Rorate Caeli

The secret agreement

Giacomo Galeazzi reviews for La Stampa the new biography of Paul VI written by Andrea Tornielli, and mentions that what many considered a conspiracy theory was true: there was indeed a secret agreement, led by Cardinal Tisserant, between the Soviet Union and the Holy See (under John XXIII) in 1962 - an agreement which Paul VI also respected. As Galeazzi says:
In a note of November 15, 1965, in fact, Montini explicitly mentions among "the commitments of the Council" also that of "not mentioning Communism (1962)". The indication of the date at the end of the sentence written by Paul VI refers to the secret agreement, related by Tisserant, between Rome and Moscow.
And this would explain why the Second Vatican Council, which dealt with all sorts of issues, relevant and irrelevant alike, ignored the most challenging menace of its time: Communism.

67 comments:

beng said...

Is this suppose to be a s00per sekrit thing?


Everyone and their grandma know about this.

Iakovos said...

I believe the statement at the end of this brief report is false: perhaps it is more a situation of "clever as a fox". The Document on Religious Liberty was the letter and the spirit of the Council that helped bring down Communism in Poland and gave energy to opposition to other oppressive regimes -- and still can. It is still a dangerous debate: was the Council flawed and on purpose, or, were the Modernists in the wings ready to pounce and twist any phrase that was not written like a iron clad legal document. The SSPX, for one, chose "I Accuse the Council"; while others such as Benedict XVI seek to apply it properly.

Anonymous said...

Well apologies are due to the critics of the council who long claimed this as an obstacle to the authentic pastoral spirit that should have prevailed...

They were right all along...

Pascendi said...

This agreement has been mentioned year in and out by many. Fr. Gruner, for one, has been adamant of its existence.

Anonymous said...

Well, no surprise there.

It does make me wonder what other underhanded unorthodox decisions and shady agreements where made, and are being made, between the Vatican and the world.

Anonymous said...

I have been writing some short comments here since...I don't remember. The deal is know as Metz Pact and is widely known. It was a deal with the devil.

The pact was confirmed by the Metz Archbishop, a bulletin of the French Communist Party and by Tisserant himself. Unfortunately, I don't have the primary sources now.

I would like to cite some events that make the deal so scandalous: the Virgin Mary in Fatima, the condemnations of communism by previous popes, including John XXIII, the Christian persecution led by commies in every place they took power.

Angelo said...

On December 3, 1963, on the eve of the closing of the second session, Archbishop de Procenca Sigaud brought a petition to Cardinal Cicognani with the signature of 213 council Fathers from forty-six countries, asking that a special schema be prepared in which “Catholic social doctrine would be clearly expounded and the errors of Marxism, socialism, and Communism refuted.” This request echoed the anti-Communist battle of Bishops de Castro Mayer and Sigaud in Brazil and reflected the constant concerns of
Archbishop Lefebvre in Dakare and in Africa.

On February 3, 1964, Archbishop Sigaud personally gave Pauyl VI another petition signed by 510 prelates that begged the Holy Father to act together with the Council Fathers to consecrate Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary according to the request made by our Lady to Sister Lucy. The Pope let this request gather dust before finally rejecting it in January 1965.

On October 21, 1964, discussion focused on the part of the schema on the “Church in the World – Schema XIII – which dealt with atheism. The word “communism” was still carefully avoided. In the face of this constant silence, the Coetus Internationalis Patrum went into action on September 29, 1965, at the beginning of the fourth session. A letter asking the Council to examine Communism and condemn it was signed by twenty-five bishops and distributed. It stated that the Council’s silence on Communism would be a disavowal of the recent Popes. The result? On November 13 the new version of the schema made no reference to the requests of the petition. Communism was still not named. Cardinal Tisserant ordered an inquiry that revealed . . . that the petition had unfortunately been “lost” in a drawer. In fact, Msgr. Achille Glorieux, secretary for the relevant commision, received the petition but had not passed it on to the commision.

Excerpted from The Biography Marcel Lefebvre by Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, published by Angelus Press

M.A. said...

We've known this for a long time. Fr. Gruner has been vindicated:

..." Under the "Vatican-Moscow Agreement" negotiated in secret before the Council, the council fathers would be prevented from denouncing Communism."

Shades of Fatima! Some even say that the Third Secret deals with a pope and a bad council!

Oleg-Michael said...

I knew it a couple of years ago and people with more expertise in these matters knew for decades. The famous metropolitan Nikodim Rotov, the ecumenism tzar and teacher of the current Patriarch Kirill, was the other party in this agreement; at stake was the presence of Russian 'Orthodox' observers at the Council.

Vox Cantoris said...

An old quote seems appropriate, literally; "The Devil was in the details!"

SamGamgee said...

Jesus said to him, 'Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.'

plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Hugo Mendez said...

And this was a wise decision by the Church. The 1960s were not her hour to overtly undermine communism--the late 70s-80s were. Direct condemnation at the Council might have led to strong reprisals against the Church, and could have prevented John Paul II access to communist countries decades later--the access that proved most effective in undermining communism. I am grateful for God's leading in the Church's past (otherwise too tumultuous) century.

Tawser said...

