CHAPTER XIII, part 1
COMMUNISM, 'OSTPOLITIK' AND LIBERATION THEOLOGY
'A priest rable which draws the faith and dignity of the Church through the mud of party politics allying itself with revolutionary forces and, by sentimental talk about loving one's neighbor, eggs on the underworld to set about destroying the social order...'
Oswald Spengler, The Hour of Decision, 1934
'The world will march irresistibly towards the NEW ORDER AND THE NEW MAN FOR WHICH WE ALL LONG. [Red] Cuba will play its part, joyfully and disinterestedly in this GRAND JOINT UNDERTAKING.'
Paul VI, Special Audience, March 25, 1976
Prior to Vatican II everyone knew where the Catholic Church stood with regard to Communism. Marxism was repeatedly condemned by the popes as inimical to any kind of traditional outlook. Pope Pius IX called Communism 'absolutely contrary to the natural law itself...' and added that 'once adopted, would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even of society itself.' These words, spoken in 1846 have certainly been born out by subsequent events. Leo XIII, hardly an enemy of the 'working man' called it (1876) 'a mortal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.' ( 1876) Pius XI in 1937 called it 'a pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and of fraternity,' thus linking it clearly to the French Revolution. He added that 'Communism is intrinsically evil, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever'(Divini Redemptoris). Pius XII excommunicated all those who 'knowingly and with full consent defend the materialistic doctrines of Communism' (Decree of June 30, 1949). Many would have us believe that these condemnations only apply to Communism - implying that its precursor Socialism is somehow acceptable. Leo XIII recognized this ploy and said 'so great is the difference between their depraved teachings [of Socialism] and the pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist: 'for what participation hath justice with in justice, or what fellowship hath light with darkness?''(Quod Apostolici muneris). As Pius XI said, 'No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist' (Quad anno, 1931).
And Communism for its part has had no hesitation in proclaiming its hatred of all religion. Rousseau, Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists were all bitterly anti-Catholic. They were anti-religious, but it was Catholicism which bore the brunt of their attack. And once the leaders of the French Revolution came out into the open, the clergy and those that supported them were attacked with unmitigated cruelty. Marx, a secret member of a satanic sect, called religion 'the opiate of the people' and taught that 'the destruction of religion... is a requirement.' Lenin said that his program was 'built up entirely on a scientific conception of the world, or more precisely on a materialistic conception... Our propaganda includes necessarily the propaganda of atheism...' He further said that 'what constitutes the philosophic basis of Marxism is... an absolutely atheistic materialism, resolutely hostile to any religion... Religion and Communism are incompatible in theory as well as in practice.' Lounatcharski, who was the Commissar for Public Education in Russia in 1933 openly said 'we hate Christians. Even the best amongst them must be considered as our worst enemies.' Post-Conciliar attempts to paint Socialism as a purely economic theory without metaphysical implications are absurd and play directly into the hands of the enemy.
When Communists control a government, they use draconian methods to attack religion. When they are not in control, they take great care to disguise their anti-religious principles. As Lenin said, 'it is necessary to learn the art of accepting political compromises, schemes, zig-zages, maneuvers of conciliation and retreat, in short all the maneuvers necessary to accelerate the taking over of political power.' The Director of the Office for Worship in Poland stated publicly in 1976 that 'we shall never accept the religious evangelization of children, of our youth. We shall not permit any influence whatsoever of the Church on cultural and social life... We may avoid all violent aggressions, since otherwise the Church would present itself as a beleaguered citadel, which might increase its popularity... While permitting the Church to carry out its action, we shall never renounce our principles. Even though in my capacity of Minister of State I am obliged to smile in order to inspire confidence, as a Communist I will fight religion and the Church without respite, from an ideological as well as philosophical point of view.' Finally, it is of interest to quote Chicherin, Foreign Minister of the USSR in 1924: 'We Communists feel pretty sure we can triumph over London capitalism but Rome will prove a harder nut to crack. If Rome did not exist, we would be able to deal with all the various brands of Christianity. They would all finally capitulate before us. Without Rome, religion would die... the result of the struggle... is uncertain.'
