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Moscow’s Assault on the Vatican The KGB made corrupting the Church a priority.
National Review Online ^ | January 25, 2007 | Ion Mihai Pacepa

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 Church’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: catholic; communism; deputy; disinformatsia; hochhuth; poland
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I recollect reading The Deputy in High School. The Big Media were ecstatic over "The Deputy". Walter Duranty's 1932 Pulitzer Prize - recollect that Duranty worked for and was published by The New York Times - is not the first mass media Left disinformatsia here in the USA. Think Uncle Tom's Cabin, the attacks on Andrew Johnson and James Monroe, and many others.
1 posted on 01/26/2007 12:15:37 PM PST by Iris7
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To: Iris7; NYer; Salvation; nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; ...

In January 2007, when documents disclosed that the newly appointed archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, had collaborated with Poland’s Communist-era political police, he admitted the accusation and resigned. The following day the rector of Krakow’s 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 Vatican’s 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 Moscow’s 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 Vatican’s 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 KGB’s main target, its incarnation of evil, because he had departed this world in 1958. “Dead men cannot defend themselves” was the KGB’s 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. (Romania’s relations with the Vatican had been severed in 1951, when Moscow accused the Vatican’s 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 Romania’s alleged turnabout more plausible. “If there’s one thing those monks understand, it’s 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 KGB’s 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 Bucharest’s 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 KGB’s 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 Christ’s 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 Deputy’s 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 Hitler’s 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.




Major deep editing done here. Read Pacepa's piece, above.

Perhaps you all might spread this about? This is really important stuff on the historical level dealing with the workings and effectiveness of propaganda and disinformatsia as run by the mass media, a deep insight into human nature, and what Orwell referred to as "The Ministry of Truth".


2 posted on 01/26/2007 12:24:35 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

Hmmm. Socialists attacking churches...sure has a familiar ring to it....


3 posted on 01/26/2007 12:26:53 PM PST by EagleUSA
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Iris7

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.


5 posted on 01/26/2007 12:33:47 PM PST by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: EagleUSA; TonyRo76
The Deputy would not have amounted to a hill of beans without American and European mass media pushing the disinformatsia. As much as this is a Communism story it is even more a "western" mass media story.
6 posted on 01/26/2007 12:37:54 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: TonyRo76

Probably Maryknollers. They shipped all of the communists they could to South America as missionaries.


7 posted on 01/26/2007 12:38:33 PM PST by jonascord ("Don't shoot 'em! Let 'em burn!...")
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To: Iris7
Well, one of the KGB chairmen happened to be a Mr. Putin.
How's the time line for Mr. Putin's ascendancy to his KGB chairmanship?
What segment of this spy and disinformation organization did Putin so successfully oversee that it propelled him all the way to be KGB head?
8 posted on 01/26/2007 12:39:01 PM PST by hermgem (The same)
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To: TonyRo76; Alia; anselmcantuar

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.


9 posted on 01/26/2007 12:42:17 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (www.stjosephssanford.org: Ecce Pactum, id cape aut id relinque)
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To: Iris7
not the first mass media Left disinformatsia here in the USA. Think Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin leftist disinformation? Please explain.

10 posted on 01/26/2007 12:43:54 PM PST by megatherium
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To: frogjerk

Indeed.

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.


11 posted on 01/26/2007 12:49:47 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

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"


12 posted on 01/26/2007 12:57:08 PM PST by YOUGOTIT
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: hermgem
You pose an interesting question. I very seriously doubt the answer will come out in my lifetime (am 60 yrs. old).

Russians have been running secret societies as far back as can be tracked. Peter the Great had much interest in such organizations.

Massie's bio, still the best.
14 posted on 01/26/2007 1:19:30 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: megatherium
Using the same definition of "Left" as did Erik Von Kuehnelt-Leddihin. Leftism Revisited (highly recommended)

Essentially "Left" are those certain that things would be better if we trusted more in human nature and our ability to tell right from wrong. "Right" means all those who find the "Left" project likely to cause more harm than good.

Some historical work on 1800 - 1865 mass media shows several threads of classical propaganda. Nothing worth publishing.

