Malachi Martin, VATICAN, powieść z kluczem .
Napisana trzydzieści lat temu – a przerażająco aktualna. Kulisy Watykanu od 1945 do konklawe po śmierci papieża „Valeska”. Przegląd bojów - i zmian...
Poniżej zakończenie książki.
Lansing bowed his head in Azande's direction. "In any other circumstances but our present ones, probably I could accept a mandate from a Conclave of my peers. But now, Eminences, in my opinion, unlike that of His Eminence Cardinal Buff, we do not stand poised in our spiritual maturity ready to blossom with a “new era of Christianity.”
“We stand in blind agony, ready to lurch over the edge of a precipice. Our situation is far more critical, far closer to terminal, than I believe many of you realize. We are within sight of the end, as an institution, of what we all have known as the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
“I pray there is time for one more move. We are here to decide what move that will be. We can act, as My Lord Cardinal Buff seems bent on doing, so as to topple over the edge into total chaos. Or we can act so as to draw back.
“I have no earthly assurance that your mandate, even if interpreted differently than my Venerable Brother from England does, would not topple the Church over that edge. Nor have you.
“If Your Eminences insist on this mandate, pick another candidate to do your will. I am not willing to take responsibility for that mandate.”
“Your Eminence.” Cardinal Falconieri was leaning forward in his throne. “Will Your Eminence take a question?"
“I will.” Rico nodded.
“Does Your Eminence accept my Lord Cardinal Feinstahl's broader analysis on which he based the mandate?”
Lansing needed little time to consider his answer. “I have, of course, the greatest respect for My Lord Cardinal Feinstahl, as for My Lord Cardinal Buff, as for all of you, My Lords Cardinal. But all of you who accept the analyses we have heard so far have been so thoroughly indoctrinated with the Marxist view of history as to be unaware of it, as you are mindless of the air we breath.
“The Marxist view of everything, like the view given of our Church, hinges on the dogma of “the class struggle.”
“You have transposed such thinking - this Marxist dogma -onto the plane of Church analysis. We could end all our tatterdemalion status, you say, if we could end this class struggle, or that one. The struggle of priests with bishops. The struggle of bishops with the Pope. The struggle of nuns to be priests or to be bishops or to be Pope or to be married to any of them. Everything is reduced to the image of one class struggling with every other class, some forming temporary alliances from time to time.
“The chief culprit of our ills, in the analyses I have heard in this hallowed place, is “the Struggle”. “The Disunity.”
“We can end it all, say My Lord Buff and his supporters, if we do away with one contending side in the struggle. Do away with the authoritative, power-claimant papacy. Leave only “the people of God” in sole possession of the field.
“That is, of course, much like the Marxist argument proposing to liquidate a different class struggle by liquidating the entire capitalist bourgeoisie, leaving only the “people” in sole possession of that field.
“My analysis is quite the opposite. Disunity, struggle, disruption - none of those is the disease that besets us. They are symptoms of the disease. And trying to cure those symptoms with the Marxist-inspired solution to the “class struggle” is like curing a strep throat with an injection of cancer cells. It is death.
“I have been too close to Marxists for too long to contract any of their dreadful disease of the mind. But I can recognize it when I see it, under any name. And what I have heard here is a formula for creating the de- Catholicized mind which will abandon or forget or betray the fundamental character of the Church.
“We can join the rest of humanity on the meadows of achievement, My Lord Cardinal Buff has said, if we abolish the struggle.
"And yet, Christ did not say, “I will found several church communities, which will each develop autonomously.” Nor did he say, “You, Peter, will be one bishop among thousands of other peer bishops, a chairman of the board of bishops.”
“What Christ said was this: You are Peter, and upon you, as upon a rock, I shall build my Church.
“And that, My Lords Cardinal, is why, from the earliest time, this Church of Christ has described itself with the five titles I have recited once already this morning."
As he repeated each title, he looked straight at one or another of the cardinals who had worked so long and hard to strip those titles away.
“One”-he threw the first title at Buff; “Holy -that was for Grosjean; “Roman”-for Carberin; “Catholic” -for Svensens; “Apostolic”- he ended with Pirandella.
There were a few isolated shouts. "Brawo! . . . Ottimo! . . . Bravo”
Azande stopped the shouts with a few glaring stares. “Your Eminence.” He turned to Lansing. “You have told us your view of the conclave mandate, and that it is falsely based. That it has wrongly taken the struggle and disunity in the Church as its focus.
“What, in Your Eminence's view, should be the focus of our mandate. And therefore of papal policy?”
“Very simply this, Your Eminence: Our struggle is and always has been over one thing- power.
