Sunday, March 29, 2020
A REMNANT INTERVIEW: Archbishop Viganò on COVID-19 and the Hand of God
Written by Michael J. Matt | Editor
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Remnant Editor’s Introduction: During this seemingly apocalyptic moment, we must be ever mindful of the fact that, despite the great apostasy that’s been unfolding in the Church for decades, God Himself has not abandoned us.
Good priests all over the world are answering the call of the disenfranchised faithful, to help them maintain the lumen Christi in the midst of the present darkness that seems to be enveloping the whole world. In this moment of desolation, many of them are beginning to understand the warp and woof of the Modernist revolution that has decimated the Catholic Church, nearly destroyed the venerable Roman Rite and left us all spiritually abandoned outside of locked churches.
In the face of this chastisement, when so many bishops have fled and taken our Sacraments with them, we’re so grateful that at least a few good shepherds have broken the chains of collegiality in order to bring to us the consolation of Christ’s truth and call the scattering sheep back into the protection of the fold.
Clearly, we are not alone. God is again raising up his prophets.
Millions of Catholics are struggling to assimilate everything that has happened in the last few weeks. On this First Sunday of Passiontide, Archbishop Viganò honors us with this interview, in which he provides honest and Christocentric guidance.
First he reminds us that “disease – and therefore epidemics, suffering, and losing a loved one – must be accepted in a spirit of faith and humility, even in atonement for our own personal sins.” We must allow this scourge to soften our hearts and induce us to repent and turn back to God.
Then he enjoins all baptized Catholics to keep in mind that despair is certainly not an option and that we should “bear these trials for the sins of others, for the conversion of those who do not believe, and to shorten the time the Holy Souls have to spend in Purgatory.”
If “something as terrible as covid-19 can also be an opportunity for us to grow in Faith and active Charity,” so too can it become an opportunity for our shepherds to resolve to soften their hearts and realize they must not go on “offending the Majesty of God” and even disobeying His mother: “Our Lady of Fatima asked the Pope and all Bishops to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart,” Archbishop Viganò recalls, and she “announced wars and disasters until this came about. Her calls have gone unheard. The Hierarchy must now reform and obey the Mother of God!”
So, how must the Church respond to this crisis?
His Excellency warns that “the pope, the Hierarchy, and all Bishops, Priests and Religious must immediately and absolutely convert.” Bishops especially must “regain consciousness of their own Apostolic Authority” since the time has come to “put an end to synodal paths,” to that “hypocritical use of the word ‘dialogue’ instead of fearlessly preaching the Gospel,” and so too the bishops must stop “teaching false doctrines”, stop being afraid of “preaching about purity and holiness,” while “being silent in front of the arrogance of evil.”
The sheep will follow, but the shepherds must learn to lead us away from the world and back to Christ.
May God bless and keep Archbishop Viganò. His is a voice crying in the wilderness, and I would plead with our readers to pray for him and to ask God to grant him the grace and the courage to continue to sound the alarm before it’s too late. Nations and men alike must turn back to Almighty God. – Michael J. Matt
Interview with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Michael J. Matt (MJM): Your Excellency, how do you feel ordinary Catholics are to assess the covid-19 pandemic?
+ Carlo Maria Viganò: The coronavirus pandemic, as with all diseases and death itself, are a consequence of original sin. The sin of Adam, our first parent, deprived him and us not only of divine grace, but also all the other good things God gave to creation. Then disease and death came into the world as a punishment for disobeying God. The Redemption we were promised in the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3), prophesied in the Old Testament and brought to completion with the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord, redeemed Adam and his descendants from eternal damnation; but its consequences were left as a mark of the Fall and will only finally be restored at the Resurrection of the flesh, as we proclaim in the Creed, and which will happen before Judgment Day. This must be remembered, especially at a time when the basic tenets of the Catechism are unknown or denied.
Catholics know that disease – and therefore epidemics, suffering, and losing a loved one – must be accepted in a spirit of faith and humility, even in atonement for our own personal sins. Thanks to the Communion of Saints – thanks to whom the merits of all the baptized are passed on to everyone else in the Church – we may also bear these trials for the sins of others, for the conversion of those who do not believe, and to shorten the time the Holy Souls have to spend in Purgatory. Something as terrible as covid-19 can also be an opportunity for us to grow in Faith and active Charity.
As we have seen, if we only consider the clinical side of the disease – which plainly we must do everything we can to fight – completely removes the transcendental side of our lives, thus leaving them without any spiritual outlook and inevitably locking us into blind and hopeless selfishness.
