The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Analysis: As Archbishop Viganò denounces Vatican II, the Vatican is not speaking

By JD Flynn for CNA

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. (Credit: Edward Pentin / EWTN News)

Denver Newsroom, Jul 1, 2020 / 11:35 am (CNA).- When Archbishop Carlo Viganò made headlines in August 2018, it was for a sweeping open letter that accused Church officials of complicity and cover-up in the scandal surrounding sexual abuser Theodore McCarrick.

The pope’s response to the Viganò letter was direct: “I will not say a single word on this.”

Two years later, Archbishop Viganò is still speaking. But the archbishop has changed his topic, from the McCarrick affair to conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, the Marian apparition at Fatima, and the Second Vatican Council. The archbishop’s audience has grown large in the last two years; it now includes even the president of the United States. And now his allegations have begun to teeter on a repudiation of the authority of the Church itself.

Still, neither Pope Francis nor the Vatican have said a word about Viganò or his growing pile of missives, even as prominent analysts say the archbishop is at the point of “breaking with the Church,” and may well bring his followers with him. There could be a few reasons for that.

In an interview last month, Viganò offered a set of criticisms against the Second Vatican Council that are not especially original, but are striking because they come, apparently, from the pen of a former papal representative to the U.S.

Viganò claimed that at the Second Vatican Council — an ecumenical council of the Church — “hostile forces” caused “the abdication of the Catholic Church” through a “sensational deception.”

“The errors of the post-conciliar period were contained in nuce in the Conciliar Acts,” the archbishop added, accusing the council, and not just its aftermath, of overt error.

His interview, and his other recent comments on Vatican II, made arguments familiar to anyone who has spent time among adherents to the tenets of the Society of St. Pius X or other traditionalist groups outside the full communion of the Church: That the council’s decrees on religious liberty and interreligious dialogue reject Catholic doctrine. That as a “pastoral council” Vatican II does not bind Catholics. That the council has led to “the infiltration of the enemy into the heart of the Church.”

Viganò has suggested that the Second Vatican Council catalyzed a massive, but unseen, schism in the Church, ushering in a false Church alongside the true Church.

Those arguments have been addressed and critiqued repeatedly by theologians and historians, including Benedict XVI, and in the mind of the Church’s hierarchy, have been sufficiently refuted.

To be sure, few theologians or bishops would argue that Vatican II’s documents are above reproach- in terms of their style, their language, or their presentation of the faith. And scholars continue to disagree about how to interpret some key texts of the council. But accepting the legitimacy and authority of the Second Vatican Council is a necessary component of maintaining ecclesial communion with the Church herself. Objections to the council’s authority have long been rejected by the Church’s authorities.

Viganò’s recent interviews have largely been understood as a call to reject the entirety of the Second Vatican Council. A pope, he says, must “rejoin the thread of Tradition there where it was cut off,” and the Church must “recognize the error and deception into which we have fallen.”

In the very best possible interpretation, Viganò’s claims can be understood as studiously ambiguous— attempting to avoid a direct repudiation of Catholic doctrine while doing precisely that in a more circumspect manner. Catholics have criticized the work of Fr. James Martin, SJ, for the same kind of studied ambiguity, albeit on a different subject, and criticized the Holy See for failing to respond.

Still, given that Viganò has decried the “perverse nature” of the Second Vatican Council, the plain meaning of his argument seems clear, and it seems nearly impossible to lend his claims even the designation of “studied ambiguity.” But whether his writing meets the formal criteria of either heresy or schism is subject only to the judgment of the Holy See.

The Vatican, however, has not spoken.

One possible reason for the silence is that Church leaders, including Pope Francis, might simply not grasp how much influence Viganò has. The archbishop’s reach is impossible to judge completely, but his letters and interviews are the regular fodder for a set of websites and YouTube channels with very large audiences, and after the archbishop was endorsed by President Trump last month, he has become a figure of awe among the web of QAnon conspiracy theorists.

His admirers are not just fringe figures, either. A sitting U.S. diocesan bishop signed onto Viganò’s open letter accusing shadowy authorities of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to usher in a one-world government, and the U.S. president has invoked an open letter from Viganò as a kind of institutional Catholic endorsement.

Vatican authorities might be hoping Viganò goes away quietly, but that seems increasingly unlikely, especially if the archbishop and his supporters are emboldened by a positive response to his recent turn against the Second Vatican Council, and towards the American political landscape.

It is also unlikely that Viganò will go away quietly if, as some observers have speculated, the archbishop is being supported by a Catholic faction with a clear objective and, through Viganò, a mouthpiece. How Viganò is supporting himself, and where he is now living, are matters only of speculation. But there is a point worth noting about the archbishop’s recent missives.

Viganò is a lawyer who worked as a government official and a diplomat. He is not a theologian. He is, by many accounts, a practical man, more inclined to get things done than to wax philosophic. But his writing has taken an uncharacteristic turn towards the theological arguments of those who have rejected the Second Vatican Council, and it displays surprising familiarity with those arguments. If the Holy See does decide to investigate Viganò’s publications, it might consider the circumstances in which they have been written, and what kind of “assistance,” and from whom, Viganò has received.