Using this definition "Left" includes Marius, Pelagius, Abelard, the Albegensians, Erasmus, the Hussites, Rousseau, Robespierre, Thomas Jefferson, Marx, and most of the current Democrat Party, and Rinos, amongst many others.
15 posted on 01/26/2007 1:32:59 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: YOUGOTIT
Rather agree. Have not read Goodbye! Good Men but it is high on the list.
16 posted on 01/26/2007 1:35:28 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: sandyeggo; All

Am not familiar enough with Gramschi. Any recommendations?

To All: Will be back later and will answer everything addressed to me.


17 posted on 01/26/2007 1:38:05 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7
I understand that Uncle Tom's Cabin is an outstanding, historical example of propaganda, but it was directed at the evil of slavery. I guess it was "Leftist" to want to improve society, but let us not imply that abolition was not the exact moral position for every conscientious person (leftist or conservative) of the day. (I know you didn't mean to do that.)
18 posted on 01/26/2007 2:22:20 PM PST by megatherium
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To: Iris7

Did someone say "Infiltrate the Media"?

http://ucca.org/famine/gordondispatch.html


19 posted on 01/26/2007 2:53:40 PM PST by spanalot
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To: Iris7
As much as this is a Communism story it is even more a "western" mass media story.

And it is believed to this day.

"Hitler's Pope" has become a part of the culture's mythology.

20 posted on 01/26/2007 5:08:10 PM PST by happygrl
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To: megatherium
Slavery as practiced here in 1830-60, say, left the slave with no legal rights whatsoever. As I read history this practice has destructive results.

Rome at the time of the First Punic War had slaves, but these slaves had a legal right to own property and protection from extreme treatment without cause. By the Late Western Empire such protections no longer existed. By 450AD the gap between the rich and poor was vast. The middle class (the bulwark of early Rome) had long since been destroyed.

Thucydides talks about comparable things in his history of the Peloponnesian War. When the Greeks of the Persian Wars days talked about Thermopylae they talked about free men fighting against a huge army of slaves.

Even without using any moral argument chattel slavery as known in this country has had disastrous consequences. The historic loss of the Constitutional Republic is only one of them.

"A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit." Slavery has born bad fruit. Slavery is bad.

This is the actual reality, the truth. Opinion has nothing to do with it. Truth is not a matter of opinion.

Slavery is without any redeeming quality. It is bad through and through.
21 posted on 01/26/2007 5:11:07 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: happygrl
Indeed. A clear example of effective propaganda.

Classic work on the subject,

Ellul


Modern Leftist take on the subject

Chomsky
22 posted on 01/26/2007 5:27:09 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7
One is reminded of Josef Stalin's wisecrack, "How many divisions has the Pope?"

Not so well known is the Pope's response: "Tell my brother Joseph that my divisions are in heaven."

23 posted on 01/26/2007 5:29:47 PM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: spanalot
The Duranty affair is not over yet. All that follows is from the Weekly Standard:

"There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be."
--New York Times, Nov. 15, 1931, page 1

"Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda."
--New York Times, August 23, 1933

"Enemies and foreign critics can say what they please. Weaklings and despondents at home may groan under the burden, but the youth and strength of the Russian people is essentially at one with the Kremlin's program, believes it worthwhile and supports it, however hard be the sledding."
--New York Times, December 9, 1932, page 6

"You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs."
--New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 18

"There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition."
--New York Times, March 31, 1933, page 13

I would like to add another Duranty quote, not in his dispatches, which is reported in a memoir by Zara Witkin, a Los Angeles architect, who lived in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. ("An American Engineer in Stalin's Russia: The Memoirs of Zara Witkin, 1932-1934," University of California Press ). The memoirist describes an evening during which the Moscow correspondents were discussing how to get out the story about the Stalin-made Russian famine. To get around the censorship, the UP's Eugene Lyons was telephoning the dire news of the famine to his New York office but the was ordered to stop because it was antagonizing the Kremlin. Ralph Barnes, the New York Herald Tribune reporter, turned to Duranty and asked him what he was going to write. Duranty replied:

Nothing. What are a few million dead Russians in a situation like this? Quite unimportant. This is just an incident in the sweeping historical changes here. I think the entire matter is exaggerated.

And this was at a time when peasants in Ukraine were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a day.
24 posted on 01/26/2007 5:43:50 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Campion
Thomas Campion always reminds me of Thomas More as they were both caught up in the same events. After all, what is a mere hundred years?

