Queries from Eire

I was recently contacted, via my Gravatar account, by an interested reader of this blog—a very nice woman in Ireland named Fionnula.  Because her concerns seemed broad enough that they might be shared, I’ve decided to respond publicly in order to quell any similar consternation which other readers might have.  My thanks to Fionnula for allowing me to reproduce parts of her message.

Fionnula first inquired as to where I was getting my information about Alessandro Falchi, as well as the living Pope Paul VI in Portugal.  She told me frankly: “I can’t find any corroboration for these things, so I’m sorry but I’m not too inclined to believe it.”  And that is fair enough, Fionnula; I concede that the corroborating material on the internet is somewhat scarce regarding Alessandro Falchi or the living pope, although you can certainly find a portion of traditional Catholics who believe in the firmamentum of it (i.e., a succession of false popes, and an imposter Paul VI.  The overall thesis is not new by any means).  The impetus for this particular blog, however, has been to present a trove of material which has been heretofore undisclosed.  “Light will be thrown” (to paraphrase the heathen Charles Darwin) on a secret history which has languished for too long in the shadows—hence why my introductory post ended with “Fiat lux!”  So I do have sources.  To explain shall require a small amount of background material.

My father, Roger Morgan, was a Canadian-born freelance journalist who covered the Vatican, in both English and French, during the 1970s and 80s.  Most of his reporting was done for UPI.  He was not the “young journalist” mentioned in my previous post when I referred to President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (Father would’ve been in his fifties at the time), but he was present at that very same press conference.  Father is still alive, actually, but he is ninety-one years old now, rather immobile, and dealing with some serious health issues.  Due to these circumstances, he moved into a nursing home several years ago.  My siblings and I were cleaning out his apartment after the move, and the responsibility fell upon me to pack up his study and personal library.  Going through an old filing cabinet, I found two thick manila folders, overstuffed with pages both handwritten and typed.

The first folder contained transcripts of an interview Father had recorded with a man named Claudio Gagne-Bevilacqua over the course of four afternoons in Gagne-Bevilacqua’s apartment in Turin in the winter of 1986.  Gagne-Bevilacqua had been the personal assistant to the pope from 1963 to 1978.  This fact is quite astounding: his tenure spanned not only the regnum of the true Paul VI, from 1963-72, but also the usurpation reign of Alessandro Falchi, from 1972 until his death in ’78.  Simply put, Gagne-Bevilacqua saw everything transpire over those fifteen years.  He knew it all.

Fionnula also expressed some skepticism as to this very person.  She wrote: “by the way, I looked up the personal assistant to Paul VI and it was either Pasquale Macchi or John Magee.”  Permit me a correction in terminology here, Fionnula: the two men you have mentioned served in the capacity of private secretary; that is, they assisted the pope in clerical matters—managing correspondence, speeches, encyclicals, and suchlike.  It’s a highly esteemed position in the papal office.  Claudio Gagne-Bevilacqua, however, was the pope’s personal assistant.  A different title altogether, and generally less esteemed.  This is a position that would be similar to our notion of a valet, butler, or dedicated manservant.  The personal assistant was responsible for quotidian affairs: making sure the pope’s needs were carefully tended to in terms of clothing, meals, travel, &c.  For example, the personal assistant would see to it every evening that the pope’s outfit for the next day was laid out for him, cleaned and starched and nicely pressed.  In the morning he would bring the pope his breakfast and coffee on a tray, with several newspapers tucked under his arm.  Throughout the day he would fetch various things and contact various persons at the pope’s request.  He was, in short, the kind of man who wears a dark suit and white gloves, who is never obsequious or fawning, but rather that rare and valuable breed of companion: a practical, straightforward, and quiet man of common sense and good decorum.  I do not know if the position even exists any longer.  In the decades following Vatican II, the Catholic Church has striven to lose some of her “anachronistic” trappings.  The papal valet position may’ve been eliminated as a result.  The current pope (or antipope, actually), Francis, prefers to make a big show of how humble and impoverished he is.  At the beginning of his reign, Francis turned up his nose to the lavish papal suite in the Vatican apartments, opting instead to live in a quaint room in a boarding house.  It’s unlikely Francis would have a personal assistant.  He would probably view it as too haughty.  But the position existed as recently as 1978, when it was filled by Claudio Gagne-Bevilacqua.  My father’s interview with him forms the bulk of my primary source material concerning the personal histories of Pope Paul VI and Alessandro Falchi.

