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lunes, 31 de diciembre de 2018

The Day of Reckoning

John Paul II under examination

by Jesus López Sáez

Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope Sánchez Mejorada

1. John Paul was well

Some years ago, on August 20, 1993, I received a call from Rome. It was Andrea Tornielli, of the 30 Giorni magaziine of Comunione e Liberazione.  They were preparing an issue devoted to John Paul I, in connection with the anniversary of his death. He put some questions to me. As it was a delicate topic, I asked him to send them to me in writing and I would respond in the same manner. Almost nothing was published of the interview I was given, but it served for Dr. Da Ros, the personal physician of Pope John Paul I, to finally speak, breaking a silence which had lasted fifteen years.

Unpublished interview.

Here are the most important parts of that interview, which ─ in addition ─ summarizes the research done through that moment on the death of John Paul I.

Q:- In your opinion, are there circumstances which are not quite clear in the death Pope Luciani?

A:- There are indeed: an unfounded diagnosis (acute myocardial infarction, and, on top of it, instantaneous) given by physicians who had not known Luciani as a patient, without performing an autopsy, (officially, none was performed), being Luciani in good health and having had no coronary precedents, a manipulated information on the finding of the body and on th circumstances of the death, the silence imposed on Sor Vincenza and other types of pressure exerted on institutions and persons, a generalized fear of speaking on the topic, the secret character of the autopsy (if one was done), obscure financial activities of the IOR, distortion of John Paul I's figure.

Pope Luciani was preparing a deep reform of the Vatican, he had a program of changes, he had already taken important decisions. For example: to revise all the structure of the Curia, to dismiss the President of the IOR, to reform the IOR entirely (so that the sad experiences of the past do not repeat themselves), to make open opposition (in front of everybody) against Freemasonry and the Mafia.

On the other hand, a series of events take place in the Vatican in September 1978 which require greater explanation: dismissal of the Gusso brothers, pontifical stewards, despite the opposition of Secretary Diego Lorenzi; the installation of electric rings next to the bed of the Pope in the morning before his death: the strange anecdote of a physician who, someday before the Pope's death, told him "you have your heart shattered" (the Pope paid no attention); the irruption of a stranger in the papal chambers who is let in by a supposed likeness to Dr. Da Ros, who would be coming from Venice, the death threats Luciani receives from the first days in his pontificate; the sudden death of Nikodim, (metropolitan of Leningrad), while he was conversing with the Pope, after having drunk a cup of coffee.

Q:- What were his health conditions really?

A:- Pope Luciani was in good health. His death was totally unexpected. When Diego Lorenzi communicated the news, his personal physician could not believe it. Dr. Da Ros "had visited the Pope the preceding Sunday and had found him in good health," says he who had been Luciani's secretary.

I have, among others, a testimonial by Lorenzi who responds this way to the question of whether Luciani was ill: "No. I can say that, in the 26 months during which I had been with him, Luciani had never spent 24 hours in bed, he had never spent a morning or an afternoon in bed, he had never had a headache or fever which would have required him to stay in bed, never. He enjoyed good health, never a diet problem, he would eat just about anything placed in front of him, he had not known a diabetes or a cholesterol problem; he just had his blood pressure a little low" [1]

Q:- What do you think of the book ─ quite discredited for its imprecision in many passages ─ written by Yallop?

A:- Even if the book may have questionable or imprecise aspects, Yallop has the merit of having said in 1984, after almost three years of serious investigation, that "if Luciani's death occurred from natural causes, then Villot's subsequent actions and instructions turn out to be inexplicable". Moreover, it is worth recognizing that important aspects of Yallop's investigation have been subsequently confirmed: the way in which the body is found, Sor Vincenza's intimidation, Luciani's good health conditions, the decisions adopted by John Paul I on financial matters (the reform of the IOR, the dismissal of Marcinkus), the responsibility of the IOR over Banco Ambrosiano´s bankruptcy, IOR's links with members of the P2 Lodge, the series of  murders and violent attacks with intimidating purposes (related in one way or another with the P2 Lodge).

According to Yallop, there were those who "had much to lose" had Luciano continued as Pope. And he names names, but without placing the concrete responsibility for the death of the Pope on any of them. [2]

Q:- And what do you think of the conclusions to which Cornwell has arrived?

A:- The conclusions are the worst part of his book. The best are the interviews. In them, persons who had kept silent for years finally speak. However, the author, whose investigation has lasted one year, seems to ignore the biography of John Paul I. Moreover, with all the backing of the Vatican, he has not been able to get any medical information on Albino Luciani and, nevertheless, he allows himself to affirm that the Pope "was gravely ill". In his conclusions, the greatest distortion of the figure of John Paul I, who had let himself die (forsaking medication) for not considering himself to be capable of being a Pope [3]. I can understand that such a calumny should cause desolation in the Vatican.

At that time, Camilo Bassotto, a personal friend of John Paul I and author of the book 'Il mio cuore è ancora a Venezia' told me: "Some days ago I have spoken with Dr. Da Ros. Obviously, he considers Cornwell's conclusion unthinkable and slanderous. Luciani was very careful, and never forsook his medication. Additionally, Sor Vincenza, who was a nurse, kept control of the medication"

Q:- You have already written a book on this argument, can you synthesize your fundamental thesis?

 A: - In the first place, when John Paul I died a month from his election, questions as fundamental as the following were left without a true answer:  What did he die from? Under what circumstances? What was really his figure? Moreover, the way in which the body was found does not correspond to the typical picture of an infarction, Everything is in order, there has been no fight against death. There is also no symptomatology to disclose it. According to Dr. Cabrera, of the Instituto Nacional de Toxicología. "it could correspond better to a death caused by a depressive substance, occurred during a deep sleep" [5]

In the second place, on the basis that so fundamental and decisive a test as an autopsy was not made (or it was not said it was made), despite so many being the facts, events, and clues which can be understood from this angle: intentionally caused death in the opportune moment. If Luciani´s death was produced from natural causes, then many things turn out to be inexplicable. If it was produced in an intentionally caused form, then everything can be understood. This could be confirmed by a serious judicial investigation.
In the third place, there is the believer's dimension, which assumes, summarizes and transcends all of the above. The testimony of Albino Luciani is a shining light in our time which should not be put under a basket but on a candlestick, even when that makes the flakes and cracks of the house show. Everything which.was intended to be buried with his body has been appearing in diverse forms before the conscience of the Church and the world. God speaks in many ways. If no justice is made to John Paul I, so we believe, it will be held to account.

Q:- What is your personal hypothesis about the facts which developed that afternoon in the Vatican?

A:- According to Gennari, who was a professor at the Diocesan Seminary in Rome, "an autopsy was made" of the body of John Paul I and "from it, it was learned that he had died from a very strong dose of a vasodilator prescribed over the telephone by his former personal physician in Venice" [6] Having contacted Gennari last December, he confirmed this to me, stating additionally that "it had been told to him by a distinguished prelate in the Vatican the same day of the death"

In my opinion, it is quite possible that an autopsy would have been made to John Paul I. This conforms with what Lorenzi told Cornwell: "On the first day, body parts were removed, possibly the entrails, etc." [7] Obviously, this could be confirmed with the opening of the secret files or from the exhuming of the body. It is also possible that he died from ingesting a vasodilator. It is a contraindicated medication for one who has low blood pressure. That would fit with the form in which the body was found: there has been no fight with the death, as corresponds to a death caused by a depressive substance and which occurred during deep sleep.

However, I cannot make myself to believe that Dr. Da Ros, the personal physician of Luciani's, could have prescribed a contraindicated medicine over the phone. He would have denied something that affects him so directly.

Dr. Da Ros, Luciani´s physician speaks

Some days later, on September 1, Tornielli called me again. He was especially interested in the question of whether Dr. Da Ros had visited John Paul I some days before he died. I told him that several sources coincided on that, although ─ obviously ─ nobody better than Dr. Da Ros himself to specify these extremes. But Dr. Da Ros had been silent for fifteen years.

Finally, the issue of 30 Giorni came out. Hardly anything from the interview was published: only the first paragraph, and incomplete at that. It appears mutilated. By the way, reference is missing to very important aspects, as we will see later: the pressures exerted over institutions and persons, the generalized fear of taking a position on the topic, the secret character of the autopsy (if one was ever made) and the obscure financial activities of the IOR.

However, the magazine does present a fundamental contribution: Dr. Da Ros breaks his silence to say, among other things, that the Pope was well and that on that evening he did not prescribe absolutely anything: "Everything was normal: Sor Vincenza did not speak of any particular problems. She told me the Pope had passed the day as usual. We agreed on the next visit, which was scheduled for the following Wednesday". And also "This is another of the falsities that have been built about the death of John Paul I. That evening I did not prescribe absolutely anything, I had seen him five days before and to me he was well. My call was a routinary one. Nobody called me". [18]

Additionally, I was confidentially told: 1) that John Paul I intended to keep Dr. Da Ros as personal physician and had the intention of putting him on the Vatican payroll; 2) that Dr. Da Ros was ignored as personal physician of John Paul I by Vatican medics; 3) that they did not even want to know his clinical history. Consequently, the diagnosis in the death of the Pope was issued with this strange way of proceeding.