The Holy See might also be reflexively disinclined to address Viganò because, for all his peculiarities, he is still an archbishop and a retired high ranking diplomatic figure. In the system of Vatican court etiquette, criticizing him openly would be something of a brutta figura. One aspect of clericalism is a near ironclad unspoken commitment among bishops to avoid publicly criticizing one another, and that may be a factor in discomfort with responding to Viganò’s claims. And the Holy See might be especially disinclined to that kind of open criticism if it sincerely does have concerns for the archbishop’s health, or his personal circumstances.

Finally, there is the uncomfortable fact that Viganò’s more substantive claims — those regarding McCarrick — have not yet been addressed.

A criticism of the archbishop’s theological missives could come across as a very selective responsiveness, especially given that many Catholics, not just the pope’s critics, know that questions regarding Amoris Laetitia have also gone unanswered. Ultimately, though, it seems unlikely that the optics of a selective response are a major factor in the Holy See’s considerations of the Viganò situation, because, quite simply, its communications apparatus does not usually seem to engage public issues with that level of tactical analysis.

Whatever the reason, the voice of Archbishop Viganò has become significant to a broad swath of Catholics, who are now hearing from the archbishop why an ecumenical council should be rejected. Viganò is speaking more frequently, and more boldly. Whether the pope, and the Holy See, will decide that now is the time to respond to say even a “single word,” remains to be seen.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6933 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


    • In his footnote #3 to the linked article, Kwasniewski quotes Cardinal Walter Kasper as admitting in an article published in L’Osservatore Romano on April 12, 2013: “In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, opening the door to a selective reception in either direction.”

      The three-page Preliminary Explanatory Note to Chapter 3 (collegiality) in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church was added for needed clarity and prior to the floor vote, by Pope Paul VI and the International Theological Commission (see Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, SVD, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, 1967/73/75/76/78/TAN 85), pp. 228-234; during the Council Wiltgen published a daily news service in six languages and received in 108 countries).

      Also, for further example, nineteen other such “interventions” were inserted by Pope Paul VI to the final text on Ecumenism, and others to the text on Revelation, all only a few words but again providing clarification—and closure—to deliberate or indeliberate ambiguities (Tornielli, The Council’s Helmsman, 30 Days, Number 7, 1992).

      IF the majority positions delimited the minority (that is, resolved ambiguities otherwise enabling potential conflict), THEN where is there any “huge potential” for later reception still in either direction?

    • I applaud Cardinal Vigano’ for his efforts. I agree that the Second Vatican Council was an ingenious ploy to infiltrate the Church with doctrines that are alien to what Jesus taught. This brings me to the very simple, yet profound question of…has anyone ever asked or considered what does the Bible say about our Faith? Why are we relying at any time in history on documents written by men apart from the gospels as our guide to the Lord’s plan and instruction to us as the Body of Christ? Sure, have documents that guide the church as an organized body. Ok. But when do we hear our leaders reference the very Word God gave us when discussing such important subjects as Vatican II? We don’t hear it. Jesus warned us in no uncertain terms of these days to come where deception would be at its peak before He returned (aka, Apostacy). Keep in mind, Lucifer does NOT come to us as a red horned and Exorcist movie-like character (save genuine possessions as witnessed by true Exorcists). He comes as an angel of light. As Jesus warned us. On the external, sounds so good. Looks so good. Smells good. But internally is death and decay.

      Why should we then be surprised that evil slithered into the church to do its filthy work? Sounds good. Looks good… Pope Paul VI by his own words…”the smoke of Satan has entered the Church”. A sitting Pope no less. And this was the same time in history, post-WWII and not long after, that depravity and all manner of evil was unleashed in the United States via political corruption, Judicial activism, education, Entertainment, Media, etc. Globally as well. Lucifer was on the move as he knows his days are numbered. Particularly an assault on the Christian faith/Judeo Christian values. Coincidence? Maybe we should read more about that ‘angel of light’ and his tactics.

      I am no scholar (layman at best), nor do I claim to be well versed in scripture, but to me, and others, it is plain to see when reading the only document that matters…God’s word, many church dogmas and ‘Council’ documents do not line up. Literally plain to see. One would think that such learned men that fill the Vatican would refer to the Bible daily. In every homily and certainly, the Pope when addressing the many matters the church and world face. NOT through an ecumenical lens, God forbid, but the lens through which Christ looked. Is that such a hard concept to comprehend, or ask for? Again, I understand good order being established within the church via writings to instructing all about remaining unified, proper etiquette, clarifications, etc., as long as it is biblically-based. Can we all not at least agree on that?

