Albert Pike vs. Leo XIII
The following comes from:
Alphonse Cerza, Anti-Masonry: Light on the Past and Present Opponents of Freemasonry (Fulton, MO: Ovid Bell Press, 1962; 410p.), appendices F & G, 253-295.
Pike is forceful and clear, incisive, and no anti-Mason is as clear. These two piece are in response to Pope Leo XIII’s Humanum Genus, the Catholic Church’s longest and most forceful anti-Mason document.
for more and the book—
Character Counts: Freemasonry U.S.A.’s National Treasure and
Source of Our Founding Fathers’ Original Intent
From the Allocution of the Grand Commander of the
Supreme Council of the 33d Degree for the
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.
Delivered in October, 1884, in Supreme Council.
This is a formal speech that preceded Pike’s written reply which follows
If the Encyclical Letter of Leo XIII., entitled, from its opening words, “HUMANUM GENUS,” had been nothing more than a denunciation of Freemasonry, I should not have thought it worth replying to. But under the guise of a condemnation of Freemasonry, and a recital of the enormities and immoralities of the Order, in some respects so absurdly false as to be ludicrous, notwithstanding its malignity, it proved upon perusal to be a declaration of war, and the signal for a crusade, against the rights of men individually and of communities of men as organisms; against the separation of Church and State, and the confinement of the Church within the limits of its legitimate functions; against education free from sectarian religious influences; against the civil policy of non-Catholic countries in regard to marriage and divorce; against the great doctrine upon which, as upon a rock not to be shaken, the foundations of our Republic rest, that “men are superior to institutions, and not institutions to men;” against the right of the people to depose oppressive, cruel and worthless rulers; against the exercise of the rights of free thought and free speech, and against, not only republican, but all constitutional government.
It was the signal for the outbreaking of an already organized conspiracy against the peace of the world, the progress of intellect, the emancipation of humanity, the immunity of human creatures from arrest, imprisonment, torture, and murder by arbitrary power, the right of men to the free pursuit of happiness. It was a declaration of war, arraying all faithful Catholics in the United States, not only against their fellow-citizens, the Brethren of the Order of Freemasons, but against the principles that are the very life-blood of the government of the people of which they were supposed to be a part, and not the members of Italian Colonies, docile and obedient subjects of a foreign Potentate, and of the Cardinals, European and American, his Princes of the Church.
Therefore, seeing it nowhere replied to in the English language in a manner that seemed to me worthy of Freemasonry, I undertook to answer it for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which has been ever prompt to vindicate itself from aspersion, and carry the war into the quarters of error. I did not propose to stand upon the defensive, protesting against the accusations of the Papal Bull, as unjust to the Freemasonry of the English-speaking countries of the world, pleading the irresponsibility of British and American Masonry for the acts or opinions of the Freemasonry of the Continent of Europe; nor was I inclined to apologize for the audacity of Free-masonry in daring to exist and to be on the side of the great principles of free government.
When the journal in London which speaks for the Freemasonry of the Grand Lodge of England, deprecatingly protested that the English Masonry was innocent of the charges preferred by the Papal Bull against Freemasonry as one and indivisible; when it declared that the English Freemasonry had no opinions, political or religious, and that it did not in the least degree sympathize with the loose opinions and extravagant utterances of part of the Continental Freemasonry, it was very justly and very conclusively checkmated by the Romish organs with the reply: “It is idle for you to protest. You are Freemasons, and you recognize them as Freemasons. You give them countenance, encouragement and support, and you are jointly responsible with them and cannot shirk that responsibility.”
And here is what is said by the Bishop of Ascalon, Vicar-Apostolic of Bombay, etc., in a pastoral letter promulgating the Bull:
“In the performance of their duty, the Parish Priests and Confessors must not admit as valid or reasonable the common excuse that Freemasonry in India and England aims at nothing but social amusement, mutual advancement, and charitable benevolence. Such objects require neither a terrible oath of secrecy nor an elaborate system and scale of numerous Degrees, nor a connection with the Masonic Lodges of other countries, about whose anti-Christian, anti-social, and revolutionary character and aim no doubt nor further concealment is possible. The Masonic Lodges all over the world are firmly knitted and bound together in solidarity. If all of them share in the pleasure of a triumph achieved by a particular Lodge, or by the Lodges of a particular country, all must likewise submit to the
stigma of an anti-Christian, anti-social, and revolutionary sect, as which Freemasonry is in many countries already openly known, and even unblushingly confessed by its own adepts.”
I was not willing that the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States should humiliate itself to as little purpose; nor was there any danger that it would do so.
The organs of our American Masonry were inclined to treat the Encyclical Letter as needing no reply, and to regard it with contemptuous indifference. In their opinion, it seemed, the lightnings of the Vatican were harmless, and the American Masonry would do a foolish thing to pay any attention to the Bull. It may be so; and I receive with due humility the admonition that to reply to it was to make much ado about nothing.
But the Freemasonry of the United States is not what it was in the days of the Fathers. While it has succeeded, obedient to the impulsion of Brother Richard Vaux, of Pennsylvania, and others, in pretty effectually isolating itself from the Masonry of the rest of the world, other Orders at home unceremoniously jostle it in the struggle for precedence, and it in vain appeals to its antiquity and former prestige to protect it against irreverence. Incalculable harm is being done by Bodies of base origin, whose agents traverse the country soliciting men to receive the counterfeit Degrees which they peddle, selling them by the score for ten or fifteen dollars to anyone who will buy, and conferring all in an hour or so, or by administering a single obligation. Rites without claim to be Masonic, teaching nothing worth nothing, flauntingly advertise their multitudes of Degrees, that are nothing but numbers and names; new Orders called Masonic spring up like mushrooms; and even the legitimate Masonry, held responsible for all these nuisances and vagaries, parades its uniforms and gewgaws, collars and jewels, too much in the public view, and has so gained popularity while losing its right to reverence.
Its complacent sense of security may be rudely disturbed by and by. It seems to me that an organized crusade against it by all the Roman Catholics in the United States, an anti-Masonic movement organized and directed by the Papacy, and engineered by Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals, is not a thing to be made light of by the American Masonry, treated with indifference and regarded with a lordly and sublime contempt. And it is very certain that its protestations that it has no political or religious opinions, and no sympathies with the revolutionary tendencies of the Masonry of the Con-
tinent, will neither placate the Papacy nor win for it respect any-where.
If, in other countries, Freemasonry has lost sight of the Ancient Landmarks, even tolerating communism and atheism, it is better to endure ten years of these evils than it would be to live a week under the devilish tyranny of the Inquisition and of the black soldiery of Loyola. Atheism is a dreary unbelief, but it at least does not persecute, torture, or roast men who believe that there is a God. Freemasonry will not long indulge in extravagances of opinion or action anywhere. It has within itself the energy and capacity to free itself in time of all errors; and he greatly belittles Humanity who proclaims it to be unsafe to let Error say what it will, if Truth is free to combat and confute it. But Freemasonry will effect its re-forms in its own proper way; and would not resort, if it could, not even to save itself from dissolution, to means like those which the Papacy has heretofore employed, and would gladly employ again to extirpate Judaism, Heresy and Freemasonry.
Nowhere in the world has Freemasonry ever conspired against any Government entitled to its obedience or to men’s respect. Wherever now there is a Constitutional Government which respects the rights of men and of the people and the public opinion of the world, it is the loyal supporter of that Government. It has never taken pay from armed Despotism, or abetted persecution. It has fostered no Borgias; no stranglers or starvers to death of other Popes, like Boniface VII.; no poisoners, like Alexander VI. and Paul III. It has no roll of beatified Inquisitors or other murderers; and it has never, in any country, been the enemy of the people, the suppressor of scientific truth, the stifler of the God-given right of free inquiry as to the great problems, intellectual and spiritual, presented by the Universe, the extorter of confession by the rack, the burner of women and of the exhumed bodies of the dead. It has never been the enemy of the human race, and the curse and dread of Christendom. Its patron Saints have always been St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and not Pedro Arbues d’Epila, Principal Inquisitor of Zaragoza, who, slain in 1485, was beatified by Alexander VII. in 1664.
It is not when the powers of the Papacy are concentrated to crush the Freemasonry of the Latin Kingdoms and Republics of the world, that the Masons of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the United States will, from any motive whatever, proclaim that they have no sympathy with the Masons of the Continent of Europe,
or with those of Mexico or of the South American Republics. If these fall into errors of practice or indulge in extravagances of dogma, we will dissent and remonstrate; but we will not forget that the Freemasonry of our Rite and of the French Rite, has always been the Apostle of Civil and Religious Liberty, and that the blood of Spanish and other Latin Freemasons has again and again glorified and sanctified the implements of torture, the scaffold and the stake, of the Papacy and the Inquisition.
