Prominent Italian Professor Lauds Archbishop Viganò and Discusses Doctrinal Confusion Since Vatican II
Professor Enrico Maria Radaelli, a prominent Italian theologian, has now joined the Vatican II debate and strongly endorses Archbishop Viganò’s critique of the Council and its ambiguities and manipulations. Quoting Father Schillebeeckx and Cardinal Suenens, the professor shows how key figures intentionally inserted ambiguous formulations and used the term “pastoral Council” in order to relax the Church’s doctrinal teachings. But he warns us: “Take off the Dogma and you will unleash the Antichrist”
Who is Professor Radaelli?
Professor Radaelli is a Catholic philosopher, theologian, and disciple of the Swiss intellectual Romano Amerio (1905-1997), “one of the greatest traditionalist Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century” according to Sandro Magister. As such, he is a strong critic of the Second Vatican Council and of the post-conciliar Popes and their attempts at eliding over doctrinal changes that were introduced at Vatican II. In 2003, the well-respected Vatican Correspondent Sandro Magister endorsed one of his books in which he criticized ecumenism and did not spare criticizing the Popes who promoted it. Magister then called it “important because it enriches the body of theological criticism of modern Catholicism written by intellectually sound ‘traditionalist’ authors.” Such eminent and learned people as the recently-deceased Professor Antonio Livi, the also recently-deceased philosopher Roger Scruton, Bishop Mario Olivero, the theologian Brunero Gherardini, and the journalists Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro have collaborated with Radaelli in his book projects.
On July 4, Radaelli published a statement on Aldo Maria Valli’s website, strongly endorsing Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s recent interventions pointing to the problems of Vatican II, its organization and its documents. He also signed the recently published July 15 Open Letter of gratitude to Viganò and Bishop Athanasius Schneider for raising this debate.
Background to Professor Radaelli’s Intervention
The Open Letter was issued after Archbishop Viganò had gratefully and approvingly responded to two interventions concerning the Second Vatican Council of Bishop Athanasius Schneider from early June with a June 9 intervention, adding a June 15 statement about some of the problematic propositions that can be found in Vatican II documents. In this document, he also stated that it would be better if this Council were to be “forgotten.” He then answered interview questions from the Catholic commentator and book author Phil Lawler concerning the history and background of the turbulent Second Vatican Council and the signs that it had been manipulated by a small group of modernists, on June 26. In a response to LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen, Archbishop Viganò clarified his earlier words that he thinks Vatican II should be forgotten by saying he considers the Council to be valid but manipulated. Finally, on July 6, this Italian prelate and former papal nuncio in Washington, D.C. responded to a critique by the Italian journalist Sandro Magister, who claimed that he was on the “brink of schism.” “I have no desire to separate myself from Mother Church,” Viganò wrote in reply.
Catholic Family News considers it important to now have Radaelli’s reaction to the interventions of Archbishop Viganò also presented to the English-speaking public, due to his prominence and learning. Therefore, we are publishing for the first time an English translation of Professor Radaelli’s July 4 statement with the permission of Aldo Maria Valli. Moreover, Radaelli was so kind to send us a longer, explanatory text of his position which will be published separately in due course.
There are No Liberals or Conservatives, Only Heretics or Catholics
In light of his own critique, this Italian theologian is very grateful to Archbishop Viganò for putting his finger into the wound of the post-conciliar Church in order to heal it. He refuses to accept the terms “liberals” and “conservatives” with regard to the Church’s discourse, saying that “today, the same abuse goes on in the scrimmage about the holy stance taken by Archbishop Viganò. Indeed, it is time to stop with the unfair and malicious practice of applying such exclusively, merely political categories to the Church, which is an exclusively, solely religious society!”
For Radaelli, there are only two categories in the Church: either one is a “heretic” or one is a Christian who remains “faithful to the Dogma and to the true pre-Montinian liturgy.” For him, Viganò’s position is “the only rightful stance to take,” unlike those Popes who are “unfaithful to Dogma.”
