+St. Bernardine of Siena+
(CORRECTIONS: The article The Final Chapter…, posted at https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Final-Chapter-for-web.pdf has been corrected to show that Charles III, the present monarch ruling Great Britain, (not Charles V as written before), has been labeled by some Protestants as a candidate for the Antichrist. In last week’s blog it was reported that Paul 6 spoke at the UN Oct. 4, 1966. This should have read Oct. 4, 1965 and has been corrected. Thank you, Mark, for catching these.)
A reader has asked if Bp. Fulton Sheen was aware of Pope Pius XII’s Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis, citing the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InOxXztIa2c . If Sheen wasn’t aware of such an important document, and I assume that he was, he should have been. Certainly he was aware of what was coming, as this video demonstrates. And he almost perfectly described the Antichrist, as the video also reveals, and as I quoted him in The Phantom Church in Rome. That Catholics listened to this broadcast and did not then recognize Paul 6 as its fulfillment is a fearful example of the powerful seduction St. Paul prophesied: the operation of error to believe lies. I have not been able to discover the address that Sheen refers to in the video allowing for the election of a pope outside Rome. But it is mentioned obliquely here, in a conference with the cardinals held shortly after the Nazi attempt to bomb the papal apartments in Rome.
“On February 9, 1944, Pope Pius XII summoned all the Cardinals then in Rome to the Vatican. They awaited him in the Sistine Chapel. Pius came to them not in splendor, as he usually appeared, but walking swiftly in the simple white cassock of every day. Very gravely he told them of the situation and of his resolve that since he had ordered all Catholic Bishops to remain at their post, the Bishop of Rome would not leave his. But he said: “We release you from any obligation to follow our fate. Each one of you is free to do what you think best.”
Then, in that most beautiful Chapel where five years before they had sworn fealty to him and kissed his foot, he absolved them from their oath. If anything should happen to him, he told them, IF HE WERE IMPRISONED OR KILLED, they must gather together WHEREVER THEY COULD and elect a new Pope. White-faced and with tears streaming from their eyes, the Cardinals all refused [to obey] this one command of their Pontiff and together they pledged their faith to him once more” (Crown of Glory, The Life of Pope Pius XII, Alden Hatch and Seamus Walsh, 1957, Hawthorne Books; imprimatur 1956).
This should settle any questions regarding the mind of Pope Pius XII and the absolute necessity of a papal election in an emergency situation. A year later, following the end of the war, Pope Pius XII would write his papal election constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS), which forbids anyone to usurp papal jurisdiction, change papal laws, or change, modify or dispense from Canon Law during an interregnum. This had already been decreed in Pope St. Pius X’s 1904 election constitution, but Pope Pius XII rewrote that constitution, simply restating in his own words, with a few important additions, what Pope St. Pius X had already issued in his previous codification of papal election law. Pius XII appended to his constitution changes made by Pope Pius XI and the requirement the election be decided by a two-thirds plus one majority. He also repeated the sanctions levied should there be any lay interference in the election.
But he made another very important change that few seem to have noticed. Pius XII made it perfectly clear, in paragraph three of his constitution, that should anyone attempt to usurp papal jurisdiction, or to change or dispense from Canon Law or papal law, especially VAS, the attempt and any acts that followed were null, void and invalid, declaring this with his Supreme Apostolic authority. It could be said that even then he feared that something could go very wrong in the next election, and wished to make sure his constitution was airtight. And he was not mistaken in his prescient assessment
1958 papal election
“Because Pope Pius XII had held only two consistories (in 1946 and 1953) during his tenure, the College of Cardinals — whose maximum size, as set by Pope Sixtus V in the sixteenth century, was then seventy — was noticeably short of members. There were fifty-four cardinal electors, of whom twelve had been elevated by Pope Pius XI, but due to travel restrictions imposed by their Communist governments, József Mindszenty and Aloysius Stepinac were not able to travel to Rome. Edward Mooney died before the conclave, leaving fifty-one electors who participated in the conclave, and thus a potential Pope needed only thirty-five votes” (Wikipedia). One source reports that according to Cardinal Tisserant, Roncalli received 36 votes, meaning that the other 15 cardinals voted for another candidate. These most likely were those appointed by Pope Pius XI and a few others.
In a Time magazine article written shortly after Pope Pius XII’s death, one journalist wrote: “In his preoccupation with the world at large and with his diplomat’s tendency to avoid sharp edges, Pope Pius often neglected the Vatican itself. He seemed to shrink from making much-needed appointments to the central machinery of the church. Result, at the time of his death: 15 vacancies in a superannuated College of Cardinals, no Secretary of State, no governor for Vatican City, no camerlengo… Said one of his closest advisers sadly last week: ‘He provided badly for his successor.’ ” But was this really the case?
