The story is told that the following events took place in 1884, just after Leo XIII (Pope between 1873 and 1903) finished saying Mass at St. Peter's. As he turned away from the high altar he heard voices speaking to one another. One voice was deep and guttural, the other gentle and mild. The first to speak was the guttural voice which said: 'I can destroy your Church.' the gentle voice replied: 'You can? Then go ahead and do so.' Satan then said: 'I need more time and more power.' The gentle voice asked: 'How much time? How much power?'
The answer was: '75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.' The gentle voice replied, 'You have the time, you will have the power, do with them what you will.' It was after this event that the Pope established the so-called 'Leonine Prayers' said at the foot of the altar after Mass - prayers which included the one to St. Michael ('St. Michael, defend us in the day of battle, Cast into hell Satan and all his evil angels who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls...'). (2)
Leo XIII was followed by Pius X (1903-14) of hallowed memory and one of the only two popes to be canonized in the last 500 years. (The other was Pius V who 'codified' the Mass and is therefore the 'patron saint' of the Liturgy.) He is perhaps most famous for his Encyclical Pascandi on the doctrines of the Modernists to which was appended his Decree Lamentabili. (3)
The reigns of Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-39) while in no way contradicting that of their predecessors, were characterized by a more liberal stance towards these errors (4). This allowed the modernists the opportunity to spread their ideas with greater ease - though still with caution. For example, it was during this period that individuals like Teilhard de Chardin were passing around their mimeographed manuscripts while pretending to be loyal sons of the Church.
'Pope' John XXIII
Pope Pius XII who came to the papal throne in 1939 was certainly aware of the threat that Modernism posed to the Church; not only did he complain about it being taught covertly in seminaries, he more than once was known to have stated that, even though he was the last Pontiff to hold the line on innovation, he would hold it firmly. To quote him directly, 'apres moi, le deluge.' (5). How prophetic such a stance was is only now obvious. Yet, surrounded as he was by men committed to 'the revolution,' even he was often lacking in vigilance. He allowed men of dubious quality to rise to the top and gave his approval to liturgical changes of a most questionable nature - such as the new rites for Holy Week. (This occurred Nov. 1955 - when he was very ill, and one suspects, easily put upon. (6)) He was followed in 1958 by Angelo Giuseppi Roncalli who took the name of John XXIII. (7)
Something new now happened. For the first time we had a pope that was welcomed by the liberal press, a man characterized as a 'simple peasant,' and a 'man of the people.' He was neither. Far more accurate is the evaluation of Robert Kaiser, the correspondent for 'Time' magazine accredited to Vatican II and an intimate of John XXIII. Kaiser describes him as 'a political genius,' and a 'quiet and cunning revolutionary.' (8).
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in 1881 in the province and diocese of Bergamo. Though frequently described as the son of 'poor and landless peasants,' his parents are more accurately described as small farmers, 'bound to the soil, raising a large and healthy family, educating them to observe the Christian virtues, serenely content with their lot.' The family owned and lived on the same land for some 500 years (9). He was ordained in 1904, and embraced liberal and modernist views from the start. His first spiritual director was a Father Parrechi known for his 'exceptionally liberal views.' He taught history at the seminary in Bergamo and was strongly influenced by writers like Loisy and Duschene (11). He was also involved in the youth organization Opera Dei Congressi which was dissolved by Pius X for its modernist orientations. After a brief stay in Rome he joined Radini Tedeschi, a career Vatican diplomat who was sponsored by Cardinal Rompolla, (12) and who was exiled to Bergamo for his modernist views.
Bishop Tedeschi was to be a major influence on Roncali - the future John XXIII was his private secretary for 9 years and also his admiring biographer. Roncalli had a positive proclivity for making modernist friends - Peter Hebblewaithe who documents his early life during this period, can hardly name a close associate who was not one. Among these were Bishop Carlo Ferrara of Milan and Bishop Bonomello of Cremona, both notorious modernists, as well as Lamberdo Beauduin, the Benedictine advocate of liturgical 'renewal.' Several of his closest seminary friends including his roommate in the seminary and the person who assisted at his ordination were to be excommunicated for Modernism. Throughout this period he took great care - indeed was unquestionably duplicitous -- in hiding his views. (13). Then in 1924, after the death of his beloved bishop, he was called back to Rome and given a minor post in the Association for the Propagation of the Faith. At this time he also became a part time Professor of Patristics at the Lateran University, only to be relieved of this post within months 'on suspicion of modernism'and for 'teaching the theories of Rudolf Steiner!' (15). He was virtually exiled to Bulgaria and Turkey.