We Need Metaphysics, Not Hermeneutics
Furthermore, Radaelli discusses the term “hermeneutics,” which for him is “another trick that we have to tolerate” and that is linked with “hermeneutics” and “historicism” as promoted by Joseph Ratzinger. “Let us take again in our hands the metaphysics,” the theologian writes, “the only Catholic science, the only concrete methodology, the only rational philosophy,” and this after “almost sixty years of a dark hermeneutical and historical night.”
He points out in light of this approach of interpreting the Council documents in light of Tradition – the so-called “hermeneutic of continuity” – that previous Councils did not even need to be interpreted: “None of the documents, the decrees and the anathemas produced by the twenty ecumenical Councils of the Church,” he writes, “has ever needed to be sifted by anybody’s interpretations, since the Dogma doesn’t allow it, being too clear to be ‘interpreted.’”
He opposes and calls “muddled” Pope Benedict XVI’s words given during a December 2005 speech about “the ‘hermeneutic of reform’, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us.”
States Radaelli: “The ‘hermeneutics of reform in the continuity’ is, scanning the terms one by one: first, just an interpretation (=hermeneutics); second, of discontinuity (=reform); third, in the orthodoxy (=continuity). It is therefore an opinion, a working hypothesis, it is nothing more than an opinion about a vague concept that pretends to be in continuity with the sound development of the Dogma while, at the same time, reforming it, thus wishing to be at the same time its very opposite, and the total sum of everything, that is, to be something and its absolute contrary, however without letting it be noticed, without unveiling the conflict, the contradiction, the harshest war — up to their ultimate essence — between both things.”
The Italian professor asks which interpretation, then, should be the authoritative one – the Pope’s (not spoken ex cathedra) or someone else’s? “Here is where the armies fight against each other already since sixty years ago,” he comments, thus pointing out that, as long as a document needs interpretation, there will be a continuous battle over how to interpret it. We could add here that this is exactly the case with many documents issued by Pope Francis now, the latest example being his post-synodal exhortation Querida Amazonia.
Radaelli also shows that two key figures of the Vatican Council – Father Edward Schillebeeckx and Cardinal Leo Suenens – both clearly worked for ambiguity and vagueness. Schillebeeckx admitted that they intentionally used “diplomatic” language in order to “draw out the conclusions” later, while Suenens was the one convincing Pope John XXIII to use the term “pastoral” Council, rather than “dogmatic” one. “The gimmick consists in never utilizing the dogmatic level of the Magisterium, but always and only the ‘pastoral’ level, in order not to be forced to pronounce an infallible teaching,” which “must be perfectly true and certain and, because of its divine indefectibility, doesn’t allow any ambiguity – since ambiguity is a defect.”
Take Off Dogma and You Will Unleash the Antichrist
For Professor Radaelli, Dogma is the protection against the Antichrist, therefore an ambiguous teaching will make to Church vulnerable to the influence of the enemy. He says that the “dogmatic level” (as presented by the Pope or by him together with a Council) is the “true and only Katéchon [the one who will be eventually removed before the full manifestation of the Antichrist (see 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)] that can bridle the Antichrist. The Katéchon is the Dogma.”
“Take off Dogma and you will unleash the Antichrist,” the author concludes.
But this removing of Dogma might also be taking place by way of silencing it, not necessarily openly contradicting it, continues the professor. “You need only to hide it … then pretend that it isn’t there and use the pastoral level of the Magisterium with daredevil impudence, as if the pastoral level didn’t entirely depend on the Dogma and hadn’t the precise moral obligation to always be – as best as it can – coherent and absolutely consequent to it, as it has always happened throughout the centuries,” he then says, adding: “to unleash the Antichrist you need only this de facto evaporation of the Dogma, this ‘not taking into account’.”
Here, Radaelli speaks of an “abnormal and empty modernist building which the Church has no turned herself into,” and he praises Viganò for “showing the courage to address the problem which had been narcocized by almost sixty years of shameful snares elaborated first of all by the highest pastors of the Church, by those who held the highest responsibilities.”
