Monday, June 5, 2017

The Chameleon

 It was February 2, 1983, and I did something I had never done before in my life; I skipped school. I was a model student, seventeen years old at the time, and just a few months away from both my high school graduation and turning eighteen. Unlike most kids, however, I was not out causing trouble that day, nor committing sin in the name of "fun." I had become a Traditionalist on November 1st of 1981, and the priest who converted me, Fr. Gommar A. DePauw, was going to be live on the radio, WOR-AM, New York! That past Sunday, Father announced from the pulpit that he had been invited to appear on the Sherry Henry Show at 10AM on February 2nd. Ms. Henry would interview interesting people from all walks of life concerning topics of current interest.  She invited Fr. DePauw to be her guest to discuss the so-called "New Code of Canon Law" that would take effect in November of that year under Wojtyla (John Paul II).

 Fr. DePauw was the perfect man for the interview since he was a canon lawyer, a peritus (i.e., theological expert) at Vatican II, and in 1964 was the founder of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement. Ms. Henry was no Traditionalist, but a flaming Modernist and Socialist. To her credit, she wanted to present a balanced view on the topic so she invited Fr. DePauw and told him that she had also invited someone who would strongly support the New Code and debate with him; Malachi Martin. Father DePauw replied that he knew of the former Jesuit and current best-selling author from Vatican II, but they had never met and he would have no problem defending the truth against him.

In days before computers and the Internet, I begged my parents to let me stay home and use my little rusted tape recorder to tape the show off the hand-held radio I had. To my great surprise and joy, they agreed to let me be "sick" that day! (I still have the tape of that show over 34 years later). I waited with baited breath in my room at 9:55, all set to record the show. At 10 AM, Ms. Henry introduced Fr. DePauw and was both cordial and professional towards him. She asked Father why he thought the New Code would be bad, and he wasted no time launching into the evil canons and the devastating effects they would carry. Next, she introduced Malachi Martin, and asked him about why he thought the New Code was good. To the shock of Ms. Henry, Fr. DePauw, and the listening audience (who heard Martin billed as a proponent of the New Code), Martin stated he was in complete agreement with Fr. DePauw!

 The rest of the show (which included taking calls from listeners) had Fr. DePauw and Malachi Martin bashing the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Ms. Henry was beside herself. "If only I had an opposing view from a great mind like Bishop Mugavero," she said. ("Bishop" Mugavero was the invalidly consecrated Vatican II sect "bishop" of the Diocese of Brooklyn, and a notorious Modernist. He was one of the very first priests to be invalidly consecrated in 1968, after the death of Abp. Bryan McEntegart.). Next Sunday, Fr. DePauw commented from the pulpit, "I was expecting an intelligent opponent, instead I had an even more intelligent guy who had the good sense to agree with me!" (Words paraphrased from my memory).

 Fr. DePauw was not fooled. Who is Malachi Martin? Why is he so controversial, and what did he really believe and do? These are the questions I will explore in this post.

Martin's Background

Malachi Brendan Martin was born July 23, 1921 in County Kerry, Ireland. He was one of ten children, five boys and five girls. Four of the five Martin boys became priests. In 1939 he became a novice of the Jesuit Order and was ordained to the priesthood on the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption in 1954. Fr. Martin was an academic, having gone to the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, where he took a doctorate in archaeology, oriental history and semitic languages.

Martin worked as personal secretary to the closet Modernist Cardinal Bea, and was close personal friends with arch-Modernist (and fellow Jesuit) Fr. John Courtney Murray, who was the guiding force behind the heretical Vatican II document Dignitatis Humanae, on so-called "religious liberty," which had been many times condemned by the True Church. Some theologians at the Council claim that Martin helped to fashion the heretical document Nostra Aetate which discusses the "relationship" of the Church to non-Christian religions. It also "absolves" the Jews of being the Deicide race, and it has been alleged that Martin had Jewish relatives, although there is no substantial proof of the claim. 

