1. The ruin of the Church as an Institution

WE have seen a whole series of surprising decisions which were apparently aimed to show – or at any rate they caused people to believe – that the Church as an Institution had no claim to respect, apart from the men who represented it, and that the Pope was therefore free to make what changes he pleased, even in those matters which we had been simple-minded enough to look upon as unassailable, changes affecting minor details but also points of fundamental importance. But always, there was this element of surprise and mystery surrounding the change...

You have given up the Tiara. This, the earliest of your “ prophetic gestures ”, dates from November 1964. As I had already, since reading Ecclesiam Suam, seen through your intentions, I was able to understand the real meaning of this gesture without difficulty, as did also IDOC, whose function was to help Communism in its penetration of the Church, and who from that moment realised just where you stood politically.

But why did you have to hide your real intention under that romantic gesture of making a gift to the poor, inviting the Bishops to do likewise ? For two reasons. Firstly, because you could not very well announce publicly, so soon after your accession, that the Roman Pontiff was giving up his right of precedence over Kings and Princes, which is what the Tiara symbolises. That would certainly have given rise to suspicions and protests. And therefore, you chose to speak through a riddle. But the Freemasons understood without difficulty, while the Traditionalists, determined to maintain their trust in you, preferred not to understand.

In order to show my friends what was going on, I foretold to them on that very day that you would never have another Tiara made. At least you must admit that I am no fool, for I at least did understand.

While not an outright lie, this is nevertheless a dissimulation – or, if you like, a parable. Did not Our Lord speak to the multitudes in parables, because a lesson thus taught, whose meaning is not immediately obvious, sinks in better in the end ? And so, when you invited the bishops to follow your example and divest themselves for the sake of the poor, they did so, in considerable numbers, in accordance with your unspoken intentions. They laid down their episcopal insignia, the sign of their spiritual glory, and together with these, they renounced also the exercise of their authority, and they sold the treasures of the Church’s heritage – but they left their bank accounts untouched. And even you, yourself, have you not had your apartments renovated and were you not going to build, at considerable expense, hanging gardens on the roofs of your palace, at the risk of causing damage to the old building ?

I have written at such length about this, the earliest of these gestures, because it helps to explain other, similar, scandals. Over and over again, we note in your acts the same subtlety, which makes them so much more effective.

So you began to wear a Mitre in place of the Tiara, and soon after, gave up also your Shepherd’s Crook. Our bishops understood that they too were to give up wielding the Crook, both literally and figuratively. You began to carry a Crucifix in place of the Crook, whereas your Predecessors had that carried in front of them, so that they might have it before their eyes. This new and unwonted custom suggests that you are renouncing your task of directing, governing, and punishing your subjects. You seek to popularise a new image of the Pope – that of the humble Minister of the Word, who preaches the Gospel. The figure of Christ on the Crucifix you carry is terrible to behold, a skinned corpse, a picture of despair eliciting only despair in the onlooker, with no sign of His Divinity or His Glory to come, nor of His present Triumph. Here I am afraid to probe too deeply into your secret... But there must be a connection between the sorry figure on the Crucifix and some words spoken by you on December 7, 1965. Perhaps you look upon Christ as a symbol of the sum-total of human suffering ?

On certain occasions you have been seen wearing in place of the Pastoral Cross, or in addition to it, an emblem better known to Jews than to Christians – especially if it happens to be a present from then: a jewel reproducing exactly the Ephod of the High Priest. A similar object has for a long tine decorated the clasp of the pontifical cope. In this case, it symbolised that the Church, as the heir to the Old Covenant, replaced the latter, which ceased to exist from the moment of her birth, and acquired the right to whatever she chose of the old rituals and ornaments. She thus made use of this, the most mysterious of the old symbolic emblems, for decorating her vestments.

But to wear it over your heart, together with the Cross, or even in its place, is an entirely different matter. And to adopt it at the very moment when the international Jewish organisations are exercising an increasing influence at the Vatican can only be a sign – clear if unspoken – of goodwill and co-operation. I said so at the time, full of indignation (English CRC No 9). If the object has not made its appearance since, so much the better !

In your generosity you made a present of your Crook and your Ring to the Burmese Buddhist, U Thant, in order to help the poor. Was this not calculated to give offence to any number of missionaries and Sisters of Charity ? Are there not poor in your own diocese who could do with help ? We understand that these objects, after being sold and re-sold, have ended up in Geneva (The Voice - USA, December 9, 1972). Why did you choose your Crook and Ring for this purpose ? Because you wanted to give up the Crook, and the Pastoral Ring was of the old type. You were planning to give all the bishops of the world – at considerable expense – a new and different gold ring, which was to be the Ring of the Council. The change of Covenant was to be symbolised by a change of ring ! The old rings had symbolised your Covenant with Rome and the Bishops’ Covenant with the Church in their own diocese. So it was time to get rid of them – to sell them, or place your own on the finger of Dr Ramsey (March 23, 1966, Documentation Catholique No 66, 1469, cover photograph). The new ring would symbolise their solidarity with the New Church and with yourself – it would be the Ring of the Covenant of the Reformation... No, this is not a series of random acts: there is method in your madness.