According to Giancarlo Zizola, 'there was a very precise meaning contained in the accusation of modernism made against Roncalli... it was intended to refer to his relations, real or presumed, with the modernistic milieu of the beginning of this century, as well as to his solidarity with a small reformistic group that had emerged from the phenomenon of Italian modernism.' Among the themes dominant in this group Zizola lists 'the primacy of conscience, the reconciliation of authority and freedom, the autonomy of science, liberation from superfluous ecclesiastical structure, the renewal of the faith, disengagement from politics, [and] a Catholicism less conditioned by traditional lines.' (16) At this time Roncalli also developed his theory that Christ continuously worked through the historical process, and that it was possible to recognize and cooperate with this Christological process by recognizing the 'signs of the times.'
Roncalli's many years in the middle east, the creation of nuclear weapons and his experience of two world wars, convinced him of the need to eliminate the factional conflicts of mankind in order to bring the various races, political and religious creeds into some kind of working unity. Only in this way could the world be assured of any permanent peace. After the second world war he was recalled and appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to France. While with Turkey he had cooperated with the De Gaulle government in exile and 'despite the low esteem' in which he was held by Pius XII, (19) he was virtually the only papal representative acceptable to France. While there, he mixed freely in diplomatic and social circles as a 'bonne homme' while associating himself with all the liberal and left-leaning movements prevalent in post-war France. His 'new points of cultural reference... were Dom Lamberto Beauduin, Mauriac, Claudel, Gilson, Daniel-Rops, Raissa and Jacques Maritain, and with Etudes, the innovative review of the French Jesuits as well as Le Cerf which published avant-guard books under Dominican auspices.'
He so indiscriminately mixed with representatives of various groups inimical to Rome (a local quip said his spiritual director was the socialist Edouard Herriot) that he once again came under suspicion. However, he had friends in high places (Such as Montini, the future Paul VI) who protected him. He did everything he could to support and delay the condemnation of the worker-priests (heavily influenced by Marxist ideology) and indeed, one suspects his refusal to do had something to do with his transfer to Venice. (His successor promptly condemned them.) With his transfer he was given the Cardinal's red hat.
Mention has already been made of Roncalli's interest in Rudolph Steiner. The Italian Novelist Pier Carpi claims to have clear evidence that he became a Freemason during his stay in the middle east. Maurice Bardet, a well-known Freemason informs us in Les Echos du surnaturel, a Freemasonic publication, that he was his advisor. While these statements may be debated, what is clear is that when he was Papal Nuncio in Paris, he would visit the Grand Lodge of that City in plainclothes every Thursday evening. This has been testified to by several members of the French surite, the police appointed to guard him during this period.
During his French stay, Roncalli was also responsible for the creation of 'barbed-wire seminaries,' a project which was to bear important fruit in the forthcoming years. At the time there was a significant shortage of priests in those parts of Europe under Nazi control as the Germans had inducted all seminarians into the armed forces. Priests during the war had either cooperated with the Germans or been placed in concentration camps. The former were discredited in the eyes of the faithful, and the latter - even when they survived - were to debilitated to function adequately. Montini's solution to this problem was ingenious. He obtained lists of all the seminarians who were now prisoners of war and managed to persuade the allied forces to release these men into special training centers. Montini and Roncalli provided them with teachers and books - needless to say, teachers with the 'correct' modernist orientation, and by the time the post-Conciliar Church came into power, many of the 'middle clergy' in Germany and other parts of Europe were well trained and indoctrinated with the 'nouvelle theology.' (One easily forgets that there was a 17 year hiatus between the end of the war and Vatican II.) This explains why there was so little resistance to the changes introduced by Vatican II. To make matters worse, the American hierarchy took to sending their seminarians to Europe for advance training where they fell under the influence of modernists well ensconced in the European seminaries.
