Photo: Archbishop Viganò offering the Traditional Latin Mass according to the Ambrosian Rite.
by Paix Liturgique
with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
1. Your Excellency, why, after Vatican II, is the question of the liturgy such a burning question?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: The liturgical question is of great importance because, the sacred action of the Mass contains the doctrine, morality, spirituality and discipline of the ecclesial body that celebrates the Liturgy. Thus, just as the Catholic Mass is a perfect and coherent expression of the Catholic Magisterium, the reformed liturgy [the Novus Ordo] is an expression of conciliar deviations; indeed, it reveals and confirms its heterodox essence without the ambiguities and verbiage of the Vatican II texts. We could say, to use a simile, that the healthy blood of the Gospel flows in the veins of the Tridentine Mass, while the new rite flows with the infected blood of heresy and the spirit of the world.
2. Does Pope Francis, who is not deeply interested in the liturgy, not at least have the merit of raising the real problem when he says that the two liturgical forms, the old and the new, reflect two different ecclesiologies?
Archbishop Viganò: This is exactly what I have just said, and it is exactly what (in 1968) Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci denounced in their “Breve esame critico” (Brief Critical Examination), and also Archbishop Lefebvre in his many interventions, and has also been denounced by other bishops and liturgists. What you called the “two liturgical forms” of a single rite are actually two different rites, one fully Catholic and one that is silent about Catholic truths and insinuates errors of a Protestant and modernist matrix. In this Bergoglio is perfectly right: whoever embraces Vatican II and its heretical developments cannot find those errors expressed in the traditional liturgy, which, due to its clarity in the profession of the Faith, represents a condemnation and a negation of the mens [the mindset or outlook] of those who conceived the Novus Ordo.
3. Several documents of the offensive against the Traditional Rite have followed one after another in the past year, beginning with Traditionis Custodes (July 16, 2021), then the “Response to Dubia” (issued December 4, 2021, by Arthur Roche, Prefect of the CCD), and then the Apostolic Letter Desiderio Desideravi (June 29, 2022). Can we still have hope that the attempted offensive has failed and that the ancient liturgy will not die?
Archbishop Viganò: The first deception we must not fall into is being deceived by the subversive use of acts of government and the Magisterium. In this case, we have documents that have not been promulgated in order to confirm our brothers in the faith, but rather in order to distance them from it, in clear contradiction to Benedict XVI ‘s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which instead recognized full rights to the Tridentine Liturgy. Secondly, the intemperance of an authoritarian tyrant, consumed by hatred for the Church of Christ, is opening the eyes of even the most moderate, showing them that the whole conciliar fraud is based on aversion to the truths expressed by the Tridentine Mass, while the official narration claims that the liturgical reform was only meant to make these truths more accessible to the faithful by translating them.
4. The way in which Traditionis Custodes is applied varies considerably from country to country and from bishop to bishop. Some have approved the Pope’s document, but in reality they have not changed anything in their dioceses. Is there no feeling, especially in Italy, that whoever will succeed Francis will not be able to maintain this repressive line?
Archbishop Viganò: The Church is not a society governed by an absolute monarch, free from any higher authority, who can impose his whim on his subjects. The Head of the Church is Christ, and Christ is its only true King and Lord, of whom the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar, just as he is the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles. Abusing the vicarious power of Christ and placing oneself outside the succession by proposing heterodox doctrines, or by imposing norms that refer to them, makes this intrinsic link with Christ the Head and with His Mystical Body, the Church, disappear. In fact, the Pope’s vicarious power enjoys all the prerogatives of absolute, immediate and direct authority over the Church only to the extent that it conforms to its main purpose, which is the salus animarum, always following in the wake of Tradition and fidelity to Our Lord. Furthermore, in the exercise of this authority, the Pope enjoys the special graces of state always within the very specific boundaries of this purpose; these graces have no effect where he acts against Christ and the Church. This is why Bergoglio’s furious attempts, however violent and destructive, are inexorably destined to break and one day will certainly be declared null and void.
