It is often voiced by conservatives disheartened by the changes in the Catholic Church — changes that seem to have accelerated exponentially in recent years — that Vatican II was a good council, but that it was misinterpreted. If these good people were better informed as to what took place at the Council, they would never say any such thing. Vatican II indeed started with good intentions, but it was hijacked in the opening session by rebel bishops because the pope had planned the Council without their advice and against their designs.
We gather that Cardinal Tisserant, the key draftsman of the 1962 Moscow-Vatican Treaty who presided at the opening session, was part of this scheme to usurp the Vatican Council. According to Jean Guitton, the famous French academic and personal friend of Pope Paul VI, Tisserant had showed him a painting of himself and six others, and told him, “This picture is historic, or rather, symbolic. It shows the meeting we had before the opening of the Council when we decided to block the first session by refusing to accept the tyrannical rules laid down by John XXIII.” (Vatican II in the Dock, 2003)
At the center of this coup to overthrow Vatican II were Cardinals Alfrink, Frings, and Liénart of the Rhine Alliance. Their objective was to gain control of the conciliar drafting commissions. A crucial vote was to be taken to determine the members of the commissions when Cardinal Liénart, a suspected Freemason, seized the microphone during a speech and demanded that the slate of 168 candidates be discarded and that a new slate of candidates be drawn up. His uncanny gesture was heeded by the Council and the election was postponed. Liénart’s action deflected the course of the Council and was hailed a victory in the press. The date was October 13, 1962, the 45th Anniversary of Our Lady’s last apparition at Fatima. (Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber)
In his February 14, 2013, address to the clergy of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI brilliantly recounts this coup d’ etat at Vatican II: “On the programme for this first day were the elections of the Commissions, and lists of names had been prepared, in what was intended to be an impartial manner, and these lists were put to the vote. But right away the Fathers said: ‘No, we do not simply want to vote for pre-prepared lists. We are the subject.’ Then, it was necessary to postpone the elections, because the Fathers themselves…wanted to prepare the lists themselves. And so it was. Cardinal Liénart of Lille and Cardinal Frings of Cologne had said publicly: no, not this way. We want to make our own lists and elect our own candidates.”
The preeminent Romano Amerio who had contributed significantly to the drafting of the original Vatican II outline cites how the legal framework of the Council was violated by this act: “This departure from the original plan” came about “by an act breaking the Council’s legal framework” so that “the Council was self-created, atypical, and unforeseen.” (Professor Romano Amerio, Iota Unum, 1985)
After illicitly blocking the vote, this rebellious “Rhine group” resorted to boorish methods to force-install a number of their own members onto the drafting commissions, so that overnight nearly sixty percent of the commissions were now chaired by “suspect theologians” that previously had been restricted under Pius XII. These would include dissenters like Hans Kung, Schillebeechx, Frings, Danielou, and the pseudo-mystic Karl Rahner, the Council darling, who for the entirety of Vatican II was dating the notorious feminist Luise Rinser who had clamored for abortion and women priests. (Fr. Karl Rahner-Heresy and Amor, John Venari) The enemies of the Faith had captured the key positions of the Council, thus enabling them to draft perfidious documents for the misguiding of the Church, i.e. the 16 documents of Vatican II.
The true conciliar documents were the 72 schemas which John XXIII had approved before the Council. According to Archbishop Lefebvre, who had been appointed to the Central Preparatory Committee for checking all the documents, the schemas were worthy and orthodox, and should have been used, but to his great dismay the Council under the direction of these conciliar pirates rejected Pope John’s outline. Consider Lefebvre’s own words:
“From the very first days, the Council was besieged by the progressive forces. We experienced it, felt it…We had the impression that something abnormal was happening and this impression was rapidly confirmed; fifteen days after the opening session not one of the seventy-two schemas remained. All had been sent back, rejected, thrown into the waste-paper basket…The immense work that had been found accomplished was scrapped and the assembly found itself empty-handed, with nothing ready. What chairman of a board meeting, however small the company, would agree to carry on without an agenda and without documents? Yet that is how the Council commenced.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics, 1986)
Benedict XVI himself points out how a “virtual council” had risen up to usurp the “real Council” at Vatican II, lamenting how “it created so many disasters.” (Speaking to the clergy of Rome, February 14, 2013) Pope Paul VI likewise stated that the good efforts at Vatican II were hampered by “the devil” who came along “to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council.” (June 29, 1972)
Hence the radical changes of today do not reflect a misinterpretation of Vatican II, but a true interpretation as intended by the liberal architects. The few good parts of the documents penned by the few good people were simply allowed and woven into the documents as religious cover to ensure the elicitation of Pope Paul’s signature, without which the progressivist plan would never succeed. To that end, it was more important to Vatican liberals that the documents appeared orthodox than liberal.
The gist of their plan was to revive the cause of Luther under the pretext of a reform, and to merge the Catholic Church with other world religions. Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, a prominent figure of the Council, even said: “The accusation of connivance with the Reformation is therefore not without foundation.”
