I don’t know about you, but I just love a good Freemasonic conspiracy.
Let’s face it: Freemasons have been trying to infiltrate the Church for over a century. They even announced their intentions in the mid 1800s, and were condemned by several popes who had no qualms about expressing the danger they represented to the Faith.
The ubiquity of the threat, however, began to numb most Catholics to its reality. The subtlety of their work makes them appear innocuous, and this is by design. Their method of infiltration was laid out in a document known as The Permanent Instruction on the Alta Vendita, written in 19th Century. In it, they proclaimed their grand designs in a way that, in hindsight, can be seen to have been marvelously effective:
The Pope, whoever he may be, will never come to the secret societies. It is for the secret societies to come to the Church… The work we have undertaken is not the work of a day, nor of a month, nor of a year. It may last many years, a century perhaps, but in our ranks the soldier dies and the fight continues… Now then, in order to secure to us a Pope in the manner required, it is necessary to fashion for that Pope a generation worthy of the reign of which we dream. Leave on one side old age and middle life, go to the youth, and, if possible, even to the infancy. Never speak in their presence a word of impiety or impurity. Maxima debetur puero reverentia. Never forget these words of the poet for they will preserve you from licenses which it is absolutely essential to guard against for the good of the cause. In order to reap profit at the home of each family, in order to give yourself the right of asylum at the domestic hearth, you ought to present yourself with all the appearance of a man grave and moral. Once your reputation is established in the colleges…and in the seminaries – once you shall have captivated the confidence of professors and students, act so that those who are engaged in the ecclesiastic state should love to seek your conversation…then little by little you will bring your disciples to the degree of cooking desired. When upon all the points of ecclesiastical state at once, this daily work shall have spread our ideas as light, then you will appreciate the wisdom of the counsel in which we take the initiative… That reputation will open the way for our doctrines to pass to the bosoms of the young clergy, and go even to the depths of convents. In a few years the young clergy will have, by force of events, invaded all the functions. They will govern, administer, and judge. They will form the council of the Sovereign. They will be called upon to choose the Pontiff who will reign; and that Pontiff, like the greater part of his contemporaries, will be necessarily imbued with the…humanitarian principles which we are about to put into circulation… Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You wish to cause the last vestige of tyranny and of oppression to disappear? Lay your nets like Simon Barjona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents, rather than in the depth of the sea… You will bring yourselves as friends around the Apostolic Chair.
With this in mind, I found it really quite interesting that more than one of our readers has pointed out that Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto — Dean of the Roman Rota and perhaps now the loudest of the critics of the Four Cardinals — is to be found on the famous “Lista Pecorelli” — a list of alleged Freemasons within the Church.
I say “famous” because many people know about it. I didn’t. But the list has been around since the 1970s, compiled by the Italian investigative journalist — later murdered — who gave it its name: Carmine “Mino” Pecorelli.
In a comment on the 1P5 Facebook page, reader Andrew Guernsey writes:
Here is a high quality version of the original Pecorelli list, which famously includes Bugnini, the architect of the New Mass https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B65x5F_RAFfwQVRjSUVGRUdaWmM/view
Investigative journalist and a member of the elite Propaganda Due (P2) Lodge, Carmine “Mino” Pecorelli, Director of L’Osservatorio Politico, a press agency specializing in political scandals and crimes, was murdered on March 20, 1979. Prior to his death he published what became known as “Pecorelli’s List.” It contained the names (code names and card names as well) of alleged Freemasons in high level Vatican offices during the reign of Paul VI. Among the prominent prelates identified as Freemasons were Jean Cardinal Villo, whose family is believed to have historic ties to the Rosicrucian Lodge; Agostino Cardinal Casaroli; Ugo Cardinal Poletti; Sebastiano Cardinal Baggio; Joseph Cardinal Suenens; and Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, C.M.; and Archbishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus, to name a few.
A priest who worked for Cardinal Ottaviani investigating Modernists in the curia speaks of the authenticity of Pecorelli’s List: http://padrepioandchiesaviva.com/…/Paul_VI.._beatified…
The principal “list” appeared on “OP” (Osservatorio Politico Internazionale) Magazine of September 12, 1978, the magazine of lawyer Mino Pecorelli, during the brief pontificate of JP1, thus subsequent to that which came out on “Panorama” Magazine of August 10, 1976.
