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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò at the Rome Life Forum on May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews

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September 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview with the Italian journalist Marco Tosatti, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has pointed to a connection between the weakening of the Church's own identity and moral and doctrinal stances in the wake of the Second Vatican Council and the outbreak of the sexual and cultural revolution that took place only three years after Council. “Without Vatican II, we would not have had the student revolution that radically changed life in the Western world, the vision of the family, the role of women, and the very concept of authority,” he writes.

Speaking with Tosatti mainly about the political situation in the U.S. in light of the upcoming presidential election (read the full interview here), Archbishop Viganò first explains that it is the fault of the Church’s leadership – the “unfaithful clergy, secular and regular, enslaved to modernist ideology, and on the hierarchy” – when there are now in the U.S. politicians who call themselves Catholic, yet at the same time publicly defy the Church's teaching, for example on the killing of the unborn.

Here, the Italian prelate mentions the Land O’Lakes statement of 1967 – two years after the Council (1962-1965), “which declared the independence of their Catholic universities and colleges from all authority and all bonds of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church.” This statement “had devastating consequences for the Church and civil society in the United States,” states Viganò.

But then the archbishop goes on to speak about the deeper background that led to the possibility that such a defying document by Catholic universities would even be issued. That is to say, the Catholic Church first weakened, at the Second Vatican Council, her own moral and doctrinal strength.

This weakening of the Catholic Church allowed modernist teachers at Catholic universities to further spread their ideas among many generations so that today’s Catholic politicians hold such heterodox views as supporting the killing of the unborn. And this weakening could also lead to such a scandalous event where now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, together with Archbishop Wilton Gregory, was able to hide instructions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the “exclusion from Holy Communion of Catholic politicians who do not follow the Church’s teaching.”

Viganò explains: “What I wish to emphasize is the close connection between the rebellion of the ultra-progressive clergy – with the Jesuits in the lead – and the education of generations of Catholics, who were formed according to the modernist ideology, flowing into the Council.” This Council, he goes on to say, “served as a premise not only for ’68 revolution in the political sphere, but also for the doctrinal and moral revolution in the ecclesial sphere.” 

States the archbishop: “Without Vatican II, we would not have had the student revolution that radically changed life in the Western world, the vision of the family, the role of women, and the very concept of authority.”

And as these explanations show, “moral corruption and doctrinal deviation are intrinsically linked and, to effectively heal these wounds in the body of the Church, it is imperative to act on both fronts. If this dutiful intervention does not take place, the Bishops and the leaders of the Church will answer to God for betraying their duty as pastors.”

In order to prove his point that there exists a close relationship between the Second Vatican Council and the subsequent cultural revolution that took place in 1968 throughout the West, Archbishop Viganò presents a set of quotes from contemporary supporters of the Council who made that connection themselves. Here we quote the Italian prelate in a longer passage:

It is undeniable, even if only from a historical and sociological point of view, that there is a very close relationship between the conciliar revolution and 1968. The very protagonists of Vatican II admit it. Joseph Ratzinger stands out among them, writing:

«Adherence to a utopian anarchistic Marxism […] was supported on the front lines by university chaplains and student associations who saw in it the dawn of the realization of Christian hopes. The guiding light is to be found in the events of May 1968 in France. Dominicans and Jesuits were at the barricades. The intercommunion carried out at an ecumenical Mass at the barricades was considered a kind of landmark in salvation history, a kind of revelation that inaugurated a new era of Christianity.»

One of the periti [experts] on the Council, Fr. René Laurentin, wrote: 

«The demands of the May ‘68 movement largely coincided with the Council’s grand ideas, particularly in the Council’s Constitution on the Church and the world. To a certain extent, Vatican II was already a protest against the Curia by a group of bishops who were trying to create an institutionally prefabricated Council.»

And the Argentine theologian, Fr. Álvaro Calderón, affirmed: 

«If there is anything that immediately stands out to those who study the Second Vatican Council, it is the change, in a liberal sense, of the concept of authority. The Pope stripped himself of his supreme authority in favour of the bishops (collegiality); the bishops stripped themselves of their authority in favour of theologians; theologians gave up their science in favour of listening to the faithful. And the voice of the faithful is nothing more than the fruit of propaganda.»

This vision is also widely and proudly affirmed on the progressive front, which saw the same demands of the conciliar revolution realized in 1968. Bishop Jacques Noyer, Emeritus of Amiens, recalls:

«I am convinced that the spirit that inspired the preparation, celebration and implementation of the Second Vatican Council is a great opportunity for the Church and the world. It is the Gospel offered to the men of today. Deep down, May ‘68 was a spiritual movement, even a mystical one, consistent with the dream of the Council.»

These quotes are very helpful with regard to bolstering Viganò's argument, an argument that my husband Dr. Robert Hickson has also made for years now. 

“Without a ‘green light’ from the Church,” says the archbishop, “the world would never have accepted or taken up the student movement’s demands for rebellion.”

And what was it in the Council that prepared the way for rebellion in the larger society? The Council shied away from authority and tradition. Says the prelate:

Beyond the Acts of the Council, it was precisely the spirit of Vatican II that marked the end of a hierarchically constituted society, and of the traditional values common to the Western world: until then, concepts such as authority, honor, respect for the elderly, a spirit of mortification and service, a sense of duty, the defense of the family and one’s Fatherland, were shared and, albeit in a weakened form compared to the past, still practiced.

In order to explain this phenomenon more deeply, we could recall the above-quoted passage of Fr. Calvaròn: “The Pope stripped himself of his supreme authority in favour of the bishops (collegiality); the bishops stripped themselves of their authority in favour of theologians; theologians gave up their science in favour of listening to the faithful. And the voice of the faithful is nothing more than the fruit of propaganda.”

Here, Archbishop Viganò also once more gives a glimpse of his own memory of that time:

Seeing the Catholic Church, a beacon of truth and civilization for nations, throw open its doors to the world and unhesitatingly discard her glorious heritage, going so far as to revolutionize the Liturgy and water down Morality, was an unequivocal signal to the masses, a sort of approval of the agenda that, at the time, didn’t yet dare to reveal itself completely, even though all of its distinctive signs could be grasped. It destroyed the Church and society, compromised civil and religious authority, discredited marriage and the family, ridiculed patriotism and a sense of duty or labeled them as fascism. All amid the silence of a complicit hierarchy! Those like me, who entered the seminary in the immediate post-conciliar period, can testify that even the Roman Pontifical Seminaries were immediately conquered by this tremor of protest, emancipation and dissolution of all rules and discipline.

But Archbishop Viganò goes even further and draws a line between the occurrences of the 1960s and today, between the Jesuits involved in the Council's revolution and their current links with such prominent globalists as George Soros. Here, he points to the “the substantial funding that globalist organizations, such as Soros’s Open Society, have allocated to the activities of the Society of Jesus, and presumably to other Catholic organizations, would be inexplicable. All the premises that were laid down in a nutshell with Vatican II and the student revolution are now consistently proposed by Vatican leaders on the ecclesial front, and by government leaders on the globalist political front.”

And here, it also makes sense that Pope Francis’s own views and agendas somehow go together with “Joe Biden’s priorities.” 

It is to be hoped that historians will be able to further shed light on these very important links that seem to have brought us into the desperate situation where even the Catholic Church's leaders seem to be enemies of the Church's very doctrine and morals.

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.