As Cardinal, he became the Patriarch of Venice and then five years later was elected to the See of Peter. One of his first acts after coming to the throne of Peter was to throw open a window of the Vatican to let in 'some fresh air.' This much praised (and occasionally disputed) symbolic act recalls an interesting piece of history. When in 1908 Father Thomas Tyrrell (a famous modernist Jesuit excommunicated for Modernism) was the subject of a critical pastoral from Cardinal Mercier, he responded with the following arrogant letter: 'Your Eminence, will you ever take heart of grace and boldly throw open the doors and windows of the darkest corners of your great mediaeval cathedral, and let the light of a new day strike into the darkest corners and the fresh winds of heaven [sic] blow through its moldy cloisters?' It seems clear that John XXIII set a pattern to be followed by all his post-Conciliar successors. Shortly after he became Pope he went to the Holy Office and demanded his dossier. Written on the cover was 'suspected of Modernism' which comment he crossed out and replaced with the statement 'I was never a Modernist.' (23)
Roncalli also initiated the post-Conciliar policy of frequently breaking with Papal tradition - a process which has gone so far that when John-Paul II came along, there were almost no Papal traditions left to break. Immediately upon election he refused to allow the cardinals to kiss the papal slipper (symbolizing their submission to the authority of Christ). He put aside his Papal Tiara (symbolic of 'triumphalism') on state occasions, had Peter's throne lowered, and instructed those around him not to use his (really Peter's) honorific titles. All these actions will of course appeal to modern man's egalitarian prejudices, but the problem is that John XXIII is not an ordinary man; he is allegedly Christ's representative on earth. To put such actions into a clearer perspective, one might try to imagine the Queen of England divesting herself of her royal robes to disco-dance with her subjects on state occasions. Hardly a dignified scene. Paul Johnson tells us Roncalli's attitude towards the Church he was commissioned to preserve, and towards his predecessors to whose stance he was indefectibly tied: 'when necessary he simply contradicted previous popes. He rejected in toto Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos and Singulari Nos, and the Quanta Cura of Pius IX, to which was attached, as appendix, The Syllabus of Errors. John was ruthless in dismissing the views of his predecessors.' (25). Finally, if any doubt remains, let me give you the response he is reported to have given a friend who asked him how he managed to follow in the footsteps of so great a man as Pius XII. 'I try to imagine what my predecessor would have done, and then I do just the opposite.
What of Roncalli's personal views at this point in his life? It is clear that he was influenced by Teilhard de Chardin and the current belief in evolution and progress. As he himself said, 'Divine providence is leading us to a new order of human relations, which by man's own efforts even beyond their very expectations, are directed towards the fulfillment of God's superior and inscrutable designs. Everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the Church... All the discoveries of science will assist progress and help to make life on earth, which is already marked by so many other inevitable sufferings, ever more delightful.'
He was an admirer of Maritain who dreamed of joining the Feast day of St. Joan of Arc to the French national holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille, and who held that the Church should recognize the actions of Communists as being intrinsically Christian and cooperate with them on the social and economic planes. (27) Roncalli's 'sympathy for the 'opening to the left'' was well known. (28) He felt that the prevailing East-West (Capitalist Communist) division of the world could only lead to war and saw the mission of the Church as one of uniting mankind in order to bring peace to the modern world. According to Meriol Kaiser, John XXIII saw Christian unity as but the first step in the direction of world unity. Christian ecumenism first, then world ecumenism, and finally world unity. Carlo Falconi tells us that John XXIII sought 'new relationships between the Catholic church and other Christian Confessions, and all the other religions, or 'the ecumenism of the three states' (unity among Catholics, among Christians, and among all religious spirits) (29). In his view the unification of the world and its pacification, the most vital problem of contemporary humanity, need for their speedy solution to have the support and immediate stimulus of a single common denominator - REASON COMBINED WITH NATURAL RELIGION. Hence the real revolution, apparent even in his language, introduced by him in the technique of the Encyclicals and in the method of conducting the dialogue between the Church and the World.'
According to Zizola, he also believed there was 'a real progress of humankind's collective moral awareness through always deeper discovery of its dignity... The revelation of God's design for man strongly helps the believer discover what man is; and at the same time the advancement of the collective conscience, the judgement of an always more generalized value that men pronounce on the human phenomenon independently of religious referrals, are just as many other 'signs of the times' through which God 'comes into' history: what is more, the collective conscience clarifies revelation, helping to get to the bottom of the understanding of the mystery of man revealed by Christ.' (30)
John XXIII then brought an enormous amount of modernist baggage to the papacy. It was an era when such ideas were rampant among the middle clergy and acceptable to many members of the upper hierarchy. Ultimately they had a vision of changing the Church, of bringing it up to date by a process of Aggiornamento, of establishing what Roncalli's favorite author called a 'new Pentecost.' (31). The problem was how to do this. The answer was a Council.
