This page is designed to provide all of the Online Reviews of The Prince Dethroned. The reviews may be good or bad depending on the reviewer.
The Prince Dethroned: What Could Have Happened But Didn’t
Fr. Stephen Somerville
Book review of The Prince Dethroned, Part I of the trilogy, Wolves Among the Ruins, Publish America, 2005, 192 pp. by A. J. West
The wolf comes to catch and scatter the sheep. So speaks Jesus to describe the false teachers that may invade His Church. A spectacular new book has just been published (June 2005) to describe the heroic and holy Shepherd Pope, who takes over the papacy after John Paul II. The book by A.J. West is Wolves Among the Ruins. It is fiction and speculation. But it is also a parable of what the Cardinals could have made happen, and failed to do so since the 1960s when the wolves of Modernism, that is, the false teachers, began to make a ravaged and deadly ruin of the once-glorious Bride of Christ, the Holy Catholic Church.
Could we fail to notice this diabolical collapse in the Church? The dwindling birth rate, the broken families, the corrupted children, the dried-up vocations, the dying religious communities and parishes, the scandal-ridden dioceses and seminaries, the liturgical spectrum from sacrilegious to insipid before diminishing congregations! Such has become our Church.
At the very start, author A. J. West wrenches us out of our complacency. He describes in adequate and horrific detail the simultaneous ritual murder of ten Catholic priests across the USA by fearfully efficient death squads. The ten are homosexuals who have all abused altar boys, and all have documented criminal records hushed-up by the police. The vigilantes are zealous Catholics who remain anonymous and undetected.
Sudden switch to the papal conclave after the recent death of John Paul II. The Cardinals are frustrated after 30 days of voting. They cannot agree on a candidate for Pope. They seem to know that they are all made of the wrong stuff. Then a Spanish Cardinal speaks up. He tells of a Bishop in his land of Spain who is deeply loved and respected by his people, whose little diocese is scandal-free and a model of good religion. His theological mind is lucid and true and deep, and he happens to be a direct descendent of King Ferdinand and his saintly Queen Isabella. Much discussion and prayer ensue.
Next day, a French Cardinal nominates this Bishop, Rodrigo de Vasquez, to be the next Pope, and urges his brother Cardinals to second the motion. To a man, they do so in an unprecedented eruption of holy unanimity. A Vatican jet flies to fetch Bishop Vasquez. He accepts, comes quickly, white smoke rises, and dressed in new white, he addresses two million Romans and pilgrims with noble, holy, and inspiring words. The people respond with reverence, then instinctive and thunderous applause and cheers. So begins this fascinating story. (At the moment, we only have part one of a trilogy). Francis I (his chosen name) plunges into his duties. There are significant prayer breaks, also moments of divine message. He forms a top-notch inner circle of trusted confidants and collaborators. The principal ones include Jack, from the USA, a highly reputed investigator from the FBI and expert in surveillance, friend of the new Pope from old times. Then there is Paolo, head of Vatican Security, a man of unquestioned integrity. Thirdly comes Father Juan, the well-trusted, personal past secretary of the Bishop who is now Pope.
Pope Francis dismisses a distinguished Vatican Monsignor, who is conspicuously conservative and pious. Thus he signals obliquely to the Vatican power coterie of radical and liberal Cardinals and others that he, though conservative, is also balanced and sympathetic to them. But he remains silent and out of sight, building and preparing for his coronation day and its opening salvo against corruption.
The book traces a manifold plot that is brilliant, bold, and stunning. The reader must be allowed to discover it chapter by exciting chapter. Let us for the moment indicate the central grand scheme. It is to dismiss 300 of the most corrupt Bishops in major sees around the world and replace them, before they are aware of it, with worthy, able priests, who will be secretly ordained Bishop and installed before anyone else knows what is happening. Action comes fast and furious. Francis I is a fine tactician with superb assistants. He is making Church history that has never been made before.
Various “enemy” Cardinals appear, who, under telling pseudonyms, suggest actual prelates of our day. For example, Remington Weakmynd, Alfred Simony, and James Woolsey. The author has the Pope openly blame the bad Bishops for the corrupted state of the Church. But he also declares that Popes John, Paul, and John Paul were guilty of grave inaction when they could have corrected various abuses and failed to do so, causing millions of souls to be endangered.
