“His most holy Passion must also be fulfilled in His mystical body”
A Good Friday 2021 Reflection by Archbishop Viganò
“With this warning the Savior reminds us that His most holy Passion must also be fulfilled in his Mystical Body — If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you — both in individuals over the course of the centuries as well as in the Church as an institution at the end of time.” —Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in a reflection on Good Friday published this morning, April 2, 2021
The essential point of a new reflection for this year’s Good Friday composed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is contained in the sentence cited above: that individual Christians, and the Church Herself as an institution at the end of time, will face intense persecution.
Here below is the full text of the archbishop’s reflection, followed by an interview that the archbishop recently gave to Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valli.
Below, Archbishop Viganò
“Let us ask ourselves if in this sacred re-presentation we will have the courage to wipe the bloody Face of Christ in the devastated image of the Church, if like the Cyrenian we will know how to help the Church carry her Cross, if like Joseph of Arimathea we will offer a worthy place in which to lay her until she is resurrected.” — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in his April 2, 2021 reflection on Good Friday
Simon of Cyrene assists Jesus in carrying his cross. The lithograph, done more than 200 years ago by the Italian artist Benedetto Eredi (1750-1812), is today in the church of Santo Stefano in Reggio Emilia in north-central Italy
The Passion of the Church
Here below, a meditation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for Good Friday, April 2, 2021.
“This is your hour; it is the reign of darkness.” —Luke 22:53
By Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
The texts of the liturgy of the Sacred Triduum strike us, like the lash of a whip, for the crude brutality of the torments to which the Lord was subjected by the will of the Sanhedrin, at the order of the Roman procurator.
The crowd, instigated by the high priests, invokes the innocent blood of the Son of God upon themselves and their children, denying in the space of just a few days the triumph which had been attributed to Him at His entrance into Jerusalem.
The praises and cries of Hosanna turn into shouts of Crucify him, and the palm branches become whips and clubs.
How much crowds can disappoint: they are capable of giving honor with the same conviction with which shortly afterwards they decree the death sentence.
Who are the protagonists and those responsible for this condemnation?
Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles, a thief and a traitor, who for thirty pieces of silver hands the Master over to the ecclesiastical authority to have him arrested.
The Sanhedrin, that is, the religious authority of the Old Law, which is still in force at the moment of the Passion.
The false witnesses, who are either paid or else seek notoriety, who accuse Our Lord, contradicting one another.
The people, or better the crowd that is ready for demonstrations in the square and lets itself be led by a few skilled manipulators.
The Procurator Pontius Pilate, the representative of the Emperor in Palestine, who issues an unjust sentence but with official authority.
And the whole jumble of nameless subordinates who rage with unprecedented cruelty against an innocent man, for the sole reason that this is expected of them: the Temple guards, the soldiers of the Sanhedrin, the Roman soldiers, the violent mob.
Our Lord is condemned to death despite the fact that his innocence has been recognized by the legitimate Magistrate: Accipite eum vos et crucifigite; ego enim non invenio in eo causam — “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.”
Pilate does not want to antagonize the high priests, nor have the crowd against him, which the priests can manipulate by leveraging hatred of the Romans, who militarily occupy Palestine.
Pilate knows the contempt that the Levites and elders of the people harbor against him, considering him a pagan from whom they must keep their distance, to the point of not wanting to contaminate themselves by entering the Praetorium: they remain outside even as they ensure that the temporal power which oppresses them will become their accomplice in condemning their Messiah for blasphemy, that is, for a religious crime.
Or rather: in order to send an innocent man to death without a conviction. Innocens ego sum a sanguine iusti huius, says Pilate: “I am innocent of the death of this just man.”
The princes of the priests threaten Pilate: Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Cæsaris — “If you release him, you are no friend of Caesar” — and they go so far as to submit themselves to the imperial power in order to put their King to death: Non habemus regem, nisi Cæsarem — “We have no king but Caesar.”
But was it not Herod, the king of Judea?
Even on the Cross, where the Lord intones the antiphon of his own Sacrifice with the words of the Psalmist: Deus meus, Deus meus: ut quid me dereliquisti? — “My God, my God: why have you abandoned me?” — those who have memorized the Sacred Scriptures pretend not to recognize in that solemn cry the last warning to the Synagogue, presaging the abolition of the Levitical priesthood and the imminent destruction of the Temple, forty years later, at the hand of Titus.