During the reign of Pius XII attempts were made to make socialism acceptable to the Catholic faithful. Individuals like Father Bede Jarret argued that the early Christians were Socialists, and that if Marxism was divorced from its atheistic basis, his economic ideas were acceptable to the Church. Indeed, it was a favorite ploy to call Marx 'the last of the scholastics.'(1) Teilhard de Chardin also dreamed of a utopian state along Communist lines, but advocated that 'the rational force of Marxism' be joined with 'the human warmth of Christianity.' Yet another advocate of this melange of opposites was Jacques Maritain. Hiding behind his reputation as a Thomist he pointed out that the Communists were doing a great deal of good in the world - that in fact they were behaving like true Christians while the faithful were doing just the opposite. His theory of cooperation with Marxists was summarized in his book True Humanism which was translated by Paul VI and became a sort of social-political guide for the post-Conciliar establishment. Educational institutions (and seminaries) throughout the world, increasingly infiltrated by Marxist professors, also did their share in corrupting the minds of students. By the time of the Council both the laity and the middle clergy were well prepared to accept a shift in direction with regard to Socialism and Communism.
Yet another shift in attitude occurred. Where an earlier generation of Catholics were taught the social and economic doctrines of the Church - principles which fostered the widest possible distribution of private property coupled with the just use of capital, the Second World War fostered a world view in which mankind was faced with a choice between Capitalism and Communism. This opposition is in many ways false, for both systems embrace the principle that man can and does live 'by bread alone.' Communism is not so much opposed to Capitalism as it is its natural outgrowth. There is, after all, little difference between 'monopolistic Capitalism' and 'state Capitalism.'(2). In such a context the Church's socio-economic principles seemed irrelevant.
The coup de grace was given to the traditional stance by John XXIII's Encyclical Pacem et Terris. In stead of once again insisting that the west world return to Christian principles, John XXIII advocated those of the French Revolution: 'All men are equal by reason of their natural dignity... it is not true that some human beings are by nature superior and others inferior... Consequently there are no political communities that are superior or inferior by nature. All political communities are of equal natural dignity since they are bodies whose membership is made of these same human beings.' Both the Communists and the traditional Catholics recognized the deadly nature of this statement. The former characterized it by declaring 'no more crusades' and the latter by stating that it was the end of la chiesa cattolica romana.
CHAPTER XIII, part 2
COMMUNISM, 'OSTPOLITIK' AND LIBERATION THEOLOGY
Progress and Evolution
So far as the post-Conciliar Church accepts the innate dignity of man without the need for him to conform himself to any divine ideal or model; in so far as she believes in the modernist idea of 'progress' and 'evolution' as applied to social, political, economic and spiritual realms; and in so far as she accepts the concept that man is perfectible qua man, and that through the manipulation of certain 'dynamic forces' and 'historical processes' that man is capable of creating some sort of 'perfect society' on earth in which atheists as well as believers can work together, it accepts three of the fundamental tenets of Marxist theory. Communists for their part see no problem with allowing a certain amount of 'religious freedom,' providing the 'divinity' involved in no way opposes their plans for world conquest, and as long as believers do not submit themselves to any external authority like that of the traditional Church. To concede that God is responsible for 'progress,' that God is the 'power' behind the 'dynamic forces,' and that God in fact really wants what Russia wants, is simply to use God in the service of the State. (Their attitude can be characterized as saying: if man wishes to retain his religious illusions, then let us paint the early Christians as Socialists, and portray Christ and St. Joseph as factory workers.) The price of detente was not that the post-Conciliar Church accept evolutionism, historical determinism, and socialist economics - this she already had done - the price was that she never criticize communism and that she get those traditional bishops who were a thorn in the side of Marxist regimes, out of the way. This she fully complied with. She went further, admitted that 'atheistic Christians' may have access to the 'Community of Salvation', and instructed the faithful that 'all men, believers and unbelievers alike, ought to work for the rightful betterment of this world.'
