Little-known picture reveals A LOT about John XXIII

Having hitherto used only a free, online version of Peter Hebblethwaite’s biography “Pope John XXIII”, it was quite a treat to finally find myself with a used hardcopy version. Although it took some months for it to arrive from the States, it was well worth the wait.

A casual initial flip through the book yielded this very revealing photograph, taken in 1901. It shows a group of seminarians, including the future Pope John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli. Roncalli is in the back row, on the extreme right.

As can be seen in the main image, one of the seminarians was photographed with his hand inside his cassock – a very intentional gesture designed, surely, to indicate this young man’s Masonic connections.

To the right of this potential priest is Angelo Roncalli, (circled in red) with his hand on the shoulder of the Mason.

The photograph’s caption reads, “Angelo’s ‘year’ at the Roman seminary, 1901; he is at the right hand end of the back row.”

This ‘year’ was Roncalli’s first year of theology, at the age of nineteen. Awarded a scholarship, he had relocated to Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood. Roncalli had entered the minor seminary at the age of twelve, receiving the tonsure in 1895.

When time permits, I will research the names of Roncalli’s classmates and promise to keep you posted. Who knows? I may even get my book on John XXII finished one day.

(A quick look at ordination dates would indicate that this is not Roncalli’s friend, Ernesto Buonaiuti, who was later excommunicated for his extreme Modernism.)

A More Authoritative List of Ecclesiastical Masons from 1976

Some time ago, we looked at the notorious “P2” list of Freemasons and speculated that this specimen was fake, perhaps created by a high-ranking Mason for his own nefarious purposes. That list lacked the names of Ecclesiastical Freemasons, of whom there are alleged to have been not a few, operating within the Vatican from at least the time of the Council.

The article below fills in those gaps. It is taken from the website, Today’s Catholic World, and lists those members of the Curia who are alleged to be Masons. One wonders whether some faithful prelate or even a humble paper-pusher, sickened by the thought of Archbishop Gagnon’s report into Ecclesiastical Freemasonry languishing in the Vatican archives, may have taken matters into his own hands and had this list published.

Of course, it may not be authentic, but when we examine how Masonic our Church has become, it would appear that this was the work of more than Bugnini and Baggio – no matter how influential those two were.

Achilles Liénart Documented As Freemason On 1976 Italian Registry List

(Excerpt from Piers Compton’s published TBC Text)

“The veil covering the greatest deceit ever to have mystified the clergy and baffled the faithful, is
doubtless beginning to be torn asunder. ‘Archbishop’ Marcel Lefebvre.” -Piers Compton, TBC (Text)

An observer of the Roman scene, Georges Virebeau1, tells how a feeling of surprise, that was near consternation, spread through the Vatican one morning in 1976. Students in their cassocks, coloured purple, violet, or black, according to their nationality, stood about in groups, discussing the latest number of a journal, the Borghese. Some, the writer says, were actually perspiring with alarm; for although the morning was hot, the atmosphere engendered by what they read affected them more than the weather.

For the paper contained a detailed list of clerics, some holding the most exalted offices, who were said to be members of secret societies.

It was staggering news, for the doubtful head-shaking students were acquainted with Church law; and Canon Law 2335 expressly declared that a Catholic who joined any such society became excommunicate, ipso facto.

We have seen that the secret societies had, long ago, declared war on the Church, which they recognised as the one great obstacle barring their way to world domination; and the Church responded by condemning the societies and making laws for her own protection. Canon 2335 was framed for that purpose, while Canon 2336 was concerned with disciplinary measures to be enforced against any cleric who might be inveigled into joining a society. In the case of a Bishop he would lose all juridical powers, and be barred from exercising priestly functions including ordination and consecrating.

That the Church considered the societies to be a most dangerous threat to its own existence is shown by the number of warnings and condemnations issued by the Vatican. What is usually regarded as the first official instance of this occurred under Pope Clement XII (1730-40), which stressed that belonging to any such society was incompatible with membership of the Church.

Eleven years later Benedict XIV confirmed this in the first Papal Bull directed against the societies. Pius VI and Pius VII followed suit, the last named being specially concerned with the threat posed by the Carbonari. Three subsequent Popes, Leo XII, Pius VIII, and Gregory VI added their weight to the strictures. A further condemnation came from Pius IX […] Leo XIII spoke of the plotters aiming to ‘destroy from top to bottom the whole religious and social discipline born of Christian institutions’, and to replace belief in the supernatural spirit by a sort of second-hand Naturalism.

Just as the writings of Voltaire, Diderot, and Helvetius had opened up the way for the French Revolution, so the secret societies, said Pius X (1903-14), were working to destroy Catholicism in modern France.

So paramount was the danger to Benedict XV that not even the cares imposed by the 1914 war could drive it finally from his mind; while Pius XI reiterated that the secret societies derived much of their strength from the conspiracy of silence that has never ceased to surround them.

Although conducted largely behind the scenes, and therefore away from the public gaze, the struggle between the Church and the secret societies has been more bitter and prolonged than any international conflict; the reason being that it has turned, in great part, on ideas, on a mental and therefore a moral basis; and although not universally recognised, the moral outlook influences the whole nature of man more than any conflict for personal gain, territory, or positive power.

On one side was a religion that, its supporters claimed, rested on facts, the objective value of revealed truth, and a sacramental observance. On the other, a system grounded in humanitarian ideals in which all men, freed from the shackles or dogma and orthodoxy, could share, and on which they could agree. Truth, they said, is relative, hence the claims of objective and revealed truth are seen to be not only valueless, but fundamentally false.

So the struggle developed over the centuries, with those who accepted the atheism, Positivism, or materialism that reached its summit with the French Revolution, on one side; and the strictures uttered by various Popes, from Clement XII in the mid-eighteenth century to Pius XI who died in 1939, on the other.[…]

The news in the Borghese, that so alarmed the students, came as the culmination of a fear that had lingered for some time among the more conservative elements in the Vatican. The exposure of Archbishop Bugnini, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, had been shattering enough. But the revelations in the Borghese were on a more considerable scale, and came perilously near to touching the very nerve of the Church.