Utopia
is absurdly misunderstood. It is written in the same ancient literary style as Lucien of Samosota, Jonathan Swift (Gulliver), and Voltaire (Candide). "I write of things which I have neither seen nor learned from another, things which are not and never could have been, and therefore my readers should by no means believe them."
25 posted on 01/26/2007 6:01:18 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

Great Post.


26 posted on 01/26/2007 7:20:05 PM PST by spanalot
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To: Iris7

Understood.


27 posted on 01/26/2007 8:16:15 PM PST by megatherium
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To: Iris7

Thanks for posting.


28 posted on 01/26/2007 8:22:18 PM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Iris7; Hydroshock; the lastbestlady; westmichman; EternalVigilance; Temple Drake; brf1; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy threads on Pro-Life or Catholic threads.

29 posted on 01/26/2007 8:24:46 PM PST by narses (St Thomas says "lex injusta non obligat.")
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To: Iris7

Ostpolitik bumpus ad summum


30 posted on 01/26/2007 8:56:20 PM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for new essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: Iris7; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; Grampa Dave; Parrot_was_devastating

Senator Joseph McCarthy warned of Soviet agents in the State Department, but it would be forty years before the Venona decrypts confirmed this.

Duranty carried Stalin's water, and Hammer carried the latter's cash.

Gore father and son ran interference for Hammer. Hillary interned under Robert Treuhaft; Bill made improbable journeys to Czechoslavakia and Moscow in the company of Strobe Talbott, the Russia man at State, warning Kapitan Man to depart its spy station at our boomer pen.

The Clinton Janus embraced the grandson of Hitler's mufti, and she who railed at the FJB embraced Suha after the latter's blood libel.

A nest of vipers intertwined with the persistent genocidal trends of human sewers, collaborating with the nation's enemies in capitals from Tehran to Beijing, controls the national media, the national legislature and soon the seat of executive power.

The left and its ministry of truth sees no islamist enemy at the gate, only the weakened president and his bridge too far.

Will another democracy elect a demagogue in the guise of democrat.

31 posted on 01/26/2007 9:57:00 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: murphE

My pleasure. Thanks for looking at it.


32 posted on 01/26/2007 11:44:45 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: spanalot

Thanks. Google search "Duranty" and "pulitzer", bottom of first page.


33 posted on 01/26/2007 11:50:01 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Dajjal

Enjoyed your home page.


34 posted on 01/26/2007 11:58:57 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: hermgem

Putin was a lieutenant colonel at the time of his "departure" from the KGB.

He wasn't a chairman or head of the KGB - At least that's what I had read.


35 posted on 01/27/2007 12:03:32 AM PST by endthematrix (Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.)
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To: PhilDragoo

Howdy, Phil.

Enjoyed your pastiche (correct use of word, as in 18th Century musical pasticcios). (Irritating how the vulgar wreck perfectly good words, eh?)

Don't see the link between Talbot and the Kapitan Man (Russian spy ship in US territorial waters and famous for the laser incident). ???????

Demagogues and democracy? Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli etc. figured "You ain't got one without the other"! Tyranny follows democracy which follows aristocracy, etc.

Enjoy what I can of Chinese antiquity but Confucius could not hold a candle to Plato.


36 posted on 01/27/2007 12:22:11 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: PhilDragoo; potlatch; ntnychik


Good post Phil -


37 posted on 01/27/2007 12:26:29 AM PST by devolve ( ........"refresh" my (updated) graphics posts)
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To: endthematrix

Looks to me that the GRU and KGB attracted very bright very high quality people. The education provided to up and comers looks to have been quite extraordinary. Not surprising that some very capable, very bright, very hardworking men come from that background.


38 posted on 01/27/2007 12:28:22 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: sandyeggo

I'm not sure what it is you posted -- the origin, the source (the purpose is clear enough!).


39 posted on 01/27/2007 12:56:35 AM PST by maryz
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To: Iris7

But did Communists succeed in doing any worse to the morals of the RCC than the RCC did to its own self in America? (Same for mainline evangelical churches)


40 posted on 01/27/2007 1:15:12 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Well there are those who have said it is one and the same thing. Bella Dodd (one time American Communist), claimed the Communists recruited thousands into the Catholic Priesthood.


