29 June 1972. Paul VI says, “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God”

Fifty years ago today, 29 June 1972, Paul VI uttered those amazing words.

He knew that something was not going right.  Not at all right.

Thus Paul VI:

“… We would say that, through some mysterious crack—no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation.

“The Church is no longer trusted. We trust the first pagan prophet we see who speaks to us in some newspaper, and we run behind him and ask him if he has the formula for true life. I repeat, doubt has entered our conscience. And it entered through the windows that should have been open to the light: science.”

“… It was thought that, after the Council, sunny days would come for the history of the Church. Nevertheless, what came were days of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty … We tried to dig abysses instead of covering them …”


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  1. B says:

    That’s become one mighty big crack.

  2. The Vicar says:

    Clearly, Fr. Z, you’ve never heard of the “New Pentecost”

  3. Orual says:

    I’m reading Malachi Martin’s Windswept House. He writes about a satanic ritual that took place in St. Paul’s in Rome on June 29, 1963 to enthrone satan in the Church. In the book, they chose this day because it was the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. I’m not sure if this really happened, but it’s interesting that Paul VI said these words on the same day, and Nancy Pelosi received Holy Communion during Mass today with Pope Francis. Satan seems to be very active on June 29.

  4. DeeEmm says:

    Maybe he had a vision about the consistory list?

  5. TonyO says:

    And yet, somehow, Paul could not manage to put forth the effort to…I dunno, STOP the idiotic excesses of the Novus Ordo? Stop girl altar boys? Stop communion in the hand? He had enough evidence in hand to note the smoke, but he didn’t seem to DO anything about it.

  6. RosaryRose says:

    Do you ever just wonder “What would St Padre Pio say if he saw what’s going on today?”

  7. James C says:

    “ And yet, somehow, Paul could not manage to put forth the effort to…I dunno, STOP the idiotic excesses of the Novus Ordo? Stop girl altar boys? Stop communion in the hand? He had enough evidence in hand to note the smoke, but he didn’t seem to DO anything about it.”

    In fact, in a 1976 meeting with Archbishop Lefebvre, Paul VI told him that the abuses grieved him and that he was doing something about it.

    He did NOTHING about it, except appoint bishops who turned seminaries into gay bathhouses and turned the Mass into a carnival circus.

    Oh, and he punished Lefebvre instead.

  8. JonPatrick says:

    @RosaryRose – he would probably say “pray, hope, and don’t worry”.

  9. DU says:

    Disclosure: I’m a fan of St. Paul VI. “Humanae Vitae” He was a voice crying out in the wilderness against all odds. One if not THE most significant Church document of the last century or even the last 20.

    Far from nothing, he prayed. Maybe his prayers gave us JPII and B16. Who knows but God? We need to fight with spiritual weapons. Matt. 24:24 warns us not to be deceived. We must keep our eyes fixed on Christ.

  10. Boniface says:

    James C, your comments on St. Paul VI are unjustly harsh as well as historically incorrect. St. Paul VI faced a tsunami of modernism, heresy, insane liturgical abuses, priests leaving their posts, and much more. Did you know that he stayed up late into the night, daily, personally evaluating every single priestly laiciziation application? Which pained him greatly? Would you have liked to stand in his shoes? We should shudder at the suggestion of it. What, should he have hurled ineffective anathemas? Spark multiple schisms overnight? You should read the volume of his sermons and addresses called “The Teachings of Pope Paul VI,” published during his reign. He is quite outspoken on what was going on at the time, in fact.

    “Altar girls,” as regrettable a development as that is, were a phenomenon of the 1980s (St. Paul VI died in 1978). In fact, Rome only officially tolerated those as late as 1994. Paul VI granted many personal indults to use the older form of the mass, including to St. JoseMaria Escriva, and advised bishops to allow devotions to saints under attack (like St. Philomena) to continue to go on.

  11. robtbrown says:

    Paul VI was his own worst enemy. He brought his liberal humanist buddies (e.g. Lercaro and Bugnini) into power, thinking he could control them. He couldn’t.

    He was tough on Lefebvre but did nothing with the likes of Hans Kung.

    He also was intimidated by the Soviet Union, never thinking that the US would win the Cold War.

  12. aam says:

    Does the doctrine of apostolic succession mean there are to be successors of Judas Iscariot?

  13. robtbrown says:


    Paul.VI promulgated Humanae Vitae, then named bishops who opposed it.

    He also made Bernardin and McCarrick bishops. And made Jean Jadot Apostolic Delegate to the US

  14. arga says:

    To me there is a lot of ambiguity in this famous quote. If you read the whole thing it’s hard to decide just what he is talking about. So everyone assumes he meant whatever their favorite outrage is. He specifically mentions “science” as a source of “doubt.” This may be the most puzzling, not least because it is the closest he comes to being specific but also because the Church has always taught that it has nothing to fear from science. But at the end he switches completely to blaming not anything outside the Church but “we” — who were digging holes instead of covering them. That may be the most telling, though it contradicts everything else: not Satan, not science, but we ourselves were the enemy.

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