A very strong vasodilator dose

In June 1998, in Rome, I could talk with Giovanni Gennari, who is now a journalist with the press service of RAI, the Italian television. Gennari knew Luciani personally and was a friend of Germano Pattaro's, a Venetian theologian who John Paul I had brought to Rome as an advisor.

Gennari confirmed to me what was published by him in 1987, i.e., that an autopsy was made of Pope Luciani and "from it, it was found out that he had died from ingesting a very strong dose of a vasodilator prescribed over the phone by his former personal physician in Venice", that "the Pope had the Vatican pharmacy open at half past ten that night", that "the Pope must by mistake have taken a very high dose which caused a fulminant infarction" [10]. I asked him if his source was reliable. He told me: "to me it is entirely reliable. At seven in the morning, a Benedictine who worked at the Secretary of State with Benelli called me". Benelli was Deputy at the Secretary of State before being sent to Florence as Archbishop and named Cardinal in June 1977. 

Obviously, it was necessary to consult the Pontifical Annuary to find out who had worked then at the Secretary of State, and especially, to verify whether there had been a Benedictine.

As for the rest, that a secret autopsy would have been made agrees with the testimonial of Diego Lorenz, secretary to Pope Luciani: "On the first day (the embalmers) removed parts of the body, possibly the entrails, etc." [11]

Dr. Da Ros did not prescribe anything

I have never believed, I told Gennari, that John Paul I's personal physician, Dr. Da Ros, could have prescribed a contraindicated medication. I also told him that Dr. Da Ros had declared on the matter in September 1993: The pope was well, and he had not prescribed anything that evening.

I commented these matters with Marco Melega, a well known Italian television professional, who, by that time, was preparing a program on John Paul I [12]. He used my book 'Se pedirá Cuenta' as a basis. He had it completely underlined. He made me an interview in that respect and told me that Gennari, whom he had recently interviewed, valued especially my book. In it, as is well known, I do not partake of the idea that "the Pope must have made a mistake", I speak about death caused intentionally in an opportune moment.

I say it because it turns out to be significant. Camilo Bassotto, a personal friend of John Paul I's and main witness of the Venetian source on the dead Pope, values my book especially. He writes to me on Christmas day 1990: "I have read your book. I want to read it again these days and I will tell you what I think of it. I can tell you that I like it already, that it is read with interest and passion. It has an inner rythm that captivates. It is laid out with rigorous logic in the sequential development of the questions. The exposition is clear and comprehension is easy. Dear Jesús, you deserve a 'bravo!'. My congratulations. Your questions are those that have been raised by so many persons around the world. I am sure that it will be answered someday."

The Vatican pharmacy did not send out anything

In Rome, at the Vatican pharmacy, I could also speak with a brother of the order of Saint John of God, José Luis Martínez Gil. He told me the same thing that Brother Fabian had told Cornwell: "Nothing was sent out from the Pharmacy for John Paul I in the entire month". He also told me "The book of the Pharmacy cannot be seen without a special permit from the Secretary of State". My interlocutor had seen it and he could confirm to me the information provided by brother Fabian [13].

A Benedictine might talk

As on other trips, I was accompanied by a couple of the community [14]. So that they may get to know it, we approached the Spanish College, where I had resided from 1965 to 1969 and where I had been ordained as a priest. We said hello to the current rector, Lope Rubio, who kindly looked after us. While there, (it is certainly quite remarkable) the Bishop of Tarazona, Carmelo Borobia, who (additionally!) appears in the Pontifical Annuary of 1977 (and also in the one for 1978) which we subsequently consulted in the library of the College, showed up for a moment to say goodbye to the Rector. Borobia worked then in the Secretary of State. 

In the same page as Borobia [15], appears a Benedictine (Olivetan), the only Benedictine figuring among the Secretary of State personnel: his name is Giuliano Palmerini. I don't know whether, after so many years, any of the two may know something or wish to say it. They are still on time. I published this in an article which made it around the world [16]. They never seemed to have gotten the hint.

Regardless, in my way of seeing it, the hypothesis of an autopsy of John Paul I having actually been made and, according to it, his death having been caused by the ingestion of a very strong dose of a vasodilator, is reinforced. Now, if ─ as we believe ─ his personal physician did not prescribe anything, and the Vatican Pharmacy did not send out anything, it cannot all be explained away as a mistake, as Gennari affirms. We must think of a criminal act. As Dr. Cabrera, of the Spanish National Institute of Toxicology, said to me, "vasodilators produce hypotension. How could a vasodilator have been prescribed to a hypotensive patient, such as Luciani? If one was prescribed to him, no doubt about it, it would be a criminal action" [17] Additionally, that fits well with the condition how Sor Vincenza, the nun who attended John Paul I, found the body: there was no fight against death, everything was in order. Dr. Cabrera also said: "The picture could better correspond to a death caused by a depressive substance, occurred in deep sleep." [18]

The German magazine, Der Spiegel, in an article titled "Tödliche Menge" (Lethal Quantity) dated November 10, 1997, says: "Rome's public prosecutor has now ordered a new investigation of that mysterious case of Pope Luciani's. Now, a mysterious witness holds that years ago, he came to know, from an acquaintance, certain details of the homicide of the popular pastor of the Church. That the man not until now has made himself appear at the courthouse may have to do with a series of articles appearing in the La Padania newspaper ... Prosecutor Pietro Saviotti, who has reopened the case of the death of the Pope occurred in 1978, does not want to say anything about the mysterious witness: It would be too soon" [19]

A scanner for John Paul I

Camilo Bassotto gave me the following version years ago before Bishop Magee publicly recognized ─ in August 1988 ─ it was not he but a nun who had found the body: "I spoke with Sor Vincenza on two occasions. The first time, in front of the provincial. The second, alone. In this latter occasion, Sor Vincenza began crying. I did not know what to do. Sor Vincenza told me the Secretary of State had intimidated her not to say anything, but the world had to know the truth. She considered herself freed from that imposition at the moment of her death (ocurred in 1983). It could then be made known. According to Sor Vincenza, the Pope was sitting on the bed, with his eyeglasses on and some sheets of paper in his hands. His head was inclined to the right and a leg was stretched on the bed. A mild smile seemed to begin. His forehead was warm. When Diego Lorenzi, Sor Vincenza and another nun went to wash the body, upon turning him around his back was also warm. The Pope could have died between one and two in the morning" [20]

And what did he have in his hands? Don Germano Pattaro, distinguished Venetian priest, called to Rome by Luciani as a counselor, said the following: "The papers that Luciani, dead, held in his hands were some notes on a two-hour conversation the Pope had previously had with the Secretary of State, Villot, the preceding afternoon (consequently, not the Imitation of Christ nor the series of other things, notes, homilies, speeches, etc. mentioned on Vatican Radio: too many things to hold between two fingers)" [21]. 

The conversation with Villot had dealt with the important changes which Pope Luciani had intended to introduce. Indeed, according to Gennari, "that afternoon, Pope Luciani was about to make a new organization chart for the top of the Vatican and the Italian Church: dismissal of Villot, and of Colombo, Archbishop of Milan; transfer of Casaroli to Milan (....); Benelli, new Secretary of State; Politi to Florence, and Felici, new Roman Vicar". Pope Luciani presented the new organization chart to Villot, who told him: "You are the Pope. You are free to decide, and I will obey. But be aware that these changes would suppose a betrayal of the legacy received from Paul VI" [22]. Luciani responded: "No Pope rules in perpetuity".

Luciani's sister in law, Antonia, told me in August 1989 while we shared some complaints and some other coincidences: "Actually, we don't know how he has died. And sometimes we have strange thoughts."

It has been recently published that, in 1998, the Vatican analyzed with a scanner the body of Pope Celestine V, mysteriously dead in 1296. A nail was discovered in the skull, which raised the suspicion that the Pope, austere friar (Benedictine as well) in favor of the Vatican adopting a poor lifestyle, could have been murdered. It is surprising that this be done with a thirteenth-century pope while a heavy slab of silence buries the mystery of what really happened with John Paul I. Brasilian Cardinal Aloisio Lorscheider has had the courage to break the official silence: "Suspicions continue in our heart as a bitter shadow, as a question to which no answer has yet been given." [23]

It is interesting to note that Wojtyla in 1967, upon having been named cardinal, should have ordered a commission of experts in forensic medicine to investigate the exact way in which the death of Saint Stanislaus was produced. After all, Wojtyla considered himself, as bishop of Krakow, a successor of the martyr saint, and historic truth was due him [24]. But he has not made the same thing with John Paul I, his immediate predecessor as Pope.