In Psalm 21, David foretells what the Jews had before their eyes, what they were no longer able to understand because of their blindness, and we hear that warning repeated today in the Reproaches of the liturgy of Good Friday, incredulous at the infidelity of the Chosen People and broken-hearted at the no less appalling repetition of the infidelity of the new Israel, of her pontiffs, of her ministers.
There is not a single word, in the liturgy of the Paschal Triduum, that does not sound like a pained and suffering accusation: the accusation of the Lord that sees fulfilled in his betrayal by Judas and his own people the action by which the religious and civil power unite against the Lord and His Christ: Astiterunt reges terrae, et principes convenerunt in unum, adversus Dominum, et adversus Christum ejus — “The kings of the earth rise up, and princes conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed.”
Our Lord says: If the world hates you, know that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
With this warning the Savior reminds us that His most holy Passion must also be fulfilled in his Mystical Body — If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you — both in individuals over the course of the centuries as well as in the Church as an institution at the end of time.
And the correspondence between the Passion of Christ and the Passion of the Church is significant.
This correspondence seems to me to be even more evident in this hour of darkness, in which the power of the new unfaithful and corrupt Sanhedrin is allied with the temporal power in persecuting Our Lord and those who are faithful to Him.
Today also the princes of the priests, thirsty for power and eager to please the empire that keeps them subjugated, have recourse to Pilate to have Catholics condemned, accusing them of blasphemy for not wanting to accept the betrayal of their leaders.
The Apostles and martyrs of yesterday live once more in the apostles and martyrs of today, who for now are denied the privilege of a bloody martyrdom but are not denied persecution, ostracism and derision.
Once again we find Judas, who sells good shepherds to the Sanhedrin; once again we find false witnesses, villains, those who instigate the crowd, the temple guards and the soldiers of the Praetorium; once again we find Caiaphas who tears his garments, Peter who denies the Lord, and the Apostles who run away and hide; once again we find those who crown the Church with thorns, who slap her face and mock her, who scourge her and expose her to ridicule; who throw upon her the Cross of the scandals of her ministers, the sins of her faithful; once again today there are those who dip the sponge in vinegar and pierce the side of the Church with a spear; once again today there is a seamless garment and those who cast lots for it.
But just as on Good Friday, so also today the Mother of the Church and an Apostle will remain at the foot of the Cross, witnesses of the passio Ecclesiæ [“the passion of the Church”] just as they were once witnesses of the passio Christi [“the passion of Christ”].
May each of us, in these hours of silence and recollection, examine himself.
Let us ask ourselves if we want to be, in the liturgical action of the end times, among those who, even if only for the sake of conforming, looked away, shook their heads, and spat on the Lord on His journey to Calvary.
Let us ask ourselves if, in this sacred re-presentation, we will have the courage to wipe the bloody Face of Christ in the devastated image of the Church, if like the Cyrenian we will know how to help the Church carry her Cross, if like Joseph of Arimathea we will offer a worthy place in which to lay her until she is resurrected.
Let us ask ourselves how many times we have slapped Christ, taking the part of the Sanhedrin and the high priests, how many times we have placed human respect ahead of our Faith, how many times we have accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray and hand over the Savior, in His good ministers, to the princes of the priests and the elders of the people.
When the Church will cry out her Consummatum est [“It is finished”] under a black sky, while the earth will shake and the veil of the temple will be torn from top to bottom, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Col 1:24) will be accomplished in the Mystical Body.
We will await the deposition from the Cross, the laying in the sepulchre, the absorbed and mute silence of nature, the descent into Hell.
There will be, also in this instance, temple guards to keep watch and ensure that the pusillus grex [“little flock”] does not rise again, and there will be those who will say that His followers have come to steal it.
Holy Saturday will also come for the Holy Church; the Exultet and the Alleluia will also come after the sorrow, death, and darkness of the tomb. Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere [“We known that Christ is truly risen from the dead”]: we know that His Mystical Body will also rise with Him, just at the moment when his ministers will think that all is lost.
And they will recognize the Church, as they have recognized the Lord, in fractione panis [“in the breaking of the bread”].
