On November 26, 1983, the Vatican issued an explicit warning to all members of the Church's hierarchy throughout the world. Condemning any and all Masonic associations, the warning stated, "the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden.
"The Faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
Prepared by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , and approved by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, the document was published in the December 5, 1983 issue of L'Osservatore Romano.
This warning was issued to counter an apparent ambiguity in the newly promulgated Code of Canon Law in which specific reference to and condemnation of Masonry had been omitted. Freemasons had seized upon this omission as an excuse to encourage Catholics to join the lodges, saying that now it was permissible for Catholics to be Masons. "Wrong" said the Vatican. The omission of the condemnation of Masonry did not imply a reversal of the Church's prohibition. It was due, "to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other [secret] associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories."
Pope John Paul II authorized the widest possible promulgation of this declaration condemning Masonry and forbidding Catholics from joining the secret society, thus reaffirming the numerous previous condemnations by Holy Mother the Church beginning with Pope Clement III. In his 1738 encyclical In Eminenti Clement warned Catholics "to abstain from intercourse with those [Masonic and other secret] societies... to avoid ex- communication which will be the penalty imposed upon all those contravening this
When told of the Church's consistent and continuing condemnation of Masonry, many uninformed Catholics ask, "how come I've never heard of the Church's condemnations before?" Expressing disbelief, they offer one or more of several standard objections to the Church's
teaching: (This questioning of Church teaching is one of Masonry's chief goals.)
A) "My father (or husband, or friend) is a Mason. He is a good person and would never be a part of an anti-Catholic organization;
B) "I know a Catholic Mason and a priest told him that the Church no longer opposed Masonry;
C) "My fellow worker is a Mason - a Shriner - and he has told me their circuses raise money for Children's Hospitals."
Masons claim that Masonry is open to any one of any faith - even Catholics - and that it is a brotherhood to help other Masons.
All Masons take a deadly oath for each degree up to the 33rd degree. They swear allegiance to Masonry above God and country and under pain of death, swear never to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry - not even to their wives.
Therefore no matter what a Mason claims about their supposed good works or good intentions, they cannot be believed.
Their real purpose is to undermine the teachings of the Catholic faith. They are the true masters of deceit. Contrary to what non- are told, Masonry is a racist and sexist craft not open to blacks or women. (Blacks have their own quasi-Masonic group.)
Specifically anti-Catholic, it is working for a secularhumanist new world order - a Masonic Republic.
The consistent urgency of the many encyclicals and other papal condemnations is still reaffirmed. At Catholic University, in Washington, D.C., on June 30, 1990, in a speech to the World Apostolate of Fatima, Father Robert J. Bradley, S.J., stated, "Masonry is Secular Humanism incarnate. Masonry is also satanism incarnate."
In April 1991, Canadian-born Edouard Cardinal Gagnon was interviewed by Stafano M. Paci for 30 Days magazine. Cardinal Gagnon told Paci that in Canada when he was a professor of moral theology and canonist to Cardinal Leger, he had direct experience with excommunicated Catholics "who had stolen the Sacred Host on Masonry's orders. They had been well paid for the task and some [later] regretted their action asking the Church to pardon them."
Paci asked Gagnon, "But surely this sort of thing is more typical of a satanic sect ... ?" Cardinal Gagnon replied, "No, some forms of Masonry also celebrate black Masses. The
episode I have just related took place in Canada where Masonry is not believed to be anti-religious and where some chaplains are Masons ..."
Cardinal Gagnon went on to explain that Masonry in North America, so called Anglo-Masonry is just as "fundamentally anti- as European or Grand Orient Masonry. The Masonic use of the Sacred Host in a black mass is the ultimate sacrilege, and therefore to make excuses for Masonry is to make excuses for satan!
The official position of American Freemasonry has been outlined in their publication The New Age. The September 1950 issue describes "God's Plan in America" (according to the distorted view of Masonry) and asserts that Masonry is God's plan for America and that the Catholic Church is in opposition to this plan of God. Masons freely invoke the name of "God" but their god is not the God of the Holy Trinity. In 1829, Pope Pius VIII warned Catholics "Their law is untruth; their God is the devil; and their cult is turpitude."
In other reports, we will describe some of the past Masonic successes in starting wars, spawning revolutions, causing assasinations and overthrowing Catholic monarchies. Their diabolical activities in America and their plans "for a new world Masonic Order" will be revealed; and their promotion of the deadly heresy of indifferentism (which maintains that all religions are of equal value) will be discussed.