      Cardinal Vigano’ is on to something very disturbing and quite frankly spot on. Homosexuality (direct mockery of God’s image) and Ecumenism is from the bowels of Hell. The church is to be the salt of the earth. Separate for a reason. As Jesus said He is the ONLY way to the Father. No other. Therefore, it is simple to conclude that any attempt to join forces with other religions is as far from the Word of God as we can go. The Pontiff should be popular and joyfully supported among the brothers and sisters in Christ. NOT the world. Jesus said the world would hate us. Persecute us. Even kill us for bearing His name. If the Pope was preaching in 2020 what Jesus taught in His time on earth, there would be continual outrage directed at the Vatican. That is NOT what we see. We do see outrage for reasons too evil to even speak of. There is something amiss in that outrage (Cardinal Vigano’ anyone?)

      We see a global effort not to warn the masses of Jesus’ pending return and the need for repentance and forgiveness. We see an effort, particularly spearheaded by the once great Jesuits, of a temporal globalist view that negates God as the answer to global problems. More specifically and most importantly, the answer to one’s eternal destiny. Temporal issues are important as we are instructed to pay heed to the poor and downtrodden. Yes, to feed and assist, but ultimately to tell them the Good News. Christ has risen! Warn them of the alternatives and He is the only answer to your/our sufferings. The great Saint Francis of Assisi said it well… ”Go out to all the world and preach the Gospel, and if you must…use words.” Yes…our lives are to be a testimony to the love of Christ. Not just words. Yet both are needed. First be an example and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. The Jesuits are entangled with the NWO globalist cabal, concerned with only temporal matters, working against all things Godly. Good works? Yes. Good God-fearing souls? There is a handful left. But corrupted nonetheless. Hence, our Jesuit Pontiff. ‘Do the math’…

      Cardinal Vigano’ has at least opened the door that sorely needed to be opened. This is NOT about one man, one brother in Christ…this is about what has happened to the Body of Christ and those that profess to keep those very teachings that Jesus handed over to us as sacred. As the template for our journey on this earth, and a very short one at that in terms of eternity. To WARN others of the coming last days and the ONLY answer to ensure we can endure to the end…Jesus.

      The bottom line is this…one day soon we will all stand before our Creator, and He will not ask us what organization we belonged to. What denomination we attended. Even, were you a Catholic? He will look at our HEART. No one else. He knows the deepest secrets of our hearts. Nothing escapes Him. No documents or councils are going to have any effect on each individual’s account before God. But He will look and see what did we do with this Jesus? We called Him Lord, but does our heart validate that claim? I pray it does for all who read this. Jesus said MANY on that day will say, Lord, did I not do this or that for you? Did I not obey the leaders of my church and Vatican II precepts? Did I not give my tips to the church treasury (“my Bishopric Palatial Apartment was to ensure room to entertain guests who needed to hear the Gospel…yes”)? Did I not go to Confession once a year to ask for forgiveness? Did I not beg for Seed Gifts on TV to advance your kingdom (“the Lamborghini in the driveway was to get to the Altar quicker to ensure proper message preparation”)? Etc. And Jesus (sadly) will say, I never knew you…depart from me, you worker of lawlessness. That ought to give pause to any reader of the Word. It terrifies me.

      Cardinal Vigano’, a flawed man like all of us, has to at least be applauded for sounding the clarion call. It must be addressed. Yet, what do we hear? “I will not say a single word on this”. From whom? The Vicar of Christ. God help us.

  1. Not to be tone-deaf to legitimate criticisms, and speaking only as a backseat layman, should we wonder if Archbishop Vigano might be overplaying his hand?

    The 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops was convened to rescue the Council from the termites. This under the leadership of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (who produced the 1985 Ratzinger Report as a prelude), and out of which came the Catechism of the Catholic Church which was presented as a fruit of the Council. Back on track?

    Exploitable ambiguities from the Council, yes, but might it be more accurate to hold that the theological and ecclesial gang-rape still is more from after the Council rather than OF the Council as a whole?

    The text on religious freedom, for example, “means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or social groups and of any human power […] publicly or privately [….]” (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2). Nowhere does the potentially libertarian phrase “freedom of conscience” appear.

    Ought we to repudiate this principle—-freedom from coercion—-in a world now overrun by radical and post-Christian secularism and endangered by the resurgent and unitary (and providentially anticipated?) Islamic state?

    I’m out of my league, but functionally literate and not yet amnesiac, so maybe these are some thoughts.

    • I agree with you that it seems that Archbishop Vigano has overplayed his hand. Over the years, I’ve had to defend the Council many times against a myriad of attacks from schismatic Trids (not to be confused with Catholic Trids whom I respect.) Categorically, I’ve found their complaints to be without merit.

      This, of course, is not to say that there weren’t problems with Paul VI’s initial implementation of the Council, or with the cultural explosion of the late 1960s that seriously weakened her members, or with John Paul II naming of many inferior bishops.

      There is much blame to go around. But I’ve found that the errors occurred after the Council: not with the Council.

  2. Hope this too is not an occasion of ‘love of money as the root ..’, or that of
    ‘the sun setting on the anger’ etc ; ..

    Holy Father has already addressed the other issue mentioned –
    God’s merciful providence , that July , the month of Precious Blood starts with the Feast of St Serra , the attention given to the history and the saint , from the statue incident , the good judgement shown to deal with it , through the occasion of the exorcism ..
    Let us hope that the intercession of St.Serra , the blessings , deliverance and protection through the exorcism for the statue incident would help many who have similar histories or temptations for such actions .