“Not the power of classes. Not ecclesiastical or social or political power. But the very same power St. Paul singled out at the very beginning of Rome's history. The power of one brilliant, fallen Archangel and his hordes. The power of darkness.
“And, as that Apostle pointed out, our struggle with that power can be waged only with the weapons given to us by Christ, whose servants we are. Moral power is ours. Spiritual authority is ours. That is all. And that is enough.
“Your Eminences, I do not wish to make a whipping boy of any cardinal here; and certainly not of any pope. But My Lord Buff has counseled us to complete the magnificent work of Papa Da Brescia.
“I have served five popes. Not from an archbishopric or a bureaucrats desk, but in the front lines.
“Papa Profumi, the first of those five, saw the reality, the real struggle, the frightening one that lies between evil -a Person resident in the house of human kind -and a divine Person also resident in that house.
“He struggled with that Evil One as best he knew. He was in no way Marxized in his thought; but he was finely schooled in the art of politics and diplomacy, and realized only too late that those are not the weapons to stem the advance of that Enemy. And Papa Profumi died in his regrets.
“Papa Angelica, already the partial victim of the Marxized mind, decided-correctly, I believe-that what was needed in the world was love. It was he who made a pact between the Holy See and the Moscow Polit- buro. But he had no inkling of what Evil was and is and means. Nor did God give him time to learn. And Papa Angelica died in his regrets.
“Papa Da Brescia, the most Marxized of the papal minds, was the dupe of ruthless apostates and of faithless clerics. He, indeed, believed in the class struggle. And he died in the most poignant and pathetic of regrets.
“Papa Serena, alien to all Marxism, was MarXism's most illustrious and prime victim. But he died in our regrets, because in his death we saw how Evil had s0 deeply penetrated the Holy See that the Vicar of Christ could be done away with in the safety of the Apostolic Palace.
“Papa Valeska, the most shining figure to occupy the papacy since Pope Benedict XIV in the eighteenth century, or Pope Innocent XI in the seventeenth, fell victim to that same class struggle. For all his papal efforts were bent to solve it. And meanwhile, Evil fattened off his Church like a jackal gnawing at the bloodied carcass left by a sated lion. His “communications caves” running beneath our very feet are mute witnesses to his desperation in the face of an evil he could not overpower. And, your memories will tell you, Papa Valeska died in his regrets.
“With all respect to Lord Buff, we are not called to complete the work of Papa Da Brescia. Or of Papa Profumi. Or of Papa Valeska.
“Marking the pontificates of each of those men,” Rico continued, “was one fatal error: the use of their spiritual office to obtain leverage in the political and diplomatic and civic and cultural worlds; and then using that leverage instead of the spiritual power and moral authority that was uniquely theirs.
“And here, Your Eminences, we are at the root cause of our pain, our struggle, and our deathly peril: our failure, and the failure of our popes, to use the Church's spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.”
“My Lord! Pirandella was standing in his place. “A question.” All hostility seemed gone from him. His was not the look of a man ready to throw barbs at an enemy.
“As many as you like, Your Eminence.”
“Your Eminence has said you reject the conclave mandate. I understand why. Now I understand. But what mandate have you? How would you carry on this struggle you have described so forcefully?
For some seconds, Rico didn't answer. He had the oddest sensation. Not physical. More like a palpable memory; one he could almost touch. He remembered the way the Maestro used to talk about the “presence of my angel, Eugenio.” What Lansing felt now was an understanding of exactly what Guido had meant. He felt the presence of the Maestro.
He looked down at the crumpled note he still held in his hand. He smoothed it out and read it again, remembering the night the Maestro had told him he was papabile; and the bleak scenario of Winter he had drawn; and the words he had said about breaking the Bargain; and about relying on spiritual power and moral authority alone.
"If Papa Valeska will rely on those means, " Guido had said, "Then I'm ready to begin when he is." ”
“His Eminence has no answer." Carberin was standing, furious at Pirandella's apparent defection to Lansing. “He rejects our mandate and has none other.”
“Yes” Rico's voice was strong and full. "Lord Carberin is right. I have no mandate. Except to begin.
“Your Eminences.” Rico held up the wrinkled paper with Helmut's message written in Azande's hand. “I hold before you the death notice of a great man. Very few of you ever heard his name: Maestro Guido de la Valle. Fewer of you still ever had the great privilege of knowing him.
“Yet every one among you who rules a diocese handled your diocesan finances through the Holy See. Remember the long-term loans? Remember the low rates of interest? The doors that opened for you in the financial houses in your own countries? Remember the yearly diocesan deficits the Holy See made good? All that was made possible by this one man." Rico held up the rumpled paper again.