In February of 1965, for reasons not altogether clear, Martin asked for what is known in canon law as qualified exclaustration, which authorizes a priest to live for a limited time as a layman without exercising priestly faculties and free from all clerical obligations other than celibacy. This favor is granted only when there is reasonable hope that the cleric will recover his priestly vocation, which makes it more of an enigma since Martin claims he never stopped being a priest. This dispensation was granted by Montini (Paul VI).

 He came to the United States, working odd jobs until finally making it big as an author. His first best-seller was the novel Hostage to the Devil, published in 1975 and tells the story of five alleged demonic possessions. He was able to build on the sensation generated by William Peter Blatty's book and blockbuster movie The Exorcist (1973).  According to Martin's book (which purports to relate facts), the former Jesuit participated in several exorcisms, yet in a 1996 radio interview he claimed to have assisted in several hundred exorcisms. He wrote four other best-sellers, and died in his NYC apartment four days after his 78th birthday in 1999, having suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage in the wake of falling in his apartment. 

Was Martin Really Celibate?

 The book Clerical Error? by Robert Blair Kaiser raises some serious questions about Martin. The author, Mr. Kaiser, was a former Jesuit who left the order to marry and claims that when he was a reporter at Vatican II, Malachi Martin had an affair with his wife Susan. Defenders of Martin will be quick to point out that Kaiser was a Modernist himself, and had a psychiatric disorder which made him paranoid. There are, however, two really damaging pieces of information that are not easily dismissed. Mr.John Grasmeier put together documentation of Martin's affair.

One piece of evidence is a letter to Robert B. Kaiser from heretic Fr. John Courtney Murray (a friend to both Martin and Kaiser) written July 10, 1964. According to Grasmeier, "The letter touches on a few items relevant to the Malachi Martin saga. One being that although Father John Murray stands fast in his (non-qualified) assessment of Kaiser’s pyscological state, he apologizes to Kaiser and admits that it has been made clear to him that Martin and Mrs. Kaiser were indeed having an affair. He talks about the now infamous love letters from Martin to Kaiser’s wife, 'Martin’s apostasy from the Society' and the fact that he doesn’t know where Martin and Kaiser’s wife are."

The second piece of evidence is a six-page letter from Fr. William Van Etten Casey dated November 1, 1965 to Archbishop H. E. Cardinale, the Vatican Apostolic Delegate to the United Kingdom. Its purpose was to advocate for an annulment of the Kaisers' marriage. To read both letters, See

Was Martin Really a Bishop?
Martin became friends with Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy (hereinafter "Dr. C") sometime in the late 1980s-early 1990s. Dr. C was a thoracic surgeon and psychiatrist who rejected the Vatican II sect from the beginning. He was a professor of Church History at the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) seminary located (at that time) in Connecticut which was where Dr. C and his wife lived. Sedevacantism was an idea advocated by Dr. C, and he influenced many of the seminarians. When the sedevacantist Society of St Pius V (SSPV), broke away from the SSPX in 1984, Dr. C joined them. In 1989, he left the SSPV over the issue of the validity of the Thuc consecrations (Dr. C believed --correctly--they were valid).

 Dr. C wrote several excellent Traditionalist books and articles. In the late 1990s he wanted to become a priest himself. There was one problem; he was married. The SSPV and SSPX would not even consider him a candidate on that basis alone. However, he found a Thuc bishop, Bp. Jose Gaston-Lopez, willing to ordain him if he and his wife took public vows of celibacy. Dr. C's ordination was attacked by Fr. Anthony Cekada. Dr (Fr) C responded with an online article entitled, "In Defense of My Ordination." Apparently there was a dispute over whether of not Bp. Lopez imposed his hands on Dr C's head at the essential part of the rite. There are two pictures posted in the article by Dr/Fr C that clearly show Bp. Gaston-Lopez being assisted by Malachi Martin. The article makes the following disturbing statement, "One problem arose. One of the people present thought Bishop Lopez-Gaston didn’t actually touch my head during the critical part of the rite. I of course cannot bear witness to this as I was too much too involved in the process of ordination to check on such a detail. I however recently looked at the photographs which were taken and offer two as evidence to the contrary.However, my close friend and mentor, Bishop Malachi Martin, stated that he wished there to be absolutely no doubt about my ordination. He therefore proceeded to conditionally re-ordain me. Hence it is that I received the graces of Ordination from a double source." (Emphasis mine). 

