Papal Condemnations of Freemasonry
Pope Leo XIII 1878-1903
Pope Leo XIII 1878-1903
Pope Leo XIII, successor of Pius IX, upon instructions from the Holy Office, dealt, first of all, with the Brazilian Masonic question on July 2nd, 1878. Then later, addressing the whole Church, on April 20, 1884, Pope Leo XIII published his magnificent Encyclical "Humanum Genus." Taking up once again Saint Augustine's pages concerning the two cities which, on earth, constitute the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan, the Pontiff reviews the considerable development which Freemasonry has taken and writes:
"Today evil doers all seem allied in a tremendous effort inspired by and with the help of a society powerfully organized and widely spread over the world, it is the Society of Freemasons. In fact those people no longer even try to dissimulate their intentions, but they actually challenge each other's audacity in order to assail God's August Majesty.
"It is now publicly and overtly that they undertake to ruin the Holy Church, so as to succeed, if it is possible, in the complete dispossession of Christian nations of all the gifts they owe to Our Savior Jesus Christ.
"As a result, in the space of a century and a half, the sect of the Freemasons has made incredible progress. Making use at the same time of audacity and cunning, Masonry has invaded all the ranks of social hierarchy, and in the modern States it has begun to seize a power which is almost equivalent to Sovereignty.
In order to strengthen those enlightened observations, Leo XIII refers to his predecessors and writes:
"This peril was denounced for the first time by Pope Clement XII in 1738, and the Constitution promulgated by that Pope was renewed and confirmed by Benedict XIV; Pius VII followed in the footsteps of those Pontiffs, and Pope Leo XII including in his Apostolical Constitution 'Quo Graviora' all the deeds and decrees of the preceding Popes on that subject, ratified and confirmed them for ever. Popes Pius VIII, Gregory XVI and on several occasions Pope Pius IX spoke in the same manner."
Whereas he approved and confirmed all the Pontifical condemnations issued against Freemasonry from those of Clement XII in 1738, Leo XIII moreover more amply exposed the reason for such actions and gives as his motive for acting thus:
"It is because of the fundamental aim and spirit of the Masonic sect which has been exposed in full light through the evident manifestation of its deeds, the acquired knowledge of its principles, its rules, its rites and its commentaries to which have been added the testimonies of its own adepts . . .
"It is exceedingly important to bring to the notice of all peoples to what extent events confirmed the wisdom of our predecessors. Their foresight and paternal soticitude did not always attain the desired success. This failure must be ascribed on the one hand either to the dissimulation and cunning of men members of this pernicious sect or, on the other hand, to the imprudent lightness of character of those who should, however, have been highly interested in watching it attentively"
Leo XIII refers frequently to the hypocrisy which is the basis of "White Freemasonry" and mentions the fatal evolution of its revolutionary aims which turns it into "Red Masonry."
Upon being attentively studied this Encyclical most strikingly reveals the triple Masonic character, namely that its aims are:
1. Counter Morality
The Pope defines the Masonic point of view on morality thus:
"The only thing which has found grace before the members of the Masonic sect and in which they request that youth should receive the proper teaching is what they call 'Civic Morality', independent morality, free morality, in other words a morality in which religious beliefs find no room. This morality is insufficient and its effects are its own condemnation.
"Furthermore there have been found in Freemasonry several sectarians who have maintained that all means are to be systematically used, in order, to saturate the multitudes with licentiousness and vices; because in their opinion peoples would naturally fall into their hands and become the instruments needed for the accomplishment of their most audacious evil projects. Such counter-morality is that of civil marriage, of divorce, of free love and of irreligious education for youth.
"It aims at the complete destruction of the main foundations of justice and honesty. In this way Freemasons make themselves the auxiliaries of those who wish that, like an animal, man had no other rule of conduct than his own desires -- Such a scheme can only dishonor human kind and ignominiously cast him into perdition."
2. Counter State
On this subject Pope Leo XIII foresaw that Freemasonry, "the power which is almost equivalent to sovereignty," and which already occupied the place of "State within the State," would soon form the Super State. It is from such a situation that there was issued the Masonic dogma of separation of Church and State; thence, issued also the anti-religious laws which Brother Bethmont, member of Parliament of the department of Charente Inf'erieure and former President of the Cour Des Comptes, in 1878 was explaining to Monseigneur Pie, Bishop of Poitiers. The prelate then said to him: "Sir, I believe you want to inaugurate anew the fight against the Church; have you any hope of succeeding there, where Nero, Julian the Apostate and your great ancestors of the 1793 French Revolution failed? -- He replied:
"Your Eminence, at the risk of seeming too bold, I will say that those ,you have mentioned did not quite know how to act. We shall do much better. Violence against the Church leads nowhere, we shall use other means. We shall organize a persecution which shall be both clever and legal; we shall surround the Church with a network of laws, decrees and ordinances which will stifle it without shedding one drop of blood."
Who, may I ask, is making those closely woven nets of laws, decrees and ordinances? The State, of course, but it is a Masonic State, an irreligious State under the power of a Super State which at the present moment is the Ruler of the World.
When Leo XIII adjures his Venerable Brethren to unite their zeal to his own efforts in order, "to annihilate the impure contagion of the poison which flows in the veins of human society and causes a state of total infection," it is with a feeling of fear that one brings to mind the death sentence pronounced against humanity in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
"When we introduced into the State organism the poison of Liberalism its whole political complexion underwent a change. States have been seized with a mortal illness -- bloodpoisoning. All that remains is to await the end of their death agony."
Thus, while States are gravitating toward a Universal Republic, the Super-State becomes an infrangible dictature, which according to its will grinds them down or else thoroughly infects them; that Super State is called Judeo-Masonry.
3. Counter Church
Hence the supreme aim of the Sect, as it has been pointed out by the Popes, is none other than the complete destruction of the Church and the Papacy. Pope Leo XIII persistently underscores this rigorous consequence and says:
"Since the proper and very special mission of the Catholic Church consists in the safeguarding of the incorruptible purity of the doctrines revealed by God, as well as that of established authority for their teaching and other God given help for the salvation of mankind; it is inevitable that the major antagonism and most violent attacks of the Sect should be directed against the Church . . . Therefore, even at the cost of a lengthy and opinionated labor the Sect's purpose is to reduce to naught the teaching, and authority of the Church among the civilian population. . .
"The enmity of the sectarians against the Apostolic See of the Roman Pontiff has increased its intensity . . . until now the evil doers have reached the aim which had, for a long time that of their evil designs, namely, their proclamation that the moment has come to suppress the Roman Pontiff's sacred power and to completely destroy this Papacy which was divinely instituted."
Lastly, Leo XIII concludes in unmasking the Satanism of Judeo-Masonry:
"The facts which we have reviewed throw sufficient light upon inner constitution of Freemasons and show clearly the road they are following in order to reach their goal. Their chief dogmas are so completely and manifestly opposed to sane reason that it is difficult to imagine deeper perversion. In reality is it not the peak of madness and of the most audacious impiety to be so presumptuous as to want to destroy the religion and the Church created by God Himself: and assured of His perpetual protection; and after 18 centuries to want to replace it with the customs and institutions of pagans?
"Still no less horrible nor easy to bear to witness the repudiation of those gifts which, in His mercy, Jesus Christ bestowed first on individuals, then to human beings grouped both in families and in nations. Even the enemies of Christianism acknowledge the supreme value of those gifts.
"There is no denying that in this foolish and criminal plan it is easy to understand the implacable hatred and passion for revenge which animate Satan toward Jesus Christ. We refuse to follow the dictates of such iniquitous masters that bear the names of Satan and of all evil passions."