Death knell for “Good Pope John”
© Copyright 2007, T. Stanfill Benns This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
Despite their membership in various Mass groups, Traditionalists still have doubts about many things. One of these things is whether or not “Good Pope John” (Angelo Roncalli) committed manifest heresy and can be counted officially among the antipopes. Lefebvrites readily accept Roncalli and his 1962 Missal as valid and have done so for many years. Certain Sedevancantists say that there is no hard and fast evidence to prove that Roncalli was truly a manifest heretic. Other Traditionalists simply are undecided on this issue. This dichotomy was noted and commented on by C. Leroux of Calais, France in her Son of Perdition in 1982, (translation by Mrs. R. Morris). Leroux aptly observed that “To limit oneself to denouncing the fiendish work of Paul 6 and of his ‘spiritual son’ Wojtyla without laying the blame on the one who was the very source is a sign of sheer bad faith. Besides, it is contrary to logic and common sense,” and here she says that even the man in the street could see that with the death of Pius XII, a profound change occurred in the Church. “It is high time to render to John 23 that which belongs to him,” she commented; “to lay upon his shoulders the entire burden of the Masonic infiltrations with their disastrous consequences for Peace on Earth.” And taking up Leroux’s now-dusty gauntlet, this is precisely what we intend to do. But first, a little background on the liturgy is in order.
The liturgy and the Church
As Pope Pius XII explained in Mediator Dei, after reminding the faithful that the Credo is a key part of the liturgy,
“The entire liturgy has the Catholic Faith for its content…it bears public witness to the faith of the Church. For this reason whenever there was a question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils, in their recourse to ‘theological sources,’ as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the Liturgy…’The rule for prayer determines the rule for belief.’ The Sacred Liturgy does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic Faith…If one desires to differentiate and described the relationship between faith and the Sacred Liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say…‘let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer.’”
And so Catholic doctrine stands outside and above the liturgy. Here we see that Pope Pius XII deliberately reversed the “Lex orandi, lex credendi” touted by the liturgists to prove a point. And he did so because people like Roncalli and his associates were already using this rule to advocate and facilitate actual changes. And yet even Traditionalists reject this clear teaching of the ordinary magisterium as false and injurious to the Church today. This is proven by the many “opinions” concerning the validity of the NOM, the lawfulness of attending an NOM, of using priests ordained in NO rites and other matters. And yet Pope Pius taught in this same encyclical that:
“The Sacred Liturgy does include Divine as well as human elements. The former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in any way by men…The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification…No private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body, and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.”
This is only a reiteration of Pope St. Pius V’s Quo Primum, never abrogated, despite what some Trads now aver. Treating of changes in the Canon of the Mass, the Council of Trent, in DZ 953 and 956, condemned any abrogation or changes, on the pretext of errors; and DZ 956 proscribes the use of the vernacular in the Canon. In analyzing Quo Primum, Loudikis and Whitehead, in their The Pope, the Council and the Mass, also other self-appointed theologians, conclude that this document was merely a “disciplinary” act and as such could not be infallible. (Several conclude the same concerning a large portion of Pope Paul IV’s Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio.) But as Pope Pius XII points out, Divine and human elements are mixed in the Canon, and those that are divine, as Devivier and Sasia also note, may never be touched.
Many ignore Pius XII’s obvious intent in Mediator Dei to reserve all decisions on the liturgy to himself. No firm assent there, despite the fact that the ordinary as well as the extraordinary magisterium is de fide, and that both equally bind Catholic consciences. To make theology answerable to what is contained only in the liturgy is to turn sacred science on its ear. Doctrine is the very bulwark of the Church, and the liturgy, by comparison, is only one of several aspects of the Church’s existence. As Rev. Augustine Rock explained in the June, 1953 issue of The American Ecclesiastical Review, “The liturgy is a part of the Church’s life, but it is not the Church…The liturgy is not directly and immediately ordained to the salvation of men,” no matter how loudly Traditionalists object to the contrary. “Theology is capable of teaching the meaning of the liturgy, but the liturgy cannot teach theology,” (“Liturgy, Theology and the Church of God”). So any understanding of the liturgy must be based strictly on theological principles, not proofs presented in a style popular with secular journalists.
This very fact should tell Catholics all that they wish to know concerning the inviolability of the Canon of the Mass, especially Christ’s very words in the Consecration. It is this Divine element of the Mass that Pope Pius XII says cannot be touched by man. Nor, he adds, can any person, even a cleric, presume to alter the liturgy. Period. These teachings, also those found in Sacramentum Ordinis, should tell us something else. The rites of the Mass and Sacraments are not to be disturbed and cannot be disturbed — even by valid and licit bishops — for any reason. Because all Trads ordained and/or consecrated without apostolic mandate are at best doubtfully valid and illicit, he could never possess apostolicity; they are not legitimate pastors. They cannot so much as venture an opinion as to whether the NOM effects valid consecration or whether those other than the diocesan bishop may ordain priests. Pope Pius XII forbids clerics to make these decisions, reserving them to the Pope alone. When in doubt, Canon Law tells us to obey the old law, (Can. 6§4). Why this is so hard for Traditionalists to comprehend is baffling; all they need to do is to follow TRADITION. But the erosion of Tradition began long ago, without their knowledge, as will be shown below. We will begin here with what most believe was the first inroad Roncalli made on the Canon of the Mass. But as will be explained, it actually was the last of three different violations of the Canon by Roncalli, something not realized until only recently.