 It seems that Martin claimed (with no known proof) that Pope Pius XII had consecrated him a bishop in pectore (i.e., secretly) to do work behind the Iron Curtain. As Martin was ordained a priest in 1954 (the year when the pope's health took a serious turn for the worse) it is even more dubious that he would be chosen, let alone consecrated by the ailing Pontiff. Not impossible, but dubious, given the circumstances and lack of any substantial evidence apart from Martin's ipse dixit. (See

This brings us to the next important question:

Was Martin a Sedevacantist?

 As noted above, Martin was friends with one of the most famous Traditionalists, Dr/Fr C, and even participated in at least one sedevacantist conferral of a sacrament. There is no way Martin can claim ignorance as to the theological positions of either Dr/Fr C or Bp.Gaston-Lopez. However, there are other facts that show Martin clearly recognizing the so-called post-V2 "popes."

  • Martin clearly accepted Wojtyla (JPII) as pope on the radio show with Fr. DePauw.
  • Was a huge supporter of "Fr" Nicholas Gruner, the invalidly ordained publisher of the "Fatima Crusader." Martin also claimed to know the Third Secret of Fatima. In an article published in the US News and World Report, Martin claimed he agreed with "Fr" Gruner that the Consecration of Russia had not been performed correctly by the "pope" (JPII)
  • Just two years before his death (1997) said that the Thuc consecrations were valid but illicit. This would only hold true if he accepted  JPII as "pope" or was a "Home Aloner."
  • On more than one occasion, claimed Cardinal Siri had been elected pope in 1958 and resigned under pressure, yet did not denounce Roncalli and Montini (John XXIII and Paul VI) as false popes--the logical corollary.
Malachi Martin: Liar or Lunatic?

 Martin appeared more than once on the Art Bell radio show. Mr. Bell's show, Coast to Coast,is the on-air version of the National Enquirer. It focuses on the occult and the bizarre. In April of 1997, he appeared on the Art Bell Show and made a number of truly alarming statements--claims so strange you can (literally) doubt if he ever had the faith--or possibly even his sanity. No person with an ounce of integrity would want to go on Art Bell's show. It immediately destroys one's credibility. Fr. DePauw, or Abp. Lefebvre would never even have considered it. Here's just some of what Martin had to say from the transcript of the show:

On Separation of Church and State and Abortion (Bell is a libertarian):
"I also share this view[libertarianism]. I do not believe that human governments have anything to say to the inner decisions of a man or woman. Those decisions must be made in the light of their religious education and their religious tradition. But the last thing in the world that I want to interfere with, that is government. They should have nothing to do with it. For instance, one of the difficulties of the abortion discussion today in America is that its become politized (sic). Its become a political football."(Emphasis mine)

On Shamans (Pagan witch doctors): "I'll tell you Art what I think, now that you've asked a personal opinion of a very difficult subject, but my experience is the following and I'm not merely taking about Native Americans...I have seen such miracles of cure and restitution and de-possession worked by these people, including Native Americans--really shamans--you know, the old type. Because of my beliefs I must conclude that my Lord Jesus Christ in whom I believe and who is the source of all power, has used them in their innocence and their faith, to cure people outside the reach of a Catholic priest like me. I cannot deny that...There are people who have nothing to do with Catholicism or with some of them, Christianity. But it has worked and I've had that experience and I can't deny it." (Emphasis mine)

