Skip to comments.Moscow’s Assault on the Vatican The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority.
Posted on 01/26/2007 12:15:33 PM PST by Iris7
The Soviet Union was never comfortable living in the same world with the Vatican. The most recent disclosures document that the Kremlin was prepared to go to any lengths to counter the Catholic Churchs strong anti-Communism.
In March 2006 an Italian parliamentary commission concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that the leaders of the Soviet Union took the initiative to eliminate the pope Karol Wojtyla, in retaliation for his support to the dissident Solidarity movement in Poland. (Major snip)
(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...
In January 2007, when documents disclosed that the newly appointed archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, had collaborated with Polands Communist-era political police, he admitted the accusation and resigned. The following day the rector of Krakows Wawel Cathedral, the burial site of Polish kings and queens, resigned for the same reason. Then it was learned that Michal Jagosz, a member of the Vaticans tribunal considering sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II, has been accused of being a former Communist secret police agent; according to the Polish media, he had been recruited in 1984 before leaving Poland for an assignment to the Vatican. Currently, a book is about to be published that will identify 39 other priests whose names have been found in Krakow secret police files, some of whom are now bishops. Moreover, this seems to be just scratching the surface. A special commission will soon start investigating the past of all religious servants during the Communist era, as thousands more Catholic priests throughout that country are believed to have collaborated with the secret police. And this is just Poland the archives of the KGB and those of the political police in the rest of the former Soviet bloc have yet to be opened on the subject of operations against the Vatican.
In my other life, when I was at the center of Moscows foreign-intelligence wars, I myself was caught up in a deliberate Kremlin effort to smear the Vatican, by portraying Pope Pius XII as a coldhearted Nazi sympathizer. Ultimately, the operation did not cause any lasting damage, but it left a residual bad taste that is hard to rinse away. The story has never before been told.
BATTLING THE CHURCH
In February 1960, Nikita Khrushchev approved a super-secret plan for destroying the Vaticans moral authority in Western Europe. The idea was the brainchild of KGB chairman Aleksandr Shelepin and Aleksey Kirichenko, the Soviet Politburo member responsible for international policies. Up until that time, the KGB had fought its mortal enemy in Eastern Europe, where the Holy See had been crudely attacked as a cesspool of espionage in the pay of American imperialism, and its representatives had been summarily jailed as spies. Now Moscow wanted the Vatican discredited by its own priests, on its home territory, as a bastion of Nazism.
Eugenio Pacelli, by then Pope Pius XII, was selected as the KGBs main target, its incarnation of evil, because he had departed this world in 1958. Dead men cannot defend themselves was the KGBs latest slogan. Moscow had just gotten a black eye for framing and imprisoning a living Vatican prelate, József Cardinal Mindszenty, the primate of Hungary, in 1948. During the 1956 Hungarian Revolution he had escaped from jail and found asylum in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, where he began writing his memoirs. As the details of how he had been framed became known to Western journalists, he was widely seen as a saintly hero and martyr.
(snip Mindzenty affair history)
Seat-12 was the code name given to this operation against Pius XII, and I became its Romanian point man. To facilitate my job, Sakharovsky had authorized me to (falsely) inform the Vatican that Romania was ready to restore its broken relations with the Holy See, in exchange for access to its archives and a one-billion-dollar, interest-free loan for 25 years. (Romanias relations with the Vatican had been severed in 1951, when Moscow accused the Vaticans nunciatura in Romania of being an undercover CIA front and closed its offices. The nunciatura buildings in Bucharest had been turned over to the DIE, and now housed a foreign language school.) The access to the Papal archives, I was to tell the Vatican, was needed in order to find historical roots that would help the Romanian government publicly justify its change of heart toward the Holy See. The billion (no, that is not a typographical error), I was told, had been introduced into the game to make Romanias alleged turnabout more plausible. If theres one thing those monks understand, its money, Sakharovsky remarked.
