“We are not alone”
A few days ago, I received a meditation written, once again, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 79, about the very special and unusual Christmas that closed the year 2020 — unusual because many churches seemed likely to remain closed, and many families to remain separated, rather than gathered together, due to concerns about the Coronavirus.
The meditation is eloquent, powerful, and, yes, likely to be controversial.
I have to be honest. I have received many emails from readers in recent weeks expressing contrasting concerns about the archbishop’s recent writings, and about my publication of his writings in these Letters.
Some readers have expressed appreciation, saying they are grateful to the archbishop for speaking out with courage and eloquence about the troubling economic, health and social organization issues facing the Church and the world.
Others, however, have expressed profound disappointment and deep concern over the archbishop’s more recent writings, especially with regard to two issues:
(1) the Coronavirus, its severity, the dramatic government measures taken in response to it, and the proposed vaccines that have already begun to be widely distributed and administered; and
(2) the controversial US presidential elections and allegations of voting irregularities that continue to be made with insistence, and with equal insistence continue to be denied.
Some readers have urged me to stop publishing the archbishop’s reflections altogether, arguing that his views on these matters, as opposed to his views on matters of specifically Catholic faith and practice, are not authoritative, or even helpful.
Still, for many reasons, I think the Church, and the world, benefit by a full discussion of even these controversial issues, which in their consequences affect the life and freedom of the Church, and so I feel that the archbishop’s contribution should not be censored.
It is the essential task of human reason to evaluate facts, events, proposals, to arrive at the truth about things. Opinions from one onlooker, like the archbishop, may be partial or exaggerated, but if they are, then they be corrected by bringing forward new evidence, offering neglected facts and a more profound analysis.
I am opposed, therefore, to the argument that I should cease to publish the archbishop’s words and thoughts. I have known the archbishop for many years, I have just published a book about him entitled Finding Viganò (you may purchase the book at this link), and I am preparing a second book on the questions he raises, which I hope to complete soon. His voice has become an important one today, in the Church, and in the world.
The process of publicly discussing and debating issues about which men and women of good will may have profound disagreements is a necessary process. I oppose proposals to place a priori limitations on the questions that may be raised on such important matters in the Church, and in the world — especially when powerful secular authorities in the media are de-platforming those who wish to discuss these matters in an increasingly comprehensive way.
A free exchange of ideas seems to me to be an essential constituent of human freedom itself: that we should discuss and debate controversial questions until, through that open process, we may arrive at a consensus about the real truth of things.
A difficult process, even a perilous one, yet the alternative — not discussing things, accepting the dogmatic declarations of authority as definitive, without raising any questions — is not fitting for free men and women.
Free men and women must arrive at the acceptance of the truth of things freely, based on evidence and logic, not via the imposition of decisions by authorities.
With these thoughts, I publish the archbishop’s Christmas meditation, and welcome comments, criticisms, refutations, testimonies of agreement and, yes, disagreement. I would be willing also to publish such comments in a future Letter.
My best wishes for a happy New Year, in which we commemorate the 2020th anniversary of the coming of the Lord into the world at a specific time and place, two millennia ago. —RM
A Meditation on Christmas
by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
December 13, 2020
NOLITE TIMERE (“Fear Not!”)
A Meditation In Expectation of the Birth of the Most Holy Redeemer
Sleep, O Celestial Child:
The nations do not know
Who has been born;
But the day will come
When they shall be
Your noble heritage;
You who sleep so humbly,
You who are hidden in dust:
They will know You as King.
Alessandro Manzoni, Il Natale (1813) (link)
In less than two weeks, by the grace of God, this year of Our Lord 2020, which has been marked by terrible events and great social upheavals, will draw to a close.
Allow me to formulate a brief reflection with which to turn a supernatural gaze both towards the recent past as well as the immediate future.
The months that we leave behind represent one of the darkest moments in the history of humanity: for the first time ever, since the birth of the Savior, the Holy Keys have been used to close churches and restrict the celebration of the Mass and the Sacraments, almost in anticipation of the abolition of the daily Sacrifice prophesied by Daniel, which will take place during the reign of the Antichrist.
For the first time ever, at the Easter celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, many of us were forced to assist at Mass and Holy Week services through the internet, depriving us of Holy Communion.
