Joe McClane: “So, let me ask you this question. As evidence, Cardinal Gagnon provides the report to Paul VI, Saint Paul VI, and Paul VI, immediately like any good leader would do, fires him and then punishes him accordingly. Correct? I mean like that’s how it went down, right?”
Father Murr: “Not exactly, not exactly, not exactly. I lived with Cardinal Gagnon during those years and practically was a secretary to him. I took him to his different appointments and helped him with a lot of the organization. A great man and a great friend. I was with him just shortly before he died. And, anyway, the pope asked him, Pope Paul VI asked him to do an investigation after two cardinals, Cardinal Staffa and Cardinal Oddi, brought certification, proof, of a particular member of the Curia, an archbishop, his affiliation, his membership in the Freemasonic Lodge of Italy. That was Annibale Bognini. Bognini was also involved in Freemasonry and proof was brought to the pope by two cardinals. These two cardinals brought it to him. This woke up, this woke Paul VI up. It startled him and got him – perturbed is not the word for it – very disturbed actually. He called his secretary, Benelli, Giovanni Benelli, and they decided to run an investigation of the entire Roman Curia, and looking particulary for Freemasons. Bognini as you know and as your viewers I’m sure will know, is the man who revamped the entire Catholic liturgy and our seven sacraments. Okay? But anyway, Bognini was brought before the pope. That’s why he decided to start the investigation and they looked for the most honest man that they could find and that man was French Canadian Archbishop Edward Gagnon who at that time was the Rector of the Pontifical Canadian College in Rome. A brilliant man, a good man, a man with a great sense of humour, never trust anybody who doesn’t have some sort of a sense of humour, Joe. A brilliant man, and a man who loved the Church. He had a relationship of love with the Church, really truly did. And wanted to defend her at all cost. He was appointed by Paul VI to do an investigation of the entire Roman Curia. That’s about 300 people, full time, with an extension of another 500 people. This took him three years to do. And believe me, he did it well. He did it well. When he was finished, he asked me if I would drive him to the Vatican to see Pope Paul VI the following morning and to hand in the report. When he turned in his report, now this is the man who asked for the report, when he turned in the report, was sitting alone with the Pope at the Pope’s desk in his studio. He handed him the three volumes of his investigation, and the Pope rather than opening them and reading them or asking anything more about them, pushed them back toward him and told him that he was incapable of dealing with the problem, that he should save them for his successor. This was Paul VI. Look, if you want to pinpoint where the decline and fall of the Catholic Church was, you can do it with Humanae Vitae, the encyclical on artificial birth control, right? On human life but particularly the question of artificial birth control. Days before it was published, made public, a group of priests, Catholic priests, in the United States of America went to Washington DC and picketed the ambassador of the Vatican’s Home and Office in Washington DC, protesting against the encyclical which again, I repeat, was not yet made public. They themselves had not read it, because it wasn’t made public. All they knew was that it had been leaked to them that artificial birth control was not okayed. So, they protested this.
Cardinal O’Boyle of Washington DC suspended those priests immediately. Took away their confessions. They couldn’t hear confessions, couldn’t say Mass, couldn’t represent themselves as priests as a punishment for such a thing. And believe me Joe, in those days, such things were unheard of. Nobdoy and certainly a priest wouldn’t do such a thing. Two days later, the Pope himself, picked up the telephone, called Cardinal O’Boyle, and demanded that he put those six priests back into full capacity, and apologize to them, right?”
Joe McClane: “Why?”
Father Murr: “That was the beginning of the end.”