And sure enough, Msgr. Pinto’s name is there:
The book Guernsey links is Paul VI Beatified?, by Fr. Luigi Villa. This is where, to the uninitiated, the rabbit hole gets deep. I’ve never had the time or the patience to go through the voluminous materials about Freemasonry and the Church. I have no doubt of the designs of the Masons, nor of the Church’s reasons for condemning them. But I am woefully ignorant of many of the facts on the ground. Of Fr. Villa, the website padrepioandchiesaviva.com says:
Almost sixty years ago, “Padre Pio first met Father Luigi Villa, whom he entreated to devote his entire life to fight Ecclesiastical Freemasonry. Padre Pio told Father Villa that Our Lord had designs upon him and had chosen him to be educated and trained to fight Freemasonry within the Church. The Saint spelled out this task in three meetings with Father Villa, which took place in the last fifteen years of life of Padre Pio. At the close of the second meeting [second half of 1963], Padre Pio embraced Father Villa three times, saying to him: ‘Be brave, now…for the Church has already been invaded by Freemasonry!’ and then stated: ‘Freemasonry has already made it into the loafers (shoes) of the Pope!’ At the time, the reigning Pope was Paul VI.
“The mission entrusted to Father Luigi Villa by Padre Pio to fight Freemasonry within the Catholic Church was approved by Pope Pius XII who gave a Papal Mandate for his work. Pope Pius XII’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tardini, gave Father Villa three Cardinals to work with and to act as his own personal ‘guardian angels’:
Cardinal Ottaviani, Cardinal Parente and Cardinal Palazzini. Father Villa worked with these three cardinals until their deaths.”
In order to fight this battle, in 1971 Fr. Villa founded his magazine, “Chiesa viva” with correspondents and collaborators in every continent. It was immediately attacked by the upper echelon of the Catholic Church: the magazine was ostracized among the clergy and its collaborators were gradually forced to leave. Then they isolated its Director and his few remaining collaborators. The efforts to silence “Chiesa viva” once and for all also included seven assassination attempts on Fr. Villa!”
I do not vouch for this information, because I have not verified it. (Readers here have mentioned Fr. Villa on numerous occasions, and have done so favorably.) But I present it to you nevertheless, because it is an interesting piece of the puzzle.
Of the alleged Freemasons on Pecorelli’s list, Fr. Villa writes:
“Pecorelli’s List” found credit even in the Vatican, where a young employee – nephew of a (well known) ecclesiastic (Father P. E.) – had handed a series of delicate “documents” to Monsignor Benelli, then Substitute of the Secretary of State, who made him swear «that he was not lying about so grave a matter». Some photocopies of those “documents” were also in the possession of Cardinal Staffa.
I had “assurance” of this “fact” from a cardinal of the Curia,who later also gave me some photocopies of those same “documents”.
3rd – The “Card Numbers”, reported on the “Pecorelli’s List”, confer a more than credible spin, since Pecorelli was a member of the P2 Lodge (and thus in the know of “secret things”), but also for the reason that, with that list, he had just invited the scarcely elected Pope Luciani to a rigorous control, with the intention of offering a valid contribution to the transparency of the Catholic Church Herself.
In any case, that “list” should have sparked off either a shower of denials or a purge in the ecclesial ranks. On the contrary, not a single “denial” was to be had. As for “purges”, besides, the newly elected Pontiff did not even have the time, perhaps even “because” Pope Luciani, “who had manifested the intention of having a hand in the issue of the IOR and shed a light as to the list of alleged Prelates affiliated to Freemasonry”, He, too, passed away in circumstances and ways as yet unknown. What is more, Mino Pecorelli, the author of that “list”, was gunned down a few months later, on March 20, 1979; hence, with him, were buried all of the other “secrets” concerning that Masonic sect in his possession.
Now, one could ask oneself: why is it that all of the “listed” in that “Masonic list” have never come together in order to deny that public denunciation, complete with detailed “entries” (Affiliation, Registration, Monogram), asking the courts for a clarifying investigation, at least on the graphological analysis of the acronyms at the foot of the documents? How not to recognize, then, that that lack of denials and that prolonged silence are more than eloquent as they take on the value of circumstantial evidence of the greatest import?
The only one to be removed from office was – as we noted – Monsignor Bugnini, the main author of that revolutionary liturgical reform that upset, in a Lutheran form, the bi-millennial rite of the Holy Mass, but it was only after the presentation to Paul VI of the “evidence” of his belonging to the Masonic sect, that he was sent away from Rome and dispatched as a “pro-Nuncio” to Iran.
The buzz about these people had been around since 1970. Let it be no doubt about it: it was not mere talk; it was “confidential information” we at the top of Italian Freemasonry used to pass on to one another”.
St. Maximilian Kolbe had his own take on the matter. He is famously quoted as saying:
Satan Must Reign in the Vatican. The Pope Will Be His Slave.
According to Michael Hitchborn at The Lepanto Institute, this bold proclamation
was personally witnessed by St. Maximilian Kolbe, who watched Freemasons celebrate their bicentennial in St. Peter’s Square in 1917. St. Maximilian Kolbe saw banners bearing these words amidst the revelry. It’s a jarring and shocking statement, but it is totally in keeping with the aims of Freemasonry and it bears a great deal of significance for us today.