The 1962 Missal
Inserting St. Joseph’s name in the Canon may appear to be a slight change or minor inroad to most. Yet it was the first official change in the Canon of the Mass for 1500 years, although a minute change was made about 1400 years ago to a part of the Mass outside the Canon. Roncalli was an avowed ecumenist long before his election and this was no secret. His encyclical on religious liberty, Pacem in terris, clearly states that all are free to practice the religion they see fit to practice. “Where he was absolutely adamant was in his insistence on total liberty of conscience,” Paul Johnson said in Pope John XXIII, (p. 153). “Here he demolished orthodox and traditional Catholic teaching.” While such liberty of conscience is allowed to all Catholics, it can never leave the confines of Catholic faith and morals. St. Joseph’s name in the Canon was not an expression of his devotion to St. Joseph, or a liturgical concession. It was a clear signal to the Anglicans that Rome finally blessed their reunionist activities in cooperation with Catholics, condemned by Pope Pius IX in 1864, when these same reunionists first proposed adding St. Joseph’s name to the Canon. And Roncalli’s final blessing of these activities was to grant at last their many petitions. As Roncalli’s biographer Johnson commented, John XXIII had no qualms in overturning the decrees of his predecessors.
In fact the acceptance of the 1962 missal, whether Lefebvrites and others realized it or not, was the first step to the full acceptance of B16 and his antichurch. B16 wedged his foot in the door with his “motu proprio.” He announced that the Tridentine was never abrogated, and this is true: the 1962 “Tridentine” — John 23rd ‘s missal — was the one being celebrated in 1969 when the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) was instituted. Roncalli’s missal was never intended as abrogated by Paul 6; the actual abrogation of the Tridentine Mass had already taken place during Roncalli’s reign when the 1962 Missal replaced that of Pope St. Pius V. It was Roncalli’s missal which departed from the Tradition of the Church in Her liturgy in adding St. Joseph to the Canon. Rev. Kinkead and all other theologians list liturgy as part of revealed Tradition. “The Church finds the revealed truths She is bound to teach in the Holy Scripture and revealed traditions…The Church finds the revealed traditions in the decrees of its Councils; in its books of worship; …in the lives of its saints, the writings of the Fathers and in its own history,” (Kinkead’s Baltimore Catechism #3, Q. 557 and 560). Revealed Traditions are faithfully preserved and handed down; they do not permit innovation. (And those supporting the 1962 missal are Traditionalists?!)
The introduction of St. Joseph into the Canon “was absolutely contrary to the meaning of the Mass, which is the Sacrifice of the New Covenant,” C. Leroux writes. “St. Joseph, having died before the public life of Jesus and before His Passion was part of the Old Testament, whatever we may wish. At the Canon of the Mass, only the names of martyrs and defenders of the Faith must appear, and those who are charged with maintaining orthodoxy…From then on, decisions ruinous to our faith continued to accumulate…” The weak reflexes exhibited by Catholics in allowing this monumental change to slip by unnoticed is proof of the gradual decline of Faith over many years. As Patrick Omlor states in his masterful “The Robber Church,” (third printing, Athanasius Press, 1969):
“On December 8, 1962, through the influence of the then nascent Robber Church, the Canon of the Mass, the ancient Roman Canon, was officially destroyed. With the insertion of the name of St. Joseph into it, a change which went into effect on that day, the “Canon” of the Mass ceased to be a canon. Derived from a Greek word meaning a rigid rod or rule, kanon, it is a thing, inflexible and unchangeable. By definition, therefore, the Canon of the Mass is unchangeable. Due to the emphasis many of us have recently placed upon the decree Quo Primum (1570) of Pope St. Pius V, which decree forbade in perpetuity any additions or changes whatsoever in the Roman Missal, under the penalty of incurring “the wrath of Almighty God, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,” there are some who now harbor the incorrect notion that the Roman Canon dates only from the year of Quo Primum, 1570. In truth this Canon, which St. Pius V took the formidable measures of Quo Primum to protect from change, actually is substantially the same as that used by the Roman (or Western) Church from the very beginning; that is to say, it quite probably dates from apostolic times. It is believed that St. Gregory the Great (died A.D. 604) perhaps rearranged the order of certain prayers in the Canon; and this much is an absolute certainty: “Since the seventh century our Canon has remained unchanged.” (Cath. Encyc., v.III, p.256). In The Question of Anglican Ordinations Discussed (London, Burns & Oates, 1873), the esteemed author E. E. Estcourt, then the canon of St. Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, gives the following account:
“What, then, is the Canon of the Mass? and what claims has it on our respect? Let us hear Sir William Palmer, as a writer whose testimony is beyond suspicion. After stating various facts and arguments on the subject, he says: ‘Combining these circumstances together, there seems nothing unreasonable in thinking that the Roman liturgy, as used in the time of Gregory the Great, may have existed from a period of the most remote antiquity; and perhaps there are nearly as good reasons for referring its original composition to the Apostolic age, as there are in the case of the great Oriental liturgy.’
“The care taken to preserve the Canon in its original authentic form we learn from other writers. ‘In ancient times,’ says Muratori, ‘although the liturgy of the Roman Mass was observed generally in the churches of Italy, France, Germany, Britain, and other countries, yet there was no small variety in their Missals; but this did not affect the substance of the mystery, or the chief and essential rites of the Mass. The difference ran in adding collects, sequences, and special feasts, which each Bishop might insert in his own missal. But to change the sacred words of the Canon was a crime.’ By the laws of Charlemagne it was ordered that only men of full age should be employed to transcribe it; and the Councils of York and Oxford in the twelfth century decreed that the Archdeacon should examine in every church whether there were errors or defects in the Canon, either by the faults of transcribers or the books being old. Always too the Canon was written in different and larger characters than the rest, and sometimes in gold letters throughout, as an offering of reverence.” (End of the quotation from Estcourt, pp. 279-280, emphasis added.)