It is well known that Mgr. (now Cardinal) Willebrands, acting on behalf of John XXIII, engineered the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church at the Council. He did this by promising that Communism would neither be attacked nor condemned - such was openly admitted at the Pan-Orthodox Conference of Rhodes in 1964 where this silence was admitted to be the sine qua non for their participation. Indeed, when Bishop Castro Mayer of Campos in Brazil, introduced such a condemnation signed by over four hundred bishops, it was, contrary to the stringent rules imposed by those who had by then captured the Council, 'lost' and ignored. That this Council which so loudly proclaimed its intention to deal with the problems of the Church, should remain silent on this issue was nothing if not extraordinary. What, one wonders, will the millions of victims of Communist rule from the prisoners of the Russian Gulags to the casualties of Pol Pot's regime, have to say to the Conciliar Fathers in some future life?
Subsequent to these initial acts of 'treason' against truth and the divine Kingship of Christ, the post-Conciliar Church has made even more compromises to please the Russians then it has to please the Protestants. NKVD (now KGB) agents such as Metropolitan Nikodim, who died in the arms of John Paul I, have repeatedly been welcomed into the heart of the Vatican - men dripping with the blood of martyrs, being wined and dined at the expense of the Catholic faithful. Paul VI actually invited Nikodim to say Mass over the tomb of St. Peter! (When Nikodim died, the Russian Orthodox Church in exile refused to allow his funeral services within their Churches, so the Vatican allowed it in theirs.) Of course, such hospitality was reciprocated. When Pimen was enthroned as the new 'Patriarch' of Moscow, Cardinal Willebrands was present as the official representative of Paul VI. When Pimen proclaimed the total destruction of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and its 'triumphal return to Russian Orthodoxy,' Cardinal Willebrands made no objection whatsoever. In matters as grave as this, such silence is equivalent to consent.
Once again Christ is betrayed. The Ukrainian Church has had a long and bloody history of loyalty to the Holy See. Over the past sixty years its people have, in the face of government induced famines and repeated massacres, remained steadfast in the faith. When Bishop Velychkovsky of the Ukrainian Uniate Church was exiled by the USSR, he was treated as a simple priest by Rome. To recognize his rank and heroism, to pay him honor and respect, would have been equivalent to recognizing the existence of the Catholic Church behind the Iron Curtain.
The very opposite occurred when the false Bishop, Exarch Filaret, Superior of the Russian Orthodox Church for the Ukraine and an agent for the KGB arrived. This person who was responsible for finding, betraying and arresting Bishop Velychokovsky, was treated with the highest honors; he was a guest of honor at the Pontifical Collegium Russicum and of the Secretariat for the Union of Christians. Meanwhile, Father Mailleux S.J., of the Vatican Congregation for Oriental Rites and Rector of the Pontifical Collegium Russicum (and known as the 'red priest') declared that the Ukrainian Patriarchate which the Ukrainians had petitioned for should not be instituted because the Soviets would consider it to be a 'hostile interference in the internal affairs of the USSR.'
It was shortly after this that the Italian police discovered and exposed an international network of Russian Communist espionage agents functioning from within the walls of this Pontifical College, a fact which the Vatican used all its influence to suppress. When the Russian Orthodox Church proceeded to set up a 'Vicariate' to 'govern' (i.e., subvert) the branches of the Ukrainian Church in Western nations, Rome once again remained obstinately silent Since that time several examples of the use of this 'Vicariate' to infiltrate espionage agents into the West have come to light, but then, in the eyes of the new Vatican 'ostpolitik,' the NKVD has have a right 'to interfere with the internal affairs of Western nations,' and indeed, this right, according to Vatican II, should be guaranteed by the civil authority. Things became so bad that by Dec. 6, 1971 even Newsweek Magazine was saying 'the Vatican appears to be ready to sacrifice the union of five million Catholics of the Ukrainian Rite within the Soviet Union!'.