It was known that enemy agents had long been nibbling at its fabric. But so long as Church discipline remained strong, it was difficult for the most ardent infiltrator to gain a footing in the priesthood. But the general relaxation and reforms that followed Pope John’s Council opened doors by which agents entered not only seminaries but the Curia, the governing body of the Church.

Because some of those agents rose high in the Church, and became Cardinals and Bishops, many who might otherwise have been suspicious were deceived. The ecclesiastical titles, and the offices that went with them, were thought to be sufficient (though they were really only outward) safeguard. The hands of the manipulators were raised in blessing, and the faithful knelt.

The warnings against them that were issued went largely unheeded or fell stone dead against the historically impressive walls that bounded the Church. ‘A Fifth Column exists within the clergy’, wrote Father Arrupe, Superior-General of the Jesuits, ‘and is steadily working in favour of atheism’.

A similar theme was expressed by a number of theologians who came together in Geneva in 1976, as an International Committee of Defence of Catholic Doctrine. ‘The presence of the enemies of the Church, in the internal structure of the Church, forms a part of the mystery of iniquity and should be unmasked.’

But so far those fears had taken no more tangible shape than to unsettle the minds of students, who felt their future might be disturbed by the revelations that produced little or no effect among their superiors and instructors in the Vatican. The usual inquiry was ordered (by some of the churchmen who had been named as guilty) with the declared object of tracing the source of the rumours. But nothing happened; and neither did one of those who had been implicated ever issue a downright or straightforward denial.

The Borghese article claimed to have a detailed list of conspirators who had penetrated into the Church, together with dates, numbers, and code names. These allegations were answered by a writer in L’Aurora, M. Jacques Ploncard, who asserted that no prelate had been affiliated with a secret society since the time of Charles X, the last of the Bourbons who ascended the throne in 1824, and was driven out by the revolution of 1830.

This was palpably false, as was proved by determined investigators who carried the attack into enemy territory. By one means or another, sometimes posing as members of the Government, they gained access to the Italian Register of Secret Societies, and drew up a much longer and more impressive list than that published in the Borghese.

The particulars that follow are those of Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops who, as alleged by those who examined it, figure in the Register. Some have died since the list was drawn up – at one time it was said to have included one hundred and twenty-five prelates. Some of the offices have changed hands.

But the names and ecclesiastical titles, with the dates on which they were initiated into a society, and their secret code names, must call for serious consideration […].

It may be noted that the code name often incorporates the first two letters of the cleric’s name.
 

2.

Agostino, Cardinal Casaroli. Secretary of State. Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Public Affairs, and of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops, and of the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of Canon Law. Member of the Commission for Russia and of the Commission for Latin America. The most influential prelate in the Vatican after the Pope, whose place he takes during the absence of the latter. He is known as the ‘Kissinger of Vatican diplomacy’. Initiated into a secret society September 28th, 1957. Secret code name Casa.

Leon Joseph, Cardinal Suenens. Primate of Belgium. Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of Canon Law. Was active in the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, the Sacred Congregation of Rites and Ceremonies, and the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and University Studies. He was a delegate and Moderator of the Second Vatican Council, and he has been associated with Protestant Pentecostalism, that reduces people to revivalist hysteria. Initiated June 15th, 1967. Code name Lesu.

Jean, Cardinal Villot. He was Secretary of State to Paul VI, and Camerlengo (the Chamberlain who takes over affairs at the Vatican on the death of a Pope). Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, and administrator of the Patrimony of the Holy See. He came of a family which has produced over the last two hundred years, from father to son, Grand Masters of secret societies including the Rosicrucians.

Being aware that this had become known, he strenuously denied that he was associated in any way with such societies. One of his denials was contained in a letter, dated October 31st, 1976, sent from the Vatican by way of the Papal Nunciature in Paris, to the Director of Lectures Françaises, a monthly publication. It ran: ‘Having noticed that in your review of September 1976, you referred to Cardinal Villot as a member of a secret society, Cardinal Villot declares in the most formal fashion that he has never had, at any moment in his life, the least connection with any secret society. He adheres closely to the condemnations imposed by the Sovereign Pontiffs. Cardinal Villot begs the Director of Lectures Françaises to publish this denial in a future issue, and thanks him in advance.’

One cannot help wondering how Cardinal Villot, who appears to have been afflicted with an unusually short memory, managed to fulfil his office as Secretary of State.

For records show that he was initiated into a secret society on August 6th, 1966, and that in the hope of avoiding identification he was given two code names, Jeani and Zurigo.

Achille, Cardinal Lienart. Bishop of Lille. He was formerly a captain in the French Army, and a life-long ultra-Liberal. He led the progressive forces at the Second Vatican Council, on which account it was said that ‘his ideas were redder than his robes’. Shortly before his death he startled those in the room by suddenly exclaiming: ‘Humanly speaking, the Church is dead.’ Initiated October 15th, 1912. Code name could not be verified.

Ugo, Cardinal Poletti. Vicar-General of the diocese of Rome, and so controller of all the clergy in the city. Member of the Sacred Congregation of Sacraments and of Divine Worship. President of Pontifical Works, and of the Liturgical Academy. Archpriest of the Patriarchal Basilica of the Lateran. Initiated February 17th, 1969. Code name Upo.

Franco, Cardinal Biffi. Head of the St. John Lateran Pontifical University. Initiated August 15th, 1969. Code name Bifra.

Michele, Cardinal Pellegrino. Archbishop of Turin where the Holy Shroud is kept. Initiated May 2nd, 1960. Code name Palmi.

Sebastiano, Cardinal Baggio. Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops. Initiated August 15th, 1957. Code name Seba.