41 posted on 01/27/2007 3:32:40 AM PST by Diva
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To: Iris7

Thanks!


42 posted on 01/27/2007 3:52:52 AM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for new essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck; Diva

Self comes from a long line of red necks. Mother's side were intellectual and cultural wannabes (social climbers) and father's were more rural and "hillbilly".

Can't answer your question. I have no opinion in the matter that means anything. Perhaps I can say that the damage to the Roman Catholic Church seen in the last few centuries and the rise of communism have the same roots.

A person might see the process causing both effects as "modernism" although "modernism" is a modern concept itself. The metaphor I think best is that people have always wanted "to be like gods and know right from wrong". Genesis has the right of it.


43 posted on 01/27/2007 7:40:58 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7
Gertz' Betrayal 7-30 covers the incident. Weldon in the House discusses the incident.

Do we then allow the Russians to limit the search to the public areas of the ship--yes.

So spray PAM on the pan (Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli) and enjoy the meal the American comfort people have cooked: Hillary Flambe.

Those wascally Chinese invented everything, and they have territorial claims on everywhere.

Even their restaurant owners a la Trie manipulate our presidents (see Dear President letter).

But the Russians may get credit for the chad.


44 posted on 01/27/2007 8:12:50 AM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Iris7; Salvation; NYer

This should be a Catholic ping


45 posted on 01/27/2007 1:14:33 PM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Iris7
Thanks for the post...but is there any reason it can't be posted in full?

FReegards....

 
Moscow’s Assault On The Vatican: The KGB Made Corrupting The Church A Priority

By Ion Mihai Pacepa

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 Church’s 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. In January 2007, when documents disclosed that the newly appointed archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, had collaborated with Poland’s Communist-era political police, he admitted the accusation and resigned. The following day the rector of Krakow’s 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 Vatican’s 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 Moscow’s 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 Vatican’s 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 KGB’s main target, its incarnation of evil, because he had departed this world in 1958. “Dead men cannot defend themselves” was the KGB’s 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.

Because Pius XII had served as the papal nuncio in Munich and Berlin when the Nazis were beginning their bid for power, the KGB wanted to depict him as an anti-Semite who had encouraged Hitler’s Holocaust. The hitch was that the operation was not to give the least hint of Soviet bloc involvement. The whole dirty job had to be carried out by Western hands, using evidence from the Vatican itself. That would correct another mistake made in the case of Mindszenty, who had been framed with counterfeit Soviet and Hungarian documents. (On February 6, 1949, just days before Mindszenty’s trial ended, Hanna Sulner, the Hungarian handwriting expert who had fabricated the “evidence” used to frame the cardinal, escaped to Vienna and displayed microfilms of the “documents” on which the show trial was founded. Hanna demonstrated, in an excruciatingly detailed testimony, that all were forged documents, “some ostensibly in the cardinal’s hand, others bearing his supposed signature,” produced by her.)

To avoid another Mindszenty catastrophe, the KGB needed some original Vatican documents, even ones only remotely connected with Pius XII, which its dezinformatsiya experts could slightly modify and project in the “proper light” to prove the Pope’s “true colors.” The difficulty was that the KGB had no access to the Vatican archives, and that was where my DIE, the Romanian foreign intelligence service, came in. The new chief of the Soviet foreign intelligence service, General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, had created the DIE in 1949 and had until recently been our chief Soviet adviser; he knew that the DIE was in an excellent position to contact the Vatican and obtain approval to search its archives. In 1959, when I had been assigned to West Germany in the cover position as deputy chief of the Romanian Mission, I had conducted a “spy swap” under which two DIE officers (Colonel Gheorghe Horobet and Major Nicolae Ciuciulin), who had been caught red-handed in West Germany, had been exchanged for Roman Catholic bishop Augustin Pacha, who had been jailed by the KGB on a spurious charge of espionage and was finally returned to the Vatican via West Germany.

INFILTRATING THE VATICAN

“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. (Romania’s relations with the Vatican had been severed in 1951, when Moscow accused the Vatican’s 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 Romania’s alleged turnabout more plausible. “If there’s one thing those monks understand, it’s 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 KGB’s 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 Bucharest’s 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 KGB’s 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 Christ’s 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 Deputy’s 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.