To this day, despite request after request from some seven million Ukrainian Catholics (and their Bishops), and despite the fact that Oriental rites with far fewer adherents have been granted the privilege, Rome has not established a Ukrainian Patriarchate. And not satisfied with this, Rome made Cardinal Slipy, the highest ranking Ukrainian prelate, a virtual prisoner in the Vatican, prohibiting him 'under obedience' from leaving Rome to visit the various Ukrainian communities throughout the world and from speaking on the issue. Now, it might be argued that all this compromise was done for the sake of alleviating the persecution of the Ukrainian Catholics under Russian political domination. In point of fact, it has done just the opposite. It has allowed for the unrestricted persecution of these faithful Catholics as has been documented again and again. Throughout his reign, Paul VI, who never hesitated to criticize the abuses imposed upon minorities in Western nations, never once publicly spoke out in defense of the Ukrainian faithful. All this led Cardinal Slipyi to finally speak out - to openly disobey the long silence imposed on him against his will by the Vatican authorities. He stated at the World Synod in Rome in 1971: 'A dead hero is a more powerful stimulus for the Church than a living prisoner in the Vatican... Catholic Ukrainians who have sacrificed mountains of bodies and shed rivers of blood for the Catholic Faith and for their fidelity to the Holy See, even now are undergoing a very terrible persecution, but what is worse, they are defended by no one... Our Catholic faithful are prohibited from celebrating the liturgy and administering the Sacraments and must descend into the Catacombs. Thousands and thousands of the faithful, priests, and bishops, have been thrown into prison and deported to the polar regions of Siberia. Now, however, because of negotiations and diplomacy, Ukrainian Catholics, who as martyrs and confessors suffered so much, are being thrown aside as inconvenient witnesses to past evils.'
Spoken like a Cardinal Mindszenty, which brings us to consider yet another facet of the new Vatican 'Ostpolitik,' one which causes every faithful Catholic to hang his head in shame and sorrow. This heroic prelate, the primate of Hungary, was, as the New York Times Obituary notice stated, 'regarded in the West as a symbol of anti-Communism.' He had for over thirty five years refused to submit to the 'atheistic and materialistic forces' of Fascism and Communism. Liberal politicians and clerics openly recognized the greatness of this man. President Ford said at the time of his death that the Cardinal 'stood for courage, integrity, and unfailing faith. There was an heroic quality about him that marked this man as a crusader for liberty.' Even post-Conciliar Cardinal Cook of New York praised him as a man who had 'endured sufferings far beyond the capacity of most human beings, yet he never ceased to be a symbol of courage, integrity and hope. He was a man of faith and a deep, uncomplicated and unswerving belief.' (One would have expected Cardinal Cook to point out that he was a Catholic and that he endured these sufferings for the Catholic Faith - but then, one must be grateful for little things.)
As is well known, Cardinal Mindszenty was released from a Communist prison during the abortive Hungarian revolution, and because he refused to leave his country became a virtual prisoner in the American Embassy at Budapest. Here his presence proved to be a thorn in the side of the illegitimate Hungarian government, and, to again quote the New York Times, 'an embarrassment' to 'the Church which was seeking a modus vivendi with the Soviet block.' (My God, since when has the Church been embarrassed by her heroes and martyrs?)
Because of this the post-Conciliar Church sought to have the Cardinal released from Hungray and Paul VI sent his representative, Msgr. Zagon to the Primate in an attempt to have him agree, in return for his release, to quietly retire from public life - to betray by his silence both his faith and nation. When the Cardinal refused the Vatican pressured the American Government to make it clear that Mindszenty was no longer a welcome guest. He finally left with the understanding that he would be free to speak the truth with the support of Rome. Within two weeks of his departure the Vatican lifted the excommunication on the peace priests (PAX - the priests who cooperated with the Hungarian government) and L'Osservatore Romano stated that the Cardinal's departure had 'removed an obstacle hampering good relations between Church and State.'
After his release, all his efforts to support the struggles of Hungarian exiles were thwarted. Despite his age and ill health he embarked on a program of visiting the faithful exiled from Hungary for whom he was spiritually responsible. His criticisms of the Communist party in Hungary were so displeasing to Rome and the Moscow that Paul VI demanded under 'obedience' that all his public statements, even his sermons, be approved in advance by a 'Roman Adviser.' To this attempt at thought-control he refused to submit. Paul VI then asked him to resign his office for 'pastoral reasons,' and then announced that there had been 'no working primate in Hungary for the last twenty-five years!' When the Cardinal refused to abdicate his charge, he was relived of it - the Vatican announcing that he had voluntarily resigned - and this on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 'show trial' that had originally led to his imprisonment by the Communists.