[1] Testimonial delivered to the author by Camilo Bassotto, main witness of the Venetian source on Pope Luciani.
[2] See Yallop, D., In God’s name, Corgi Books, London, 1985, 307, 314, 27 y 441. Spanish translation: En nombre de Dios, Ed. Planeta, Barcelona, 1984.
[3] See J. Cornwell, A Thief in the Night. The Dead of Pope John Paul I, Viking, London, 1989, 262 y 265. Spanish translation: Como un ladrón en la noche. La muerte del papa Juan Pablo I, Ed. El País/Aguilar, Madrid, 1989.
[4] See my book Se pedirá Cuenta, 58.
[5] Ib., 34; see p. 56.
[6] See El País, 25-10-1987. From the beginning, there was a current of opinion according to which the autopsy had been made, but in secret. See S. De Andreis-M. Leone, Juan Pablo Wojtyla. Crónica insólita de un papa, Ed. Laia/Paperback, Barcelona, 1980, 160.
[7] See Cornwell, 80.
[8] See A.Tornielli, At nine. the Pope is well, in 30 Giorni 72 (1993), 53-54. As regards the supposed pain in the chest of Pope Luciani in the afternoon of September 28, it is worth noting that: 1) the version given by the secretaries is late  (Lorenzi in 1987, Magee in 1989); 2) they cannot agree as to the exact moment (Magee at 5:30, Lorenzi at 7:45); 3) although he is asked, Magee does not corroborate Lorenzi's versión, he diverts the conversation (Cornwell 198, 190, 209). It can be understood that Yallop speaks on the matter from “pure fantasy” (RAI 2, Giallo, 2-10-1987) and Camilo of “invention” (communicated to the author).
[9] Given in trust to the author by Camilo Bassotto.
[10] See El País, 25-10-1987.
[11] Cornwell, 80.
[12] It refers to the RAI 2 program, Mixer,14-3-1994.
[13] See Cornwell, 249.
[14] Carlos and Carolina.
[15] See Anuario Pontificio 1977, p. 989.
[16] The artícle is titled: ¿Fue asesinado Juan Pablo I? (Was John Paul I murdered?), en El Mundo, 27-9-1998.
[17] See my book Se pedirá Cuenta, 56.
[18] Ib., 34.
[19] See Luigi Incitti, L’immolato Giovanni Paolo I, 129-132.
[20] Se pedirá Cuenta, 28.
[21] Ib., 35.
[22] Gennari, G., Rivelato il problema che angosciò Luciani poco prima della morte, in Il Giornale Nuovo, 18-10-1981.
[23] See El Mundo, 8-8-1998.
[24] Szulc,T., El papa Juan Pablo II, Ed. Martinez Roca, Barcelona, 1995, 36.

Return to Prologue

Translator's note: After having finished and posted the translation of this chapter and the prologue, I happened to find that an English translation of the entire book is available here. So I decided it is not necessary for me to finish translating the rest of the chapters.

lunes, 24 de diciembre de 2018

The Day of Reckoning

John Paul II under examination

by Jesus López Sáez

Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope Sánchez Mejorada


Surpassing every prediction, in February 1991 communications media kept on echoing my book about the death and the character of John Paul I, 'Se pedirá cuenta' (It will be held to account) [1] which had been published in the month of December. From his Roman residence in the International House of the Clergy, the head of the Spanish section of the Secretary of State, the former classmate and friend of mine could bear it no more. The Vatican officer sent me a letter which I consider impertinent and from which I am extracting a few sufficiently meaningful paragraphs.

"My dear friend Jesús: I write to you, being perfectly conscious of the uselessness of the petition I want to make to you. If you have not listened to so many people with so much more weight and merits than I, why would you pay attention to me? But let me also say, with all the love of a brother in priesthood and fellow student in Salamanca and Rome, that no, that you are wrong, that Pope John Paul I died simply because of his frail health, of perfectly natural causes, and not murdered in the Vatican, as you want to conclude in the pages you have written. It is only pain, deep pain what produces in me to see your name sustaining half-truths which so much evil can bring to the Church, the only Church for which you and I labor for Christ to be known and loved. If an enemy of Christ or of the Church should subscribe to your thesis, it would give me no surprise. But a priest, please! Let those pages be signed by a detective apprentice without scruples, and avid for money and fame. But be it not a disciple of the Lord, one placed by the Church to edify his fellow men and lead them to the Truth. You will surely think that instead of telling you that you are wrong, I should be asking the Holy See to provide you with proofs that the Pope died a natural death and not murdered as you hold. You may surely also suppose that the Holy See will not seat in the bench of the accused to respond to the half-truths you have been gathering here and there. Neither to me has the Holy See given reasons, as if She had to give me explanations that the Pope died a natural death. Certainly, in my position, I have been able to hear persons who had been in contact with the Pope at that time and which categorically reject the possibility of any kind of violence having taken place in his death. But also these persons would not likely convince you, even if you heard the truth from their lips."

"Go ahead; Jesús, with your ripping up of Christ´s tunic. The Church which you attack will not defend herself, nor eject you from her bosom as a renegade son. She will pray, she will pray much for you, as your mother, faithful and modest daughter of the Church, would do if she were to see you obstinate in this puny battle which will not pass from being a simple quixotic adventure, if at stake were not things as grave as the truthfulness of the Church; of this Church yours and mine, which has authority which you consciously disobey. I would have given anything for you to have seen the face of pain of this 'authority of the Church' when, months ago, I presented a brief summary of your manuscript. But it does not matter, go ahead. This authority is used to suffer from calumny and unfaithfulness, even from point-blank shots on a 13th of May. With the technique of inferences and half-truths, I assure you another book could be written in which it would be proved that the last link in the plot which tried to kill the Pope on a 13th of May were the same old Vatican intrigues. Power, sex, drugs, what have you" [2]

Grave responsibilities

I cannot but make a comment: Apparently, the only correct and coherent position here is that of my old friend: Besides, without proofs or reasons, taking as a given that the Holy See has no reason to give explanations to anybody, neither to the Church nor to the world. And we are (let us not forget) before a historical, not a dogmatic, event, but dogmatically interpreted. What did John Paul I die of? Of natural death, it is said. What was his character, really? That of a poor man burdened by the weight of the papacy, an ill man, it is also said. And from that circle, there is no way out.

Of the attack, we will speak later, but one thing I want to bring forward: what has never been made clear is where the shots came from, which is fundamental to understand the sense of that enigmatic event.

As regards the 'inferences', which my interlocutor seems to despise, the dictionary defines inference as 'the process of drawing a conclusion from reasoning' or ' the process of arriving at some conclusion that, though it is not logically derivable from the assumed premises, possesses some degree of probability relative to the premises.' The word, therefore, has several meanings and all of them positive. I wonder if my former fellow student has difficulties with logic and why.

As regards the 'half-truths', may he tell me in each case where the other half is and, especially, for what devilish reason doing justice to John Paul I signifies attacking the Church? Besides, it is not even a half-truth to identify the Church with the Vatican State or with its Secretary of State. The Church is Community, not State.

I must say that, to resist strong pressures, I have kept very much in mind that lesson of our history which is now wanted to be forgotten, as Valente says, "the afflictions and exiles which in ceremonials and liturgies are frequently covered with an insufficient and pale plaster", "the cross of Friar Juan (Saint John of the Cross), jailed, excommunicated [3], stripped off of his dignities and offices, sent to death in a kind of interior exile, 'when just being his friend was a crime'." 

I don´t want to overlook the reference to my mother, who died in 1956 and from whom I said goodbye before marching off to the seminary. Now she accompanies me, in a different form, in this adventure which my old friend calls Quixotesque. To me it is simply a commitment I assume in conscience, freely and fully, even if it should suppose margination and conflict. As Saint Peter says: What has happened to me has contributed better to the advance of the Gospel, so that it has been made public in all the Praetorium and among all the rest, that I am in shackles for Christ.[4]

The letter arrived on February 27. I made mine the first reading of the day, of Prophet Isaiah, to whom the old (denounced) institutions want to silence: Lord, hear how they accuse me.

I doubt not that my former fellow student, now brand-new nuncio, and additionally Archbishop [6], wrote sincerely, but sincerely also I wrote back on March 24:

"Dear friend Francisco-Javier. At the end of February, I received your letter. I am glad to have heard from you although ─ as you may surmise ─ we are not exactly in agreement. Maybe, had you waited a few more days, not even you would have written the same things. Anyway, I understand that, in your position or for whatever reason, you say what you say" [7]

What had happened in the meantime? Precisely at the end of February, John Paul II asked the Secretary of State for the book 'Se pedirá cuenta' (It will be held to account). There they had only a draft, but the Pope wanted the published edition. Then they called the Spanish College of Rome from the Secretary of State. There was not a single copy in the library. In all the College there was only one copy and there was a long line to read it. A couple from the Ayala community had sent it to a priest who was extending his study in Rome. The priest himself took the book to the Secretary of State. Exactly on the 27th, the same day when we received the letter here. In this way, the copy he wanted reached the Pope, and three months later, was returned. Aware of all this, I also told the head of the Spanish section of the Secretary of State:

"I take this opportunity to send you two copies of the book, one for yourself and the other, if it is alright with you, for you to offer it to the Pope. After all, he now has the grave responsibility to do justice to John Paul I. In the current pontificate, though slowly, important steps have been taken: payment of over 240 million dollars for the responsibility assumed in the bankruptcy of the Banco Ambrosiano; reform of the IOR; dismissal of Marcinkus... However, very grave responsibilities still subsist: the true cause of the death of John Paul I, the distortion of his character: other deaths yet to be clarified... Finally, do not worry for what you call ripping up of Christ´s tunic or of the Church. What is being ripped here is the worn-out garment, and what matters according to the Gospel is the new garment. The rest are patch-ups: At your service, a cordial greeting in the Lord, who walks up to Jerusalem and purifies the temple"

I wrote the letter on Palm Sunday, letter which evokes Jesus' walk up to Jerusalem and the denunciation of the Temple. Before the laws of the single thnking, and the due or blind obedience (so dangerous in society and in the Church of our times, as we all well know), we faithful have been saying something different since twenty centuries ago. We ought to obey God before obeying men. [9]

Anyone can judge

Since then, the time has not passed in vain. History does not suddenly stop, as if nothing had happened before and nothing will happen afterward. In these years, many things have happened in this respect, as well as in others which we cannot go without considering.