On a different note, is there any chance that this biography will be translated into English? There is a desperate need for a good bio of Paul. He is the for me the most mysterious (and to be honest, least likable) figure in the entire history of the Roman Church. If given the choice, I would much prefer the Borgia pope to Montini. At least Alexander VI was orthodox.

Anonymous said...

I have always heard that there was an agreement so that the USSR would allow the Russian bishops to participate in the Council.

Anonymous said...

"And this was a wise decision by the Church."
Mr Mendez;

No, it was not a wise decision.

The Church must always and everywhere, in season and out of season, condemn error.

And the season for the "Cold War" was in the 1960's.

The perfect Christian example to follow in condemning Communism was set by that of the Cardinal Primate of Hungary: the great Cardinal Mindszenty.

Now it seems much clearer why the Vatican attempted to stifle His Eminence from stating the truth in all charity of the evils of Communism.

If the Council had condemned Communism by name in its documents, I believe the USSR would have toppled much sooner than 1989.

The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.

God bless you.

Jordanes said...

Tawser, I understand that you’re giving your subjective opinion that Paul VI was the least likeable of all the popes, and your view is understandable. Still, there’ve been at least a few popes whose conduct in office was so horrifyingly scandalous (Alexander VI was by no means the worst) as to make them much less likeable either as popes or as individuals than Paul VI. Anyway, for all his flaws and failings, I'm not sure we can say Paul VI was not personally orthodox.

Mr. Hunter, martyrdom is a crown to be humbly accepted if it is offered, but as we read in the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, it is not to be sought out (recall that Jesus told His disciples to flee to another city if they are persecuted), nor is there any honor or virtue in somebody saying or doing things that foreseeably (whether intentionally or unintentionally) cause other people to be martyred or slaughtered, especially killed needlessly. I’m not saying the decision to avoid mention of Communism at Vatican II was correct, but if it was motivated by a prudential judgment to avoid needless persecution, I can see the basis for such a judgment even if the judgment may have been mistaken.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr Jordanes,

It can be argued that many many martyrs sought out the crown of martyrdom.
Whether indirectly or not, St Maximilian Kolbe comes to mind.

I read in an edition of an article published in an Immaculata work, by the order that St Kolbe was part of, that the good saint remarked to a fellow priest who was in Auchwitz with him, just before he was martyred, that he [St Kolbe] "embraced and sought the palm of martyrdom".

I, personally, would love to die a martyrs death, and I am sure "that God would not turn away a soul that was so blithe as to ask for this".

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

No fan of Paul Vi here either, and at first was shocked by the preference of the Borgia Pope. However, taking all into account I wonder which Pope caused more lasting damage to the Church..Alexander committed heinous crimes, even within Vatican walls, but how many people knew about it in an age with no TV, phones or technology to spread the word...Perhaps word of mouth passed things along, but with much time, exageration, and falsehoods attached to the facts....And after he was gone many things he did were reversed and not allowed to fester in the minds of the faithful and Church...This was not done in the case of Paul VI....Pope Alexander scandalized himself and those close to him, whereas what Pope Paul VI ushered in scandalized the liturgy, said by Priests and the faithful alike. I wonder, keeping it in perspective given each epoch and the "reach" of each scandal, which was truly worse..

prodinoscopus said...

The Document on Religious Liberty was the letter and the spirit of the Council that helped bring down Communism in Poland and gave energy to opposition to other oppressive regimes -- and still can.

***Absolute and utter nonsense. Communism was a rotten edifice that was due to collapse under the weight of its own errors and inherent contradictions. All that it took was a little push.

Dignitatis Humanae cast aside the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ in favor of liberal errors that had been condemned by previous popes. The idea that such a document was somehow itself a remedy against error is preposterous in the extreme.

Joe B said...

So Pope Paul VI was more prudent than Heaven (Our Lady of Fatima)?

I'm not even convinced Pope Paul VI was theologically a Catholic. The more I learn about him, the more his theology seemed to be more protestant or masonic than Catholic.

Jordanes said...

St. Maximilian Kolbe was already in the concentration camp undergoing white martyrdom when he heroically saved that man's life by taking his place. He accepted what God was offering him. It is glorious, so it is only right that one should desire that gift if it is God's will, but it is not to be actively sought out. Those who are not offered it by God should not be going out of their way to seek it, as the reason God hasn't offered it to them may be that they would not be able to bear it. Nor should Christians act or speak in a way that, though they themselves would remain safe, they unnecessarily put others in harm's way.

Jordanes said...

So Pope Paul VI was more prudent than Heaven (Our Lady of Fatima)? ***

Did Our Lady of Fatima instruct the Church to formally re-condemn Communism at Vatican II?

I'm not even convinced Pope Paul VI was theologically a Catholic. The more I learn about him, the more his theology seemed to be more protestant or masonic than Catholic. ***

How many of his writings have you studied? What about his theology do you find distinctively Protestant or Masonic?

Rick DeLano said...

Second request:

I would like to ask Mr. Palad to share with us his sources for the quite remarkable accusations against Alexander VI and Leo X.

Having been subjected to what I was sure was every possible calumny which could be dredged up against the Catholic Church and Her Sovereign Pontiffs during the years of my investigation prior to conversion, I am astounded that such rich veins of scandal have apparently escaped the spelunking of professional detractors, but here they are on Rorate Caeli.