    The Pres. too , the blessing of being there before the large statue of
    St.John Paul 11 , to help bring the nation’s wounds too , to the occasion of the consecration to Divine Mercy done by the saint , for more unity in gratitude for the holiness as mercy and grace that is poured into all our lives , into those who have made mistakes , to thus have the wisdom to deal with those who too deserve mercy instead of endless hounding .
    The Holy Father , blessed to have been witness to the Eucharistic Miracle of Argentina – may the power of the silence of the Sacred Host help to bring forth the needed memory where needed ,of the true tradition of trust and gratitude where it is owed , to bring an end to the clamour of bad blood from whatever wounds .

  3. There is a nest of wreckers within the Church using the semi-literate Archbishop Vigano as a tool to take the Church back to the Middle Ages, or at least the 1950s. They must be identified and liquidated. May Mr. Flynn’s analysis finally rouse the always too lenient Pope Francis to take the necessary, decisive action. Merciless war against them!

    • “They must be identified and liquidated.”

      That’s quite Catholic and merciful of you. I assume it will quick and painless?

      • Mr. Olson, I tried hard to make my amateur satire recognizable. I myself probably have one foot in the camp of those who use Archbishop Vigano, as Mr. Flynn puts it so delicately, a “mouthpiece.” Even they (we?) do not deserve a slow, painful death. My language was borrowed from those fine men in Russia, China and elsewhere who dealt so gently with their many enemies in the 20th century. They came to mind (wrongly) as I was reading the article.

    • Semi literate?
      Your abandonment of reality would be astonishing were it not consistent with your “historical and doctrinal” acumen.

    • Any informed Catholic should be able to use deduction to see the current perils in the Catholic Church. Multiple diocese are bankrupt from abuse litigation. Less than 50% of Catholics attend Mass weekly, and 35% believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. The absence of sacredness, liturgical “variety” of worship and acceptance of aberrant lifestyles are ignored. The implementation of Vatican II along with Rome’s refusal to define sin as Holy Scripture does is the reason Archbishop Vigano’s conscience has prevailed to speak publicly.

  4. I think everyone would have to admit that for Joe Pewsitter Vatican Council II is highly irrelevant. I dare anyone to ask Joe Pewsitter to come up with even one salient teaching contained in even one of the Vatican II documents. Just one. (See what I mean?)

    Vigano could be gone tomorrow but significant problems in the Body of Christ will remain. Vigano is not the problem. The biggest problem facing the Catholic Church these days is turning it’s back on Her magisterium.

  5. Here are 2 questions connected to themes of authority discussed in the essay.

    For author J. D. Flynn:

    “Has Fordham University “repudiated the authority” (and teaching) of the Catholic Church?”

    Here is a question for Tony (the-Liqiuidator) W:

    Is Fordham University “a wrecker within the Church?”

    I look forward to the possibility of a discussion.

  6. I’ve been looking to see CWR provide some coverage of Archbishop Viganò’s recent critique of the last council. Have I been missing something until now? It was recently augmented by his response to questions raised Philip Lawler which can be read at:
    While this topic raises the passions on both sides of the issue — even raising the issue at all disturbs many — it can no longer be avoided. Thank you for bringing your lens to it.
    Let’s do it faithfully, honestly, reasonably and respectfully as has Archbishop Viganò. It can no longer be avoided.

  7. The real reasons that the current Vatican leadership is not taking any steps against Vigano is that it would make him a white martyr, and bring attention to the continued failure of any report or investigation into the activities of disgraced former Vatican powerbroker and sexual predator Theodore McCarrick, who was instrumental in getting Francis elected to the Papacy as well as bringing into existence the Provisional Agreement with Communist China which threw Catholics in that country under the bus.

    We can like him or hate him, we can speculate about his motives and intentions all we want, but Vigano is not a liar. His accusations that Pope Francis knew about McCarrick’s crimes, and lifted sanctions imposed by Benedict XVI despite such knowledge, have withstood scrutiny, and the vast majority of these accusations have been corroborated, including by McCarrick’s own former secretary.

    As for his accusations against Vatican II, I tend to agree with Bishop Athanasius Schneider that the ambiguities of Vatican II need to be clarified and, where necessary, corrected. The drop of vocatins and collapse in the numbers of the faithful shows that something did go spectacularly wrong in the aftermath of the Council, and while Vatican II is not necessarily the cause of this collapse, it may have exacerbated already existing problems. If we are willing to admit what Vatican II got right (universal call to holiness and the acceptance of Religious Liberty, for example) then we also need to examine what it got wrong, and correct these mistakes.

    • Yes, indeed. And given the seriousness of the accusations, one would have expected the Pope to repudiate them quickly and decisively. So far he hasn’t done that, and has kept to his word that he will say “nothing.” We’re thus left to form our own conclusions.