Cardinal Mindszenty was forced to publicly contradict this distortion of the truth and to deny that he had in any way willingly abdicated. Thus passed the waning years of one of the Church's most staunch defenders, a man who had spent decades in prison under both the Nazis and the Communists, a man respected by the entire world, a man whose biography was written by a Jew in gratitude for what he did for the victims of oppression, and a man who is a national hero for the Hungarian peoples. One can do n o better than to quote the closing words of his Memoirs: 'There is nothing more to say. I found waiting to greet me at the end of the road, complete and absolute exile.' Paul VI made several attempts to discourage the publication of his Memoirs which provide documentation of all these statements.
The policies initiated by John XXIII were followed by the even more pro-Communist actions of Paul VI. Avro Manhattan calls him a Marxist Pope and calls his Populo progresso the most radical Encyclical ever promulgated. It was Paul's conviction that the world was going to be Communist and that the Church had better join the 'forces of history.' Throughout the Communist world, whenever Paul VI nominated bishops or cardinals, he first made sure they had the approval of the various native Communist dictators. In addition, he himself made sure that those he chose for the South American countries had leftist orientation. So much was this the case that Cuba's Communist Premier, Fidel Castro observed 'The U.S. shouldn't worry about the Soviets in Latin America, because they are no longer revolutionaries. They should worry about the Catholic revolutionaries who are.'
The words and actions of Paul VI can only be described as incredible. Consider the following conversation between him and Archbishop Helder Camara of Olinda-Recife, Brazil, as reported in Le Monde ((Sept. 26, 1974): 'Opening his arms to Mgr. Helder Camara who approached him, Paul VI exclaimed: 'Good Morning, my Communist Bishop, How are you?' The Archbishop retorted 'And Good Morning to you, Our Communist Pope!'
The same reportage continued, Archbishop Camara noting that 'it is as if one played the piano with four hands, I start the theme and the Pope finishes it.'
'How come one of your predecessors considered himself to be a King?' asked Mgr. Camara. Pope Paul VI took up the refrain: 'And that he was head of the Pontifical States.' Helder Camara: 'Why is it that Pius IX believed that it was the devil who relieved him of these states and why did he not see that Garibaldi had been sent by God?' Pope Paul VI answered: 'If one were to go through the archives of the Vatican one would see that Pius IX asked the Bishops to deliver him of all that, but that it was the French Bishops that forced it on him.'
Apart from the fact that this is a re-writing of history, and apart from the fact that Garibaldi was a Freemason who spent his entire live in fighting the Church, this remains a must unusual statement. Either Paul VI is serious in greeting Archbishop Camara as 'his Communist Bishop' (and the Archbishop is well known to be such), or he is acting like a buffoon in public. One may be permitted to wonder which alternative puts him in a better light. But if we have any doubts about his actual thoughts, let us again quote in him in a discussion of Communist China during the times of Mao Tse Tung: 'The Church recognizes and favors the just expression of the present historical phase of China and the transformation of ancient forms of aesthetic culture into inevitable new forms that rise out of the social and industrial structure of the modern world... We would like to enter into contact once again with China in order to show with how much interest and sympathy we look on their present and enthusiastic efforts for the ideals for a diligent, full and peaceful life.'