The sources, please.

Anonymous said...

On Mr. Hunter's response to Mr. Mendez:

I'm not sure that communism would have toppled earlier had the Church opposed it more emphatically in the 1960s. Perhaps. Perhaps not. However, we Catholics are not utilitarians or other teleologists. For us, expected outcomes are not the primary consideration in moral decision-making. We do what is right 'in season and out' not because it will necessarily be more effective but because it is our duty to speak the truth at all times. Our purpose is to get to Heaven. And we get there by obeying God. Our purpose is not to counter communism. That is only one of many means of getting to Heaven: it is a duty but a means, not an end.

It is true that we can sometimes do more good by acting prudently, provided that we do not compromise the faith. But I agree with Mr. Hunter that it would have been better to condemn communism at the Council. Why? Because it is the leading error of our time. Why call an œcumenical Council and then not condemn and anathematise the leading error against the Faith its day?

P.K.T.P.

M.A. said...

"Direct condemnation at the Council might have led to strong reprisals against the Church, and could have prevented John Paul II access to communist countries decades later-.."

May I remind you, Mr. Mendez, that it was Pope John Paul II's greatest desire to visit Russia. Refraining from condemning Communism, obviously did not expedite a papal visit to that communist country.

Our Lady of Fatima, did indeed, come to warn the world of the errors of Russia, but Pope John XXIII spurned Her message with a dismissal of "prophets of doom"!

Prodinoscopus said...

Make no mistake, the role of JPII and DH in the fall of Communism had nothing -- repeat, nothing -- to do with restoring the rights of Christ the King in Poland or anywhere else. It was all about the Rights of Man. What happened in Poland was a humanist revolution with Catholic window-dressing.

What has become of Catholicism in Poland since the revolution of 1989? Hmmm???

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?

Jordanes said...

Why call an œcumenical Council and then not condemn and anathematise the leading error against the Faith its day? ***

Indeed, one of the failings of Vatican II is that it didn't condemn or anathematise anything at all. In effect, the council did not finish its proper tasks, which I think is one reason it remains at the center of controversy and dispute.

Anonymous said...

On Jordanes's comments about the likeability of Paul VI:

I agree with Jordanes that Paul VI was not the most unlikeable Pope in history. He was the worst Pope in history but not the most unlikeable one.

Paul VI was also not a bad man. But how well a pope acts is not limited to his personal kindness or his likeability. It also pertains to his prudence and courage and other qualities. It is said that Paul VI, 'the Hamlet Pope', ordered Bugnini to restore the Roman Offertory to a draft of the Missa Normativa of 1969. Bugnini composed the next draft and simply ignored the Pope's command. Then we hear that, when Paul VI saw this disobedience, "he wept bitterly". Well, a little cry was appropriate in the circumstances. But after the weeping was over he should have put his foot down and dismissed that miscreant to the outer darkness, as he eventually did anyway, after the damage was done. It does no good to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.

What was needed was a Pope who would respect tradition and would be prepared to defend it against that nest of vipers known as 'liberals'. he didn't do that and the Church needed such firm action. Instead, he put his stamp of approval on every reform: reform of the norms of indulgences, suppression of the minor orders and subdiaconate, gutting of the Divine Office, removal of the habits in religious orders, composition of a New Mass, imposing a retirement age for bishops to shut out old conservatives, on and on. He even cited an Instruction (which he did not sign, by the way) in order to command that all Traditional Masses stop. He acted ultra vires in doing so; this was fundamentally unjust. Priests were cast out of their rectories because of it, their furniture having been removed to the front lawn.

I lived through all these changes but was too young at the time to understand their significance. But everyone around me was filled with regret and doubt. Religious and teaching orders were literally disintegrating before our very eyes, including the one which taught me as a boy.

Paul VI might have been holier than Alexander VI, and he might have been much more likeable, but the latter Pope did less damage to the Church overall. What was needed at the time was a firm and resolute rejection of the Modern World and all its evils, especially communism, socialism and secularism. Instead, the Council enabled heretics, who have urged truth to 'dialogue' with error.

To reverse the famous passage from the psalms, so favoured in the Middle Ages: goodness has met and embraced evil; truth and error have kissed.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Do not forget these three words: Decretum Contra Comunismum (Pius XII, 1949).

Anonymous said...

On Jordanes's comments about Paul VI's writings:

And just how familiar are *you*, Jordanes, with "Populorum Progressio", for instance. How Catholic do you think *that* is?

P.K.T.P.

Jordanes said...

I agree with Jordanes that Paul VI was not the most unlikeable Pope in history. He was the worst Pope in history but not the most unlikeable one. ***

I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but there’s no denying that his was a failed papacy, and generally speaking disastrous.

And just how familiar are *you*, Jordanes, with "Populorum Progressio", for instance. How Catholic do you think *that* is? ***

Not terribly familiar. I’ve only read some of Paul VI’s writings, and was curious to know how much Joe had read so I could get an idea of how firm was the foundation on which his impression of Paul VI was based. As for Populorum Progressio, my understanding is that it is a fairly standard attempt to apply principles of the Church’s social doctrine to modern problems and challenges touching on a just order in this life, but I’ve not read enough of PP to be able to render a judgment as to how Catholic it might be.

