“…’traditional Catholics’ are far more devoted to the incense, bells, sacred music, and ceremonies of the Tridentine Latin Mass of old than they are to the substance of the true Church’s dogma of rabbinic Judaism’s perfidy. The exterior of the Mass has been retained but the interior of its Biblical, Patristic, and medieval theology has been hollowed out and replaced by apathy toward accommodations with Talmudic Judaism and the betrayal of Jesus that they symbolize.”—Michael Hoffman
By Timothy Fitzpatrick
April 9, 2022 Anno Domini
Revisionist Michael Hoffman’s 2017 polemic outing the modern Catholic Church as a “neo-platonic-Hermetic-Kabbalist” counterfeit is a difficult read both actually and in its revelations.
Hoffman begins The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome by condemning the “Church of Rome” as a deviation from the true Catholic Church he estimates began in the early sixteenth century, but in contrast offers a few examples of Catholic clerics, who, by miracle, actually did God’s work, including Fr. Pierre De Smet and Fr. Joseph Cataldo “in their work defending the American Indian….” So, the first two examples Hoffman upholds as renegades against the wayward neoplatonic syncretist Renaissance Pontiffs are two priests, miraculous in their efforts, because they defended a minority group. Is this a Christian apologetic or an argument from the Communist Manifesto? It sounds more like class (race) struggle than a Christian miracle. Fortunately, this subtle neo-Marxism of Hoffman’s doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the book.
Occult Renaissance is written in the usual Hoffman style: verbose, reactionary, bitter, repetitive, contrarian, scornful, and lacking charity at times (see my other review of his about Usury in Christendom). Thus, the 723-page book is quite a strain to read (thought not quite as straining as Hoffman’s Judaism Discovered, which is more a large reference manual than a book for casual Sunday night reading). It seems that his inspiration for the book came about as a reaction to today’s traditional Catholics, whom he sets up repeatedly as the mindless public relations agents of the papacy. So disgusted with their supposed ignorance he must’ve been, he felt compelled to set them all straight—first by writing Usury in Christendom and recently Occult Renaissance.
The implications of the author’s thesis, if true, requires a whole new revision going far beyond what sedevacantists have done with the Second Vatican Council and the associated “anti-popes”. Hoffman’s thesis is that, in contrast to the contemporary traditional Catholic view that the Church was corrupted and left without a valid pope starting at the Second Vatican Council (1958-1965), today’s counterfeit Catholic Church actually was first corrupted under the Medici popes, who opened the Vatican doors to centuries of occult subversion (mainly via saboteurs Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Johannes Reuchlin), the justification of usury (Leo X), papal-approved lying (via Alphonsus Liguori’s Talmudic-inspired equivocation, 30 different ways of swearing falsely without guilt, and permission of birth control), and institutionalized pederasty (enabled by papal elitism).
“There is no other science that provides us with greater certainty of Christ’s divinity than magic and Kabbalah,” claims Pico.
Hoffman provides much evidence of Pico’s kabbalistic subversion of the Vatican. He concludes:
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola is the true father of the Second Vatican Council and the “post-Conciliar Church.”
Hoffman’s findings of rabbinic situations ethics peppered throughout modern Catholic teaching is significant; however, it’s ironic considering Hoffman’s own apparent situation ethics when he, as a Christian, associates with and defends the Nation of Islam. It seems their Marxist brand of anti-Zionism is convincing enough for Hoffman to ally with them against “Judaics”.
Also ironic is Hoffman’s fixation with the Tetragrammaton: the supposed secret, ineffable name of God consisting of four Hebrew consonants YHVH, from which we get Yahweh, Jehovah, etc. This supposed name for God is believed by some to be a Kabbalist invention that was inserted into the Masoretic text of the Old Testament (the authoritative Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament translates references to God as only “LORD”). Hoffman admits that the Tetragrammaton is used in magic (invoking demons, etc.) but dismisses the implications of this as merely pagan mockery or abuse of God’s holy name. The New Testament, however, clears up any confusion regarding God’s sacred name.
