; furious because of my attack on Communism, they devoted an entire page to their demand. “Be aware,” they wrote, addressing Paul VI, “be aware of the danger Lefebvre represents, and continue the magnificent approach initiated through the ecumenism of Vatican II.” With friends like these, who needs enemies? This is a sad illustration of a rule we have already established: liberalism leads from compromise to treason.

How should priests and faithful who are attached to tradition act under a liberal pope?

The psychology of a liberal pope is easy enough to imagine, but difficult to bear! Indeed, such a leader—be it Paul VI or John Paul II—puts us in a very delicate position.

In practice, our attitude must base itself on a preliminary distinction, made necessary by the extraordinary circumstances of a pope won over by liberalism.  This is the distinction we must make: when the pope says something in keeping with tradition, we follow him; when he opposes the Faith, or encourages opposition of the Faith, or allows something to be done that attacks the Faith, then we cannot follow him. The fundamental reason for this is that the Church, the pope, and the hierarchy must serve the Faith. They do not make the Faith, they must serve it. The Faith cannot be made; it is immutable, and must be transmitted.

This is why papal teachings intended to validate actions opposed to tradition cannot be followed. In following, we would participate in the self-destruction of the Church, in the destruction of our Faith.

It is clear that what is unceasingly demanded of us—complete submission to the pope, complete submission to the Council, acceptance of the entire liturgical reform—is in opposition to tradition, in the sense that the pope, the Council and the reforms lead us far from tradition, as the facts show more overwhelmingly every year. Therefore, to demand these things is to require us to participate in the downfall of the Faith. Impossible! The martyrs died to defend the Faith; we have the example of Christians imprisoned, tortured, sent to concentration camps for the Faith. One grain of incense offered to an idol, and their lives would have been safe. I was advised once, “Sign, sign saying you accept everything, and then you can continue as before!” No! One does not play games with the Faith.


Footnote

1 English translation taken from the Vatican’s website, consulted Jan. 29, 2013.


Translated from Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Ils l’ont decouronne, Clovis, 3rd ed., 2008; pp. 253-260. Available in English translation at Angelus Press as They Have Uncrowned Him (1994).

(Source: DICI no. 269, 2-1-2013)