The argument for the 1962 missal hinges on the fact that the Latin Canon of the Mass containing the crucial Consecration formula remains unchanged. The Canon in this missal actually reads “for many” vs. the NOM’s “for all,” (although the official Latin has always remained “pro multis,” although these were never the vernacular words in actual use.). So it is considered “orthodox” despite its other departures from Tradition. But was it really Roncalli’s intent, as so many claim and assume, to retain the Canon and avoid the heretical falsification of Christ’s words? Not when Roncalli authorized the introduction of what amounts to a falsified translation of the Latin version of the Dialogue Mass, minus the Prayers for the Conversion of Russia, only three months after his election. (The St. Michael’s Prayer was made optional in 1960.)
The second violation of the Canon
In January of 1959, a new “mass” appeared, substituting “for all men” vs. “for many” in the English translation of the Canon, (Our Parish Prays and Sings, Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, MN, first edition printed in January, 1959; “The People’s Mass,” Paulist Press, January 1959). These dialogue mass booklets were widely distributed and used throughout the U.S. and even abroad until the Novus Ordo was established in 1969. They came into the hands of the faithful almost immediately following Roncalli’s election and shortly after the consistory that appointed Montini cardinal. So in essence, the most devastating change made in the liturgy and the one that proves Roncalli’s denial of divine law and Scripture — falsifying Our Lord’s very own words and His meaning of redemption — occurred not in 1969 during the reign of Paul 6, but in 1959; not in 1962, at the first session of the false Vatican 2 council but years before it was ever convened. This proves that Roncalli was as much a secular humanist as his dear friend Montini. Whatever the reason for the retention of “for many” in Latin in the 1962 Missal — and it had to be to avoid alerting priests to his true orientation — his intentions here are clear. Roncalli operated on the principal that the laity would come to believe as they prayed, and he was correct. The most abominable violation of the Latin Tridentine Mass was the insertion of “for all men” RIGHT INTO THE TEXT OF POPE PIUS V’s TRIDENTINE LITURGY! Because in these mass booklets, not one iota of the Tridentine Rite is changed except the Canon. This is a far greater insult to Our Lord than even Paul 6’s official promulgation of the NOM would later be. But it follows a logical pattern. If the people have no objection to the changes, then this paves the way for the official promulgation of even bolder changes in the rites of the Sacraments and the liturgy. And if any objections are made, all that needs to be said is that it has been done with the knowledge and consent of the “People of God.”
Can anyone say Americans made this change themselves in defiance of the Vatican? Not when we factor in Roncalli’s Modernist mindset. Surely it was a smile-and-a-wink translation, on the part of those who knew what was coming, to see who would notice. How many people used the booklets is not known, but no hue and cry ever went up from “Traditionalists.” In 10 years time a sufficient number had used the books and accepted the change without ever saying a word. If we wonder why more did not join those who would later become Traditionalists in leaving their churches in the 1960s, this is one of the reasons why. Regardless of any other considerations, Roncalli’s tolerance of “for all men” alone must drastically alter how we view the entire makeup of the Church from that point forward. Did priests really continue to say “for many” at the altar, while the faithful silently read “for all? What does it matter? They were reading and believing heresy — we know who was working behind the scenes and what would later become the NOM. And as Rev. Garrigou LaGrange, O.P. states in his “The Theological Virtues,” Vol. I, On Faith (written before V2 but translated afterwards): “The one thing that suffices for formal heresy is an obstinate denial of any truth which has been infallibly proposed by the Church for belief. It is not necessary that the individual believer realizes that the truth in jeopardy has been revealed.” All those using these mass booklets and praying from them were, at the very least, material heretics. Was the Canon valid, if said correctly by the priest? For other reasons it was not, as one Traditionalist later would amply demonstrate. From the moment of Roncalli’s election the Canon was destroyed. This fact would not be acknowledged until the 21st century, and to this very day very few Catholics indeed have assimilated its full implications.
The Canon was first violated in October, 1958
As the Traditionalist cleric Donald Sanborn pointed out several years ago, the insertion of the name of an antipope into the Canon of the Mass — not actually the Consecration per se, but the actual Canon, nevertheless — is a definite indication that all are in union with whatever “papal” name is inserted. He begins by noting the actual wording of this portion of the Canon:
“…which in the first place we offer up to Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church, that it may please Thee to grant her peace, to protect, unite and govern throughout the world, together with Thy servant N. our Pope, N. our Bishop, and all true believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.” In Latin the phrase together with is rendered by una cum.
He then quotes the following from Pope Benedict XIV: “But whatever can be said about this controverted point of ecclesiastical learning, it is sufficient for us to be able to affirm that the commemoration of the Roman Pontiff in the Mass as well as the prayers said for him in the Sacrifice are considered to be, and are a certain declarative sign, by which the same Pontiff is recognized as the head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ, and the Successor of Saint Peter, and becomes of profession of a mind and will firmly adhering to Catholic unity… Nor is this any less proven by the authority Ivo Flaviniacensis (in Chronicle, p. 228) where it reads: “Let him know that he separates himself from the communion of the whole world, whoever does not mention the name of the Pope in the Canon, for whatever reason of dissension; nor [by the authority of] the well-known Alcuin, who, in his book De Divinis Officiis (chap. 12) wrote this: ‘It is certain, as Blessed Pelagius teaches, that those who, for whatever reason of dissension, do not observe the custom of mentioning the name of the Apostolic Pontiff in the sacred mysteries, are separated from the communion of the whole world.’”