Throughout my years in Romania, I always took my KGB bosses with a grain of salt, because they used to juggle the facts around so as to make Soviet intelligence the mother and father of everything. But I had reason to believe Agayants’s self-serving claim. He was a living legend in the field of desinformatsiya. In 1943, as the rezident in Iran, Agayants launched the disinformation report that Hitler had set up a special team to kidnap President Franklin Roosevelt from the American Embassy in Tehran during the Allied Summit to be held there. As a result, Roosevelt agreed to be headquartered in a villa within the “safety” of the Soviet Embassy compound, which was guarded by a large military unit. All the Soviet personnel assigned to that villa were undercover intelligence officers who spoke English, but, with few exceptions, they kept that a secret so as to be able to eavesdrop. Even given the limited technical capabilities of that day, Agayants was able to provide Stalin with hourly monitoring reports on the American and British guests. That helped Stalin obtain Roosevelt’s tacit agreement to let him retain the Baltic countries and the rest of the territories occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939-40. Agayants was also credited with having induced Roosevelt to use the familiar “Uncle Joe” for Stalin at that summit. According to what Sakharovsky told us, Stalin was more elated over that than he was even over his territorial gains. “The cripple’s mine!” he reportedly exulted.

Just a year before The Deputy was launched, Agayants had pulled off another masterful coup. He fabricated out of whole cloth a manuscript designed to persuade the West that, deep down, the Kremlin thought highly of the Jews; this was published in Western Europe, to great popular success, as a book entitled Notes for a Journal. The manuscript was attributed to Maxim Litvinov, né Meir Walach, the former Soviet commissar for foreign affairs, who had been fired in 1939 when Stalin purged his diplomatic apparatus of Jews in preparation for signing his “non-aggression” pact with Hitler. (The Stalin-Hitler Non-Aggression Pact was signed on August 23, 1939, in Moscow. It had a secret Protocol that partitioned Poland between the two signatories and gave the Soviets a free hand in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Bessarabia, and Northern Bukovina.) This Agayants book was so flawlessly counterfeited that Britain’s most prominent historian on Soviet Russia, Edward Hallet Carr, was totally convinced of its authenticity and in fact wrote an introduction for it. (Carr had authored a ten-volume History of Soviet Russia.)

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 Hitler’s 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.

Before writing The Deputy, Hochhuth, who did not have a high school diploma (Abitur), was working in various inconspicuous capacities for the Bertelsmann publishing house. In interviews he claimed that in 1959 he took a leave of absence from his job and went to Rome, where he spent three months talking to people and then writing the first draft of the play, and where he posed “a series of questions” to one bishop whose name he refused to reveal. Hardly likely! At about that same time I used to visit the Vatican fairly regularly as an accredited messenger from a head of state, and I was never able to get any talkative bishop off into a corner with me — and it was not for lack of trying. The DIE illegal officers we infiltrated into the Vatican also encountered almost insurmountable difficulties in penetrating the Vatican secret archives, even though they had airtight cover as priests.

During my old days in the DIE, when I would ask my personnel chief, General Nicolae Ceausescu (the dictator’s brother), to give me a rundown of the file on some subordinate, he would always ask me, “For promotion or demotion?” During its first ten years of life, the Deputy leaned toward the Pope’s demotion. It generated a flurry of books and articles, some accusing and some defending the pontiff. Some went so far as to lay the blame for the Auschwitz atrocities on the pope’s shoulders, some meticulously tore Hochhuth’s arguments to shreds, but all contributed to the huge attention this rather stilted play received in its day. Today, many people who have never heard of The Deputy are sincerely convinced that Pius XII was a cold and evil man who hated the Jews and helped Hitler do away with them. As KGB chairman Yury Andropov, the unparalleled master of Soviet deception, used to tell me, people are more ready to believe smut than holiness.

FALSEHOODS UNDERMINED

Toward the mid 1970s, The Deputy started running out of steam. In 1974 Andropov conceded to us that, had we known then what we know today, we would never have gone after Pope Pius XII. What now made the difference was newly released information showing that Hitler, far from being friendly with Pius XII, had in fact been plotting against him.