There is considerable confusion as to how and when he decided to convene a Council. Actually, the idea was very much in the air. Both Freemasons and modernist Catholics had for decades dreamt of such an event with the avowed intent of introducing modernism into the bosom of the Church. In 1908 his modernist friend, Bishop Bonomelli of Cremona told him: 'perhaps a great ecumenical council, which would discuss rapidly, freely, and publicly the great problems of religious life, would draw the attention of the world to the Church, stimulate faith, and open up new ways for the future...' The possibility had also been discussed but rejected, by both Pius XI and Pius XII. Within two days of his election John XXIII discussed the matter with close colleagues, but decided not to inform the Curia until he had fully thought out how to plan the event. (32) When he did mention it to Tardini, his pro-secretary of State, he found little enthusiasm, and when he broached it to the Cardinals John described their reaction to his 'divine Inspiration' ('suddenly my soul was illuminated with a great idea') as a 'devout and impressive silence.' (33). Realizing that he would never get his Council - Tardini called it his 'toy' - if he antagonized the traditionally inclined Curia who were fully aware of his modernist attitudes, he took great pains to keep his real intentions secret.
This he did by having them believe that they would be in total control of the Council. He further fostered this by promulgating a series of Encyclicals such as Ad Petri Cathedra which were hyperorthodox (34) - so much so that his liberal supporters began to fear they had made a mistake. He called a Synod of Bishops to Rome and once again played the role of a hyperorthodox pope by promulgating regulations that were reminiscent of the time of Pius X. Finally, he suggested canonizing Pope Pius IX, author of the first Syllabus against modernist ideas. At the same time however, he drafted Cardinal Bea to form the Secretariat for Christian Unity, stressing that it should not be entitled Reunion, but Unity. (i.e., implying that Unity was absent and something to be achieved), and placing this organization outside of Curial control (35). Cardinal Bea in turn organized the 'liberal' forces, and attached to his Secretariat such individuals as Willebrands, Gregory Baum and others of similar outlook. These individuals lectured widely, were responsible for sending representatives to the World Council of Churches, for inviting the non-Catholic observers to the Council, and for a variety of similar activities (36). Whenever the Curia objected to their machinations, John XXIII came to their defense. He had in effect established his own private Curia. In addition, he called to Rome in a variety of other positions, ecclesiastics of similar persuasion. Thus Montini, once 'banished' to Milan by Pius XII - the first individual in hundreds of years to hold this ancient See without a Cardinal's hat, returned to be in effect, his personal assonant if not his guide. These maneuvers were successful. The Curia was reassured and proceeded to arrange for the Council, while the Secretariat for Christian Unity allowed him 'outflank and bypass the curia.' Throughout this time John XXIII 'lived entirely for the Council. He worked on it without interruption, often well into the night.' Having set the stage, he patiently waited for his Council to open.
CHAPTER IX, Part 2
THE Council ITSELF
With the opening of Vatican II, John XXIII published the 'rules and procedures' and invited those attending to feel free to express all shades of opinion. Ignoring the efforts and appointments of the Curia, he established another 10-member 'Council Presidency' that balanced liberal and conservative forces, and placed the direction of the conclave under their aegis. He created a new Secretariat 'For Extraordinary Affairs' under his trusted lieutenant Cardinal Amleto Cicognani consisting of nine progressives (including Montini) and one conservative. With these individuals in place he announced to the world his 'progressive' program for aggorniamento. (Meanwhile Bea's legions were in Moscow inviting the Communists to come with promises that their ideology would not be condemned.) The events of the first day, reported as a spontaneous 'revolt of the Bishops,' were a well orchestrated and papally approved insurrection aimed at subverting the Council. Within minutes of its opening, Cardinal Lienart opposed the schemas prepared by the Curia over a two year period, as well as the list of individuals they had appointed to the various commissions. He was seconded by Cardinal Frings. A recess was called to allow the Council Fathers to nominate their own choices, and the following day they voted on lists prepared by the modernist conspirators. From this point on the Curia lost control and the innovators were in the drivers seat. John XXIII followed events in the Council by closed circuit television, only intervening when necessary to keep the Council on the track he had established.