In the first place, no such frail health of John Paul I: on occasion of an interview made to me, which was published only partially, Dr. Da Ros, personal physician of John Paul I, after fifteen years of silence, said that the Pope was well, and that he had not prescribed anything that night. Additionally, was an autopsy of Pope Luciani made or not made? It had always been said it was not. However, we offer a testimony favoring it, according to which, the Pope died from ingesting of a very strong dose of a vasodilator precsribed over the telephone by his personal doctor in Venice. Now, the physician himself has stated publicly that he did not prescribe anything. So, was it a medicine what killed the Pope and which his physician did not prescribe?

Camilo Bassotto, personal friend of Pope Luciani's, has made the Venetian source known, [10] which reclaims the character of John Paul I and publishes the testimony of friends which had remained silent and which in due time decided to talk: Don Germano Pattaro, his theological adviser, who testifies that the Pope was in the path of the prophecy; the so-called person from Rome, who testifies that John Paul had taken as important and risky decisions as these: break up the link between the IOR (Vatican Bank) and the Banco Ambrosiano; depose Marcinkus (president of the IOR), and valiantly (in front of everyone) fight off Masonry and the Mafia; Sister Vincenza Taffarel, the religious who discovered the body; don Mario Senigaglia, who had been the personal secretary of Patriarch Luciani and confirms his good state of health, as well as the ease of conscience wihich supposed for Luciani to talk to Benelli about the foul stench emitted by the Vatican finances; don Ennio Innocenti, venetian priest, who had been editorial writer of the Gazzetino di Venezia.

The person from Rome delivered his testimonial to Camilo Bassotto (for publication, but unsigned). The testimonial is very important, maybe the most important, but not only the message is important, but also the messenger. We have investigated who is the person from Rome: in our opinion, it is Cardinal Pironio, dead by now. 

John Paul I wanted to end the scandal of the IOR, the Vatican Bank, and the IOR-Ambrosiano connection. In 1992, an important happening takes place: those in charge of the Ambrosiano and of the P2 Lodge are condemned to many years in jail, in the trial for the fraudulent bankruptcy of the bank. Those responsible for the IOR, implicated in the bankruptcy, succeeded in escaping the detention order. The Lateran Pacts and the sovereignty of the Vatican State were appealed to. Nevertheless, to settle the matter, the Vatican "voluntarily" paid over 240 million dollars to the Ambrosiano creditors.

It can be perfectly understood that the IOR-Ambrosiano scandal, as a sword of Damocles, should gravitate over the conclave which elected John Paul I, and to a greater extent over the conclave which elected John Paul II. It can be understood that Pope Luciani should have passed a month of hell in the Vatican. It can be understood that he was about to make important changes which Cardinal Villot, Secretary of State, interpreted as treason to the legacy of Paul VI. It can be understood that John Paul I should have been eliminated and that his death should have been announced (cryptically) by a journalist, Mino Pecorelli, who would be murdered a few months later. It can be understood that Villot's candidate should in the end triumph, the foreign Pope.

At Luciani's death, the official thesis is disseminated (as a dogma): acute myocardial infarction. The distortion of his character is also disseminated: he was not capable to be a Pope. In 1989 a publication, supported in principle by John Paul II, consummates the greatest distortion: we are cognizant of the fact that there was desolation in the Vatican, but how to explain the silence of Pope Wojtyla? In 1990. another publication, also supported (in a certain way) by the Pope, officiates the confusion ceremony: a novel, written by a known historian, cunningly mixes true facts with falsities. What is intended with that? The character of Pope Luciani is distorted and the official thesis is served on a platter: Natural death of a sick man, incapable of acting like a pope.

However, according to the mysterious vision of a nun. Pope John Paul I was murdered. The matter would have had no importance, it could have been dismissed as a strange thing, a hallucination. But the vision in question appears in the last book by Swiss Theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar (Erika 1988), who describes it as a "private revelation". Additionally, a little later, John Paul II names him Cardinal. Would Pope Wojtyla explain to us his deeper logic? 

The attack against Pope John Paul II, on May 13, 1981, is a really devilish enigma. Diverse explanations have been given: The Bulgarian trail, which leads to the East Bloc, to Bulgaria and the old Soviet KGB; the Atlantic trail, diametrically opposed, which leads to the terrorist group, the Gray Wolves, of the extreme right, group linked with the Western secret services and with the CIA, but also with the Mafia and with arms an drugs trafficking; the Italian trail, compatible with the one before, which considers the attack as an 'Italian matter'. The accused Bulgarians were freed for insufficiency of proofs; besides, it is known today that John ¨Paul II had a moderating role in the Polish crisis; it is also known that Italian secret services members linked to the P2 lodge diverted the investigation, blaming the Bulgarians and the Russians. And it has not been willed to reach the bottom of the question, neither in the Vatican.

The much-talked-about secret of Fatima, has it been taken advantage of by those responsible for the attack? Has it been manipulated at the service of the "self-canonization" of John Paul II? In the midst of so many canonizations (with cases which give rise to perplexity and scandal), has John Paul I been robbed of the glory of martyrdom? Careful discernment is required.

One more enigma: On the 4th of May, 1998, the commandant of the Swiss Guard, Alois Estermann, his wife, Gladys Meza, and the vice-corporal Cedric Tomay are found dead in the Vatican. According to the Vatican sentence, in a fit of madness, Tomay murdered the Estermann couple and then committed suicide. However, things are not quite clear. A group of clerics and laymen give a different explanation: for them, it is a triple murder resulting from a power struggle between two groups (Freemasonry-Opus Dei) who dispute the control of security in the Vatican.

But, can one speak of Freemasonry inside the Vatican? Does that not seem to be an incredible accusation hurled by conservative institutions which have refused to accept the renewal of the Council? However, events lead one to wonder: is there an occult power in the Vatican which in certain circumstances is above the Pope? Has the Vatican turned into a marketplace and a den of thieves like that denounced by Jesus Christ?

The events also lead us to ask what role does Opus Dei play in Karol Wojtyla's pontificate? Against the opposition of many bishops, John Paul II turns the Opus Dei into a prelature and, with uncommon promptitude, beatifies its founder. The question comes up: In exchange for what? Moreover, is the Opus seeking to gain control over the Vatican?

Pope Wojtyla has been characterized by a closed position on various topics related, in one way or another, with sexuality, such as the secularization of priests, the ordaining of married men, the ordaining of women, or birth regulation. In taking stock of his pontificate, how should we judge such attitudes in the light of the word of God?

Another question: it is common to state that John Paul II is conservative on ecclesial matters but progressive on the social ones. But, is it so? Does his social doctrine provide for nothing more than supporting liberal capitalism, though reformed? Where and in what circumstances is his encounter with the workers' movement produced?

Already in 1969, in his first trip to North America, Cardinal Wojtyla receives a mysterious advice: to visit all of the North American cities where Cardinals have sees. Likewise, journalists Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, in their book titled 'Your Holiness' [13], have made known Pope Wojtyla's particular relationship with a Polish woman, married in the United States, philosophy professor, who had displayed a special determination to present Wojtyla as the Catholic leader which the world needed. The professor put at the feet of the Cardinal the efficacious resources of the world's most powerful nation, and by means of this so out-of-the-ordinary procedure Wojtyla was praised and promoted as Pope in the United States, already since 1976. Was an electoral campaign favoring Wojtyla produced already when Paul VI was still alive? How can it be explained that (according to the testimony of his theological advisor, don Germano Pattaro) that John Paul I should already know, a few days into his pontificate who would be his successor? (and how soon, besides).

It is necessary to reflect upon the political belligerence of the present pontificate: Should a Pope collaborate in the Western harassment of the Eastern bloc? Should he appear before the world as an ally of the empire? Has he weakened the Church's commitment to the liberation of the poor? Has he fallen into the temptation of power?