“He won for the Holy See a position of equality among the managers of our world's money.
“He had achieved that by the mid-seventies. Along the way, he increased the assets of the Holy See from some couple of hundred millions to a figure in excess of two hundred billion dollars. And he won for the Holy See a coveted place at that privileged green-topped table of the supermen.
“Oh, yes, he dealt in power. Raw power. For he was officially Keeper of the Bargain.” Rico could see questioning looks, looks of dismay, of consternation, knotted eyebrows, hurried consultations.
“The Bargain?” Merely stating their question for them brought all heads around.
“By 1870, as you all know, the Holy See ceased to have any temporal power, and no real source of income. All the way back then, the popes had forgotten-or had unlearned, perhaps -how to wield their spiritual power without the protection of temporal power. No wonder half the Church's enemies were afraid of her! The other half hated her.
“By 1870, a new race of princes of worldly power had appeared in our world. The men of international money. The supermen who made and unmade governments. Who backed or condemned whole empires. The forefathers of the international money managers of our day, when all -but all -is decided for us by the few who cluster around the green-topped gaming tables of the international monetary system.
“Not knowing any longer how to wield spiritual power and moral authority, the Church's leaders struck a bargain. Not the only one ever. But one so extraordinary it has been known -to the few who knew of it at all -as the Bargain.”
Rico took from his pocket the only paper he had prepared in advance to carry into conclave. “I have here the text of that signed and sealed Bargain. A bargain with the great assembly of the new international supermen.
“Who signed for the Holy See? A man called Guido the Signer. That Guido died in 1891. He was followed by the next Guido de la Valle, who died in 1924. And he in turn was followed by the Guido de la Valle who went home to God at seven thirty-five this morning. All three Were Keepers of this Bargain.”
Lansing unfolded the crisp sheet of paper. “All three were faithful servitors of the Keeper of the Keys of Salvation. For that, too, was implied in the Bargain; was the whole purpose of the Bargain, in fact, at least from the Keepers' standpoint. But none served so faithfully, so successfully, and in the final days of his life in such a holy aura, as this last Guido.
“My Brothers, I read to you from the Bargain, the statement of its purpose for both sides:
“To enable two enemies, the Holy See and the Universal Assembly, to engage in mutually profitable business ventures, and still remain enemies.
“What was guaranteed by this Bargain? Again, my Brothers, I read to you:
“The Universal Assembly guarantees the Holy See all the facilities, easements, favors, privileges, and equality now enjoyed by members of the Assembly.
“The Holy See guarantees that every act of access to such facilities, etc., will be taken only over the signature of one man: the eldest male issue of the same family in each generation, and known to the Universal Assembly. Also guaranteed: two prelates from the Holy Sees Secretariat of State, not lower than Monsignore in rank, will be formal members of the Lodge."
Rico paused, then read the two signatures. "Cesare Sella. Guido de la Valle.”
The effect of this reading was unique in the chronicles of all conclaves. Not one of Lansing's listeners looked at his neighbor, as cardinal electors do in silent consultation. No one stirred in his seat from impatience or eagerness to react. No one made any Commentary or remark. For the full meaning and impact of this revelation froze every mind present with the overwhelming ring of truth.
Suddenly, with those three paragraphs, each cardinal present clearly saw his own situation - his compromises; the easements he had enjoyed. Each saw the situation of his Church clearly-the financial scandals of the seventies and the eighties; the reticence of popes to take bold stances; the strange, godless alliances between churchmen and enemies of the Church; the Mammon of clerics; the unfaith of so many Vatican bureaucrats; the “smoke of Satan" Da Brescia had smelled wafting “in the Sanctuary and around the Altar."
“My Brothers." Lansing read the emotions on many of the faces around him, and shared them. “To add to your confusion and pain of soul, each of eleven Pontiffs was given this Bargain to sign. And each one did indeed sign it." He let that sink in. “Each of these Pontiffs mortgaged the power of Christ's Church to the power of Mammon.
“For, make no mistake about it, my Brothers, what we are discussing in this conclave -the business of every conclave -is no half-boiled theological concept of self-realizing committees and mature autonomous bodies finding new revelations.”
He spat Buff's ideas out of his mouth as a man spits irritating fishbones on the floor. “We are talking about power. This Bargain is about power. Power is exactly everything and exclusively all Your Eminences are about at this sacred moment. Under the Holy Spirit of Christ, you are here to decide only one thing: on whom that same Spirit should confer the plenitude of divine power, which Christ conferred on Peter the Apostle, and has conferred on all of Peters successors in this diocese of Rome. Power to forgive. Power to obligate. Power to teach. Power to decide the right and the wrong of all human affairs. Power for the peace of God. Power to War on God”s enemies. Power despite weakness. Power in the absence of holiness.