This is my wish, from the bottom of my heart, for this Holy Easter and for the times that await us.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
April 2, 2021
Feria VI in Parasceve
Interview of Aldo Maria Valli with Mons. Carlo Maria Viganò
Holy Thursday, April 1, 2021
Your Excellency, through your repeated interventions and the activity of various blogs you are denouncing in every way the apostasy that is spreading in the Church just like the tyranny imposed by the ideology of the New World Order, to which the Hierarchy of the Church seems to be in total submission. With respect to these themes, a division is noted, that is ever more accentuated, within families and also between friends. With respect to the affairs of the world and the Church there is a radically divided judgment, with a polarization that seems to admit no mutual understanding. It is as if two different cultures have emerged, two different anthropologies, even two different faiths. Thus, how should we behave in this situation if we wish to safeguard love for the truth?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: You are right: the establishment of the New Order, begun under the pretext of the so-called pandemic, makes the loss of inner peace and serenity perceptible to many; it makes us perceive an evil that overwhelms us and before which we feel powerless; it sharpens divisions and disputes between family members, relatives, and friends.
Very often we are saddened to see how the lie succeeds in convincing people close to us whom we had believed to be mature and capable of discerning good from evil.
It seems incredible to us that our friends have allowed themselves to be deceived, indeed I would almost say to be hypnotized, by the drumbeat of the mainstream media: doctors whom we considered conscientious seem to have cancelled their own scientific knowledge by abdicating rationality in the name of a sort of crazy superstition; acquaintances who up until yesterday condemned the horrors of Nazism and Communism do not realize how much the horrors of those dictatorships are being re-proposed in an even more inhuman and ruthless form, replicating on a wider scale the experimentation of the concentration camps and the violation of the natural rights of the world population.
We cannot understand how it can be that our parish priest speaks to us about Covid as if it were a plague, that the mayor behaves like a hierarch, that a neighbor calls the police because a family organizes a barbecue on the terrace.
Elderly people who once fought valiantly and risked their lives are now literally terrorized by a treatable flu.
Fathers of families with solid moral principles tolerate their children being indoctrinated into vice and perversion, as if what has been passed on to them and what they believe in no longer has any value.
Speaking about love of one’s country, the defense of national borders, and national sovereignty is now considered fascist.
And we ask ourselves: where is the Italy that we have loved? Where is the Church that instructed us in the Faith and made us grow in the Grace of God? Is it possible that all of this has been cancelled in just a few years?
It is obvious that what is now happening has been planned for decades, both in the civil sphere as well as the religious.
And many people, very many, have been deceived: first by convincing them to grant rights to those who share neither our Faith nor our values, then by making them feel almost guilty for the fact of being Catholic, for their ideas, for their past.
Today we have reached the point of being barely tolerated as retrogrades and fanatics, while there are those would like to make it a crime to do what has constituted the basis of civilized life for millennia and declare every behavior against God, against nature, and against our identity not only licit but obligatory.
In the face of this upheaval that involves our entire society, the division that emerges between the children of light and children of darkness appears increasingly clear: this is a grace that is granted to us by God in order to make a courageous and decisive choice.
Let us recall the words of Our Lord: “Do not believe that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (Mt 10:34).
The pacifism we have been hearing about for decades only serves to disarm the good and set the wicked free to do their iniquitous works.
Therefore even the division and polarization between those who belong to the City of God and those who serve the prince of this world is welcome, if it serves to open our eyes.
Love for the truth necessarily implies hatred of lies, and it would be ill-considered and illusory to believe that two masters can be served.
If today we are asked to choose between the Kingdom of Christ and the tyranny of the New World Order, we cannot avoid this choice and must carry it out consistently, asking the Lord for the strength to bear witness to Him even to the point of martyrdom.
Whoever tells us that the Gospel can be reconciled with the anti-Gospel of globalism is lying, just as those who offer us a world without wars in which all religions can live together in peace also lie.
There is no peace except in the Kingdom of Christ: pax Christi in regno Christi [“the peace of Christ (is) in the kingdom of Christ”].
Of course, in order to conduct our combat successfully we should be able to count on generals and commanders who guide us: if almost all of them have preferred desertion and betrayal, we can however count on an invincible Leader, the Most Holy Virgin, invoking Her protection over Her children and the entire Church.
Under Her powerful guidance we should not fear anything, because it is She who will strike the head of the ancient serpent, restoring the order that the pride of Satan has broken.