MJM: Several Bishops and Priests have claimed the God “does not punish” and that considering coronavirus as a scourge is a “pagan idea.” Do you agree?
The first ever punishment, as I was saying, was visited upon our first parent. However, as we hear in the Exsultetwhich is sung during the Easter Vigil, O felix culpa, qui talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem! O happy fault, that merited to possess such and so great a Redeemer!
A father who does not punish his children does not love them, but neglects them; a doctor who uncaringly observes the patient getting worse until gangrene does not want his recovery. God is a loving Father because He teaches us what we have to do to be worthy of eternal happiness in Paradise. When we disobey His commandments by sinning, He does not let us die but comes to find us and sends us many signs, often very sternly. Then we mend our ways, repent, do penance, and return to our old friendship with Him. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you. I think the words of Our Lord leave no room for ambiguity.
I should also like to add that the truth about a just God Who rewards the good and punishes the wicked is part of our common inheritance from natural law which Our lord gave everyone throughout history. An irrepressible call to our earthly paradise, which shows even pagans how the Catholic Faith is the necessary completion of everything which sincere and well-disposed hearts suggest to them. I am surprised that nowadays, instead of stressing this truth written deeply into everyone’s hearts, those who seem to feel such great sympathy for the pagans fail to accept something the Church has always considered the best way of attracting them.
MJM: Does Your Excellency feel that there are certain sins which have provoked the wrath of God rather than others?
The crimes which stain each of us in the eyes of God are another hammer blow on the very nails used to pierce Our Lord’s sacred and venerable Hands, a lash ripping away the flesh from His Sacred Body, a spit in His beloved Face. If only we realized these things, we would never sin again. And sinners would weep with profound sorrow for the rest of their lives. And yet here is what really happened: during His Passion, our divine Savior took upon Himself not just original sin, but also all the sins all men have committed and will commit. The most glorious thing is that Our Lord went to die on the Cross, when just one drop of his Most Precious Blood would have been enough to redeem us all. Cujus una stilla salvum facere totum mundum quit ab omni scelere, as Saint Thomas teaches us.
As well as the sins committed by individuals, there are also the sins of societies, of nations. Abortion, which is still murdering innocent children even during the pandemic; divorce, euthanasia, the abhorrence of so-called gay “marriages,” the celebration of sodomy and other terrible perversions, pornography, the corruption of children, speculation by the financial elite, the profaning of Sundays, and the list goes on…
MJM: May we ask why Your Excellency makes a distinction between the sins of individuals and the sins of nations?
Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that it is the duty of the individual to recognize, worship, and obey the one true God. By the same token societies – which comprise many individuals – cannot fail to recognize God and ensure that their laws allow members of society to reach the spiritual end to which they have been destined. There are nations which do not merely ignore God, but deny Him openly. There are those which require their citizens to accept laws against natural morals and Catholic teaching, such as recognizing the right to abortion, euthanasia, and sodomy. Others corrupt children and violate their innocence. Those who allow people to blaspheme God’s Divine Majesty cannot evade God’s punishment. Public sins require public confession and public atonement, if public forgiveness is sought. Let us not forget that the ecclesiastical community, which is also a society, is not exempt from heavenly punishment when its leaders become responsible for collective offences.
MJM: Is Your Excellency saying that the Church can have faults?
The Church has always been unfailingly holy, because She is the Mystical Body of Our Lord and Savior, and it would be not only rash but indeed blasphemous even to begin to consider that this divine institution which Providence placed on this earth to provide us all with Grace as the only Ark of Salvation might be even minimally imperfect. The praises we sing of the Mother of God – whom we call precisely Mater Ecclesiae – can be sung of the Church, the Mediatrix of all graces via the Sacraments, the Mother of Our Lord, onto Whose limbs it holds. The Church is the Ark of the Covenant, guardian of the Blessed Sacrament and the Commandments. The Church is the Refuge of Sinners, to whom it grants pardon after a good confession. It is Health of the Sick, upon whom it has always lavished much care. This Queen of Peace promotes harmony by preaching the Gospel. However, it is also terrible as an army set in battle array, because Our Lord has given his sacred ministers the power to crush demons and the authority of the Keys to Heaven. Let us not forget that the Church is not only the Church Militant here on earth, but also the Church Triumphant and the Church Penitent, whose members are all saints.