Pasquale, Cardinal Macchi. Prelate of Honour and secretary to Paul VI. After being excommunicated for heresy, he was reinstated by Cardinal Villot. Initiated April 23rd, 1958. Code name Mapa.

Salvatore, Cardinal Pappalardo. Archbishop of Palermo, Sicily. Initiated May 6th, 1943. Code name Salpo.

Cardinal Garrone. Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He brazenly let it be known that he was a member of a secret society, but he was neither removed nor publicly reproved. Date of initiation and code name could not be verified.

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. Consultant in the Sacred Congregation of Propagation of the Faith, and in the Sacred Congregation of Holy Rites. The story of his unmasking during the Second Vatican Council has been told. Died July 3rd, 1982. Initiated April 23rd, 1963. Code name Buan.

Archbishop Giovanni Benelli. Archbishop of Florence. He secured the appointment of Cardinal Villot as Secretary of State in place of the orthodox Cardinal Cicognani. Date of initiation and code name could not be verified.

Archbishop Mario Brini. Consultor of the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of Canon Law. Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Eastern Churches, and a member of the Pontifical Commission for Russia. Initiated July 13th, 1969. Code name Mabri.

Bishop Michele Buro. Prelate of the Pontifical Commission to Latin America. Initiated March 21st, 1969. Code name Bumi.

Bishop Fiorenzo Angelini. Titular Bishop of Massene, Greece. Delegate of the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome for Hospitals. Initiated October 14th, 1957. Code name could not be verified.

Monsignor Mario Rizzi. Prelate of Honour to the Holy Father. He was responsible for discarding certain Canon Laws which formed part of the foundation of the Church from Apostolic times. Initiated September 16th, 1969. Code name Mari or Monmari.

Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto. Attaché of Secretary of State, and Notary of the Second Section of the Supreme Tribunal and of the Apostolic Segnatura. He is listed as a very important person among the societies. Initiated April 2nd, 1970. Code name Pimpi.

Monsignor Francesco Marchisano. Prelate of Honour to the Holy Father. Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education. Initiated February 14th, 1961. Code name Frama.

Aurelio Sabattani. Archbishop of Giustiniana, Milan Province, Italy. First Secretary of the Supreme Apostolic Segnatura. Initiated June 22nd, 1969. Code name Asa.

Abino Mensa. Archbishop of Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy. Initiated July 23rd, 1969. Code name Mena.

Enzio D’Antonio. Archbishop of Trivento. Initiated June 21st, 1969. Code name could not be verified.

Alessandro Gottardi. Archbishop of Trento, Italy. He controls candidates who are likely to be raised to the dignity of Cardinal. He is addressed as ‘Doctor’ at secret society meetings. Initiated June 13th, 1959. Code name Algo.

Antonio Travia. Titular Bishop of Termini Imerese. He is the head of Catholic schools. Initiated September 15th, 1967. Code name Atra.

Giuseppe Mario Sensi. Titular Bishop of Sardi, Asia Minor. Papal Nuncio to Portugal. Initiated November 2nd, 1967. Code name Gimase.

Francesco Salerno. Bishop Prefect. Initiated May 4th, 1962. Code name Safra.

Antonio Mazza. Titular Bishop of Velia. Initiated April 14th, 1971. Code name Manu.

Mario Schierano. Titular Bishop of Acrida, Cosenza Province, Italy. Chief Military Chaplain of the Italian Armed Forces. Initiated July 3rd, 1959. Code name Maschi.

Luigi Maverna. Bishop of Chiavari, Genoa, Italy. Initiated June 3rd, 1968. Code name Luma.

Aldo Del Monte. Bishop of Novara, Piedmont, Italy. Initiated August 25th, 1969. Code name Adelmo.

Marcello Morganta. Bishop of Ascoli, Piceno, in East Italy. Initiated July 22nd, 1955. Code name Morma.

Luigi Bettazzi. Bishop of Lyrea, Italy. Initiated May llth, 1966. Code name Lube.

Gaetano Bonicelli. Bishop of Albano, Italy. Initiated May 12th, 1959. Code name Boga.

Salvatore Baldassarri. Bishop of Ravenna, Italy. Initiated February 17th, 1958. Code name Balsa.

Vito Gemmiti. Member of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops. Initiated March 25th, 1968. Code name Vige.

Pier Luigi Mazzoni. Member of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops. Initiated September 14th, 1959. Code name Pilum.

Ernesto Basadonna. Prelate of Milan. Initiated September 14th, 1963. Code name Base.

Mario Bicarelli. Prelate of Vicenza, Italy. Initiated September 23rd, 1964. Code name Bima.

Salvatore Marsili. Abbot of the Order of St. Benedict of Finalpia, near Modena, Italy. Initiated July 2nd, 1963. Code name Salma.

Annibale Ilari. Abbot of Sua Santita. Initiated March 16th, 1969. Code name Ila.

Franco Gualdrini. Rector of Capri. Initiated May 22nd, 1961. Code name Grefra.

Lino Lozza. Chancellor of the Rome Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Initiated July 23rd, 1969. Code name Loli.

Daimazio Mongillo. Professor of Dominican Moral Theology, Holy Angels Institute, Rome. Initiated February 16th, 1969. Code name Monda.

Flaminio Cerruti. Chief of the Office of University of Congregation Studies. Initiated April 2nd, 1960.

Enrico Chiavacci. Professor of Morals at the University of Florence. Initiated July 2nd, 1970. Code name Chie.

Carmelo Nigro. Rector of the Seminary Pontifical of Major Studies. Initiated December 21st, 1970. Code name Carni.

Carlo Graziani. Rector of the Minor Seminary of the Vatican. Initiated July 23rd, 1961. Code name Graca.

Luigi Belloli. Rector of the Lombardy Seminary. Initiated April 6th, 1958. Code name Bella.

Virgilio Noe. Head of the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship. Initiated April 3rd, 1961. Code name Vino.

Dino Monduzzi. Regent to the Prefect of the Pontifical House. Initiated March 11th, 1967. Code name Mondi.

