In the latest installment of his ongoing “Moynihan Letters”, Dr. Robert Moynihan, founder and editor-in-chief of Inside the Vatican magazine, has divulged further details from his recent conversations with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, including comments from the former apostolic nuncio on “the creation…of freemasonry” and related efforts “to infiltrate in some way into the Church,” the liberal hijacking of Vatican II during its opening session, and the state of the Jesuit Order in the United States – a topic which Viganò now claims Pope Francis broached during their infamous June 23, 2013 private meeting (detailed in Viganò initial testimony).
Less than two months ago, in a letter dated July 29, Dr. Moynihan revealed that he had met with Archbishop Viganò “in a quiet place” that day, followed by a subsequent letter (July 30) in which Moynihan quoted Viganò’s comments on “the history of the Jesuits” and “the triumph of a 60-year-old plan…to bring a new sort of thinking into the heart of the Church” (see here for commentary).
In the introduction of his new letter (Sept. 9, 2019), published two weeks after the one-year anniversary of Archbishop Viganò’s first testimony (released Aug. 25, 2018), Dr. Moynihan explains:
“Now, with the passage of a year, Archbishop Viganò has a still deeper concern: that the clerical sexual abuse crisis is only one aspect of a deeper and wider crisis of the Christian faith in our age. …
This deeper and wider crisis, Viganò believes, involves, theologically, an illegitimate rejection (that is, not a legitimate development) of traditional Catholic doctrine. The aim: to construct a more modern ‘new church,’ marked by a faith and practice in many areas of Catholic moral and sacramental life different from the Church of the past.
Viganò sees this rejection of traditional teaching as a matter of grave concern.
In keeping with his role as a Catholic bishop, he told me, he feels it his duty to do all he can to defend orthodox doctrine.
‘I cannot be silent if the faith is at stake,’ Viganò told me. ‘If others will join me, all the better. But even if I am alone, I must speak out.’”
Viganò Vindicates Masonic Infiltration Thesis
Moynihan goes on to provide excerpts from his recent discussions with Viganò, “a more complete report” of which he is currently preparing and hopes “to publish on October 4.” One crucial exchange reads as follows:
“Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: In one of your recent letters concerning me (link), you mentioned that the present pontificate, with a member of the Jesuit order as Pope, represents the achievement of a plan dating back 60 years.
Some of your readers wrote to comment that there were many more than 60 years leading up to this, going back to the early decades of the 20th century, to Jesuit thinkers like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner, and also even earlier, to the time of the French Revolution in 1789.
So not just 60 years, but more than 200 years.
[Moynihan] How would you respond to this objection?
Viganò: I agree fully. Certainly it is a project, if you will, that goes back centuries, in particular, to the creation in the middle of the 1700s of freemasonry.
But of course this project was very deceptive, and oriented, or even included in some way, the forces of some members of the Church.
So this process was able to infiltrate in some way into the Church.
This is described in the book Infiltration by Dr. Taylor Marshall, so you may find some indication of this process there.”
This implicit endorsement of Marshall’s book by Archbishop Viganò is quite significant, not only for Dr. Marshall, but for the entire Traditionalist movement. Longtime readers of Catholic Family News will surely recall that John Vennari (R.I.P.) first addressed the issue of Masonic infiltration on the pages of CFN back in February 1997 with his article, “The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita,” which was later published as a booklet by TAN Books and Publishers (1999) and has recently been reprinted by The Fatima Center (2017) (copies are available through CFN’s online store).
In his booklet, subtitled, A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church, Vennari summarizes the background and contents of a secret Masonic document as follows:
“Few Catholics know of The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, a secret document written in the early 19th century that mapped out a blueprint for the subversion of the Catholic Church. The Alta Vendita was the highest lodge of the Carbonari, an Italian secret society with links to Freemasonry and which, along with Freemasonry, was condemned by the Catholic Church. Fr. E. Cahill, S.J. in his book Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement states that the Alta Vendita was ‘commonly supposed to have been at the time the governing center of European Freemasonry.’ The Carbonari were most active in Italy and France. …
The strategy advanced in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita is astonishing in its audacity and cunning. From the start, the document tells of a process that will take decades to accomplish. Those who drew up the document knew that they would not see its fulfillment. They were inaugurating a work that would be carried on by succeeding generations of the initiated. The Permanent Instruction states, “In our ranks the solider dies and the struggle goes on.”