Alexander said...

Iakovos wrote:

The SSPX, for one, chose "I Accuse the Council"; while others such as Benedict XVI seek to apply it properly.

The SSPX, for one, chose "I Accuse the Council"; while others such as Benedict XVI seek to apply it properly.

The council is ambiguous at times. Therefore you cannot accuse it of being formally harmful at all times or perfect at all times because it can be twisted both ways. Benedict, it seems, cannot see this.

There is a problem with the texts themselves insofar as they probably need to all be rewritten without all the wishy-washy language.

Alexander said...

Prodinoscopus wrote:

Make no mistake, the role of JPII and DH in the fall of Communism had nothing -- repeat, nothing -- to do with restoring the rights of Christ the King in Poland or anywhere else.



This seems very true. I do not even recall the last time a Pope visited some place and indicated to non-Catholics the necessity of the Church for salvation and the social reign of Christ the King.

Joe B said...

Didn't say I read all his writings. In fact, I can't say I would enjoy many things less or can imagine a more fruitless waste of time. Sort of like reading JPII's writings - throw it all in the garbage unless you enjoy studying hopelessly liberal mush. Complex verbage wrapped around universal salvation, theology of the body (sex), and praise for Luther and other such malcreants - why waste my time with that?

But as for Pope Paul VI, it would be hard to be a trad today without having read many sad appraisals of this conflicted man and his inadequacies at such a critical time (worsened by his influence) by those who were in a position to know. Criticisms of him are shot throughout well written perspectives of his views, written by many excellent authors. The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber comes to mind, although as usual, I won't bog you down with a list on a subject that should be so obvious that now I have to doubt your competency on this matter just for asking such a question.

Anonymous said...

P.K.T.P.
Thank you for a good synopsis of the failures or Pope Paul's Pontificate..It was truly disastrous and its' effects reverberated around the world..Your comments are always insightful and a good collection of thoughts and opinions..I only pray that the more people realize it they will do more than say "It is too late"...

Jordanes said...

“He that answereth before he heareth sheweth himself to be a fool, and worthy of confusion.” (Proverbs 18:13)

It’s good that you should doubt my competency on this matter, Joe, as I’ve not given most of Paul VI’s writings enough study or consideration to be able to reach any definitive judgments. But judging from your latest comment, I think I might be somewhat more competent than you, though perhaps not much more than that. I was wondering whether your study was thorough enough to be able to support your appraisal, and now I know it wasn’t. You also don’t know what you’re talking about re John Paul II’s writings, or at any rate it’s impossible to take your words literally.

Cosmos said...

Joseph Pieper, inter alia, debunks the equation of the virtue of prudence with mere pragmatism, utilitarianism, or "realism." True prudence is not political craftiness. Rather, it is acting in truth; ensuring that the virtues use reasonable means to achieve their ends. Courage, not cowardice, is the remedy for follhardiness. There is a difference between seeking out martydom and denying the truth. St. Thomas More could not remain silent and Chancellor. The Church chose to speak to the whole world about the spirit of the age. The question is whether the Church could address that subject in that capacity while remaining silent towards communism without misleading or deceiving.
The Jesuits faced questions like this during the Catholic persecution in England. Is it lying to consciously mislead a villianous enemy who intends your harm? Many argue that their ("jesuitical") causistry saved some lives but also sowed seeds that bore ugly fruit.

Hugo Mendez said...

Dan Hunter,

>>"The Church must always and everywhere, in season and out of season, condemn error."

First, the Church had long since condemned communism. Quanta Cura called it a "fatal error." The Church's position on communism was crystal clear, and had been for a century. It was no secret. The question truly is: did the gospel stand to gain by reiterating a well-known position once more? History proved otherwise.

Thankfully, in contrast to your statement, the Church knows it is NOT necessary to repeat a condemnation at every opportunity. If you believe otherwise, I suggest you condemn the heresy of your non-Catholic friends EVERY single time you encounter them. Fundamentalists have no tact, and harden more people against the gospel than are ever converted to it through their constant, obsessive efforts. By contrast, the Catholic Church knows patience and tact are key to success. It is more important to preach wisely than to merely preach.

Jordanes said...

Mr. Mendez, thanks for your comment. While you’re right that the Church need not renew any particular condemnation on this or that occasion, one may legitimately question whether or not it was right for so influential an act of the Magisterium as the Second Vatican Council to remain altogether silent on Communism. To cite but one example, could that not have helped contribute to the growth and spread of the errors of Liberation Theology?

Rick DeLano said...

Apologies to Mr. Palad, but an entire afternoon of google searching has failed to come up with the slightest reference to his claim that Leo X published a hymnary which "allowed the use of terms such as "Jupiter" and "Minerva" to refer to God and the Blessed Virgin -- an act of liturgical desecration unparalleled in Church history".

Please understand that such a juicy little nugget- especially one "unparalleled in Church history", ought to resound back by the thousands on anti-Catholic websites which specialize in the collection and retailing of such "desecrations".

Not a one comes up for me.