5. What do you recommend to lay people who are upset by this situation?
Archbishop Viganò: The laity are living members of the Mystical Body, and as such they have the native right to demand that its visible authority act and legislate in conformity with the mandate it has received from Christ. When this earthly authority, by the permission of Providence, acts and legislates against the will of Christ, the faithful must first understand that this test is a means permitted by Providence in order to open their eyes after decades of deviations and hypocrisy by which they have been overwhelmed, and to which many have adhered in good faith — precisely because they are obedient to the Hierarchy and unaware of the fraud perpetrated against them. When they understand this, they will notice the treasure they have been robbed of by those who should have kept it and handed it over to future generations, instead of hiding it after devaluing it in order to replace it with a bad counterfeit. At that point, they will implore the Majesty of God to shorten the time of the trial and grant the Church a Supreme Shepherd who obeys Christ, who belongs to Him, who loves Him and who renders Him perfect worship.
6. Diocesan priests seem to be the targets and main victims of Roman measures against the traditional liturgy: what advice would you give them?
Archbishop Viganò: In the decades preceding the Council, the leaders of the Church were well aware of the growing threat represented by the sedition of the modernist infiltrators. Because of this, Pius XII had to centralize power, but his decision — however understandable — had the consequence of instilling in the clergy the idea that the authority in the Church is indisputable regardless of what it may order, while doctrine teaches us that the uncritical acceptance of any order is servility, not true obedience. Strengthened by this approach which the Bishops and priests felt at the time of Vatican II, whoever carried out the coup made use of this obedience to impose what would never have been conceivable until then. At the same time, the post-conciliar work of indoctrination and the merciless purge of the few dissenters did the rest.
Today’s situation allows us to look at the post-conciliar events with greater objectivity, also because the results of the “conciliar spring” are now there for all to see, from the crisis of both diocesan and religious vocations to the collapse of attendance at the Sacraments by the faithful. The liberalization of the availability of the ancient Mass by Benedict XVI has made many priests discover the priceless treasures of the true liturgy who were previously completely unaware of them, and who in that Mass have rediscovered the sacrificial dimension of their priesthood, which makes the celebrant alter Christus and transforms him intimately. Those who have experienced this “miracle” of grace are no longer willing to give it up. This is why I invite all my brother priests to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V and to let Christ, Priest and Victim, act in their priestly souls and give a solid, supernatural meaning to their ministry.
My advice to these priests is to resist and show firmness in the face of a series of abuses that have been going on for too long now. It would help them understand that it is not possible to put the Apostolic Mass on the same level as the one invented by Bugnini, because in the first the Truth is affirmed unequivocally in order to give glory to God and save souls, while in the second the Truth is fraudulently silenced and often denied in order to please the spirit of the world and leave souls in error and sin. Having understood this, the choice between the two rites does not even arise, since reason and faith animated by charity show us which of them conforms to God’s will and which is not in accord with it. A soul in love with the Lord does not tolerate compromises, and is willing to give her life to remain faithful to the divine Spouse.
7. Some think we should take advantage of this crisis to ask a future Pope not to return to Summorum Pontificum but instead to give full freedom to the traditional liturgy? Is this possible?
Archbishop Viganò: The traditional liturgy already enjoys de iure full freedom and full rights by virtue of its venerable antiquity, the Bull Quo Primum of Saint Pius V, and its ratification by the ecclesial body for two thousand years. The fact that this freedom is not exercised is due to the “prudence” of the Ministers of God, who have shown themselves uncritically obedient to any decision of the authority of the Church by the sin of servility, rather than obedience to God who is the origin and ultimate end of that authority. Full freedom for the traditional liturgy will certainly be restored de facto as well, but together with this restoration it will be necessary to abolish the new rite, which has amply proved itself as the origin of the doctrinal, moral and liturgical dissolution of the People of God. The time will come when the misunderstandings and errors of the Council will be condemned, and with them, their cultic expression.