Neither does Freemasonry any more execrate the atrocities of the Papacy than it does those of Henry VIII. of England and his daughter Elizabeth, the murder of Sir Thomas More and that of Servetus, and those of the Quakers put to death by bigotry in New England; than the cruel torturing and slaying of Covenanters and Non-Conformists, the ferocities of Claverhouse and Kirk, and the pitiless slaughtering of Catholic Priests by the revolutionary fury of France.
It well knows and cheerfully acknowledges the services which some of the Roman Pontiffs and a multitude of its clergy have in the past centuries rendered to Humanity. It has always done ample justice to their pure lives, their good deeds, their self-denial, their devotedness, their unostentatious heroism, as these have been eloquently and beautifully portrayed by Kenelm Henry Digby. It has always done full justice to the memories of the faithful and devoted Missionaries of the Order of Jesus and others, who bore the Cross into every barbarous land under the sun, to make known to savages the truths and errors taught by the Roman Church, and the simpler arts of civilization. It was never the unreasoning and insensate reviler of that Church, railing against it without measure or regard to justice and truth; nor could it be, remembering that not only Bayard and Du Guesclin, but Sir Henry More, Las Casas and Fenelon were loyal servants of it.
But also it has known to its cost that none of the pages of the History of the World are more full of frightful crimes and monstrous acts of cruel outrages than those of the Papacy of Rome; and it now knows, by the revival of the Bulls of Benedict and Clement, that the seeming moderation, mildness and liberality of opinion of that Church have been but a mask, which, being torn from its face, its intolerant, persecuting, cruel, inhuman spirit flames out as ferociously as ever from its bloody eyes.
It seems to have learned nothing, and to be incapable of learning anything, although a higher will and a sterner law than its own have made it powerless to burn heretics, whether men or women,
free-thinkers and Freemasons, at the stake, or to extort confessions of guilt by torture; and permit it no longer to persecute science as heresy and blasphemy.
For surely if the age of the Papacy had brought with it a larger measure of wisdom, as men were fondly hoping, the present Pope would not, at this age of the world, have ordered every Catholic in every Republic in the world to become not only disloyal to but the irreconcilable enemy of the Government under which he lives.
Nor would the present Pope have re-enacted and made his own the Bulls of Benedict and Clement, or have pronounced against Catholics who persist in continuing to be Freemasons, all the lesser and greater penalties ever prescribed by any of his predecessors. For (not to multiply appalling instances) he cannot be ignorant that, at the first auto da fe, (“Act of the Faith”) celebrated at Valladolid in Spain, on the 21st of May, 1559, and at the second even more solemn one, held in the same city in the presence of Philip II. himself, his son and sister, the Prince of Parma, and many Grandees and Nobles of Spain and high ladies of the Court and country, there were strangled and then burned, for the unpardonable sin of having be-come convinced of the truth of, and therefore having embraced, some of the opinions of Martin Luther, Dona Beatrix de Vibero Cazalla and nine other women, in presence of the audience; and at the first, the body of Dona Eleonora de Vibero (who had been interred as a Catholic, without suspicion ever having been raised as to her orthodoxy, and when she had, in her last sickness, taken all the sacraments), having been exhumed, was borne to the pyre on a bier, adorned with a San Benito of flames, the pasteboard mitre on its head, and so burned. Upon the confession extracted from some prisoners under the tortures, or by threats of torture, the Fiscal of the Inquisition had accused her, after her burial, of Lutheranism for permitting her home to be used for Lutheran assemblings; whereupon she was adjudged by the beloved Tribunal of the Papacy to have died in heresy, her memory was condemned to infamy en-tailed on her posterity, and her property confiscated, her body ordered to be exhumed and burned, her house razed to the ground and forbidden to be rebuilded and a monument was ordered to be set up on the site with an inscription relating to this event.
Even the impudence of a Roman Catholic journalist will hardly venture to stigmatize this as false. It is related by Juan Antonio Llorente, in his “Critical History of the Inquisition in Spain,” de-rived from original documents in the archives of the Supreme Tri-
bunal and those of the Subterranean Tribunals of the Holy Office: from which came the statements contained in our “Reply” of the number of victims butchered by Torquemada and his successors. Llorente was ex-Secretary of the Inquisition of the Court, Canon of the Primatical Church of Toledo, Chancellor of the University of that city, Knight of the Order of Charles III., and member of the Royal Academies of History and of the Spanish Language at Madrid.
“All these dispositions” (of the judgment against the dead woman Eleonora) “were executed,” Llorente says: “I have seen the place, the column and the inscriptions. It is stated that this monument of human ferocity against the dead was demolished in 1809.”
But at these auto de fes the Archbishops and Bishops, clergy, nobles, and ladies present were not entirely deprived of the expected luxury and pleasure of seeing human creatures burned alive. At the first, Francisco de Vibero Cazalla and the Licentiate Antonio Herrezuelo, and at the second, Don Carlos de Seso and Juan Sanchez, were roasted alive for the mortal sin of Lutheranism. Of a score or two of suspected Lutherans and others, not burned alive, or strangled and then burned, all the property they possessed was confiscated to the uses of the Holy Office, a method of enriching itself which it had then pursued with great diligence, by continual confiscations, for eighty years, and yet was not weary.
At the second, Dona Marina de Guevara, a Nun, accused of Lutheranism, suffered. The Supreme Tribunal decreed that she was guilty, and had incurred the penalty of the greater excommunication and “remitted” her “to the judicial power and to the secular arm” of the Corregidor and his Lieutenant, “to whom,” the judgment said, “we recommend to treat her with kindness and pity,” that Tribunal knowing that sentence of death must inevitably and necessarily follow, and that its own judgment was really the death sentence. If the Corregidor had dared to mitigate the penalty, he would himself have felt fastened into his flesh the sharp and venomous fangs of the Inquisition, for he would have proven himself a favourer of heretics. What a hideous formula was that recommendation to kindness and pity! “It is impossible,” Llorente says, “to impose on God by formulas contrary to the secret dispositions of the heart.”
“Since the Inquisition was established,” Llorente wrote in 1817, “there has hardly been a man celebrated for his knowledge who has not been persecuted as a heretic;” and he gives a formidable list of
those who suffered in their liberty, honour and fortune “because they would not shamefully adopt scholastic opinions or erroneous systems born in the ages of ignorance and of barbarism.”
Certainly the restoration of this convenient instrument of the Apostolic See, which acts on anonymous denunciations, takes testimony ex parte upon such denunciations, and convicts on suspicions, and confessions extorted by an admirable variety of tortures, and even upon persistent refusals to confess, is not impossible; because, on the 21st of July, 1814, Ferdinand VII. re-established it in Spain, after Bonaparte had suppressed it in 1808, and the Cortes-General Extraordinary of Spain had done the same on the 12th of February, 1813.*
The time may even come again, if Constitutional Government can be destroyed by the Papacy in Spain, Portugal or Italy, when that may happen to a Freemason, which happened to Gaspardo de Santa Cruz and his son under Ferdinand and Isabella, about the year 1487. The father had taken refuge at Toulouse, in France, where he died, after he had been burned in effigy at Zaragoza. One of his sons was arrested by order of the Inquisitors for having aided the escape of his father. He underwent the punishment of the public auto da fe, and was condemned to take a copy of the judgment rendered against his father, to go to Toulouse and present this copy to the Dominicans, demanding that his father’s body should be exhumed and burned; and, finally, to return to Zaragoza and make report to the Inquisitors of the execution of the sentence. And to this shameful, revolting, and monstrous judgment he submitted without murmuring, and executed it.
In 1524 (Charles V. being then Emperor of the Romans) there was put up, in the Inquisition at Sevilla, by the Licentiate de la
Cueva, by the order and at the cost of the Emperor, an inscription in Latin, composed by Diego de Cortegana, by which it was stated that, from the time of the establishment of the Inquisition there, in 1485, under the Pontificate of Sextus IV. and during the reign of Ferdinand V. and Isabella, until 1524, “more than two thousand persons obstinate in heresy had been delivered to the flames, after having been judged conformably to law, with the approbation and favour of Innocent VIII., Alexander VI., Pius III., Julius II., Leo X., Adrian VI., and Clement VII.”
