I learn quite a lot thanks to my readers. Each week in the comments section, there are many good discussions. Most are on the same topic as the post, but not always, and that’s fine by me. When I’m challenged on a topic I often re-think my position, to get a better understanding both for my own edification and that I may be of more informative value to my readers. I believe in the axiom,”He who does not understand his opponents’ point of view, doesn’t fully understand his own.” Last week, a comment was made by someone who objected to my designating Roncalli (John XXIII) as a false pope. He had challenged me on this point about a year ago, and I was going to research my position more thoroughly, but alas, life so often gets in the way of our plans.
This time, I started to research the topic and my findings were most fruitful–resulting in this post you’re now reading. Anyone who wishes to read the whole thread between my interlocutor and myself may do so by referring to the comments section of last week’s post. In sum, he said, “Sedevacantists recognize Paul VI onwards as pseudo-popes based on SOLID, IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE. For some reason you’re not applying this standard to Roncalli…Again, I don’t know if Roncalli was an usurper. Neither do you, so perhaps you should pull back on DECLARING him a pseudo-pope, and instead just state that YOU believe he was problematic to the point that YOU have your doubts that he was genuine. ” (Emphasis in the original).
In this post, I will put forth the reasons, proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that Roncalli must be objectively dismissed as a false pope. There’s so much that could be written, but I will confine myself as best as possible to make it terse and get the point across without delving into all aspects of his life. Hence, you will not see, for example, accusations that he was a Freemason addressed. I might touch on such issues in another post. This one will suffice for the stated purpose.
- In the biography by Lawrence Elliot entitled I Will Be Called John:A Biography of Pope John XXIII,[Reader’s Digest Press, 1973] it is recorded that as early as 1914, Roncalli was accused of Modernism while a teacher at the seminary at Bergamo. Cardinal De Lai, Secretary for the Congregation of Seminaries, formally reprimanded Roncalli, saying: “According to the information that came my way, I knew that you had been a reader of Duchesne [an author of a three volume work placed on the Index of Forbidden Books for teaching Modernist tenets—Introibo] and other unbridled authors, and that on certain occasions you had shown yourself inclined to that school of thought which tends to empty out the value of tradition and the authority of the past, a dangerous current which leads to fatal consequences.” (pg. 59)
- For ten years (1905-1915), Roncalli was secretary for Bishop Radini Tedeschi, a Modernist sympathizer. Roncalli describes him thus: “His burning eloquence, his innumerable projects, and his extraordinary personal activity could have given the impression to many, at the beginning, that he had in view the most radical changes and that he was moved by the sole desire to innovate…[Tedeshi] concerned himself less with carrying out reforms than with maintaining the glorious traditions of his diocese and with interpreting them in harmony with new conditions and the new needs of the times.”(See Leroux, John XXIII: Initiator of the Changes, pg. 10) Bp. Tedeschi wanted to “update” traditions by re-interpreting them with the “needs of the times.” Sound familiar?
- He received the red hat of a cardinal from the hands of French President Vincent Auriol in 1953 at Roncalli’s own insistence. Auriol was a committed Socialist, of whom Roncalli said he was an “honest socialist.” Pope Pius XI had stated, “No one can be, at the same time, a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.”(See Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno , para #120)
- While working in Bulgaria, Roncalli became well acquainted with Eastern Schismatics. His heretical ecumenism shone through “Catholics and Orthodox are not enemies, but brothers. We have the same faith; we share the same sacraments, and especially the Eucharist. We are divided by some disagreements concerning the divine constitution of the Church of Jesus Christ. The persons who were the cause of these disagreements have been dead for centuries. Let us abandon the old disputes and, each in his own domain, let us work to make our brothers good, by giving them good example. Later on, though traveling along different paths, we shall achieve union among the churches to form together the true and unique Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (See Luigi Accattoli, When A Pope Asks Forgiveness, New York: Alba House and Daughters of St. Paul, , pp. 18-19; Emphasis mine.) Do the schismatics share the same faith with the One True Church? Obviously not.
