One of the most overlooked and underrated popes in the history of the Church was His Holiness Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878-1903). He had the “misfortune” (if you can call it that), to have his papacy overshadowed by both his immediate predecessor (Pope Pius IX) and his immediate successor (Pope St. Pius X). Pope Pius IX had presided over the Vatican Ecumenical Council from 1869-1870, defined the dogma of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception in 1854, and condemned many propositions in his famous Syllabus of Errors. Pope St. Pius X was the quintessential “Foe of Modernism,” and beat back the most deadly partisans of evil and error ever unleashed by Hell.
In between these two giants was Vincenzo Cardinal Pecci, an approved theologian and canonist with a double doctorate, whose brilliance was exceeded only by his piety. He was elected pope on the third ballot of the conclave after the death of Pope Pius IX. As Pope Leo XIII, he accomplished much good. The true social teaching of the Church was magnificently expounded upon in Leo’s famous encyclical Rerum Novarum. With Aeterni Patris, he revived Thomism and enthusiastically ordered it promoted in all Catholic universities and seminaries. His tender devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary produced no less than eleven (11) encyclicals on the Rosary, and he approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The ecclesiology in his encyclical Satis Cognitum is so clear, precise, and orthodox, it is (in my opinion) one of the greatest encyclicals of all time. He composed two of the prayers after Low Mass which he ordered to be instituted in 1884. Much more could be said of this illustrious pope, who was not expected to have a long reign. He was elected at the age of 68 (old for the time period), and was of slight stature, looking quite frail. Only God knows a life expectancy, and his pontificate lasted twenty-five (25) years until his death on July 20, 1903 at the age of 93. He was the last pope of the nineteenth century, as well as the first pope of the twentieth century, and his reign is the third longest behind Pope Pius IX at 32 years, and St. Peter at 34 years.
With all he did for the One True Church, Leo nevertheless did something most special, for which we all owe him a great debt of gratitude; he exposed the most wicked aims of Satan’s greatest allies–the Freemasons. To be certain, Leo was not the first pope to unambiguously condemn Freemasonry, the Church hurled anathemas against that wicked organization that plots against the Church many times before. Yet Pope Leo’s encyclical Humanum Genus, lays out the nefarious plot of Satan’s kingdom on Earth with a surgical precision one could only expect from a Vicar of Christ who was both a theologian and canonist. In this post, the truths about Masons will be set forth, as well as the most popular misconception in our day; that sacraments conferred by Masons are to be considered “dubious.”
The “Kingdom of Satan”
On April 20, 1884, Pope Leo penned Humanum Genus, and compared the Masonic sect founded in 1717 to the “kingdom of Satan:”
The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, “through the envy of the devil,” separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth.The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God. (para. #1; Emphasis mine)
The pontiff goes on to tell us that the Masonic Lodge tries hard to conceal itself. Most low ranking Freemasons think they belong to a charitable organization which is a good place to play cards with the guys once a week and leave the wives at home.
There are several organized bodies which, though differing in name, in ceremonial, in form and origin, are nevertheless so bound together by community of purpose and by the similarity of their main opinions, as to make in fact one thing with the sect of the Freemasons, which is a kind of center whence they all go forth, and whither they all return. Now, these no longer show a desire to remain concealed; for they hold their meetings in the daylight and before the public eye, and publish their own newspaper organs; and yet, when thoroughly understood, they are found still to retain the nature and the habits of secret societies. There are many things like mysteries which it is the fixed rule to hide with extreme care, not only from strangers, but from very many members, also; such as their secret and final designs, the names of the chief leaders, and certain secret and inner meetings, as well as their decisions, and the ways and means of carrying them out. This is, no doubt, the object of the manifold difference among the members as to right, office, and privilege, of the received distinction of orders and grades, and of that severe discipline which is maintained.
Candidates are generally commanded to promise – nay, with a special oath, to swear – that they will never, to any person, at any time or in any way, make known the members, the passes, or the subjects discussed. Thus, with a fraudulent external appearance, and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manichees of old, strive, as far as possible, to conceal themselves, and to admit no witnesses but their own members…Moreover, to be enrolled, it is necessary that the candidates promise and undertake to be thenceforward strictly obedient to their leaders and masters with the utmost submission and fidelity, and to be in readiness to do their bidding upon the slightest expression of their will; or, if disobedient, to submit to the direst penalties and death itself. As a fact, if any are judged to have betrayed the doings of the sect or to have resisted commands given, punishment is inflicted on them not infrequently, and with so much audacity and dexterity that the assassin very often escapes the detection and penalty of his crime. (para. #9; Emphasis mine)
Interestingly, while I conceal my identity to prevent any negative repercussions to my family and friends for speaking out about the Faith, John Salza, who claims to have been a 32nd degree Mason (ruling class elite), has had no major setbacks to the best of my knowledge and belief. He even goes about “exposing” Masonry and profits off the sale of his books. Am I the only one who thinks Salza may not be an “EX-Mason”?
Masonry: Founded Upon Naturalism
Naturalism is the philosophy that human reason is supreme and nothing exists beyond nature; therefore there is no supernatural order. It is upon this false system that Masonry was developed. From this flows grave heresy. One consequence is the idea of separation of Church and State, the ideal in the United States, since the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution were mostly Masons and Deists (those who believe in an impersonal “god” who started the universe, but does not care about it, nor intervene in it).