On his ability to see Satan and demons: "I was standing on a stool in my apartment, reaching for a book and I saw him. He was crouched on the floor looking at me. His body was like a muscular pit bull terrier, but the face was recognizably human. It was the Devil's face. I recognised the eyes. They were eyes of the coldest, deadliest hatred. When the Devil sprang at me, I fell from my stool and broke my shoulder, but I felt fortunate. I had seen Satan and I had lived." (This quote came from a another source--the next quote is directly from Art Bell's show) "Yes, I do that. I, I do that. I've got second vision. When the demon is there, when the demon is in possession, yes I do"

From the July 11, 1997 Art Bell show, he claims to believe in lycanthropy, i.e. werewolves (!):

Lance Foxx: "This is Lance, a fifth time caller from Park Hills, Missouri." 

Art Bell: "All right." Father Malachi Martin: "Um-hum." 

Lance Foxx: "I'd like to ask your quest- your guest a question." 

Father Malachi Martin: "Sure." 

Lance Foxx: "Is it possible for a person to be a lycanthrope and not be evil?" (long pause) 

Father Malachi Martin: "Um..." (an even longer pause) 

Father Malachi Martin: "Yes. It is possible. Within the framework of your question, I must say, yes. It is possible. It is possible." 

Lance Foxx: "In other words, can lycanthropy be kind of a gift?" 

Father Malachi Martin: "Yes. It can be. Like everything else, it can have a good purpose or an evil purpose." 


 Malachi Martin was the ultimate chameleon; a man who changes his beliefs to fit his audience and tell them what they want to hear. Does he even have any beliefs of his own? I can't believe the number of people who follow him and quote his novels like Scripture. Yes, he had many insights as to what went on in the Vatican, and I personally believe that a "Black Mass" took place before the start of Vatican II, led by some Cardinals. However, without other corroborating evidence, can you really believe anything he said? 

 At the time of his death, Martin was buried with Mrs  Kakia Livanos, a Greek Orthodox widow of a millionaire. Some claim she was merely his housekeeper and landlady, but one can't help but wonder why he would be buried with her, and why wouldn't she be buried with her late husband? Even if he were buried in Greece, she had the money for burial there. Martin claimed that his fall, which precipitated his death was caused by "an invisible hand" that pushed him. (See

 He called on Fr. Paul Wickens (whom I knew personally) to give him the Last Rites. Fr. Wickens was ordained in 1955 for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He left the Vatican II sect, and set up his own chapel. For awhile, Fr. Wickens was a Feeneyite, but thankfully, saw the error and abjured it. He worked closely with the SSPX and was not sedevacantist. Martin was buried out of Fr. Wickens' St Anthony of Padua Chapel in New Jersey. If he believed Wojtyla was pope why not ask a FSSP priest for the Last Rites? If he doubted the validity of the new "sacraments" why did he accept "priests" in the new rite as valid, such as "Fr" Gruner?  If he were sedevacantist, why not call a priest of the SSPV nearby? 

 There are more questions than answers to this man's life. I hope he made a sincere and humble confession to Fr. Wickens, and was saved. Nevertheless, I will never be quoting Martin as a reliable, stand-alone source on anything. 


  1. Bishop Hnilica was consecrated a bishop in 1953 having been a priest for only 6 MONTHS.
    That he may have been a bishop is possible.
    If its true,why didnt he consecrate a good catholic valid priest before 1998 is my immediate question?

    1. Consecrate a good Traditionalist priest a bishop prior to his death in 1999? A good question indeed; it seems to indicate he wasn't a Traditionalist doesn't it?

    2. IF he were a bishop, that is, and not a fraud!!


    3. It certainly makes your case stronger.
      Fr.Martin was a very rare master of crafty intelligent language.
      His statements could be used in 10 different ways for 10 different view points while simultaneously not contradicting himself.
      For instance,"The Thuc line is valid but illicit"
      He could tell the sedevacantist
      "I was talking from an official conciliar view point,of course theyre catholic clergy mate"
      He could tell the SSPX crowd
      "See the Thuc line is valid per se,but not advisable until we have a "good" Pope to clear up the matter"
      To the indult crowd he could say
      "The Thuc line is valid,but reacts against the "Holy Father wishes,tis wrong mate"
      Highly intelligent people are rare and dangerous.
      We may never truly know the truth about him this side of the grave!