The Church of Rome had prepared and matured all its plans of campaign against liberal institutions and Constitutional Government, carefully, thoroughly, and comprehensively, before the Encyclical Letter “Humanum Genus” gave the signal for opening the campaign and commencing the new crusade, to endanger the peace of the world, foment anarchy, and initiate a new era of violence and murder. A clerical victory at the elections in Belgium has been followed by the enactment of a law destructive of the common-school system, and placing education under the control of the Priests and Jesuits. It will not disturb the Pope or his Cardinal-Princes if civil war results, as now seems probable, if thousands of lives are sacrificed, if the King loses his throne, and the Kingdom of Belgium is obliterated. In Spain the Romish clergy have set on foot a demonstration in every Church throughout the realm in favour of the temporal power of the Pope; and if Alfonso does not place himself unreservedly in the hands and at the bidding of the Church, revolutionary movements against his throne, already beginning to appear in the north of Spain, will be fomented. The Pope promulgates an Encyclical Letter against the adoption of a new law of divorce by the legislative power of France, and instructs the Bishops to annul it so far as they may find it possible. And we may look for disturbances in Mexico and the South American States, fomented by the Priesthood in obedience to the orders issued from the Vatican against Freemasons and Constitutional Government.
By Papal Brief of January 17, 1750, the Father Joseph Torrubia, Pro-Censor and Reviser of the Inquisition, was authorized to pro-cure initiation into Masonry, to take all the oaths that might be required of him, and to use every means possible to acquire the most complete knowledge of the membership of the Freemasonry of Spain; and in March, 1751, the Father Tottubia, having taken with-out sinfulness the oaths required, and been initiated, put into the hands of the Grand Inquisitor the ninety-seven lists of membership
of the ninety-seven Lodges at that time in activity in Spain: upon which, on the 2d of July, 1751, the King Ferdinand VI. decreed the complete suppression of the Masonic Order, and prescribed the punishment of death, without any form of preliminary procedure, against all who should be convicted of belonging to it.
Undoubtedly Pope Leo XIII. would consider it laudable for any good Catholic now, if need were, to imitate the example of the Father Joseph Torrubia; and entirely proper for himself to grant such a brief as was granted to that worthy Father; although all honest men ought to regard such a service as base and infamous, and consider perjury and betrayal of confidence to be virtues only in the eyes of the Church and not in those of God.
But his Apostolic Holiness has graciously permitted that during one year, those who in obedience to his orders renounce Masonry, shall not be required to divulge the names of their superiors in the Order;—not because to do so would be unutterable baseness, but because it is politic, as likely to induce many to renounce the Order, who would not be willing to do that and at the same time become faithless and perjured scoundrels.
While inciting the fanatical and venal instruments of his Priest-hood against Freemasonry and Constitutional Government, the Pope omits nothing to make more effectual his edict of Excommunication. It is necessary to give assurance to those who may help in the good work of exterminating Freemasonry, overturning Constitutional Government, and re-enslaving intellects, souls and science, of immunity, if not in this world, then certainly in the next, for all the outrages, villainies and crimes that they may commit.
Accordingly the Pope embraces the present occasion, while he is causing disturbances in Belgium, Spain, Mexico and Italy, to issue his proclamation, as Spiritual Autocrat of the whole world, panoplied with all the powers of the Almighty God, by which he plenarily pardons all the sins of a great number of the faithful, neither knowing nor caring what the enormity of those sins may be.
The paragraphs which follow, taken from a translation in the Catholic Examiner of Brooklyn, of the Encyclical Letter of Leo XIII., of August 30, 1884, “setting apart October as a month of prayer to the Mother of God,” will show that we do not misunderstand the use to which the Pope puts his plenary indulgences. The italics are ours:
“For it is, indeed, an arduous and exceedingly weighty matter that is now in hand; it is to humiliate an old and most subtle enemy in the
spread-out array of his power; to win back the freedom of the Church and of her Head; to preserve and secure the fortifications within which should rest in peace the safety and weal of human society.
* * * * * *
“That the heavenly treasures of the Church may be thrown open to all, we hereby renew every indulgence granted by us last year. To all those, therefore, who shall have assisted on the prescribed days at the public recital of the Rosary, and have prayed for our intentions; to all those, also, who from legitimate causes shall have been compelled to do so in private, we grant for each occasion an indulgence of seven years and seven times forty days. To those who, in the prescribed space of time, shall have performed these devotions at least ten times—either publicly in the churches or from just causes in the privacy of their homes—and shall have expiated their sins by confession and have received communion at the altar, we grant from the treasury of the Church a plenary indulgence. We also grant this full forgiveness of sins and plenary remission of punishment to all those who, either on the feast-day itself of our Blessed Lady of the Rosary, or on any day within the subsequent eight days, shall have washed the stains from their souls and have holily partaken of the Divine banquet, and shall have also prayed in any church to God and His holy Mother for our intentions.”
What these “intentions” are, the Letter HUMANUM GENUS does not permit the world to doubt. And in the latest Encyclical Letter, granting absolutions in advance, they are expressed in this sentence:
“May our Heavenly Patroness, invoked by us through the Rosary, graciously be with us and obtain that, all disagreements of opinion being removed and Christianity restored through the world, we may obtain from God the wished for peace in the Church.”
It is also proclaimed that another letter is about to be issued which will cause a profound sensation in the Catholic world, in which the Pope is to expound to his vassals his opinions in regard to civil government. He cannot make them much more plain than he has already made them; but it is not probable that his lofty intentions will be in any degree abated. He has already proclaimed war against Protestantism, free education, and constitutional restraints upon arbitrary power; and he will continue to do so more and more emphatically and offensively, until not only the rulers of Protestant countries, but all, wherever constitutional government exists, will find themselves compelled to declare the Papacy the malignant disturber of the peace of the world, and to unite in measures to curb its arrogance and deprive it of the power of making mischief and of its cherished prerogative of being the curse and the terror of the world.
Freemasonry makes no war upon the Roman Catholic religion. To do this is impossible for it, because it has never ceased to pro-claim its cardinal tenets to be the most perfect and absolute equality of right of free opinion in matters of faith and creed. It denies the right of one Faith to tolerate another. To tolerate is to permit; and to permit is to refrain from prohibiting or preventing; and so a right to tolerate would imply a right to forbid. If there be a right to tolerate, every Faith has it alike. One is in no wise, in the eye of Masonry, superior to the other, and of two opposing faiths each can-not be superior to the other, nor can each tolerate the other.
Rome does claim the right to prohibit, precisely now as she al-ways did. She is never tolerant except upon compulsion. And Masonry, having nothing to say as to her religious tenets denies her right to interfere with the free exercise of opinion.
It will be said that the English-speaking Freemasonry will not receive Catholics into its bosom. That is not true. It will not receive Jesuits, because no oath that it can administer would bind the conscience of a Jesuit; and it refuses also to receive Atheists; not denying their perfect right to be atheists, but declining to accept them for associates, because Masonry recognizes a Supreme Will, Wisdom and Power, a God, Who is a protecting Providence and to Whom it is not folly to pray, and Who has not made persecution a religious duty, nor savage cruelty and blood-guiltiness a passport to Paradise.
A REPLY OF
FREEMASONRY IN BEHALF OF HUMANITY
TO THE ENCYCLICAL LETTER “HUMANUM GENUS”
OF THE POPE LEO XIII.
FROM THE GRAND ORIENT OF CHARLESTON IN THE STATE
THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE 33D DEGREE OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, FOR THE SOUTHERN JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
BY THE GRAND COMMANDER:
To the Brethren of our Obedience throughout all our Jurisdiction:
It is known unto you that Leo XIII., at present the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, claiming to be the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, infallible, and the Vicegerent of God, has lately issued an Encyclical Letter to the Catholic World, to be known hereafter, from the words with which it begins, as the Letter HUMANUM GENUS, in calumnius denunciation of Freemasonry and Freemasons.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which, a century and more ago, accepted the Apostolate of Civil and Religious Liberty, and hath, since then, not faltered in its purpose of making these as common among men as light and air, has not thought it necessary to be in haste, here in the United States, to make reply to the Bull of Excommunication of the Roman Pontiff; because it finds, in the Letter itself, the most sufficient proof that it does not need to feel any fear for the results of the long controversy
which, forced by the Church of Rome, by its Jesuit soldiery and by its bloody and ferocious Tribunals of the Holy Office, on long-suffering Humanity, has brought upon itself signal discomfiture, with immense loss of temporal and spiritual power.