The spectacular finale in Book One of Wolves is the solemn, public exorcism of the Vatican by Pope Francis and 15 priests, with a simultaneous ceremony in Castel Sant’Angelo, the huge Vatican “dungeon” where 25 accused USA bishops have been detained by the Pope. We are reminded by the author that, what few knew in 1963, the papacy of Paul VI was inaugurated in Rome and the USA with synchronized Satanist rituals to consecrate the Church and Vatican to the demon Lucifer. The devils now fight back horrendously to retain their realm, but Jesus leads His new Pope to victory in 2005. This event gives the title to part one of this trilogy: The Prince (Satan) Dethroned.
We await with excitement Books II and III. Meanwhile, all men of good will should read Book I and receive a great surge of trust and hope for the future of the Catholic Church. Author West will surely be attacked and ridiculed for this powerful and telling assault on false teachers, apostates, Freemason infiltrators, and one-world-religion cultists. Do not be or remain one of the deceived multitude predicted by St. Paul (2 Thes 2:11): “For this cause God sends them a strong delusion that they may believe falsehood.”
Wolves Among The Ruins, A Trilogy Part I The Prince Dethroned by A J West, Published by PublishAmerica ISBN 1-4137-4620-9, Paperback, $19.95
ZONE Reviewer: Paul McGoldrick
It may seem a little odd for analogZONE to be reviewing a novel but this one is so in the life experience of the reviewer that it cannot be ignored.
My English teacher in secondary school was one Malachy Gerard Carroll. Do a search on him and you will pull up a bunch of religious texts that he wrote. Great writer, lousy teacher. But being brought up in the Catholic Church with faithfuls like Carroll contributed significantly to the formation of my brain during those years. When I was about sixteen I was recruited, hardly realizing it, as a lay member of Opus Dei and I saw a church that few believers encounter, or would wish to understand.
The tenor of the first book in Wolves Among The Ruins is that of a Vatican that has been demonized during the ineffectual reigns from John XXIII through today -- all holy men but with no management skills? -- with the Second Vatican Council allowing the "universal" church, the very meaning of catholic (with a little "c") to be destroyed from within. The Vatican has been through many changes over the centuries, but that Council was a levelling exercise that excommunicated the likes of me, and many millions like me.
The election, by acclamation, of an obscure Spanish bishop to the vacant Holy See provides a chance, in this novel, for true believers to take back their Church and exorcise the devils that have taken over the Vatican and, particularly, the American church of men ordained for their own disgusting, perverted purposes.
The text is so well written, and compelling, compared to the awful writing of a Dan Brown -- in the same Vatican -- that this is a can't-put-down book. While it is still a novel, the Catholic Church really has been infiltrated by the modernists, the conservatists, and the masons; and the story rings true as what really might have happened had the German, austere, cold pope not been elected by a fearful conclave of Cardinals.
I remember so well flying in First Class in the then British European Airways (BEA) Trident from London's Heathrow airport to Rome's then Fiumicino (now Da Vinci) airport, sat next to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. We both smoked the free Players cigarettes (a little 5-pack) proferred by the purser, we both drank the cattle class wine, but the sameness and conversation about the politics of Harold Wilson ended when the Prince of the Church went a completely different route once the front door of the plane was opened. That approach of authority is conveyed so well by A J West that you have to wonder how many other experiences we share.
I look forward to the further adventures of Pope Francis I and wonder how many other of my favorite cow pats he will uncover. And I also wonder whether A J West's almost reverence of Malachi Martin will hurt his future publishing activities. Windswept House is a logical precursor for Wolves Among The Ruins but not nearly as well written.
Wolves and princes of darkness
AJ West aims to prove his point in a theological thriller that the Catholic church is under attack
Monday, August 29, 2005
Culture: Books by Robert Duncan
A press release for A.J. West's "theological thriller" promises provocative revelations from within the Catholic church, and claims that by opening his book one will wonder about mysterious plots and the supernatural. As proof, it is noted that the opening line of the book is, "Pope John Paul was dead." The book was released eight days before the death of the Pope John Paul. The book's title is Wolves Among the Ruins: The Prince Dethroned.
The press release touts West's book surpassess "fictional novels like The Da Vinci Code in factual accuracy."
A.J. West is a self-described follower of the controversial Catholic priest Fr. Malachi Martin, and he is positive the Catholic church is under attack.