It is also necessary to reflect on the type of renewal Pope Wojtyla promotes: Has he confused the ecclesial renewal (dreamed by John XXIII) with the imperial renewal (old medieval dream)? Does his biography fit more in the framework of the imperial renewal than in that of the ecclesial renewal?

After the attacks of September 11, the United States declares war against Afghanistan, where (it seems) the main suspect (Osama Bin Laden) can be found. What is John Paul II's position?

Finally, we tackle the physical decline of Pope Wojtyla. It begins with a tumor in the colon which is extirpated in 1992. Is it true that he changes with such illness? Is there clearly a before and an after? What does that illness mean? Is an impressive papal checkup produced at bottom?

Anyone can judge. History going from John Paul I to John Paul II must be put to the sunlight, before everyone, We cannot accept what is impossible to accept. Criticism is a service to the Church which helps her to become conscious of what should never have happened and which opens an alternative for change and renewal.

We announced it (years ago) orally and in writing: "It will be held to account. Even more, it is being done right now. For he who wants to listen, God speaks in human history in many ways", "it corresponds to Pope John Paul II the highest responsibility to heal this badly closed wound of the death and character of John Paul I" [14].

The present book is a critical judgment of Pope Wojtyla. At the end of his long pontificate, the Pope is being held accountable: of the cause of John Paul I and other matters, also important. It is normal that the faithful do it under the light of the word of God [15]. Non-believers can do it under the light of their own conscience. In any case, as Saint Paul says, by means of the manifestation of the truth, we commend ourselves to all human conscience before God [16].

We appeal to the right and the duty to manifest what we in conscience believe is disfiguring the face of the Church. About her defects inasmuch as it is formed by men, the Council said: "We must take conscience of them and opposed them firmly so that they don´t damage the spread of the Gospel." [17]

In the early times, it was considered normal. Peter justifies his conduct before the Jerusalem community for his welcoming of the centurion Cornelius [18]. And in Antioch, when Peter yields to the (regressive) pressure of Judeo-Christian legalism, Paul confronts him, face to face, because it was worthy of reprehension. Legitimate Christian liberty was at stake {20].

In the midst of the ecclesial tension which supposes the publication of the present book, I am asked not to publish it. That I send it to all the Cardinals but do not publish it: "it would bring harm to the simple people". However, the harm to the simple people is the denounced act (generally known through other media), not the denunciation of the act. Additionally, so I believe, such denunciation is necessary, it is a right and a duty, it supposes a gesture which many will be thankful of.

I am also told: "If it is a reprehension of Peter, tell it to Peter", "if it is a fraternal correction, tell it to whom it concerns". Being Pope is a public matter. Paul corrects Peter and we all get to know it. In addition, the story is long already. First it was the document on the death of John Paul I: quite a stir it arose, but no change took place. Then it was my book 'Se Pedirá Cuenta': the Pope read it but nothing was done. Now comes 'El Día de la Cuenta' (The Day of Reckoning). In each of the three cases, I first informed the Bishop of Avila, diocese to which I belong. A time comes when there is nothing more to wait: Tell it to the community [21]. tell it to the Church, tell it to anyone who may wish to listen.
Actually, I never thought of writing this book. I realized I had to do it almost ten years ago, listening to the word of God that was read in all churches the date the Pope was operated upon. It appeared impressive to me, a word of judgment. I understood the difficult role it was for me to perform, I accepted it and began writing.

I am told that what I intend to do with my book "only a Council could do", but mine is only a "reprehension of Peter". I am told "it is not serious", but I respond with a question: the book states a number of facts, which of them are not true? I am told "there are no proofs" but for many years we have been witnessing repression in investigation and fear among the witnesses. Should we agree to that?
In general, what is there is fear. Saint Catherine of Siena said it in the fourteenth century: God's ministers who do not denounce the evils in the Church for "servile fear", are bad pastors. They have no dog, the dog of their conscience does not bark at them. Prophet Isaiah denounced it already: "Their watchmen are blind, they are all mute dogs" [22]. They don´t understand that God will hold them to account "in the last extreme of death" [23]

The Bishop of Avila, D. Adolfo González, threatens me with removing all ministerial licenses from me "as soon as (the book) appears on sale": "it contributes to defame the person and the pontificate of the Holy Father" [24]. The auxiliary bishop of Madrid, D. Eugenio Romero, makes a critical study for me, I thank him, but he does not sign it. On my part, I present him with my observations to the critical study. Additionally, I send the manuscript to the Pope. I have an acknowledgment of receipt by the Secretary of State.

I want to make it clear that the purpose is not to analyze the entire pontificate of John Paul II. The book is centered on the matter of John Paul I and on other matters also important. Certainly, though, all this affects the vision of the pontificate. Moreover, it is not the intentions what are judged, but the facts. Only God can sound the heart [25].

At the beginning of the third milenium, the Pope is asked to exercise his function in a manner truly evangelical and ecumenical: to proclaim the Word of God, all of it and nothing other than His word, without imposing it by force. In face of the future conclave which should elect his successor, it is time to reflect over what kind of pope is what the Catholic Church requires, and what pope can open a horizon of hope for the world.

In 1958, after the long pontificate of Pius XII (1939,1958), everything seemed to be tied and well tied. However, a shift in the pendulum took place and the conciliar renovation (1958- 1978) came about: John XXIII, Paul XVI, John Paul I. Now, certainly, nobody expects a similar change. However, it is necessary and it must be cried for.

Fresh news. The case of the death of John Paul I, reopened by the public prosecutor in Rome, is in its preliminary phase. The Bishop of Avila is moved to America. Pedro Casaldaga, Bishop of Sao Felix de Araguaia, sends me a letter of friendship and communion: "all of your material is important for history and for the purification of the Church". Thirty-four Latin American Bishops ask the Pope to summon a new council. The gathering of signatures has begun in The family of Corporal Cédric Tomay makes an investigation according to which the young Swiss guard was murdered. At the moment, the book is issued in a private edition.

[1] May be found in internet:
[2] Letter of 18-Feb-1991.
[3] A nuncio, Felipe Sega, excommunicated friar John. See my catechesis published in commemoration of the Fourth Centenary of his death: "Al encuentro de San Juan de la Cruz", Asociación Comunidad de Ayala, Madrid 1991.
[4] Flp 1,12-13.
[5] Jr 18,19. That day, psalm 31 was also read: 'But I trust in You, Lord'. And this passage of the Gospel: Look, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be delivered to the head priests and the scribes (Mt 20,18).
[6] In 1994 he was named Archbishop of Peñafiel and nuncio in Tanzania.
[7] Letter of 24-Mar-1991.
[8] Mariano and Vito.
[9] Hch 5,29.
[10] See C. BASSOTTO, Il mio cuore é ancora a Venezia, Tip. Adriatica. Musile di Piave (Venezia), 1990.
[11] Jn 2,16.
[12] Mc 11,17.
[13] BERNSTEIN-POLITI, Sua Santità, Rizzoli, Milán, 1996. Spanish translation: Su Santidad, Ed. Planeta, Barcelona, 1996.
[14] Se pedirá cuenta, Orígenes, Madrid, 1990, 125-126.
[15] DV 10.
[16] 2 Co 4,2.
[17] GS 43.
[18] Hch 11, 1-18.
[19] Ga 2, 11.
[20] Ga 5, 1-12.
[21] Mt 18, 17.
[22] Is 56, 10.
[23] Santa Catalina de Siena, El Diálogo,BAC, Madrid, 1980, nn. 129 y 119.
[24] Letter of 26-Jan-2002.
[25] Jr 17, 10.
[26] See Juan Pablo II, Ut unum sint, 95.

(To be continued)

Go to Chapter 1

Ttranslator's note: After having finished the translation of this Prologue and of Chapter 1, I found out there is already an English translation available here; so I decided it is not necessary for me to continue translating the rest of the Chapters.

domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2018

On Subversion

By Father Leonardo Castellani

Taken from Jauja, a monthly review, issue N° 10, October 1967
Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope Sánchez Mejorada

I have here a small heap of clippings on SUBVERSION — the Anti-Communist Law included —. These newspaper editorial writers know plenty; they know about everything, from the strategy in Vietnam to the sale of vegetables in carts, but they don't know the meaning of words. Thus, subversion, for example, means to them "extremism of right and left"; and "extremist" is whoever thinks something that is not convenient to them. So, it behooves for us to explain that strange word in three "tempos": tempo adagio, tempo andante con moto and tempo mesto con serenitá.

I Adagio

1° — Today's "Subversion" is what intelligent people (such as the late Rodolfo Irazueta) call "Revolution" with a capital letter. Subvertir in Latin means "turn upside down"; and is related to 'invert' and 'pervert', its opposite is 'convert'. This Revolution is much older than the "Argentinian Revolution" — which does not exist.

Let's put its beginnings in the beheading of Charles I, by Cromwell in the representation of the new aristocracy. It ended the ancient Christian Monarchy. Then, the French went on decapitating the King, the Queen, Duchesses, Countesses, poets, learned men, and, finally, their own henchmen, up to a million beheaded, to ensure Fraternity and destroy Liberty. Napoleon's armies propagated such "ideology" all over Europe and South America. Its crown and peak is the Russian subversion of 1917, not counting the two World Wars or Great Wars.