Least of all will it, now or at any time, or anywhere, seek to conciliate the Church of Rome, or to plead in avoidance of its denunciations, that it does not in any wise intermeddle or concern itself with questions of civil government or religion. It leaves that to those Bodies and Journals, to which it may seem advisable or expedient, reminding them that it long ago said to them this, which it may now be profitable for them to ponder upon:
“In this Freemasonry we do not disclaim all the attributes that once distinguished the Order, except a portion of its morality; nor protest against the suspicion that it has a political and religious creed, as though it were an accusation of crime. It is not a negative but a positive Institution, that does not rely upon the insignificance of its objects to make it sufficiently contemptible not to excite the fears of Emperors and Kings. The sedulous disclaimer by English and German Masonry, and very recently by that of France, of all pretence to religious or political principle, has not averted the thunderbolts of the Vatican, and the humiliation has, so far, been fruitless.”
But it is the right of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Freemasonry to make answer if it sees fit, and to carry the war into the quarters of error, however willing it might be to leave the Encyclical Letter to have its effect, and work to the Church of Rome all the harm it may, without comment. It neither fears the Pontiff, nor concerns itself about his vituperations; and it could do itself, and the great cause in which it is enlisted, sufficient service, perhaps, by republishing the Letter, and giving to it as wide publicity as possible.
We will probably do that hereafter; as we have already, some years ago, published in full translations of the equally formidable Bulls of the Predecessors, Clement and Benedict, of the present Pope. Neither should we be concerned if it were to be thought, by the outside world, in case we should remain silent, that our Freemasonry is afraid to reply, or feels that it cannot efficiently defend itself. But, as it seems to be considered by many of you, our very dear Brethren, that we ought to make answer for you, we willingly undertake to do so, for ourselves and you, and for our Freemasonry, so far as we may have authority to speak for it.
In doing this we shall not set forth the whole Letter, nor quote
from it at very great length; but only so far as it may be necessary to set its words forth, to enable you and others who may read what we write, to see against what it in reality is that the Church of Rome launches its no longer formidable lightnings.
In its long war against Humanity and human progress, against Science and Civilization, and against the truth of God revealed in Nature, the Roman Church has been greatly shorn of power and influence, until it has become but the feeble effigy of what it was in 1483, when it made Tomas Torquemada Inquisitor of the Faith in Spain, and in the eighteen years of that Official’s rule burned at the stake in that Kingdom eight thousand eight hundred Hebrews and Heretics.
But the Pope is still a great religious Potentate, wielding an immense influence, especially over ignorance, throughout a large part of Christendom, with an army of over 11,000 Jesuit Fathers, Professors and Coadjutors, of whom there are nearly 2,000 Fathers in England and the United States. While Freemasonry has never feared, it has never undervalued its mighty antagonist, and it does not under-estimate him now, although it listens with equanimity to these words, with which his Letter begins:
“THE HUMAN RACE, after its most miserable defection, through the wiles of the Devil, from its Creator, God, the giver of celestial gifts, has divided into two different and opposite factions; of which one fights ever for truth and virtue, the other for their opposites. One is the Kingdom of God on earth, the true Church of Jesus Christ, . . . the other is the Kingdom of Satan. . . . But at this time those who support the worst faction seem all to be conspiring and striving most vigorously, led and aided by what is called Freemasonry, a society of men most widely spread and firmly established. For now in no way concealing their designs, they are rousing themselves most boldly against the power of God; undisguisedly and openly they are planning destruction for the Holy Church, and they do so with this intention—that they may, if it be possible, completely despoil Christian Nations of the benefits obtained through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
“In so pressing a danger, in so monstrous and obstinate an attack on Christianity, it is Our duty to indicate the peril, to point out Our adversaries, and as far as we can to resist their plans and designs, that those whose safety has been entrusted to Us may not perish everlastingly: and that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which We have received to protect, not only may stand and remain unimpaired, but may even be increased throughout the world.”
This is clearly a manifesto against every other Church, calling itself “Christian,” than the Roman-Catholic Church, as no part of
“the Kingdom of God upon Earth,” of “the true Church of Jesus Christ;” as in no wise dispensing among men “the benefits obtained through Jesus Christ our Savior.” The Pope has alone received “the Kingdom of Jesus Christ” to protect. All so-called “Christianity,” except the Roman Church, is “the Kingdom of Satan.” Thus this Letter is the shrill and discordant war-cry of Intolerance and of “death to Heresy,” sounded from the summit of the Vatican, and echoing and re-echoing over the world.
“Therefore, whatsoever the Popes our Predecessors have decreed to hinder the designs and attempts of the Sect of Freemasons; whatsoever they have ordained to deter or recall persons from Societies of this kind, each and all we do ratify and confirm by our Apostolic Authority.”
And these are specially stated to be, the Bull In Eminenti of Clement XII., dated 27th April, 1738, confirmed and renewed by that beginning Providas of Benedict XIV., 17th of May, 1751; the Edict of Pius VII., in 1821, and the Apostolic Edict Quo Graviora of Leo XII., in 1825; with those of Pius VII., in 1829, Gregory XVI., in 1832, and Pius IX., in 1846, 1865, etc.
The title of the Bull IN EMINENTI of Clement XII. is “Condemnatio Societatis seu Conventiculorum de Liberi Muratori, seu the Freemasons, under the penalty ipso facto incurred, of excommunication; absolution from it, except in articulo mortis, being reserved to the Supreme Pontiff.”
Let us give the exact language, translated, of the closing sentences of this celebrated Bull. It will sound strangely, even to Catholics, at this day; but their Spiritual Sovereign has, by plenarily confirming and re-enacting it, made it a part, in the very words, of his Letter Encyclical:
“We will, moreover, and command, that as well Bishops and Superior Prelates, and other Ordinaries of particular places, AS THE INQUISITORS OF HERETICAL PRAVITY UNIVERSALLY DEPUTED, of what State, degree, condition, Order, dignity or pre-eminence soever, PROCEED and INQUIRE, and RESTRAIN and COERCE the same, AS VEHEMENTLY SUSPECTED OF HERESY, WITH CONDIGN PUNISHMENT; for to them and each of them we hereby give and impart free power of PROCEEDING, INQUIRING AGAINST, and of COERCING and RESTRAINING WITH CONDIGN PUNISHMENTS, the same transgressors; AND OF CALLING IN, IF IT SHALL BE NECESSARY, THE
HELP OF THE SECULAR ARM.... Let no one, therefore, infringe, or by rash attempt contradict, this page of our Declaration, Condemnation, Command, Prohibition and Interdict; but if any one shall presume to at-tempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”
The Bull of Benedict XIV., “By which,” the title reads, “certain Societies or Conventicles, de Liberi Muratori seu the Freemasons, or otherwise called, iterum damnantur et prohibentur, with invocations of the arm and aid of the Secular Princes and Powers,” was issued to remove doubts whether the penalty of excommunication ipso facto pronounced by Clement, was still in full force, not having yet been confirmed by Benedict. It prescribed how absolution might be obtained by penitents renouncing Masonry; but incited the competent judges and tribunals to proceed with renewed activity against the violators of that Constitution of Clement, and he confirmed it in its very words, inserting it in full in this his own Bull.
And he specially declared that “among the gravest causes of the aforesaid prohibition and damnation, one is, that in such Societies and Conventicles, men of any Religion and Sect whatsoever do consociate; whereby it sufficiently appears that great mischief to the purity of the Catholic religion may arise.”
The Archbishop of Avignon, publishing this Bull on the 22d of July, 1751, to the Clergy and Faithful of his Diocese, required all Freemasons therein to renounce the Order, addressing themselves to him or to the Father Inquisitor or one of the Vicars-General; and specially commanded, on penalty of excommunication, those having possession of a certain manuscript-book, containing the regulations of the Order, and the signatures of those admitted into it, to place it, as soon as possible, in his hands, or those of the Inquisitor; and anyone knowing where it was, to give information thereof. And he said, “If anyone, which God forbid! is blind and hardened enough to still persist in these societies named Freemasons, or called by any other name, let him know that we will proceed against him as suspected of heresy, according to the full rigour of the law.”
The ratification and full confirmation of everything in these Bulls of Clement and Benedict, formally excommunicates ipso facto every Freemason in the world; and, so far as the Pope can do it, releases the people of Germany and Brazil from their allegiance to their Emperors, and those of Sweden and Norway and the Netherlands from their allegiance to their Kings; and, when the Prince of Wales shall become King, will release every Catholic in Great Britain and its colonies from their allegiance.