Consider the vision of nineteenth century Freemason and excommunicated priest, Canon Roca (1830-1893), who predicted that “the liturgy of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an ecumenical council” in a move “to deprive the Church of its supernatural character, to amalgamate it with the world, to interweave the denominations ecumenically instead of letting them run side by side as separate confessions, and thus to pave the way for a standard world religion in the centralized world state.”
More than once it has surfaced that Our Lady in her Fatima Third Secret allegedly spoke of “a bad council and a bad Mass.” This was reported by the Fatima Crusader in May 2009 and again by One Peter Five in May 2016. According to both reports, Cardinal Ratzinger [now Benedict XVI] told his good friend Fr. Ingo Dollinger in late-summer 2000 that there is still part of the Fatima Secret that has yet to be released, and that the Secret speaks about “a bad council and a bad Mass” that was to come in the future.
A bad council and a bad Mass would certainly tie with Canon Roca’s prediction that the liturgy “will shortly undergo a transformation at an ecumenical council.” Among the instructions that accompanied this ecumenical Council was the September 26, 1964, Instruction on the Liturgy, Inter Oecumenici, which outlined the new ruling for the Mass and sanctuary. Article 91 reads:
“The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people”
How is it that people say Vatican II was misinterpreted, when its call for “celebration facing the people” was implemented as the universal norm shortly after the Council? This change, which was unprecedented in the 2000-year history of the Church, was carefully calculated to bring about a shift of focus where the emphasis is on the community, and not on God.
Inter Oecumenici (the 1964 instruction on implementing Sacrosanctum Concilium, produced by the Sacred Congregation of Rites) also called for the “suppression” of the Leonine Prayers after Mass, i.e. the three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina, and the Prayer to St. Michael (article 48), and the suppression of these prayers indeed came to pass after the Council.
The document Sacrosanctum Concilium called for an overall revision of the Mass, wherein archaic “elements” accumulated through time “are now to be discarded” and “the rites are to be simplified” so that “active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved.” (Article 50)
This too came to pass with the implementation of the Novos Ordo Mass, though the new Mass did not enhance any participation in God, but our alienation from God. “Active participation” as God sees it is that we be involved with our religion by reverently attending Mass, going to confession, reading the lives of the saints, and sanctifying our souls in the fear of God, but what the liberals meant by this is that we should be busy-body activists by engaging in the liturgical revolution against the Mass and priesthood.
Some still argue that the Vatican II documents contain no error but are simply ambiguous in their wording, but their argument hangs them, because ambiguity is the smoking gun of the devil and is the clearest evidence that the documents are jinxed. God is never ambiguous, but is always clear, direct, and juridical, so distorted documents which ‘speaketh out of two sides of the mouth’ are a dead give-away that God is not the Author thereof.
The documents in fact can be quite unambiguous. For instance, they propose that God “makes use of other religions as a means of salvation” (Unitatis Redintegratio), that it is “desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren” at “ecumenical services for unity” (8), that the liturgy of Holy Mass in 1962 stood in need of “a general restoration” (Concilium 21), that the Church in its liturgical implementation should welcome cultural diversity (37), and that the altar should be re-positioned to permit Mass “facing the people.” The fact is that these and other like aberrations have come to pass in our time in keeping with Vatican II’s proposals, so how is it that people say the Council was “misinterpreted.”
The Vatican II document Nostra Aetate states that “Muslims adore the one God, living and subsisting in himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men.”(3)
Has that, too, been misinterpreted? Christ, whose divinity the Quran rejects, is the only True God that has spoken to men, so do we misinterpret the Council by alleging it is dignifying an idolatrous religion? No, we do not. The Council fathers apparently forgot the Quranic precept that Christians should be hunted down and slain. (Quran 2:191) Did they overlook the fact that Islam has been battering the Church of the “One God” since the sixth century?
By the way, the notorious ex-priest and gay-marriage advocate Gregory Baum, who was married to an ex-nun while a priest and who for decades was living an active homosexual life, was the one who drafted Nostra Aetate for the Second Vatican Council.
Dr. Michael Higgins, the vice president for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, in a tribute to Baum published in Commonweal in 2011 noted his key role during Vatican II. “The council was the making of Gregory Baum,” he wrote. “He served in various capacities on the commissions charged with preparing documents.… Beginning his work in November 1960, he concluded it with the council’s end in December 1965, an apprenticeship that culminated in his writing the first draft of Nostra Aetate.”
Considering the notably unorthodox human dimension in drafting and approving the conciliar documents, how confident can we be that the council, on the whole, was a work of the Holy Spirit?
A version of this article was originally published at The Remnant. This edition has been modified.
David Martin gave up a promising career as a concert pianist in 1980 so he could commit himself to the defense of the Faith and the propagation of Catholic prophecy. He has authored three books, and has written numerous articles which have appeared in publications like the Remnant and Canada Free Press. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he lives a single and celibate life.