Editor’s Note: Below is the full text of Professor Radaelli’s text translated into English. As our readers will notice, Professor Radaelli is a man of clear words and strong statements. He shows himself a critic not only of the Second Vatican Council’s ambiguities but also of the conciliar and post-conciliar Popes who have been involved in allowing the ambiguities of that Council – which had been consciously placed there by some prominent Modernists – to continue to affect the Church’s life and teachings. Here, he does not spare Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and also challenges Cardinal Walter Brandmüller for their attempts at defending a “hermeneutic of continuity” with regard to the Council, as if there had not taken place a shift of the Church’s teaching and doctrine. We at CFN have never shied away from strong words that ring with truth. Longtime CFN editor John Vennari (RIP) was often criticized for referring to the Second Vatican Council as the “best council the Protestants ever had.” Although we must manifest the proper respect due to the office held by those in authority, that due respect does not prevent us from naming things as they are. Dr. Radaelli’s style may be a bit jarring to some readers, but that should not detract from the merits of his arguments.
Letters from Babylon
It’s sixty years since the abuse of the terms “liberals” and “conservatives” began being used to cheat the public: Today, the same abuse goes on in the scrimmage about the holy stance taken by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Indeed, it’s time to stop with the unfair and malicious practice of applying such exclusively, merely political categories to the Church, which is an exquisitely, solely religious society!
It’s just about time to stop it, because this is only a sinful way to hide the fact that they want us to believe that the filth is gold and the gold is filth. An authentic nonsense.
Whenever, in the IV century, the Arian heretics were defined as “liberals” while those who remained faithful to the Dogma were said to be “conservative”?
Whenever, in the XVI century, the Lutheran-Calvinist heretics were called “liberals” while those who were faithful to the laws of God taught by the holy Roman Church were labelled as “conservatives”?
P. S.: Oh, I almost forgot:
Monsignor Viganò’s Strong Shoulder Shove to Roncalli-Ratzinger’s Maxi-Snare.
Just cut it out! It’s time to stop with these miserable cunnings that turn reality upside-down making the heretics look nice and making the firm and holy saints who are faithful to God look like nefarious troglodytes: the so-called “liberals” are nothing but those who summarize in their perverse doctrine a jumble of the worst heresies that merged into Modernism; by contrast, the so-called “conservatives” are simply those Christians who remain faithful to the Dogma and to the true and holy pre-Montinian liturgy at the risk of falling out with the world, Popes included.
Even in the contemporary case of the strong and severe stance taken by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on the Second Vatican Council — which is actually the only rightful stance to take — he is not to be labelled as a “conservative”, but is rather to be considered a Christian who is faithful to the Dogma, while the Popes who called, led, defended, and still defend that perverse Assembly are not to be deemed good and valiant “liberals”, but rather Popes who are unfaithful to the Dogma, in this specific case precisely modernist and neo-modernist Popes.
The question is that these fake categories must be replaced by the true ones. Enough with the subterfuges: leave the heresy to the heretics and the truth to the faithful.
The only acceptable categories in the context of a doctrinal debate inside the Roman Catholic Church are “heretic” for those who don’t adhere to the Dogma and to the pastoral Magistry [i.e., Magisterium – Ed.] intimately connected to it, as it is taught by the dogmatic Magistry, and “Catholic” for those who adhere to it.
There are no more categories. And those used today are mere falsehood.
That’s not all: stop talking about “hermeneutics”, too, another trick that we have to tolerate as if it were our duty to hang from the lips of the Frankfurt School like good teacher’s pets of Pope Ratzinger, who made of hermeneutics and historicism his Polar stars: let’s take again in our hands the metaphysics, the only Catholic science, the only concrete methodology, the only rational philosophy, so that we may again and finally witness firsthand — after almost sixty years of a dark hermeneutical and historicist night — the true reality of the Church, before we will land face first on it because of the contemporary, horrible reality that plagues the Church: it will be too late then.
None of the documents, the decrees, and the anathemas produced by the twenty ecumenical Councils of the Church has ever needed to be sifted by anybody’s interpretations, since the Dogma doesn’t allow it, being too clear to be “interpreted”, no matter what Cardinal Brandmüller may affirm about it.