And what most scandalized many of us was the realization that this betrayal involved the highest levels of the Hierarchy of the Church much more than the priests and the simple faithful.
Precisely from the highest Throne, from which we should have expected a firm and authoritative intervention in defense of the rights of God, of the freedom of the Church and the salvation of souls, we have received instead invitations to obey unjust laws, illegitimate norms, and irrational orders.
And in the words that the media promptly spread from Santa Marta, we recognized many, too many, nods to the insider language of the globalist élite — fraternity, universal income, new world order, build back better, great reset, nothing will be ever be the same again, resilience — all words of the new language, which testify to the idem sentire [“thinking the same”] of those who speak them and those who listen to them.
It was a true act of intimidation, a thinly-veiled threat, with which our Pastors ratified the pandemic alarm, sowed terror among the simple, and abandoned the dying and the needy.
In the height of a cynical legalism, it even reached the point of prohibiting priests from hearing Confessions and administering the Last Sacraments to those who were abandoned in intensive care, depriving our beloved dead of religious burial, and denying the Blessed Sacrament to many souls.
And if on the religious side of things we saw ourselves treated as outsiders and barred access to our churches like the Saracens of old — even as the implacable invasion of illegal immigrants continued to replenish the coffers of the self-styled humanitarian associations — on the civil and political side we discovered that our rulers had a vocation to tyranny: using a rhetoric now disproven by reality, they wanted to make us think of them as representatives of the sovereign people.
By heads of state and prime ministers, by regional governors and local mayors, the fullest rigors of the law were imposed on us as if we were rebellious subjects, suspects to be placed under surveillance even in the privacy of our own homes, criminals to be chased even in the solitude of the woods or along the seashore.
We have seen people forcibly dragged by soldiers in anti-riot gear, elderly people fined while they were going to the pharmacy, shopkeepers forced to close their doors, and restaurants that first took costly measures in an effort to comply with the government’s demands only to then be ordered to be closed.
With bewilderment, we have heard scores of self-styled experts — most of whom are lacking any scientific authority whatsoever and largely in grave conflict of interest due to their ties to pharmaceutical companies and supra-national organizations — pontificating on television programs and on the pages of newspapers about infections, vaccines, immunity, positive tests, the obligation to wear masks, the risks for the elderly, the contagiousness of the asymptomatic, and the danger of seeing one’s family.
They have thundered at us, using arcane words like “social distancing” and “gatherings,” in an endless series of grotesque contradictions, absurd alarms, apocalyptic threats, social precepts and health ceremonies that have replaced religious rites.
And as they have terrorized the population — all while being paid lavishly for their pronouncements made at every hour of the day — our rulers and politicians have flaunted their masks in front of all the television cameras, only to then take them off as soon as possible.
Forced to disguise ourselves as anonymous people without a face, they have imposed a muzzle on us that is absolutely useless for avoiding contagion and actually harmful to our health, but indispensable for their purposes of making us feel subjugated and forced to conform.
They have prevented us from being cured with existing and effective treatments, promoting instead a vaccine that they now want to make obligatory even before knowing if it is effective, after only incomplete testing.
And in order not to jeopardize the enormous profits of the pharmaceutical companies, they have granted immunity for the damage that their vaccines may cause to the population.
The vaccine is free, they tell us, but it will actually be paid for with taxpayers’ money, even if its producers do not guarantee that it will protect from contagion.
In this scenario that is similar to the disastrous effects of a war, the economy of our countries lies prostrate, while online commerce companies, home delivery companies, and pornography producers are booming.
The local shops close but the large shopping centers and supermarkets remain open: monuments to the consumerism in which everyone, even those with Covid, continue to fill their carts with foreign products, German cheeses, Moroccan oranges, Canadian flour, and cell phones and televisions made in China.
“The world is preparing for the Great Reset,” they tell us obsessively. “Nothing will ever be the same again.”
We will have to get used to “living with the virus,” subjected to a perpetual pandemic that feeds the pharmaceutical Moloch and legitimizes ever more hateful limitations of our fundamental liberties.
For the first time, we became aware, with pain and dismay, of being deserted by our bishops and parish priests, who were barricaded in their palaces and rectories out of fear of a seasonal flu that claimed about the same number of victims as in other years.
