JOHN XXIII, part 2


Continuing with “Vatican II Exposed as Counterfeit Catholicism” by Frs. Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI

When Pastor Schutz, prior of the Protestant Taize community expressed his desire to change things at the Vatican, [John XXIII] replied: “Patience, patience! I can’t do everything at once.”

John XXIII’s method of gradual change was both deceptive and highly effective. His aim was not minor alteration,
but rather, complete and radical change.


Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on November 25, 1881 in Sotto il Monte, Italy, located ten miles from Bergamo. His deceptive ways and love of food began as a child.

When he was little, as the family gathered to say the rosary, he would sneak into his mother’s room to snitch figs that were hidden there. When questioned, he denied the transgression but indigestion — and its consequences —betrayed him.

Later in life, he reminisced about his peasant origin. “In Italy,” he was fond of saying, “there are three ways of losing one’s money—women, gambling and farming. My father chose the most boring of the three.” This story was frequently repeated among the members of the Vatican Diplomatic Corps. If on the surface it seems funny, it also expresses a deep spiritual void and lack of respect for his father and the humble life of a farmer.

Roncalli’s early spiritual training included traditional Catholicism laced with Modernism. This Bishop of Bergamo, Camillo Guindani, had liberal and Modernist leanings that he acquired from his friend and former teacher, Jeremiah Bonomelli whose pamphlet had been put on the Index of Forbidden Books. Bonomelli’s close friend, Antonio Fogazzaro “supported [Modernist] reform in the Church and toured Italy proposing to reconcile Darwins’s theory of evolution with Christianity.” Two of his writings were placed on the Index.


In 1892, when Roncalli was eleven years old, he entered a minor seminary at Bergamo. He joined the major seminary in 1895, received first tonsure on June 28 and the four minor orders in 1898. In 1899, Angelo Roncalli served an obligatory term in the army and was discharged from military service in September of 1901. Bishop Guindani then sent Roncalli to Rome to finish his studies in philosophy and theology at Piazza Saint’ Appolinare. In November, he was forced to serve in the Lombardy Brigade in Bergamo, where he reached the rank of sergeant.