He then lists comments by several priests and theologians, among them the distinguished Rev. F. Lucius Ferraris: ‘First the priest offers the sacrifice for the Church, then in particular for the Pontiff, in accordance with an extremely old custom of the Churches, for the purpose of signifying the unity of the Church and the communion of the members with the head.’
The quote from Pope Benedict XIV alone is enough to convince any believing Catholic that to insert the name of an actual antipope into the Canon immediately invalidates the Mass, if indeed it is not invalidated in some other way. But was Roncalli an antipope? The following will prove that he was indeed and that none counting themselves Catholic could ever think otherwise.
Roncalli, principal agent
It must be remembered that Roncalli’s reign was simply that of a “transition pope,” as so many have referred to him. His mission was to prepare the way for Montini, just as St. John the Baptist prepared the way for Our Lord. While Roncalli could not yet do publicly what Montini would later do, he laid the foundation for all that Montini hoped to accomplish, and this with Montini’s constant input and cooperation, (Montini co-authored Pacem in terris and other “encyclicals”). Montini was the true power behind the throne as biographies on both antipopes reveal. So in reality, in both truth and in fact although covertly, Montini’s reign commenced almost from the day that Roncalli began his usurpation of the Holy See.
One biographical quote proves the truth of this assertion: “In the consistory of Dec. 15, 1958… the list of new cardinals was headed by the name of the Archbishop of Milan, Gian Battista Montini. Thus he is the ‘prima creatura’ of John XXIII and the first in the order of precedence in the Sacred College [of Cardinals]. This papal gesture reflects the esteem of the new Pope [for Montini]…” (Above All a Shepherd, Ugo Groppi and Julius S. Lombardi, 1959. The comments of these authors on Pope Pius XII’s attitude towards Montini are not the general consensus among other authors.)
This discovery also makes us wonder anew about the true caliber of priests who did not leave the Church until the 1960s. Could they really have been that ignorant of what was going on? Is it possible that they actually said the “new mass” before it ever became official? Would they admit this if they did? And since the 1962 Missal, not the NOM, was actually the missal that replaced the Tridentine, isn’t this the definitive dividing line where the liturgy is concerned? Wasn’t Roncalli simply using the faithful as laboratory rats? He first changed the Consecration formula in lay missals to “for all men” without any opposition. He then successfully altered the Canon, untouched for 1500 years or more and proved that no one would balk at that change, either. Because of the addition of St. Joseph, it had to be a new missal; why else call it the 1962 Missal, and not simply the Missale Romanum of St. Pius V? Because it was NOT the missal of St. Pius V once St. Joseph was added; in Quo Primum Pope St. Pius V forbids anyone to make any changes to his missal.
True; a valid successor, for serious reasons, could have licitly made minor changes, but never to the Canon. Revs. Devivier and Sasia, personally commended by St. Pius X, write: “Worship may undergo certain minor modifications as to accessory rites or ceremonies, though it ever remains the same in essential things established by Jesus Christ,” (either directly or by way of revealed oral Tradition to His Apostles.) And here we must remember that Roncalli was certainly not a valid successor to the papacy. His 1962 Missal bears the distinctively ecumenical mark of an antipope, it breaks with 1500 years of revealed Tradition and as such it must be rejected. This is not the Mass approved by the Council of Trent. There is no reason for anyone to use this perverted version of the true Mass, unless it would be to pay homage in some way to Roncalli, his heretical ecumenism and his successors in perfidy.
Pius XII teaches that: “The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites and also to modify those that require modification.” Loudikis and Whitehead offer a brief summary of historical changes to the liturgy as Pope Clement VIII’s changes to Bible chant pieces in 1604; Urban VIII’s changes in the wording of the rubrics in 1634; and the revisions based on the reforms of Pope St. Pius X introduced in 1920. Here we must remember that Divine worship encompasses many more things than the Sacrifice of the Mass. Many incidentals are connected to the liturgy and it is these incidentals that were changed or adjusted — not the ceremony of the Mass itself — and most certainly not the Canon of the Mass. Abbot Gasquet, O.S.B. tells us that “There is one unchanging ritual called the ‘Canon,’ during which the words of Consecration are pronounced over the bread and the wine…Our present detailed knowledge of the Mass goes back for 1,300 years [this in 1913], and, with the exception of one short clause inserted by Pope Gregory the Great, it has remained unchanged to the present day,” (Breaking With the Past).
In civil law, accomplices are usually considered just as guilty as the primary perpetrators of a crime. This principle is reflected in Canon 2209: “Persons who conspire to commit an offense and also physically concur in the execution of the same are all guilty in the same degree, unless circumstances decrease or diminish the liability of some individual.” In fact Roncalli, by definition, was the principal agent in charge of the destruction of the Church, as C. Leroux maintains. Revs. Woywod-Smith, in their definition of a principal agent under this Canon, write: “The mandans [principal agent] is one who either commands another over whom he has authority or commissions a person as his agent to perpetrate an offense. He is considered the principal author of the offense,” and Roncalli commissioned Montini and others. Can. 2315, which levies the penalty for those who incur suspicion of heresy for helping to propagate heresy under Can. 2316, confirms this. After allowing enough time to make sure that the offense was not the result of force, fear or ignorance, Can. 2315 declares, the offender is considered guilty of heresy. Cum ex Apostolatus Officio is listed as one of the sources for Can. 2316 (also Can. 2315 by inference) in the Latin version of the Code, (Codex Iuris Canonici, Peter Cardinal Gasparri, Newman Press, 1957. This is only one of several Canons where Cum ex is listed as a source.) If, after six months time, the offender has not recanted or objected that the offense was the result of force, fear or ignorance, Can. 2315 declares the offender guilty of heresy. These disqualifiers don’t apply to Roncalli for reasons explained below.