The Instruction called for the dissemination of liberal ideas and axioms throughout society and within the institutions of the Catholic Church so that laity, seminarians, clerics and prelates would, over the years, gradually be imbued with progressive principles.”
Vennari goes on to explain, “The secret papers of the Alta Vendita that fell into the hands of Pope Gregory XVI embrace a period that goes from 1820 to 1846. They were published at the request of Pope Pius IX by Cretineau-Joly in his work The Roman Church and Revolution.” He then provides excerpts from The Permanent Instruction as found in Msgr. George Dillon’s (1836-1893) Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked, a book (available in full here) which contains the full text of The Permanent Instruction, as Vennari notes.
Dr. Taylor Marshall, for his part, has introduced a new generation of readers to The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, discussing it in Chapter 2 of his book, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Sophia Institute Press, 2019), and including the full text of the Masonic document as an appendix therein.
Once again, the fact that Archbishop Viganò is now recognizing, according to Dr. Moynihan, “that the clerical sexual abuse crisis is only one aspect of a deeper and wider crisis of the Christian faith in our age,” one that involves a successful infiltration of the Church by her enemies (or at least their pernicious ideas), is astounding. For this writer, it is a hopeful sign that the truth which John Vennari and others have shouted from the rooftops for decades is having a real impact, even in high places.
The Modernist Hijacking of Vatican II
Returning to Viganò’s comments to Moynihan:
“But this process [of infiltration] became strikingly evident in modern times.
At the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, in 1962, a maneuver was able to nullify the decision taken by the general assembly of the bishops in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The bishops had rejected a proposal to put aside the schemas which had been prepared by the various offices of the Roman Curia, in order to draft new schema.
The maneuver to nullify this decision came especially through the offices of one very prominent member of the Society of Jesus, Cardinal Augustin Bea. He and others were able to convince Pope John XXIII to set aside the prepared schemas and replace them with other schemas prepared by theologians especially from northern Europe, Hans Küng, Karl Rahner, and others.
This was the beginning of an opening, the first break in the wall of the procedure that had been established, in the process of creating a new Church. This is my answer.”
Another astounding admission on the part of the archbishop. Vennari touched on this subject in his Alta Vendita booklet, stating, “It is well known and superbly documented that a clique of liberal theologians (periti) and bishops hijacked Vatican Council II (1962-1965) with an agenda to remake the Church into their own image through the implementation of a ‘new theology.’ Critics and defenders of Vatican II are in agreement on this point.”
Concerning Cardinal Bea, Dr. Marshall relates in his book:
“Since 1946, Pope Pius XII had fallen under the influence of his chosen confessor and spiritual director, Augustine Cardinal Bea, S.J., who, after the death of Pius XII, took as his personal secretary the young Irish priest Father Malachi Martin, S.J. Prior to Bea, the confessor of Pope Pius XII had been the stalwart Thomist theologian Michel-Louis Guérard des Lauriers, O.P., who had helped write the 1950 dogmatic decree on the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For some reason, Pius XII removed his trusted Guérard des Lauriers and began confessing to and receiving spiritual direction from the Jesuit Cardinal Bea.
Cardinal Bea would reveal himself as a Modernist. He openly fought against the imposition of the anti-Modernist oath on clergy at Vatican II. He loved the new ‘ecumenism’ and worked with unbridled determination to appease Jewish rabbis and intellectuals and to remove anything they deemed anti-Semitic from Catholic teaching and liturgy (he would later draft for the Second Vatican Council Nostra aetate – the controversial document on the new ecumenism).”