So please. Even if upon reflection you find that whoever it was that sold you these tales ought not be mentioned in the same breath as, say, the Catholic Encyclopedia, be good enough to tell us who it was, or where you found it, so that the necessary task of investigation and refutation can be undertaken.

It is also impermissible, it seems to me, to leave such a calumny unchallenged on a Catholic forum.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't already, please read the book "Fatima in Twilight" along with "The Rhine Flows into the Tiber" as Joe B. suggested.

A priest reader under a different name said...

Dear New Catholic,

This has always been one of the finest blogs for traditional Catholicism, especially in regards to the Sacred Liturgy and developments leading up to and following Summarum Pontificum. However, I have noticed that the comments have been deteriorating into nothing but bitterness, frivolity, and pure ignorance.

I suggest that you at least temporarily suspend comments for the summer or a period of a few months. It would be a shame for such an informative blog to end up being a waste of time to visit and then not worth it at all. If things continue the way that they have been, that, I believe, is what will happen.

Jordanes said...

Certainly Alexander VI's well-deserved reputation will not be helped if his pectoral cross did not, as alleged, have an image of Venus on the back. That story sounds familiar to me, but I've no idea if it's true or false -- sounds like the kinds of exaggerations of his sexual misconduct (bad enough as it was) that begin to circulate during his embarrassing and shameful reign and have continued to circulate ever since.

I've never heard of the "Jupiter and Minerva" hymnary of Leo X, though. The classical revival supported or encouraged by the Renaissance Popes did provoke some controversy, as one might expect, but I have no idea if Leo X's classicism went that far.

Anonymous said...

I think I wrote before, that the extreme errors and misjudgements of the Vatican II Popes (those whose reign was closest to it...John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II), are only now slowly being revealed.

John XXIII to his credit, expelled several modernists and heretics from the planning and implementation of Vatican II, but Paul VI brought them back, and John Paul II gave nearly all of them (except the 2 most radical, Kung and Rahner), the Cardinal's red hat.

The "reforms", decisions, pacts, and secret agreements, regarding Vatican II have all been disasters.

There is a story of a message/inspiration from God, to a person who prayed to the Lord and asked why Vatican II was permitted by Heaven, considering the disaster it caused.
The answer/inspiration recieved was that the Catholic faithful (Cardinals, Bishops, priests, monks, friars, sisters, nuns, and lay people) had become complacent in the Faith...that the Mass and Sacraments were no longer special. They were no longer treasures of great worth. And so therefore, the Lord allowed for a Council whose results were horrific and terrible and which caused great suffering and collapse to the Church so that those who still loved the ancient traditions would work all the harder to bring them back, and to work all the harded to educate the priest, people, religious to appreciate these treasures and treat them not with distain, but with adoration and reverence,as the old means to Heaven.

There is an old expression "Familiarity breeds contempt". The moral is that people had come to have little love for the tradition of the Church because it was always there.
When due to the disaster of Vatican II it suddenly wasn't there anymore, people began to panic and cry for it's return, realizing what they have lost.
Now that it may be coming back slowly, perhaps we will not continue to treat the Sacred traditions of the Faith which such lax attitude and even disrespect as was often done before the Council.

New Catholic said...

Dear Fr. "Priest reader under a different name",

The comments are mixed: there are good ones, and bad ones. We try to police those that may cause scandal, but on the other hand we do not wish to stifle debate.

In any event, nobody needs to read the comments. We are only responsible for the posts themselves, and for our own comments.

Thank you!

NC

Anonymous said...

"The question truly is: did the gospel stand to gain by reiterating a well-known position once more?"

Mr Mendez:
I assume you mean "Church" instead of "gospel", and the answer is, yes, She always stands to gain by reiterating the Truth, especially at a time when the gravest evil in the world was Communism.


", I suggest you condemn the heresy of your non-Catholic friends EVERY single time you encounter them."

I do not have many non-Catholic friends, but to the few I do have, I condemn Protestant heresy to their faces every time I see them.
In all charity.

Thank you and God bless you.

Anonymous said...

New Catholic,

You do a yeomans job with "Rorate Caeli" and I, for one, compliment you on the top quality of material that you post.

I also compliment the men who post comments on this site as they provide excellent fodder for exciting and dynamic discussion.

Keep up the great posts everyone and God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Hamish Fraser, the great Scottish convert, scholar, reporter, expert on the social doctrine of the Church, and editor of "Approaches," informed his readers of the Rome/Moscow Agreement in issues #79 (1982), #84, #85, #86, #88 (all 1984) and #92 (1986.)

Hugo Mendez said...

M.A.,

You wrote: "May I remind you, Mr. Mendez, that it was Pope John Paul II's greatest desire to visit Russia. Refraining from condemning Communism, obviously did not expedite a papal visit to that communist country."

Um, I believe you need to be reminded of the fact that Mikhail Gorbachev actually issued an invitation for John Paul II to visit Russia in the 80s, but John Paul II did not act on the invitation because it would harm relations with the Russian Orthodox.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

Just to clarify about the pagan names in the Breviary hymns and Leo X:

There is what has been called the "Ferrari hymnal" a 'revision' of the hymns of the Breviary, authorized and highly praised by the Medici popes Pope Leo X (when it was in pre-publication stages) and Clement VII, approved in 1523 and published in 1525. I suggest that you look up Pierre Batiffol's history of the Roman Breviary for the sad details. THis is NOT to be confused with the projected revision by Ferrari of the breviary itself, of which nothing remains. The hymnal abounds in all sorts of pagan terminology and forces the hymns of the breviary into the patterns of ancient (pagan) Roman prosody and style.