According to Rev. Anscar Parsons in his work Canonical Elections, papal election law is ultimately the model for ecclesiastical elections. Neuberger says papal elections are special legislation, which is one reason why Pope St. Pius X’s Constitution on papal elections was not affected by the Code and was retained almost in its entirety in Pope Pius XII’s 1945 election law. Both of these were bound by the same oath that binds Cum ex and Quo Primum. Canon 167§5 tells us that those deprived of active vote by the common or particular law also would not be allowed to participate in the election. A common law is any law issued by the Roman Pontiff. Cum ex, as a common law listed as a source for this law states: “It shall not be considered to have given or to give any power of administration in matters spiritual or temporal, to such persons promoted as Archbishops, Patriarchs or primates or elevated as Cardinals or as Roman Pontiff. Rather, each and, every one of their statements, deeds, enactments, and administrative acts, of any kind, and any result thereof whatsoever, shall be without force and shall confer no legality or right on anyone. The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power, without any exception as regards those who might have been promoted or elevated before they deviated from the faith, became heretics, incurred schism, or committed or encouraged any or all of these.”
Here we see that even if only suspect of heresy or schism, pre-election; even if this suspicion is not confirmed until after the election, such a man is not validly elected and must be declared as deposed. This is true because the grade of certainty required for papal validity is much higher than that required in other matters, since the validity of papal elections is a dogmatic fact. Cum ex, therefore is a common law which has the power to invalidate an entire election, even if the one elected only encouraged heresy following his election. Therefore those convinced that Montini was an antipope must likewise consider Roncalli every bit as much an antipope and more. Because in reality, John 23 did not just encourage ALL these things, he welcomed them with open arms. de Poncins describes. It, “The campaign for closer relations between Freemasonry and the Church remained quiescent while Pius XII was Pope; obviously…the Progressives, who by this time enjoyed a considerable influence in the Church realized that they had little chance of success during the Pope’s lifetime. With the accession of Pope John 23 and the growth of the new conceptions of ecumenism, which followed this event, something like an explosion took place. A sudden flowering of works devoted to Freemasonry blossomed forth from a variety of authors…in favor of a reconciliation between the Catholic Church and Freemasonry,” (“Freemasonry and the Vatican”)
Montini finished V2, begun by Roncalli. He was both his partner and his accomplice, and later also became the principal agent in his own right. Both, under the definitions of the law, are equally guilty of heresy, apostasy and schism. According to the rules of conscience, a doubt is sufficient to cause one to discount Roncalli’s validity. Could Roncalli’s act be contributed to ignorance? Not if we rest on presumption as a reflex principle. As the rule of law quoted by Rev. Cicognani concerning presumptions states: “Whoever is once bad is presumed to be so always (in the same delict.)” And as we shall see below, Roncalli already had been designated as a suspected Modernist in his early years. Also, cardinals are presumed to possess “exceptional learning” according to Can. 232, so ignorance is no excuse. Under Can. 2316, we turn to the old law on what happens to one who is presenting as a true pope yet is propagating heresy; he automatically loses his office. There can be no exceptions to laws made to protect against a common danger unless it is absolutely certain that in a particular case the danger has ceased, (Can. 21). Valid Popes alone can direct the faithful to salvation, and so in this, as with the Sacraments, Catholics must decide in favor of safeguarding the faith. There are numerous documented doubts concerning Roncalli’s validity, here and elsewhere, that should give Traditionalists pause.
Roncalli’s poisonous legacy
Roncalli’s doctrinal deviance began long before he became John 23. According to C. Leroux, he had plenty of time to plot his course as “pope.” Leroux writes, quoting a French work called Echoes of the Supernatural: “As to the Council, I wrote to Cardinal Roncalli, (former Nuncio to Paris, to whom I was an advisor) on Aug. 14, 1954, to announce his future election (to the papacy)…I asked for a meeting with him…to study his first work, the Council.” And other peculiar and disturbing incidents in Roncalli’s life can only serve to demonstrate his invalidity.
1) Prior to Pope St. Pius X’s death, Angelo Roncalli was appointed secretary to Bp. Radini, who was originally a protégé of Cardinal Rampolla’s. At the time, Radini was under surveillance by the Sodalitum Pianum, the society established personally by Pope Pius X to flush out Modernists. Prior to this appointment, Roncalli had served as a part-time professor of Patrology at the Lateran College in Rome. His appointment was short-lived, however, for after serving only one term, he was purportedly dismissed “for having fallen into Modernism,” according to his friend Dom Lambert Beauduin. Paul Johnson documents this incident in his biography of Roncalli, “Pope John XXIII.” Canon Law declares that those once guilty of a delict in some offense are always assumed to be guilty of that same delict, should the question be raised at a later date.
