Rorate Caeli

‘The Council and the Eclipse of God’ by Don Pietro Leone: CHAPTER 10 (part 5 c): The Principal Agents of the Council (continued): 2.The Bishops 3. The Freemasons 4. The Protestants 5. The Periti 6. The Press


The Bishops at the Second Vatican Council


2.      The Bishops


Let what we have written in our historical notes throughout this book suffice for a description of the Bishops’ agency during the Council. The Bishops were divided into liberal ‘progressives’, imbued with Modernist heterodoxy; into orthodox Catholics securely grounded in Thomism; and into others who constituted the majority, who were well-meaning but doctrinally unformed. The first group consisting initially largely of the ‘Rhine Bishops’, well prepared and determined on change, exerted a decisive influence over the majority; the second group, slow to organize itself, managed, with the help of the third group, somewhat to limit the damage done by the liberals as the Council proceeded.


3.      The Freemasons


We have observed the presence of Masons amongst the leading liberal Bishops, and the publication of Baron Marsaudon’s book on Ecumenism in 1965. This book, entitled ‘L’oecuménisme vu par un franc-maçon de tradition’ and dedicated to Pope John XXIII himself whom the Baron had met on a number of occasions when the Pope to be was Nuntius in Paris, was intended to serve as a ‘bridge’ between the Church and Masonry. In this book the author wrote: ‘... Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Israelites, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Free-thinkers, Free-believers are only names for us; the family name is Mason.’ The author, referring to ‘the revolution desired by John XXIII of the freedom of conscience’, remarked: ‘We do not think that a Mason worthy of the name and who has committed himself to practice tolerance, cannot but rejoice without restriction for irreversible results of the Council, such as are its present conclusions.’


‘[At the Council] we have observed the presence of Masons amongst the leading liberal Bishops, and the publication of Baron Marsaudon’s book on Ecumenism in 1965.’


We note further that during the Council, Father Giovanni Caprile SJ made himself protagonist of a rapprochement between the two bodies, and wrote that the Masonry had its roots on the Council floor. Similarly Father Vincenzo Miano, secretary of the Secretariat for the Non-believers, wrote that the Secretariat dialogued not only with non-Catholic Christians but (in an apparent reference to the Baron’s words quoted above) also with ‘Jews, Moslems, Hindus, and even with secular ideologies... How could we not or should we not do so with Masonry? [1]



Baron Marsaudon – high-ranking Freemason and member of The Order of Malta, wrote in his famous book on Ecumenism : ‘...Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Israelites, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Free-thinkers, Free-believers are only names for us; the family name is Mason.’


We explained above that the Freemasonry is the most important and powerful of contemporary Gnostic sects. As such it proposes the ideal of self-deifying atheism, placed in the context, like that of the Council, of skepticism, naturalism [2], and syncretism religious, ontological, moral, and logical, as well as evolution [3]. It is deeply marked by Satanism and by the violent desire to destroy the Church [4]and to absorb it into the world as a sort of ‘anti-church’ [5].


As means to self-deifying atheism and to the destruction of the Church, it favors the following further elements that we have noted in the Council documents: eroticism, particular attention to the young and to seminarians, attacks on the Magisterium, on the Holy Mass, on the sacramental priesthood and the hierarchical structure of the Church.


As to eroticism, we quote the extract from a Masonic manifesto [6]: ‘Create hearts full of vice and you will no longer have any Catholics. That is the corruption on a large scale which we have undertaken, the corruption of the people by the clergy and that of the clergy by us, the corruption which leads the way to our digging the Church’s grave.’


‘As to eroticism, we quote the extract from a Masonic manifesto :

‘Create hearts full of vice and you will no longer have any Catholics.


As to the délicate attention that they are pleased to display to the young and to seminarians, the document continues: ‘Leave the older and more mature generations aside: go to the youth and if possible to the children... [seminary students must also be targeted:] within a few years the same young clergy will, thanks to the force of events, take over all functions...’


As to the Magisterium, the Holy Mass, the priesthood and the Church hierarchy, a Mason writing shortly after the Council, stated retrospectively [7]: ‘Among the pillars which collapsed most easily we note the Magisterium; infallibility; the Real Eucharistic Presence... the increasing inter-communion and inter-celebration of Catholic priests and Protestant pastors; the hallowed character of the priest...’ and the hierarchical structure of the Church.