All this "Revolution" is clearly a series of "Subversions" on the ground left by the great religious subversion of the Sixteenth Century. "Revolutions" (in Mahieu's sense "Diccionario de Ciencia Política") there have been but two, the Revolución de Mayo and Franco´s revolution  — perhaps some other: that is, an "uprising which changes an inconvenient political situation for the better."

Now, subversion (or making things turn upside down) is installed nowadays in the bosom of the States, and consequently also around them, by counter-blow. If you want a quick example, see what happens here. Let´s put the extraordinary tax of 1% which we have paid. There is nothing more contrary to the Christian idea of the State. Phillip II and Ferdinand the Saint even more, would have cried out in astonishment "But that is simply an act of tyranny! What sultan or Mogul has done that?"  — Well, a "Catholic" general, and some confused economists.  — Any Mohammedan among them?  —  None, Your Majesty. And the noble Argentinian people have gone to pay it to the tune of the National Anthem.

Don't ask me for all of its "subversive" angles. Suffice it to say that this is a mean attack on private property, which is put that way at the complete disposal of the politicians in power. The "Revolution", after having eliminated Christian Monarchy in mobilizing against Property, with Capitalism and its offspring, Communism; awaiting the time to subjugate the Army and the Family, the two other pillars of the Roman Order, and to open the doors to the Antichrist.

"The subversion that La Nación newspaper sees only in Cuba or in China is within our liberal State:
          No need for the North to send them. 
          The barbarians are in Rome. 
And besides this recent example, the disproportionate inheritance taxes, the electoral ruse or loss of legitimacy, the destruction of political stability, the temptation of sedition, even the guerrilla, sedicent "Revolutions" in all of South America.

The Christian faithful talk about "progressivist" priests, "halfway progressivists" and not "progressivists"... "What is this?  When has something like this, which looks like the proliferation of Protestant sects, been seen in the Catholic Church?  

I don´t see it anywhere else other than in the Seventeenth Century, in France: "Jansenist, halfway Jansenist and non-Jansenist" priests; and the faithful not knowing which saint to pray to. Great confusion, polemics, the "Provincials" of Pascal, the suppression of the Jesuits, etc. But then came the condemnation of Jansenism by the Holy see: four condemnations in a row (Innocence X, Alexander VII, Innocence XI, Alexander VIII), and the confusion ended.

Now, it gets no condemnation.

Some days ago, a Hungarian worker, very catholic himself as well as very keen, 
told me: "We don't know what to think. The things of religion we were taught when we were kids, even the Rosary to the Virgin and the First Communion,  are being changed. We don't know which saint to pray to, when they are even suppressing the saints"

I told him: "The changes are not substantial; and an epidemic of chicken pox has hit the liberal clerics who preach rubbish." That´s all.

"Yes, but what teacher to believe who is safe?"

II Andante con moto

From the bosom of the liberal "Revolution", the monster of Communism was born, similar to the ancient heresy of the Albigensians, but a lot more fortunate and fierce. It seized the greatest empire in Europe and the greatest empire in Asia, and now makes all the world tremble.

About Communism, readers know what it consists of; that is, we know what they say it is. We will only note three things:

1° Communism does not come from the poverty or the exploitation of the poor: Such is not its, at least single, cause. Poor people lack the strength to revolt, much less to seize power. In the French Revolution, the peasants in France (it has been proven) were the ones in the best circumstances in all of Europe.

In reality, they were not the ones who made the "Revolution" except in a cosmetic role; but it was the Bourgeoisie, the Third Estate — which was still better; full of money, envious of the noblemen, and wanting to annihilate the obstacles, i.e. the Monarchy and the Guilds, to the nascent Capitalism; which they achieved making use of the populace in Paris and of the guillotine.

In the Spanish Civil War: the workers in the North were relatively affluent, and they bent to the reds (Barcelona,  Basque Provinces). The peasants and sharecroppers of the masters in Andalusia were much worse paid; and they adhered to the "whites", and joined the ranks of Queipo del LLano, decisive happening which encouraged Franco to invade from Africa.

And more instances could be added. In his prologue to Dickens' Oliver Twist, Chesterton notes that Oliver rebels against the horrible orphanage because it is somewhat better than the others and not worse, and formulates the law I wrote above.

2° Communism is a Judaic heresy. It has a religious, messianic ferment; it is not a political party. If you read the excellent book by Miguel Ángel Speroni "Vida Cotidiana en la URSS Actual" (Daily life in today's USSR) you will see it very clearly without many explanations; the same for China in Faruz's "Un Gran Convento sin Dios" (A Great Convent without God.)

What has simply been done is to take religion away from the masses (Christianity and Buddhism), substituting it with another one, heretic and entirely illusory. The "adhered" Russian people (many others painfully conserve their old religion) literally believe in the advent of the Messiah-Communism; the redemption of the entire world. They are told that Communism has not yet arrived for them; they are in the penultimate stage, the ironclad dictatorship of the Proletariat (really a swarm of ferocious politicians.) After which comes "Liberation", total suppression of the State and ... paradise on earth.

In reality, the Communist doctrine in Russia serves as an instrument to an imperialism like that of the Czars but with the cassock turned inside out: that of the Czars was religious; this one is anti-religious and much much more ambitious. The same goes for China.

3° The only remedy against Communism is religion or 'the conversion of Europe' as Belloc put it. They know that, and this is why they hate especially the Catholic Church, "the main enemy" — said Lenin.

Don't make me laugh with the "Anti Communist Law", that sort of lukewarm inquisition — and liberal. It is a fact that, since the time it was promulgated, Communist propaganda has worsened. Go to Calle Florida number 200 and you will find a great Communist bookstall there, selling anti-catholic books. Go to Librería Álvarez and listen to a continuous record with a psalmody or Communist psalm against matrimony.  Anyway, go to ... go to the Servicio de Inteligencia del Estado (State Intelligence Service) and ask.

It is funny that this government has invented a kind of spurious Spanish Inquisition. So much have we ranted and raved against the Inquisition, and now we timidly resuscitate it. Even Krieger Vasena has become convinced that the Inquisition was necessary. But they have no claws to be inquisitors.

I am not saying that the law is bad and lacks any effects. But it will never repress Communism, which is as slithery as a snake and has thousands of Mafias and ruses.

III Tempo mesto con serenitá

The third tempo, which was supposed to be "the remedies", does not fit anymore. 
This editorial is already much too long.

In summary, it is THERE IS NO REMEDY.

I apologize for saying something so grave, but if I knew something graver, that is what I would say.

In the current state of the world, no remedy can be seen for Argentina. The 'conversion of Europe' is not in our own hands; much less that of the USA. The remedy of the Communist heresy will have to be analogous to that of the Albigensians, which was like this one here, a commotion at the same time economic, political and religious. According to historiographers, it would have submerged Europe had it followed its course... The king of France, Philip Augustus — encouraged by Pope Innocence III — contributed the triple remedy: alleviated the misery in the south of France, enacted a law condemning any Albigensian to great penalties and sent Simon de Montfort with an army; and by Saint Dominic de Guzmán, founded the Inquisition. The Popes had opposed the use of force; and had sent even the great Saint Bernard to preach, but when they saw that heretics would kill the missionaries and had assassinated even the Papal Legate, Pedro de Castelnau; and that the Count of Toulouse threatened even Paris, allied with the King of Aragón Pedro I (called "the Catholic" by the Spaniards, and "the Drunkard" by the French), they realized that the potatoes were too hot and proclaimed the crusade. Simon de Montfort defeated Raymond VI and Pedro I in the miraculous battle of Muret — a thousand men against 100,000 men. The "first Inquisition" was founded.

Inquisition means "to inquire"; and that was what they would do: Obstinate heretics were condemned to death, and the French soldiers, irritated by the danger they had barely gotten through in safety, would put to death any "heretic" they felt like executing, especially if they were wealthy. Saint Dominic persuaded the Monarch that only those heretics that a tribunal of theologians should "inquire" ought to be condemned. That tribunal was so lenient that it would suffice for one to be married to be absolved: because the Albigensians rejected marriage, although they would allow "free love" and (in practice) sodomy — just as now. The indiscriminate slaughter ended: the famous phrase "Kill them all,  God will recognize His own" is an invention, but 'bene trovata' because it gives a good idea of what was happening.

