Editor’s Note: In a new interview with Radio Spada (originally published in Italian here) — the continuation of a conversation begun in March — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò responds to questions about the role of English-speaking Catholics in defending Tradition, the decline in Marian devotion since the Second Vatican Council (as well as Our Lady’s role in bringing His Excellency back to the traditional Faith of his youth), the necessity of restoring “the One Catholic Rite” (referring to the Traditional Latin Mass), and the need for all Catholic clergy to humbly “recognize the deception into which they have fallen” and embrace Tradition.
His Excellency once again defends Our Lady’s title and role of Co-Redemptrix, observing: “In Mary, the New Eve, Satan sees the creature who triumphs over him, making reparation for the temptation and fall of Eve: this is why She is Co-Redemptrix, in union with Christ the New Adam.”
“The decline of Marian devotion after the Council,” he goes on, “is only the latest expression, and I would say the most aberrant and scandalous, of the aversion of Satan towards the Queen of Heaven. It is one of the signs that that assembly did not come from God, just as those who dare even to question the titles and merits of the Most Holy Virgin do not come from God.”
Taking aim at the Novus Ordo Mass, which he describes as “an imperfect voice,” and Benedict XVI’s novel term for it (“Ordinary Form”), Archbishop Viganò candidly remarks that “the same infelicitous expression ‘Ordinary Form’ betrays the awareness of an ‘ordinariness’ that in common language indicates something that is not special, something taken for granted, of little value, or of a low level: to say that a person is ‘ordinary’ certainly does not sound like a compliment.” He thus looks forward to a “return to the One Catholic Rite,” which he calls “a perfect voice,” and “to the indispensable abolition of its conciliar version.”
See below for the full interview text, which CFN is pleased to publish at His Excellency’s request.
Second Interview of Radio Spada with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Radio Spada (RS): Your Excellency, we are happy to “complete” our interview with you, which we began in March on the occasion of the presentation of the new book Neo-Vatican Gallery by Marco Tosatti, along with your preface (in addition to the English translation, the book has also been published in Italian and Spanish). First of all, let’s observe that that first conversation went all over the world in just a few weeks; it was translated into many languages and opened a lively debate. There was widespread interest and attention; here and there a few minor criticisms – above all on the theme of “Benedict XVI” – but not very consistent on the theological level: the polemic mainly concerned the theme you raised in relation to a certain Hegelian influence on the thought of Ratzinger. Have you been aware of this aspect of the discussion? If you like, this interview could be an occasion for you to reply; otherwise, we can proceed with the rest.
We will divide today’s conversation into several parts, which we will outline here for the benefit of our readers, in order to assist their understanding: first, the present role of the English-speaking world in defense of the Tradition, then the Marian question, next the liturgical question, and finally a section on ecumenism.
Let’s begin then with the theme of the English-speaking world, to which Marco Tosatti’s new book is addressed. Historically, opposition to conciliar ideology “spoke a lot of French” (also because of the leadership role of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre), but today one notices a significant expansion of this front among those who speak English, in particular in the United States. Moreover, the famous “Agatha Christie Indult” should not be forgotten, even though that operation had obvious limitations, as a sign that was not insignificant for its time (the early 1970s). Because of your diplomatic postings, and in particular your role as Apostolic Nuncio to Washington, you have been familiar with the English-speaking world for decades. So, what do you think about this evolution? What could it be due to? What prospects do you see in this sense?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: I imagine that the reason that the opposition to the conciliar ideology initially primarily “spoke French” – to use your expression – was due to the fact that in those years France could boast of intellectuals of a certain depth, both laymen as well as clergy, for whom the very close connection between social and ecclesial events was evident. Let’s not forget that France was faced with bitter social conflicts in 1968 and a form of ultra-progressivism that was perhaps less widespread in Italy, above all outside the larger cities. In France there was a greater perception of the revolution that was underway in a nation of deep Catholic tradition that had already experienced the persecutions and effects of anti-clerical governments.