How fully these excommunications ipso facto, and references of cases, as of heretical pravity, to the Inquisition, with power to call on the Secular arm, and light again the fire of Hell on earth at new Autos da Fe, are re-enacted by the new Bull HUMANUM GENUS, will fully appear from the words which we next quote:
“Seeing then that the purpose and nature of Freemasonry has been discovered from the clear evidence of facts, from the knowledge of its causes, from the publication of its laws, rites and documents, and from the confirmatory testimony of those who had part in it, this Apostolic See has declared and clearly proclaimed that the Sect of Freemasons, established against law and right, is dangerous no less to Christianity than to the State, and has proclaimed and ordered, UNDER THE HEAVIER PENALTIES USED BY THE CHURCH AGAINST THE GUILTY, that no one should be enrolled in that Society.”
“And this action of the Pope seemed to be entirely approved by many Princes and rulers WHOSE CARE IT WAS EITHER TO PROCEED AGAINST THE MASONIC SOCIETY BEFORE THE APOSTOLIC SEE, Or of themselves to condemn them to punishment, by laws passed for this purpose, as in Holland, Austria, Switzerland, SPAIN, Bavaria, Savoy, and other parts of Italy.”
“Proceeding against it before the Apostolic See”—that is, making their subjects victims of the merciless and remorseless Inquisition, in Portugal. “Or by laws passed by themselves, to condemn them to punishment,” like that of Ferdinand VII. of Spain, of August 1, 1824—a decree expedited condemning to death all Freemasons who should not declare themselves such within thirty days; after which time all were to be hung within twenty-four hours, without other form of trial, who might be recognized as Freemasons, not having so declared themselves.
The Masons of France do not forget that, soon after the Bull In Eminenti issued (of April 27, 1738), a French writer on Freemasonry was burned to death at Rome; nor those of Portugal the memorable Bull of 1st September, 1774, which proclaimed and eulogized the services rendered to the Papacy in Portugal, since 1732; viz., that there had been made to do penance in public Autos 23,068 persons; that 1,415 had been burned; that 2,000 had been thrown into the Tagus, and more than that number had died in prison; nor those of Spain, that Riego was brutally put to death at Madrid, Palacios at Cadiz, Galvez at Granada, and others in Sevilla and Barcelona, for the sole offense of being Masons.
In 1737, Clement XII. issued an Allocution authorizing the mission of an Inquisitor to Leghorn, because a Lodge there was said to receive Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews.
It is the crowning glory of Freemasonry that, requiring only that a Candidate shall believe and put his trust in a living and personal God, a beneficent and protecting Providence, to whom it is not folly to pray; and shall believe in the continued existence of the Soul of man after the death of the body, it receives into its Lodges the
Christian of every sect, the Hebrew, the Moslem and the Parsee, and unites them in the holy bonds of Brotherhood.
In the eye of the Papacy, it is a crime to belong to an Order which is thus constituted; and this the Letter of the Pope Leo (successor of “Divus Alexander VI., Iste Deus”)* preaches to Catholics living in a Republic, the very cornerstone of which is religious toleration, and which was peopled in large measure, at first, by Puritans, Quakers, Church-of-England-men and Huguenots.
“Under the heavier penalties used by the Church against the guilty.” Yea, under the heaviest; to which, if that Church could do it, it would again resort today. We have seen a Catholic Ultramontane Archbishop in Brazil, within a few years, excommunicate all the Freemasons in his jurisdiction; forbid the administration of the Last Sacraments to Masons dying; forbid their burial in consecrated ground; forbid the Priests to solemnize the Rites of Marriage between a Freemason and any woman, and so compel the Parliament of that Catholic country to make lawful a marriage solemnized by a civil magistrate.
We know what these heavier penalties of the Church were. They are the same as when, at Toledo, in 1486, twenty-seven persons were burned by the Inquisition, chiefly for being Hebrews; and at Sevilla, in 1481, 2,000, for the same crime—two thousand human beings, roasted to death by slow fires, assassinated in the name of a religion of peace;—the same as when, in Spain, from 1481 to 1498, Torquemada burned eight thousand eight hundred men and women;—as when his successor, the Dominican Friar Diego Deza, successively Bishop of Samoa, Salamanca, Jaen and Palencia, and Archbishop of Sevilla, in eight years, from 1498 to 1506, burned 1,664;—as when his successor, the most celebrated Archbishop of Toledo, Cisneros, a Franciscan Brother, from 1507 to 1517, burned 2,536;—as when the Cardinal Adriano, Bishop of Tortosa, succeeding Cisneros as Inquisitor-General, from 1518 to 1522, burned 1,344; —as when the Cardinal Alonso Manrique, Archbishop of Sevilla,
succeeding him, from 1523 to 1538, burned 2,250;—as when Taveda, Archbishop of Toledo, succeeding Manrique in 1539, and dying in 1545, burned alive 840;—as when Cardinal Loaisa, General of the Dominicans, Confessor of Charles V., Commissary-General of the Crusade and Archbishop of Sevilla, from the 15th of February, 1546, to the 22nd of April in the same year, burned 120;—as when his successor Fernando Valdes, Archbishop of Sevilla, from 1547 to 1566, burned 2,400;—as when, from 1566 to 1572, Cardinal Espinosa burned 720; and from 1572 to 1594, Pedro de Cordova Ponce de Liano, Bishop of Badajoz, Inquisitor-General, burned 2,816; and Jeronimo de Lara, Bishop of Cartagena, in a few months, 128; and Pedro Portocarrero, Bishop of Cuenca, Inquisitor-General from 1596 to 1599, burned 184; and Fernando Nino de Guevara, from 1599 to 1602, burned 240; and Juan de Zuniga, Bishop of Cartagena, in a few months, 80; and Juan Baptista de Azevedo, from 1603 to 1607, 400;—as when, from 1643 to 1665, the Inquisitor-General Diego Arce y Reinoso burned 1,422; and Diego Sarmiento de Valla‑
VATICINIUM VATICANI IMPERII;
on another part of it,
ALEX. VI. PONT. MAX.;
and on another,
DIVI ALEXANDRI MAGNI CORONATIO.
And on another arch were inscribed the lines, composed by the Protonotary Angello,
“CAESARE MAGNA FUIT, NUNC ROMA EST MAXIMA, SEXTUS
REGNAT ALEXANDER, ILLE VIR, ISTE DEUS;”
“By CAESAR ROME WAS GREAT, BUT NOW IS GREATEST:
REIGNS ALEXANDER SIXTH: THE FORMER WAS A MAN, THE LATTER IS GOD.”
In another verse, it was written,
SCIT VENISSE SUUM PATRIA GRATA JOVEM:
THE GRATEFUL COUNTRY KNOWS ITS JOVE HAS COME;
INVICTOQUE JOVI EST CURA PRIMUS HONOR,
To THE UNCONQUERED JOVE PROTECTION IS THE CHIEFEST HONOUR.
Another verse was,
LIBERTAS, PIA JUSTITIA, ET PAX AUREA, OPES, QUAE
SUNT TIBI, ROMA, NOVUS FUIT DEUS ISTE TIBI.
LIBERTY, PIOUS JUSTICE, GOLDEN PEACE, THE LARGESSES
WHICH ROME! ARE THINE, THIS NEW GOD BRINGS TO THEE.
dares, from 1669 to 1699, burned 1,248;—as when, from 1699 to 1720, 884 were burned; and from 1720 to 1733, by the Inquisitor-General Juan de Camargo, 442; 238 from 1733 to 1740; 136 from 1742 to 1745; 10 from 1746 to 1759, and 4 from 1750 to 1783.
As when, in all, from 1481 to 1783, besides the thousands upon thousands murdered by the Inquisition in other ways, thirty-four thousand six hundred and fifty-six men and women were burned to death, in Spain alone; and 304,451 endured other heavy punishments. What a Devil’s Carnival, of the Church that so hates Free-masonry!
Civilized Humanity was successfully endeavoring to forget these and a thousand other atrocities of savage mercilessness that seem to those who have not read history to be incredible and monstrous fictions. It was beginning to believe that the Church, which had during three hundred long years resorted to and availed itself of the methods and practices of its creature, the Holy Office, or Inquisition, had become humanized and enlightened, by the beautiful influences of Science and an immensely larger knowledge of Humanity and of God, acquired by studying the great Book of Nature, His first and absolutely authentic Revelation of Himself. It was believed that the Papal Despotism, Vicegerency of God in its own estimation, would not today, if it had the power, imprison or torture an observer of nature who should deny that, at the command of Joshua, in order to enable the Israelites to slaughter the Amorites satisfactorily, the Sun stood still upon Gideon in the midst of Heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day, and the Moon stayed in the Valley of Ajalon. It was not believed that it would now, if it could, visit with “the heavier penalties” a physician who might doubt whether, when Christ abode on earth, Devils found homes somewhere in the interiors of men, and when compelled to vacate these homes, sought new abodes in the swine, grubbing for roots in the arid soil of Galilee.