So, Communism, which is also an economic, political, religious and international heresy, has only one remedy on a par with it, one which conjugates all four spheres.
— And, do you not want to say the remedy?
— Next month

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2018

El Papa León XIII sobre la verdadera libertad

Un gran pontífice condena un error moderno

por Michael Davies

Traducido del inglés por Roberto Hope

En su carta encíclica Libertas, el Papa León XIII advierte que hay ciertas así llamadas libertades que la sociedad moderna da por hecho que todo hombre posee como derecho. Éstas son las libertades "que tan afanosamente propugnan y proclaman los seguidores del liberalismo"

La esencia del liberalismo es que el ser humano individual tiene el derecho de decidir por sí mismo las normas por las cuales ha de regular su vida. Tiene el derecho de ser su propio árbitro sobre lo que es bueno y sobre lo que es malo, está bajo ninguna obligación de someterse a autoridad eterna alguna. En un sentido liberal, libertad de conciencia es el derecho de un individuo a pensar y creer lo que le venga en gana, aun en cuestiones de religión y de moral, y de expresar públicamente sus puntos de vista, y de persuadir a otros a adoptarlos, haciéndolo de boca en boca, mediante la prensa pública o de cualquier otro modo. Tiene el derecho de elegir cualquier religión o de no profesar religión alguna. La única limitación que se le impone es que debe abstenerse de causar una violación del orden público. Hasta el liberal más extremo difícilmente aceptaría que a alguien que creyera que los hombres de ojos azules debieran ser ejecutados se le debiera permitir poner esa creencia en práctica. Pero el Papa León XIII distingue entre el simple orden público y el bien común o bien público. Una obra de teatro blasfema u obscena pudiera no provocar una revuelta, pero difícilmente podría suponerse que el permitirla habría de promover el bien público.

El Papa León XIII enseña que "muchos se aferran obstinadamente a su propia opinión en esta cuestión, al grado de imaginar estas modernas libertades, por corruptas que sean, como la gloria más grande de nuestra era, y la verdadera base de la vida civil, sin la cual no puede concebirse un gobierno perfecto." 

Tristemente, debe reconocerse que desde que el Papa León escribió estas palabras en 1988, los errores que él condenaba se han vuelto tan generalmente aceptados dentro del ethos dominado por los liberales en la sociedad occidental, que la mayoría de los católicos los consideran aceptables o aun admirables. Sería difícil encontrar un obispo en el mundo de habla inglesa en nuestros días, que diera su apoyo incondicional a las enseñanzas de Libertas.

Santo Tomás de Aquino explica:
Dios dejó al hombre en manos de su propio consejo, no como si fuera legítimo para él hacer lo que le venga en gana, sino porque, a diferencia de las criaturas irracionales, no está por la necesidad natural compelido a hacer lo que debe hacer, sino que se le deja a él la libre elección que proceda de su propio consejo.

De manera semejante, el Papa León enseña que:
En tanto que otras criaturas animadas siguen sus sentidos, buscando el bien y evitando el mal solamente con su instinto, el hombre goza de la razón para guiarle en todos y cada uno de los actos de su vida.

El Papa demuestra que la libertad puede ejercitarse sólo por aquéllos que tienen el don de la razón — o sea los ángeles y los hombres. Define la razón como "la facultad de elegir los medios adecuados para el fin que se propone, pues es amo de sus actos quien puede elegir una cosa de entre muchas."

Luego explica que "la libertad de elección es una propiedad de la voluntad, o mejor dicho es idéntica a la voluntad en cuanto a que en su acción tiene la facultad de elegir."

La voluntad siempre elige lo que considera bueno o útil. El acto de la voluntad, la elección, se basa en un juicio hecho por el intelecto, o sea, en un acto de la razón. Juicio es "un acto de la razón, no de la voluntad". Con frecuencia carecemos de la fuerza de voluntad para llevar a cabo lo que nuestro juicio nos dice que es el curso de acción correcto.

La libertad se ejerce legítimamente sólo cuando el hombre conforma su voluntad con la de Dios. No tiene un derecho natural de preferir su propio consejo al de su Creador, aun cuando física y psicológicamente pueda hacerlo. Debe hacerse aquí una distinción crucial al tratar la naturaleza de la libre voluntad. Ésta es la distinción entre el ser física y psicológicamente capaz (libre) de elegir el mal, y el tener un derecho natural de elegir el mal. En el lenguaje del liberalismo: decir que el hombre es libre de hacer algo significa que tiene el derecho de hacerlo, sujeto a los requisitos del orden público.

Nada más absurdo puede ser expresado o concebido, enseña el Papa León, "que la noción de que por ser el hombre libre por naturaleza, está por lo tanto exento de cumplir la ley."

"La ley primaria a la cual el hombre tiene el deber de someterse es la ley eterna o natural, la ley de la naturaleza implantada en nuestros corazones por nuestro Creador, como parte de la naturaleza humana. Esta ley natural, explica el Papa, "está escrita o grabada en la mente de todo hombre; y eso no es otra cosa que nuestra razón, ordenándonos a hacer el bien y prohibiéndonos pecar... La ley de la naturaleza es la misma cosa que la ley eterna, implantada en las criaturas racionales, e inclinándolas hacia su correcta actuación y recto fin, y no puede ser otra cosa que la razón eterna de Dios, Creador y Rector de todo el mundo."

Lo que aplica al individuo aplica en no menos grado a la sociedad civil. Aquéllos que están investidos con el poder de gobernar derivan su autoridad no de la gente que los eligió, en el caso de una democracia, sino de Dios. Los legisladores no tienen derecho de promulgar leyes civiles que estén en conflicto con la ley natural, aun cuando la mayoría de la gente desee que lo hagan. Toda autoridad en la Iglesia, el Estado y la familia, deriva de Dios, como Nuestro Señor se lo señaló a Poncio Pilato. El Papa León condena "la doctrina de la supremacía del mayor número, donde todo derecho y todo deber residen en la mayoría." Así pues, la Iglesia acepta la democracia si por ese término se entiende que aquéllos que gobiernan son seleccionados por un voto basado en un sufragio limitado o universal. La Iglesia condena la democracia en el sentido de que aquéllos que gobiernan lo hacen no como delegados de Dios, sino de delegados de la gente que los eligió, y que están obligados a legislar de acuerdo con los deseos de la mayoría. "No es en sí mismo incorrecto preferir una forma de gobierno democrática," escribe el Papa León, "si sólo la doctrina católica se mantiene en cuanto al origen y el ejercicio del poder." Bajo ninguna circunstancia puede un gobierno civil tener el derecho de permitir abominaciones tales como el aborto, que es manifiestamente contrario a la ley eterna de Dios. La enseñanza del Papa está muy clara en este punto, y agrega que donde un gobierno dicta legislación que se contrapone con la ley natural, estamos obligados a desobedecerla. 

Es manifiesto que la ley eterna de Dios es la única norma y regla de la libertad humana, no solamente en cada hombre individual, sino también en la comunidad y en la sociedad civil que los hombres constituyen cuando se unen. Por lo tanto, la verdadera libertad de la sociedad humana no consiste en que cada hombre haga lo que le plazca, pues esto simplemente acabaría en agitamiento y confusión, y traería consigo el derrocamiento del estado; sino más bien en esto, que por los ordenamientos de la ley civil sea más fácil conformarse con lo que manda la ley eterna... La fuerza obligatoria de las leyes humanas está en esto, que deben ser consideradas como aplicantes de la ley eterna, e incapaces de sancionar nada que no esté contenido en la ley eterna como principio de toda ley... Cuando se promulga una ley contraria a la razón, a la ley eterna o a alguna ordenanza de Dios, el obedecerla es ilegítimo, no sea que al obedecer al hombre se desobedezca a Dios.

Las facultades de la razón no son perfectas[1]. El Papa León observa que "es posible, como se ve con frecuencia, que la razón proponga algo que no es realmente bueno, pero que tiene la apariencia de bueno, y que la voluntad haya de elegir en consecuencia." Ésta es una distinción de lo más importante. El hombre puede errar de manera culposa o inculposa. Cuando la razón erra y conduce a la voluntad a hacer una elección equivocada, lo que ha elegido es simplemente un espejismo, la apariencia de un bien. La elección del error es prueba de la existencia de la libre voluntad, pero no es un ejercicio válido de la voluntad. Es una corrupción o un abuso. Escribe el Papa León:

La búsqueda de lo que tiene la falsa apariencia de bueno, aun cuando sea prueba de nuestra libertad, de la misma manera en que una enfermedad es prueba de nuestra vitalidad, implica un defecto de la libertad humana... Abusa de su libertad de elección y corrompe su misma esencia.

Un hombre que elige lo que es objetivamente malo se está haciendo no libre sino esclavo del pecado (Juan 8:34). La consecuencia final de la elección culposa del mal puede ser su condenación eterna. El Papa León apercibe:

La forma en que se ejerce tal dignidad es de la mayor importancia, en la medida en que del uso que se haga de la libertad depende igualmente el mayor bien o el mayor mal. El hombre, ciertamente, es libre de obedecer a su razón, de buscar el bien moral y de luchar inquebrantablemente por alcanzar su destino final. Sin embargo, también es libre de voltearse hacia otras cosas y, buscando la vacía semblanza de bien, de alterar el recto orden y de caer en la destrucción que ha elegido voluntariamente.