Sometime in 1952, it appears that Pius XII was entertaining doubts about the credibility of the Fatima message, or at least the reliability of those clerics charged with reporting to him regarding Sr. Lucia’s activities and what she was writing and requesting. It is quite possible that he had even heard rumors of her death and wanted to verify her identity. In late August of 1952, the pope sent the Austrian Jesuit Schweigel to speak to Sr. Lucia and pose 31 questions to the seer. At that time Montini was still acting as Pope Pius XII’s pro-secretary of state in the Vatican. Shortly after Schweigel departed, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite reports in his work, The Whole Truth About Fatima: The Third Secret, Vol. III, that Pope Pius XII fell gravely ill, according to his physician, Count Galeazzi-Lisi.
As reported by Frere Michel and one account online, also other sources, Galeazzi-Lisi attributed the illness to “chromic acid poisoning” caused by the pope’s toothpaste, which was intended for a one-time use but which the pope unknowingly had continued to brush his teeth with. This report came from John-Peter Pham, an American priest who served in the Vatican diplomatic service. What Galeazzi-Lisi failed to mention is that he had referred Pius XII to the dentist who prescribed the chromic acid treatments. The pope’s gastritis returned the following year and on the advice of Galeazzi-Lisi, the pope received unorthodox treatments for the condition, according to Pham. Pius XII received these same treatments again in January of 1954 when he became gravely ill with gastritis and a diaphragmatic hernia.
According to William E. Barrett’s biography of Paul 6, Shepherd of Mankind, shortly after the death of the former Archbishop of Milan in August of 1954, Pius XII told Montini he would be appointed to the empty see. The official announcement of his appointment was not made, however, until November of 1954. Barrett also confirms the pope had suffered quietly from his stomach condition for some time before it worsened in January of 1954. During the time span of Pope Pius XII’s illness, August of 1952 to December of 1954, the pope had learned many disturbing things about Montini. It was shortly before his illness worsened that Pope Pius XII discovered Montini’s true role as a U.S. agent, working first with the OSS and later the CIA. Ill or not, the pope took action.
Following the additional discovery that Montini was actively cooperating with the Communists, had failed to inform him of a schism in China, and that some of the information he had leaked to the Soviets resulted in the assassination of bishops and priests sent secretly into Russia, he informed Montini of his dismissal as pro-secretary of State. And perhaps, prior to and following Montini’s dismissal, he began to discover certain connections regarding Fatima and Montini’s activities that also alarmed him.
After staying for some time at his summer residence, Castel Gondolfo, the Pope returned to the Vatican on November 27, 1954. Hatch and Walshe report in their biography: “He was literally a wraith. Nearly a year had passed since he had been taken sick. From a normal 145 pounds his weight was down to 105 pounds. The violent hiccupping had returned and he could neither eat nor retain food. As he lay breathing shallowly on his narrow bed, his skin was so white and drawn it appeared translucent. Only his black eyes were still lighted by intelligence and his indomitable spirit. The Pope’s physicians were in despair… On the evening of December 1, virtually all hope was given up. Pius was too weak to lift his head. What life remained in his body was the faintest flicker of animation. All the world knew he was dying… Not only those of the Catholic faith but Orthodox Greek and Protestant as well, were praying for the man they felt to be the most Christ-like of our time.”
Pope Pius XII’s vision
“Pius felt that he was dying… His expectation of death was strengthened later that evening. He was quite alone for a moment when he heard a voice say, “There will be a vision.” Pius woke very early on the morning of December 2. In the light reflected from the streetlamps in the square and the strengthening dawn, he could see quite clearly all the familiar details of his room. He knew that he was weaker than ever and believing that his time was nearly spent, he began to recite a favorite prayer — the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ). As he reached the words, “At the hour of my death call me,” he saw the Savior standing by his bedside, “silent in all His eloquent majesty.” Pius thought that, as long ago, he had come for Peter, saying “Follow Me,” he had come for him. Joyfully the Holy Father spoke to Him: “O bone Jesu! O bone Jesu! Voca me; iube me venire ad Te!” (O good Jesus! O good Jesus! Call Thou me; order me to come to Thee!) Albeit, gentle Jesus had not come to summon Pius, but to comfort him. And after a little while He went away” (Alden Hatch and Seamus Walshe, Crown of Glory, Hawthorne Books, New York, N.Y., 1957, 234-35).
Over the next few days, the Pope seemed much better and resumed his normal activities. While he acknowledged he had received the vision after it was made public, much to his embarrassment, it is quite possible he omitted certain pertinent details. One (unauthenticated) Italian article allegedly relates that Pope Pius XII did indeed receive a divine message during his 1954 vision. He is said to have written down the prophecy and placed it in an envelope, with instructions to open it only after his death. But the article claims Roncalli later read the letter and refused to make it public. Jean Guitton was a noted French Catholic philosopher and theologian (1901-1999). According to a book by Fr. Luigi Villa, Guitton wrote in L’Osservatore Romano, October 19, 1960, that Pius XII himself had said that he was the “last pope.” And so many other indicators confirm this. So can anyone doubt that given all this, and his failure to appoint cardinals and other officials to key positions following his vision, that Pope Pius XII KNEW he was surrounded and that he was helpless to prevent what would happen?