It was believed that the Church Infallible had at least tacitly relinquished some of the gross absurdities of its old beliefs, errors and fallacies contradicted and exploded by the revelation of the Creator Himself, made known to men by His hand-maidens, Geology and Palaeontology, Chemistry, Astronomy and Dynamics. It was not supposed that, if it still had the power, the Church of Rome would today sentence Darwin and his disciples even to march in procession in an Auto da Fe grotesquely clad as heretics, much less burn them alive, as it would with great rejoicing have done three centuries ago.
It was believed that the Pope looked with at least tolerant and indulgent eyes upon the people of the great Protestant Kingdoms and Countries, upon the Clergy and Laity of other denominations of Christians, upon even such Hebrews as Sir Moses Montefiore; felt that the Turk, the Moor, the Parsee or the Hebrew was entitled to somewhat more merciful consideration and greater immunity from torture and mutilation than the dog, the wolf, or the hyena; and no longer considered it to be contrary to the law of God for men to insist upon imposing constitutional restrictions upon Autocracies and Despotisms, and for the people to demand to have a voice in the making of laws.
We, here in the United States, fondly believe in the entente cordiale between our constitutional Republicanism and the humanized Church of Rome. Free of all apprehension of danger from its ambition, slow to believe that it would gladly, if it could, turn back the hands upon the dial of Time, rob Humanity here of all the civil, political and religious rights which it has acquired in the long and bloody struggle of ages against its murderous oppressors, and put in force from ocean to ocean and from the Arctic Seas to the Gulf of Mexico the ferocious regime of Loyola and Torquemada, we looked with indifference on its acquisition everywhere of property of immense value, free from taxation, on its creation here of Princes of the Church, on its energetic proselytism, and on its stealthy approaches to power.
There has never been, in this country, any opposition on the part of Freemasonry to Catholicism as a religion. One great and cardinal principal of our Order being Toleration, perfect and absolute, the right of every man to worship God in accordance with the convictions of his own conscience, we have not even felt indignation when the educational establishments of Catholicism have made priests of our sons, and devotees or nuns of our daughters. With a hundred thousand members of the Roman Catholic faith in its Lodges, in the various Latin countries of the world, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite could have no dislike to Catholicism as a religion. It has only denied its right to compel men to profess a belief in what it might, in its pretended infallibility, decree to be religious truth, and to persecute with rack and fagot, or otherwise, and grill and roast alive those who do not consent to believe that which they can-not believe.
Freemasonry here has not been willing to think that the Head of the oldest and greatest of Christian Churches, successor of the pen-
niless Galilean Fisherman Peter, dreamed of renewing and reviving against the Order throughout the whole world, the Bulls of his predecessors Clement and Benedict, and of excommunicating and declaring subject to the heavier penalties of the Church the Emperor and Crown Prince of Germany, Masons and Patrons of Masonry; the Crown Princes of the Netherlands, of Denmark, and of Great Britain, and the King of Sweden and Norway, Grand Masters of Masons; the Emperor of Brazil, member of the Supreme Council of that Empire; the President and ex-President of Mexico, the ex-President of Honduras, the President of Venezuela, Sagasta, Prime Minister, and ex-Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Spain, with hundreds upon hundreds of the great wise men of the age in every civilized country in the world. For, by thus reviving and con-firming all the enactments of his predecessors, it is decreed that the Inquisition, if its existence and power can be restored, will have the power and right, and find it to be its duty, to cause to be dug up and burned in an Auto da Fe (as it has in its days of power and irresponsibility done by its sentences with the mortal remains of relapsed Jews and heretics), the bones of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, of Chief Magistrates of Republics, of great Princes and immortal Patriots, of Riego and Juarez, of Garfield and Garibaldi and Washington.
But suddenly the ghastly spectre of a hideous and frightful Past stands in the twilight after the red sunset of the Papacy, upon the summit of the Vatican, and cries out this baleful proclamation to a startled world:
“For this reason, when We first came to the helm of the Church, We saw and plainly felt that, so far as was possible, We ought to resist this enormous evil by the opposition of our authority. Having often obtained a favourable opportunity, We have attacked the chief heads of the doctrines into which the perversity of Masonic opinions seemed especially to have entered. . . . Moreover, by the Letter beginning `Diuturnum,’ we have marked out and set forth a form of political power in accordance with the principles of Christian wisdom, wonderfully coherent both with the nature of things, and with the safety of Peoples and Princes. Now, there-fore, by the example of our predecessors we have decided to proceed directly against the Masonic Society itself, against their whole teaching, their plans and habit of thought and act, so that the poisonous strength of that Sect may be more and more brought to light, and that this may avail to check the contagion of the dangerous plague.”
Thus this letter, beginning “Humanum Genus,” The Human Race, is not only an open declaration against Freemasonry, unex‑
pected, but not unwelcome; but it is, as will be more fully seen as we proceed further with it, much more than that, and fitly beginning with those words; because, if what has come to pass during the last hundred years, not only in Protestant countries, but in Catholic countries as well, in the matter of civil polity, the advancement of scientific knowledge, and immunity from persecution and torture, has been for the benefit of the Common People, THIS ENCYCLICAL LETTER IS A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE.
It is not unwelcome to Freemasonry, we repeat; not because Freemasonry desires hostile relations with the Church of Rome, but because it prefers open war to covert hostility; and it has long known that, in these United States, and especially in Louisiana, the influence of that Church has been constantly exerted against itself, while there has been seeming peace, by attempts to procure renunciation of Masonry from Masons on their deathbeds, and by making wives agents of the Priesthood, to persuade their husbands, if by persuasion they could effect it, and if not, then by persistent discontent and querulous complaining, making home a Purgatory, to force them either to renounce Freemasonry altogether or at least to cease to attend the meetings of the Lodges, and be no longer actively engaged in the good works of the Order.
Having informed those to whom the Letter is addressed that he had already expressed to them his views in regard to the proper form and nature of political government, the Pontifex Maximus proceeds to allege that Freemasonry is endeavoring to carry into real effect the views of the Materialists; than which nothing could be more untrue, in regard to the Freemasonry of all English-speaking countries; and in reply to which, as to other countries than these, it is true to say that not one Freemason in a thousand anywhere is a Materialist, except in France and Belgium; and that even in these two countries those who are far from being Materialists outnumber the latter five-hundred fold.
The Letter proceeds to make proof of its assertion in these words, speaking of Freemasonry:
“In truth, with long and pertinacious labour, it exerts itself for this purpose, that the rule of the Church should be of no weight, that its authority should be as nothing in a State; and for this reason they everywhere assert and insist that sacred and civil matters ought to be wholly distinct. By this they exclude the most whole-some virtue of the Catholic religion from the laws and from the ad-ministration of a country; and the consequence is that they think
whole States ought to be constituted outside of the institutes and precepts of the Church.”
In other words, the Roman Church protests against that fundamental principle of constitutional government, dear above almost all else to the people of the United States, that Church and State should act each within its proper sphere, and that with the civil government and political administration of affairs the Church should have nothing to do. The people of the United States do not propose to argue that with the Church of Rome.
“Nor are they content,” the letter continues, “with neglecting the Church, their best guide, unless they can injure her by hostility. And, in truth, they are allowed with impunity to attack the very foundations of the Catholic religion by speaking, writing and teaching.” Alas! Humanity has at last an opportunity, not in Protestant countries only, but in Italy itself, in Spain and Portugal, in Mexico and Brazil, and all South America, in speech and writing, to utter its thoughts, arraign its oppressors and defend the rights given it by God; and there is no longer an Inquisition to burn at the stake those who are too free with tongue or pen. The people of the United States will never permit any Church to circumscribe the freedom of the press; nor can they ever be made to believe that free discussion will be for the discomfiture of Truth and to the profit of Error, unless God ceases to be on the side of the Truth.