Hichborn also notes the plans laid out in the Alta Vendita:
According to these documents, the Alta Vendita lodge of Freemasonry openly declared that its “ultimate end is that of Voltaire and of the French Revolution – the final destruction forever of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe expounded on this plan at the founding of the Militia of the Immaculata. On October 16, just three days after the miracle of Fatima, the saint wrote:
“These men without God find themselves in a tragic situation. Such implacable hatred for the Church and the ambassadors of Christ on Earth is not in the power of individual persons, but of a systematic activity stemming in the final analysis from Freemasonry. In particular, it aims to destroy the Catholic religion. Their decrees have been spread throughout the world, in different disguises. But with the same goal – religious indifference and weakening of moral forces, according to their basic principle – ‘We will conquer the Catholic Church not by argumentation, but rather with moral corruption.‘”
There is no question that religious indifference and moral corruption are the hallmarks of our present ecclesiastical crisis. The two most scandalous issues facing the Catholic Church of 2016 are the twin pillars of the capitulation to Lutheranism as witnessed by the pope’s pro-Luther statements at the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Lund, and the deconstruction of the Divine teaching on marriage, sexuality, family, and the Sacraments as launched by the synods of 2014 and 2015 and the exortation they led to: Amoris Laetitia.
And what of Francis? If Fr. Pinto — one of the pittbulls he has unleashed against the Four Cardinals — is a Freemason, does that tie Francis to the secret society? It is well known that Buenos Aires is a stronghold of Freemasonry in Latin America:
Freemasonry is no stranger to Argentina, as the society has been present here for more than 150 years and has in many ways helped shape its history. Many of the Argentine forefathers, including Jose de San Martín, Manuel Belgrano and Domingo F. Sarmiento were freemasons, as well as many Argentine presidents. There are currently 130 active Masonic lodges in Argentina, 60 of them in the city of Buenos Aires alone, and if you do a little research, you’ll find their symbology present on many buildings, monuments and even in cemeteries.
When I read this, my mind immediately called up an image of a captioned statement Francis made in a meeting with Fernando Solanas, an Argentine politician, environmentalist, and film director. During the filmed conversation, he quipped:
In a statement on the occasion of the bicentennary of Argentina’s independence, he explained further:
We are celebrating 200 years along the road of a homeland which, in its desires and anxieties for brotherhood, projects itself beyond the boundaries of this country towards the Greater Fatherland of which José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar dreamed. This reality unites us in a family of broad horizons and fraternal loyalty. That Greater Fatherland should also be included in our prayers during our celebrations — may the Lord look after it, making it stronger and more beautiful, defending it from every kind of colonization.
“Fraternal loyalty.” Sounds like something a good Mason would say. “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Solidarity.” Solidarity…
It’s probably nothing.
Although the notion of Fraternity and Fatherland appear in the Manifesto of the Freemasons.
Masonry preaches peace among men, and in the name of humanity proclaims the inviolability of human life.
Masonry curses all wars; it wails over civil wars.
It has the duty and the right to come among you and say: IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, IN THE NAME OF FRATERNITY, IN THE NAME OF THE DEVASTATED FATHERLAND, stop the spilling of blood. We ask this of you, we beg you to hear our appeal.
I’m not going to even to bother making the connection between “cursing all wars” and a certain someone who is always…cursing all wars.
It’s probably all just a coincidence.
Just like the fact that Francis was lauded by the Freemasons upon his election. The Masonic Press Agency (MPA) — self described as “the first structure providing Masonic news and information designated as such” — ran a story upon the election of Francis under the headline, “Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected Pope Francis I at 187 years since the issuance of Quo Graviora Papal Bull against Freemasonry“. The story itself is brief – just two paragraphs long – and it is simply noted without further explanation that his election took place 187 years to the day since Pope Leo XII issued the papal bull Quo Graviora against Freemasonry.
In two separate stories in the MPA upon the occasion of his election, we were given yet another glimpse of the odd acceptance of the secret society for Pope Francis. In one, we learn:
Grand Lodge of Argentina officially welcomed the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican. Argentinian Grand Master Angel Jorge Clavero considers that this appointment brought recognition to Argentine nation.
In the last week several Grand Lodges in Latin America, Europe and Asia (Lebanon) welcomed the election of the new Catholic Pope.
In the other, a stronger but more cryptic statement:
The Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy expressed his joy regarding the election of Pope Francis. Raffi stated that: “With the election of Pope Francis nothing will ever be the same again.” [emphasis in original]
A truer statement has likely not been issued by a Freemason since the publication of the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita. Maybe they got their man after all.
Correction: We originally reported Pio Vito Vinto’s title as “Father”; as Dean of the Roman Rota, his proper title is His Excellency, the Most Reverend Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto. We have corrected the story to reflect his proper title of “Monsignor”.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children.