    4. I agree the whole truth may never be known in this life. However, from what we do know, his words (spoken or written) can't be trusted!


  2. If you ever have time,you should upload the best sections of that 1983 radio interview to YouTube or Vimeo.
    Fellas like me would LOVE to hear that in 2017.
    Both priests,for better or worse,depending on who you talk with,were among the last colorful characters in the traditional movement!!

  3. Very good writing! Father Martin (or not) was an intriguing and at the same time confusing figure. And in the confusion I only have one position: kilometers away. And about Mr. (or priest) Rama Coomaraswamy I also have my suspicions. I heard that at first he adopted the Catholic faith because he could not be a Hindu. Until then, no problem if that faith later became true. The problem with him is that I have heard that he was a perennialist of the line of René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Martin Lings and his father, Ananda Coomaraswamy. If so, he was a Gnostic. I can not sustain this information, since it only has one source, the Brazilian Catholic Association Montfort. Well you could talk about his, as you did with Martin now.

    1. Good suggestion my friend! I get many good ideas for posts, but my time is limited as I work full-time. I will try to get to it at some point!


  4. Malachi Martin seems to me to be some kind of a sensationalist - looking more for attention than looking for or living the truth.

    1. It seems that way Joann. I really don't know what to make of him; but I don't trust his writings or the things he said.


  5. I'm not sure if you know this Introibo but Bp McKenna has a video of one of his exorcisms in which the possessed claimed to be a werewolf. It is an interesting documentary if you can find in on Youtube.

    1. I do remember seeing that my friend! Please keep in mind two points:

      1. Satan and his demons are liars and much of what is said during an exorcism is false.

      2. We don't see the possessed becoming a "werewolf" and Martin claimed that lycanthropy could "have a good purpose."

      A werewolf using his powers for good?!? Sounds like a goofy Netflix TV series, and not something any serious person would espouse!

      God bless,


  6. Is it possible he was in the very beginning stages of dementia during the late 90's Art Bell interviews?

    1. Possible, I suppose. That does nothing to excuse his earlier erratic beliefs and behavior. His friends range from Modernists, to Traditionalists to everything in between. He was an enigma way before the late 90s.


    2. The small bit I knew of (Fr?) Martin was he had been extremely leftist/ecumenical in the 50's/60's,then slowly evolved into a traditional Catholic because of the 1960's Vatican City scandals.(official scandals and unofficial first hand experience scandals)
      Whether that is true or not is beyond me.

    3. Doesn't seem to fly. For example, being dispensed from all his vows except celibacy; why? He claimed "Card. Cooke gave him jurisdiction to function in the Archdiocese of NYC, but he never served in any parish. He said the Novus Bogus was evil, but you could attend it. He said he was interested in attending a Mass of the SSPV in Manhattan (when they were there in a rented room for a Mass on Sundays) but he never showed.

      "Strange" and "erratic" doesn't even begin to describe it. I don't think he was Traditionalist. I hope he died as one.


    4. I too hope he received sanctifying grace and is in Heaven.
      In reference to Fr.Paul Wickens being called to Malachi Martin's deathbed,and Fr.Wickens being a valid priest but not "sedevacantist",
      correct me if I'm wrong in the next sentence,please.
      From what I have read and gathered from from Catholic people who were around 22 yrs old or older in 1965,more important to them was the valid priest ordained pre-June 1968 offering pre-1965 Sacraments as opposed to if the priest was Sede,R&R,Indult,etc..(in general)
      Am I completely off the mark?

    5. To the average early Traditionalist, you are correct. Martin was a highly educated cleric and the other theological nuances would play a role in which priest to call. Why Fr Wickens? Another question unanswered.