- According to Renzo Allegri (translated from the original Italian Il Papa che ha cambiato il mondo, Testimonianze sulla vita private di Giovanni XXIII, pg. 66) a Bulgarian journalist named Stefano Karadgiov stated, “I knew Catholic priests who refused to go into an Orthodox Church even as tourists. Bishop Roncalli, on the contrary, always participated in Orthodox functions, arousing astonishment and perplexity in some Catholics. He never missed the great ceremonies which were celebrated in the principle Orthodox church in Sofia. He put himself in a corner and devoutly followed the rites. The Orthodox chants especially pleased him. (Emphasis mine)
- The import of Roncalli actively participating in false worship cannot be understated. Participating in false religious worship, according to the approved canonists and theologians, is a manifestation of heresy and/or apostasy. According to theologian Merkelbach, external heresy consists not only in what someone says, but also dictis vel factis, that is “signs, deeds, and the omission of deeds.” (Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis, 1:746; Emphasis mine)
- Nor is this an isolated report of Roncalli participating in prayer with those outside the Church. According to John Hughes in Pontiffs:Popes Who Shaped History [Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1994], “He [Roncalli] became good friends of the Reverend Austin Oakley, chaplain at the British Embassy and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal representative to the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. Even more unusual were Roncalli’s visits to Oakley’s chapel, where the two men prayed together.” (Emphasis mine). Furthermore, according to Kerry Walters in John XXIII (A Short Biography) Franciscan Media,, Roncalli once proclaimed from the pulpit that Jesus Christ “died to proclaim universal brotherhood.” (pg. 14)
See my post http://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2015/02/one-question-siri-cant-answer.html for my thoughts on the “Siri Theory.” Is it possible some other Cardinal was elected, forced to resign (which made Roncalli’s election null and void), and then lost office by going along with the Modernists? It’s a possibility. Lest anyone say there is no evidence of seriously confusing smoke, according to Kirk Clinger, “The partly white, partly dark smoke confused even the Vatican radio announcers. They had to apologize frequently for their error. The column of smoke which rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel was first whitish, then definitely white, and only later definitely black.” (See A Pope Laughs: Stories of John XXIII,Holt, Rinehard, and Winston, , pg. 43)
In hominis juribus hoc quoque numerandum est, ut et Deum, ad rectum conscientiae suae normam, venerari possit, et religionem privatim et publice profiteri.
In English it means, “We must include among the rights of man that he should be able to worship God according to the rightful prompting of his conscience and to profess his religion privately and publicly.”
Those who defend Roncalli will point out (correctly) that the Church teaches humans have the right to profess and practice only the Catholic religion which is the One True Church, outside of which no one is saved. Error has no rights. There is nothing wrong with this statement in Pacem (they contend) because the word rightful modifies the “prompting of his conscience” such that it implies that one is not simply entitled to follow his conscience in the worship of God unless his conscience is rightful (i.e., in accordance with the One True Church). What no Catholic can declare is that each person should be able “to profess his religion privately and publicly.” This implies (as we shall see) that one can profess any religion, be it the True Religion or any of the myriad false religions, both privately and in public; which idea is heretical and condemned by the Church.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The possessive adjective “his” does not appear in the official Latin text published in the AAS. However, its interpolation by translators (including the official English text available on the Modernist Vatican’s website) is by no means unjustified for two reasons:
(a) Latin very rarely includes such adjectives, frequently showing them to be understood from the context.
(b) Abundant evidence shows that John XXIII’s true meaning is represented by the inclusion of “his”–which evidence will be examined.
If you read the sentence without the word “his” it admits of an orthodox interpretation: i.e., people have the right to profess religion publicly and privately provided it’s the Catholic religion. Nevertheless, we cannot omit that word without altering the intended sense of the encyclical; a sense that is unabashedly heretical. Let no one protest that this is an exercise in mere semantics. The semi-Arian heretics, under pressure from the Emperor, were prepared to submit to every syllable of the Nicene Creed except they rejected the statement that Our Lord was consubstantial (homo-ousion) with the Father, but He was merely (homoi-ousion) of like substance, not the same substance. One letter marked the all important line between Catholic doctrine and heresy.
It is beyond dispute that the meaning Roncalli wished to convey, and to which he consciously lent his (alleged) “authority,” was that each person has the right to profess his religion—whatever that religion may be–both privately and publicly. Here is the evidence:
1. The encyclical was not, as traditionally done, addressed only to the members of the Roman Catholic Church, but to “all men of good will.” If it was only addressed to Catholics, one could argue that they would know that “his” religion is the Catholic religion, because only the Truth may be openly professed and preached. After all, he would then only have Catholics as his intended audience. It is completely unreasonable to expect Jews, Mohammedans, Protestants, and Eastern Schismatics (among other non-Catholics) to obtain that understanding from the context. The only reasonable conclusion at which they would arrive is that the encyclical guarantees every single one of them the objective moral right to practice and professhis particular false religion in public.