    • You have articulated this with verifiable truth and documentation. Praise God there are still such well informed, courageous Catholics willing to speak out.
      If Catholics are unwilling to become informed, they and the Church will regret the outcome.

  8. The Vatican has not spoken. Indeed. There are undoubtedly many prelates who fear Vigano and wish he was dead. Our current Pontiff is, no doubt, one of them. It is easy for some to dismiss Vigano as a crank because he can speak without providing direct evidence to support his assertions. But it bears repeating that Vigano knows where many bodies are buried in the Catholic Church and has a substantial experience within the top tiers of the Church’s diplomatic corp; he held positions both within the Vatican as an investigator, and as a diplomat at the most powerful country in the world; he had extraordinary access to information. He was noted in his work as being highly conscientious with an excellent memory and a mind for detail. It also bears repeating that when Vigano did name names, such as connecting Pope Francis to the McCarrick affair, he forced the hand of Francis to produce a report on McCarrick that was accurate. Anticipate that the promised dossier on McCarrick will be delayed until the death of either Vigano or Francis—If Vigano is alive at its release, he will know if the report was truthful. It has been two years, and no McCarrick report, and McCarrick has disappeared. Vigano remains a very dangerous man, if you happen to live in the Vatican, because he knows too much, and he has proven to be effective at returning fire.

    Also, Mr Flynn may not be aware that Vigano’s critique of Vatican II reinforces long-standing concerns raised just after the council by credible intellectuals who were there at the time. Church historian Fr Ralph Wiltgen, penned the 1967 book “The Rhine Flows into the Tiber.” Other alarms were sounded at the time by the German philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand, who wrote the “Trojan Horse in the City of God.” These fellows were prophetic in their concerns on how the council would be used to subvert catholic orthodoxy. Vigano is not alone in his concerns.

    • I’d add to that prescient list the late Msgr. George A. Kelly. In his 1979 book, The Battle for the American Church (p.25) he observed that:

      “Two suggestions of Pope John in his opening statement to the Council were to haunt not only the bishops’ deliberations between 1962 and 1965 but also the subsequent pontificate of Paul VI. These were:

      A. Changes in doctrinal formulas are desirable if Catholic doctrine could thereby be made more attractive to unbelievers.
      B. Condemnations of error are not to be contemplated.

      “These principles enunciated by Pope John were later used to justify serious doctrinal dissent within the Church and to insulate dissenters against its chief doctrinal authorities.”

      Cardinal Heenan of Westminster later recalled that John XXIII – not long before his untimely death in April 1963 – had become alarmed by the radical currents he observed swirling on the floor of the Council, and indicated that he wished to terminate the whole thing as quietly and quickly as possible. We’ll never know, but if Heenan’s memory is accurate, John XXIII was also among those who foresaw a disaster unfolding. Paul VI, of course, decided to allow the Council to continue, with the disastrous results that we are discussing here.

  9. Peter D. Beaulieu is correct. Archbishop Vigano is overplaying his hand. He needs to stick to the investigation of McCarrick and to when the Vatican intends to answer the charges. Complaints about Vatican II are beyond his competence and his scope. Pressing such questions will make for a loss of those who believe his original comments about McCarrick and his cronies. Bay move, Archbishop, bad move! You should be demanding answers to the McCarrick situation! It has been entirely too long!

  10. Selective memory in guise of benevolent amnesia [ordinary forgetfulness] is a convenient malady. Arch conservatives as well as Modernists seem most at risk. Mounting flood water progressivism among clergy, all practiced in traditional liturgy and doctrine prior to Vat II occurred at Vat II due to a singular fissure in the documents. Humanae Dignitatis authored by Modernist John Courtney Murray SJ. My thesis is that of all the questioned documents only one definitively unleashed the impending flood waters that mounted prior to the Council. A premise inserted by Fr Murray on the inviolability of conscience regardless of Natural Law, Ecclesial authority, the revelation of Christ himself. “Martin Rhonheimer sees doctrinal reform, not doctrinal continuity, in Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty. The pre-conciliar magisterium endorsed religious coercion, calling for state restriction of the public practice of false religions. Now, by asserting religious liberty as not only a natural but a state or civil right, Dignitatis humanae has contradicted previous Church doctrine (Kings College Prof Thomas Pink in Rorate Caeli 2011). Extraordinary inviolability of conscience superior to measure or rule whether by nature or by mitigation as later recurring in Amoris Laetitia is the singular premise that unleashed the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ and the current papal determination to complete the mission of that ‘Spirit’. JD Flynn is not always compatible yet on this one regarding Archbishop Carlo Viganò he is on the mark. As is Peter Beaulieu, IF the majority positions delimited the minority where is there any “huge potential” for later reception in either direction? That the Archbishop has overplayed his hand. Flynn is entirely correct that Viganò’s sweeping condemnation of Vat II denies him the rational analysis of its failures. Roberto DeMattei, Prof Peter Kwasniewski, Bishop Athanasius Schneider have made that rational analysis the latter perceived the good in those documents. Bishop Schneider takes the more reasonable position. Radical departure and return to pre Vat II is reactionary. The upshot is a movement has long begun to address the modern world Vat II has the potential properly assessed to meet that challenge.