In England, where the minority Catholic presence had always had to confront Anglicanism, the evidence that the conciliar Church was embracing the liturgical and doctrinal positions of Protestantism led to both a firm and united response by the faithful as well as many non-Catholics, who considered the surrender of the Holy See to the secularizing mentality of modern society to be incomprehensible. The so-called “Agatha Christie Indult” revealed the dismay of many intellectuals over the decision to cancel the traditional liturgy, which was the element that distinguished Catholics from Anglicans. It seemed like a repudiation of centuries of heroic resistance of Catholics in the face of religious persecution. The healthy ecumenism of the pre-conciliar era had favored a constant stream of Anglicans returning to the womb of the Catholic Church, but in the Seventies, especially after the liturgical reform, this stream dried up, and “conversions” began moving instead towards the Eastern Churches. According to the heterodox conciliar theses, it was thought that even those who wished or desired with a sincere heart to re-enter the One Fold under the One Shepherd should instead be left in schism and heresy.
In Italy, the seat of the Papacy, which was politically led by the Christian Democratic Party, there was a much more marginal response to the conciliar revolution, perhaps due to the fact that Catholicism did not seem to be at risk of extinction.
The revival in the United States is more recent and is the result of the delay with which American Catholics saw the faith and the liturgy being threatened in everyday life. In the 1950s the American Church was growing rapidly, thanks to the far-sighted action of Pius XII and the apostolate of many excellent Prelates, among whom we cannot fail to recall Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The enthusiasm of a relatively young nation, the innumerable conversions, and the “freshness” of Catholicism in the United States probably delayed the exterior manifestation of the crisis, which however had already begun in the Jesuit universities and in the progressivist circles from which Biden, Kerry, Pelosi and other “Catholic” politicians emerged (here).
Themes connected to Catholic morality like respect for life were also supported by Presidents who were not Catholic, with the applause of the Episcopate and the faithful. It is only recently that the rift between the grassroots and the highest levels has become more perceptible, both in society as well as in the Church: on the one hand with Presidents who are fervently pro-abortion – beginning with Bill Clinton – and on the other hand with Bishops who are much closer to the demands of European progressivism that is now widespread not only in France and England but also in Italy and other nations of strong Catholic tradition like Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. This rift has revealed the great distance that separates citizens from their politicians as well as the faithful from their Bishops. It is normal – and I would even say praiseworthy and providential – that in the face of betrayal by the political class and the Hierarchy there has been a re-awakening of consciences, which saw President Trump as a defender of the traditional values of the American people in whom Catholics too could place their trust. The electoral fraud of last November 3 has conversely strengthened the pactum sceleris between the deep state and the deep church, bringing a self-styled “Catholic President” to the White House who is completely subservient to globalist ideology and the plans of the New World Order, with the determined support of Bishops, intellectuals and the ultra-progressive Catholic media. The management of the pseudo-pandemic in the United States has revealed the true face of the deep church, opening the eyes of many of the faithful and making them understand the complicity that exists between the advocates of the Great Reset. When the real outcome of the Presidential election is finally revealed and new elections can be held that are not marred by interference and manipulation, Biden will also drag the American deep church along with him, giving new impetus to the social commitment of Catholics, especially among those of them who do not intend to accept adulterations of the Faith, Morals, and Liturgy of the Church.