Vittorio Palistra. Legal Counsel to the Sacred Rota of the Vatican State. Initiated May 6th, 1943. Code name Pavi.

Giuseppe Ferraioli. Member of the Sacred Congregation of Public Affairs of the Church. Initiated November 24th, 1969. Code name Gife.

Alberto Bovone. Substitute-Secretary of the Sacred Office. Initiated April 30th, 1967.

Terzo Nattelino. Vice-Prefect of the Archives of Secretariat of the Vatican. Initiated June 17th, 1957. Code name Nate.

Georgio Vale. Priest official of the Rome diocese. Initiated February 21st, 1971. Code name Vagi.

Dante Balboni. Assistant to the Vatican Pontifical Commission for Biblical Studies. Initiated July 23rd, 1968. Code name Balda.

Vittorio Trocchi. Secretary for Catholic Laity in Consistory of the Vatican State Consultations. Initiated July 12th, 1962. Code name Trovi.

Piero Vergari. Head Protocol Officer of the Vatican State Segnatura. He controls Canon Law changes. Initiated December 14th, 1970. Code name Pive.

Dante Pasquinelli. Member of the Council of the Nuncio to Madrid. Initiated January 12th, 1969. Code name Pada.

Mario Pimpo. Vicar of the Office of General Affairs. Initiated March 15th, 1970. Code name Pima.

Igino Rogger. Officer in the diocese of Rome. Initiated April 16th, 1968. Code name Igno.

Pietro Rossano. Member of the Sacred Congregation of nonChristian Studies. Initiated February 12th, 1968. Code name Piro.

Francesco Santangelo. Substitute-General of Defence Legal Council. Initiated November 12th, 1970. Code name Frasa.

Gaetano Scanagatta. Member of the Commission of Pompeii and Loreto. Initiated September 23rd, 1971. Code name Gasca.

Pio Laghi. Apostolic Delegate to Argentina. Initiated August 24th, 1969. Code name Lapi.

Pietro Santini. Vice-Official of the Tribunal of the Vicariate of the Vatican. Initiated August 23rd, 1964. Code name Sapa.

Domenico Semproni. Member of the Tribunal of the. Vicariate of the Vatican. Initiated April 16th, 1960. Code name Dose.

Angelo Lanzoni. Chief of the Office of Secretariat of State. Initiated September 24th, 1956. Code name Lana.

Giovanni Lajola. Member of the Council of Public Affairs of the Church. Initiated July 27th, 1970. Code name Lagi.

Venerio Mazzi. Member of the Council of Public Affairs of the Church. Initiated October 13th, 1966. Code name Mave.

Antonio Gregagnin. He is the Tribune of First Causes for Beatification for Canonisation. Initiated October 19th, 1967. Code name Grea.

Giovanni Caprile. Director of Catholic Civil Affairs. Initiated September 5th, 1957. Code name Gica.

Roberto Tucci. Director-General of the Vatican Radio. A most important post since this station emits news round the clock in thirty-two languages. Initiated June 27th, 1957. Code name Turo.

Virgilio Levi. Assistant-Director of the Vatican daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, and of Vatican Radio Station. Initiated July 4th, 1958. Code name Vile.

There are 526 Masonic Lodges in Italy. In view of that, their admitted membership of only 20,000 is questionable.

The French Register of Secret Societies is more closely guarded than the Italian, so that particulars of recent initiations cannot be quoted. The most sustained list of clerics belonging to French secret societies covers a few decades preceding the French Revolution, and it numbered, even at a time when infiltration of the Church by its enemies was on a smaller scale than it soon attained, some 256 members.

This book proves Bugnini was a Freemason!

And Baggio, too, for that matter.

And a couple of others who have not been identified. What a treasure this is: finally we know that evidence of Bugnini’s Masonic membership exists, albeit lying in a dusty vault somewhere under the Vatican.

A priest by the name of Fr Charles Murr has just released a book which documents an investigation into ecclesiastical Freemasonry begun under Pope Paul VI. That’s right, Paul who was by no means a model Pope, had the fortitude to at least start the investigation. But unfortunately, as the books relates, he did not have the stomach to carry through the report’s findings.

Pope John Paul I also read the report but mysteriously died before he could take any action. The report then passed to John Paul II, who simply ignored it. Not very saintly of him, was it?

One wonders about the implications of the hierarchy confronting the fact that the Novus Ordo was created by a Mason. What does that say about the new Mass? What does it say about Traditiones Custodes? (Not what we say – which barely passes muster in polite conversation – but could we one day see a ceremonious tossing of an official Church document into an elegant Italian garbage bin?)

Would we see a very hasty evaporation of the ghastly Spirit of Vatican II as prelate after prelate tries to distance himself from the novelties imposed upon the Church by a Freemason?

No wonder the report has never been released. It would simply create a huge headache for the Church the intensity of which would make the abuse scandals pale into insignificance.

So until the report is opened by some unfortunate prelate, it will gather dust along with the so-called Red Dossier, Benedict XVI’s report into the sexual, moral and financial scandals in the Vatican. Both documents are no doubt mouldering in the archives somewhere near the real Third Secret of Fatima and the first drafts of the McCarrick Report.

But do read Fr Murr’s book, if you have the chance. If nothing else, it is a reminder that there has always been and will always be good men in Rome.

Cardinal Rampolla – the archetypal Freemason cleric

The first significant inroad made by Freemasonry into the heart of the Church was the appointment of the influential Cardinal Rampolla as Secretary of State. Ordained in 1866, Mariano Rampolla was made a bishop by Pope Leo XIII and appointed Apostolic Nuncio of Spain in 1882 for five years. 