Then there is a whole series of unexpected, enigmatic decisions involving individual persons and their functions, which constitutes already the greatest revolution ever perpetrated in the Church. It has achieved its desired result – to ensure that nobody should ever feel secure or stable in his position any more, but conscious that, whatever authority he may exercise, is only by your favour.

It was by a master stroke of tactics that, after the Council, all the effectiveness was taken out of the Dicasteries of the old Curia and their functions transferred to the new post-Conciliar secretariats, in such a manner that nobody was manifestly dispossessed while in effect all were deprived of their powers in favour of the new teams, consisting wholly of progressives. A further decision, to review all Curial functions at five yearly intervals, completed the process, leaving your civil service bereft of all independence. But enough of this topic ! The Curia, weighted down by the intolerant, dishonest, and incompetent yoke of the Secretariat of State, waits patiently – for a change of Pope – so that it may recover once again its liberty and stability, its competence and good cheer !

You decided – against the Council itself, which had weighed up the pros and cons of the matter – that bishops should retire at seventy-five. Their retirement, however, was not to be enforced automatically, but to depend on your decision in each case, thus leaving the ageing bishops at the mercy of your whim and despotism. As a result of this innovation, decided upon by yourself in secret and announced unexpectedly, the very nature of the bishop’s office has been changed. From being the Father and Shepherd of his people, he has been made into a civil servant constantly concerned with keeping on the right side of the central Power.

Just now you are aiming your attack against the College of Cardinals and its jealously guarded prerogative of electing the Popes. Without preliminary warning, without consultation with anybody and least of all with those personally affected, you decreed that the Cardinals should be deprived of their membership of the Conclave on attaining the age of eighty. Such mistrust of the elderly is against all the decencies of human civilisation as well as the wisdom of the Scriptures. But you don’t care about either when it comes to following your passion to adopt new ideas. We are left wondering whether such mutilation of the College of Cardinals for entirely arbitrary reasons does not invalidate its juridical faculty. Certain learned canon lawyers have said it does, and produced evidence to back up their view. To pierce the enigma of your true motives underlying this decision has not been simple. At first sight, it would seem that you are making arrangements to ensure that your side remains in power, and modifying the electoral College accordingly. But there is more behind it than the mere rigging of the next election.

Quite recently, your plan began to be laid bare. First you get rid of some thirty aged Cardinals, and you limit the maximum number of Cardinals in the Conclave to 120. Then you announce, rather vaguely, the next stage in the process leading to the ultimate aim which you have already decided upon. This is to admit – maybe – the Eastern Patriarchs to the Conclave, and perhaps also the members of the Synodal Secretariat. (Allocution to the Consistory of Cardinals, March 5, 1973) The numbers are in any case insignificant, some dozen new members at most. And then, in your Discourse of March 5, in the presence of the new Cardinals, you give yourself away sufficiently for at least the initiated to grasp the full extent of your plan. The introduction into the Conclave of “ certain national representatives ” would finally bring the Church “ into line with our day and age ”, allowing her to embark, “ without timidity, on a course directed to the future ”:

“ Do not ever contemplate remaining outside the mainstream of life... Remember, rather, that, united as you are to the Church of Peter, you are in the vanguard of those great movements which carry mankind towards its inescapable destiny, which however remains so difficult to attain: we are referring to unity, fraternity, justice, liberty within an ordered system, personal dignity, respect for life, mastery of the earth without becoming its prisoner, culture which is not allowed to lead men astray… ” (Discourse of March 5, 1973)

You may speak in riddles, Most Holy Father, but since 1964 there have been quite a few of us who have seen through these. We have realised that you are preparing to play your part in the movement towards World Democracy and are to this end carrying out a step-by-step revolution in the Roman Church. Today you are making arrangements to democratise her system of electing her… President. You have fixed the number of Cardinals taking part in a Conclave at 120: this number is invariable, while that of the “ National Representatives ” is variable – 8 or 10 today, and tomorrow perhaps 100, 200, 500 ? It will not be long before your end – to make the Papal Election comparable in all respects to the Presidential Election of the great modern democracies – has been attained, and the Church will then indeed be able to claim to have “ fallen into line with our day and age ”, to have formed “ a credible relationship with the world ”, to have “ entered into the movement of history which is constantly evolving and changing, proceeding ceaselessly to new conquests whose end and aim is an eschatological one. ” (Discourse of March 5, 1973)

The reality is less edifying. In “ falling into line with modern society ”, the very soul of the Church has changed, and she has invested herself with the characters of a techno-bureaucracy and a police state. The ecclesiastical Hierarchy has lost its canonical order, its force and stability, yielding its place to the anonymous tyranny of a system where every little despot can prepare a good place for himself. Tyranny and anarchy begin to chase each other in circles once a stable and lawful social order has given way to one based on the arbitrary rule of individual wills.