    • And to reassure the reader most who know my position although I may disagree with the Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s complete condemnation of Vat II I am in full support of his courageous and viable allegations against the Pontiff and the immense harm that this pontificate is having on so many of the faithful. Neither do I agree with JD Flynn’s paltry innuendos directed at the Archbishop, only Flynn’s ‘epiphany’ that Archbishop Viganò has gone too far in repudiating Vat II. That assertion by the Archbishop judges that the Church fell into Apostasy from Vat II onward. A false premise that too many ‘conservative’ Catholics hold. The Church remains faithful and intact among those who remain within Apostolic Tradition despite the emergence of an Apostate factional church within.

      • Correct.
        JD Flynn’s CNA knows exactly who butters its bread. Flynn/CNA will never push impolitely against the Vatican. No matter how many McCarricks exist, no matter how many are betrayed in China, no matter how many gay jesuits spread their poison unchallenged.
        It’s not for nothing Vigano lives in hiding, is it JD?

    • An historical detail. St. Augustine is usually faulted for invoking the power of the state to quell heresy, but he took this step partly after the Donatists terrorized those of their ilk who later converted to orthodoxy. In changing his earlier view to now endorse coercion by the state, Augustine wrote (with further elaboration): “How many were already, as we assuredly know, willing to be Catholics, being moved by the indisputable plainness of truth, but daily putting off their avowal of this through fear of offending their own party [the Donatists].”

      And as for the converts, they had “their tongues cut out so that they could no longer preach; the lime and vinegar used to seal up reliquaries of martyrs was put in their eyes to blind them” (Warren Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 2). A no-police zone was not working for the common good.

      TODAY Christians are ostracized in other ways. TODAY, how to expose not Donatism, but the entire “tyranny of relativism/culture of death”—-for what it is? TODAY how to flatten the curve of viral moral zombie-ism?

      Unread tracts on fancy letterhead, accompaniment/accommodation in an emptying field-hospital church, or what?

      • Peter Thomas Pink seems to have distinguished freedom [as in the First Amendment] from a State right, that which within the latter becomes a legal ward of the State inclusive of authority to determine practice and protection against discrimination. Such as those State statutes adversely affecting Catholicisms opposition to LGBT representation in Catholic institutions. A distinction that I don’t believe existed under Roman law during Augustine’s lifetime. Prof Pink’s argument is relevant [Pink upholds the coercive authority of the Church as doctrine not social policy] to our current dilemma. His treatise continues: “Rhonheimer is wrong to claim that earlier general councils did not address religious liberty. And doctrine of the faith was involved – about the nature of the Church herself and her sacraments. For in Catholic doctrine the true bearer of an authority to coerce, or to forbid coercion, in matters of revealed religion is the Church, not the state. Church and state. Gregory XVI’s Mirari vos, Pius IX’s Quanta cura, and Leo XIII’s Immortale dei do all make claims about the state and its religious duties: Some of these duties are to profess the true religion, which is the Catholic faith. Thus Immortale dei says: “So, too, it is a crime for the state to act as if there were no God, or not to have a care for religion, as something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of the many forms of religion to adopt whatever one it likes; for states are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which he has shown to be his will”. Thomas Pink isolates the heart of the Catholic dilemma between Church and State, that ultimately a State is obliged to pursue divinely revealed truth in religious matters. Not to use its coercive authority to compel Catholicism to accommodate homosexuality or abortion or Wicca.

    • There is so much change, assuming to meet the “modern world”, that I now wonder what it is the Catholic Church believes/practices. I have heard too many priests verging on “new age principles” and worse: forming their own versions of what the Bible meant, who Jesus is. At a Bible study, a woman said that if Abraham was a mother, she would not sacrifice her son.To my utter astonishment, the priest responded: That really wasn’t God. There is a little “g” and a big “G” and back then rulers were often considered Gods. And then said, it was the real God who stopped Abraham. And that was the first pro-live movement. He said God in love and would not hurt people. I just wondered if he ever read the Old Testament. Augh………

      • Maureen it’s the trend of priests making God in their own image, rather than struggle to become more like Christ. A softening of the truth that is God and the infinite polarity between good and evil. Consequently they rarely speak of penance, sacrifice, reparation for sin, need for confession, the reality of eternal happiness with God or suffering in Hell. Pope Francis has not definitively changed binding doctrine. God I believe will not permit him. The changes you, that we all suffer are the result of suggestion and craft, a sea change for the many that are misled. Stay with our Apostolic Tradition. Read the Fathers of the Church. They’re available mostly free of charge [public domain] if you have a kindle. Also study Veritatis Splendor, Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth.