RS: Never before as in this period has the theme of Marian devotion been so widely talked about. The “debate” – let’s call it that – over the titles of the Blessed Virgin opened up after Bergoglio once again made comments minimizing the weight of Mary’s role as Co-Redemptrix. In order to defend the prerogatives of Mary, we recently sent to press the “Libro d’Oro di Maria Santissima [The Golden Book of Mary Most Holy].” We do not believe that Catholicism can exist without Mary; moreover, we believe that it is impossible not to identify the cause of the anti-Marian assault that we are presently experiencing in the Council and in those who managed the post-council. On the one hand using real pick-axes – both direct and indirect – through public speeches and “documents” – on the other hand allowing a neo-apparitionist sentimentality to float that appears to be the negation of the true veneration of Mary. Let’s not forget that with John Paul II on the Throne of Peter and Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, unacceptable operations in this sense were carried out – in the name of ecumenism and with the alternating plates typical of the dynamic revolution. To cite just two small examples: 1. In 1996, during the 12th International Mariological Congress in Częstochowa, a group of theologians – including three Eastern “Orthodox,” an Anglican, and a Lutheran – published a declaration against the dogma of the Co-Redemption. In a perfect dialogical-indifferentist style – and this is the main point of the matter – the titles of Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate were defined as “ambiguous,” and the text was published in L’Osservatore Romano. 2. By temporarily setting aside the disastrous consequences of the “Reformation” to Marian devotion, and as if one could love Mary even as one separates her from the Mystical Body of Christ, obscuring her role as “Triumphatrix over all heresies,” John Paul II stated in the General Audience of 12 November 1997: “Luther’s writings, for example, show love and veneration for Mary, extolled as a model of every virtue: he upholds the sublime holiness of the Mother of God and at times affirms the privilege of the Immaculate Conception, sharing with other Reformers belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity.” In your personal experience, how did you experience the “conciliar” decline of Marian devotion? As a prelate, what can you tell us about what you have seen in relation to this theme during your long years of service in Italy and abroad? Did the Blessed Virgin Mary play a role in your “decision of conscience” with respect to the crisis in the Church?
Archbishop Viganò: What unites heretics of all times is their intolerance of the cult reserved for the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Marian doctrine it presupposes and of which it is the liturgical expression. Moreover, this is not surprising: Satan sees in the Mother of God she who in Her Son has crushed the head of the Ancient Serpent, she who in the course of History has defeated the assaults of Hell against the Church and who at the end of time will achieve the final victory over the Antichrist and Satan.
The Most Holy Trinity is pleased to share the work of Redemption with Our Lady, to Whom it has granted privileges that no creature has ever even been able to conceive of, the first of which is having preserved Her from original sin and having preserved her Virginity intact before, during, and after the birth of the Savior. In Mary, the New Eve, Satan sees the creature who triumphs over him, making reparation for the temptation and fall of Eve: this is why She is Co-Redemptrix, in union with Christ the New Adam.
Filial devotion to the Blessed Mother is very difficult to eradicate among the Christian people: even after the Protestant pseudo-reform and after the Anglican schism, devotion to the Virgin survived, to the point of requiring particular efforts to erase it: it is difficult to rip out love for the heavenly Mother from the hearts of the simple when it is so spontaneous, natural, and comforting. I think of the cases of heretics who returned to the womb of the Church thanks to devotion to Mary Most Holy, even if only because of one Hail Mary that their mother had taught them to say as little children. And this devotion is simple, humble, sweet, confident, and most pure; it does not decrease in those who are ignorant of the lofty peaks of theological doctrine, because it sees us as children and Her as Mother, beyond everything else, recognizing Her as the Savioress [Salvatrice], the Merciful One, the Advocate, to whom we always have recourse, despite all of our faults, even when it frightens us to raise our gaze towards Her Divine Son whom we have offended. “Behold Your Mother” (Jn 19:26-27).
This is why Satan hates “the Lady,” as he calls Her during exorcisms: he knows all too well that the power of Jesus Christ not only is not in the least obscured by His Mother but rather it is exalted by Her, because while Satan’s pride has sunk Him into hell, Her humility has exalted Her above all creatures, allowing Her to carry in Her womb the Son of God whose Incarnation, in which he assumed a human body, Lucifer could not tolerate.
The decline of Marian devotion after the Council is only the latest expression, and I would say the most aberrant and scandalous, of the aversion of Satan towards the Queen of Heaven. It is one of the signs that that assembly did not come from God, just as those who dare even to question the titles and merits of the Most Holy Virgin do not come from God. On the other hand, what son would allow his own mother to be put down in order to please his father’s enemies? And how much more serious is this abject complicity with heretics and pagans when the honor of the Mother of God and our Mother is at stake? The Beloved of the Trinity, She has been chosen by God the Father as His Daughter, by God the Son as His Mother, and by God the Holy Spirit as His Spouse.