We have seen — so to speak — the generals and officers abandon their army, and in some cases they even joined the enemy ranks, imposing on the Church an unconditional surrender to the absurd reasons for the pseudo-pandemic.
Never, down all the centuries, has so much faint-heartedness, so much cowardice, so much desire to pander to our persecutors found such fertile ground in those who ought to be our guides and leaders.
Those who since childhood have catechized us to worship freedom, democracy, and popular sovereignty today govern us by depriving us of freedom in the name of health, imposing dictatorship, arrogating to themselves a power that no one has ever conferred on them, neither from above nor from below.
And the temporal power that Freemasonry and the Liberals ferociously opposed in the Roman Pontiffs is today claimed by them in reverse, in an attempt to submit the Church of Christ to the power of the State with the approval and collaboration of the highest levels of the Hierarchy.
Out of this whole humanly discouraging scenario, an unavoidable fact emerges: there is a chasm between those who hold authority and those who are subjected to it, between rulers and citizens, between the Hierarchy and the faithful.
It is an institutional monstrum [monster] in which both civil and religious power are almost entirely in the hands of unscrupulous people who have been appointed because of their absolute ineptitude and great vulnerability to blackmail.
Their role is not to administer the institution but to demolish it, not to respect its laws but to violate them, not to protect its members but to disperse and distance them.
In short, we find ourselves facing the perversion of authority, not due to chance or inexperience but pursued with determination and following a pre-established plan: a single script under a single direction.
We thus have rulers who persecute their citizens and treat them as enemies, while welcoming and financing the invasion of criminals and illegal immigrants; law enforcement officers and judges who arrest and fine those who violate social-distancing rules, even as they ostentatiously ignore criminals, rapists, assassins and treacherous politicians; teachers who do not transmit culture or the love of knowledge but instead indoctrinate students into gender and globalist ideology; doctors who refuse to treat the sick but impose a genetically-modified vaccine whose efficacy and potential side-effects are unknown; bishops and priests who deny the faithful the Sacraments but who never miss an occasion for propagandizing their own unconditional adherence to the globalist agenda in the name of Masonic Brotherhood.
Those who oppose this overturning of every principle of civil life find themselves abandoned, alone, and without a leader who would unite them.
Loneliness, in fact, allows our common enemies — as they have amply demonstrated themselves to be — to instill fear, despair, and the feeling of not being able to stand together to resist the assaults to which we have been subjected.
Citizens are alone in the face of the abuse of civil power, the faithful are alone in the face of the arrogance of heretical Prelates given over to vice, and those who wish to dissent, raise their voice, or protest within institutions are likewise alone.
Loneliness and fear increase when we give them ground to stand on, but they vanish if we think of how each one of us merited that the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity became incarnate in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary: qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis. [“Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven”].
And here we come to the Mysteries which we are preparing to contemplate in these coming days: the Immaculate Conception and the Lord’s Holy Nativity. From these mysteries, dear friends, we can draw renewed hope with which to face the events that await us.
Above all, we must remember that none of us is ever truly alone: we have the Lord at our side. He always wants our good, and so he never fails to send us His help and His grace, if only we ask for it with faith. We have the Most Blessed Virgin at our side, our loving Mother and our secure refuge. We have near us the hosts of Angels and the multitude of Saints who from the glory of Heaven intercede for us before the Throne of the Divine Majesty.
The contemplation of this sublime community that is the Holy Church, the mystical Jerusalem that we are citizens of and living members, should persuade us that the last thing we ought to fear is being alone, and that there is no reason to be afraid, even if the devil rages to make us believe that there is. True loneliness is in Hell, where the damned souls do not have any hope: that is the loneliness we should truly fear, and before it we must beg for the grace of final perseverance, that is, to be able to merit the grace of a holy death from the Mercy of God. A death for which we ought to always be prepared by keeping ourselves in a state of grace, in friendship with the Lord.
Of course, the trials that we are facing in this moment are tremendous, because they give us the feeling that evil is triumphing, that each of us is abandoned to ourselves, that the wicked have managed to get the better of the pusillus grex [little flock] and of all humanity. But was not our Lord perhaps alone in Gethsemane, alone on the wood of the Cross, alone in the Tomb? And returning to the mystery of Christmas that is now fast approaching: were not the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph perhaps alone when they found themselves forced to take refuge in a stable because non erat locus illis in diversorio [there was no room for them in the inn]?