In his May 23, 1958, address to the Seventh Week Pastoral Adaption Conference, Pope Pius XII warned the Faithful, "The roots of modern apostasy lay in scientific atheism, dialectical materialism, rationalism, illuminism, laicism, and Freemasonry - which is the mother of them all ..."Freemasonry, sometimes referred to as the Brotherhood, the Lodge, the Craft or the fraternity, then, is the breeder of modern apostasy which has grown to alarming proportions since Pius XII's warning. Masonry has not changed its teachings since Pope Pius' condemnation, nor had it changed from 1751 when Pope Benedict XIV in his Pontifical Constitution Prividas described Freemasonry as a secret sect which "would lead to evil and perversion".
Why has the Catholic Church repeatedly condemned Masonry and similar secret societies since In Eminenti written by Clement XII in 1738? Benedict XIV offered four reasons in Prividas: 1) Masonry's secrets; 2) its oaths; 3) its propagation of indifferentism; and 4) its opposition to Church and state.
1) As a Mason works his way up through the 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite, he is promised that he will attain the secret knowledge of the "ancients" - secrets available only to the illuminated or gnostic adepts. Masonry is a pagan religion which adopts various religious symbols to deceive the unwary, as in the case of the letter "G" which is often used within the two other Masonic symbols, the square and the compass. Many uninformed Christians assume that this "G" stands for the Trinitarian God, when it actually represents the Masonic gnosis or generation. Interestingly, a non-Catholic author, William T. Still in his book New World Order. The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies (Huntington House 1990) asserts, "Though few Masons know it, the god of Masonry is Lucifer. What's the difference between (worship of) Lucifer and satan? Luciferians think they are doing good." This is the "ultimate" secret of Masonry and of similar secret quasiMasonic societies - the worship of Lucifer. Still writes that Masons "believe Lucifer never fell to earth; that Lucifer is really God, and has been since the dawn of creation". Adonay is their blasphemous term for the one true God of Christendom whom Luciferians denounce as the god of evil. In 1829, Pope Pius VII specifically identified Masonry's god as "the devil". Lower degree Freemasons are not told of this secret and higher degree Freemasons will never admit it for the oaths forbid them to divulge Masonic secrets.
2) Masons take blood oaths in which they swear undivided primary allegiance to Masonry - over Christ, over country, and over their wives and family under pain of a violent death. In the ceremony for the 30th degree of Scottish Rite Masonry, the Knight Kadosh degree, the newly initiated must heap calumnies upon the Catholic Church and crush symbols of the Pope under his foot.
3) The third Masonic evil condemned by Prividas is their promotion of the idea that all religions are equal. This is the heresy of Indifferentism, that would equate Christianity with Hinduism, with Buddhism, with aboriginal pantheism. However their unconstrained hatred of the Catholic Church belies this feigned equality. Unfortunately, the ethnic and religious diversity in America subtly indoctrinates the unsuspecting Catholic into tolerating if not embracing this Masonically promulgated heresy of Indifferentism. (I have debated with a Catholic priest who, infected with Indifferentism, equated Catholicism with an Protestant sect and saw no need to encourage conversions until I reminded him of the grace received from valid sacraments.)
4) The fourth reason for the Church's condemnation of Masonry is due to Masonry's consistent efforts to undermine the Catholic Church and overthrow Catholic monarchies. A classic example is the assassination of the Hapsburg Crown Prince in 1914. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the AustroHungarian Empire, was murdered by a group of assassins, one of whom was Gavrilo Princep, described in the Masonic journal New Age as a member of the Black Hand, a "south Slav revolutionary organization which was a progeny of Freemasonry." During his trial, Princep testified that Ciganovitch, a fellow assassin "told me he was a Freemason" and "that the heir apparent had been
condemned to death by a Freemason's lodge."