Furthermore, it’s about time to stop talking of the much more muddled, convoluted and twisted hermeneutics mentioned by Pope Ratzinger in his utterly grievous Address to the Roman Curia of 22 December 2005: «the hermeneutic of reform — he remarked in those reflections of his —, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church.»
Please somebody give as a gift to the much august Author — who is more and more in danger — of such a convoluted conceptualism and invite him to read as soon as possible The Emperor’s New Clothes, a beautiful fairy tale by Andersen that could suggest to him the reasons why he should end his decades-long effort — whose insistence is rather worthy of much better goals — to produce, one after the other, only soft feathery pillows whose unique utility consists in allowing him to lay his head — which is profoundly thirsty for peace — and his exhausted elbows on them, so to be able to sleep quietly in the middle of the uproar of the world, so much for the lightning bolts of Ez 13:18, the holy Word of God.
The “hermeneutics of reform in the continuity” is, scanning the terms one by one: first, just an interpretation (=hermeneutics); second, of discontinuity (=reform); third, in the orthodoxy (=continuity).
It is therefore an opinion, a working hypothesis, it is nothing more than an opinion about a vague concept that pretends to be in continuity with the sound development of the Dogma while, at the same time, reforming it, thus wishing to be at the same time its very opposite, and the total sum of everything, that is, to be something and its absolute contrary, however without letting it be noticed, without unveiling the conflict, the contradiction, the harshest war — up to their ultimate essence — between both things.
Ratzinger! Oh, Ratzinger! When will you stop tangling yourself up in piles of white, soft feathers only in order not to see the blood of Redemption that flows around you and so — who knows? — maybe even save yourself?
That Address to the Roman Curia is way too much famous, it is quoted again and again, many hosannas are sung to it because in its simplicity — hermeneutics of continuity YES, hermeneutics of rupture NO — it seems to solve all the impervious, long-standing problems generated and never solved by the Second Vatican Council. However, no one penetrates beyond the surface of those lines in which their most august Author allows the perpetration of a very serious crime, a crime as serious as to cut at the root all the power of the very famous scheme that outsmarts everybody: continuity, yes; rupture, no, hermeneutically speaking, of course, that is, always in a Rashomon-style way, as in Kurosawa’s movie, in which four hermeneuts interpret the same episode reaching four irreconcilable conclusions: interpretation is reality.
Alright, but which interpretation? Why should the Pope’s interpretation — since he is not talking ex cathedra — be truer than mine?
That’s the point. Here is where the armies fight against each other already since sixty years ago. Right: always walking and fighting on a pile of leaves that hides to the soldiery of Cardinals, Bishops, Monsignors and simple faithful — no matter whether they are “liberals” or “conservatives” — the great snare that make them all fall in the one pothole, obligingly, because anyone of them has been well trained by the clerical regime: and I say “anyone” because no one of them manifests the public, necessary opposition which is due — no one except, now, the aforementioned Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.
However, why, after the very same Amerio in his Iota Unum — and successively, repeatedly, the undersigned in his own books — pointed out that even the neoterics remorselessly, shamelessly and bluntly admitted it — see Fr. Schillebeeckx, who writes: « Nous l’exprimons d’une façon diplomatique, mais après le Concile nous tirerons les conclusions implicites » (p. Edward Schillebeeckx op, in De Bazuin n. 16, 1965) — why on earth, I ask, does everybody still keep refusing to face the facts and to stop accepting this conciliar maxi-snare of ambiguity?
This is the fraudulent gimmick that the writer denounces since decades, suggested by Cardinal Suenens to the alert, refined and great insight of the so-called “Good Pope” John XXIII, who immediately put it in practice since the formal opening of the Council — conferring to it a merely “pastoral” nature, not at all a “dogmatic” one, as it should have been because of the presence of the Pope — on 11 October 1962: and the gimmick consists in never utilizing the dogmatic level of the Magisterium, but always and only the “pastoral” level, in order not to be forced to pronounce an infallible teaching, which natura sua — by his own nature — must be perfectly true and certain and, because of its divine indefectibility, doesn’t allow any ambiguity — since ambiguity is a defect —, not even an intentional one, thus it doesn’t allow any “interpretation” either.
