Explosive 1964 Karl Rahner Testimony on Joseph Ratzinger, John XXIII, Paul VI
Discovered in 2011, Karl Rahner Testimony from 1963-64 confirms Theological “Bloodbath” at Second Vatican Council (1962-65)
A formerly hidden letter by Karl Rahner to his brother Fr. Hugo Rahner, dated Nov. 2, 1963, was exhibited at a Carmelite church in Munich, Germany, in 2012, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. (This letter had been in the possession of the son of Karl Rahner’s younger sister, Elisabeth Cremer [d. 2004], and was turned over to the official Karl Rahner Archive in 2011.) It contains some explosive testimony regarding the theological turmoil at the council.
In September 2012, the German Novus Ordo periodical Stimmen der Zeit published Rahner’s 1963 letter in its entirety, along with a supplementary commentary authored by Andreas R. Batlogg and Nikolaus Klein. This commentary also mentions a speech given by Rahner on Jan. 13, 1964 in Freiburg, which gives even more information about the bitter struggle between Catholics and Modernists that went on behind the scenes at Vatican II.
The salient points of the Rahner letter and the accompanying commentary are summarized below.
The Nov. 2, 1963 Letter by Karl Rahner to his brother Hugo reveals:
- Cardinal Ottaviani’s Intervention of Oct. 21, 1962, though he didn’t mention names, was directed against Karl Rahner, S.J., Joseph Ratzinger, and Gustave Martelet, S.J.
- Most Italian and Spanish bishops feared the First Vatican Council (1869-70) was being abolished by Vatican II
- Conservative French bishops accused Joseph Ratzinger of being a “heretic who denies hell”
The Jan. 13, 1964 Karl Rahner Speech in Freiburg reveals:
- French “Integralist” Bishops who “appeal to La Salette and Fatima” called John XXIII a “Precursor of the Antichrist” and
- said Montini (later Paul VI) was “John XXIII’s Crown Prince”
- An anonymous book at the council [probably Maurice Pinay’s The Plot against the Church (1962) –N.O.W.] warns of a Fifth Column of Jews and Freemasons that reaches all the way into the cardinalate
- A little pamphlet that made its way into the halls of the council accuses Ratzinger and other German theologians of “Gallicanism, Modernism, and even worse heresies”
- Andreas R. Batlogg and Nikolaus Klein, “Kollektive Wahrheitsfindung auf dem Zweiten Vatikanum: Zu einer Momentaufnahme von Karl Rahner SJ”, Stimmen der Zeit (Sep. 2012): 579-589.
- [No Author Given.] “Benedikt galt als ‘Häretiker, der die Hölle leugnet'”, FOCUS Online, Oct. 6, 2012.