For the full story of the “maneuver,” as Archbishop Viganò calls it, “to put aside the [original] schemas” at the start of the Council, however, we must turn to Professor Romano Amerio’s Iota Unum, a scholarly tome written by the Swiss-Italian consultant to the Council’s Central Preparatory Committee and a Council peritus (expert) for Bishop Angelo Giuseppe Jelmini, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Lugano, Switzerland.
In his book, Professor Amerio (1905-1997) explains that two days after Pope John XXIII opened the Council (Oct. 11, 1962), the bishops of the world assembled in St. Peter’s Basilica for the opening session. The primary purpose of this first meeting was for the Council Fathers to elect representatives from among themselves to serve on the various commissions in charge of examining and finalizing the drafts prepared by the Central Preparatory Commission (the “schemas” mentioned by Viganò). This was in accord with the official rules (legal framework) established for the Council during the three years of preparation. The names of those who had served on the various pre-Conciliar commissions were distributed to the Fathers so they would have an idea of who might be most qualified to serve on the Conciliar commissions.
Professor Amerio recounts the infamous action taken that day – October 13, 1962, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima – by a rogue French cardinal to disrupt the Council and derail it from the traditional course set by the Preparatory Commission:
“The predominantly modernizing tendency of the council, which was responsible for the rejection of three years’ preparatory work carried out under Pope John’s aegis, was apparent even in the very first meeting on 13 October. …
To a good number of Fathers, this procedural step [of electing commission members so soon after the Council opening] seemed to amount to an attempt to force the issue, and was resented in consequence. Cardinal Achille Liénart, one of the nine presidents of the council, voiced their opinion at the opening of the session. When he had asked the president of the session, Cardinal [Eugène] Tisserant [Dean of the Sacred College], for permission to speak, and had been refused in accordance with the rules on the grounds that the session had been called in order to proceed to a vote, not in order to debate as to whether a vote should be held, Cardinal Liénart seized the microphone, thus violating due legal process, and read a declaration amidst the applause of many of those present: it was impossible to proceed to a vote without first having information about those to be selected and without there first being consultations among the electors and the national conferences of bishops. The vote did not take place, the session was adjourned, and the commissions subsequently formed [as the result of later voting] contained large numbers of men who had had nothing to do with the preconciliar work. …
The general spirit of the texts [pre-conciliar drafts] was changed, as was their style, in that they abandoned the classical structure in which disciplinary decrees followed upon a doctrinal section.”
A “New Church” of Jesuitical Making
The last major point covered by Archbishop Viganò in his newly revealed exchange with Dr. Moynihan concerns what he calls “the project of a new church…after the closing of the Council in 1965” that “was taken up in a particular way by the 31st General Congregation of the Jesuit Order.” As Viganò explains to Moynihan:
“The General Congregation, which meets approximately every 10 years, met for about three months in 1965 and about three more months in 1966, and elected a new General, Father Pedro Arrupe.
It was during this Congregation that the Jesuits discussed some resolutions Pope Paul VI was very concerned about. Pope Paul made several very precise amendments, but these resolutions were still a key step on the way to the project for a ‘new church.’”
Catholic investigative journalist George Neumayr wrote the following about Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) and Fr. Pedro Arrupe in his 2017 book, The Political Pope:
“Jorge Bergoglio is the first pope to come from the Jesuit order. That is one of the keys to understanding his liberal papacy and the cachet that he enjoys in the eyes of global socialists. As a liberal Jesuit from Latin America, he is seen by the left as the quintessential ‘progressive’ priest. …
Bergoglio was a protégé of Pedro Arrupe, the head of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, a period of unprecedented liberal ferment within the order. Arrupe had grown up in Basque Spain, like the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola. This led conservatives to joke in the 1970s about Arrupe’s liberalism: ‘One Basque founded the Jesuits, another one is going to destroy them.’ But to liberals, he was a ‘refounder of the Society in the light of Vatican II.’”