As stated in site articles and in The Phantom Church in Rome, following his vision Pope Pius XII had many things to say from 1955-1958 regarding matters that would directly affect us in the future. Shortly prior to his vision, in October of 1954, Pius repeated his decision first stated in Mystici Corporis Christi regarding the subordination of the bishops to the Roman Pontiff, reminding them that “… The power of jurisdiction which is conferred upon the Supreme Pontiff by the power of divine rights, flows to the bishops by the same right but only through the successor of St. Peter, to whom not only the simple faithful, but even all the bishops must be constantly subject” Ad sinarum gentum). He would repeat this once again in Meminisse iuvat (see below) and in Ad apostolorum principis in 1958. Also in various addresses and encyclicals during this same time period, he told Catholics THEY were the Church, and in the absence of the hierarchy must assume all their duties and responsibilities. And in two separate encyclicals, he addressed the faithful suffering under circumstances similar to our own with the following words of comfort and encouragement.
Dum maurenti animo
June 29, 1956 — To Cardinals Mindszenty, Stepanik and Wyszynski and all the bishops, clergy and laity who suffer persecution in Eastern Europe
Persecution and suppression
“For more than 10 years the Church of Christ has been plundered of her rights. The means have been different in different places. You who have lived through it know this well… Holy shepherds have been so restrained that they no longer have proper authority in exercising their office or have been driven from their sees and committed to exile or confinement. Catholic dioceses of the Oriental rites also have been boldly suppressed and their clergy and faithful urged to schism by every conceivable ruse. We are aware also that many have been subjected to every species of persecution because they openly, honestly and courageously attempt to profess and defend their faith with unwavering constancy. Our heart is filled with a special grief when We realize that the minds of children and youth are being contaminated by false and perverse doctrines which are calculated to separate them from God and His holy commandments, to their great loss in this life and their ruin hereafter.
To the persecuted cardinals and people
Our concern is deep for all of you who endure hardship, sacrifice and deprivation for the sake of Christ. And so each day, We pray to Almighty God, entreating Him in His merciful kindness to sustain and strengthen your faith, to lighten your sorrow, to console you with heavenly blessings, to bring full health to the sick and desponding members of Christ’s Mystical Body, and to command finally that when this present storm shall have subsided, there shine forth among you and among all men a true and joyous peace fostered by truth, justice and charity.
Christ stands watch
Never, as you well know, does our Redeemer forget His Church. Never does He abandon it. On the contrary, the more violent the waves which tossed the Bark of Peter, the more watchful is the Divine Pilot even if at times he seems to sleep (Matthew 8:24, Luke 8:23). Christ, then, is with you. He will never refuse His divine help when you ask it. But He demands that all give exact obedience to the precepts of the Catholic Church and defend the faith in a spirit of unfailing generosity.
The odds at stake
You know what the issue is. Your eternal salvation and that of your children and all your fellow men has been placed at stake today by the spreading ungodliness of the atheists. But if each and every one of you fights bravely and loyally in this spiritual combat you can never be called vanquished but rather glorious victims. And so from unjust persecution and the pains of martyrdom will be borne new triumphs of the Church to be inscribed in Her in annals in letters of gold.
It is a great consolation to realize that many among you are ready to sacrifice all with heroic courage, even liberty and life, rather than jeopardize the integrity of the Catholic religion… But We also realize with regret that human frailty and uncertainty cause men to waver when they are faced with long, drawn out suffering and persecutions. Then it occasionally happens that some lose heart. Their ardor cools. AND WHAT IS WORSE, THEY ASSUME THE ATTITUDE THAT CHRIST’S TEACHINGS NEED MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION, AS THEY CALL IT, TO A NEW CONTEXT OF TIME, PLACE AND CIRCUMSTANCE. THEY CONTEND THAT THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION MUST BE RELAXED AND MODIFIED SO THAT A SORT OF SPURIOUS WEDLOCK MAY RESULT BETWEEN IT AND THE ERRORS OF THIS AGE OF PROGRESS.
Trust in God
All those who undermine and overthrow their own convictions and those of others should be reminded… of that solemn pronouncement of the Divine Redeemer: ‘Heaven and earth will pass, but my words will never pass’ (Matt. 24:35). Never will an all-powerful and Provident God permit the faithful and stalwart children of the Church to be wanting in divine grace and divine fortitude, and so yield pathetically in this struggle for salvation, fall away, unhappily, from the side of Christ and, helpless, behold the tragic spiritual downfall of their people.