  11. I note in answer to author J. D. Flynn’s speculation about where Archbishop Viganò gets his financial support, thst it is already published that Archbishop Viganò is independently wealthy owing to inheritance of family wealth. Indeed, the Pontiff Francis, in a departure from his declaration that he “would not speak” about the Viganò allegations, made a ham-fisted attempt to denounce Viganò as a financial fraud, by implying that his brother’s victory in a civil lawsuit over family the inheritance indicated that Viganò was untrustworthy. I hope that, when it comes to opining on the trustworthiness of others, that our Pontiff Francis is not standing outside under pendulous clouds, where he might unintentionally “conduct electricity.”

  12. A question for all, including author J. D. Flynn

    True or False? Resolved, that in the matter of Walter Kasper, now Cardinal, who published a book “Jesus The Christ” in 1974 (if memory serves), where he declares that the Gospel miracle accounts are mythology and “probably do not need to be believed,” that Cardinal Kasper been repudiating the authority and teaching of the Church for 46 years.

    I look forward to the reply.

  13. Conspiracy stories, new World Order, virus pestilence, government control, a destructive Pope Francis who said: “We need a new global educational pact which teaches universal solidarity towards a new humanism.” God permitted the Corona Virus globally. Our lives and churches were shut down for three months, and now we sit in the pews with masked and veiled faces. We are not allowed to drink the precious blood, we sit and stand in social distancing. Stop condemning Vat II and the whole church. These days in Vienna Masons declared Satan is Lucifer the bringer of light and knowledge for men. The church is wounded from within. CHRIST is the church and the church is CHRIST. Chaos and confusion is overwhelming. Please Lord, we have sinned, have mercy on us and look at our faces again!

  14. I stand where Fr. Morello stands on this, and I thank him for shepherding like a true father of our Holy Church.

  15. Those who are looking forward to the demise of Archbishop Vigano ought to just be praying that he has not written his complete memoirs along with documents he’s kept copies of for evidentiary reasons and that he has given his lawyer instructions to publish posthumously. If so, heads will roll.

    • he’s kept copies of for evidentiary reasons and that he has given his lawyer instructions to publish posthumously
      I had not thought of that. I hope that it is the case.

  16. Vatican II was not dogmatic, so it is not binding. Vatican II will probably be declared invalid, after the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, due to documented fraud and manipulation.

  17. JMJ
    My exposure to high-falutin’ theology was limited, so will my comments on high-falutin’ theology be limited in this case. But we do than CWR for letting us see the analysis and comments of apparently at least some folks regarding this Viganò situation, and promise to contribute so that you can continue with your great reporting.
    Now, regarding Viganòs “influence” and “reach,” if Viganò “break[s] with the Church,” this orthodox family will break with him. There are few bishops today that are not corrupt, not flaming liberals, lefties, “progressives,” so what’s left?

  18. Although I cannot recall which Church historian said these words, I think they apply: “The summoning of an Ecumenical Council at any time when the state of the Church does not strictly demand it, is to tempt God!” Jesus said, “Thous halt NOT tempt the Lord thy God!”

  19. For the ordinary layman (and for many outside the Church who, while not Catholic, are reasonable observers) the notion that Archbishop Vigano is advancing, viz. that Vatican II has nothing but rotten fruits and is the starting point of a free-fall decline in every index of the Church’s health, isn’t even controversial any longer; the only question remaining for people of good will is how this catastrophic council can legitimately be undone.

    What stupefies anyone reading an article like the one at hand, though, is the willingness of “conservatives” to deny this ugly reality in the face of overwhelming evidence that confirms it. They pretend the disastrous papacy of Francis, the studied ambiguity of his encyclicals, all the enormous financial corruption, the sexual perversion rampant amidst his cohort, the multiple alarming papal appointments, both episcopal and administrative, across the globe, the sellout of faithful Chinese Catholics, the many strange papal pronunciamentos, the repeated-but-wanly-denied outrageous interviews with an Italian Communist journalist, the bizarre garden party complete with Indian idol worship at the Vatican, etc., that all of this and more ‘just came out of nowhere, all of a sudden, unexpected….’

    These are strange times and nothing is more strange than to see this real life reenactment of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

  20. I am convinced the Lord will renew his church; no need to condemn each other. We should focus on Christ and pray for a holy pope. I am a nothing and yet, the Lord speaks to me. Both ladies who usually set up the altar for adoration would be absent and she asked me to get the altar ready for the priest and stay the first hour of adoration. In my delight I asked the Lord “Let me make your altar beautiful” and immediately I heard his sweet tender voice: MY ALTAR IS BEAUTIFUL; it brought me to tears. All the altars in the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church are beautiful because the priests of Jesus Christ make Him present. Even if we cannot see his glory we believe and we adore Him on all his altars. Christ is with us, Christ is the Church; we are united in love to Him.

  21. Catholics should know that out of all the documents of Vat II, only two are dogmatic, and consequently binding: Lumen Gentium [nature of the Church] and Dei verbum [revelation]. Progressives attempted to have the Council declare Dignitatis Humanae dogmatic but were thankfully refused.