The Serbian Freemasons wanted to bring down the Hapsburg dynasty, the direct successors to the Holy Roman Emperors, because it was a Roman Catholic dynasty. The assassination was the spark which ignited World War I after which the victorious allies (including Great Britain whose King George V was the Grandmaster of British Freemasonry) dismembered the Austro- Empire, replacing it with masonic-style republics which exiled the Hapsburgs. The Grandmaster of Hungarian Masonry, Dr. Arpad Bokay rejoiced in the Masonic victory stating on November 2, 1918, "The Masonic program is also the program of the national Hungarian council and of the popular government which has just been formed." (Much of the present-day troubles in the Balkans can be attributed to the replacement of the Austro- Empire by the violently anti-Catholic Serbian Masons.) Masonry has been the greatest generator of anti-Christian revolutions since the French Revolution of 1789 when the illuminated Grand Orient Masonic lodges orchestrated the bloody overthrow of the Catholic monarchy, the violent persecution of the Catholic Church, and the diabolic murders of Catholic priests and nuns.
One of Freemasonry's greatest successes has been its ability to deceive present-day Christians, including Catholics, into believing that it is nothing more than a public-spirited fraternal organization which operates Shriner circuses to benefit children's burn hospitals. The propaganda value of these activities has deceived many but not the Church which continues its 250-year condemnation of Freemasonry and forbids Catholics under pain of mortal sin from joining. In Their God is The Devil, Paul Fisher explains that specific goals of Scottish Rite Masonry and "the general aims and purposes of the Rite are in militant opposition to the Roman Catholic Church and any person, organization or activity which might further the interests of the Roman Catholic Church."
No wonder that on November 26, 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger, with the explicit approval of Pope John Paul II, warned the worldwide Church that no bishop and no priest may make exception to the rule prohibiting membership in Freemasonry!
"We wish it to be your rule first of all to tear away the mask from Freemasonry and to let it be seen as it really is" warned Pope Leo XIII in his monumental encyclical Human Genus( 1884).
Referring to Masonry as "this foul plague," Leo XIII urged pastoral sermons warning the Faithful that Masonry and related secret societies were "seducing men and enticing them into their ranks" in order to fill them with
"the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their acts".
Leo XIII was by no means the first Pope to warn of the evils of Freemasonry. Pope Clement XII had been the first to do so in 1738, then Benedict XIV, Pius VI, Leo XII, Pius VII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, and Pius IX. In Human Genus, Leo XIII emphasized the urgency of the earlier warnings and stated that the Freemasons "are boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of Holy Church ... and this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom ..."
Freemasons proclaim their respect for "the great architect of the universe" which the uninitiated are deceived into believing is God the Father, first person of the Holy Trinity. However, in 1829, Pope Pius VIII had unmasked that deception in his encyclical Traditi Humiliatate wherein he declared that Masonry's "God is the devil".
With so many Popes repeatedly issuing condemnations of Freemasonry since 1737, is it possible that Catholics, including the clergy and some members of the hierarchy, have been deceived in the past and could still be deceived today by Masonic protestations of innocence?
America's first Catholic Bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore, was a close friend of many of the Freemasons who founded the United States. In her book The Star Spangled Heresy (1992), Solange Hertz quotes Bishop Carroll "In the U.S. our religious system has undergone a revolution, if possible, more extraordinary than our political one." Hertz constructs a solid case to support her contention that Carroll was injected with the Masonic virus of revolution adding that "As the American Revolution provided the dress rehearsal for the French Revolution and all subsequent revolts against Christendom .It was Carroll, Hertz contends, who laid the groundwork for an American Catholic Church as opposed to the Roman Catholic Church in America.
Bishop Carroll was very favorably disposed to Masonry even though Masonry had already been condemned by several Popes and Masonic membership by a Catholic incurred automatic excommunication. William J. Whalen, in Christianity and American Freemasonry, writes "Daniel Carroll, brother of the first American Bishop was active in Masonry and apparently Bishop Carroll did not consider the Papal ban applicable to this country until some time after 1800."
Several generations after Bishop Carroll, James Cardinal Gibbons, who received his red hat in 1886, was Archbishop of Baltimore. The ever-gracious Gibbons was a friend of the presidents and of the people.
Cardinal Gibbons was such a good friend of labor that he vigorously supported and defended the Knights of Labor (K of L), a group organized in 1869 by Uriah Stephens, a Mason as well as a member of other secret societies. Hertz says that these groups and the Knights of Labor were "under occult direction". Other American Bishops agreed with Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley who condemned the Knights of Labor, "No Catholic with any idea of the spirit of his religion will encourage them." Even more adamant was Bishop Corrigan of New York who held that Catholics who continued as members of the Knights of Labor should be deprived of the Sacraments.