To the unitiated his claims ring of conspiracy fodder. A press release for West's book begins: "Dealing with crises is certainly nothing new for Roman Catholicism. It has been besieged with one thing or another since its beginning. From the widespread "Arian Heresy" of around A.D. 315-380 which denied the divinity of Christ to Martin Luther’s theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church in 1517 which began the Reformation, the Church has constantly battled to remain true to its basic tenets and ward-off destruction both from within and without."
West then links to more modern times.
"In more recent years, the Church has faced pressure because of its stand on social issues such as abortion, and even more dramatically, felt the sting of public outcry over the much-publicized priest sex scandals. "In fact," says A.J. West, a Roman Catholic author, philosopher, theologian, and historian, "this is the worst crisis the Church has ever experienced," according to the press release.
According to a West website, "Only six months away from becoming a Roman Catholic Priest he was stopped by the same liberal infiltrators that had stealthily gained positions of authority within the Church, particularly in America. These men continued to promote known, practicing homosexuals into the priesthood while "weeding out" men like Mr. West who held fast to the traditional teachings and practices of the Catholic Faith."
The website also says West received a BA in Philosophy and History from Loyola Marymount University, as well as spending two years in a monastery continuing his studies in Thomistic Philosophy and Augustinian Spirituality and a "Master’s degree in Theology, from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas."
Despite claiming to being a friend of Fr. Malachi Martin, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and two private audiences with Pope John Paul II, West appears to be a traditionalist and sympathetic to Society of Saint Pius X, a Catholic church he claims is not schismatic - as do most SSPX followers (For a related article regarding if the SSPX is schismatic or not, check out canon law attorney Pete Vere's Envoy article, My Journey out of the Lefebvre Schism: All Tradition Leads to Rome). West noted in one forum, "The SSPX for all its flaws (because it is run by fallen human beings just like the rest of the Church) is doing a great service to the Church. Whatever their failings they are maintaining the Truth of the Catholic Faith and Praxis in a world gone mad and a Church made impotent by its embracing of the world."
In an Amazon book review for Martin's Windswept House, West writes:
Prophesy is the proclamation of the truth in a culture that rejects the truth. In most cases the prophet is reviled by his contemporaries because they don't want to be told that they are living in satanic mire.
Fr. Malachi Martin was a prophet. I knew him personally and I can tell you his spiritual gifts were profound. Inspired by him and as his pupil I have written my own poor attempt to carry on his prophetic mission. Father Malachi opens your heart and mind to exactly what has happened to the Church. For this he was hatd (sic) and reviled. But he was correct and his book "Windswept House" he (sic) proclaims the truth even as the infiltrators plug their ears and defame his character. God Bless Fr. Martin for giving the world so important a book as Windswept House. May my poor attempt to carry on his work find hearts and minds open to the movement of the Holy Ghost in the pages I have written in honoring this great man and in crying out on the roof tops for those of good will to see what has been done to the Catholic Church by the Prince of this World. It surely has become a matter of WOLVES AMONG THE RUINS!
According to the press release for West's book, it’s not just criticism of Church policy or defrocked priests that have created the current crisis. "It’s really evident that some other forces are at work here other than human immorality," he is quoted as saying, and which added that "He believes, as have others, that the destruction of the Church has been the goal of a number of forces for many years. "Modernists have infected everything within the Church from its theology, its liturgy, its moral teachings to its dogmas and doctrines," West says. It is all part of a conspiracy, if you will, to destroy the church from within." According to West, unlike the Arian Heresy of long ago, these forces do not directly attack Church doctrine; they reinterpret them. "They will say the same thing, but mean something completely different," says West in the release. "Through this method they have been able to subvert the faith of millions." This modernist relativism seeks to deny that there are absolutes. Morals, truths, and doctrines are all relative, the press release continues.
West says the Freemasons had as their purpose in the 1800’s, "to transform society, and eventually through society, the Catholic Church, into a more humanist, secular, and man-centered religion." Last century, Communists set in motion an even more direct and sinister plot, "to change the Church from within." According to West, they have done so by infiltrating the Church itself with people steeped in relativism.
The result, says West, is the Church of today, which drifts further and further from its Roman Catholic tenets allowing such things as homosexual and even pedophile priests. This public embarrassment is the outward manifestation of an inner infection, he claims.