An intact faith
Even though you are hindered by the most serious obstacles, be generous and industrious in performing all your religious duties from a motive of Apostolic zeal. Above all preserve the faith intact. To the best of your abilities, strive earnestly that the light of Christ may illumine all others. Do this primarily by the example of your perseverance in the Christian life just as the Christians of old did when persecutions assailed the Church. Let those who falter, who doubt, who are weak learn from you to identify, to fortify their spirit, to hold fast to their faith which is genuine and unconcealed, to attend to their religious duties and to dedicate themselves to Christ without reservation.
A holy heritage
Direct your suppliant prayers to the most Divine Redeemer, under the patronage of His most holy and our most loving Mother Mary, whose powerful intercession your ancestors enjoyed in every serious crisis. For if we can always ask heavenly favors of the Virgin Mother of God with confidence that we shall receive them, this will especially be true when there is question of the salvation of souls and the defense of the Christian faith in the home and in society.
The courage of the holy martyrs
You may be sure that the whole Christian family looks with reverence upon the trials you have borne so long in silence, hardship and want. Entreat our most merciful God that you may not yield before the bitter onslaught of ungodliness and the willy enticements of error. Pray rather that with the vigorous courage of the holy martyrs, you may bear witness to your faith before all the world so it may come to pass that even your persecutors — for the commands of Christian charity also extends to them — may win forgiveness from Him who awaits all his prodigal children with loving arms outstretched.
July 14, 1958 — On persecution of the Church, addressing both the hierarchy and faithful of the Latin and Oriental rites
- …Many bishops have been driven from their sees or so impeded that they cannot freely exercise their ministry; they have even been cast into prison or exiled. And so with rash daring men undertake to fulfill the words: “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’ … 15. The Church’s rights, including the right, under the mandate of the Holy See, to choose and consecrate bishops who will lawfully govern the Christian flock, have been trod under foot, to the great loss of the faithful, as if the Catholic Church were a creature of a single nation, dependent on its civil authority, and not a divine institution extending to all peoples.
- The society which Christ founded can be attacked, but not defeated, for She draws her strength from God, not from man. And yet, there is no doubt that She will be harassed through the centuries by persecutions, by contradictions, by calumnies — as was the lot long ago of her Divine Founder — for He said: “If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” But it is equally certain that, just as Christ our Redeemer rose in triumph, so the Church shall someday win a peaceful victory over all her enemies.
- Have confidence, therefore; be brave and steadfast soldiers. We wish to counsel you in the words of St. Ignatius, martyr, although We know you do not require such counsel: “Serve Him for whom you fight. . . May none of you desert Him! Your baptism must be a shield; your faith a helmet; your charity a lance; your patience a suit of armor. Your works should be your credentials, so that you may be worthy to receive your reward” (putting on the armor of God).
- And the beautiful words of Bishop St. Ambrose should give you sure hope and unwavering courage: “Hold on to the tiller of faith so that the rough winds of this world may not bandy you. The sea is vast and large, but do not fear;for He has established it (the earth) upon the water, and set it firmly upon the rivers. And so it is understandable that the Lord’s Church stands unmoved among the waves of this world, for She is built on the apostolic rock and holds fast to her foundation, unmoved by the onslaughts of the raging sea. She is battered by the surf, but is not shaken. The physical elements of this world crash with thunder about her, but she provides a safe port for those who toil on the deep.”
- If a Christian way of life flourishes again, as it did in the age of the Apostles and martyrs, then we can reasonably hope that the Blessed Virgin Mary — who longs with a mother’s heart that all her sons should live virtuously — will graciously heed our prayers and will soon grant, in response to our petitions, happier and more peaceful times for the Church of her Only Begotten Son and for the whole human society.
Notice the “if” in the first sentence of the paragraph above. Pope Pius XII had serious doubts about the Church’s triumph on earth, a resurgence of faith so many have eagerly anticipated. There is no guarantee here of one flock and one shepherd; that is something which it appears is now reserved for Heaven alone. Pope Pius XII hoped for the best, but secretly he must have believed that it would come to the worst. He reportedly told his “friend,” Count Galeazzi:
“ ‘I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s message to Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith in its liturgy, its theology, and its soul.’This prophetic Pope also predicted: ‘A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted… She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?’” (Pie XII, devant, l’histoire, Msgr. Roche, p. 52-55; quote taken from Paul Trinchard’s New Age, New Mass, 1995).
We need no reminders, for we live in the times he feared would engulf us. But his writings, left to us in his last will and testament, still can serve to direct and console those he now rules with Christ from Heaven.
(Please read new additions to Mr. Javier Morell-Ibarra’s Catholic Survival Guide here.)