Contrary to the Lord's Prayer - "lead us not into temptation", Cardinal Gibbons defended this quasi-Masonic secret society explaining that even though Catholics would be exposed to "the evil influences of the most dangerous associates, even of atheists, communists and anarchists ... it is but one of the trials of faith which our brave American Catholics are accustomed to meeting almost daily." Gibbons travelled to Rome to defend Masonry and the Knights of Labor. According to Hertz, Gibbons "shared the prevailing Americanist view of American Masonry and its affiliates as 'different' from continental varieties and essentially benign". (Recently, in a private interview, the Vatican's Cardinal Gagnon told this writer that Masonry in America is as evil as Masonry in Europe - both are diabolical and anti-Catholic.)
Cardinal Gibbons' support of the Masonic K of L was cause for division within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America. Gibbons and his allies continued in the tradition of Bishop Carroll - they preferred to garner the favor of the Masonic American political structure than to adhere to the Vatican's spiritual authority and hierarchical structure. Rome took action and on January 22, 1899, Pope Leo XIII issued his letter Testam Benevolantiae to Cardinal Gibbons specifically outlining the heresy of Americanism and calling for "an end to certain contentions which have arisen lately among you, and which disturb the minds, if not of all, at least of many". "The Pope condemned", writes Hertz, "the Americanist practices of watering down the Faith in a false ecumenical spirit, of promoting false 'liberty' proclaimed by the Revolution".
Although Masonry infected some of the Catholic hierarchy in earlier days, others, like Archbishop Hughes of New York, proclaimed that the Catholic Church's objective was "to convert all pagan nations and all Protestant nations".
The history of the Catholic Church in America reveals a relentless war by Satan and his agents to infect and to divide the Church from the very beginning, and those Masonic efforts to spread the heresy of indifferentism amongst Catholics have continued into the second half of the 20th Century.
In 1991, the American Research Foundation published Their God is the Devil (American Research Foundation, PO Box 5687, Baltimore, MD 21210, $12) in which Paul Fisher listed the many Papal condemnations of Freemasonry and then cited examples of some in the American Catholic Church who disregard the Vatican's warnings:
1) In 1985, Siena College, a Catholic college in New York, let its campus be used by the Masonic youth group, Order of DeMolay. The Albany Times Union reported that at the convention, one 17 year old boy was tied to a bed and sexually abused by six other youths. The article also revealed that the ordinary of Albany, Bishop Howard Hubbard, had been a speaker at a recent Masonic event.
2) "In South Bend, Indiana during Lent", wrote Fisher, "Catholics including Priests and ranking members of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) met weekly with Masons for
Lenten breakfasts and ecumenical conversations."
3) "On March 28, 1976, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke, Archbishop of New York, appeared as the principal speaker at a gathering of 3,000 Masons. His Eminence saw the 'joyful event' as a 'road to friendship' between the Catholic Church and Freemasonry and he 'lamented' past estrangements between 'your ancestors' and 'some clerics'." Those "clerics" included twelve Popes who had condemned Freemasonry directly or indirectly in at least 43 solemn documents!
4) In 1981, Bishop Louis Gelineau of Providence, Rhode Island was presented with the Grand Master Award by his state's Masonic Grand Lodge for "best exemplifying the principles of Freemasonry".
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Gregory Flannery of the Mt. Washington Press, investigated a bizarre situation in that Catholic Archdiocese and on May 8, 1991 reported his discoveries in an article titled "Masonic Master screens city's Catholic priests". Flannery revealed that Joseph Wicker, the psychologist who screens candidates for the archdiocesan seminary of Cincinnati, is "the worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge in Mt. Washington and is a member of the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rose Crucis, better known as Rosicrucians".
Archdiocesan spokesman Ray George told Flannery that Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk "is apparently ignorant of Wicker's involvement in Freemasonry", adding, " 'personally, I don't see where that would be a conflict' ". Wicker himself admitted to Flannery, "I go to Church once in a while but I'm not really a practicing Catholic", then he added that he does practice Rosicrucian "experiments" and hopes to revive Masonic spiritual pursuits during his term as worshipful master.
Since that interview, the Archdiocesan policy is one of silence. Our researcher tried to interview Dr. Wicker in October of '94 and Ray George in January of this year both refused to answer our questions. Am air of secrecy seems to permeate the Archdiocese of Cincinnati concerning this unusual situation - testimony, perhaps, to the revelation of Pope Paul VI that "the smoke of Satan has crept into the Church itself"
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