YEAR OF CONDEMNATION
11: Papal Condemnations of Freemasonry
We have arrived at installment no. 11 of our ongoing special Year of Exclusion, Judgment, and Condemnation series, which is being observed in direct contrast to the phoney Year of Mercy of the papal impostor Jorge Bergoglio, who goes by the stage name “Pope Francis”. Our Year of Condemnation runs parallel to the Year of Mercy, and each installment focuses on some forgotten truth of the holy Catholic Faith that is considered by our sorry society as extremely judgmental, exclusionary, negative, hateful, bigoted, intolerant, condemnatory, unwelcoming, dogmatic, narrow-minded, and everything else that oh-so-enlightened modern man despises and detests.
Today’s installment focuses on the Catholic Church’s severe condemnation of Freemasonry. Recalling the true Church’s opposition to the diabolical doctrines of Masonry is especially useful today, when Masonic ideas emanate from the Novus Ordo Sect in the Vatican like smoke pours out of a chimney. The current perpetrator-in-chief: “Pope” Francis, the ultimate Naturalist, whose greatest concern is the temporal life, not people’s eternal destiny, and who embraces whole-heartedly the unholy masonic trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. These three concepts were injected into Catholic minds at the Second Vatican Council by means of their theological equivalents: religious freedom, collegiality, and ecumenism.
It is no accident that Francis is constantly cheered by Freemasons all over, has been made an honorary member of the Lodge, and invited thousands of Rotarian Masons to celebrate their jubilee in the Vatican. He is also particularly talented at giving Masonic handshakes.
But now, on to some select excerpts of various Catholic condemnations of Freemasonry, authored by true Roman Pontiffs, beginning with Pope Clement XII (in chronological order):
…We therefore, having taken counsel of some of Our Venerable Brothers among the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and also of Our own accord and with certain knowledge and mature deliberations, with the plenitude of the Apostolic power do hereby determine and have decreed that these same Societies, Companies, Assemblies, Meetings, Congregations, or Conventicles of Liberi Muratori or Francs Massons, or whatever other name they may go by, are to be condemned and prohibited, and by Our present Constitution, valid for ever, We do condemn and prohibit them.
Wherefore We command most strictly and in virtue of holy obedience, all the faithful of whatever state, grade, condition, order, dignity or pre-eminence, whether clerical or lay, secular or regular, even those who are entitled to specific and individual mention, that none, under any pretext or for any reason, shall dare or presume to enter, propagate or support these aforesaid societies of Liberi Muratori or Francs Massons, or however else they are called, or to receive them in their houses or dwellings or to hide them, be enrolled among them, joined to them, be present with them, give power or permission for them to meet elsewhere, to help them in any way, to give them in any way advice, encouragement or support either openly or in secret, directly or indirectly, on their own or through others; nor are they to urge others or tell them, incite or persuade them to be enrolled in such societies or to be counted among their number, or to be present or to assist them in any way; but they must stay completely clear of such Societies, Companies, Assemblies, Meetings, Congregations or Conventicles, under pain of excommunication for all the above mentioned people, which is incurred by the very deed without any declaration being required, and from which no one can obtain the benefit of absolution, other than at the hour of death, except through Ourselves or the Roman Pontiff of the time.
(Pope Clement XII, Bull In Eminenti)
Make known through yourselves the deceits of the sects and with how much diligence [Catholics] must guard against them and their social intercourse. Let them dread their perverse doctrine which mocks the Most Holy Mysteries of our Religion and the most pure Precepts of Christ, and which attacks every Legitimate Power, while you act as their models and teachers. And finally let Us exhort you with the words of Our Predecessor, Clement XII, in his Encyclical Letter to all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops of the Catholic Church of the 14th day of September of the year 1758: “Let Us be filled, I pray, with the Power of the Spirit of the Lord, with discernment and with virtue, lest just as dumb dogs not having the power to bark, We suffer Our flocks to be as pillage and Our sheep forage for the beasts of the field. And let not anything detain Us from giving ourselves up to all battles for the Glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let Us consider Him, who underwent such great contradiction against Himself by sinners. But if We fear the boldness of those wicked ones, it has been from the force of the Episcopate, and from the sublime and Divine Power of Governing the Church; but neither are We able to remain much longer or be any longer Christians, if it has come to this point that We are terrified at the threats or the artifices of the destroyers.”
(Pope Leo XII, Encyclical Quo Graviora)
We want you to know of another secret society organized not so long ago for the corruption of young people who are taught in the gymnasia and the lycea. Its cunning purpose is to engage evil teachers to lead the students along the paths of Baal by teaching them un-Christian doctrines. The perpetrators know well that the students’ minds and morals are molded by the precepts of the teachers. Its influence is already so persuasive that all fear of religion has been lost, all discipline of morals has been abandoned, the sanctity of pure doctrine has been contested, and the rights of the sacred and of the civil powers have been trampled upon. Nor are they ashamed of any disgraceful crime or error. We can truly say with Leo the Great that for them “Law is prevarication; religion, the devil; sacrifice, disgrace.” Drive these evils from your dioceses. Strive to assign not only learned, but also good men to train our youth.
