The Black Mass Within Vatican Walls

By Thom Nickels
Weekly Press
February 23, 2011

A recent U.S. Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore made a claim that there were far too few active Catholic priests familiar with the rite of exorcism.

The old rite, as it turns out, has fallen into disuse, and it’s no wonder. The modern age has redefined evil along abstract lines. There may be evil thoughts and evil deeds like murdering newborns or slitting the throat of one’s grandmother, but to say that there are distinct evil entities who have influence over our lives has become the punch line of late night TV jokes.

It’s considered unsophisticated to talk about "Satan" or "Lucifer" as if they were "real" presences with authentic power. This is so despite the willingness of people to mention God as a force for "good." References to God garner no awkward glances.

Images (or the idea) of devils have always evoked special attention. Unlike werewolves or mythical Frankenstein monsters, the legacy of devils is not relegated to the realm of the mythical.

That’s why, when the U.S. bishops called for more priest exorcists, I thought of the film Rosemary’s Baby. The Polanski film of 1968 had as its theme secret rituals and ceremonies as well as a secret society of Satanists masquerading as contemporary humanists who would no more admit to a belief in Satan than they would Martians inhabiting the bodies of humans. Satan, it’s been said by saints and theologians, does not want people to believe in him, and therein lies his greatest power.

While the Catholic Church claims it needs more exorcists, according to Papal insider (and now deceased) Jesuit theologian, Malachi Martin, the Catholic Church may need an exorcist.

Martin, who died in 1996, says that at the height of the Second Vatican Council in Rome, there was a ceremony to enthrone Lucifer in the Vatican (and the Chair of Peter). The church in question, Saint Paul’s chapel within the Vatican walls, hosted a very different rite of Mass on January 29, 1963, just one week after the election of Pope Paul VI. (Years later, according to Fr. Martin, Pope Paul VI would write a note to his successor, John Paul II, and tell him of this ceremony.) Paul VI is also famous for his statement, "The smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary."

For decades, this statement has been the source of much confusion and controversy, but when paired with Fr. Martin’s testimony, it fits like the lost part of a puzzle.

The ceremony, Fr. Martin is on record as saying, was a Black Mass, or the Traditional Latin Mass said in reverse, complete with an animal sacrifice and a drugged young girl who may or may not have been the victim of ceremonial sexual rituals. The ceremony was not the Novus Ordo Mass because, in Fr. Martin’s words, "even the Satanists know that this Mass is not valid." Martin writes that the Black Mass was attended by high ranking prelates in the Church, important layman, business leaders and politicians. At least one Cardinal was in attendance. A concurrent "Enthronement of Satan" Black Mass was also held in South Carolina on that date.

In his novel, Windswept House, which Fr. Martin always maintained was 90 percent fact and 10 percent fiction, the opening chapter describes this Mass.

"…In an atmosphere of darkness and fire, the Chief Celebrant in each Chapel intoned a series of Invocations to the Prince. The Participants in both Chapels chanted a response. Then, and only in America’s Targeting Chapel, each Response was followed by a Convenient Action—a ritually determined acting-out of the spirit and the meaning of the words."

The presiding Bishop then considered the Victim. "Even in her near unconscious state, still she struggled. Still she protested. Finally, the Bishop began the Great Invocation: ‘’I believe that the Prince of the World will be enthroned this night in the Ancient Citadel, and from there He will create a New Community: the Universal Church of Man."

Fr. Martin’s best selling book, Hostage to the Devil, described the priest’s years as an exorcist. Some Vatican insiders insisted that Fr. Martin had an axe to grind, while others attempted to destroy his credibility with stories of immoral behavior and illicit affairs with the wives of friends. Towards the end of his life, despite a liberal sojourn when he worked for Cardinal Bea during the time of the Council, Fr. Martin maintained that the Catholic Church was in apostasy. He pointed to "liberal, heretical" theologians like Charles Curran and Hans Kung, as being given slaps on the wrist for ascribing to heretical doctrines but still allowed to practice as Catholic priests, while those whose only goal was to preserve tradition, such as Archbishop Lefebvre, were excommunicated by then Pope John Paul II (that excommunication was summarily lifted by Pope Benedict VI).

Martin (who stated that only a future pope could exorcize the Church) is not the only authority to confirm that there’s a secret cabal of Satanists and Freemasons high up in the Catholic Church.

Father Gabriele Amorth, the one time Chief Exorcist in Rome, wrote in his book, Memoirs of an Exorcist: My Life fighting against Satan, that there are active Satanic sects within the Vatican "where participants reach all the way to the College of Cardinals." This infiltration of Satanists and Masons forms what Martin calls the Vatican "superforce," or an organization of powerful prelates who work to destroy the Catholic Church from within.

In Rosemary’s Baby, Mia Farrow’s character has to deal with doctors and psychiatrists whose mission is to trick her into believing she’s having a normal baby. As the mother of Lucifer’s son, she must never know the facts about the true nature of her baby until after its birth.

Like Mia Farrow, the Catholic Church has been tinkered with by forces that have snuck inside the gates. The Church has been fed Rosemary’s chocolate mousse laced with Tannis Root.

The slow and insidious impregnation began as early as the 1930s and 40s, when former United States Communist Party member, Bella Dodd, testified before the House on Un-American Activities in 1952 that the Communist Party in the 1930s "put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within."

Dodd told the Committee, "Right now they are in the highest places, and they are working to bring about change in order that the Catholic Church will no longer be effective against Communism."

The change, Dodd asserted, "Would be so drastic that you will not recognize the Catholic Church."

