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September 4, 2020 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I just finished reading Infiltration by Taylor Marshall. I found it quite disturbing. Do you have an opinion about its veracity? — E.S., New Jersey.
A. The book, which is subtitled “The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within,” contains some accurate information and some material that lacks solid evidence to back it up. Let us give some examples of each.
First of all, the author says that “Satan uniquely entered the Catholic Church at some point over the last century, or even before that” (p. 3). He correctly cites the statement of Pope Paul VI in 1972 that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God” (p. 5). But Marshall also alleges that “for over a century, the organizers of Freemasonry, Liberalism, and Modernism infiltrated the Catholic Church in order to change her doctrine, her liturgy, and her mission from something supernatural to something secular” (p. 3). He says that “the Catholic Church is in crisis because the enemies of Christ plotted organized efforts to place a pope for Satan on the Roman Chair of Saint Peter” (p. 4).
The infiltration, says Marshall, can be traced back to the middle of the nineteenth century to a Masonic document entitled Alta Vendita (“High Shop”), which talks about the Church being taken over by “secret societies” (p. 13).
He cites as one indication of this our Lady’s purported statement at La Salette in 1846 that “Rome will lose faith and become the seat of the Antichrist” (p. 25). But there are two versions of the Blessed Mother’s message to two French children. The brief 1851 version has her expressing distress over the neglect of the Sunday Mass obligation and the misuse of the name of Jesus and saying that if people do not stop committing these sins, “I shall be compelled to loose my Son’s arm. It is so heavy, so pressing, that I can no longer restrain it.” So far, so good.
But then there is the lengthy 1879 version that contains a number of apocalyptic statements, including the one about Rome becoming the seat of the Antichrist. Marshall does mention that “the [Vatican’s] Holy Office, under Pope Benedict XV, placed a reprinting of the 1879 version of the secret on the Index of Forbidden Books on 9 May 1923” (p. 25fn), but he says that both versions are “equally true” and that the differing details do not invalidate either version.
Dr. Marshall gives an accurate account of the Fatima apparitions in 1917 (cf. chapter 7), but later concludes that part of the Third Secret has been withheld (cf. chapter 15), contrary to the statements of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 2000. Marshall’s source for believing that the concealed part of the secret describes a “great apostasy” in the Church is “Michael of the Holy Trinity.” This is Brother Michael Dimond, who has made many outrageous, and untrue, statements over the years, including that Pope St. John Paul II was “a blatant heretic and an enemy of the True Faith.”
Much of Infiltration is taken up with discussions of various papal conclaves, from the election of Pope Pius XI in 1922 to the election of Pope Francis in 2013. Citing the words of former Communist Bella Dodd at a lecture, but not from her testimony before a congressional committee, Marshall says that Communists infiltrated the priesthood. His list of “most likely” Communists includes Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, whom he described as a “reputed sodomite and ecclesiastical patron of the young Theodore McCarrick” (p. 88).
“Most likely” and “reputed” are words that indicate lack of hard evidence. As is the word “legend” that he uses when saying that Giuseppe Cardinal Siri was actually elected Pope in 1958, but was replaced by Angelo Cardinal Roncalli. He says that Roncalli, as St. John XXIII, in his address to the opening session of the Second Vatican Council, derided the “prophets of doom” (he actually used the word “gloom”), and said that the Church was “entering upon a new order” as part of the divine plan.
However, reading the full text of the Holy Father’s opening address to the Council shows that he talked about “a new order of human relations . . . directed toward the fulfillment of God’s superior and inscrutable designs.” He said that “the greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.” And he criticized “fallacious teachings, opinions, and dangerous concepts . . . particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law.”
Marshall then criticizes the “new theology” of Pope St. Paul VI, without mentioning his sterling defense of Church teaching in his Credo of the People of God. He gives only passing mention to Humanae Vitae, the Holy Father’s heroic defense of Catholic teaching on marriage and family in the face of widespread lobbying for approval of contraception.
And he repeats the unsubstantiated rumors that Paul VI had maintained “a long homosexual relationship with an Italian actor,” which the future saint denied as “horrible and slanderous insinuations” (pp. 171-172). Why even bring up such rumors?
The book repeats the false claim that Pope John Paul I was murdered 34 days after ascending to the Chair of Peter, citing a discredited book by David Yallop (In God’s Name). Marshall says that the alleged murder was prompted by the Pope’s threat to expose a Vatican Bank scandal, and that his death was plotted by Cardinals John Cody of the United States and Jean-Marie Villot of France, as well as Archbishop Paul Marcinkus of the United States and bankers Roberto Calvi and Michele Sindona. A strong accusation without strong proof.
The pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II gets mixed reviews from Marshall. He criticizes some of the Holy Father’s revisions of canon law in 1983, particularly the reduced list of specific sexual sins that might be committed by clergy; his “advanced ecumenism,” including his “scandalous” participation in an interfaith World Day of Prayer in Assisi in 1986; and his “more than 100” apologies to the world for the Catholic Church’s role in the “persecution of Galileo, the African slave trade, burning heretics at the stake, the religious wars following the Protestant Reformation, the denigration of women and their rights, and the silence of Catholics during the Holocaust” (pp. 191-192).
Marshall gives the Pope credit for promulgating the Catechism of the Catholic Church and for issuing Veritatis Splendor, his encyclical on morality. But he does not mention John Paul’s powerful pro-life encyclical Evangelium Vitae or his two solid defenses of the unique role of the Catholic Church in salvation — Ut Unum Sint and Redemptoris Missio. He also fails to mention John Paul’s infallible ban on women priests in 1994 (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis), while stating, incorrectly, that “no Pope since 1950” has declared anything infallible (p. 240).
“Whether one admires John Paul II or not,” says Marshall, “he was certainly not an infiltrator of the Church. His pontificate is clearly conflicted, and he seems to be the first pope truly formed by the Second Vatican Council. . . . As a theologian and a youthful bishop, he drank deeply of Vatican II, but he still retained the piety of a Catholic” (pp, 192, 193). Faint praise for one raised to sainthood after a life of heroic virtue.
The author spends the last part of the book on the “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” the cabal of cardinals that plotted in 2005 to replace John Paul with a modernist Pope, but was thwarted by the election of Pope Benedict XVI. There is considerable evidence that this is true. Marshall says that the cabal continued to seek to undermine Benedict during his papacy and, after his resignation in 2013, engineered the election of Pope Francis, the former Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, who had been a favorite of the group in 2005.
Marshall itemizes “the problematic teachings of Pope Francis” on ecumenism, globalism, immigration, environmentalism, socialism, “the diversity and plurality of religions,” and reception of the Eucharist by divorced and remarried Catholics, and says that the anti-modernist “Saint Pius X would have placed Pope Francis under the ban of Modernism” (p. 228).
The best way to solve the current crisis, says Marshall, is to “recognize and resist” those who are undermining the Church. He says that “the Catholic Church has been infiltrated all the way to the top. We have a valid Pope and valid cardinals, but we have received the mantle of Saint Athanasius and Saint Catherine of Siena to call, respectfully and reverently, certain spiritual fathers back to Christ and the unadulterated Apostolic Faith” (p. 242).
It’s not easy to write a book covering so much Church history and get everything right. Dr. Marshall did a good job for the most part, but there some things that are not true or are of questionable veracity. Our advice is to read Infiltration with caution.

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Beware of those who claim to be progressive and yet place the environment. certain social ills, same sex attraction and also social ills that have plagued us for years on the same level as abortion. Makes no sense.

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