I believe that the gift of my “conversion” – of my becoming aware of the conciliar deception and the present apostasy – became possible thanks to my constant devotion towards the Blessed Mother, which I have never ceased to have. I carry the vivid memory of the recitation of the Holy Rosary ever since I was a child, when during the Allied bombardment – in April 1944 – my mother carried me into the air-raid shelter under our house in Varese and held me close to her as she invoked the protection of the Madonna, whose image was illuminated by a small lamp. The blessed “Crown” of Our Lady [the Rosary] has always animated my prayer.
It will be the Holy Virgin, with Her heel, who will crush the infernal idols that infest and profane the Church of Her Son; She is the one who will restore the regal Crown to Her Son, ousted by His own Ministers; She is the one who supports and protects the Good in this hour of darkness; She is the one who implores the graces of conversion and repentance for sinners.
RS: The liturgical theme is also relevant. Today it seems to us that one the most difficult battles is explaining to the faithful the profound difference that exists between the Mass of all time and the one that resulted from the neomodernist-conciliar revolution. Not only because of the theology that underlies it, but also because of the history itself of the “Mass of Paul VI.” Very few Catholics are aware of the fact that that reform was done with the help of a commission in which well-known Protestant exponents took part, with the outcome that we now see, that is, an ecumenical rite. Unfortunately today there is no lack of a climate of “substantial indifferentism” in liturgical matters, which is also the child of the contradictory contents of Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum,” as we mentioned in the previous conversation. Also dealing with the theme of the Mass, in one of your essays on the website of your friend Dr. M. Guarini on 9 June 2020, you stated: “When in the course of history heresies have spread, the Church has always intervened promptly to condemn them, as happened at the time of the Synod of Pistoia of 1786, which was in some way anticipatory of Vatican II.” Can you expand on this reflection? Referring to the Bull Auctorem Fidei, what elements can be highlighted in relation to the present situation? What can be done to make the facts that are implicated in this paragraph manifest to the greatest number of people?
Archbishop Viganò: I agree with you on the fact that it is at least difficult to maintain that the Mystical Body can raise up liturgical prayer – which is an official, solemn, and public action – to Her Head with a double voice: this two-fold nature can signify duplicity and is repugnant to the simplicity and linearity of Catholic Truth, just as it is repugnant to God, whose Word is Eternal and is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Christ cannot address the Father with a perfect voice – which the Innovators call the “Extraordinary Form” – and at the same time with an imperfect voice, winking at the enemies of God, in an “Ordinary Form.”
On the other hand, the same infelicitous expression “Ordinary Form” betrays the awareness of an “ordinariness” that in common language indicates something that is not special, something taken for granted, of little value, or of a low level: to say that a person is “ordinary” certainly does not sound like a compliment. I believe therefore that this situation must be accepted and tolerated as a transitory phase, in which certainly the traditional Liturgy has a way to return and spread itself, doing much good to souls, in view of a necessary return to the One Catholic Rite and to the indispensable abolition of its conciliar version. Let us not forget that in the Liturgy the Church addresses herself to the Majesty of God, not to men; the baptized, living members of the Church, unite together in liturgical prayer by means of the Sacred Ministers, who are “pontiffs” between them and the Most Holy Trinity. To make the liturgy into a sort of anthropocentric event is most alien to the Catholic spirit.
My reference to the Synod of Pistoia is due to the significant re-proposal of the errors condemned by the Bull Auctorem Fidei in the conciliar texts and even more so in the so-called “magisterium” of the post-council. I say significant because, just as in God the Truth is co-essential, so also lies and errors are the mark of Satan, who repeats his cry of rebellion down the centuries, always attacking the Truth that he hates with an inextinguishable hatred. From Arius to Loisy, from Luther to Fr. Martin, S.J.LGBTQ, the one who inspires it is always the same. For this reason the Church always condemns error and always affirms the same Truth, for this reason the heretics always re-propose the same errors. There is nothing new with respect to the infidelity of the people of Israel with the golden calf or the abomination of Assisi, the Pachamama, and Astana.
