Malachi Martin’s Double Agent Status Documented
By John Grasmeier
Angelqueen.org has obtained numerous documents providing documentary evidence Malachi Martin was indeed the infamous Vatican II “double agent,” described by LOOK magazine’s Joe Roddy.
During the Second Vatican Council, Martin acted as an assistant and translator to Cardinal Augustin Bea, head of the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity (SPCU). At the time, a major focus of the SPCU was the Jewish declaration portion of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II document that addressed the Church’s relations with other religions. Cardinal Bea would later be referred to by Archbishop Lefebvre as an “instrument of betrayal.”
In January of 1966, Look Magazine ran an article entitled “How the Jews Changed Catholic Thinking,” a lengthy, in-depth look at the influence various Jewish lobbying groups had over the final draft of Nostra Aetate. In the article, Senior Editor Joseph Roddy tells of an unnamed Jesuit priest who held a key position in Rome during the time the Second Vatican Council was in session. The priest, described as a “double agent who “could never turn down work” and a “savior in the diaspora,” would use his position to gather and disseminate inside information to the secular press and the Jewish lobbying groups, who would in turn use that information in their efforts to influence the Council fathers – particularly the progressive American bishops. Although the priest’s actual name is withheld, several pseudonyms he used for his various activities are revealed.
As “Michael Serafian,” he wrote “The Pilgrim” (Ferrar, Straus & Giroux, 1964), a tell-all book on the politics, key figures and inner dealings of the council. As “F.E. Cartus,” he penned two timely articles, one for Harper’s Magazine and one for the American Jewish Committee’s influential intellectual periodical “Commentary.” As “Pushkin,” he would feed “inside tips and tactical leaks,” often in the form of notes slipped under doors, to journalists of major media organizations.
This all took place many years before Malachi Martin became a cult figure and public author who wrote books under his own name. Although word began to get around in certain circles that Martin and the pen-names were one in the same, it wasn’t until 5 years after he left Rome, when he wrote “The Encounter” (Ferrar, Straus & Giroux), that the first solid nexus was made between Martin and the double-agent priest. On the back cover of The Encounter, it states clearly that Malachi Martin did indeed write “The Pilgrim” under the pseudonym Michael Serafian.
Despite the indisputable self-admission that Michael Serafian was Martin’s pen name, many of his devoted fans would claim that there was no evidence that he was the mole priest identified in the Look article who wrote for the American Jewish Committee and used his position in Rome to pass sensitive information to the press. What follows, will indisputably show not only that Martin was the double-agent priest in the Look article, but that the “warm friendship with the AJC” described by Joe Roddy was far warmer than anyone, including Roddy, had suspected.
The documents referenced below were made available to AQ by the Manuscripts Department of the New York Public Library. They are part of the Ferrar, Straus & Giroux collection, which contains correspondence and documentation on the publishing company’s dealings with many of its authors. They are available to any and all. None have been altered in any way shape or form.
Exhibit A: Setting up the Swiss bank account – This memo, dated March 19, 1964 was written by FSG treasurer Robert Wohlforth (RW) and sent to Robert Straus (RWS). Roger Straus was the president of Ferrar, Straus and Giroux and the sole heir to the Guggenheim fortune. The memo describes a discussion the two had regarding “The Pilgrim contract” and what steps needed to be taken to set up a Swiss bank account.
Exhibit B: Zachariah Shuster receives royalty payments from Martin’s book, “The Pilgrim” – A Ferrar, Straus and Giroux royalty statement listing payouts and deductions for The Pilgrim. Instead of the payee being the author of the book, Malachi Martin (aka Michael Serafian), the payee is Zachariah Shuster of the American Jewish Committee.
Exhibit C: Zachariah Shuster wonders where the check is – Zachariah Shuster of the American Jewish Committee writes a letter to FS&G treasurer wondering why a check that was destined for a Swiss bank account hasn’t yet arrived. He follows up with a confirmation then receives a response from Ferrar, Straus and Giroux treasurer Robert Wohlforth. Of interest are several hand-written notations showing the letters are in reference to Serafian. As the ledger linked at exhibit H shows, the amount of the check is $1,000.
Exhibit D: Martin’s services are requested by the AJC – Here we have Marc Tanenbaum, Director of Interreligious Affairs for the AJC, accepting a gracious offer from Roger Straus to use Malachi Martin as he sees fit. Tanenbaum thinks the idea is a good one, stating that “Serafian (Martin) could provide a genuine service if he were to deal with the crucial issue of the deicide problem…” Although the hoped for late summer deadline would not be met, in the January 1965 issue of the AJC publication, Commentary, Martin, as F.E. Cartus, writes an article entitled “Vatican II and the Jews,” At the beginning of the third paragraph, it reads in part as follows:
“Roman Catholic believers drew a whole range of practical conclusions from these premises. The Jews as a people-not only the Jews of Christ’s time but Jews of all time-were guilty of having killed Christ, the God-man: theologically speaking, they were deicides.”