An example of this intervention is the following. When on November 20th the Council Fathers vote of 1368 to 822 in favor of rejecting Cardinal Ottaviani's Schema on the 'Sources of Revelation' - the motion falling narrowly short of the required two thirds majority - he directly intervened (at the expense of both orthodoxy and the Council rules) to save his 'toy.' According to Lawrence Elliott, after a night of anguish and prayer, he sent word to St. Peter's that because so clear a majority... opposed the schema, he was withdrawing it despite the vote. A new commission would be appointed to redraft it. The reason given for this action was that the alternative was continued wrangling as the schema was debated section by section, dulling, scarring, and, in the end, perhaps destroying the fine spirit of ecumenism in which the Council had begun.'
One of the first Schemas to be considered was the Constitution on the Liturgy. In order to encourage the Council Fathers to accept innovations in this realm - one long considered virtually untouchable - he introduced the first change in the Canon of the traditional Mass in over 1,500 years. He further changed many aspects of the Mass outside the sacrosanct Canon and drastically altered the Breviary - that text which feeds the spiritual life of the clergy; and the Church calendar - thus making obsolete all the old missals and breviaries. As E.E.Y. Hales said, he gave the Bishops of the Council 'the clearest and most positive guidance as to the way they should approach their task.' (41)
Once things were underway, once the Council had been subverted along the lines he wished, he promulgated his most significant Encyclical, Pacem in Terris. To get a better picture of John XXIII's real thought, we shall turn to this revealing source.
Starting out by telling the faithful that 'Peace on earth... can only be firmly established if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed and that this order or law is written in the hearts of men (orthodox), he proceeds to tell us that we must look for these laws only in the hearts of man, 'and nowhere else.' Now it is one thing to say that God has written his laws in the human heart and quit another to say that these laws are not be sought for elsewhere. To do so is to forget the effects of original sin and the function of the Church - the former allowing us to deviate from the dictates of our heart and the latter as guide for our fallen nature. No wonder then that in the very first section of the Encyclical John XXIII follows this up by advocating that 'a world-side community of nations be established' (Para 6, 7). As he explains in the fourth section, this organization is none other than the United Nations.
The next two sections deal with the dignity of man and religious freedom, both themes that are to become basic to the documents of Vatican II and the post-Conciliar Church. With regard to the former, the Encyclical states that 'when we consider man's personal dignity from the standpoint of divine revelation, inevitably our estimate of it is incomparably increased. Men have been ransomed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Grace has made them sons and friends of God, and heirs to eternal glory' (Para 10). Now all this is true, but nothing is said of the fact that man can loose this dignity by sin. Instead, he immediately proceeds to discuss man's rights that derive from this dignity, including 'the right of being able to worship God in accordance with the just dictates of his own conscience (ad rectam conscientiae suae normam), and to profess his religion both in private and in public' (Para 14).
It is of interest that the Italian translator of this sentence said 'each has the right to honor God according to the dictates of a just Conscience.' Giancarlo Zizolla calls the transposition of the adjective just from 'dictates' to 'conscience' a 'colossal reversal of perspective... That adjective just [now] meant that the conscience was not the inviolable temple through which God spoke freely to each man, whether he be atheist or Confucian, Buddhist or agnostic, as John had so many times affirmed; now it was no longer the conscience that generated from its own secret intimacy a 'just' rule, or valid norm and scale of values for each honest man of good will whatsoever; on the contrary, in order to compose that norm, the conscience [itself] had to be 'just,' that is, it had to be authoritatively guided by external rulings... For John the conscience was the voice of God in every man,' for the mistranslator the conscience had to guided by the teaching of the Church.
It follows from the innate dignity of man and the innate and independent authority of his conscience that all men are equal. John XXIII boldly declared that 'the conviction that all men are equal by reason of their natural dignity has been generally accepted' (Para. 44). Later in the same document he states that 'it is not true that some human beings are by nature superior and others inferior. all men are equal in their natural dignity. Consequently there are no political communities that are superior by nature and none that are inferior by nature. All political communities are of equal natural dignity, since they are bodies whose membership is made of these same human beings' (Para. 89). This statement is nothing other than a blanket acceptance of the legitimacy of communism, and it is not wonder that the Communist weekly in Rome described his 'open' attitude under the title of 'No More Crusades.' Il Borghese, a right wing Catholic journal put it into better perspective: 'This policy will mean the end of la chiesa cattolica romana.' Should any doubt remain as to John XXIII's attitude towards Communism, one has only to consider his agreement with Mgr. Nikodim that the Council would in no way be critical of Communism. As Jean Madiran. states, 'all the hotchpotch... in 'Pacem and Terris' has never been applied by the ecclesiastical hierarchy except for the benefit of Communism (and Marxist Socialism) - never to fascism or liberalism... it is nothing but a fabrication made to accommodate Communism alone.' (43).
