Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger Teach the Truth About Communist Regimes Behind the Iron Curtain
In the official Document recently published warning the Church against “Liberation Theology”, we find the following passage regarding the Communist Regimes in Russia and other Communist-dominated countries. This document was prepared by the “Holy Office” under its prefect, Cardinal Ratzinger. This document was ordered to be published by Pope John Paul II. We take the following quote from the English version of L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO of September 10, 1984.
A major fact of our time ought to evoke the reflection of all those who would sincerely work for the true liberation of their brothers: millions of our own contemporaries legitimately yearn to recover those basic freedoms of which they were deprived by totalitarian and atheistic regimes which came to power by violent and revolutionary means, precisely in the name of the liberation of the people. This shame of our time cannot be ignored; while claiming to bring them freedom, these regimes keep whole nations in conditions of servitude which are unworthy of mankind. Those who, perhaps inadvertently, make themselves accomplices of similar enslavements betray the very poor they mean to help.
The class struggle as a road toward a classless society is a myth which slows reform and aggravates poverty and injustice. Those who allow themselves to be caught up in fascination with this myth should reflect on the bitter examples history has to offer about where it leads. They would then understand that we are not talking here about abandoning an effective means of struggle on behalf of the poor for an ideal which has no practical effects. On the contrary, we are talking about freeing oneself from a delusion in order to base oneself squarely on the Gospel and its power of realization.
One of the conditions for necessary theological correction is giving proper value to the social teaching of the Church.
This Instruction was adopted at an Ordinary Meeting of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was approved at an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who ordered its publication.
Given at Rome, at the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on August 6, 1984, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
JOSEPH CARD. RATZINGER Prefect
Archbishop ALBERTO BOVONE Secretary
Cardinal Casaroli Against Cardinal Ratzinger and the Holy Office
The following is the text of the report headed “Reproof for Ratzinger” which was published in the November 24, 1984, issue of the ultra-Neomodernist London review The Tablet.
“Public criticism of the Instruction on Some Aspects of Liberation Theology issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 3 September has now been made by Cardinal Casaroli, Secretary of State. He has denied that he was consulted about the Instruction, and has made it clear that he has no responsibility for its contents. There are those who think that the Cardinal would have resigned if he had not been allowed by Pope John Paul II to distance himself from the document in this way. For his particular concern has been the relations between the Vatican and Communist regimes and this work is thrown into question when the documents refer to Communism as ‘this shame of our time’ which keeps whole nations ‘in conditions of servitude which are unworthy of mankind’. Whether right or wrong, such judgments are political, with obvious implications for the Catholics in Eastern Europe, and as such belong to the province of the Secretariat of State rather than of Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.”
In other words according to Casaroli, the purely political functions of the Secretariat of State (which at the time of Paul VI betrayed Cardinal Mindszenty and forbade him to continue bearing witness as a prisoner of Moscow's puppet Hungarian State) must continue to take precedence over matters of doctrine and especially over the authentic social doctrine of the Church which has defined Communism as being “intrinsically evil,”1 as a system of oppression with “a diabolically efficient system of propaganda, probably unparalleled in history.”2
Casaroli: Main Supporter of the Agreement to Silence the Vatican
There is, of course, nothing new in this attempt by Casaroli to muzzle the Teaching Church in the name of political expediency. It is simply a continuation of the silence imposed on the Council Fathers of Vatican II who, on the same pretext of “relations between the Vatican and Communist regimes” were forbidden even to discuss, let alone reaffirm, the condemnation of Communism by successive Pontiffs, including Leo XIII who had “described these same aberrations (i.e. of Communism) as ‘a deadly plague insidiously penetrating the very vitals of human society and threatening it with extinction’.”3
In short, Casaroli’s policy is but continued enforcement of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement which forbade an ecumenical Council particularly concerned with the relations between the Church and the modern world from even discussing the greatest menace to Church and State ever known (see The Fatima Crusader, Issue No. 16, “The Vatican-Moscow Agreement”, and No. 17, “The Vatican Silenced by Moscow”).
Casaroli Against the Collegial Consecration of Russia
This tells us with commendable clarity that Cardinal Casaroli could not but be determinedly opposed to the abrogation of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, and also therefore, to the Collegial Consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It is therefore a great pity that the Holy Father did not call his bluff by accepting his resignation.
1. Divini Redemptoris para. 82, ENCYCLICAL ON COMMUNISM by POPE PIUS XI.
2. Ibid. para. 26.
3. Ibid. para. 6.