2. The 32nd edition of Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum [The Enchiridion is a compendium of all the basic texts on Catholic dogma and morality since the Apostolic Age. Commissioned by Pope Pius IX, it has been in use since 1854, and has been regularly updated since] was edited by Fr. Schonmetzer and has the offending sentence tagged with a footnote referencing the Masonic United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) article 18:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
This passage is irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine, yet it is linked to the very sentence that would make a reader believe that everyone is free to express his religion in public, no matter if it is the true religion or not. It would suggest that Roncalli was conscious of that portion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as he penned Pacem in Terris. If this does not contradict Catholic teaching, nothing does.
As Pope Gregory XVI taught: “Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care…This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it.” (See Mirari Vos , para. #13 and 14).
The defenders of Roncalli will protest that there is a “lack of evidence” that Roncalli authorized the footnote; but such objection fails miserably. The authors of the Enchiridion are selected precisely to ensure that their references and explanations will meet with official approval of the Holy See, and any remark misrepresenting the mind of same would meet with a public rebuke and a retraction demanded by Rome, which was far from the case. Moreover, the involvement of the editors of the 32nd edition is more demonstrable than in any prior edition. It was the first time that the passage of Pope Pius IX’s condemnation of religious liberty was omitted. The startling omission is explicable only on the basis that it was intended to conceal the explicit contradiction between Pacem in Terris and Quanta Cura.
This passage was omitted: From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an “insanity” viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.” But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching “liberty of perdition;” and that “if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.” (See Quanta Cura , para. #3).
Clearly, it cannot be reasonably maintained that those who took such great care to arrange the suppression of the “offending” part of Quanta Cura were not also responsible for the footnote to Pacem in Terris which concerned the same subject.
3. That fact that the sentence from Pacem in Terris must be understood in connection with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is confirmed by the fact that in Pacem itself, the Masonic United Nations and its Declaration are commended and praised in paragraphs #142, 143, and 144. Roncalli said of the Declaration “It is a solemn recognition of the personal dignity of every human being; an assertion of everyone’s right to be free to seek out the truth, to follow moral principles, discharge the duties imposed by justice, and lead a fully human life. It also recognized other rights connected with these.” (para. #144; Emphasis mine). An encyclical is carefully read over by the Pontiff before signing and promulgating it. Moreover, high ranking theologians craft it at the direction of the pope. Each word is carefully chosen. If these “other rights” written in the Declaration did not include the infamous “right” to religious liberty, is it not obvious this would have been made clear?
4. The encyclical was roundly praised by the Masonic lodges and the secular media both of which promote religious Indifferentism and religious liberty through supporting separation of Church and State.
5. The Church cannot (and does not) teach ambiguously in expressing theological truths. Any deliberate ambiguity must be interpreted against the orthodoxy of the one teaching ambiguously. Propositions that are ambiguous or admit of interpretations that are either orthodox or heterodox are deemed “heretical by defect.” This is also the case with propositions that are true, but are calculated to omit pertinent truths or terms they ought to include. The following proposition of the Jansenist Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia was condemned:
“After the consecration, Christ is truly, really and substantially present beneath the appearances (of bread and wine), and the whole substance of bread and wine has ceased to exist, leaving only the appearances.”
In 1794, Pope Pius VI condemned that proposition in the Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei because “it entirely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation or the conversion of the entire substance of the bread into the Body, and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, which the Council of Trent defined as an article of Faith…insofar as, through an unauthorized and suspicious omission of this kind, attention is drawn away both from an article of Faith and from a word consecrated by the Church to safeguard the profession of that article against heresies, and tends, therefore, to result in its being forgotten as if it were merely a scholastic question.”
Summation: It is impossible to excuse Roncalli (John XXIII) from the charge of heresy by arguing that this sentence can admit of an orthodox interpretation, because it does not. Even if, ad arguendo, it could so admit of an orthodox interpretation, Roncalli would still be guilty of heresy by defect because it has been shown that the obvious sense of the sentence, taken in both text and context, is incontrovertibly heretical.
- He was influenced and kept friends with Modernists, Masons, Socialists and other sworn enemies of the Church from his earliest days in the priesthood
- He was removed from his teaching post on suspicion of heresy (Modernism)
- He worshiped and prayed with heretics and schismatics
- He made an overtly heretical statement regarding Catholics and Eastern Schismatics having the “same faith”
- The conclave of 1958 was surrounded by suspicious activity and lead many to believe that someone else had been elected pope prior to Roncalli
- After his “election” Roncalli rehabilitated all the living censured theologians under Pope Pius XII and had them actively serve as theological experts during Vatican II
- Roncalli taught the heresy of religious liberty in Pacem in Terris; he paved the way for its adoption at Vatican II in the heretical document Dignitatis Humanae