Just a few days before Andropov’s admission, the former supreme commander of the German SS (Schutzstaffel) squadron in Italy during World War II, General Friedrich Otto Wolff, had been released from jail and confessed that in 1943 Hitler had ordered him to abduct Pope Pius XII from the Vatican. That order had been so hush-hush that it never turned up after the war in any Nazi archive. Nor had it come out at any of the many debriefings of Gestapo and SS officers conducted by the victorious Allies. In his confession Wolff claimed that he had replied to Hitler that his order would take six weeks to carry out. Hitler, who blamed the pope for the overthrow of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, wanted it done immediately. Eventually Wolff persuaded Hitler that there would be a great negative response if the plan were implemented, and the Führer dropped it.

It was also during 1974 that Cardinal Mindszenty published his book Memoirs, which describes in agonizing detail how he was framed in Communist Hungary. On the evidence of fabricated documents, he was charged with “treason, misuse of foreign currency, and conspiracy,” offenses “all punishable by death or life imprisonment.” He also describes how his falsified “confession” then took on a life of its own. “It seemed to me that anyone should at once have recognized this document as a crude forgery, since it is the product of a bungling, uncultivated mind,” the cardinal writes. “But when I subsequently went through foreign books, newspapers, and magazines that dealt with my case and commented on my ‘confession,’ I realized that the public must have concluded that the ‘confession’ had actually been composed by me, although in a semiconscious state and under the influence of brainwashing… [T]hat the police would have published a document they had themselves manufactured seemed altogether too brazen to be believed.” Furthermore, Hanna Sulner, the Hungarian handwriting expert used to frame the cardinal, who had escaped to Vienna, confirmed that she had forged Mindszenty’s “confession.”

A few years later, Pope John Paul II started the process of sanctifying Pius XII, and witnesses from all over the world have compellingly proved that Pius XII was an enemy, not a friend, of Hitler. Israel Zoller, the chief rabbi of Rome between 1943-44, when Hitler took over that city, devoted an entire chapter of his memoirs to praising the leadership of Pius XII. “The Holy Father sent by hand a letter to the bishops instructing them to lift the enclosure from convents and monasteries, so that they could become refuges for the Jews. I know of one convent where the Sisters slept in the basement, giving up their beds to Jewish refugees.” On July 25, 1944, Zoller was received by Pope Pius XII. Notes taken by Vatican secretary of state Giovanni Battista Montini (who would become Pope Paul VI) show that Rabbi Zoller thanked the Holy Father for all he had done to save the Jewish community of Rome — and his thanks were transmitted over the radio. On February 13, 1945, Rabbi Zoller was baptized by Rome’s auxiliary bishop Luigi Traglia in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. In gratitude to Pius XII, Zoller took the Christian name of Eugenio (the pope’s name). A year later Zoller’s wife and daughter were also baptized.

David G. Dalin, in The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews From the Nazis, published a few months ago, has compiled further overwhelming proof of Eugenio Pacelli’s friendship for the Jews beginning long before he became pope. At the start of World War II, Pope Pius XII’s first encyclical was so anti-Hitler that the Royal Air Force and the French air force dropped 88,000 copies of it over Germany.

Over the past 16 years, the freedom of religion has been restored in Russia, and a new generation has been struggling to develop a new national identity. We can only hope that President Vladimir Putin will see fit to open the KGB archives and set forth on the table, for all to see, how the Communists maligned one of the most important popes of the last century.


46 posted on 01/27/2007 2:04:02 PM PST by ConservativeStLouisGuy (11th FReeper Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Unnecessarily Excerpt)
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To: Iris7

Agostino Casaroli supposedly was a major evil figure in Fr.Malachi Martin's Windswept House.


47 posted on 01/27/2007 5:45:54 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: Domestic Church

Most interesting datum. Thanks.

I regard Pacepa as pretty reliable. Malachi Martin is considered reliable by fully qualified men.

Casaroli was certainly and decidedly "progressive" as the American Left uses the term. As Vladimir Lenin put it, in so Left a way, "That which furthers the Revolution is moral." And any other definition of morality is bourgeois sentimentality and superstition, naturally.


48 posted on 01/27/2007 7:34:34 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: PhilDragoo

Fantastic graphic.


49 posted on 01/27/2007 7:40:52 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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