Imagine how the putative father of Jesus must have felt seeing his Most Holy Spouse ready to give birth in the cold of the night of Palestine; think of their worries during the Flight into Egypt, knowing that King Herod had unleashed his soldiers to kill the Infant Jesus. Even in these terrible situations, the solitude of the Holy Family was only apparent, while God arranged everything according to His plans. He sent an Angel to announce the birth of the Savior to the shepherds.
He moved no less than a Star to call the Magi from the Orient to adore the Messiah. He sent choirs of His Angels to sing over the cave of Bethlehem. He warned Saint Joseph to flee in order to escape the massacre of Herod.
Also to us, in the solitude of the lockdown which many of us are forced to endure, in the abandonment of the hospital, in the silence of the deserted streets and the churches closed to worship, the Lord comes to bring his company. Also to us He sends His Angel to inspire us with holy purposes, his Most Holy Mother to console us, the Paraclete to give us comfort, dulcis hospes animae.
We are not alone: we are never alone.
And it is this, in the end, that the authors of the Great Reset fear most: that we become aware of this supernatural – but no less true – reality that makes the house of cards of their infernal deceptions collapse.
If we think of how we have at our side She who crushes the head of the Serpent, or the Archangel who has drawn his sword to drive Lucifer into the abyss; if we recall that our Guardian Angel, our Patron Saint, and our dear ones in Heaven and Purgatory are with us: what can we ever be afraid of?
Do we want to believe that the God of armies drawn up for battle has any hesitation about defeating any servant of the eternally defeated one?
She who in the year 630 saved Constantinople from siege, terrorizing the Avars and Persians by appearing tremendous in the heavens; who in 1091 at Scicli in Sicily was invoked as Our Lady of the Militia and appeared on a shining cloud chasing away the Saracens; who in 1571 at Lepanto and again in 1683 at Vienna was invoked as Queen of Victories and granted victory to the Christian army against the Turks; who during the anti-Catholic persecution of Mexico protected the Cristeros and repelled the army of the Mason Elias Calles – She will not deny us Her holy assistance; She will not leave us alone in the battle; She will not abandon those who have recourse to Her with trusting prayer in the moment in which the conflict is decisive and the confrontation is nearing an end.
We have had the grace to understand what this world can become if we deny the Lordship of God and replace it with the tyranny of Satan.
This is the world that is rebellious against Christ the King and Mary the Queen, in which each day thousands of innocent lives in the wombs of their mothers are sacrificed to Satan; this is the world in which vice and sin want to cancel every trace of good and virtue, every memory of the Christian religion, every law and vestige of our civilization, every trace of the order that the Creator has given to nature.
A world in which churches burn, Crosses are knocked down, statues of the Virgin are decapitated: this hatred, this Satanic fury against Christ and the Mother of God is the mark of the Evil One and his servants.
In the face of this total Revolution, this accursed New World Order that would prepare the way for the kingdom of the Antichrist, we cannot still believe that any brotherhood is possible if not under the Law of God, nor that it is possible to construct peace if not under the mantle of the Queen of Peace. Pax Christi in regno Christi. [“The peace of Christ in the reign (or kingdom) of Christ.”]
The Lord will give us the victory only when we bow down to Him as our King. And if we cannot yet proclaim Him as King of our Nations because of the impiety of those who govern us, we can nevertheless consecrate ourselves, our families, and our communities to Him. And to those who dare to challenge Heaven in the name of “Nothing will be the same again,” we respond by invoking God with renewed fervor: “As it was in beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.”
Let us pray to the Immaculate Virgin, Tabernacle of the Most High, asking that in our meditation on the Holy Nativity of Her Divine Son which now draws near, She may dispel our fear and solitude, gathering us together in adoration around the manger.
In the poverty of the crib, in the silence of the cave of Bethlehem, the song of the Angels resounds; the one true Light of the world shines forth, adored by the shepherds and the Magi, and Creation itself bows down, adorning the vault of heaven with a shining Star.
Veni, Emmanuel: captivum solve Israël. Come, O Emmanuel, free your imprisoned people. [or “ransom captive Israel”].
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
13 December 2020
Dominica Gaudete, III Adventus
[Gaudete (“Rejoice”) Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent]