No. 20151 - Anonymous - March 1st, 2012 - 12:20 PM
Speaking as a both A) Catholic fag, B) an actual member of a small group that secretly studies conspiracies, paranormal crap both for shits and giggles and for the genuinely disturbing crap we discover from time to time (like that one time we discovered deepnet, what has been seen cannot be unseen). I can confirm a few things:
1) The Catholic Church has an unparalleled diplomatic corps. And Rome has become literally a nexus of information gathering because of the unique structure of the Church it has an endless supply of on the ground information coming in from Diocese and parishes all over the world so long as they are loyal to the Magisterium (remember this, it is important). Its why when Ireland, my own country, closed its embassy in the Vatican as a snub at Rome, it resulted in much embarrassment for my country's government, not because the Church weilded diplomatic influence as much as the unconscious power of the church resulted in any country removing their embassy to the Vatican being universally recognised as 'a stupid move'. This is the 'Dumb' power of the Church, from which the majority of modern conspiracy theories about the Church emerge, it isnt a huge kudzu forest with ever expanding vines encompassing everything as much as it is a mountain dominating the skyline, impossible to ignore regardless of what one thinks of the view.
2) The Catholic Church is not nearly as powerful as it once was and could not 'impose its will' to make countries bend to its wishes. Look at the Philipines in South East Asia, literally THE most conservatively Catholic country in the world, whose Bishops all teach conservative and orthodox theology and has been practically untouched with the clerical scandals western catholicism has (at least comparatively), yet the Strong Catholic moral majority could not fully dissuade recent legislation promoting contraception and abortion, (which had heavy finanical backing by the current US administration but thats to be expected, the US has been really been pushing similar demands on any number of less well off countries lately). Quick question: Did the modern definition of the seperation of Church and State exist in the western world prior to the 1960s? If you answered no, gtfo and do some more research. Yes it did. Why then, did the rapid decline of influence of the catholic church in society occur post 1960s? While it was certainly waning in the early 20th century, (especially with the inability of the Church to actively resist the Nazis during their occupation of Italy beyond sheltering a few Jews and somehow maintaining her 'on the ground' information gathering, and then having many of its priests and Bishops in Germany itself either siding with the nazis or, if they opposed them and remained loyal to Rome, be shipped off to concentration camps along with anyone else who opposed Hitler, same thing happened to Protestants in Germany) After the much maligned Second Vatican Council a storm of division struck the hierarchy and laity of the Church. Any fellow Catholicfags will know exactly what I am about to go into and to them I say, no I am not a radical traditionalist and I do not denounce Vatican II as heretical. But this is where shit really gets interesting for any of you guys interested in Catholic Conspiracy.
3) What was interesting in the Vatican Council is how some ministers got 'removed and replaced' during the Council, famously, I'm pretty sure all of you know how quickly Popes presiding over that council died, which was suspicious in itself, (or Divine Judgement, depending on which Catholic circles you travel in), I cannot recall the exact names, but there was one particularly enthusiastic minister in charge firstly of what I think was liturgical reform (or some aspect of it), who constantly got flak for trying to essentially 'protestantise' (forgive me if you find the term offensive, but it was quite accurate), the Catholic Liturgy, he quickly got demoted and somehow got another position in the council reforms before the process repeated itself, but not before he had proposed, pressed or passed some reform in that office or somesuch before getting moved on, and each of these reforms did not get rescinded. The reforms themselves did not do much damage to the overall reform, and I am certain some of the more overtly heretical segments got blacked out or removed altogether (Thank god). This eventually cumulated in him presiding over a proposed reformed liturgy and Mass to his own specification before an attendance of Bishops and Cardinals (if you hadnt guessed already, yes this man was an ordained priest, keep that in mind). Details have never been fully devulged about what occurred during this Mass, but nearly a full half of the congregation were deeply 'enraged' and 'disturbed' and left the Mass before the Consecration had even begun. Sprinkle wild mass guessing as needed and you'll have a fair idea of the sheer hubub this caused among Catholic academia and commentators, but I think we can all agree it was probably something not very Catholic.
4) Anyway, regardless of what occurred during the council itself, the reform went through and for the most part was in line with most of Catholic heritage and consistent teaching. Aaaaaand then parishes tried implementing the reforms, talking about opening the floodgates. Remember what time this was? late sixties? Yeah, many of the priests and religious at the time were also somewhat caught up in the zeitgeist of the age, but felt they could not change the Church so usually kept themselves to themselves, when the Council concluded many interpreted this as the Church finally becoming 'enlightened' and 'relevant' and unleashed a storm of Priests interpreting the council their own way. Statues of Saints began disappearing from Church alcoves, Priests interpreting and practising liturgy in their own way, being less stringent with the moral teachings of the Church (this become blindingly apparent in America where 90% of Catholics there practice contraception without giving one wit tot he Church's teaching on the matter, and this can really be largely blamed on the institutional American Church not bothering to teach or enforce this teaching and many others) and etc etc etc. Basically this all boiled down to a simple fact, even discounting the clerical abuses, the Catholic Church was viewed by the world at large as becoming less and less stringent in its own teachings and thus, had less and less impact on the lives of ordinary people, and thus, less and less relevant. Of course there was always the external force of growing cultural secularism, but that alone could not account for the sheer loss of influence.
5) What does all this have to do with Conspiracy? Well in Catholic circles because of the 'results' of Vatican II, it has led to a very, VERY divided marketplace of ideas within the laity and hierarchy of the Church itself and numerous, NUMEROUS Conspiracy theories within the Church itself, with many of the current Bishops the world over being the product of the Vatican II generation. This has led to conservative schisms with sedevanticists and the now famous Pope St.Pius X society, declarations of Pope John Paul II and his Successor Pope Benedict XVI being heretical pretender AntiPopes and being in the Pocket of the Freemasons, as well as the emergence of 'Radical Traditionalism' within the Church and the preference of many for the Old Tridentine Mass. At least before Benedict ascended to the Throne of Peter, the former head of what was for all intents and Purposes the Holy Office of the Inquisition has proven to be an incredibly conservative Pope and has been making steady partial reforms, instituting an alternate Use of the Latin Mass for those Parishes who wish it, instituting the Anglican Ordinariate to allow the rejoining of conservative aspects of the Protestant Anglican Continuum into the Catholic Church without losing their Anglican Patrimony, and numerous other things that have ROYALLY pissed off liberal aspects within the Church and pleased conservative aspects. Now this is all essential background information, because what really sent the Catholic world into a bit of a flurry, was that that priest I mentioned before, the one, among many, who was causing shenanigens within the Vatican Council? Rumours have been surfacing that he may have actually been a Mason himself, breaking the Church's rule of not admitting members of the Church to become Masons (as the Church recognises Freemasonry as a Religion in its own right, and not just a secret society, which Catholics are free to join) therefore starting another firestorm of intrigue, accusation and conspiracy theorizing about just how much influence outside parties had in the Vatican II reforms and their implementation. This also explains why in recent years the Roman Catholic Church is still hostile towards freemasonry. This has lead to gestating meta-Conspiracy theories about the place of the Modern Church in the world and leads to some truely wild conclusions, of which there is no real fully formed conspiracy theory I can share here. Not yet at least, but it sure is fun watching it develop.