RS: Almost as a final taking stock of what has been said so far, it is difficult not to enter more specifically into the theme of ecumenism that, as is noted also in the preceding questions, is closely tied with all of the aspects of the crisis we are witnessing. Present in a a full-blown manner at least since the encounters of Paul VI with Athenagoras and the kiss on the foot of the “Orthodox” Melito, gradually triumphant in the various Assisi meetings in 1986 (John Paul II) and 2011 (Benedict XVI) up to the Abu Dhabi document and the pagan effigy brought into Saint Peter’s Basilica during the Amazon Synod, this indifferentist path is directly condemned – in theory and praxis – by innumerable pontifical documents (Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos, Pius X’s Pascendi and Pius IX’s Syllabus apply to everyone). Repugnant not only to the supernatural light of Faith but first of all to the natural light of reason since it is illogical, false, and perverse, it [ecumenism] has resurrected once more to flourish thanks to the open connivance of the so-called “progressives” and, unfortunately, of not a few “conservatives.” In your experience, and in particular in the different missions that you carried out on various continents, have you found – at least privately – that there is some awareness of the Episcopate on this issue? That is: behind their public “prudence” does there exist among the Clergy some who at least when the microphones are off recognize the gravity of this apostasy? If so, does this awareness seem to have grown over the years with the worsening of the acts performed?
Archbishop Viganò: The Bishops and priests who love Our Lord know perfectly well that there is an incurable inconsistency between the conciliar doctrine and the revealed Faith. And the mercenaries, mitered or not, who propagate error and make themselves promoters of the revolution also know it perfectly well. But while the mercenaries truly intend to change the Church in order to transform it into a sort of NGO imbued with Masonic principles, the good Pastors do not resign themselves to believing that so many failures represent, not the necessary consequence of precise errors insinuated by Vatican II, but almost an accident along the way that sooner or later will be corrected in some way. This philosophical and psychological error, even before being a theological one, leads them to hold together the matrix of the present crisis along with fidelity to the immutable Magisterium of the Church, in a titanic operation that is destined for failure because it is precisely futile and unnatural.
Allow me to make a comparison. If the doctor finds the symptoms of a specific disease, his diagnosis identifies the pathology and adopts a treatment aimed at eliminating the cause of the symptoms, not merely removing the symptoms; and least of all would he be able to cure the symptoms while refusing to connect them to the disease, because to do so would give temporary relief to his patient but would lead to his death. The same thing happens in public affairs: if a ruler finds an increase in crime due to uncontrolled immigration, he can certainly arrest the criminals, but he will not get any results if he does not stop illegal immigration. Now, if this is obvious in matters of daily life, why should it not apply further in matters that are much more grave, like those that concern the adoration due to the Majesty of God, the honor of the Church, and the salvation of souls?
I think that my Brothers ought to have the humility to recognize the deception into which they have fallen; to identify the doctrinal, moral and liturgical cause at the origin of the crisis; to turn back from the easy path that they have erroneously undertaken, in order to then resume the narrow and bristly path that they have abandoned and which over the centuries has proven to be the only viable path: the way of the Cross, of self-sacrifice, and of heroic testimony to the Truth, that is, to Jesus Christ. When this happens, the attacks of the Devil and his servants against the Church will multiply, as has always happened – “If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also” (Jn 15:18-27) – but they shall gain Heaven and the palm of victory. Conversely, if they believe they can come to terms with the world and its prince, they will have to answer to God for the souls entrusted to them, and for their own souls as well.
This complacency towards the mentality of the age betrays perhaps a lack of courage and a certain timidity, the exact opposite of what a Catholic, and even more so a minister of God, is meant to be: “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent conquer it” (Mt 11:12).
you so much, Your Excellency, for this conversation.
 It is not surprising that, following the “revolutionary” script, during this period there were also pronouncements that were “favorable” to Marian devotion, which obviously alternated with opposing practices and were inserted into a general neo-modernist context, producing the results that are now apparent.
 General Audience of 12 November 1997.
 In particular one notes the passage: “Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.”