8. What do you think is the main flaw of the new Mass?
Archbishop Viganò: I believe that there are three critical issues that must be mentioned, attributable to the single problem of understanding the Catholic liturgy.
The first defect of the new rite is that it was drawn up with the cynical coldness of a bureaucrat, while the authentic Liturgy is a harmonious corpus that has developed organically over the centuries, adapting its immune system — so to speak — in order to fight the viruses of every age. Believing that one is able to “restore the original simplicity” to an adult body, forcing it to return to childhood, is an unnatural operation, which reveals the willful intention of those who traveled this path with the sole intent of making the Church more vulnerable to the assaults of the Enemy. And whoever plotted this fraud knew very well that he could only convey his errors by eliminating that Mass which alone condemns them and disavows them at every gesture, every ceremony, and every word. There is no good intention in whoever gave birth to this liturgical monstrum, designed to act as a sort of tent or canvas under which to give free rein to the most aberrant and sacrilegious deviations.
The second flaw is represented by the deception with which the Novus Ordo was presented and imposed on the Church, alleging that it was a simple translation of the ancient Rite. In Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Council Fathers authorized the translation into the vernacular of the readings and didactic parts of the Mass, prescribing that the Canon be left intact, said in Latin and spoken in a whisper (here). What has been prepared for us by the Consilium ad exsequendam is something else, a rite that seems to have been slavishly copied from Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer of 1549 and which corresponds perfectly to the ideological approach of its writers.
The third flaw is the deliberate substitution of the main object of worship — the Holy Trinity — who has been replaced by the assembly gathered together with the celebrant, which is now the fulcrum around which the whole liturgy revolves, the point of reference for the sacred action. The vision of the priest as “president of the assembly,” the loss of sacredness in order to encourage improvisation, the replacement of the sacrificial altar with a convivial table — these are all consequences of a doctrinal error that denies the essence of the Mass, in which Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is offered in a bloodless form to the Father.
A rite born of lies and fraud, conceived by a modernist Freemason, imposed by force through the abolition of a two-thousand-year-old rite, does not even deserve to be analyzed in all its specific points: it must simply be canceled.
9. Why is the Pope so hostile to the American episcopate?
Archbishop Viganò: More than just to the American Episcopate, Bergoglio is particularly hostile to the faithful of the United States. This finds its reason in the mentality of this nation, which is essentially liberal but in which — precisely because of the coexistence of different and heterogeneous religions and cultures — a voice is also given to conservatives and traditionalists, who in fact constitute a numerically important component that is fervent and committed. Parishes, movements, and traditional American groups show how much the Tridentine liturgy and integral Catholic doctrine are the object of a rediscovery and great appreciation by the faithful, while the churches in which the Montinian rite is celebrated are inexorably losing congregants, vocations and – something not to be underestimated — they are also losing financial support.
The simple possibility that one can “with impunity” go to the Tridentine Mass without any social stigma is for Bergoglio unheard of and unacceptable, because the evidence of the success of the so-called “traditional option” undermines decades of proclamations and self-incensing on the part of progressives. To see thousands of faithful, young people, families with children, gathered at the ancient Mass and living their Baptism coherently — while on the other hand the financial and sexual scandals of the clergy and self-styled Catholic politicians empty the churches and lose credibility in civil society — constitutes that annoying “control group” which in the medical field demonstrates the ineffectiveness of a treatment precisely because those who have not been subjected to it enjoy health. Just as the vaccination of an experimental gene serum must be imposed on everyone so that people will not see that the adverse effects and deaths affect only the vaccinated, so also, in the liturgical context, there must be no group or community that shows the failure of that mass inoculation with modernism that was Vatican II.