Having established the equality and dignity of man, his right to religious freedom, and the acceptability of socialism and communism, let us return to the nature of this new world community he envisioned? Again, the Encyclical tells us it is to be established under 'a public authority, having world-wide power and endowed with proper means for the efficacious pursuit of its objective, which is the universal common good...' The organization he felt best suited to this end was none other than the United Nations! His endorsement of this organization (described by some as a'a large cow fed by America and milked by Russia') included endorsing its Declaration of Human Rights which was 'a clear proof of its farsightedness.'(44). Let it be noted that the 'Declaration of Human Rights' involved is none other than that advocated by the French Revolution, and which as Cardinal Pie state, 'is nothing else than the denial of the Rights of Christ.' (45).
One of the greatest obstacles to the creation of this 'one world' utopia under the United Nations was 'mutual distrust.... Unfortunately, the law of fear still reigns among peoples, and it forces them to spend fabulous sums for armament; not for aggression they affirm - and there is not reason for not believing them...' (Para. 128). He recommended to counter this problem, a program of 'mutual trust... true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone' (para. 113). Now this mutual trust was to be extended to both Freemasons and Communists, as if their history and their own teachings have not provided more than ample evidence that allowing the wolf to live in the chicken-coop was an impossibility. The west was to disarm itself and embrace its Communist brothers. War was to be abolished. And after this utopian dream is fulfilled, the harmony of the human family is to be secured 'by means of science and technology.' Now, anyone familiar with James the Apostle knows that Scripture teaches wars come from our lusts and greed - that is to say, from our sins. And anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows clearly that there are unjust rulers and therefore just wars. But John XXIII had a different vision of the world, one in which there was no possibility of an intrinsically evil social order, and one in which all men would be united and all differences would be resolved by 'mutual trust.'
Despite the fact that this encyclical was rapidly bypassed by the still more revolutionary declarations of the Council, it remains highly significant. It clearly demonstrates that events in the Council, as some have contended, did not escape from John XXIII's control, but rather, were engineered by him. Some of the principle modernist errors promulgated by the Council - the false concept of man's dignity, the autonomy of man's conscience, religious freedom, a false Ecumenism, the acceptance of socialist and communist ideology, the fostering by the Church of a one-world community and the need to alter the structures of the Church, were not only shared, but indeed, initiated by Roncalli himself. He was a modernist by any definition of the word, and was responsible for the subversion of an enormous part of the Catholic body. Allow me to quote one last blasphemous statement by this individual elected to preserve and safeguard the Bride of Christ: 'We now acknowledge that for many many centuries the blindness has covered our eyes, so we no longer see the beauty of Thy chosen people and no longer recognize in its face the features of our first-born brother. We acknowledge that the mark of Cain is upon our brow...'
How was this extraordinary individual assessed by others? Clearly, John XXIII was no peasant-pope, but rather, as Mariol Trevor said, 'a quiet and cunning revolutionary.' As his approving friend Malachi Martin says, 'the surprising aspect of Pope John is that in a short five-year period he undid what every pope since the fourth century had sought and fought to maintain and foment.' (49). The Freemasons also thought highly of him. Yves Marsoudon, State Minister, Supreme Council of France (Scottish Rite) said 'the sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose for existence. Thus, we are unable to ignore the Second Vatican Council and all its consequences... With all our hearts we support the 'Revolutin of John XXIII'... This courageous concept of the Freedom of Thought that lies at the core of our Freemasonic lodges, has spread in a truly magnificent manner under the dome of St. Peter's.' A contrary opinion is given by Avro Manhattan who said that when he died, instead of hanging a white and yellow papal flag from the balcony, they 'should have hung the red flag, with the sickle and the cross displayed on it - the true symbol of the revolution which John XXIII had started within and outside the Roman Catholic church.' (50). Cardinal Siri, who prior to the election of his successor still hoped for a return to sanity, said before the election of Montini that 'it will take forty years to undo the harm Pope John has done to the Church.'