4.     The Protestants [8]


One important protestantizing force in the Council was to be the ‘Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity’, to the headship of which was appointed Cardinal Bea, while its administration was entrusted to Monsignor Willebrands, ‘a leading Dutch ecumenist.’ The Secretariat, with its complete independence from the Curia, was charged with the preparation of the majority of ecumenical documents such as those on Ecumenism, Religious Liberty, the Jews, and Revelation.


Protestant Ministers at the Second Vatican Council


The other great protestantizing force was exercised by the Protestant observers. ‘The very presence of Protestant observers at the Council’ remarks Michael Davies with characteristic insight, ‘was bound to have an inhibiting effect on the debates. No good-mannered host would wish to express opinions which might offend a guest in his house, if he could help doing so.’


Monsignor Lefebvre complained that there was pressure on the Fathers to avoid displeasing Protestants, and Dr. Moorman, leader of the Anglican delegation, observed that if a Father ‘forgot himself’ he was sometimes rebuked by a later speaker. Dr. McAfee Brown noted that opinions of the Protestant observers were taken ‘with real seriousness by the leaders of the Council’ and one Professor Mondin testified that such observers as Dr. Cullmann made ‘a valid contribution’ to drawing up Council documents. The same Dr. Cullmann himself admitted: ‘I am more and more amazed every morning at the way we really form a part of the Council.’



5.     The Periti


The Council has been described as the ‘Council of the periti’ and Bishop Lucey of Cork and Ross described them as more powerful than most Bishops ‘because they had the ear of a Cardinal or the head of national group of Bishops, and they were influential in the drafting of the Council documents’ - documents indeed which could run to hundreds of pages and which required more time to assimilate than was available to the Bishops. Even if the periti were silent in the aula they made themselves heard in the Commissions: Cardinal Heenan relates: ‘… A German theologian addressed us in a voice often rising to a scream’ [9].


The periti who exercised inordinate influence on the Council were in the first place Father Congar who himself claimed responsibility, entire or partial, for the documents Lumen Gentium, De Revelatione, De Ecumenismo, the Declaration on the non-Christian Religions, Gaudium et Spes, De Missionibus, De Libertate Religiosa, and De Presbyteris. He wrote in his Diary: ‘I could almost say plus omnibus laboravi,[10] although this would certainly not be true…’


Some Modernist Periti of the Council 

(Rahner, Courtney Murray, De Lubac, Congar) 

'[..]the experts were present at the Council as expert theologians, but there is no such thing as a theologian who does not possess the Faith or practice chastity.'


Second to Father Congar, the following experts should be mentioned: Father Schillebeeckx, whose commentary, as we have seen above, secured the rejection of the preparatory schemas; Father Courtney Murray who secured the acceptance of the new doctrine on Religious Liberty; and in a general sense, Father Rahner. Fathers Murray and Rahner were to continue their modernist trajectory subsequent to the Council in their opposition to the teaching of Humane Vitae [11].


Bishop William Adrian of Nashville observes: ‘the European periti… were themselves deeply imbued with the errors of Teilhardism and situation ethics, which errors ultimately destroy all divine faith and morality, and all constituted authority. They make the person the center and judge of all truth and morality, irrespective of what the Church teaches…’ [12].


We conclude this subsection by pointing out that the experts were present at the Council as expert theologians, but there is no such thing as a theologian who does not possess the Faith or practice chastity. Sad to say, it is impossible to guarantee either of these virtues for all of the periti. As for the Faith of some of them, the facts related above have already given us the opportunity to question it; as for their chastity, let it suffice to mention the following incidents concerning three of the experts that have featured in this book [13]: one of them was twice arraigned by the police for indecent exposure; another (an opponent of priestly celibacy) wrote no less than 1,800 letters to a lady-friend during his time as Council peritus, the content of which cannot be described as merely theological; yet another, raised to the Cardinalature subsequent to the Council, breathed his last in the house of a fallen woman in Paris. Their lack of chastity is an aspect of Fallen Nature, the psychological root of Antirealist Subjectivism in the Council.  