It was during this time that Pope Leo released his landmark encyclical condemning Freemasonry, Humanum Genus. Released in April of 1884, this was to be his final official condemnation of the Craft. Only six months later, Pope Leo received his famous vision of the devil ‘conversing’ with God and subsequently wrote the prayer to St Michael. The date of that vision is particularly significant: it was October 13th – precisely 33 years before the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Some time after this, the Pope decreed that the St Michael prayer and the Salve Regina be recited after every Low Mass.

In 1887, the Pope promoted Rampolla to Cardinal and in the same year, appointed him as his Secretary of State. (16 years)

 It seems strange to think that a Pope who was so opposed to Masonry allowed a character like Rampolla to achieve such prominence. Perhaps Pope Leo’s confidence in Rampolla reflected something of the latter’s character: he has all the hallmarks of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Leo XIII died in 1903 and Rampolla became known as the best potential new pope, or  ‘papabile.” This was despite Rampolla’s liberal tendencies already being widely known. 

In an unusual political intervention, the French Foreign Minister urged the French Bishops to vote for Rampolla, in order to maintain the support given to the French by Leo XIII.

Some of Rampolla’s other supporters at this time were Bishop Pietro Gasparri, Rampolla’s Under-Secretary of State, Msgr della Chiesa, and his private secretary, Eugenio Pacelli. Another supporter, Bishop Rafael Merry del Val, became Pro-Secretary of the conclave. This followed the sudden death of the original Pro-Secretary, Msgr Volpini. The Pro-Secretary plays an important ceremonial role after the election of a new pontiff and is also automatically elevated to the role of Cardinal at the same time as a former Cardinal is elevated to the papacy.

Cardinal Rampolla received the highest tally in the first vote and things appeared to be going his way. Suddenly there was an unheard-of intervention by the Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Puzyna, on behalf of His Imperial Majesty Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary. Franz Josef was invoking a power of veto that had not been used in 400 years to eliminate Rampolla as a candidate. Del Val had tried without success to stop this intervention from taking place.

When Rampolla realised that the request was valid, he asked that his supporters transfer their votes to the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto. The final ballot in fact elected Cardinal Santo and he took the name Pius X.

Pius X abolished the Imperial Privilege soon after his election, possibly due to the common opinion that the Emperor was motivated by political intentions. The true reason behind the intervention was not known until a decade later.

Rampolla was replaced as Secretary of State by Bishop Merry del Val; other progressive prelates, supporters of Rampolla, still held their important posts in the Vatican.  Rampolla became Secretary of the Holy Office in 1908.

The truth behind the Emperor’s intervention was not revealed until 1918, after Rampolla’s sudden demise. Amongst the Cardinal’s private papers were documents that indicated he was a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis,  or OTO, an occult arm of Freemasonry. This cult incorporates elements of Gnosticism, Kabala and Eastern mysticism and is the foundation of Aleister Crowley’s ‘sex magick.’


Of special interest in our own days is one aspect of the initiation ritual of the eleventh degree of the OTO: sodomy. Msgr Jouin believed that Cardinal Rampolla was initiated into the OTO in Switzerland and that he was a Grand Master of the OTO.

INFORMATION FROM THE RITE OF SODOMY V by Dr Randy Engels

A Contemporary Vatican Freemason

Michael Heinrich Weninger was born in 1951, in Wiener Neustadt . He entered the diplomatic service of the Republic of Austria and in 1993 became head of the Austrian embassy in Belgrade. This appointment lasted until 1997. From 2008-2009, he worked in Sarajevo, again as head of the Austrian embassy. That year, his wife died and he left the diplomatic corps.

It is most likely that Weninger was already a Freemason by this time. He has said that his path crossed with many Masons from the early 2000’s and this continued after he became a priest. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Vienna in 2011 by the dissident Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. Schonborn is known for his open support for gays and hosts sacrilegious pro-sodomy events in his Cathedral annually.

In 2012, Fr Weninger became a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, working under Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Two years later, it became known that Fr Weninger was a Freemason, as his role as chaplain for three Mark Masons Lodges was published on a Masonic website. The same article related that he consecrated the new lodge of the Mark Masons no. 1954 in 2014.

When the rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University learned that Fr. Weninger was planning a book on the compatibility of Freemasonry and Catholicism, he invited the priest to study under him and write a dissertation on that topic. Fr. Weninger’s doctoral dissertation was completed in 2019: he successfully defended it, and was awarded the maximum grade of 10.0 summ cum laude.

The thesis title was Über die Aussöhnung von Katholischer Kirche und regulärer Freimaurerei (On the Reconciliation of the Catholic Church and Regular Freemasonry). It was published as a book in February of 2020 under the title of “Lodge and Altar.”

In order to prove the compatibility of Masonry with the Catholic Faith, Fr. Weninger relies on a false distinction between “regular” and “irregular’ lodges. However, Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical Etsi Multa made it very clear that there is no difference between the various forms of lodges.

One commentator points out that Fr. Weninger is wrong on another score: he writes that although Fr Weninger claims that Freemasonry is not a religion, “the fact that he published his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Spirituality (and not at the Institute of History) suggests that Freemasonry is after all a form of spirituality.”

In his book, Weninger reveals his flawed understanding of the Catholic Faith. He writes that the Church uses magic in Her rituals such as blessings and exorcisms: “The Catholic Church knows legitimate acts of magical-mysterious and thus magically effective acts”, p. 113. He further states that “magic was not and is not condemned by the Catholic Church” (p 113),thereby suggesting that the “hermetic thinking” (p 110) and magic inherent in Masonic rituals are acceptable to the Church.

While perhaps not the most reliable of sources, the occultist Leo Zagami ties the release of this book to a request from Queen Elizabeth and the United Grand Lodge of England to the Vatican to review its prohibition on Freemasonry.

Far from receiving any censure from the Vatican for his allegiance to Freemasonry, Fr Weninger’s career has continued to blossom., for example, he was a speaker at the G20 Interfaith Forum in October last year.