Looking at Catholic Encyclopedia's article about the Breviary, I see that I confused between the Ferrari hymnal and some Renaissance attempts to substitute the Jupiter and Minerva for that of God, the BVM, and the saints. However, the Ferrari hymnal DOES do the same thing, albeit using different pagan terms (Triformi Numen Olympi for the Trinity, et.)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02768b.htm

"The Humanism of the Renaissance, which had its ardent champions even in the Church -- as Bembo, Sadoletus, etc., to say nothing of certain popes -- caused the idea of a special reform of the Breviary, in the direction of greater literary purity and perfection, to be entertained in certain quarters. Strange schemes were propounded, little in consonance with the spirit of the Church. A Florentine canon, Marsiglio Ficino, and Peter Pomponatius, for instance, suggested that the clergy should read the classical authors instead of the Breviary. Others, though not going so far as this, thought the diction of the Breviary barbaric, and wanted to translate it into Ciceronian Latin. The corrections suggested included such astounding phrases as the following: the forgiveness of sins becomes "superosque manesque placare"; the Begetting of the Word was to be "Minerva Jovis capite orta"; the Holy Ghost was "Aura Zephyri coelestis", etc... Amongst such attempts may be mentioned that of Ferreri. He was the Bishop of Guarda Alfieri in the Kingdom of Naples, a Humanist, and wrote under the auspices and patronage of Leo X. He began with the hymns. His work, which has been preserved, is interesting and contains some very beautiful pieces, polished in style. A good number of them have, unfortunately, nothing more of the spirit of poetry in them than harmony and rhythm; they are wanting in inspiration and above all in the warmth of piety; nearly all are strewn with Pagan names and allusions, representing Christian verities, as "Triforme Numen Olympi" for the Trinity, "Natus Eumolpho Lyricenque Sappho . . . Thracius Orpheus", referring to the Blessed Virgin, etc."

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

To be exact, the Ferrari hymnal was given papal approval on November 30, 1523 and published on February 1, 1525. It had been commissioned under the patronage of Pope Leo X, who personally approved each hymn, and was published by authority of Pope Clement VII. See the History of the Roman Breviary by Pierre Batiffol for the details (p. 231 onwards).

Mind you, Batiffol was quite lenient in his judgement of the Ferrari hymnal; the CE article I quoted is much more damning, and may I ask: how acceptable is it to use terms proper to pagan gods and spirits to refer to OUR Triune God?

And, as should be obvious to anyone, the hymns of the breviary are part of the breviary and are part of the liturgy. That this book was published with the approbation of Leo X and Clement VII, even if not imposed on all, remains a dark stain on these Medici popes. I certainly consider it as one of the worst stains on our liturgical history.

Rick DeLano said...

I thank Mr. Palad and think it expedient to note:

1. Pierre Batiffol's work can be viewed at http://www.archive.org/stream/romanbreviary00batiuoft/romanbreviary00batiuoft.txt

2. Batiffol states that what was approved and published by Leo X was merely a sample: "A start was made by issuing a sample of a new hymnal. It is only a sample"......

3. It is indeed quite bad enough to note that this sample was approved for use by Leo X, without resorting to the original hyperbolic assertion that this approval of a few sample hymns constituted the greatest liturgical scandal in history.

I thank you for the clarification and the removal of the original post.

Most interesting information. It appears that bad hymnals are not limited to the post-Conciliar era after all.

rams said...

This agreement is also mentioned by Vatican insider, one-time personal advisor to three Popes, former Jesuit Fr. Malachi Martin. It is mentioned in what instantly became a New York Times Best Seller, "The Jesuits" on pages 85-86. He warned us about this a long time ago; this agreement according to his book, is why the Church did not condemn Marxism and Communism in Vatican II, and to the best of my knowledge, has yet to condemn them. Its also not far fetched to say that this agreement could be the reason why the consecration to Russia has not yet been done.

Anonymous said...

"Alexander committed heinous crimes, even within Vatican walls"

People here need to do some historical research rather than to repeat the anti-Spanish myths about the Borgia pope.

However, I won't hold my breath waiting for my fellow catholics to display a little intellectual integrity... when push comes to shove, it seems orthodox catholics can be just as hooked on fantasy and subjectivism as modernists.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Batiffol states that what was approved and published by Leo X was merely a sample: "A start was made by issuing a sample of a new hymnal. It is only a sample"......"

Leo X approved a sample, but Clement VII approved the whole hymnal.

M.A. said...

H. Mendez says the pope didn't want to "harm relations with the Russian Orthodox". Man proposes, but God disposes.

The Pope did not go to Russia because God did not permit it! Why would God wish to sanction a policy of satanic, conciliar religious liberty which is irreconcilable with the message of Fatima and its heavenly demands? Gorbachev promised the Holy Father a religious liberty which appealed to the ecumenical heart of the late Pope and the orientation of his pontificate. (By the way, this religious liberty has put the Russian Catholic Church on the same level as every false sect in that country. They have to register yearly with the state, and there is no guarantee that permission to exist will not be arbitrarily revoked. Sometimes God let's us have what we seek to show us how foolish we are.)