“If any one of our popes, if any of us or those who came before us, had used our power - Christ's power in us -with half the zeal and dedication as the Assembly had used its power, the entire history of the Church and the world in the twentieth century would have been different. And the world we face into as the new century beckons us on uncharted paths would not frighten and cow us, as it already does.
“Once and for all, then, let us refuse to have this sacred conclave diverted by those” -he looked down at Buff and Carberin and Grosjean - "who would have the Church, through us, strike yet another bargain. A bargain with the World. A bargain by which we obligate ourselves to make the Church as like as possible ” – he raised his voice as he pronounced each of those words slowly- "to the world around it.
“Shame on the authors of such an idea! And shame on those who would accept such an idea!
“My Venerable Brothers, think well on it before you decide to take me as your next pope.”
Lansing held up the sheet of paper on which the terms of the Bargain were written. “I will not sign this Bargain." He tore the paper in two. “I will not observe the terms of this Bargain.” He ripped the two fragments into four. “Because in this whole cosmos of man there can be no bargain, even a temporary one, between God and Mammon, between Jesus and Satan, between Good and Evil. I will admit no Keeper of the Bargain. Because we have one Keeper: the Keeper of our Salvation. Christ, the power of God. Christ, the wisdom of God.
“No bargain exists between God and Satan. Between God's Church and God's enemies." Lansing's voice rang out, sending the blood coursing faster in the veins of tens of cardinals. “A state of perpetual war exists. A long, bitter, wavering struggle, that will go on until Christ steps into the world again with arm upraised to strike evil and dismiss it into eternal perdition."
Lansing stopped. It was not fair -not quite fair -to inflame the hearts of his fellow churchmen, or of anyone, with such brave Statements, without warning of their consequences.
“My Lords, just one more moment of your time, and I will, I think, have answered all your questions that I can.
“A few moments ago, I said I could not accept your mandate, because its consequences might push us over the cliff of chaos, into oblivion.
“It may be your turn to say those words to me. The practiced ear in Vatican affairs can see the Holy See's approaching twilight as a worldly power.
“If I as your pope reject the Bargain, that will mean my Church declares itself free to wage Christ's war with Christ's power. There will not be billions at our disposal, as there are now. Nor even millions. Those enemies in whose world the Church has played the game of power can club us to smithereens, because they have worldly power. If you elect me and install me, I may, like Papa Serena, last one month or so before they kill me. And that fate I am willing to accept.
“What I will not accept is any other mandate but this one: to preside over the liquidation of this Bargain, and of every other bargain; yes, over the Moscow-Vatican bargain struck by Papa Angelica, too; and to reinstate the unique spiritual power and the central moral authority of this Holy See, and of its Vicar as the Roman head of the one and only true Catholic and Apostolic Church.
“There will be hardship for us all. For you, in particular. I will not allow you your petty corruptions. I will denounce your shameful alliances. If you fall into heresy or allow heresy to nourish, if you fall away in schism, I will fire you, excommunicate you formally with bell, book, and candle. If you oppose me, I will fight you tooth and nail. I will not permit any use of politics. Any use. I will require a strict accounting from you about money, about doctrine, about moral practice. I Will not treat the Church's enemies as friends or even as decent people. And I will not yield to the economic boycott of the financial squeeze of the Universal Assembly.
“So, whatever about the other candidate, my Venerable Brother Cardinal Buff"-Rico bowed in Buff's direction -“know that if you choose me to succeed Papa Valeska, the fullest fury of Christ's enemies -of Christ's Enemy, the fallen Archangel-will be directed at me, at you, and at this One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."
In the hushed and tense atmosphere, every ear could hear the slow ripping sound as Lansing tore the four fragments of the Bargain yet one more time, and let the pieces flutter to the floor at his feet.
Helmut reached the bottom of the stairs and came out into the bright midday sun of June. He squinted for a moment, letting his eyes adjust after the three hours in the dim glow of il Tempio. He could already hear the rising hum of the crowds over in the piazza. In a few moments, everyone in the Vatican would be drawn there, as water is drawn to a Vortex.
Helmut raised his eyes. “He”s done it, Uncle. Be with us. He's begun.” The booming voice of Africa's Cardinal Azande followed on Helmut's gentle prayer, magnified by a hundred speakers, calling out to all men and women of goodwill in the city and the world.
“Annuntio Vobis gaudium magnum! . . . I announce to you a great joy! We have a Pope! The Most Eminent Lord Richard Cardinal Lansing!”
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