I must also say that although the Church is holy, some of Her members and of Her hierarchy here on earth may be sinners. In these troubled times, there have been many clerics unworthy of the name, as the abuse scandals committed by them and, unfortunately, even Bishops and Cardinals, have shown. The faithlessness of the Sacred Pastors is a scandal for their confreres and for many among the faithful, not only in terms of lust of thirst for power, but also – I might say especially – when they touch the integrity of the Faith, the purity of the Church’s teachings and the holiness of morals. They have even committed acts of unprecedented gravity, such as we saw with the adoration of the pachamama idol in the Vatican itself. Indeed, I think Our Lord has rightly become indignant at the great multitude of scandals committed by those who ought to be setting a good example, because they are Shepherds, to the flocks to whom they have been entrusted.
Let us not forget that the example given by so many in the Hierarchy is not merely a scandal for Catholics: it is a scandal for those outside who look at the Church as a lighthouse and a point of reference. Nor is this all: this scourge cannot dispense the Church, in her Hierarchy, from making a proper examination of her conscience for giving in to the spirit of this world. She cannot escape her duty to condemn firmly all those errors she has allowed in after the second Vatican Council, which have brought down upon her all those just punishments. We must mend our ways and return to God.
It pains me to have to say that even now, after we have seen the divine wrath beating down upon the world, we go on offending the Majesty of God by speaking of mother earth demanding respect, as the Pope said a few days ago in his umpteenth interview. What we must do is ask forgiveness for the sacrilege perpetrated in the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, and reconsecrate it before the Holy Sacrifice of Mass can be said there. We should also call a public procession to show penance, even if only Prelates take part under the Pope’s guidance. They must call down the mercy of God upon themselves and upon His people. This would be a sign of that true humility we are all waiting to see, as reparation for all the offences committed.
How are we to contain our bewilderment when we hear words like those said in Santa Marta on 26 March? The Pope said, “The Lord must not find us, at the end of our lives, and say to us, ‘You are corrupt. You have left the path I showed you. You have bowed down before idols’.” Such words as these are truly bewildering, especially if we remember that he himself brought off a terrible sacrilege before the eyes and ears of the whole world, before the very Altar of the Confession of Saint Peter, a real profanation, an act of pure apostasy, with those filthy and satanic images of pachamama.
MJM: On the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, the Bishops of Portugal and of Spain dedicated their countries to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Bishops of Ireland and of England and Wales did the same. In many Dioceses and towns elsewhere, the Bishops and the local authorities have placed their communities under the protection of Mary Most Holy. How does Your Excellency consider there events?
These are actions which fill my heart with hope. Although they are not enough to atone for our faults they have been completely ignored by those at the top of the Church, even though the simple faithful have long cried out for solemn acts such as these by their Shepherds. Our Lady of Fatima asked the Pope and all Bishops to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and announced wars and disasters until this came about. Her calls have gone unheard. The Hierarchy must now reform and obey the Mother of God! It is shameful and scandalous that no Bishop in Italy has joined in with this great initiative!
MJM: How do you judge the suspension of the Sacraments which we have seen in almost all the world?
This is a terrible suffering, perhaps even the worst the faithful have ever seen. It is unbelievable to think such a thing has been denied to the dying.
At this juncture, it seems most that the Hierarchy, with very few exceptions, had no scruple in closing the churches and in preventing the participation of the faithful in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They have behaved like cold bureaucrats, like executors of the will of the Prince, and most of the faithful have taken their actions as a sign of their lack of Faith. Who can blame them?
I almost wonder – and it is a terrible thing to think – whether the closure of churches and the suspension of all Celebrations might not be another punishment by God, in addition to the pandemic. That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented. (Wisdom 11, 17) Offended though He is by the slovenliness and lack of respect shown by his priests, outraged by the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament which occurs every day when they give Communion in the hand, and tired of silly songs or heretical homilies, is still – from His place of silence within the Tabernacle – satisfied by the austere composed praise offered by the many Priests who are still saying the Mass of all time. The Mass which goes back to the time of the Apostles. And which has always been the beating heart of the Church down through the centuries. Let us remember this most solemn warning: God is not mocked.
Clearly I understand and share the basic worries about safety and protection which the authorities require for public health. However, just as they have the right to pass measures for things affecting our bodies, so the Church authorities have the right and the duty to worry about the health of our souls. They cannot deny the faithful the spiritual sustenance they receive from the Eucharist, not to mention the Sacrament of Confession, Mass, and Viaticum.