Like the Australian priests Fr. Stephen Hackett and Fr. Costigan, Fr. Weninger promulgates the dangerous and erroneous message that no penalty applies any longer to Catholics who are Masons. The fact that he freely spreads this heresy, and is not only not chastised but is promoted, shows that profound hold that Freemasonry has on the Roman Curia.

There, freemasons were not mentioned anymore: excommunication was no more inflicted upon them. This meant a final reconciliation: it was made crystal-clear that freemasonry was not fighting against Catholicism, but they were cooperating instead. Had they become members of a lodge, Catholics would not have been ousted from the ‘assembly’: no one would have asked them to renounce their faith. Common effort has ever since replaced infighting. Nowadays, many bishops and prelates told me that, as freemasons, they are doing a wonderful job for both their believers and themselves! With irregular freemasonry, of course, it is different…

Fr Weningen, in an interview for MadamaLouise.com, reproduced at Freemason Wiki

A Vatican Freemason Promotes Indifferentism

This G20 Interfaith Forum took place last year, in October 2020. Australian readers may be interested to note that former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was a speaker at this conference – Anonymous Catholic

FROM ChurchMilitant.com:

A leading Vatican Freemason from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) is one of the speakers representing the Holy See at the G20 Saudi Arabia Interfaith Forum Oct. 13–16.

Father Michael Heinrich Weninger, who was outed as a Freemason when celebrating Mass at the 2014 consecration of the new lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1954, Austria, spoke Tuesday on slavery and human trafficking.

Weninger is accompanied by Islamic expert and PCID president Cdl. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot and Bologna’s Cdl. Matteo Zuppi, the latter of whom is a confidant of Pope Francis and a close ally of Italian Muslims.

Despite the interdicts of 11 popes over 200 years condemning Freemasonry and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) reiterating that membership in Masonic lodges “remains forbidden,” Fr. Weninger continues to occupy a position in the Roman curia and advocate for freemasonry.

“The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion,” the CDF ruled in 1983.

The Interfaith Forum is being viewed as a public relations strategy by Saudi Arabia under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “who has tried to put an international sheen on his despotic reign.”

Critics are slamming the Vatican endorsing the regime despite its notable human rights violations and radical departure from the ideals proposed by Pope Francis in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Those found with Bibles, crucifixes or other Christian material still risk arrest and, if they’re foreigners, deportation.

Observers have also pointed to the unmistakable coincidence of the Interfaith Forum occurring in light of Saudi Arabia’s bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia failed to secure one of the three-year seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council, obtaining just 90 votes from the 180-member body.

Speaking to Church Militant, renowned Islamic scholar Robert Spencer called the Vatican’s participation in the Interfaith Forum “a travesty.”

“While Saudi Arabia has taken steps toward reform, there still exists no church of any other non-Muslim house of worship on Saudi soil because the Saudi government is bent on implementing Muhammad’s command that only Islam should exist on the Arabian Peninsula,” commented Spencer, author of 21 books on Islam and the Middle East.

“Those found with Bibles, crucifixes or other Christian material still risk arrest and, if they’re foreigners, deportation. Women were recently given the right to drive, but that only underscored how severely Saudi society oppresses women,” Spencer underscored.

Saudi Arabia was the only country up for membership that failed to get elected, leading Bruno Stagno, Deputy Executive Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), to applaud the “stunning rebuke to Saudi Arabia under Mohammed bin Salman.”

It was the “only country not elected, shunned by a majority of the U.N. The kingdom reaped what it deserves for its serious violations of human rights and war crimes abroad,” Stagno observed.

Ironically, while Saudi Arabia hosts an international Interfaith Forum endorsed by Pope Francis, “with few exceptions, Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam,” HRW 2020 World Report states.

The Islamic theocracy “systematically discriminates” even “against Muslim religious minorities” while “government-affiliated religious authorities” continue to “disparage Shia and Sufi interpretations, versions and understandings of Islam in public statements, documents and school textbooks,” HRW reports.

Death Penalty, Immigration

The country is notorious for its use of the death penalty, HRW notes. On April 23, 2019, it carried out a mass execution of 37 men, including 33 from the country’s minority Shia community “who had been convicted following unfair trials.”

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry reported that the country executed 179 persons between January and mid-November 2019, mostly for murder and drug crimes. Executions are by firing squad, beheading and even crucifixion, sometimes in public.

Pope Francis has stridently opposed the death penalty in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, but has remained silent on the practice in Islamic countries and continues to ally himself with Islamic proponents of the death penalty like Saudi Arabia and Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Church Militant reported.

In stark opposition to Pope Francis’ call for the welcome and humane treatment of migrants in Fratelli Tutti, Saudi Arabia is known for its systemic oppression of migrant workers.

Further, the theocracy is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and does not have an asylum system to protect people fearing persecution.

Call to Unity

At the Forum, Cdl. Ayuso flagged the pontiff’s encyclical calling for “unity, solidarity and fraternity, for bettering our ‘common home,’ as Pope Francis is continuously reminding us all.”

It is necessary to answer Pope Francis’ call to “reaffirm that we are members of the one human family,” he added.

Father Weninger remarked:

The International Conference on 21st Century Slavery stated that human trafficking constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights, particularly the sexual exploitation of women and children.

Injustice, exploitation and abuse are often deeply institutionalized due to financial profit. There is a need for faith leaders to challenge these social injustices, particularly as they constitute a fundamental issue of human rights.

Participants at the conference include Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, Orthodox metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis of France, Coptic bishop Anba Marco, Anglican Richard Sudworth representing the archbishop of Canterbury and Sr. Sharon Eubank from the Mormons.

Prominent Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders are also participants.

A Freemason Priest in Australia

It isn’t always left to the laity to guess that their clergy are masons – sometimes they just come out and tell us.

Anonymous Catholic

FROM The Remnant

A Catholic priest and Freemason claims that the Bishops Conference gave permission for Catholics to become ‘Australian Freemasons’ in 2016.