The Russian Orthodox church has never been completely free of the reigns of the political arm. Had Gorbachev and Yeltsin really wanted a papal visit, they would have silenced Alexy II. Alexy was known to be supportive of Yeltsin.

Pursuing cordial relations with Gorbachev and then Yeltsin was pure folly. God has a better plan, but neither the good nor the bad were listening. Perhaps, now with the million rosary crusade..

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Alexander committed heinous crimes, even within Vatican walls"

People here need to do some historical research rather than to repeat the anti-Spanish myths about the Borgia pope.

However, I won't hold my breath waiting for my fellow catholics to display a little intellectual integrity... when push comes to shove, it seems orthodox catholics can be just as hooked on fantasy and subjectivism as modernists."

Ah, another votary of the "let's-whitewash-history-to-defend-the-Church" school of Catholic cartoon apologetics.

People like you do more harm to the cause of the Catholic faith than many of its worst detractors.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"It is indeed quite bad enough to note that this sample was approved for use by Leo X, without resorting to the original hyperbolic assertion that this approval of a few sample hymns constituted the greatest liturgical scandal in history.

I thank you for the clarification and the removal of the original post.

Most interesting information. It appears that bad hymnals are not limited to the post-Conciliar era after all."

First, we aren't talking about a "few sample hymns", but about a whole hymnal.

Second, the magnitude of the scandal comes not from the number of hymns, but from the language permitted. For two popes to have permitted the use of manifest and unreconstructed pagan terminology to refer to God was and remains a great scandal, even if it were only for a hymn or two, especially because said hymns were permitted to be part of the Catholic liturgy for 43 years.

Jusztinián G. Rathkaj said...

"People here need to do some historical research rather than to repeat the anti-Spanish myths about the Borgia pope"

Indeed Anon Alexander VI was not the ogre on the throne of Saint Peter, several newer accounts of french, italian and spanish scholars, far away from beeing "apologetics", based on solid research in recent years concerning Alexander VI Borgia have shown that the black legend, the Borgia-myth is no longer holeproof. Here is a small cut-out of historical studies, which put another complexion on Alexander VI [unfortunately I am not familiar with any contemporary englishspeaking research work concerning this subject matter. It seems that apart from some authors of belles lettres, the Borgias do not enjoy great interest by skilled anglophone scholars]:

http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/roma-fronte-europa-tempo-alessandro/libro/9788871252148

A short while ago a reader of "Orbis Catholicus" recommended this study published in a catholic italian publishing house:
http://www.fedecultura.com/2009/01/la-leggenda-nera-di-papa-borgia-lorenzo.html

Also very informative:
http://www.elsborja.org/borja14.php

Peter Porter said...

A year or two ago Fr Anthony Symondson SJ, a conservative British Jesuit, wrote a short life of Paul VI, published in London by the Catholic Truth Society. I was a little surprised that he would have written it because I would not have thought he had much sympathy with the subject. Nevertheless, I read it and I was astonished by details of Pope Paul's early life, of which I knew nothing, and his heroic work with the Italian Catholic student organization FUCI during the menace of Fascism.

What emerges in the text is that Paul was initially opposed to the convention of the Council because he believed, in company with Pius XII, that it would stir up a hornets' nest. The proposal was first made by Cardinal Ottaviani and Cardinal Ruffini to Pius XII after the war, but he turned it down, and then, at the time of the conclave, to John XXIII who naively accepted it. Their intention was to tighten everything up and reform Canon Law. Once convened everything went badly wrong and we live with the consequences.

Paul was an exceptional Archbishop of Milan at the time and loyally applied Pope John's decision. Once elected to the Holy See he had little option but to continue with it and, thought severely battered in consequence, he kept the Church together and Catholic doctrine intact. His major mistake was the savage reform of the liturgy.

I would recommend people to read Fr Symondson's booklet. It's stll in print. He is even-handed in his approach and, as I said before, I am surprised he published it but, having read it, I found it illuminating, even though personally I find Paul VI an unattractive figure. I no longer think it is as easy to demonize him as I did.

Joe B said...

The three controversial documents of Vatican II can be interestingly viewed as a prophetic warning from Heaven, rather than pastoral in the classic sense (Fatherly advice). Their schizophrenic nature truly reflects the outward appearance of the church today. The documents said Latin is to retain its pride of place (hello, trad movement), yet there will be changes (hello, vernacular). Preserve the canon (TLM), yet changes will be made (Novus Ordo, bad translations). Ecumenism is a reality but is undefined in the Vatican documents, and is still slouching mindlessly forward. The rights of man will be exalted, and so they have been. On and on. A further indication that this was 'not your Father's council' (just borrowing the expression, not denying God's involvement) was that the council itself rejected its dogmatic character.