The Letter then complains of various measures of the Italian Government to the injury of the Papacy; as to which that government is probably not afraid of the Pope’s appeal to the public opinions of the world. One sentence only we quote: “We see the Societies of religious Orders overturned and dispersed.” Yes, on the 3rd of September, 1759, all Jesuits were banished from Portugal and its dominions; and other Catholic countries, not urged thereto by Freemasonry, have found it necessary to their own peace and well-being to do the same. And it proved to be an unfortunate day for Brazil when, not very many years ago, offering an asylum to the Jesuits expelled from other countries, it entrusted to them the charge of the public institutions of education; and Jesuitism and Ultramontanism undertook to possess themselves of the government of the country and suppress Freemasonry.
“If,” the Pope says, “those who are enrolled into their number are by no means ordered to forswear in set form the Catholic Institutions, this indeed is so far from being repugnant to the designs of Freemasons that it rather serves them. For, in the first place, they
easily deceive in this way the simple and incautious, and offer attractions to far more persons. Then, moreover, by accepting any that present themselves, no matter of what religion, they gain their purpose of urging THAT GREAT ERROR OF THE PRESENT DAY, ViZ., that questions of religion ought to be left undetermined, and that there should be no distinction made between varieties. AND THIS POLICY AIMS AT THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL RELIGIONS, ESPECIALLY AT THAT OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION, WHICH, SINCE IT IS THE ONLY TRUE ONE, CAN-NOT BE REDUCED TO EQUALITY WITH THE REST WITHOUT THE GREATEST IN JURY.”
Questions of religion, then, must not be left undetermined, and distinction must be made between varieties; and the Catholic religion must be determined to be the only true one. How? By what power? By the Sovereign, by the Civil Power, or shall the power to decree itself the only Church “possessed of the Kingdom of God,” be admitted to be inherent in the Catholic Church itself? Of course, this. Is not the Pope infallible? Is he not Jove, and Divus, and Iste Deus? In either case, the power to prohibit the existence of all other Churches must follow; the power to punish adherence to other creeds as heresies, civil power and criminal jurisdiction, the power of repression, of punishing relapses, must be vested in the Jesuits, and in the Inquisition, revived, and armed with all its old powers. All means to effect the absolutely necessary end of suppression and extirpation must be legitimate, and the reign of the Devil of persecution and torture must begin again.
Freemasonry opens its doors to men of all religions alike; and the most splendid jewel of the prerogative of the Scottish Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States is, that on Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday the Episcopal clergyman and Hebrew Rabbi can and do stand together at its altars, in presence of the Seven Lights, the latter thanking God that he has at length found one place where he is the perfect equal and full brother of men of the Christian faith. Never, never will that Freemasonry permit this jewel to be filched from it by craft and treachery and fraud and falsehood, or torn from it by force. It has been once attempted here and failed; and it will always fail.
The Encyclical Letter then makes this extraordinary statement, to which every Freemason in every English-speaking country in the world, and those of every other, with but two or three exceptions, will oppose either an indignant or contemptuous denial; for, as a charge against Freemasonry in general, it is a shameless libel:
“But, in truth, the Sect grants great license to its initiates, allowing them to defend either position, that there is a God, or that there is no God; and those who resolutely maintain that there is none are initiated as easily as those who think indeed that there is a God, but hold about him views as depraved as are those of the Pantheists.”
The Grand Orient of France has been proclaimed by the Freemasonry of Great Britain and the United States to be no longer a Masonic power, because it has struck out of its Constitution the requirement of a declaration of belief in the existence of a God; not denying it, but, as it claims, leaving entire freedom of conscience. And when the Convention of certain Supreme Councils at Lausanne substituted for the word “God” the phrases “Force Superieure” and “Principe Creative,” we denounced it as a departure from Masonic principles, and it was finally abandoned. By the Ancient Ritual of Freemasonry and by its fundamental Law, no Atheist can be made a Mason, any more than a woman can; and no person can be initiated without kneeling “for the benefit of Lodge prayer” and professing that he puts his trust in God. It is true that there are Lodges in France and Belgium, and perhaps in Italy, which do not deny initiation to one professing himself an Atheist; but these are condemned with almost entire unanimity everywhere else in the world. Freemasonry is not responsible for private vagaries of unbelief in France. If its principles were what the Pope alleges them to be, there would not be thousands of clergymen, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and of other denominations, members of Masonic Lodges in all the English-speaking countries, and very many of them members of the higher Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Pope next proceeds to speak of the subjects of marriage, education and civil government; and it is herein that the full scope and intent of the Letter appear.
The Materialists, he says, have this system: “Marriage, they say, belongs to the class of contracts; it can lawfully be rescinded at the will of the contracting parties; and power as regards the marriage tie is in the hands of the civil rulers. In educating children, they consider that no religious instruction should be given according to any fixed and determined purpose; it is to be open to each, when grown up, to follow what religion he may prefer.”
And then he says: “Freemasons, moreover, clearly assent to these very principles; and not only do they assent, but they are, and have long been, anxious to introduce them into habit and usage.”
To prove this, for it is the only thing that he offers in justification of the assertion, he says: “Already in many regions, and those, too, belonging to the Catholic faith, it is decided that no marriages shall be deemed lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in some places divorces are allowed by law; in other places efforts are being made that they should be so allowed as soon as possible. Thus, what they are hastening to is, that the nature of marriage may be converted into unstable and temporary unions, which passion may form, and passion again dissolve.”
Pope Leo XIII. does not know, and has not a shred of evidence to convince him, that Freemasonry takes into consideration, in any way, the question of the mode of marriage. That is a matter wholly foreign to Freemasonry, and about which as an Order it has never sought to ascertain the collective opinion of its members. Each has his own opinion, whatever it may be; and no other Mason has any-thing to do with that opinion. Marriage has been declared by legislation in many countries to be a civil contract; but it is certainly not known among Masons that Freemasonry, as an Order, or by any sort of concert among any considerable number of its members, has borne any part in procuring such legislation anywhere. We doubt if any Masons in England or the United States ever heard the subject mentioned in a Lodge. Nothing could more certainly tend to dissension; for very many Freemasons everywhere agree to a great ex-tent with the Church of Rome in its views of marriage and divorce. Of these I am one.
Again, the Pope quite recklessly says: “However, with the utmost harmony of intentions, the Sect of Freemasons has this also in view —to seize for itself the education of youth.” Their object, he says, is to mould those of tender age, and pervert them to their own ends. “Wherefore, in the education and teaching of boys, they allow the Ministers of the Church no share in direction or watchfulness; and already in several places they have gained their point, that the whole training of youth should be in the hands of the Laity; and that also in forming their characters there should be no mixture of those great and most holy duties which unite man to God.”
Freemasonry has turned its attention to the education of the young, so far only as it has here and there established institutions of very moderate pretensions, for the education of children of poor or deceased Brethren of the Order. It is quite true that it has not seen fit to entrust such schools to the care and charge of the Roman Catholic Clergy, its enemies; but the offices of religion are in none of them disregarded. The Order has never made any attempt any-
where “to seize for itself the education of youth.” It has never endeavored anywhere “to gain the point that the whole training of youths should be in the hands of the Laity.” It has meddled with that matter just as little as it has meddled with the subject of marriage; and there are as many different opinions among Freemasons upon the one subject as upon the other; but what these opinions are Freemasonry does not inquire. It has not been the Freemasons who have settled these things in the United States. Each of them has acted on his own private opinion in regard to each without any Masonic organization or concert of action whatever.
But Pope Leo XIII. desired to denounce the laws which in many countries make marriage a civil contract and allow divorces, and the laws, institutions, corporations, and associations which maintain schools, academies and colleges unconnected with the churches; and especially, perhaps, those laws which do not permit any portion of the monies raised by public taxation or appropriated by our States for the support of public schools to be placed in the hands of the Roman Catholic Clergy for the maintenance of schools to be managed by them, and in which children are to be educated to become Roman Catholics.
And this portion of his letter, so entirely foreign to the subject of Freemasonry, is evidently a mandate of urgency to the Catholic Clergy and Laity to secure active, combined and persistent effort by them hereafter, in the United States, and elsewhere, to have marriage made no longer a civil contract, but a Sacrament of Holy Church, with prohibition of divorce; and to obtain for the Catholic Clergy the control, as far as it can be done, of the public education of the young, and of a share of the funds furnished for that purpose by the public.