El hombre está obligado a hacer todo lo que esté a su alcance para ejercer correctamente la facultad de la razón, a ejercer su juicio de acuerdo con la recta razón, teniendo en mente que, en cuestiones morales y religiosas, sus decisiones habrán de afectar su último fin. El Papa León explica:

La razón ordena a la voluntad lo que debiera buscar o evitar, con el fin de alcanzar alguna vez el último fin del hombre, por bien del cual debe conducir todas sus acciones. Este ordenamiento de la razón se llama ley. En la libre voluntad del hombre, o sea en la necesidad moral de que nuestros actos voluntarios se conformen con la razón, radica el fundamento mismo de la necesidad de la ley.

Cuando un hombre ejercita su libertad de acuerdo con la ley de Dios, rinde a su Creador el homenaje que le es debido en estricta justicia, y sigue el único camino por el cual puede ser salvado. Él no abdica a su dignidad, sino la afirma. Cuando elige el mal, abusa de su más sagrada posesión y la profana. El Salmo 118, Beati Inmaculati, proporciona un comentario del ejercicio correcto de la libertad humana.

Innecesario es decirlo, sin asistencia alguna, la razón humana jamás podría garantizar que su salvación esté asegurada. Mantener esta postura es caer en la herejía del pelagianismo. Es con la ayuda de la gracia de Dios como el individuo queda posibilitado para ejercer su libertad de conformidad con la ley de Dios y así de alcanzar su salvación. Los efectos del pecado original descartan la posibilidad de que la razón humana desasistida guíe al hombre hacia su salvación sin la ayuda de la gracia. En su alocución Singulari Quadram (1854) el Papa Pío IX advirtió que:

Esos parroquianos, o más bien devotos, de la razón humana, que la establecen como su maestra infalible, y se prometen toda clase de éxitos bajo su guía, seguramente han olvidado qué tan severa y profunda herida fue infligida en la naturaleza humana por el pecado de nuestros primeros padres; pues la obscuridad ha nublado la mente, y la voluntad se ha vuelto propensa al mal.... Puesto que es cierto que la ley de la razón ha sido atenuada y que la raza humana ha caído miserablemente de su anterior estado de justicia e inocencia por el pecado original, que es comunicado a todos los descendientes de Adán ¿puede alguien pensar que la razón por sí misma es suficiente para alcanzar la verdad? Si uno ha de evitar desbarrar y caer en medio de esos peligros y ante tales debilidades ¿se atrevería a negar que la Divina religión y la gracia celestial son necesarias para la salvación?

El Papa León hace hincapié en el papel de la gracia como el auxilio más importante para el uso correcto de la razón y de la voluntad:

El primero y más excelente de estos auxilios es el poder de su Divina gracia, por la cual la mente puede iluminarse y la voluntad vigorizarse y moverse hacia la búsqueda constante del bien moral, a manera de que nuestra libertad innata se torne de una vez menos difícil y menos peligrosa.

A fin de promover libertad de conciencia en su sentido correcto, el Papa León enseña que el Estado no debiera garantizar que "todos puedan, según lo elijan, adorar o no adorar a Dios, sino que todo hombre en el Estado pueda seguir la voluntad de Dios y que, de una conciencia del deber, y libre de todo obstáculo, obedezca Sus mandamientos. Ésta, ciertamente, es la verdadera libertad, una libertad digna de los hijos de Dios, que noblemente mantiene la dignidad del hombre y que es más fuerte que la violencia y el mal — una libertad que la iglesia siempre ha mantenido y considerado de lo más valiosa."

La libertad de conciencia no es, pues, un derecho natural si se toma como algo que signifique que el hombre tiene derecho de elegir el error. Pero aun cuando un individuo no tenga el derecho natural de elegir el error, él posee un derecho de no ser coercionado a elegir la verdad en el fuero interno de su vida privada. El Papa León XIII enseñó en su encíclica Immortale Dei:

La Iglesia suele prestar atención seria a que nadie deba ser forzado a abrazar la fe católica contra su propia voluntad, pues, como sabiamente nos lo recuerda San Agustín, 'El hombre no puede creer más que por su propia libre voluntad.'

La aplicación de este principio en la práctica se muestra de la mejor manera con la tolerancia y la protección dada por los papas a los judíos.[2] Debe admitirse con franqueza que durante la historia de la Iglesia, este principio algunas veces ha sido violado, pero cuando cualquier intento de forzar a los individuos a aceptar la fe católica ha ocurrido, ha sido en violación de la verdadera enseñanza católica.

La justicia, por lo tanto, prohíbe, y la misma razón también prohíbe que el Estado sea ateo; o que adopte un curso de acción que pudiera terminar en el ateísmo — específicamente, tratar a la diversas religiones (como se les llama) por igual, y otorgarles derechos y privilegios promiscuamente iguales.

Pero en un estado católico, el gobierno tiene el derecho de evitar la propagación de la herejía en la vida pública. Debe hacerse una distinción entre coercionar a un hombre para que profese la verdad, y evitarle que socave el bien común esparciendo el error en público y minando la fe de los ciudadanos católicos. Así, en estados católicos tales como España o Malta antes del Concilio Vaticano II, aun cuando sectas tales como los Testigos de Jehová estaban libres de practicar su religión en privado, por ley se les prohibía ir de puerta en puerta tratando de persuadir a los católicos de que abandonaran su religión verdadera.

Dado que la profesión de una religión es necesaria en el Estado, debe profesarse aquella religión que es la única religión verdadera, y que puede ser reconocida sin dificultad, especialmente en los estados católicos, porque las marcas de la verdad están, por decirlo así, grabadas en ella. 

El consenso de la enseñanza papal durante los últimos tres siglos es que el Estado católico tiene el derecho de restringir la expresión externa de la herejía. Pero los papas enseñan también que un Estado católico no está obligado a invocar este derecho. El bien común pudiera ser dañado más, tratando de reprimir la herejía pública, que permitiéndola. Cuando la represión de la herejía pública pudiera dañar el bien común, causando, por ejemplo, un extendido agitamiento civil (lo que pasó cuando se suprimió el protestantismo en Francia), entonces tolerancia es la mejor política. El Papa León escribe:

Por esta razón, aun sin conceder derecho alguno a nada excepto por lo que es verdadero y honesto, ella (la Iglesia) no prohíbe a la autoridad pública lo que esté en desacuerdo con la verdad y la justicia por evitar un mal mayor, o de obtener o preservar un mal mayor.

Según el Concilio Vaticano II, todos tienen el derecho de expresar su opinión religiosa en público mientras eso no cause un rompimiento del orden público. Parece imposible reconciliar esta enseñanza con la de los papas de los anteriores trescientos años, porque lo que el ser humano profesa como derecho no puede ser objeto de tolerancia. Los papas nunca enseñaron que lo que los judíos y los herejes creían, y la forma en que adoraban en privado pudiera ser tolerado. Aceptaban que en el fuero interno estar libre de coacción es un derecho. Pero en el fuero externo, la expresión pública de herejía dentro de un estado predominantemente católico podía ser solamente objeto de tolerancia, No podía, por lo tanto, ser un derecho.

El propio Papa León XIII resume la enseñanza de esta profunda encíclica, Libertas:

Y ahora, por razón de claridad, para reducir todo lo que ha sido expuesto con sus conclusiones inmediatas, a los principales encabezados, el resumen es, brevemente, éste: que el hombre, por necesidad de su naturaleza, está sujeto enteramente al más fiel y perdurable poder de Dios; y que, como consecuencia, toda libertad, excepto aquélla que consista en sumisión a Dios y en sujetamiento a Su voluntad, es ininteligible. Negar la existencia de esta autoridad de Dios, o rehusar a someterse a ella, significa actuar no como hombre libre, sino como uno que traidoramente abusa de su libertad, y en tal disposición mental, existe esencialmente el principal y mortal vicio del liberalismo.

[1] Siempre que haya una elección que hacer, el intelecto o la razón hace un juicio basado en la información que tiene a la mano, y la voluntad luego elige actuar o no actuar basada en este juicio. Ése es el caso con cualquier elección, entrañe o no entrañe dimensión moral alguna. As pues, un médico veterinario puede informar al propietario de un perro que el animal está sufriendo de una enfermedad que le causa una molestia considerable, y aconsejarle que el animal sea destruido. El juicio del dueño puede concurrir con el del veterinario, pero la elección que tome su voluntad pudiera ser haciendo caso omiso del consejo del veterinario, por no poder soportar separarse de su mascota. En este caso, la voluntad no estará actuando debidamente con base en el juicio sensato de la facultad de razonamiento.

Frecuentemente la voluntad actúa sobre lo que cree ser un juicio correcto de la razón, pero el intelecto o la razón lleva a la voluntad al error, por estar basada en información incorrecta, insuficiente, o interpretada incorrectamente — por ejemplo, muchos protestantes sinceros rechazan la Iglesia Católica porque honestamente creen que su enseñanza es contraria al Evangelio.
En el primer ejemplo, la voluntad fue la que falló, en el segundo, el intelecto o la razón fue responsable de llevar a la voluntad a hacer la elección incorrecta

[2] este punto puede ser estudiado en el artículo sobre tolerancia en la Catholic Encyclopedia.