2) According to Fr. Bonnetere, as stated in a review of his book “The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results” by Michael Davies: “Although the reforms of Pius XII had given some satisfaction to the leaders of the [Liturgical] Movement, the implacable orthodoxy that the Pope had maintained throughout had not been to their taste. New and more daring reforms were called for, and they needed a pope who understood the problem of ecumenism and who was a wholehearted supporter of the Movement. [Bonnetere] claims that: “The news of the death of the Angelic Pastor was received with almost delirious joy by the deviated Liturgical Movement.” The aged Dom Lambert Beauduin had not the least doubt as to the cardinal he hoped would be elected, and confided his hopes to Father Bouyer: ‘If they elect Roncalli,’ he said ‘all will be saved. He will be capable of calling a Council and canonizing ecumenism…’ Silence fell; then, with a return of his old mischieviousness, he said with flashing eyes, ‘I believe we have a good chance. Most of the cardinals are not sure what to do. They are capable of voting for him.’” (http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/newmass/roman.html)
3) Many cite John 23’s “Veterum Sapientiae” on the retention of Latin as proof that Roncalli favored the old Mass and would not have approved of the Novus Ordo. This is disproved by Paul 6 biographer Andre Fabert, who wrote: “Giuseppe Cardinal Pizzardo…had drawn up a paper reaffirming Latin as the language of the universal Church…Montini went to visit his old friend, begging him to reconsider. But Pizzardo was firm. Montini had to submit the draft of Pizzardo’s to the Pope. Pope John left it on his desk for two months, and then finally signed it…to appease the Curialists. He was waiting for the Council to begin. Privately he told the bishops: ‘Pay no attention to Veterum Sapientiae,’” (“Pope Paul VI”).
4) In the work “Nikita Roncalli,” written in the 1970’s but not published until the 1990s, Italian author Franco Belligrande states: “The election of the patriarch of Venice at the Conclave of 1958 was known in advance… Cardinal Eugenio Tisserant [wrote] to an abbot professor of Canon Law, in which the French cardinal declares illegal the election of John XXIII, because [it was] ‘wanted’ and ‘arranged’ by forces ‘extraneous’ of the Holy Spirit,” (Cfr. “Vita” of September 18, 1977 pg. 4 “Le profezie sui papi nell’elenco di San Malachia”, by “Il Minutante”). Leroux amd Delores Morris note this same fact, quoting from an entirely different source: “As to the Council, I wrote to Cardinal Roncalli, (former Nuncio to Paris, to whom I was an advisor) on Aug. 14, 1954, to announce his future election (to the papacy)…I asked for a meeting with him…to study his first work, the Council…I specified, ‘would you please reflect on these things because there is no time to waste. Right from the accession to the pontifical throne, the plan must unfold instantly and take all the politicians by surprise,” (December, 1961 issue of the French periodical, “The Echoes of the Supernatural.” This document can be viewed at https://issuu.com/spanmagazine/docs/12-1961-cr)
5) In the same work, Belligrande also writes: “It will suffice to consider that, following the promulgation of the encyclical Pacem in Terris, in which Pope Roncalli proclaimed that ‘There can, and should be cooperation between the Catholics and the Communist regimes on the social and political level,’ [that] in the April 28, 1963 Italian elections the Communists gained one million more votes than in the previous elections, five years earlier. This first clamorous success of the Italian Communist party (PCI) was unanimously attributed to the policy of John XXIII; they called it “Ecclesiastical Leftism”, when he was still alive, or “Giovannismo” which they did after his death.” And of course Communism is condemned by Popes Pius IX and Pius XI as heretical, which all Catholics knew without question.
6) As stated above, Roncalli, not Montini was the first to introduce the new formula of consecration into lay dialogue mass books, as a test for lay Catholics. The insertion met with no resistance. According to the rule of law that silence gives consent, the laity implicitly approved this change that was intended to test the waters for the potential success of the false council soon to be convened. Politically it achieved what Rev. Albert Kaiser observed in his December 1953 article for The American Ecclesiastical Review: “The Gallican and Febronian pretension of limiting Papal jurisdiction in favor of episcopal equality was more or less a cover-up for an underground movement to nationalize the Church. The ‘Free from Rome’ movement in a sense dove-tailed with the Nazi political movement. As the French Revolution’s disastrous effects helped bring the dissident clergy back to the Pope, so Hitler’s providential defeat contributed to help the Pope reclaim the ‘German nationalists.’” (Doesn’t this sound suspiciously like the Sedevacantists among Traditionalists, many of whom are blatantly anti-Semitic and against any effort to restore the papacy?) Rev. Kaiser blamed “liturgical novelties and errors” on “overzealous activists” in Germany, who frequented liturgical and Catholic Action meetings in order to combat National Socialism. According to Kaiser, all the later abuses found in the Novus Ordo already were practiced in Germany in 1937. These included Mass facing the people, removal of the tabernacle to a safe in the wall (a necessity during the war), standing to receive Holy Communion and forbidding the Rosary and all other private devotions at Mass. What he either did not then realize or neglected to explain was that the liturgical movement had a long history in Europe even before the advent of World War II.
Around the feast of the Ascension in 1922, at St. Gertrude’s Church near Klosterneuberg, Austria, “…the so-called lay liturgical movement began,” Rev. Pius Parsch wrote. “In Germany it was the abbeys of Maria Laach and Beurin which ardently took up the idea.” Parsch, a professor of theology who wrote several books on the liturgy was among the first to begin dismantling the Mass, as his brief autobiography reveals. “The lay liturgical movement…looks for all possible ways of bringing the laity into its celebration. The laity must realize that much in the Mass has become set and fossilized (!) The fore-mass has almost completely lost its purpose…A new type of piety has been developed which goes back to the early Church…Our work will extend in ever-widening circles in the Church and…will erect a bridge of agreement with our separated brethren.” Here in a nutshell we have all the errors promulgated by the V2 anti-Church. http://www.catholicauthors.com/parsch.html
Besides Parsch, we also have Dom Beauduin operating in approximately the same time frame in Belgium. Although he saw in the liturgy great opportunities to instruct, catechize and inspire the faithful, in his intemperate zeal for lay participation and change Beauduin “began to think in terms of freeing the liturgy from old traditions and rules…(He) was the first to make experiments in the Ecumenical Movement.” The monk was involved in forming an ecumenical monastery embracing both Catholic and Orthodox monks in 1924, but instead of converting the Orthodox, the Orthodox began recruiting the Catholics. This led Pope Pius XI to issue Mortalium Animos on true and false ecumenism. Beauduin resigned, but never publicly abjured his heresy. Later his good friend Angelo Roncalli would reign in Rome and vindicate his life’s work.