How better for Heaven to warn the Catholic world but with the publicity of a council, seeing as how even the popes rejected the Fatima warnings? Thus, the liberal element is allowed to give themselves away, which galvanizes a defense and preserves scattered homes for tradition. Minus the council, I suspect the same agenda would have had its way, but without organized resistance to give the faithful options. In the end, modernists were allowed to publish their own agenda under a pastoral banner, and those who saw trouble coming then saw more clearly where it would go and how to defend against, and eventually, counterattack that agenda. So yes, I for one recognize the validity of the council. It was a prophetic warning from Heaven of what was to come, and it did with remarkable accuracy.

Just an opinion. Didn't read it in a bunch of books, so no competency claimed.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

There is no doubt that many exaggerated legends have built up around Alexander VI and the Borgias.

But to say that it is a "myth" that he committed crimes and acts unworthy of his office, would be an extreme form of historical revisionism. Was Cesare Borgia's career -- which was enabled only by his father's hold on the papacy -- a complete historical fabrication? Unbelievable.

It is possible to refute or deny many of the more outlandish accusations against Alexander VI and the other Renaissance popes without falling into the opposite extreme of whitewashing him completely.

Unfortunately, that tendency to whitewash exists in some apologetics circles in the Church.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new under the sun. The secret agreement concluded by John XXIII in order to secure the presence of Russian Orthodox was well known.

However it is NOT TRUE to say that Vatican II has put a total gag on the topic of communism.
1. Gaudium et spes is crystal clear about the description of collective atheism.

Here is an example, there are others :
"Not to be overlooked among the forms of modern atheism is that which anticipates the liberation of man especially through his economic and social emancipation. This form argues that by its nature religion thwarts this liberation by arousing man's hope for a deceptive future life, thereby diverting him from the constructing of the earthly city. Consequently when the proponents of this doctrine gain governmental rower they vigorously fight against religion, and promote atheism by using, especially in the education of youth, those means of pressure which public power has at its disposal." (n°20)

2. In 1965, the petition against communism launched by the Minority in 1963 (after the death of Papa Roncalli), is "forgotten" according to the future cardinal Garrone and Msgr Glorieux. However, during a nightly emergency meeting with the pope (and cardinal Tisserant by the way), Paul VI imposed a modification of the scheme. A footnote is included with references to several papal documents condemning communism, especially Divini Redemptoris 1937.

Naturally, Vatican II has not adressed "communism", directly by its name, as one major Evil of the world of its time the 1960's. However in a softer mode, the Council did condemned communism without any doubt. "Gaudium et spes" in this regard shows that the "agreement" has not been fulfilled, except on the surface.

Alsaticus

New Catholic said...

It was well known, but often dismissed by liberal historians of the Council - and never confirmed by an actual note of the Pope who presided over all but one of the sessions of the Council.

NC

Anonymous said...

It is simply erroneous to say that the Council "ignored the most challenging menace of its time: Communism."

Some of the greatest Catholic heroes who endured the scourges of Communism were not only there, but contributed. Our own Patriarch Josyp (Slipiy) was released from the gulag by the intercession of John XXIII and President Kennedy to be present at the council. While Patriarch Josyp did wish some statements had been worded differently he certainly did not maintain that the Council "ignored the most challenging menace of its time: Communism." And I would consider him above all to have been the expert (with abundant first-hand experience) of the time who not only was the senior hierarch of an entire particular Catholic Church outlawed by a Communist regime, but a gulag survivor himself.

Patriarch Josyp had more frustration with the Ostpolitik that was the personal initiatives of several in the Curia that had little to do with the Council. He was quite satisfied with the outcome of several of the documents.

Gadium et Spes actually does not do a bad job in Article 20 (especially considering there are more forms of militant atheism than just Soviet or Chinese communism): "Not to be overlooked among the forms of modern atheism is that which anticipates the liberation of man especially through his economic and social emancipation. This form argues that by its nature religion thwarts this liberation by arousing man's hope for a deceptive future life, thereby diverting him from the constructing of the earthly city. Consequently when the proponents of this doctrine gain governmental rower they vigorously fight against religion, and promote atheism by using, especially in the education of youth, those means of pressure which public power has at its disposal.

21. In her loyal devotion to God and men, the Church has already repudiated(16)...and if one will just read a bit more, in Refence 16are included a specific reference to DIVINI REDEMPTORIS of Pius XI as well as AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS of Pius XII. Both of these are quite explicit condemnations of communism, and

Gadium et Spes certainly does not steer clear of them, but rather specifically cites both. I daresay if there was some kind of premeditated cabal agreement with the Soviets, no such explicit references to outright condemnations by the Magisterium would be tolerated.

As a Ukrainian Greek Catholic whose bishops, clergy and laity were tortured, imprisoned, and martyred by the godless Communists, I do not believe that the Council "ignored the most challenging menace of its time: Communism." I would maintain that rather it was the first tip against the dominoes that would later fall in the pontificate of the late John Paul II.
FDRLB

New Catholic said...

Yes, we all know these very discreet words in Vatican II documents. There really is no need to rewrite History: Vatican II steered away from any controversy surrounding Communism, and Pope Wojtyla's success on the matter was possible only because he firmly rejected the Ostpolitik of Paul VI and John XXIII. This is not to say that Paul VI and John XXIII did not do what they thought was good or feasible, but they certainly did not do as much as Pius XI and Pius XII did and said in much harder circumstances.

NC