How reliable is Malachi Martin?

He went to Oxford and Louvain, was a professor at the Pontifical Biblican Institute, attended Vatican II, was a secretary to Cardinal Bea, and seems to have been really prominent in his day.

But (if the page on Wikipedia is accurate) he made some strange claims.
-He advocated the Siri Thesis - interesting claim too because he was present at those Conclaves
-He claimed that John Paul I was murdered by Cardinal Villot who was getting his orders from the Soviets
-He claimed that John XXIII and Paul VI were once freemasons
-He claimed that Cardinal Casarolli was an atheist

Of course, just because he’s smart, it doesn’t mean he isn’t susceptible to sensationalism. Still, his resume does give him credebility, though I find those claims impossible to believe.

in his book, THE KEYS OF THIS BLOOD (( about JPII vs the New World Order and troubles within the Church )),
Mr. Martin claimed that MARTIN LUTHER belonged to a Secret Society
and practiced Occult Rites.
Now, I’m no fan of Luther, but THAT claim really shocked and surprised me,
so I wrote to Malachi Martin and asked him if he would kindly provide me
with his SOURCES for this claim.
After a few weeks, he wrote me back, profusely apologizing for the delay,
and replied that we don’t know much about the Secret society to which Luther
belong, but know that he did belong to one and that they did
practice occult rites.

And he left it at that. No documentation of the claim whatsoever. No source,
no citation, no nothing. Just a very polite sort of “take my word for it, it’s true” kind of
thing. That REALLY surprised me, coming as it did from a man who supposedly
knows for sure what he is talking about.
After that, I found it very hard to trust anything he said at all.
Even Father Groeschel on EWTN called some of his claims VERY far-fetched.

I also learned (which Martin never advertised) that prior to become the darling
of extreme conspiracy-inside-the-church style Catholics, Martin was in fact a rather
radically LIBERAL Catholic, ie, he was not at all always the supposed enemy of modernism that his fans think he was.
He was a strange character, wrote fascinating but unproven stuff and made lots of fascinating but unproven claims. His book THE JESUITS made me want to urge the
pope to DISSOLVE the entire Jesuit order.
I now think twice before believing ANYTHING that he wrote.

As for him personally, I leave all judgment of him to God, of course.

Thanks for the response. Interesting that he actually wrote you back though.

Begs the question, why all the hype around this guy? Is it just because people like the sensationalistic claims? He’s studied in some universities (I know of a prominent Jesuit school where he was discussed in the classroom) but he sounds like Catholicism’s version of Oliver Stone.

It’s just odd. Why all the mystique?

Well, I think part of the mystique comes from the fact
that Catholics believe, and are right to believe,
that the Devil and Demons are constantly at work trying to subvert
the Church and the Faith.
That’s TRUE. They ARE. 24 Hours a Day.
No valid question about that.

Martin, with his books and claims, purports to
show just HOW that demonic subversion is taking place,
and curious people really eat it up.

Problem is, even though we know that the Devil is constantly attacking the church,
Martin doesn’t provide much documentation of his claims. He makes sweeping claims
(( tons of bishops are secret Freemasons, for example. No doubt some are, but
…as many as he claims? )).

On one taped interview (( I still have the cassette somewhere )), Martin
states that If John Paul II were not the pope, that “I would have nothing to do with this
man” because “he ((John Paul II )) is a very dangerous man.”
He is not alone in making such attacks on our late pope.
Another traditionalist group, whose tapes I have, has a popular trad
speaker who states that “if John Paul II is NOT “The False Prophet” (predicted
in the Apocalypse, who leads men to worship The Beast/666), then he would
be very surprised.”

Some people really jump to terrible conclusions.
John Paul II’s governance was certainly very flawed, he himself even said so,
but personally, JPII was a very saintly, not a dangerous nor evil, man.

Malachi Martin’s writings feed into our natural curiousity about just WHO
Satan’s Minions inside the church really are. He claimed to know,
and that is part, a big part, of the “mystique.”

His claims about the Siri thesis feed into Sedevacantist claims the last several popes
have all been phonies, all been Anti-Popes who were not even real Catholics.

Interestingly, though, another thing that feeds the sedevacantist theories
is that weird things DID take place in the 1958 conclave that elected Blessed
John XXIII. Many who were in St. Peter’s Square reported, and photos exist of it,
that the chimney began pouring out white smoke, for more than a full five minutes,
signifying that a pope had been elected. Many present in St Peter’s square reported that during this time, the Cardinals appeared at windows, waving to the crowds below,
thus indicating that the voting had concluded, otherwise they would NEVER have been at the windows waving to people.
(( I, however, would like to see photos, which surely would have been taken,
of these Cardinals standing at the windows waving to the crowds below.
I have not seen a single ONE of those photos, please note, not one )).

Well, after a full five minutes of apparent “white smoke” billowing, the claim is made and oft-repeated, that the smoke once again turned BLACK and a long time went by and then John the 23rd appeared on the balcony being announced with “Habemus Papam!!” – We Have a Pope !!

Well, Martin and others posit that the smoke was billowing WHITE for five minutes because Cardinal Siri had been elected pope, and that many Cardinals, in fear and terror for the Catholics of eastern Europe, because Siri was VERY anti-Communist, insisted that a more moderate Cardinal had to be elected. Therefore, the claim is, they began having the chimney pour out BLACK smoke, and re-voted, resulting in the election of John XXIII. There is, of course, no proof that this “RE-VOTING” ever took place at all.

Another favorite bugaboo of the conspiracy promotors is that the new pope chose the name “JOHN the 23rd,” when there had been (and there had been) an ANTI-pope by this name many centuries before.

These things prove nothing, and the “Siri thesis” is extremely weak.

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