Confirming Dodd’s testimony, another former American Communist Party official, Manning Johnson, told the HUAC that "…the Communists discovered that destruction of religion could proceed much faster through infiltration of the Church by Communists operating within the Church itself."

While the Council itself did not call for the radical changes and abuses that occurred over the last 40 years, "the spirit of Vatican II" led bishops to implement changes not authorized by the Council or the Pope. One such change was that regional conferences of bishops were given new powers that would later work to distort and change the original intention of the Council. One example is the Council’s insistence that Latin be retained as an essential part of the Catholic Mass. Conferences of regional bishops kicked this mandate to the curb in the name of "the spirit of Vatican II."

Catholic life in the 1970s had become a choreographed danse macabre, according to Dr. John C. Rao, an Associate Professor of History at New York’s St. John’s University. Writing in Love in the Ruins, Modern Catholics in Search of the Ancient Faith, Dr. Rao posits that entering into a dialog with the "Neo Catholics" was nearly impossible. "I simply found no means of engaging a discussion with Whirling Dervishes in the grip of renewal fever," Dr. Rao writes. "All of their man-centered activities were defended by them with reference to the obvious guidance of a Holy Spirit whom I was said to despise, a Holy Spirit who had suddenly and inexplicably exchanged His friendship for Catholic Tradition for a Shiva-like passion for its annihilation. Mockery and distortion of Traditionalist arguments were the unchanging weapons in the progressive arsenal in those days…"

Mary Ann Kreitzer, founder and president of Les Femmes, a Catholic group, writing in the same anthology, recalls home liturgies with "liberation theology" angles preached by Franciscan priests who then went on to celebrate a "noisy guitar and tambourine hootenanny home Mass with one of the priests presiding."

And what, if anything, did Malachi Martin know about Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the designer of the Novus Ordo Mass? Was Bugnini, who was eventually dismissed from his post, part of the secret cabal behind Vatican Walls?

After all, it was Bugnini who said, "We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants."

Years later, Pope Benedict XVI would add that "everything rises or falls with the Liturgy." New Mass, new religion; it’s only natural then that there were post Council aftershocks.

Vatican II’s imprint on the liturgical life of the Church was for many, including this writer, devastating. Gregorian chant and Mozart were kicked to the curb and replaced with insipid hymns like On Eagles’ Wings and bad folk music. The Great Dumbing Down also affected Catholic Church architecture: Beautiful churches were stripped of their high altars, statues and mosaics in the name of "ecumenicalism." In the American Church especially, experimentation and excess imploded with clown and jazz masses, Gucci nuns in lipstick and puffed up (or puffed down) feminist hairdos, some of whom were now calling God, "Mother Goddess" and intoning the virtues of WICCA.

In the whacky 1970s a priest might jump out from the sanctuary and do dance numbers in front of the congregation, tussel with a hula-hoop, or shuffle about as if reliving his youth in New York’s Peppermint Lounge. It was the age of the "cool" priest with the lascivious wink, a time when pretty much anything was acceptable if the parish priest said it was okay, even if that meant calling for a Board of Directors to replace the Papal Office in Rome.

Was this further proof of the smoke of Satan?

The Church in the 1970s seemed to be on a fast lane to the heart of the 21st century. In the end, however, instead of unity with Protestants, the fruits of the Council were factionalism and schism. Traditionalist Catholics dubbed the Novus Ordo Church as misguided, while others formed organizations like the Society of Saint Pius X. When traditionalist seminaries and convents began springing up (most of them filled to capacity, by the way, as opposed to their half-empty Novus Ordo counterparts), the Church realized it had a problem.

"The Catholic Church is really two Churches now," as one priest said to me recently.


The relaxation of the role of the priesthood, what Kreitzer calls a "denigration of genuine priestly charism of the ordained while instilling a false sense of clericalism in the laity," helped contribute a worldwide sex abuse scandal lying dormant but that would soon emerge, like a full-blown virus, many years down the road. "It fit with the times when priests were encouraged to escape the sanctuary while the laity flocked to it," Kreitzer writes, meaning that, if the Church could change a 1,500 year-old liturgy in a couple years, then anything was changeable—and possible, even behavior related to Allen Ginsberg’s famous line, "This form of life needs sex."

While some sexual abuse cases occurred prior to the Council, most occurred in the 1960s and 70s, when the Church was in the midst of its so-called "springtime."

According to Thomas Plante, Professor and Chair of Psychology, Santa Clara University, the average age of the priest abuser in 2002 was 53. That means that the vast majority of abuse cases coming to light today are from 20, 30 and 40 years ago, the post Vatican II years, when ‘ liturgical experimentation’ was at its height. At that time not much was understood about sexual abuse. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, as Plante suggests in his book, Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned, that serious research began in this area.

Abuser priests identified by Church authorities 20, 30 or 40 years ago, were given the usual Bayer aspirin treatment: a therapeutic slap on the wrist and 30 days of isolated prayer in a faraway retreat. After that, they were discreetly recycled and farmed out to a different parish setting. It was all very much like signing off on a traffic ticket, or getting your mouth washed out with soap, sans the obligatory cold shower.

No doubt a few astute souls at that time questioned this cavalier method of treatment, but they weren’t many. Most Church authorities accepted the ‘slap on the wrist" as status quo treatment, comparable perhaps to the rather benign penalties imposed on men and women who had sex with minors in the free wheeling 70s.

The latest clergy sexual abuse cases emerging from Philadelphia are certainly not the end of the scandal, either.

The last fifty years have not been good years for the Catholic Church.

More astonishing still, much of this sad saga may have something to do with Malachi Martin’s claim that there once was a Black Mass within the Vatican walls.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.