My earlier involvement in the exchange of Bishop Pacha for the two DIE officers did indeed open doors for me. A month after receiving the KGBs instructions, I had my first contact with a Vatican representative. For secrecy reasons that meeting and most of the ones that followed took place at a hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. There I was introduced to an influential member of the diplomatic corps who, I was told, had begun his career working in the Vatican archives. His name was Agostino Casaroli, and I would soon learn that he was truly influential. On the spot this monsignor gave me access to the Vatican archives, and soon three young DIE undercover officers posing as Romanian priests were digging around in the papal archives. Casaroli also agreed in principle to Bucharests demand for the interest free loan, but he said the Vatican wished to place certain conditions on it. (Up until 1978, when I left Romania for good, I was still negotiating for that loan, which had gone down to $200 million.)
During 1960-62, the DIE succeeded in pilfering hundreds of documents connected in any way with Pope Pius XII out of the Vatican Archives and the Apostolic Library. Everything was immediately sent to the KGB via special courier. In actual fact, no incriminating material against the pontiff ever turned up in all those secretly photographed documents. Mostly they were copies of personal letters and transcripts of meetings and speeches, all couched in the routine kind of diplomatic language one would expect to find. Nevertheless, the KGB kept asking for more documents. And we sent more.
THE KGB PRODUCES A PLAY
In 1963, General Ivan Agayants, the famous chief of the KGBs disinformation department, landed in Bucharest to thank us for our help. He told us that Seat-12 had materialized into a powerful play attacking Pope Pius XII, entitled The Deputy, an oblique reference to the pope as Christs representative on earth. Agayants took credit for the outline of the play, and he told us that it had voluminous appendices of background documents put together by his experts with help from the documents we had purloined from the Vatican. Agayants also told us that The Deputys producer, Erwin Piscator, was a devoted Communist who had a longstanding relationship with Moscow. In 1929 he had founded the Proletarian Theater in Berlin, then sought political asylum in the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power, and a few years later had emigrated to the United States. In 1962 Piscator had returned to West Berlin to produce The Deputy.
(snip, darn good stuff here)
The Deputy saw the light in 1963 as the work of an unknown West German named Rolf Hochhuth, under the title Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel (The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy). Its central thesis was that Pius XII had supported Hitler and encouraged him to go ahead with the Jewish Holocaust. It immediately ignited a huge controversy around Pius XII, who was depicted as a cold, heartless man more concerned about Vatican properties than about the fate of Hitlers victims. The original text presents an eight-hour play, backed by some 40 to 80 pages (depending on the edition) of what Hochhuth called historical documentation. In a newspaper article published in Germany in 1963, Hochhuth defends his portrayal of Pius XII, saying: The facts are there forty crowded pages of documentation in the appendix to my play. In a radio interview given in New York in 1964, when The Deputy opened there, Hochhuth said, I considered it necessary to add to the play a historical appendix, fifty to eighty pages (depending on the size of the print). In the original edition, the appendix is entitled Historische Streiflichter (historical sidelights). The Deputy has been translated into some 20 languages, drastically cut and with the appendix usually omitted.
Hmmm. Socialists attacking churches...sure has a familiar ring to it....
Regardless of the residue of the communists that will soon be found out and will be forced to resign, The Soviets underestimated the power of the One who Pope John Paul II was working for.
Probably Maryknollers. They shipped all of the communists they could to South America as missionaries.
I understand what you were dealing with and as described, it is nasty, but I believe the point here is that the entire campaign to discredit Pius XII was not the disinterested secular search for truth that is so often alleged but a blatant propaganda piece concocted in Soviet Russia and funneled through a willing German idiot (it again bears remembering: Marx was German and wrote in England, Russia had to import his lunacy, it wasn't native). The data on how the smear was confected is information I did not have before and which I am more than happy to use, repeatedly.
Uncle Tom's Cabin leftist disinformation? Please explain.
One is reminded of Josef Stalin's wisecrack, "How many divisions has the Pope?"
Well, Joe, the Pope turned out to have sufficient strength and power to toss you and your gang of mass murderers into the dustbin of history.
The Church has not survived for two thousand years merely by the work and blood of human beings. From an historical point of view one is forced to see (unless one is willfully blind) His Grace at work.
And their success was even more evident in the United States with the left-wing perverts and other left-wing fascist who made it their mission to destroy the Catholic Church by infiltrating the priesthood. Read "Goodbye! Good Men"
Am not familiar enough with Gramschi. Any recommendations?
To All: Will be back later and will answer everything addressed to me.
Did someone say "Infiltrate the Media"?
And it is believed to this day.
"Hitler's Pope" has become a part of the culture's mythology.