Let us speak of the liturgy and the Holy Mass. Not all faithful Catholics, however well-intentioned, have the possibility of participating at Vetus Ordo [“Old Order,” that is, Tridentine rite] Masses and must “content themselves” with the Masses that are celebrated in their parishes, often marked by liturgical rudeness if not true and proper abuses. In these Masses, Communion is received in the hand, standing, the Our Father is recited according to the new formula [at Masses celebrated in Italian], those present are invited to exchange the “glance of peace,” [instead of the sign of peace], preaching is heard that is in line with Bergoglianism (to touch on only a few aspects). In the end, they leave Mass feeling sad, to put it mildly, rather than peaceful and reconciled with God and their brothers. So what should they do?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: We should first ask ourselves how it can be possible that the supreme act of worship, instituted by Our Lord to perpetuate in an unbloody manner on our altars the infinite graces of the Sacrifice of Calvary, has become an obstacle to the sanctification of the faithful rather than an occasion of spiritual progress and interior peace.
In other times, the Mass offered a glimpse of Heaven amidst the trials and chaos of the world; today it seems that the clamor of the world is an indispensable element to banish silence, prayerful adoration, and the sense of the sacred and the presence of God.
But if in the natural order it is our duty to nourish the body with healthy food and avoid those that are poisoned or adulterated, all the more so is it our duty in the supernatural order to feed our souls with healthy nourishment, keeping ourselves away from what can spiritually poison us.
Obviously I understand the difficulty of the faithful in finding churches in which the traditional Holy Mass is celebrated, but I think that the Lord also knows how to appreciate the good will of those who are aware of the importance that the Holy Sacrifice has for our soul, especially in moments of great crisis like the ones we are going through, and for this reason they know how to make a small effort, at least on Sundays, to sanctify the Lord’s Day worthily.
There have been times and places in which Catholics were persecuted and assisting at the Mass was difficult and dangerous, and yet the faithful succeeded in gathering clandestinely in the woods, in cellars, or in attics in order to honor God and nourish themselves with the Bread of Angels: we have the duty to be worthy of these our brothers in the Faith, without making excuses or pretexts.
On the other hand, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum recognizes the right of the faithful — a right, not a privilege — to have the traditional Mass, and if this does not happen everywhere it is in large part because the faithful do not know how to impose themselves.
It is not a question of concern for aesthetics, of love for Latin or Gregorian chant, or a form of nostalgia for one’s own past; here what is in question is the heart of the life of the Church, the soul of the supernatural life of Catholics, the very good of the world.
I understand that many of the faithful find themselves in a situation of difficulty, at least from the human point of view, at the moment when they must decide whether to abandon the life of their parish in order to seek out a traditional Mass which is sometimes miles away.
The faithful have a grave moral duty at least to seek out a Mass celebrated with decorum and respect by a pious priest who administers Holy Communion on the tongue.
The pandemic has given the pretext for abusively imposing restrictions on liturgical functions: let us not make ourselves sharers in responsibility for these abuses by our silence and our resignation in allowing indecorous or sacrilegious Masses to be imposed on us.
God is also offended by the indolence and indifference with which we repay His love for us: an indolence that is increasingly perceptible in the faithful who even allow themselves to be vaccinated in church on Holy Saturday, replacing meditation on the Last Things with the groundless fear of physical death.
In the face of these manifestations of the enslavement of the Clergy and the Hierarchy to the diktats of a corrupt and corrupting authority, raising one’s voice aloud is not only a moral duty but also a brake on the excesses of so many ecclesiastics who have forgotten the sense of their Priesthood and the soul of their vocation.
They should seriously consider how grave their cooperation with the Covid narrative is, above all when pseudo-scientific superstition becomes the only possible form of faith, appropriating the symbology, lexicon, and rituality of a religion. Let whoever has ears to hear, understand.
Let us therefore ask our priests to celebrate the Holy Mass as if it was the first and last Mass of their lives, to do away with these worldly rites, and to give back to us the treasure that they stubbornly keep hidden.
Let us not forget to give material and spiritual help to priests who courageously and consistently celebrate the traditional liturgy, remembering that one day soon they will be the ones to rebuild the fabric that will restore Christian society.
And if we ourselves cannot assist with regularity at the Holy Sacrifice in the rite handed down to us by the Apostles, let us keep our distance from those who profane the Blessed Sacrament and use the pulpit to corrupt Faith and Morals.
