Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
Interview with Radio Spada
Interview with Radio Spada
RS: Good morning Your Excellency, we thank you for the dialogue we are going to have. Let us start from Galleria Neovaticana, the book by Marco Tosatti for which you wrote the preface. Allow us to tell you an anecdote: Only a few hours had passed since the announcement of its publication, and already on ƚwιƚƚeɾ there was a profile with a survey - based only on the cover and title, evidently - asking how evangelical it was to print a volume dedicated to scabrous accusations and facts that are not always edifying. What would you say to that objection?
CMV: Allow me to recall here that in the months preceding his decision to assume the singular title of "pope emeritus," Benedict XVI established a Commission of Cardinals, chaired by Cardinal Herranz, and composed of Cardinals Tomko and De Giorgi, with the task of conducting a thorough investigation regarding the confidential information spread by Vatileaks. On that occasion, I had to insist with Cardinal Herranz that I could testify, since it was not his intention to interrogate me despite the fact that I was personally involved as the author of the confidential documents intended for the Pontiff, which had been stolen and released to the press. I gave them a thick dossier in which I gave an account of all the dysfunctions and the network of corruption of which I had become aware and which I had had to face as Secretary General of the Governorate. I accompanied that dossier with a letter in which, among other things, I wrote: "I am very saddened by the grave damage done to the Church and to the Holy See by the leakage of so many confidential documents... If there are those responsible for such unconscionable acts, much more grave is the guilt of those who have been responsible for so much corruption and moral degradation in the Holy See and in the State of Vatican City, and that of some cardinals, prelates and lay people who, while knowing, have preferred to live with so much filth, numbing their consciences in order to please their powerful superiors and to advance their careers. I hope that at least this Commission of Cardinals, out of love for the Church, will be faithful to the Holy Father and do all the necessary cleaning up that he wanted and not allow this initiative of his to be covered up once again... Numerous journalists from various countries have tried to contact me... I have remained silent, out of love for the Church and the Holy Father. The strength of the truth must flow from within the Church and not from the mєdια... I pray for you Cardinals, that you have the courage to tell the Holy Father the truth; and I pray for the Holy Father, that he has the strength to make it come to light in the Church."
That amount of information, along with the other evidence gathered by the three Cardinals, would have allowed for a cleansing operation: everything has been covered up! and can only constitute a further element of blackmail for the names contained therein and, for eight years now, an occasion for discrediting those who, vice versa, have faithfully served the Church and the Holy See.
Necesse est enim ut veniant scandala; verumtamen væ homini per quem scandalum venit (Mt 18, 7). Denouncing the corruption of clerics and prelates has become a gesture of charity towards the faithful and an act of justice towards the martyred Church, because on the one hand it warns the people of God against wolves disguised as lambs and shows them for what they are, and on the other hand it demonstrates that the Bride of Christ is the victim of a band of lustful, power-hungry men, and once they have been removed she can return to preach the Gospel. It is not those who bring scandals to light who sin against evangelical charity, but those who carry out and cover up those scandals. The Lord's words give no room for misunderstanding.
RS: As we know, going beyond the moral theme, it is impossible not to identify the doctrinal collapse as the very hinge of the crisis in the Church. In relation to this, on several occasions you have manifested an intense criticism of Vatican II. On this point we would like to ask you for a further specification. Speaking with Sandro Magister, you attacked: "The beautiful fable of hermeneutics - even if authoritative for its author - nevertheless remains an attempt to give the dignity of the Council to a real ambush against the Church. Can we therefore clarify that the problem cannot be identified with Vatican II alone, but with Vatican II? In other words: Did the ʀevօʟutιօnary process take a turn with the "Council" and not only after the "Council?" Not simply the Vaticanist spirit, but also the letter is to be put under indictment?
CMV: I do not see how it can be sustained that there is a supposedly orthodox Vatican II that no one has spoken about for years, betrayed by a spirit of the Council that everyone praised. The spirit of the Council is what animates it, what determines its nature, its particularity, its characteristics. And if the spirit of the Council is heterodox while the Council texts do not seem to be doctrinally heretical, this is to be attributed to a cunning move of the conspirators, to the naivety of the Council Fathers and to the connivance of those who preferred to look the other way from the beginning rather than take a stand with a clear condemnation of doctrinal, moral and liturgical deviations.
The first to be fully aware of the importance of getting their hands on the Council texts in order to be able to use them for their own purposes were the progressive Cardinals and Bishops, especially the Germans and the Dutch, with their experts. It is not by chance that they made sure to reject the preparatory outlines prepared by the Holy Office and ignored the Desiderata of the world Episcopate, including the condemnation of modern errors, especially atheistic cσmmυnism; they even managed to prevent the proclamation of a Marian dogma, seeing it as an "obstacle" to ecumenical dialogue. The new leadership of Vatican II was possible thanks to a real coup d'état, the prominent role of Jesuit Bea and the support of Roncalli. If the Outlines had been maintained, nothing that came out of the Commissions would have been possible, because they were set on the Aristotelian-Thomistic model that did not allow equivocal formulations.
The letter of the Council must therefore be put under accusation because it is from this that the revօʟutιօn started. On the other hand, could you name me one case in the history of the Church in which an Ecumenical Council was deliberately formulated in an equivocal manner so that what it taught in its official acts was then subverted and contradicted in practice? This is enough to categorize Vatican II as a case in itself, a hapax on which scholars will be able to grapple, but which will have to be resolved by the supreme authority of the Church.
RS: How did your awareness of this crisis come about? Was it a gradual process? An immєdιαte event that developed over a short period of time?
CMV: My awareness was progressive, and it began relatively early. But understanding, or beginning to suspect, that what was presented to us as the fruit of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was actually suggested by the inimicus homo was not enough to break down that sense of suffered obedience to the Hierarchy, even in the presence of multiple proofs of the bad faith and malice of some of its exponents. As I have already had occasion to state, what we saw coming to fruition at the time - I am speaking, for example, of certain innovations such as episcopal collegiality or ecumenism or the Novus Ordo - could appear as attempts to meet the common desire for renewal, on the wave of post-war reconstruction. In the face of the economic boom and major political events, the Church seemed to have to modernize in some way, or so everyone told us, starting with the Holy Father. Those accustomed to pre-conciliar discipline, to obedience to Authority, to veneration of the Roman Pontiff did not even dare to think that what was surreptitiously shown to us as a means of spreading the Faith and converting so many souls to the Catholic Church was actually a vehicle, a deception behind which lay hidden, in the minds of some, the intention of progressively erasing the Faith and leaving souls in error and sin. Almost no one liked these "novelties", least of all the laity, but they were presented to us as a sort of penance to be accepted, in exchange for a greater diffusion of the Gospel and the moral and spiritual rebirth of a western world prostrated by war and threatened by materialism.
Radical changes began with Paul VI, with the liturgical reform and the drastic prohibition of the Tridentine Mass. I felt personally hurt and powerless when, as a young secretary at the then Apostolic Delegation in London, the Holy See prohibited the Una Voce Association from celebrating a single Mass according to the Ancient Rite in the crypt of Westminster Cathedral.
During the pontificate of John Paul II, some of the most extreme demands of the Council found a propulsive thrust in the pantheon of Assisi, in the meetings in mosques and ѕуηαgσgυєs, in the requests for forgiveness for the Crusades and the Inquisition, with the so-called purification of memory. The subversive charge of Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra Aetate was evident in those years.
Then came Benedict XVI and the liberalization of the traditional liturgy, until then ostentatiously opposed, despite the papal concessions following the Episcopal Consecrations of Ecône.
Unfortunately, the ecumenical deviations did not cease even with Ratzinger, and with them the conciliar ideology that justified them. Benedict's departure and the advent of Bergoglio continue to open the eyes of many people, especially the lay faithful.
RS: A separate but related theme is that of the protagonists of the conciliar and post-conciliar period. Let us pause for a moment on the figure of Ratzinger: It is undeniable, albeit with different nuances, the role of the Bavarian theologian both at Vatican II and after (we recall that from 1981 to 2005 he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from 2005 to 2013 he reigned on the See of Peter, since 2013 he is "Pope Emeritus"). For our part, the judgment on the scope of Ratzingerism is certainly negative: Under his administration of the CDF those same deviations that we now see "blooming" explicitly flourished; as soon as he was elected to the See he removed the tiara from the papal coat of arms; he continued on the path of indifferentist ecumenism by renewing the scandalous celebrations of Assisi; at Erfurt he went so far as to affirm "Luther's thought, his entire spirituality was completely Christocentric"; in the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum he defined the Mass of always and the Novus Ordo as two forms of the same rite (when on the contrary they imply two totally different theologies); he then created this improbable hybrid of the "Pope Emeritus dressed in white" which - net of intentions, which we do not judge - seems to be not only a dangerous misunderstanding, but an almost necessary cog in the wheel of the dualism that animates the current dynamic of ecclesial dissolution. These few examples, which could be followed by many others, are, in our opinion, revealing of the fact that Ratzinger has always been on the other side of the fence, even if with different roles and positions. We have already seen your statement on the "beautiful fable of hermeneutics", but also on other occasions you have pointed out some problematic aspects of Ratzinger's thought. We refer in particular to a recent statement of yours on LifeSiteNews in which you affirmed: "It would be desirable, however, that he, especially in view of the Divine Judgement that awaits him, definitively distances himself from those theologically erroneous positions - I refer in particular to those of the Introduction to Christianity - that are still widespread today in universities and seminaries that boast of calling themselves Catholic". So we ask you: if you had to synthesize your judgment on the thought of the Bavarian theologian, what would you say to our readers? Moreover: You had the opportunity to work in close contact with Benedict XVI, what can you tell us about him on the human level? This is not - let me be clear - a question about confidential aspects, but about the personality you were able to know closely.
CMV: The points you have listed, albeit with some nuances, unfortunately find me in agreement, not without a vivid sorrow. Many acts of Benedict XVI's government are in line with the conciliar ideology, of which the theologian Ratzinger has always been a strenuous and convinced supporter. His Hegelian philosophical approach has led him to apply the thesis-antithesis-synthesis scheme in the Catholic sphere, for example by considering the documents of Vatican II (thesis) and the excesses of the post-Conciliar period (antithesis) composable in the famous "hermeneutics of continuity" (synthesis); nor is the invention of the Papacy Emeritus an exception, where between being Pope (thesis) and no longer being Pope (antithesis) the compromise of remaining Pope only in part (synthesis) was chosen. The same mens determined what happened with the liberalization of the traditional liturgy, placed side by side with its conciliar counterpart in an attempt not to displease either the advocates of the liturgical ʀɛʋօʟutιօn or the defenders of the venerable Tridentine rite.
The problem is therefore an intellectual, ideological one: it emerges every time the Bavarian theologian has wanted to provide a solution to the crisis afflicting the Church: on all these occasions his academic training influenced by Hegel's thought has believed he could put opposites together. I have no reason to doubt that Benedict XVI wanted in his own way to make a gesture of conciliation with the instances of Catholic traditionalism; nor that he is not aware of the disastrous situation in which the ecclesial body finds itself; but the only way to restore the Church is by following the Gospel, with a supernatural gaze and with the awareness that Good and Evil, by God's decree, cannot be put together in an imaginary juste milieu, but that they are and remain irreconcilable and opposed, and that by serving two masters one ends up displeasing both.
As far as my direct knowledge of Benedict XVI is concerned, I can say that during the years of his Pontificate in which I served the Church in the Secretariat of State, at the Governorate and as Nuncio in the United States, I got the idea that he surrounded himself with inadequate, unreliable or even corrupt collaborators, who largely took advantage of the "mildness" of his character and of what could be considered as a certain Stockholm syndrome especially with regard to Card. Bertone and his Particular Secretary.
RS: In some articles that appeared on CatholicFamilyNews.com it was pointed out that your position on the situation of the Church is close to that of Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, one of the four bishops consecrated by Bishop Lefebvre. From the same source he quoted a sentence according to which Archbishop Lefevbre himself would be an exemplary confessor of the Faith. In light of the firm criticism of Vatican II and, on the other hand, of your non-adherence to sedevacantism, it would seem that the approach that you promote is very close to that of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. Can you tell us something about this?
CMV: From many parts of the Catholic world, especially in the conservative milieux, one hears people say that Benedict XVI would be the true Pope and that Bergoglio would be an antipope. This opinion is based on the one hand on the conviction that his Renunciation is invalid (because of the way it was formulated, because of pressure from outside forces, or because of the distinction between munus and ministerium papale) and on the other hand on the fact that a group of progressive Cardinals allegedly tried to have their own candidate elected at the 2013 Conclave, in violation of the norms of John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis. Beyond the plausibility of these arguments, which if confirmed could invalidate the ɛƖɛctıon of Bergoglio, this problem can only be resolved by the supreme authority of the Church, when Providence deigns to put an end to this situation of serious confusion.
RS: Let's talk about the future. In these stormy years you have intended to serve the Church with written interventions, with videos, by participating in initiatives and with all the activities that those who follow you well know. Do you foresee the possibility that your episcopal mission will take different forms in the future? Are you thinking of any specific activity? With a stronger public presence?
CMV: My age, the vicissitudes of these last years and the situation of the Church do not allow me to make plans, as I have never done in my life. I let Providence dispose of me as it sees fit, showing me from time to time the path I must take. I hope with all my heart that my testimony, especially in terms of understanding the deception that is being perpetrated in the Church, will allow Cardinals, my Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood to open their eyes, in a gesture of humility, courage and confidence in the power of God. We cannot continue to defend the cause and origin of the present crisis just because we do not want to acknowledge that we have been misled: this obstinacy in error would be a worse sin than the error itself.
RS: Thank you for answering our questions: We hope there will be no lack of opportunities for future discussions.
March 11, 2021
Feria Quinta infra Hebdomadam III in Quadragesima