With John Paul II the same policies continue to be followed. From the start Wojtyla committed himself to the program established by his 'spiritual father' Paul VI. Moreover, John Paul II who had for years travelled freely in the west, must have had the confidence of the Polish government. What, one must ask, would allow a regime that could never tolerate a Mindszenty to tolerate a Wojtyla. Mindszenty himself gave the answer when he said shortly before his death that 'of all the Hungarian bishops, I am the only one who did not take the oath of fidelity to the Godless state.' Wojtyla was known to be a close friend of Cardinal Wyszynksi who is known as a collaborator with Communists -a man who openly agreed that 'in a Communist Country the Church should renounce its rights to private property.' (How can a Church without any possessions fulfill the charitable command of Christ to feed the poor and succor the weak? And how can they educate the laity? And what right does any prelate have to give the offerings of the faithful to a Communist government?) Perhaps this explains why the Metropolitan Nikodim opinionated that the Catholic Church finds nothing wrong with accepting 'a public form of property such as is exemplified by Socialism of the Soviet type.' On the other hand, perhaps Communism has softened its attitude towards the Church because of its own refusal to condemn this 'intrinsically evil... plague' that has 'insinuated itself into the very marrow of human society.' We can only speculate on such matters, but what is beyond speculation are the statements and actions of John Paul II both before and after his assuming the title of 'Bishop of Rome.'
Consider the statements promulgated in Vatican II's 'The Church in the Modern World,' of which John Paul II was one of the principle authors. This document espouses so many concepts that are basic to Marxist theory; progress, the dynamic forces of history, man qua man perfecting himself and building a better world to live in, that one of the Protestant 'observers' commented that the Council Fathers had listened to the Gospel of Marx as much as to that of Mark! Again, Wojtyla has expressed high regard for Teilhard de Chardin whose insane ideas also influenced this document and who dreamed of blending Christianity with Marxist theory. Finally, not once has John Paul II, either before or after his election, criticized Marxism as such. While he has occasionally been critical of Communist violation of human rights, but he has never questioned their right to rule. In a similar manner, his criticism of the 'social activism' of priests has never been accompanied by a condemnation of their adherence to the Marxist gestalt. And again, while he has spoken out against 'class warfare' and 'political violence,' he has never clearly condemned the proponents Liberation Theology. Such a persistent pattern of behavior cannot be excused on the basis of necessity or 'diplomatic neutrality.' One cannot be 'neutral' in the face of evil.
In the early days of his Pontificate, in a speech given at Puebla (Mexico), he stated that he had no objection to the expropriation of private property, 'correctly carried out.' Now, what Communist regime has ever carried it out incorrectly? In his Encyclical Laborem Exercens he speaks of 'satisfactory socialization' without ever clearly defining the term. He then proceeds to tell us that 'Christian tradition has never upheld this right [to private property] as absolute and untouchable. On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all of us to use the goods of the whole of creation. The right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone.' No one doubts but that the law of Christian charity limits the use of one's private property, and certainly the Church always insisted that this property be obtained in an honorable manner. But John Paul says nothing of all this in his Encyclical, as indeed, he nowhere makes clear the fact that there is such a thing as a Catholic Economics based on justice, the application of God's laws and the building up of the Kingship of Christ.
One of the first acts of John Paul was to appoint Cardinal Augustino Casaroli as his Secretary of State. Time Magazine describes this individual as 'loyal, highly skilled and completely committed to the Second Vatican Council reforms... [He] has been the Vatican's top emissary to Communist regimes ever since Pope John XXIII launched negotiations to help the East block churches survive. (What did they do before John XXIII?) Though the appointment is regarded as John Paul's endorsement of this policy, Casaroli modestly shuns his common designation as the Architect of Ostpolitik.' Casaroli has no hesitation in assuring the world that 'the Catholics who live in Cuba are happy under the socialist regime'(Fatima Crusader, April, 1987), and currently plans are under way for John Paul II to visit this torn land in one of his global 'pilgrimages.' When a Czech newspaper accused John Paul ii as being anti-communist and a 'reactionary,' an unsigned editorial in L'Osservatore Romano expressed strong indignation and called the charge 'grossly offensive' and 'absurd.' Prior to the 'martyrdom' of Archbishop Romero, John Paul bluntly told him the Church 'is not against Communism.' Archbishop Lefebvre has openly accused John Paul of 'changing the bishops to replace them with Communist collaborator bishops'(Paris Press Conf., Nov. 21, 1983).
How can we tie together the new 'papal ' orientations towards Marxism, the teachings of Vatican II, and the political activities of the post-Conciliar Church? The answer is to be found in the amalgam of Liberation Theology.