The dogmatic level, the highest level of teaching, held only by the Pope — or by a Council, but only if it is in union with the Pope — is the true and only Katéchon that can bridle the Antichrist. The Katéchon is the Dogma.
Take off the Dogma and you will unleash the Antichrist.
And it is not even really necessary to take it off — the Dogma: you need only hide it — as the shrewd French Cardinal suggested to the placid Pope from Bergamo — then pretend that it isn’t there and use the pastoral level of the Magisterium with daredevil impudence, as if the pastoral level didn’t entirely depend on the Dogma and hadn’t the precise moral obligation to always be — as best as it can — coherent and absolutely consequent to it, as it has always happened throughout the centuries in the life and therefore in the practice of the holy Magisterium of the Church.
There it is: to unleash the Antichrist you need only this de facto evaporation of the Dogma, this “not taking it into account”, this shrewd “forgetting” — let’s call it this way — which, of course, is completely immoral, sinful, and based on Machiavellianism applied to the Word of God.
A very, very simple and little rule. But a firm one: if, for example, the Pope called a Council to which he denied any faculty to enunciate a locutio ex cathedra, e.g. by prescribing to it the magisterial level called “pastoral”, the definitions that that Pope would put forward in such a Council “would never run the risk” — let’s call it this way — “of being infallibly true”: that’s what Cardinal Suenens and Pope Roncalli wanted to achieve and indeed achieved: “Never to be forced to pronounce infallible truths, but, on the contrary, to be sure to be always allowed to say anything, perhaps even some heresies (provided that they are not noticed, but for this you need only wrap the language in a fog of ambiguity, thank you Schillebeeckx), in any case: first, the Pope will never risk to be accused of formal heresy, that is, of the crime of heresy proper; second, the infallibility Dogma, the Dogma that guarantees exactly that, will never been undermined.”
In order to know every detail about this maxi-snare, I invite the reader to peruse my All’attacco! Cristo vince [Charge! Christ Wins], Aurea Domus Editions, Milan 2019, § 16, pp. 63-7, that can also be ordered from the writer.
This perverse device is the engine, the pivot, the material cause and the efficient cause, the genius absconditus — the hidden demon — of the abnormal and empty modernist building which the Church has now turned herself into, it’s the device without which, then, the Church wouldn’t be such a preagonal ruin as it is, Modernism wouldn’t have succeeded in ousting Truth from the highest Throne and the Bride of Christ would be today more splendid, holy and glorious than ever.
However, in spite of this perverse device — that the writer summarized in the formula “War of the Two Forms”, talking about it and illustrating it in every language since more than ten years — nobody has ever opened a debate, nobody has ever, in any way, at least taken it into account, nobody has ever turned the head at least to look at it in the rear-view mirror.
Today an Archbishop is showing the courage to address the problem, a problem which had been narcotized by almost sixty years of shameful snares elaborated first of all by the highest Pastors of the Church, by those who held the highest responsibilities.
Today, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is not afraid to acknowledge that the Second Vatican Council must be cancelled both in its totality and in each one of its thousands of ambiguities which its advocates resorted to in order to surreptitiously introduce concepts that, if the Council had been opened at the due dogmatic level, not only would have been strongly rejected, but would have also explicitly and even more harshly anathematized.
Enough with the Roncalli-Ratzinger-style maxi-snares. Let the Church come back to her role of unique Polar star of divine salvation by adhering strongly and with absolute resolution to the firm clarity of the Dogma: « Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.» (Mt 5:37)
Enrico Maria Radaelli
International Science and Commonsense Association (ISCA)
Department of Metaphysics of Beauty and Philosophy of Arts,
Research Director and Professor of Formal Gnoseology
Italian original published here.
English translation by Antonio Marcantonio.