To bring this crisis to light, West says he wrote Wolves Among the Ruins, in which he provides insights about changes in the Church in the last 50 years as well as the plot to corrupt it. Reading the book, he says, will give readers of any religious point-of-view, an understanding of the "significance of what has happened to Western Civilization as a whole, because the same forces corrupting the Church have infiltrated themselves into every facet of government and education to set the stage for a New World Order."
There is further material at the above mentioned website, where West's theory is expounded: "By 1960, many men had been primed with Masonic concepts. When Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council it was systematically compromised to push a Masonic agenda. From that point until today the Church has chnaged (sic) vastly. Reflecting the philosophy and religion on the Freemasons it no longer reflects the Christianity established by Christ and held fast by the Apostles and their successors for nearly 2000 years."
"In that atmosphere A.J. West writes a novel about a future where a Pope comes to the throne of Peter "unenlightened" by Masonic concepts but thoroughly imbued with the ancient Catholic Faith," the site reads.
Besides working for many years as a journalist, including a stint as a bullfighting photographer, Robert Duncan is an ombudsman for Spanish foreign press as executive board member for Spain´s oldest and largest foreign press body the Club Internaciónal de Prensa. He is also honorary vice-president for the Organización de Periodismo y Comunicación Ibero-Americana.
In "The Prince Dethroned", the first book in his trilogy "Wolves Among the Ruins", A.J. West has written a fast-paced, suspenseful, and highly entertaining novel about a fascinating "what if" scenario: What if a traditionalist priest is made a bishop and then elected pope after the death of Pope John Paul II? Instead of creating a novel or book about an "alternative" history as some other writers have done recently, A. J. West posits an "alternative" future for the Catholic Church beginning with the election of a highly unlikely pope. This in itself, I found intriguing, so I bought and read the book.
In this novel, a young Spanish Bishop, Rodrigo de Vasquez, becomes Pope Francis I, and sets about reversing what he sees as an accelerating decline in the contemporary Catholic Church. Other books I've read, most notably those by the late Malachi Martin such as "Vatican" and Windswept House", and "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Catholic Church", also document in fiction and non-fiction form, the author's views on the causes, the effects, and the efforts needed to stem a decline in the Catholic Church. I highly recommend Martin's books to everyone, especially Catholics who are concerned about changes in today's Catholic Church.
While reading Martin's books, I also felt that he was hoping that at some point a heroic pope would come along and reverse a serious downward trend in the Catholic Church. In the "The Prince Dethroned", in fiction at least, I think some of his hopes may have been realized.
What is this downward trend and decline? Well, what do ordinary Catholics like me read and hear about the state of things in the Catholic Church, especially in the United States? We read that during the past 40 plus years there have been serious declines in the number of Catholics attending Mass and receiving the sacraments in the US. There have been steep declines in the numbers of Catholics becoming priests, nuns, and religious. Hundreds of Catholic high school and grammar schools have been closed. In some dioceses, whole parishes have been closed and have had their assets sold off.
At the same time that all these declines have been going on, we read that there have been large increases in the number of Catholics seeking divorces, annulments, and even abortions. There have also been increases in the number of Catholic groups claiming that "they" are the church or that they are "the voice of the faithful". We hear of more and more abuses of the Mass and its liturgy. We also read or hear about all sorts of schemes for Catholic "renewal".
What we read and hear about that is most alarming are the "sex abuse scandals" and the resulting lawsuits that have required Catholic dioceses in the United States to pay damages to victims in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These scandals resulted when it finally came to light that over the course of fifty years, but primarily during the 1970s and 1980s, several thousand American Catholic boys had been sexually abused by Catholic priests. What was even more outrageous than this was the discovery that Catholic priests, pastors, and bishops in the US knew about and had "covered up" this abuse for decades.
Is all of this that we read and hear about just so much anti-Catholic propaganda or media sensationalism, or are these things real facts and trends that are not good signs for the health or the future of the Catholic Church, American Catholics, or the Catholic Faith?
As contemporary Catholics, we live in what I call the "shadow of Vatican II". Back in the early 1960s, Catholic bishops, theologians, and other clergy met in Rome to have a Vatican II Council, where they drafted a number of documents that they used as the basis and justification for taking the Catholic Church and its faithful in a new direction - a Vatican II direction. This was supposedly mandated by something called the "spirit of Vatican II". A few years after the council, the first post-Vatican II pope came out with a "New Order" Mass. This was followed by more popes, saints, encyclicals, thousands of books, articles, essays, columns, and other media, and, more recently a Catechism, Rosary and Stations of the Cross - all based upon, inspired by, or influenced by Vatican II or the "spirit of Vatican II" to one degree or other. We've had a bellyful of Vatican II.