When so many shops and restaurants were still open, the various Bishops’ Conferences had already suspended all sacred functions, even when the civil authorities had not asked them to do so. This is further proof that the Hierarchy is in a dreadful state and shows that Bishops are all too willing to sacrifice the well-being of souls to pacify the power of the state or the dictatorship of ideas.
MJM: Your Excellency mentioned restaurants. What do you say about the meals for the poor which were offered in the last few months in places of worship?
For Catholics, helping those in need is an act of charity. It reminds us that God is love. We have to love God above all things with our whole hearts, and love our neighbor for love of Him. Thus, in accordance with the beatitudes, we can see Our Lord in the poor, in the sick, in prisoners, and in orphans. From the very start, the Church has always been a luminous example in this field. Even the pagans admired us for it. History shows us the many impressive works of aid which have been started thanks to the generosity of the faithful, even in times of great hostility by states. Rulers have often taken over these works under orders from freemasons, who clearly despised the great works of so many good Catholics. Caring for the poor and those on the edges of society is not something that started with Bergoglio or with various woke associations.
We must realize that when the new regime helps the poor, it does so with absolutely no reference whatever to the supernatural. All we are seeing is works of corporal mercy, whereas works of spiritual mercy have been utterly wiped out. Nor is this all: the current Papacy has completely eliminated any form of apostolate, and says the Church must not perform any missionary activity, which it calls proselytism. We can only provide food, hospitality, and health care, but nobody provides food, hospitality, or care for the souls of those who so desperately need it. The modern Church has been turned into a sort of ONG. True Charity is nothing to do with its masonic imitation, however much they try to hide it with an extremely vague sense of spirituality: it is the exact opposite, because the various bodies we see at work today deny that there is only one true Church, whose message of salvation must be preached to those outside it. This is not all: the Church has drifted so far after the Council in questions of religious freedom and ecumenism that many charitable bodies now confirm the people entrusted to their care in their paganism or atheism. they even offer them places of worship where they can go and pray. We have even seen terrible examples of Masses where, at the explicit request of the Celebrant, instead of the Holy Gospel a reading is taken from the Koran or, as happened more recently, idolatry has been practiced in Catholic churches.
I think the decision to turn churches into refectories or dormitories for the needy is proof of this basic hypocrisy which, as we have seen with ecumenism, makes an apparently good thing (such as feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless) – and exploits it to help the grand masonic plan for one world religion with no dogmas, no ceremonies, no God. Using churches as hostels, in the presence of smug Prelates who drop by to serve pizzas or pork chops with an apron over their ecclesiastical dress means profaning them. Especially when those smiling to the photographers absolutely never open the doors of their own mansions to those they want to take advantage of for political purposes. Let me go back to what I was saying and repeat that all this sacrilege is the underlying cause of the current pandemic.
All too often they use the poverty and homelessness of these poor people so they can appear on the front pages of the newspapers. This we saw only too often with the landings of all those immigrants. The only purpose was to set up a new industry for reception, behind which are hidden not only mean economic interests but also their complicity with those who seek to destroy a Christian Europe starting with Italy.
MJM: In other cases, such as the city of Cerveteri near Rome, the forces of law and order stopped a Priest who was saying Mass. How have the Church authorities reacted to this sort of thing?
Cerveteri may simply have been an excess of zeal by two local policemen, especially if they have to work under all the extra stress that has arisen since to coronavirus outbreak. It must also be clear, though, especially in a country like Italy which signed a Concordat with the Church in 1929, that the ecclesiastical authorities have sole rights over places of worship. The Holy See and the local Ordinary really ought to have protested over such a violation of the Lateran Treaty, which was confirmed again in 1984 and which is still in force. Yet again, the authority of Bishops, given directly to them by God, melts away like snow and shows how cowardly they all are. This might lead to even worse abuses in the future if it is not corrected now. Let me take this opportunity to ask for a forthright condemnation of this unacceptable meddling by government forces in affairs which are the direct responsibility of the Church Authorities.
MJM: Pope Francis invited all Christians, Catholics and non-Catholics, to come together on 25 March to ask God to put an end to this pandemic, and let it be understood that members of other religions could pray too.
The religious relativism which was brought in with Vatican II led many people to believe that the Catholic Faith was no longer the only means to salvation, or that the Blessed Trinity was the Only True God.
In his Abu Dhabi declaration, Pope Francis said that God wants all religions. Not only is this a blatant heresy, it is also a very serious apostasy and a terrible blasphemy. Saying that God wants to be worshipped as something other than how He revealed Himself means that the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Savior are completely meaningless. It means that the reason for founding the Church, the reason for which millions of holy Martyrs gave their lives, for which the Sacraments were instituted, along with the Priesthood and the Papacy itself, are all meaningless.