(Pope Pius VIII, Encyclical Traditi Humilitati, n. 7)
Now is truly the time in which the powers of darkness winnow the elect like wheat [Lk 22:53]…. We speak of the things which you see with your own eyes, which We both bemoan. Depravity exults; science is impudent; liberty, dissolute. The holiness of the sacred is despised; the majesty of divine worship is not only disapproved by evil men, but defiled and held up to ridicule. Hence sound doctrine is perverted and errors of all kinds spread boldly. The laws of the sacred, the rights, institutions, and discipline — none are safe from the audacity of those speaking evil. Our Roman See is harassed violently and the bonds of unity are daily loosened and severed. The divine authority of the Church is opposed and her rights shorn off. She is subjected to human reason and with the greatest injustice exposed to the hatred of the people and reduced to vile servitude. The obedience due bishops is denied and their rights are trampled underfoot. Furthermore, academies and schools resound with new, monstrous opinions, which openly attack the Catholic faith; this horrible and nefarious war is openly and even publicly waged. Thus, by institutions and by the example of teachers, the minds of the youth are corrupted and a tremendous blow is dealt to religion and the perversion of morals is spread. So the restraints of religion are thrown off, by which alone kingdoms stand. We see the destruction of public order, the fall of principalities, and the overturning of all legitimate power approaching. Indeed this great mass of calamities had its inception in the heretical societies and sects in which all that is sacrilegious, infamous, and blasphemous has gathered as bilge water in a ship’s hold, a congealed mass of all filth.
(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Mirari Vos, nn. 4-5)
You already know well, venerable brothers, the other portentous errors and deceits by which the sons of this world try most bitterly to attack the Catholic religion and the divine authority of the Church and its laws. They would even trample underfoot the rights both of the sacred and of the civil power. For this is the goal of the lawless activities against this Roman See in which Christ placed the impregnable foundation of His Church. This is the goal of those secret sects who have come forth from the darkness to destroy and desolate both the sacred and the civil commonwealth. These have been condemned with repeated anathema in the Apostolic letters of the Roman Pontiffs who preceded Us We now confirm these with the fullness of Our Apostolic power and command that they be most carefully observed.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Qui Pluribus, n. 13)
At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly and openly, and this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom, if it were possible, of the blessings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Savior….
For as soon as the constitution and the spirit of the masonic sect were clearly discovered by manifest signs of its actions, by the investigation of its causes, by publication of its laws, and of its rites and commentaries, with the addition often of the personal testimony of those who were in the secret, this apostolic see denounced the sect of the Freemasons, and publicly declared its constitution, as contrary to law and right, to be pernicious no less to Christendom than to the State; and it forbade any one to enter the society, under the penalties which the Church is wont to inflict upon exceptionally guilty persons….
Their chief dogmas are so greatly and manifestly at variance with reason that nothing can be more perverse. To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety. Neither is it less horrible nor more tolerable that they should repudiate the benefits which Jesus Christ so mercifully obtained, not only for individuals, but also for the family and for civil society, benefits which, even according to the judgment and testimony of enemies of Christianity, are very great. In this insane and wicked endeavor we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ. — So also the studious endeavor of the Freemasons to destroy the chief foundations of justice and honesty, and to co-operate with those who would wish, as if they were mere animals, to do what they please, tends only to the ignominious and disgraceful ruin of the human race.
And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed.
But against the apostolic see and the Roman Pontiff the contention of these enemies has been for a long time directed. The Pontiff was first, for specious reasons, thrust out from the bulwark of his liberty and of his right, the civil princedom; soon, he was unjustly driven into a condition which was unbearable because of the difficulties raised on all sides; and now the time has come when the partisans of the sects openly declare, what in secret among themselves they have for a long time plotted, that the sacred power of the Pontiffs must be abolished, and that the papacy itself, founded by divine right, must be utterly destroyed. If other proofs were wanting, this fact would be sufficiently disclosed by the testimony of men well informed, of whom some at other times, and others again recently, have declared it to be true of the Freemasons that they especially desire to assail the Church with irreconcilable hostility, and that they will never rest until they have destroyed whatever the supreme Pontiffs have established for the sake of religion.
If those who are admitted as members 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.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Humanum Genus, nn. 12,15-16)
Let Us then show you masonry as an enemy of God, Church, and country. Recognize it as such once and for all, and with all the weapons which reason, conscience, and faith put in your hands, defend yourselves from such a proud foe. Let no one be taken in by its attractive appearance or allured by its promises; do not be seduced by its enticements or frightened by its threats. Remember that Christianity and masonry are essentially irreconcilable, such that to join one is to divorce the other. You can no longer ignore such incompatibility between Catholic and mason, beloved children: you have been warned openly by Our predecessors, and We have loudly repeated the warning.
Those who, by some supreme misfortune, have given their name to one of these societies of perdition should know that they are strictly bound to separate themselves from it. Otherwise they must remain separated from Christian communion and lose their soul now and for eternity. Parents, teachers, godparents, and whoever has care of others should also know that a rigorous duty binds them to keep their wards from this guilty sect or to draw them from it if they have already entered.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Custodi di Quella Fede, nn. 10-11)
On this topic, we heartily recommend the booklet The Papacy and Freemasonry by Mgr. Ernest Jouin (1930), which is available in paperback here and electronically for free here. We also encourage you to watch Bp. Donald Sanborn’s crash course in the history of Christendom that explains how we got to where we are today and what we can expect about what lies ahead.