Martin writes the article as requested and even fabricates a statement on the Jews that he attributes to Pope John XXIII, claiming it was written shortly before his death and was to be read on a set date in all Catholic Churches worldwide. That story HERE.
Also of note is Tanenbaum referring to three ”secret memoranda” submitted by the AJC to Cardinal Bea.
Exhibit E: Robert Straus receives Martin’s assignment from the AJC – Robert Straus acknowledges receiving Tanenbaum’s letter and notes that he simultaneously had received the assignment for “The Pilgrim” to write the article for the AJC publication.
Exhibit F: Roger Straus wants to discuss Martin with Podhorez – Roger Straus wishes to discuss a letter from Michael Serafian (Malachi Martin) with Norman Podhorez, the editor of Commentary – the publication where the article was to appear. It’s unclear what is meant when Straus states they should discuss the matter as a “possible post mortem.” Perhaps he was referring to the fact that the hoped for timeframe of late summer couldn’t be met.
Exhibit G: Straus makes undeniable connection between Martin and F.E. Cartus – Roger Straus writes to a British publisher telling him to look for an article by pseudonym Michael Serafian (Martin) that will appear in the September 1965 issue of Harper’s Magazine. As promised, an article by F.E. Cartus entitled “The Vatican Council Ends – Reform on borrowed time?” by F.E. Cartus appears in the September edition of Harpers.
Exhibit H: An ledger with interesting transactions – A ledger that was created to show “actual payments to or in (sic) behalf of Michael Serafian,” offers some interesting insights. On line 1, it shows the check sent to Zachariah Shuster on June 25, 1964 (see Exhibit C). On line 3, it shows the net royalty payment that is shown on line 29 of the document at Exhibit B. On line 2, it shows another payment to Zachariah Shuster that does not have any corresponding documentation in the FS&G collection. On line 5, it shows a payment of $500 to Abe Karlikow. Abe Karlikow was the director of the American Jewish Committee’s European office, based in Paris, France. On line 9, it shows Martin’s last payment as being on June 7, 1965. Just a few weeks later, on June 24, 1965, Martin would receive a $7,350 (around $48,000 in 2007 dollars) fellowship grant from the Harry F. Guggenheim foundation. The founder of that foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim, just so happens to be Roger Straus’ uncle on his mother’s side.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the double agent described in the Look article by Joseph Roddy was in fact Malachi Martin. The document at exhibit G undeniably ties Michael Serafian – who is undeniably Malachi Martin – to the F.E Cartus pseudonym.
Zachariah Shuster and Abe Kalikow were receiving payments on Martin’s behalf that were laundered through a Swiss bank account set up specifically for that purpose. Marc Tanenbaum requested custom propaganda for the AJC periodical “Commentary,” which Martin happily provided. Shuster and Kalikow were attached to the European office of the AJC in Paris, France, which just so happens to be where Martin fled to after he left Rome.
Martin was paid well for his services. According to the Straus ledger (exhibit H), during the latter half of 1964, he received a total of $3,651.03. According to the Federal Reserve consumer price index calculator, that would equal $24,202.80 in 2007 dollars. In the first half of 1965, he received $4,282.85, which works out to $27,940.50 in 2007 dollars. Immediately after receiving his last payment from Straus in June of ’65, Martin receives a grant from Straus’ uncle’s foundation for $7,350 or $47,950 adjusted to 2007. In fairness to Martin, it must be noted that he took that grant in monthly payments over 15 months following the time it was awarded to him. The fact remains however, in the year’s time that spanned from June of ’64 and June of ’65, Martin was paid, granted, or received on his behalf at least $100,000 adjusted for inflation. This sum only includes what has been documented by AQ as being paid from Guggenheim and FS&G from in that one year span. It does not include other payments, if any, from Guggenheim and FS&G that AQ doesn’t have a record of. It does not include any payments Martin would have received for writing the articles for Commentary and Harpers. It does not include any other possible income sources. In the summer of 1963, Robert Kaiser claims that Martin “always had a wallet was stuffed with hundred dollar bills,” that he believed was provided by the AJC. In any case, he most certainly didn’t do the AJC’s bidding for free. It’s more than safe to assume that Martin had income aside from that which AQ has been able to document 40 years after the fact.