In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result – namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church. (para. #13; Emphasis mine)
Another serious evil Naturalism engenders is Indifferentism. This is the heretical idea that one religion is as good as another (positive indifference) or the idea that one religion is just as bad as another (negative indifference). As Masons eschew the supernatural, they believe there is no true religion.
If those who are admitted as members[to the Masonic Lodge] are not commanded to abjure by any form of words the Catholic doctrines, this omission, so far from being adverse to the designs of the Freemasons, is more useful for their purposes. First, in this way they easily deceive the simple-minded and the heedless, and can induce a far greater number to become members. Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age-that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions. (para. #16; Emphasis mine)
Masonry Seeks to Corrupt Morality and Enslave Humanity
As Fyodor Dostoyevsky astutely observed, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” By banishing the supernatural order and giving people a false confidence in fallen human nature, immorality of the worst kind surely follows, just as it did in godless Communist governments.
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions…For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. (para. #20; Emphasis mine)
With God forsaken, and the State made secular, it will be easy to control the masses when the State takes over education and marriage.
What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract – that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite. (para. #21; Emphasis mine)
Masonic Ties to Other Evils
Masons are “fellow-travelers” with Socialists and Communists (as well as Modernists).
Now, from the disturbing errors which We have described the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists; and to their undertakings the sect of Freemasons is not hostile, but greatly favors their designs, and holds in common with them their chief opinions. And if these men do not at once and everywhere endeavor to carry out their extreme views, it is not to be attributed to their teaching and their will, but to the virtue of that divine religion which cannot be destroyed; and also because the sounder part of men, refusing to be enslaved to secret societies, vigorously resist their insane attempts. (para #27; Emphasis mine)
Does Masonic Membership = Dubious Sacraments?
Having shown the evil of Masonry, some wrongfully assert that if a clergyman is a Freemason (like Bugnini), the sacraments he attempts to confer must be considered dubious at best. This is because they allegedly “withhold their intention” when performing the sacraments. Having the intention to “do what the Church does” in administering the Sacraments is necessary for validity. Since Cardinal Lienart, the prelate who ordained Archbishop Lefebvre a priest, and later consecrated him a bishop, is rumored to have been a Mason, Archbishop Lefebvre’s orders are called into doubt–and with him all the Traditionalist clergy he ordained.
Assuming, ad arguendo
, Lienart was a Freemason, it does nothing to impugn the validity of Archbishop Lefebvre’s orders.
I have written on this topic in depth, and I invite all interested readers who want to know the reasons Masonic membership does nothing to cast doubt on the validity of the sacraments, to read my post: https://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2018/05/intent-on-causing-harm.html
The Vatican II Sect: Promoting the Masonic Ideals of Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity
The Masonic inspired French Revolution had as its motto, “Equality, Liberty, Fraternity.” It sounds good until you realized they corrupted the meaning of the words. Equality came to mean an absolute equality wherein there is no rightful authority appointed by God over men; all people being “equal” in all aspects. Liberty now meant the “right to do wrong and believe in anything.” Fraternity devolved into unity between believers and unbelievers, as God is not acknowledged. A perfect example is the heretical Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (hereinafter GS), the “Constitution of the Church (sic) in the Modern World.” While the True Church always acknowledged the world (along with the devil and the flesh) to be Her enemies, the Vatican II sect seeks to unite itself with it. While not all Modernists are Masons, all Masons are Modernists. They were working together for the destruction of the True Church and society.
GS, Ch. II, para. 29: Nevertheless, with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent. (Emphasis mine)
The True Religion cannot be given preference over false sects. That would be “discrimination.”
GS, Ch. I, para. 21: Hence the Church protests against the distinction which some state authorities make between believers and unbelievers, with prejudice to the fundamental rights of the human person.(Emphasis mine).
What “fundamental rights of the person” prevents the State from making distinctions between those who profess the Truth, and those who are partisans of error?
GS, Ch. V, para. 91: Drawn from the treasures of Church teaching, the proposals of this sacred synod look to the assistance of every man of our time, whether he believes in God, or does not explicitly recognize Him. If adopted, they will promote among men a sharper insight into their full destiny, and thereby lead them to fashion the world more to man’s surpassing dignity, to search for a brotherhood which is universal and more deeply rooted, and to meet the urgencies of our ages with a gallant and unified effort born of love. (Emphasis mine)
Atheists, agnostics, and members of the Church can “fashion the world more to man’s surpassing dignity” and achieve “universal brotherhood” in which God is irrelevant at best. Pure Masonic poison.
Masonry continues to be one of the deadliest foes of God and humanity. Working with the other enemies of the Church, they engineered the creation of the Vatican II sect, a counterfeit Catholicism based on Modernism. As Pope Leo advised, we must expose these enemies, and seek the supernatural aids (which Traditionalists still possess) to combat them (e.g., Mass, sacraments, true doctrine,etc.) Many Masonic ideals are identical to the ideology of the Modernists. Naturalism seeks to banish God from society and deify humans with false and exaggerated claims of “human dignity” and “human rights.” Pope Leo XIII said it best, “About the ‘rights of man,’ as they are called, the people have heard enough; it is time they should hear of the rights of God.” (See Tametsi November 1, 1900).