The other manila folder I found in my father’s office contained notes, transcripts, newspaper clippings, and information pertaining to the well-known case of a young woman in Bavaria named Anneliese Michel, who underwent a series of exorcisms in 1975 and 1976.  Her possession ultimately resulted in her death.  Following a legal trial in which her parents and her priests were prosecuted for negligent homicide, the Catholic authorities in her diocese began a campaign of disinformation, attempting to spin the events as a tragic confluence of mental illness and religious hysteria.  Yet nothing could be further from the truth.  Nota bene that when Anneliese’s body was exhumed, her exorcists were not permitted to view it.  Instead it was simply announced, with no accompanying visual evidence, that the body was in a state of decomposition.  This was intended to refute the idea that Anneliese is an incorruptible—since many traditional Catholics, including this blogger, believe her to have been a martyr.  This much is undeniable, though: the Catholic diocese objectively reversed its position.  Originally it deemed Anneliese possessed, and granted official permission for the exorcisms.  Only after Anneliese’s death, and only after certain functionaries in Rome became aware of what the exorcisms revealed, did they attempt to sweep it under the rug with claims of mental illness.  But despite their efforts, the case did not go away.  It eventually formed the basis for a successful 2005 film called The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  Though highly fictionalized, the movie can be recommended, as it provides a mostly sympathetic treatment.

One of the priests who exorcised Anneliese was Father Arnold Renz.  Fr. Renz was the subject of the second folder of interview transcripts: my father spoke with him in Würzburg, Germany in April of 1986.  My father’s notes describe Fr. Renz as “thoughtful,” “pensive,” “ruminative and wise,” and “burdened with his tragedy.”  It is clear that Fr. Renz’s awful confrontation with hell never quite left him.  When my father met with this holy priest, he met a man brooding heavily on the past.   The interview reveals that when the exorcism rites began, the demons informed the two priests performing them (Fr. Renz and a Father Ernst Alt) that they could not quit Anneliese’s body until they had first made a series of revelations.  Thus began a long and torturous ordeal for Anneliese—one which she did not survive—since every time the exorcists commanded the devils to leave, they were unsuccessful.  Instead the priests were constrained into coaxing out the revelations.

The demons were frequently resistant, hostile, and uncooperative.  They wanted to maintain their possession for as long as they could.  At other times, they could be boastful and derisive.  The most significant such instance is this: at one point, they lorded it over the priests that they (the priests) were unwittingly in communion with a false pope.  They also taunted the exorcists by crowing over Satan’s perverse triumph at Vatican II: infecting the Church with modernism and foisting an ugly new liturgy on the faithful.  (Not coincidentally, Anneliese’s family were devout and conservative Catholics who attended a Latin Mass, and cared hardly a whit for the innovations of the council.  Anneliese herself mentioned that if she died, she hoped her suffering might atone, in some small part, for the willful apathy of so many young Catholics, and the wanton heresy of so many modernist clerics).  In the decade between Anneliese’s death and his interview with my father, Fr. Renz had investigated the demons’ astounding claim of a false pope.  Initially, he had been hesitant to think it was anything other than fiendish braggadocio.  When his research concluded, however, he had become wholly convinced that the satanic plot to destroy the Catholic Church had successfully set up a line of heretical antipopes.

Portions of Anneliese Michel’s exorcism tapes are available online; others are not.  Sadly, a search on YouTube yields a good many videos focused on the more lurid and horrorshow aspects of the exorcisms—and seem to carry a disrespectful sense of gawking at a poor soul in torment.  The audio is nevertheless unsettling.  Kyrie eleison.

anneliese michel2

The funeral of Anneliese Michel.  Father Renz is second from right, holding his Missale Romanum and a vial of holy water.  The antiphon for the sprinkling & incensing of the grave is the Ego sum resurrectio: “I am the resurrection and the life: she that believeth in Me although she be dead, shall live, and every one that liveth, and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever.”

Corollary to the case of Anneliese Michel is the record of exorcisms performed on a Swiss woman known as “Rita B.” from 1975 to 1978.  (It will be of interest to traditional Catholics that the approval for these exorcisms came from Archbishop Lefebvre himself).  In this case the revelations were even more explicit: the demons unveiled that there was a plot against Pope Paul VI and that he had been replaced by a double.  Ten priests in total conducted the exorcisms, the transcripts of which have compiled into a book in French by Jean Marty, called Avertissements de l’au-delà à l’Église contemporaine (Warnings from Beyond to the Contemporary Church).  Not surprisingly, the Baysiders (the persistent cult of followers of Veronica Lueken, who we met in an earlier post) have latched onto these exorcisms.  One of the Baysider websites has an English translation up.  As I warned before, however, they have their own baffling view of the situation, so go down the rabbit hole of their conspiracy theory at your peril.  But it will be clear to anyone who researches it that the revelations in the Swiss exorcism case contradict the revelations from Bayside on several counts.  In fact, the the book’s editor, Monsieur Marty, is not a Baysider in the least.  He believes (quite correctly) that Paul VI still lives.

My apologies for the length of this response, Fionnula.  And I have still not answered your question as to the source of my information for Pope Paul’s current existence in Portugal.  Due to time constraints, that will have to be undertaken in a separate post—and a later one at that, since the chronicle of Claudio Gagne-Bevilacqua merits telling first.

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