Fr. Kerry Costigan, now retired, of the Toowoomba Diocese in Queensland, contributed an article to the liberal publication, The Swag, in which he admitted that he has been a member of the Ashlar Lodge for over ten years. In the article, Freemasonry and the Catholic Church,  Fr. Costigan claimed that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference approved Catholics to become members of Australian Freemasonry in 2016. Fr. Costigan also wrote that he would like to see this new policy be made public. (The article is available here, behind a paywall.)

Fr Costigan’s Sketchy Synopsis

Fr. Costigan’s article begins by relating how parishioners at a Church where he was about to celebrate Mass left copies of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical on Freemasonry in the building’s foyer. He then goes on to explain that, in his opinion, Australian Freemasonry differs from that found in Europe, since it is less sectarian and political.

That article states several times that Freemasonry is not a ‘single, united body’, but that each lodge has its own supreme authority and is the sole authority over its members.

Fr. Costigan points to a change in the character of Freemasonry after the Reformation, and suggests that its current form was established during the 18th century, when it lost its sectarian and political nature. He then cites an oft-repeated tale of a 19th century French journalist whom Masons claim is the source of their bad publicity. The journalist, Leo Taxil, earned notoriety for initially exposing Freemasonry as being satanic, but later recanted and claimed that the whole episode was aimed at mocking the Church. Clearly, this explanation doesn’t account for the fact that the first papal encyclical condemning Masonry was written 150 years before Taxil was on the scene.

At this point, the article becomes a bit sketchy: Fr. Costigan claims that in 1984, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference began an inquiry into Australian Freemasonry. Fr. Costigan opines that the reason no conclusion was published was due to there being no conflict between Catholicism and Masonry. He admits that this contradicts the Vatican’s policy on Freemasonry in other countries, but fails to mention that the prohibition does, in fact, apply world-wide.

The priest goes on to say that in 2016, Catholic Freemasons contacted the Australian bishops to clarify their status. At that time, Catholic men were said to be the Grand Masters of the Western Australian, Queensland and South Australian/Northern Territory lodges. The Grand Master of SA/NT prepared a submission for the bishops and asked for an authoritative judgement from them. The ACBC’s secretary is said to have then requested a combined submission from the Grand Masters of all Australian lodges, which was to include information on the basic ideals and principles of Australian Freemasonry.

According to Fr. Costigan, the Australian Catholic Bishops, via their secretary, then replied that “any Catholic man may join Freemasonry as it exists in Australia as long as his conscience agrees.” Fr Costigan added that “the reply also asked that membership in the Craft was to be carried out discreetly and without publicity,” and he surmised that this call for discretion was due to Masonry’s prohibition overseas.

Fr. Costigan ends his article by thanking the bishops for their pastoral approach, with the hope that their statement will soon be made public. (One wonders how an article appearing in a national newsletter could not be deemed public!)  He stated that Australian Catholic Masons ‘have been condemned unjustly by the blanket condemnation of all Freemasonry’ and concluded with the somewhat blasphemous “May God prosper in the Craft.”

‘A thousand’ Catholic Freemasons in Queensland alone

Fr. Costigan’s involvement with the Ashlar Lodge has been known for almost a decade. In 2010, Tim Pemble-Smith of The Lepanto League’s QLD branch asked the former Ordinary of the Toowoomba Diocese, Bishop William Morris, to clarify the priest’s relationship with the lodge, and also to clarify his own position on Freemasonry. Bishop Morris declined to answer Mr. Pemble-Smith directly, instead publishing a clarification in a diocesan publication which stated that ‘Fr Kerry has a relationship of friendship and Pastoral Care’ with the lodge.

There was no mention of Bishop Morris’s own stance on Freemasonry. Bishop Morris was subsequently dismissed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, for obstinately refusing to recant unrelated heretical positions. Most notably among these was his promulgation of the third Rite of Reconciliation and his unbridled support for women’s ordination. It is worth noting that Bishop Morris clung to his position for four years after first being requested to resign by the Vatican.

The Lepanto also reported in 2011 that a Catholic priest had held a public prayer service for members of the Oddfellows Lodge – a secret organisation affiliated with the Masons – and there were said to be ‘a thousand Catholics’ who were Freemasons in Queensland. A statement from then-Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, Michael Putney, was very telling. Bishop Putney said that ecumenism was breaking down many obstacles and “How the church responds to groups like the Masonic lodge is a different pastoral question which varies in different localities”.

Bishop Putney’s claim that the Church’s policy on Freemasonry can vary from place to place was in clear violation of the 1983 directive from the Confraternity for the Doctrine of the Faith, as stated below.

Hunter’s Hill Lodge in AustraliaJuly Hunters Hill Lodge

The CDF has spoken

There is no doubt that some confusion surrounding the status of Freemasonry arose when the Code of Canon Law was revised in 1983.

The new Code failed to reapply the penalty of excommunication for Catholics who held Masonic membership. This led some bishops to wrongly conclude that Freemason’s basic tenets vary from place to place and so its practise in a particular locale may not necessarily pose a danger to a Catholic’s salvation.

However, the German bishops who were in favour of retaining the penalty of excommunication concluded that Freemasonry was ‘an extraordinary danger’ for the Church. Similarly, Cardinal Pietro Palazzini spoke of the need to maintain the penalty of excommunication, since Freemasonry “eliminates truth and revealed religion while welcoming Catholics as ‘useful idiots’.”

Interestingly, Justice Michael Kirby, then deputy commissioner of the Law Reform Commission and former High Court Justice, was, in 1983, full of hope that the Vatican’s review of Catholics and Masonic membership would end the prohibition. In an address to the Lodge University of Sydney, Mr. Kirby predicted that ‘Catholics will soon be able to become Freemasons without fear of excommunication.’

Although the new code of Canon Law is less explicit than its predecessor, Quaesitum es – the CDF’s most recent statement on Masonry – is as clear as it is definitive:

  1. The Church’s negative judgment on Masonry remains unchanged, because the Masonic principles are irreconcilable with the Church’s teaching.
  2. Catholics who join the Masons are in the state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
  3. No local ecclesiastical authority has competence to derogate from these judgments of the Sacred Congregation.” (Emphasis added.)