The monastery of Maria Laach in Germany mentioned by Parsch produced Dom Odo Casel, another fly in the liturgical ointment. Casel used archaeological study to promote the idea that the Church had, over time, lost the true sense intended by Christ for the liturgy. He taught that the second millennia of Christianity was not faithful to the liturgical practice and intent of the first millennia, creating in the faithful a desire to return to this initial “primitive purity.” Parsch and Casel emphasized the interaction of priest and celebrant as more true to the meaning of the liturgy in the early Church. By stressing the importance of the God-man, Christ bodily with the Apostles and faithful following the Resurrection, less emphasis was placed on Christ’s Presence in the Host. This was a mystery requiring belief in the unseen based on Christ’s teaching, not His physical presence as represented by the priest. Thus was lost the Mystery of Faith. All the elements of the Novus Ordo Missae are here.
1) “Liberals have wrongly envisioned liturgical Tradition as an experimental ground for testing doctrines before they are embodied in the teaching of the Church,” (Rev. Kaiser’s “The Historical Backgrounds and Theology of Mediator Dei,” Pt. I). And certainly Roncalli was a liberal of the first order. Thus did the law of praying ultimately become the law for believing and accepting when the first changes to the Canon appeared in 1959. Certainly Roncalli knew all about the new prayer books issued in 1959; his old friend Dom Beauduin and other extreme liturgist friends were quick to inform him of all progress on the liturgical and ecumenical front. And Roncalli, as Johnson reports, had no problem in contradicting the teachings of his predecessors, even if it meant experimenting with the liturgy by falsifying Christ’s words.
7) We learn the following from Leon de Poncins’ work, Freemasonry and the Vatican: “The campaign for closer relations with Freemasonry remained quiescent while Pius XII was pope…The progressives realized they had little chance of success during the Pope’s lifetime. With the accession of Pope John XXIII, and the growth of the new conceptions of ecumenism…something like an explosion took place. A sudden flowering of works devoted to Freemasonry blossomed forth from a variety of authors. Historians, philosophers, journalists and politicians all worked, each in their own sphere, in favor of a reconciliation between the Catholic Church and Freemasonry…After the manner of Communism, Freemasonry no longer sets itself up as the declared adversary of the Church. Instead of openly attacking her, it is seeking to infiltrate and penetrate her in order to impose its own humanitarian, naturalistic and anti-traditional conceptions. The success of the general penetration of the forces of subversion was made possible by the support, which at times attained a fanatical pitch, of progressive elements in the Church, and the last council [referred to here as V2 because it was not a true council of the Church] revealed to the whole world the strength and extent of their ascendancy. We are confronted here with a new and absolutely unprecedented situation in the history of Christianity, which would now appear to be in a state of permanent civil war. Subversion has entered the very heart of the Church, and all her traditional doctrines are being questioned. This is a state of affairs the gravity of which cannot be concealed.”
Even before his “election,” Roncalli had rehabilitated Marc Sangier, founder of the Sillon and “undisputed master” of the Christian Democrats. As Brother Michael of the Trinity relates: “Abp. Roncalli, in a letter clearly intended to be circulated in French political circles, canonized the founder of the Sillon [following his death], rejoicing that for their part ‘the most authoritative voices in French public life,’ Masonic, laicizing and Socialist voices, also canonized him in their own way,” (The Whole Truth About Fatima: The Third Secret, pg. 354). “(Bishop) Roncalli appointed Baron Yves Marsaudon, a close friend and 33rd degree Freemason, as head of the strictly Catholic organization [Knights of Malta]” in France, (“La Popessa” by Paul Murphy; several other works also confirm this). This pandering to a known apostate organization alone classifies Ronacalli as a heretic and greatly increases the likelihood that reports he was a Rosicrucian are indeed true. This was first revealed by Dr. Cyril Andrade, writing in 1976, and Andrade provided important quotes to prove that Roncalli indeed was not only sympathetic to Masonry, but was its professed protector, (see Dr. Andrade’s article in this section).
Pope Clement XII wrote: “We command the faithful to abstain from intercourse with those societies in order to avoid excommunication… which will be the penalty imposed upon all those contravening this, Our order. None, except at the point of death, could be absolved of this sin except by…the then existing Roman Pontiff,” (“In Eminenti,” 1738; renewed by Pope Leo XIII in “Humanum Genus,” 1884). Commenting on Pope Clement’s statement, the Freemasonry expert Msgr. Jouin wrote: “Not only is the condemnation by Pope Clement XII extended to Masonic sects, but it applies also to all…who, although they are not members of societies called Freemasonic, favor them in any manner,” (Speech given Dec. 8, 1930). So is there now any doubt that Roncalli was ever a true pope? Based on these papal documents, there shouldn’t be. Should there remain any doubt concerning the mind of the lawgiver in this case, we have the actual words of Pope Paul IV to confirm his true hatred of heresy. During the trial of the Cardinal he suspected of heresy, Giovanni Morone, Paul IV decreed that “any cardinal accused of heresy could not be elected pope.” In a show of zeal, Paul also said: “If I discovered that my own father was a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him,” (The Papal Princes, Glenn D. Kittler). It is important to remember that Pope Paul IV’s infallible teaching on heresy, “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio,” was used as the old law on which nearly all the present canons censuring Catholics for heresy, apostasy and schism are based. When any doubts arise concerning the application or meaning of a law, under Can. 6§4 we are to return to this law. (See this site’s section on Canon Law: Heresy in Canon Law for commentaries on Pope Paul IV’s Bull.)