6.    The Press [14]


Father Louis Bouyer remarked: ‘The Council… has handed us over to the dictatorship of the journalists, and particularly the most incompetent and irresponsible of them’. He was referring, above all, to those supporting the liberal ‘Rhine Group.’ It was the Press that promoted such slogans as: ‘modern man’, to ‘be open’ to ‘the spirit of the age’, and to ‘dialogue with the world’, as well as the concept of the conflict between ‘authority’ and ‘freedom’ as incorporated in figures such as Cardinal Ottaviani on the one side and Cardinal Suenens on the other. Such a conflict had already been predicted by St. Pius X in when he speaks of the Modernists’ spirit of disobedience which ‘causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty’ [15].


‘The Council… has handed us over to the dictatorship of the journalists, and particularly the most incompetent and irresponsible of them’  Father L. Bouyer



There was much informal contact between liberal Fathers and periti on the one side and the liberal press on the other. The former were wont to send their comments and talks to the press where they would reach many more of the Bishops than if they had been given in the aula. The journalist Robert Kaiser and his wife gave Sunday evening dinners to bring these three classes of liberals together, the journalist claiming that ‘the charismatic influence of the Holy Spirit’ instructed the Bishops ‘through the instrumentality of the modern press’ [16]. Cardinal Suenens announced in a similar vein: ‘The Catholic journalist… is the theologian of the present day’, while Michael Davies  more soberly remarked: ‘The theory that God teaches the Bishops through the instrumentality of the liberal press is certainly novel’ [17].


Archbishop Lefebvre notes how the key battle of collegiality was fought by the liberals with the aid of ‘all the press – Communist, Protestant, and progressive.’ [18] Similarly Michael Davies describes the powerful role which the news agency ‘IDO-C’ had during and after the Council in which Catholics, Protestants, and Jews were to collaborate on both sides of the Iron Curtain as a source of ‘Catholic news’ for secular papers. Amongst the Catholic journalists involved, the names of Robert Kaiser, Father Laurentin, and Henri Fesquet are to be found.


St. Pius X lists the tendencies of the Modernists in insulting true Catholics, in ignoring them when they prove their case, in lauding their fellow-liberals in their labours ‘to undermine tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium’. When one of their number is condemned by the Church they ‘hold him up for veneration as almost a martyr for truth’. Such words [19] were to be prophetic indeed of the manoeuvres of the liberal Press in and after the Council.



[1] RdM VI 4 (c)

[2] in Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII designates naturalism as the very animating spirit of Freemasonry

[3] by ontological, moral, and logical syncretism we mean that ontological, moral, and logical monism that, together with the principle of evolution, we expounded above in chapter 10. I, C  

[4] ‘Our final end is... the destruction forever of Catholicism and even of the Christian idea...’ the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita from the documents of the Alta Vendita published by the order of Bl.Pius IX, to ‘tear away the mask from Freemasonry’. The same document expresses the desire for a Pope inspired by humanitarian ideals ‘according to our wants’ whom they can manipulate, MD pjc p.166-7

[5] see ch. 5 A (c)

[6] Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, p.40, Bishop Graber, op.cit .MD pjc, p. 168

[7] L’Humanisme, journal of the Grand Orient of France, 1968. Athanasius op.cit.  p.70, MD pjc, p.168-9

[8] MD pjc, p.114-6

[9] MD pjc, p. 37

[10] I labored more than all

[11] MD rl, p. 236; MD pjc p.47

[12] MD pjc, p.44. We note that the spirit of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the apostate Jesuit, whose works the Holy See had continually condemned during his life, and had ordered to be removed from libraries after his death, exercised an important influence over the Council where his principal doctrinal heir Father Henri de Lubac, was an expert

[13] it would be wearisome for the spirit to mention them by name. Any-one wishing to investigate these matters further may have recourse to the booklets by don Luigi Villa, Operaie di Maria Immacolata, Editrice Civiltà, Brescia, 2007, and, in regard to the Cardinal, to the book we refer to as RdM

[14] MD pjc ch.7

[15] Pascendi, 40

[16] MD pjc, p.91

[17] MD ibid.

[18] MD pjc p. 94-5

[19], 42