From a reader:
I’ve been doing some reading of Malachi Martin and in his novel Windwsept House he says that a Black Mass was celebrated in the Vatican. He was interviewed about this and he says it’s true and that his novel is “faction”. Do you have any opinion about Malachi Martin?
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Malachi Martin is a bit of an emigma. He was smart, to be sure, and had a spicy past.
What leaves me puzzled is why in some of his books he made blatant errors of fact, too wrong to have been missed, so wrong that they may have been purposeful. These errors don’t change the substance of what he is trying to get across, but they gave critics something to latch onto while ignoring the substance. For example, Martin was a former Jesuit. In his book on Jesuits he gets the birth date of Ignatius Loyola wrong. Weird.
Another thing. In his novels he wove together facts with fiction in a way that, if you aren’t careful reading it, you confuse the two. That is his "faction" thing, I guess.
That said, in Windswept House there is something to be learned today about what is going on in the Church. The bad guys in the book are trying to undermine the Church’s supernatural identity and reduce the Church to an instrument of social change merely. Some of the enemies of the Church are literally in league with the devil, some are misguided dupes.
I think that people could read this book and learn a few good insights into how different attacks on the Church manifest themselves. However, read it all with a grain of salt.
In any event, during my time working in an office of the Vatican I met some pretty interesting people. Over a period of years I picked their brains about issues raised in Windswept House. I can say that some of the things I heard echo many of the issues raised by Martin in the book. I never heard anyone say that there had been for sure a satanic rite in the Vatican for the sake of undermining the Church from within. However, given the hatred of the enemies and his servants for the spotless bride of Christ I have little doubt that something like that might have been attempted at one point or other.
These questions titillate to be sure. Things having to do with the devil and secret groups and conspiracies are all the stuff of great tales. But apart from all the silliness, there really are out there people who hate the Church so much that they would stop at nothing to harm her reputation, her fabric, finances and ministers.