That's why I believe that the Catholic Church took a serious wrong turn over 40 years ago and the Catholic faithful, especially here in the United States, have paid a terrible price for it in the form of serious declines, scandals, hundreds of millions of their donated dollars paid out in damages, and church and parish closings.
Some people might claim that I'm making an unfair apples and oranges association here, and that the Vatican II nature of today's Catholic Church has nothing to do with any of the "troubles" we've seen in the Church in the US during the past 40 years. I would answer that if a lot of bad and unnecessary things happen in the Church over the course of not just years but decades, and these things keep getting worse, there is reason to suspect that it has something to do with the thinking, and the basis for that thinking, of the men who are running the Church.
What I believe we have in the Catholic Church today is a serious leadership crisis and a major credibility gap; but it's a spiritual leadership crisis and a spiritual credibility gap. Today's priests, pastors, bishops, etc are physically and mentally capable of saying the Mass and performing the rituals of the various sacraments, and instructing adults and children in the tenets of the Catholic faith. Those in administrative positions are capable of managing the Church's assets, operations, and investments. But, for all their talk about Him every Sunday, what I no longer believe them capable of doing is leading Catholic men, women, and children to Christ and through Him to His Father to the degree that the Catholic clergy once could.
The summit of Catholic spiritual life is the transforming union. It's the destination of both the ascent of Mount Carmel described by Saint John of the Cross, and the journey through the seven mansions of the Interior Castle described by Saint Teresa of Avila. It's as close as a person can get to Christ's Kingdom in this world. I no longer believe, as I once did, that today's Vatican II-based Catholic Church is capable of preparing anyone to make this ascent or the journey to the degree that the Catholic Church once did.
Where is the ascent, the journey, or the transforming union in American Catholic life today? I found about them in two books written by two saints almost 500 years ago, but where else are they? Do most American Catholics even know what they are? How many of today's Catholics out of a hundred could tell you what they are or why they are important?
What are the different forms of the "hero's journey" that we find in various mythologies, literatures, and media dramas? One way of looking at them is to see them as vaguely approximate, outward, metaphoric expressions of this inner spiritual ascent or journey. The difficulties of his ascent are the struggles a spiritual hero has with himself, with his own faults, failings, mistakes, and weaknesses. The dangers he encounters in his journey are the ones with his age-old adversaries - the world, the flesh, and the devil. At journey's end, the spiritual hero achieves true enlightenment and freedom and becomes the man Christ wants him to be - a true and lasting image and likeness of Himself. What else is more important than this? What else is more important than to know, love, serve, honor, and move as close to God as we are capable of doing as Catholics?
This is why I think "The Prince Dethroned" is so important, even though it is fiction, and why I urge everyone to read it. I believe that this novel describes the kind of leader and leadership the Catholic Church will need if it is ever going to change direction and lead the faithful in the deepest spiritual sense to Christ
In this novel, young Pope Francis has made a great beginning of his hero's journey. I wish him and his author, A. J. West, Godspeed and God's grace. I am also eagerly looking forward to the next book in the trilogy "Wolves Among the Ruins".
The author has in effect painted a tale of two cities, or two Romes: one which is currently corrupt and teeming with diabolism and intrigue, and one from purer days which a surprise Pope begins to restore with firmness and charity. But this is only the beginning. The author tells a fast-paced tale full of imaginative insights into secret plotting and conspiracy behind the scenes, knit together by the towering figure of Pope Francis, a winsome and compelling character--a humble and wise man who gradually learns who has been working against Christ within his own Church, and begins to take steps to deal with it--and with them. The stage is set, the battle engaged, and one begins to sense what a Pope can be who views his mission in the highest terms. The "chaff" afflicting the Church is exposed, and traced to its truly infernal source. Unlike a laughable Dan Brown fairy tale, this book is obviously based on research as well as imagination, leaving the reader with a sense of something truly Catholic and a desire to purchase the sequel.
(Mr. Craig Heimbichner is author of "Blood on the Altar" A book about the Secret Society of the OTO. It makes fasinating reading.)