Broken Cross - Piers Compton

Part Eleven: Enigma of Paul VI

"O Villain! thou hast stolen both mine office and my name."

To those unacquainted with the power and scope of secret societies, the personality of Pope Paul VI presents a veritable enigma. No other Pope, even in the most tempestuous times, has been the subject of such conflicting reports; no other Pope has been so apparently self-contradictory. Even a casual reading of his reign leaves an impression of doubt, equivocation, and a pathetically weak kind of hedging that is a far remove from the assertive Pontificates of the past.

For how can one account for a Pope lamenting, as Paul did, that 'one can no longer trust the Church'? He signed the documents that kept Vatican Two on course, and promised, almost in the early hours of his reign, to consolidate and implement its decisions. Yet he changed his tune even before the last of its sessions. 'One would have believed the Council would have brought sunny days for the Church's history. On the contrary, they are days of storm, cloud, and fog.

How did this come about?

And the answer he provided—'We think there has been the influence of a hostile Power. His name is the Devil'—tempts one to ask whether that was a form of confession, a self-indictment. Was he merely expressing what he knew had become fact, or speaking as a victim, a disillusioned man in the grip of forces beyond his control?

Compare his judgments with those of almost any of his predecessors, a Pius V, a Leo XIII, and the contrast appears to be, as I said before, quite pitiful. To quote but two instances. On 14 September, 1972; he came down heavily against the suggestion that women might play some part in the ministry of the priesthood. Such a departure from custom was unthinkable. Yet his was not a decisive voice, for only some three weeks later the Vatican issued a hand-out to journalists announcing that the Pope might change his mind. The final contradiction came on 29 March, 1973, when the Associated Press reported: "Pope Paul ruled today that women, regardless of whether they are nuns, may distribute Communion in Roman Catholic churches."

The Pope had already, in May 1969, condemned a new departure that had crept in whereby Communion was received in the hand. Yet later he took that stricture back, with the meaningless proviso that Communion bread could be so received 'after proper instruction.'

His weakness, his yielding to innovation in ritual and practice, together with the acceptance of revolutionary Marxism, and the many strange rumours that issued, from time to time, from the Vatican, caused many people in more than one part of the world to wonder if they were indeed witnessing the fall of Rome.

It was said that the Pope's correspondence, before it reached him, passed through the hands of Casaroli, Villot, and Benelli, the Cardinals in virtual control of the Vatican. Statesmen and churchmen who paid official visits found Pope Paul diffident, almost vague, and more ready with comments and opinions than with definite answers. He lacked clarity; and as wonder gave way to a feeling of disquiet various theories emerged to account for the air of mystery around Peter's Chair.

The most feasible one, that Paul was an anti-pope, a trained Communist infiltrator, could be supported by his known past, his friendship with the anarchist Alinsky and others of his kind in Milan, and the heresies he had fostered since coming to power.

Other explanations will be advanced here (not because they figure among the beliefs of the present writer, who regards them as extravagant, some wildly so), but in order to make known what many intelligent people have come to think in the face of a situation akin to those, in centuries past, when the forces of St. Michael and Asmodeus clashed by the banks of the Tiber.

One theory is that Paul VI, a good Pope in the normal sense, fell into the hands of agents of secret societies (and here the names of Villot, Casaroli, and Benelli crop up again), who drugged him, injected poison into his veins, and made him incapable of reasoning, so that all that purported to be stamped by the magisterium of the Church came, in reality, from the triumvirate of Cardinals.

But that would seem to be ruled out by Montini's life-long attachment to Marxism, which would have obviated the need for the Left orientated secret societies to exert any pressure upon him. That would have been superfluous.

Though there was one utterance by the Pope, when a dignitary asked him to quieten the widespread alarm, that might have been taken as indicative: 'Do you people believe the Pope to be badly informed, or subject to pressure?' At length stories emanating from Rome of sacrilege and abuses committed in church, with the approval of the Pope, became so startling, that groups of people in Europe and America decided to take action.

This culminated in a Mr. Daniel Scallen of the Marian Press in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, employing the Pinkerton Detective Agency in New York to investigate. One of the agency's detectives was sent, in 1973, to Rome, and he returned with a story that dwarfed all other speculations, however sensational.

He had determined that there were two Popes living in the Vatican, Paul VI and an impostor who had been made to resemble Montini with the aid of plastic surgery. Several such operations were necessary, and when colour photographs of the false Pope were sent to interested circles in Munich, where the imposture is still receiving concentrated study, there were certain noticeable differences in the two sets of features that could not be overcome.

To point out the differences: Montini had clear blue eyes, large, and being long-sighted he only required glasses for near viewing. The impostor had green eyes, small, and he wore glasses with thick lenses on all occasions.

Montini's photographs reveal a small mole, or birth-mark, between the left eye and the left ear. This does not appear in photographs of the impostor, whose left eyebrow was nearer to the eye than was Montini's.

The differences between the nose and the ears of the two men are held to be decisive. Montini's nose was Roman, and protruded somewhat over his mouth.

The impostor's nose, part straight and part hooked, was short, and those who subjected the photographs to professional examination claim to have detected the insertion of a plastic strip in the nose to make it appear more straight.

But it is differences in the shape and formation of the ears that present the greatest difficulty to those who doubt the existence of an impostor. Such differences are unique, individual, and they are treated the same as finger-prints in courts of law. Any comparison of the lobes and build of the ears, as revealed by photographs, becomes not a little impressive.

But the interested circles did not stop there. They turned their attention upon the voice, and called in the help of the Type B-65 Kay Elemetrics of Pine Brook, New Jersey, and the Ball Telephone Company. Their object was to analyse the voice (or voices, if there were indeed two popes) when they pronounced the traditional Easter Sunday and Christmas Day blessing, with the words Indulgentium Peccatorum, spoken from the Vatican in 1975.

On both occasions the message was broadcast over Rome, and many people taped it; and it appeared, according to sonograms that were made—and sonograms are more sensitive than the ear—that the man who had spoken at Easter, and again at Christmas, had not been one and the same. There had been two different speakers.

Here I quote from those who are qualified to judge the sonograms and sum up the distinctions:— One voice had a much lower pitch than the other, with a more pronounced dragging of word syllables. Another difference was that one voice had a much lower range of frequencies. It emitted a more hissing sound, and was noticeably shaky. These graphs were submitted to the F.B.I. for examination, and the same conclusions were arrived at. The voice patterns were different, and indicated that the vocal chords, the mouth, and the lips, were unique to each individual.

Subsequent statements alleging that there was a false Pope Paul VI, go on to say that he was an actor whose initials are PAR, and that it was he who died at Castelgandolfo on 6 August, 1978. A German Bishop, who claims to have proof that Montini was last known to be living not in the Vatican but in the outskirts of Rome, hopes to make this public in a forthcoming book.

So could this point to the fact that the genuine Paul VI was held captive in the Vatican, or that he was kidnapped, perhaps murdered? A layman in search of more concrete evidence went to Brescia, where some of Montini's relations were living. There a niece informed him that they were perfectly well aware of the imposture, but that all their efforts to make it known had been stifled.

The investigator, who was obviously untried and filled with a crusading zeal to bring things into the open, soon landed in trouble. He was jailed for four years, and afterwards deported from Italy. All efforts to trace his whereabouts since then have failed.

Well, as part of the prevailing confusion in the Roman stronghold, that is what some far from negligible people have come to believe.