Phillipians 2:9-10 – Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
“Jesus” is the name above all names; therefore, Hoffman’s advocacy for the Tetragrammaton is irrelevant to the Christian faith. We are saved by only one name, and that is Jesus Christ. (I am that I am; Aramaic: ehyeh asher ehyeh, is also used for God’s name in the Old Testament)
I was rather disappointed that Jacob Frank’s influence on the Catholic Church was forgotten or ignored by Hoffman. Frankism seems to have aided the Kabbalist syncretism of the “Church of Rome” and may have played a part in shaping the Vatican’s later Mariology (Hoffman takes a more restrained position on the Blessed Virgin Mary—for which I commend him).
Hoffman seems to reject the First Vatican Council (in addition to the Second), at least as it pertains to the dogma of Papal infallibility. His constant cynical use of “papists”, “papalolaters”, “priestcraft”, his many other expressions of disgust with papal power, and his casting of blame for the Church of Rome’s waywardness on the papacy tell us this. What also suggests this is his dating of the divergence from true Roman Catholicism to the Kabbalist “Church of Rome”, which occurred long before the First Vatican Council, at some point in the 15th century (at or just before Pope Leo X). If most or all popes after Leo X have been crypto-occultists (Hoffman claims occult progression following Leo X was “seamless”), then that can only mean the First (and Second) Vatican Council was invalid. Furthermore, Hoffman doesn’t use the common sedevacantist descriptor of “anti-pope” to describe the bad or heretical popes. They are all just popes. With this, Hoffman’s chosen Catholic position or whether he is Catholic at all continues to be a mystery. He could be accused of being a Protestant (esp. a puritan), Eastern Orthodox sympathizer, or other, but since he does not seem to recognize the primacy or infallibility of the pope, technically speaking he can’t be called a new kind of sedevacantist. He equates the power of the Holy See with Pharaohism.
Under Hoffman’s view of seamless occult progression among the papacy, he inevitably indicts Pope Leo XIII but provides little support for this in Occult Renaissance (see my challenge to this claim in Pope Leo XIII’s pontificate did indict the Kabbalah). In general, though, Hoffman’s seamless progression thesis seems plausible when you consider Pope Innocent III’s declaration that “not to oppose erroneous doctrine is to approve of it.” Where was the reversal of this progression? It’s difficult to argue that there ever was a post-Renaissance pope who reversed centuries of papist treason against Christ and His holy Church. According to Hoffman, those popes who seemed to provide a counter to papal syncretism did so as mere concessions to pacify the laity while the subversion continued, part of the two-steps-forward, one-step-back tactic.
As for Hoffman’s least supported claim, of institutionalized pederasty, there is truth to what he is saying, but his biases on this matter were revealed years ago by a contributor of this blog, Jude Duffy, and, therefore, he does not seem to have a good command of this subject.
…my original passing comment about Hoffman (and other alternative media types such as David Icke) alluded to their penchant for uncritically recycling any and all negative narratives the corporate media serve up about the Catholic Church—even though they urge their followers to treat the same media’s narratives about most other issues with contempt. Hoffman in his counter-attack has made no effort to refute this criticism.
As Bill Donohue of the Catholic League says, the Sexual Abuse Lobby is Agenda Ridden.
As much as I don’t care for Hoffman’s writing style—his questionable historiography; his contextual inconsistency; his arrogant and condescending dialogue with his critics and others; his scandalous and inappropriate association with the Nation of Islam; his Marxist views on race and colonialism—many of his arguments in The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome seem well supported.
“Whoever followed Christ when He walked on earth had to be an independent thinker free of the religious authority that controlled the Temple and had condemned Him. But “traditional Catholics” don’t question the pieties, legends, and lies that came before Vatican Council II on the part of saints and popes labeled conservative.”
While I would not recommend this book to recent converts to Roman Catholicism or nominal Catholics who might completely abandon what little their is of their faith after reading Occult Renaissance, I would recommend it to established and “traditional” Catholics. It could bring the sedevacantist movement to a greater understanding of the usurpation of the one, true Church.