The welcome and warm openness of some American Bishops towards the traditional communities and their interventions seeking the moral consistency of Catholics engaged in politics sends Bergoglio into a rage, leading him to impulsive behavior and intemperate reactions that reveal his bad faith and the total deceptiveness of his appeals to parresía (“bold truth-telling”), to mercy, to inclusivity. On the other hand, after decades of ecumenical appeals to “seek what unites rather than what divides” and to “build bridges, not walls,” it seems to me that the accusations of the newly-created Cardinal Roche — who was just awarded the red hat [in the recent consistory on August 27, 2022] due to his loyalty to the satrap — accusations in which Roche defined traditional Catholics as “Protestants,” reveal a fundamental hypocrisy, because while Catholic churches are now open to Protestants — they are granted communicatio in sacris [Holy Communion] even in the presence of prelates and cardinals, traditional Catholics are now treated by modernists as excommunicated vitandi — people to be avoided. It seems obvious to me that the assessment of the intellectual dishonesty of the proponents of the recent restrictions on liturgical matters — all of whom are emissaries of Bergoglio — is inexorably negative, even if only starting from the human aspect, so to speak: they are not sincere people, nor willing to understand the reasoning of their interlocutors. They demonstrate a ruthless authoritarianism, a pharisaic formalism, and an inclination to dissimulation and lies that cannot be the premise for any equitable solution.
10. Washington, Chicago, Arlington, Savannah: why have the bishops of these four [American] dioceses declared war on the traditional Mass?
Archbishop Viganò: These dioceses — certainly Washington and Chicago, without omitting San Diego and Newark — are run by bishops who are part of Bergoglio’s magic circle and McCarrick ‘s lavender mafia. Their relations of mutual complicity, their action to cover up scandals, their relations with the deep state and with the Democratic Party, find their significant encapsulation in the esteem they enjoy on the part of Bergoglio, who promotes them and ratifies their declarations and their disastrous government actions.
11. Behind all these apparently disjointed decisions (the Pachamama, the war against lace and traditional liturgy, the retreat on moral issues, etc.) do you see the implementation of a precise and coherent strategy or plan?
Archbishop Viganò: It is evident that this relentless action of war against traditional Catholics includes a strategy and a tactic, and that it corresponds to a plan devised for decades to destroy the Church of Christ and replace it with its ecumenical, globalist and apostate counterfeit. It would be foolish to think that they act without a purpose and without organizing themselves. Bergoglio’s election in the Conclave of 2013 was also planned: let’s not forget the emails between John Podesta and Hillary Clinton about the need to promote a “springtime of the Church” in which a progressive Pope modifies its doctrine and morals by enslaving them to New World Order ideology. Action against Benedict XVI was planned to push him to resign. The subversive work of the innovators at the Council was planned. The action of progressives loyal to Bergoglio was planned in the Synods, in the meetings of the Curia Dicasteries, in the Consistories. On the other hand, behind the enemies of Christ and the Church Satan always hides, with his plots, his deceptions, his lies.
12. How do you see the future of the Church?
Archbishop Viganò: I believe that, in the short term, the Church will have to deal with the disasters caused by Bergoglio and his little circle of corrupt associates. The damages of this “pontificate” are incalculable, and are now understood even by simple people, to whom the sensus fidei makes evident the absolute incompatibility of the current Hierarchy with the ecclesial body. The tension and opposition that we see in the civil sphere between the political class and citizens is a mirror image of the increasingly profound one between ecclesiastical authorities and the faithful.
In the long term, however, I believe that the Church will find precisely from this profound crisis of Faith a spur to renew itself and purify itself, definitively abandoning that intrinsically liberal attitude that has so far brought together God and Mammon, Christ and Belial, St. Pius V and Bergoglio. We saw the deformed and gruesome face of the Enemy, who could infiltrate as far as the sancta sanctorum relying on the willingness to compromise, on the mediocrity of the clerics, on human respect and on the timidity of the Hierarchy. We have before our eyes the holiness and humility of so many good priests, religious and faithful who are awakening from their slumber and understand the epochal battle in progress. At the same time we see the corruption, dishonesty, immorality and rebellion against God of those who present themselves as the true custodians of Christ’s authority, who instead usurp that authority with cunning and exercise it with violence. Even a child understands which side to stand on, who to listen to and who to distance himself from. This is why the words of Our Lord are as valid today as ever: Unless you be converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 18:3).