Regarding Vatican II, Archbishop Viganò clearly adheres to Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity” – in other words, that the Council documents themselves are essentially good (orthodox) – when he tells Dr. Moynihan, “So what happened after Vatican II ended in 1965 was absolutely the opposite of a policy of continuity, which would have been the correct interpretation of the Vatican II documents. Instead, there was another interpretation, of discontinuity, promoted by all the huge machine of media propaganda.”
With all due respect to Archbishop Viganò, one of the most courageous Catholic prelates of our times, there are certain novelties in both the spirit and letter of the Second Vatican Council that seem very difficult – and, in some cases, impossible – to reconcile with the Catholic Faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers” (St. Athanasius). To cite just one example, let us return to Professor Amerio’s Iota Unum:
“The word dialogue represents the biggest change in the mentality of the Church after the council, only comparable in its importance with the change wrought by the word liberty in the last [i.e. 19th] century. The word was completely unknown and unused in the Church’s teaching before the council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice. In the Vatican II documents it occurs 28 times, twelve of them in the decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. Nonetheless, through its lightening spread and enormous broadening in meaning, this word, which is very new in the Catholic Church, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality.”
Professor Amerio goes on to stress:
“The evangelization the Apostles are commanded to undertake in the Gospel [e.g. Matt. 28:18-20] is immediately identified with teaching. The very word angelos carries the idea of something that is given to be announced, not something thrown into dispute. It is true that Peter and Paul dispute in the synagogues, but it is not a question of dialoging in the modern sense of a dialogue in search of something, setting out from a position of ostensible ignorance, but rather a dialogue in refutation of errors.”
This refusal to identify and condemn errors is present throughout Vatican II, beginning with the very words by which Pope John XXIII opened the Council:
“The Church has always opposed these errors [i.e. the false opinions of men]. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations.”
And yet, as Professor Amerio so wisely observes:
“The attitude to be adopted in regard to error [introduced by John XXIII] is…a definite novelty, and is openly announced as being a new departure for the Church. … This setting up of the principle of mercy as opposed to severity ignores the fact that in the mind of the Church the condemnation of error is itself a work of mercy, since by pinning down errors those laboring under it are corrected and others are preserved from falling into it.” (Emphasis in original)
Let us pray for Archbishop Viganò, that he will continue to study Vatican II in light of Tradition and be given the grace not only to recognize the rupture that has occurred, but also to testify accordingly, even if he must do so alone.
 John Vennari, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita: A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church (The Fatima Center, 2017), pp. 1-2.
 Ibid., p. 4.
 Ibid., p. 17.
 Taylor Marshall, Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 2019), p. 111. As a point of clarification, Vatican II’s Declaration Nostra Aetate actually addresses “The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,” whereas the Conciliar Decree Unitatis Redintegratio addresses “Ecumenism”.
 Romano Amerio, Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century (Kansas City: Sarto House, 1996), pp. 84-85, 86. Also, as Vennari notes in is booklet, “The entire story of the hijacking of the Council by liberal prelates and theologians, and the tragic consequences of this modernist coup, are superbly explained in Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, S.V.D.’s The Rhine Flows into the Tiber (New York: Hawthorne, 1967; TAN, 1985) and in Michael Davies’ Pope John’s Council (New York: Arlington House, 1977; Kansas City: Angelus Press, 1992).” (Vennari, Permanent Instruction, Note 30, pp. 30-31).
 George Neumayr, The Political Pope: How Pope Francis is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2017), p. 55.
 Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis 1, 28. Taken from the Patristics series The Faith of the Early Fathers by Fr. William A. Jurgens (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1970), Vol. 1, passage #782 (p. 336).
 Amerio, Iota Unum, p. 347.
 Ibid., p. 348.
 Pope John XXIII, Address Gaudet Mater Ecclesia (Oct. 11, 1962), n. 7. English translation taken from Walter M. Abbott, S.J. (Gen. Ed.), The Documents of Vatican II (New York: The America Press, 1966), pp. 710-719.
 Amerio, Iota Unum, pp. 80-81.