Australian Freemasonry: no different from any other form

A spokesman from Freemasons Victoria assured this author that there is little difference between Australian Freemasonry and that which is practised in other jurisdictions. He explained that there are minor differences in dress codes or salutes, for example, but that the basic tenets are the same, and that Australian Freemasonry is most closely aligned with that of Britain. He confirmed the only requirement for membership ‘in their faith’ is belief in ‘a deity’, but that members are free to choose who that deity is. He also confirmed that the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in any rituals, at least in the lower levels.

So even if one of Fr. Costigan’s claims is true –  that Australian Freemasonry has no political or sectarian nature – Masonry in this country retains the philosophical marks which render it incompatible with Catholicism.

This unchanging incompatibility has been reiterated time and again by the Church.

Pope St. Leo made it quite clear that ‘the Masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the things which it has done, or brought to completion, as by the sum of its pronounced opinions.’ (Humanum Genus §11.) This teaching was echoed in 1980 by the German bishops, who stated:

“The Freemasons have essentially not changed. Membership places the foundations of Christian existence into question. Detailed investigations of the Masonic rituals and fundamental ideas, and of their current, unchanged self-understanding make clear: Simultaneous membership in the Catholic Church and the Freemasons is incompatible.” (Heresy by Association, p 195.)

Cardinal Law, at the conclusion of an American Bishops’ enquiry into Freemasonry in 1985,  said, “And even though Masonic organizations may not in particular cases plot against the faith, it would still be wrong to join them because their basic principles are irreconcilable with those of the Catholic faith.”

Thus its practical activity is irrelevant; it is the philosophy which endangers a man’s soul.

The verse below comes from a hymn which was in use in Australian Masonic rituals  in 1951. It exemplifies Masonry’s incompatibility with Catholicism; namely that for the Freemason, salvation can be achieved without the Sacraments and without the redemptive action of Jesus Christ.

“Pure as that badge thy life may be, If by its teachings thou abide;

God’s Holy Face thine eyes shall see, If thou wilt make that badge thy guide.”

Freemasonry is always political

Deist philosophy aside, Fr. Costigan is wrong in writing that there is no political danger from Australian Freemasonry. Despite his opinions, Freemasonry’s practical activities have long been a source of contention. As early as 1876, Freemasonry was being blamed for being the driving force behind the secularisation of the education system in Australia. The Archbishop of Sydney at that time, Dr. Roger Vaughan, condemned Freemasonry for secretly driving the push for a government-controlled ‘Universal Secular, Free and Compulsory Education.’

Since then, there have been allegations of Masonic influence being brought to bear in courts of law, and university faculty appointments, at various times and places throughout the country’s history. Although not all the allegations have been proven, there remains little doubt that Freemasons have been able to exert an enormous influence in every facet of Australian society since the nation was founded. Famous Australian figures, such as Joseph Banks, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the explorers Oxley, Hume and Leichhardt, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Sir Donald Bradman, James Boag, and Sir Edward `Weary’ Dunlop were Freemasons. And many members of the Commonwealth Parliament have been Masons, including almost all conservative Prime Ministers up to 1972, from Edmund Barton to William McMahon.

Things are little different in the UK, where there have been historical calls for government enquiries into Masonry and contemporary allegations of corruption involving Freemasons in the medical field and in the police force.

What does the Bishops Conference have to say?

Fr. Costigan’s claims have been refuted by a spokesman for the Australian Bishops. Gavin Abraham, communications officer for the ACBC, issued this response to enquiries about the article:

“The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has exchanged private correspondence with officials from the Freemasons in recent years. Fr. Costigan’s writings do not accurately reflect the contents of that private correspondence nor any policy of the Conference.”

What this statement does not mention is that it appears from Fr. Costigan’s article that the ‘officials from the Freemasons’, were those Catholic men who were Grand Masters of the states’ Grand Lodges at that time, asking for clarification about their status. Additionally, the statement completely fails to account for the priest’s version of things. Quoting Fr. Costigan’s article:

“… The reply given in writing on the official letterhead of the ACBC was that any Catholic man may join Freemasonry as exists in Australia as long as his conscience agrees. The reply also asked that membership for Catholics in the Craft was to be carried out discreetly and without publicity. No doubt, this was not publicly [sic] to go against the teaching of the Catholic Church about Freemasonry existing in other countries.

“This ruling of the ACBC would certainly be appreciated by Catholics who are members of the Craft. Gratitude is expressed to the Bishops of Australia for their open-handed, sensitive and pastoral approach to this matter.

“It is hoped that before long, this approval will be made public. At the moment, the many Catholic men who belong to the Craft here in Australia have been condemned unjustly by the blanket condemnation of all Freemasonry.”

Fr. Costigan is said to be recovering after surgery and unable to speak to members of the public. So does his article represent the warped reality of a sick, old man?  Or are there bishops in Australia who tolerate and even promote the idea that Freemasonry is somehow acceptable for Catholics?

This whole episode raises more questions than it answers. At a time when there are credible allegations of Freemasons infiltrating the Church at the highest levels, an Australian priest claims that he has been a Mason for a decade, apparently with the approval of his superiors. The bishops say that they haven’t violated the Church’s policy on Masonic membership, but Fr. Costigan claims he has an official statement on the official letterhead, to the contrary.

What of the ‘one thousand’ Catholics who are Freemasons in Queensland? What of the Grand Masters who were allegedly Catholic and thus should be barred from receiving Holy Communion? Where is the bishops’ vocal condemnation of Australian Freemasonry?

It is to be hoped that someone from within the ACBC will be concerned enough to take action on this serious matter.  Souls are at stake, and it is up to the laity to persevere in demanding answers from our bishops on this, and on all deviations from Catholic doctrine.