  7. In all due respect to (Fr?) Martin,who was a highly educated man with a voracious appetite for learning,without any ill will towards him or his soul,an extremely small part of me finds him slightly eerie.
    I have no idea what to make of him and for all we know he could a Saint in Heaven.
    With that said,its just slightly eerie that no one ever knew much about him,or his past that constantly evolved every few years from 1965-1999.
    Topple that with being a multi-millionaire author,being a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio/TV for 3 straight decades,and being active in the remnant Catholic Church in the mid 90's.
    Yet with all of this info,no one truly knew him,who he worked for,(we all work someone in the grand scheme)or knew what he truly believed.
    He's like someone in a movie who's time traveled to a different century.
    On a side note,he was a guest on Willam F.Buckley's Firing Line,and was very friendly with a part of the Buckley Family.
    It has come out post 2000's that William F.Buckley was working with the CIA on some level.
    How deep how far etc I have no idea?
    I am Pointing out one of (Fr?) Martin's "friends" had deep connections himself.
    It could all be meaningless but it seems the well become deeper the more one researches (Fr?)Martin.

    1. So very true! For every answer, two more questions arise!


  8. The difference between the current Catholic church (I stopped using the term "sedevacantist" because we are simply the Catholic Church...I understand there are still times the term "sedevacantist" is still necessary)compared to pre-2005 or so is there are no more characters with a personality.
    Gregory Hesse (doubtful new rite 'priest',obtuse theology,could laugh at himself or others without being malicious,great orator and historian of the pre-1965 Conciliar Church.
    I reject the Novus Ordo and SSPX yet learned a great deal of Church history from his audio recorded talks.
    Fr.Gommar Depauw (Roman Catholic Priest,Catholicism was in his bones,highly educated,experience in Warfare,yet funny,humble,great orator/historian of the Church,and because of humility & love for God and Souls(in my opinion)held a good natured working class type of attitude.
    A great compliment to him if you ask me,given his vast wealth of experience,education and travels.
    Malachi Martin -bio already covered by our talented blog host.He was all over the map theologically and in many other ways.With that stated,he could draw secular and non-catholics audiences to a radio/TV show presumably about Catholicism.(nearly nonexistent in 2017)
    I could mention more but you get the idea.
    Someone being a "character" is a compliment,not an insult.
    Simply means an individual who has a unique personality and isn't a carbon copy of faceless corporate middle mgmt cubicle slaves.
    We don't have any colorful men or women like this nowadays in the Catholic church.
    I acknowledge Hesse,Martin,etc aren't traditional types but at the time they were considered as such.
    The world has changed in spades post 2005!
    I sometimes still wonder what Bishop Lefevbre and men like Gregory Hesse would think nowadays?
    Sorry for long post but this has been on my mind for a while.

    1. I always welcome comments from my readers! They serve to enlighten the subject.


    2. Your comment on non- existent Catholic radio reminded me of an instance I'd like to share. During my time of of my conversion from the Novus ordo to Catholicism I would listen to the "catholic" radio station on satellite radio occasionally. The young host on one program made fun of the true mass. Making lite of "Ite, Missa est."
      Sort of prophetic for him and the channel since that was the last time I listened to that station.

    3. Prophetic indeed! When his show is cancelled like a Vatican II sect parish for lack of interest, we can all say "Deo gratias!"


  9. I second the polite request by the reader that you upload that interview you played hooky to record. Thanks for an interesting post. I have had my doubts about M. Martin and I think you've provided enough facts to resolve them to the negative.

    1. I'll definitely consider it my friend!


  10. More information about Malachi Martin can be found here:

  11. Michael Collins Piper devoted a chapter of his book to Malichi Martin the the book Judas Goat. You can read it here on page 188. Only a few pages long.

  12. Chameleons like Malachi Martin seem purpose-built to waste our time and Faith during the great apostasy.