8) Having allowed others to campaign for his election prior to the death of Pope Pius XII and yet accepting election despite this, Roncalli excommunicated himself in such a way that he could not be elected unless and until he was absolved by a true Pope. This according to the 1945 election constitution “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis,” (V.A.S.) where Pius XII added excommunications reserved in a special manner to the Holy See for just such incidents. Canon 2330 reads: “With regard to the penalties enacted against offenses which may be committed in the election of a Roman Pontiff, the only law to be considered is the Constitution of Pope Pius X…(Commentary by Revs. Woywod-Smith: “The Constitution ‘Vacantis Apostolica Sedis,’ of Pope Pius XII, December 8, 1945 revised and supplanted the constitution of Pope Pius X….The name of Pope Pius XII should now be substituted in the Canon in the place of Pope Pius X…) All of these excommunications are reserved to the Supreme Pontiff so that nobody, (not even the Major Penitentiary), can absolve them except in danger of death. These excommunications are as follows: (6) The discussion of a successor to the Roman Pontiff while he is sill living and without consulting him; the promise to vote for such future candidate; and all deliberations and discussion on this subject at private gatherings, (V.A.S. no. 93).” And no. (8): “Agreements, compacts, promises or any other obligations made or assumed by Cardinals which may restrict their freedom of voting or not voting for some one or several candidates, (V.A.S. no. 95).”
A footnote to this canon states that the sentences are most likely latae sententiae, and cannot be absolved from in urgent cases (Can. 2254) in the absence of a true pope. This is because Can. 2330 itself states that only the constitution governs the censures exclusively, not the Code. Because there is no Pope during an interregnum the one in question would need to wait until the election is concluded for the absolution and in the meantime could not be elected, although he would apparently be allowed to vote under V.A.S. no. 34. The mandate of the cardinals per V.A.S. is to elect only the one “best fitted to govern the universal Church,” and that certainly would not be a man who had incurred excommunication for campaigning for himself or allowing others to campaign for him. Roncalli, however, was already unable to be elected for his relations with Freemasons and sympathy shown to the Communists. Even so, the censure adds to his deficit, for Rev. Anscar Parsons, O.F.M, in his work: “Canonical Elections,” (Catholic Univ. of America, 1939) notes that those considered unfit or unworthy of election are “those who are legally infamous or laboring under censure [also] notorious apostates, schismatics…public sinners and persons whose conduct is sinful or scandalous.” Roncalli qualifies on all counts.
9) “A college which knowingly elects an unworthy person is automatically deprived, for that particular election, of the right to hold a new election,” (Can. 2391, no. 1). Most of the same cardinals who elected Roncalli elected Paul 6, yet they were barred from positing another election. Parsons comments on this canon: “Is the election of an unworthy person void from the beginning? It seem that it is, for the law says that the chapter deprived of the right to proceed to ‘a new election.’ In making this disposition, the legislator seems to suppose that the original choice was null and void.” And Rev. Parsons assures readers in his work that there is no doubt the laws governing ecclesiastical elections apply here, for he writes: “The election of the Holy Father has been the prototype for the election of inferior prelates.” In the end Roncalli was unworthy because he was a heretic, and this we have on the authority of Pope Paul IV’s infallible Bull. But what results is the most important part. For both Paul IV’s “Cum ex…” and Can. 2391 no. 1 relieve us of he responsibility of determining whether or not those elected after Pope Pius XII were possibly valid. “Cum ex…” tells us concerning those appointed by heretics who appear to possess and office:
“Every one of their statements, deeds, enactments, and administrative acts, of any kind, and any result thereof whatsoever, shall be without force and shall confer no legality or right on anyone. The persons themselves so promoted and elevated shall, ipso facto and without need for any further declaration, be deprived of any dignity, position, honor, title, authority, office and power, [without any exception as regards those who might have been promoted or elevated before they deviated from the faith, became heretics, incurred schism, or committed or encouraged any or all of these.]” And Can 2391 rejects all those electing an unworthy person even should a new election be held. Add to this the fact that Vacantis Apostolica Sedis declares null and void any acts performed by others requiring papal jurisdiction during the interregnum, and this would include lifting the censures for violating the election law. So the question on whether the censures for discussing he election prior to the death of the pope has answered itself.
Catholics fell prey unwittingly to the “Mass distraction” after Pius XII’s death, the belief that the main cause of the problems in the Church was the destruction of the Mass, not the papacy. They failed to put together the things unfolding right before their eyes and attribute it to the proper cause — lack of a true pope. None of what happened could possibly have transpired had a true pope been elected. Everyone knew that antipopes had existed in the past but the prevailing thinking was “It could never happen here, to us.” The proofs were all there; those wishing to fight the changes as they occurred had only to object. Precious years slipped by and time ran out. When the Novus Ordo Missae was introduced and things made clear, people left in droves, and yet nothing had changed from the time Roncalli first introduced the dialogue mass books.
As C. Leroux said in the beginning, no one can escape the reality of Roncalli’s complicity with Montini and all those others who sought to destroy the Church. What may once have constituted grave doubt for honest Traditionalists — enough to stay as far away from anything Roncalli touched as possible — must now give way to certainty where his classification as an antipope is concerned. For given the proofs, no one can scarcely call him “Good Pope John,” when his is both an antichrist and antipope.