I would like to reiterate, however, out of a duty of conscience, that wherever it is possible to assist at the Tridentine Mass without serious inconvenience, this must certainly be preferred to the reformed Mass.
Undoubtedly you have seen, Your Excellency, that once again the question of “who is pope and who is not pope” has been raised. There are those who say: given that Bergoglio was elected on the basis of manipulations of the Saint Gallen Mafia and perhaps with irregularities during the Conclave, he is not Pope. Instead, Ratzinger is said to be Pope, because it is said that he did not renounce the throne freely, but rather because he was forced by strong pressures, and because he supposedly deliberately wrote the Latin text of the resignation incorrectly in order to render it invalid. Is this “Church fantasy”? Or is there any element to take into serious consideration?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: Multiple causes — strong and undue pressures both external to the Church as well as by eminent members of the Hierarchy, as well as the personal character of Joseph Ratzinger — are said to have induced Benedict XVI to formulate a declaration of resignation in a completely irregular way, leaving the Church in a state of grave uncertainty and confusion; machinations of a group of progressive conspirators are said to have indicated Bergoglio as the candidate then elected in the course of a conclave marked by infringements of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis which regulates the election of the Roman Pontiff: these elements are said to be such as to make the abdication of Ratzinger null and void, the Conclave of 2013 null and void, and the election of the successor also null and void.
However, although there is widespread and undeniable talk about them, these elements need confirmation and above all a declaration by the supreme authority of the Church.
Any pronunciation made by those who do not have the authority to do so would be rash.
I also believe that, in the present situation, the dispute over who is the reigning Pope serves only to weaken the already fragmented healthy part of the ecclesial body, sowing division among the good.
Let us confidently pray to the Lord to bring the truth to light and show us the path to follow.
For now, strong in the virtue of Prudence, which orders means towards the ultimate end, let us remain faithful and jealously guard that which the Church has always believed: quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est [“what always, what everywhere, what by all has been believed”].
During this time that is, in many respects, so complicated and confused, what is your prayer? Would you like to suggest to us how to turn to Our Lord?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: What is happening today is because of the public sins of nations, the sins of individuals, and — terrible as it may sound — the sins of the men of the Church.
We cannot intervene for the sins of nations nor for those of the Hierarchy, but we can begin with humility and with the spirit of true conversion to amend our sins, our infidelities, and our lukewarmness.
Thus, while the new Pharisees delight in the world’s appreciation, in addition to praying for their conversion, we must implore the Lord’s mercy for ourselves with the words of the Gospel: “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13).
Society, and even more so the Church, will benefit greatly from our fidelity and our walking along the path of holiness that has been prepared for us, with the Grace of God and under the protection of the Most Holy Virgin.
Let us not deprive ourselves of trusting recourse to Her whom Our Lord gave to us on the Cross as our Mother, and who as such will not deny us Her help in our trials.
We are approaching Easter: despite everything, the Lord rises. We want to find reasons for hope. This is a difficult undertaking, but can we try?
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò: Not only can we try: we must have Faith and also exercise the virtue of Hope, according to which we know that the Lord grants us the Graces necessary to avoid sin, carry out the good, and merit the eternal beatitude of Heaven.
Let’s not forget that we are pilgrims in hac lacrimarum valle [“in this of tears the valley= in this vale of tears”] and that our homeland is the heavenly Jerusalem, along with the Angels and Saints, in the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
Surrexit Dominus vere [“the Lord is truly Risen”] the Easter liturgy proclaims: He has Risen once and for all, conquering Satan and snatching from him the chirograph that Adam signed with original sin.
The present trials, the fear of being abandoned and alone against a powerful alignment that seems to crush us and overcome us, should not frighten us but spur us on to renew our trust in Him who said of Himself: “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have tribulation; but take courage, I have conquered the world” (Jn 16:33).
May this Holy Easter spur us on to a return to God, offering our trials and tribulations with a spirit of expiation and reparation for the conversion of sinners, so that after we too have shared the chalice of Gethsemane we may make ourselves worthy of the glory of the Resurrection.
[End of interview with Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valle]
Archbishop Viganò’s Episcopal Coat-of-Arms. “Scio cui credidi,” his episcopal motto, is from Second Timothy 1:12 and means “I know in whom I have believed,” that is, Christ