    • I have to thank Father Peter Morello, he made many things clear to me. God bless him and this great website, God bless his church and have mercy on us

  22. Is my Catholic Church facing a schism? This long and very complicated article shows that we are fearful it will expose sins in the hierarchy. Nothing particularly revealing. The following excerpt from this piece tell a sad story…

    “In an interview last month, Viganò offered a set of criticisms against the Second Vatican Council that are not especially original, but are striking because they come, apparently, from the pen of a former papal representative to the U.S.”
    0> Is it important to reveal this? It reeks with a pompousness.

    Second Vatican Council, and it displays surprising familiarity with those arguments. If the Holy See does decide to investigate Viganò’s publications.
    0> Is there any question that the faithful would expect less?

    Whatever the reason, the voice of Archbishop Viganò has become significant to a broad swath of Catholics, who are now hearing from the archbishop why an ecumenical council should be rejected.
    0> Johnny Carson would ask, “how big a swath is it?”

    I believe there is a single issue here that the Magisterium is being challenged by one of their own. How to define the Archbishop remains a mystery.

  23. After reading two preposterous bald-faced falsehoods, that 1) “objections to the Council’s authority have long been rejected by the Church’s authorities, and 2) that Vigano was attempting a “repudiation of Catholic doctrine,” I first thought I reached the National Catholic Reporter website, my mistake.
    Pope Paul, Pope John Paul, and Pope Benedict repeatedly saying that VII was pastoral and not doctrinal in any manner whatsoever, I suppose doesn’t count as “authority.” And it is outright vicious slander to suggest that Archbishop Vigano ever attacked any Catholic doctrine in any way whatsoever.
    Be that as it may, I must note that the first thing anyone studying scientific observation learns is often the first thing they forget to apply thereafter, that correlations never, in themselves, prove causality. On the other hand, when correlations are demonically repetitive, they are always meaningful in some way and not accidental.
    Among all the insulting condescending treatments in this article of Archbishop Vigano’s concerns over the event of Vatican II and its aftermath, and the possible sin of pride intentions of many of its participants, there was no attempt by Flynn to provide alternative accounting for such things as the indisputably sinful and demonic results in the aftermath of VII. The possible evil of sinfulness in the High Church is not regretful in the mere manner of a favorite sports team losing a game.
    The emptying of seminaries, the emptying of convents, the emptying of the pews, the shriveling of confession lines, and skyrocketing of divorce were not accidental when buffoonish theologians, at the least, were frequently suggesting syncretism, Pelagianism, and universal salvation, not to mention a “parallel magisterium” that downplayed sexual sins, amplified during their grand opera of infantile dissent to the divine wisdom expressed in Humanae Vitae, promulgated a short time after VII.
    It is clear that Mr. Flynn has either not actually read the concerns of the man he disparages or doesn’t much care about the calamity and insults to God that have been pouring out of God’s Church for half a century and damaging the whole of His creation as a result. Junk theology kills, especially by way of multi-generations of pro-abortion Catholics, lay and clergy, that our “Catholic” schools and seminaries have been producing without apology. And the world now only hears a hollow moral voice from Rome. The prophetic Vigano talks about such things, the secularized and cynical thought pervasive throughout the Church. The fact that Flynn doesn’t provide evidence of actually having read Vigano’s concerns and trivializes them as so many “missives” illustrates the point.
    Eighty-five percent of self-identified Catholics now do not regard abortion as any sort of intrinsic evil that is always wrong, which means they are NOT pro-life, and we now have a pope who is embarrassed that there are Catholics who are “obsessed” by it as he fires pro-life scholars in the Pontifical Academy For Life and replaces them with obsessive pro-aborts.
    Many lay Catholics have had enough. We are not to be dismissed with any insulting labels, and when we read the documents of VII, we have a right to find some things good but other things, like Gaudium et Spes, sophomorically utopian, and therefore Pelagian and non-Catholic. Nonetheless, we do not understand calumny as continuing to shut up while decades go by of murderous no account moral cowardice from our prelates. The egos of the ordained and the religious or those prelates awaiting fraternal corrections that will never occur in a thousand years are not more important that the tens of millions of small babies tossed through the meat grinder. I will presume to speak for God to say He doesn’t see calumny the same way as those who continue say we should shut up.
    Flynn contends that “The Holy See might also be reflexively disinclined to address Viganò because, for all his ‘peculiarities,’ he is still an archbishop and a retired high ranking diplomatic figure.” No, the Vatican is not speaking because the corrupt amoral have nothing to say.

  24. Greetings. I posted a lengthy comment that I believe was thoughtful and presented some serious questions and points about our faith. I understand your guidelines as written, but I do not at all see any violations or implied violations of them. Could I get a quick reply as to why that is the case? Again, I see many varied opinions and thoughts on this subject in this chain of comments. Some I would think may border a bit on refusal to post per your guidelines as stated, yet allowed. However, IMO I really see no issues here on any post, to include my post which I see no disrespectful or inflammatory points. Serious questions/points yes, and other postings here as well. We need a spirited debate and dialogue on current happenings between brothers and sisters in the church. So, maybe an email stating the removal reason. Thank You in advance.

    (If it was my name, or musician title that I used, then I can use my birth name. No problem at all).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.