Unfortunately, just when we should be doing atonement for our offences against the divine Majesty of God, here is someone who asks us to pray to Him along with those who deny the divine Maternity of His Mother, on Her Feast day.
Would this not be the best way to put an end to the current pestilence?
MJM: It is also true that the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted special Indulgences to those struck by this terrible affliction and for those who assist them materially and spiritually.
Firstly let me stress that Indulgences can never take the place of the Sacraments. We must firmly resist the villainous decisions taken by several Shepherds, who have forbidden the Priests from hearing Confessions or baptizing children. These measures – along with the ban on public Masses and the suspension of Holy Communion – go against the law of God, and are proof that behind it all is Satan. Only the Evil Serpent can explain these measures which will bring about the spiritual loss of so many souls. It would be like ordering doctors not to treat patients in danger of death.
The example of the Bishops in Poland should be followed by the universal Church: they ordered more Masses to be said so that more faithful could go safely to hear Mass. This would happen if the Hierarchy actually cared about the eternal salvation of Catholics. Do not forget that in Poland, the effects of the pandemic are much lower than in other countries.
The Church’s teaching on Indulgences has not been swept away by the revolutionaries, and this is a good thing. However, whereas the Bishop of Rome has the power to draw upon the infinite riches of Grace, it is also true that Indulgences cannot be trivialized or considered as some sort of end-of-season sales bonus. The faithful felt the same things towards the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, when a Plenary indulgence was granted under such strange conditions that those earning the Indulgence hardly realized what was happening.
There is also a problem with the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharistic Communion which are necessary for an indulgence to take effect, which the Apostolic Penitentiary has postponed until some unspecified “as soon as possible.”
MJM: Does Your Excellency feel that the general dispensations for General Absolution instead of absolving individuals may apply in the current epidemic?
An imminent danger of death justifies certain solutions which the Church, in Her zeal for the eternal salvation of souls, has always generously allowed. Such is the case with General Absolution for soldiers about to go into battle, or for people on board a sinking ship. If an emergency affecting an intensive care ward does means that a Priest can only enter under extremely strict conditions, and he cannot hear the individual confessions of the dying, I think such a solution may be the best.
However, if a precedent is set whereby General Absolution is extended to all cases, even when penitents are not in danger of immediate death, we must be extremely careful to ensure that what the Church allows in extreme cases does not become the norm.
Let me remind people that watching Mass on the internet or on television does not absolve the precept of going to Sunday Mass. It can be a good way to sanctify the Lord’s Day when it is absolutely impossible to go to church; but we must always remember that living the Sacraments cannot be replaced by virtualizing the Sacraments. At a more banal level, we cannot feed our bodies by looking at a photograph of a loaf of bread.
MJM: What message would Your Excellency like to give those in charge of defending and guiding Christ’s flock?
The pope, the Hierarchy, and all Bishops, Priests and Religious must immediately and absolutely convert. This is something the laity are calling for, as they suffer because they have no firm and faithful guides. We cannot allow the flock which Our Divine Lord has entrusted to our care be scattered by faithless mercenaries. We must convert and go completely over to being on God’s side. We cannot reach any compromises whatsoever with the world.
Bishops must regain consciousness of their own Apostolic Authority, which is personal, which cannot be delegated to intermediate subjects such as Episcopal Conferences or Synods, which have distorted the exercise of the apostolic ministry, causing serious damage to the divine constitution of the Church.
The time has come to put an end to synodal paths. To an absurd sense of inferiority and flattering when dealing with the world. To that hypocritical use of the word dialoguing instead of fearlessly preaching the Gospel. We must stop teaching false doctrines and stop being afraid of preaching about purity and holiness. And stop being silent in front of the arrogance of evil. Stop covering up terrible scandals. Stop lying, tricking, and taking revenge.
Catholic life must be a battle right to the end, not a happy-go-lucky walk towards the abyss. All of us, having received Holy Orders. will be asked by Our Lord to give account of the souls we have saved, and those we have lost by not reprimanding and rescuing them. Let us go back to the One true Faith. To living a life of holiness. To the only Cult pleasing to God.
Conversion and repentance, as Our Blessed Lady, Mother of the Church, asks of us. Let us all ask Her, Tabernacle of the Most High, to give Priests and Bishops the heroic impetus they need to save the Church and to bring about the victory of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
+ Carol Maria Viganò
First Sunday of Passiontide 2020