If the Jesuits and other clergy who manage and conduct the Catholic Schools and Seminaries in the United States are also instructed by it to devote their efforts hereafter to converting to Catholicism the children of Protestants who may be entrusted to them for tuition, so that each school and seminary and college is to be an institution de Propaganda fide, it will be manly and honest to avow this openly. The suppressions of the true and suggestions of the false, once justified by the Disciples of Loyola and exposed by Pascal, are not now regarded by honest men as consistent with religious duty or personal honour or common honesty. Hitherto, though many converts to Catholicism, especially among pupils of that sex which is more sensitive to religious influences than the other, have returned to their homes from Roman Catholic Seminaries, the man-
agers of these have always protested that all attempts to convert pupils were scrupulously refrained from; and these protestations have been believed; many Protestants, indeed, not being unwilling that their children, if fairly dealt with, should embrace the Roman Catholic faith, if their convictions should lead them to do so. Unquestionably the Encyclical Letter contains a vigorous denunciation of the omission of the special religious instruction of that Church in the education of the young, and chides all who neglect the work of proselyting.
The letter then proceeds to state the materialistic principles of statesmanship. It says:
“They maintain that all things are vested in a free people; that power is held by the order or permission of that people, so that, if the popular pleasure change, Princes may be de-graded from their rank even against their will. They assert that the source of all laws and civil duties is either in the multitude, or in the power that rules the State, and this when formed by the newest teaching.” And the letter avers “that these very sentiments are equally pleasing to the Freemasons; and that they wish to arrange States after this likeness and pattern, is too well known to need demonstration. For long indeed they have been openly working for this object with all their strength and resources.”
These are the political principles of all English-speaking Masons; not because they are Freemasons, not because these principles are taught in their lodges, for they teach nothing there in regard to politics or systems of government; but because they are Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, or citizens of the United States, and their civil governments are founded upon these principles. In other countries these are the principles which have always inspired the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the French or Modern Rite; and these Rites have therefore always been the advocates and champions, especially in the Latin countries of Europe, of freedom and constitutional government; and in this chiefly consist their glory and their honour. The Roman Catholic Church has been always and everywhere on the side of the arbitrary power of Princes and Potentates; Masonry on the side of the people. Thou has said truly, O Pope!
Then the Successor of Saint Peter thus announces to the Faithful the law by which they are to be absolutely governed—the law of the Divine right of anointed Princes:
“As men are born by the will of God for civil union and association, and as the power of ruling is so necessary a bond of civil society, that on its removal that society must suddenly be severed, it follows that He who gave
birth to society gives birth also to the rule of authority. WHENCE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT HE IN WHOM POWER IS, WHOEVER HE IS, Is GOD’S MINISTER. Wherefore, so far as the end and nature of human society require, it is as right to obey lawful authority, when it issues just orders, as it is to obey the power of God who rules all things; and this is pre-eminently inconsistent with truth, THAT IT SHOULD DEPEND UPON THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE TO CAST OFF OBEDIENCE AT ITS PLEASURE.”
Is every one, then, who finds himself actually possessing power, thereby God’s Minister? Was Cromwell God’s Minister? Was William of Orange God’s Minister? Was Napoleon the Great? Were William and Mary God’s Ministers? Are the King and Parliament of Italy God’s Ministers? Are the Emperors of Germany and Brazil God’s Ministers? Oh, no! The Pope means those in whom power is, they having lawful authority, i.e., those whose rule and power are sanctioned by the Church. How, according to his doctrine, if it be pre-eminently inconsistent with truth that the people may rid a country of a ferocious and brutal tyrant by compelling his abdication—of a Ferdinand VII., or Philip II. (whose will and that of the Church of Rome Alva executed in the Netherlands, leaving written there all over the land the never-to-be-effaced records of the blood-guiltiness of the Church and King)—of a Bomba, of a Nero, of a Caligula, of a Borgia—how is any bloody and brutal miscreant, wearing the purple, to be dethroned? Must the people endure until God shall remove the butchering malefactor by death, that perhaps Commodus may succeed Tiberius, or a worse and meaner tyrant follow Bomba?
There must be some power on earth to set free a suffering people. It must not “depend upon the will of the people to cast off obedience at its pleasure—all Catholics are ordered to believe.” When, then? When THE CHURCH may authorize it; when the Pope may declare the Throne forfeited for crime, and excommunicate the Ruler, as Heretic or Freemason? Is it not this that is meant?
Thus the Pope pronounces by his prerogative of infallibility, and as Vicegerent of God, whom it is as unlawful to refuse to obey as it is to refuse “to obey the power of God, Who rules all things,” that the dethronement of James II., Catholic King of England, was an act of disobedience of the power of God.
“On the contempt for the authority of Princes, on the allowing and approving of lust for sedition, on the granting of full license to the passions of the people, bridled only by the fear of punishment, there must of necessity arise a change and over-throw of all things.”
The Freemasons, he passionately cries, “have begun to have great weight in ruling States, but they are ready to shake the foundations of Empires, and to censure, accuse and drive out the chief men of a State, whenever its administration seems different from their wishes. Just so have they deluded the people by their flattery. By calling in sounding terms for liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it is owing to the Church and Princes that the people are not delivered from unjust slavery and want, they have imposed upon the populace, and have instigated it by a thirst for revolution to attack the power of both.”
Where? Garibaldi, in Italy, was a Freemason, and there are perhaps a hundred and fifty Masonic Lodges in Italy; and yet a King rules peacefully there, upheld by the Freemasons, his Minister, Depretis, being a Mason. In Brazil the Emperor is a Freemason of the 33d Degree, and there have been no insurrections or disturbances of the public peace there, though the Freemasons assemble in some two hundred Lodges and higher Bodies. In Portugal there are a Grand Orient and Supreme Council and sixty or seventy Lodges, and the Marshal Duke Saldanha, who by peaceful revolution gave that Kingdom a constitutional government, as ex-Grand Master of Masons; and yet a King reigns peacefully in Portugal. In Spain there are two hundred Lodges, and Sagasta is a Freemason, and Alfonso reigns secure, his throne upheld by Freemasonry.
Attacks upon the Church and Princes, the Pope exclaims, instigated by Freemasons, have given the people greater expectation than reality of advantage. “Nay, rather, the common people, suffering worse oppression, are for the most part forced to be without those very alleviations of their miseries, which they would find with ease and abundance, if matters were arranged according to Christian ordinances. But as many as strive AGAINST THE ORDER ARRANGED BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE usually pay this penalty for their pride, that they meet with a wretched and miserable fortune in the quarter whence they rashly expected prosperity and success.”
The Spanish colonies in the New World threw off by revolt the intolerable yoke of oppression of the Spanish Crown, and made themselves free Republics. They were not content with “matters arranged according to Christian Ordinances” by the Catholic Church, for the benefit of a rapacious and cruel government, with those “Ordinances” administered by Inquisitors. Are the people of Mexico losers thereby? Are those of Chile or Venezuela? The Netherlands, bled nearly unto death, at last, by heroic endurance and
matchless courage, rescued their country from the Satanic rule of Alva. France put an end to such Saturnalia of Hell there as that of the Eve of St. Bartholomew, and in carrying away the Pope to Avignon paid Rome in full for the blood with which the grey hairs of old Coligni dabbled the stones of Paris. God, by the instrumentality of Luther, avenged the murder of Albigenses and Lollards, Huss and Wiclif, Jerome of Prague and Savonarola, seriously disarranging “matters arranged according to Christian Ordinances.” Has all this been to the manifest disadvantage of the people of the liberated countries of the world? Have the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, lost by it? Is France miserable and suffering? Is Germany wretched? Does Great Britain languish for want of the tender mercies of the Papacy?
That great statesman, Edmund Burke, said that he did not know how to draw an indictment against a whole people; but we have thus shown, by the very words, faithfully translated, of the Roman Pontiff himself, that this Encyclical Letter, which purports to be only an arraignment and condemnation of Freemasonry, is in its principle intent and deepest significance an indictment, not only of the people of every Republic and Constitutional Monarchy in the world, but of every Protestant country in the world; and not only of the people of every Protestant country in the world, but of all that portion of the people of every Catholic country who have in these later centuries asserted the right of the people to have a voice in the affairs of government, and to be secure in their persons and lives against the infernal methods of procedure, the creation of imaginary crimes, and the cruel torturings upon mere suspicion, of such tribunals as the Inquisition. It is a sentence purporting to be uttered by the voice of God, outlawing and excluding from Heaven all the patriots and lovers of liberty and liberators of the people, all the array of martyrs who have died in endeavoring to vindicate the right of humanity to freedom of thought and conscience.
It denounces as wicked and criminal, and contrary to the ordinances of the Christian religion, not only the laws which permit the solemnization of marriage by the civil magistrate, and those which exclude sectarian religious teachings from schools and seminaries maintained by public taxation; not only the constitutional provisions which in all the States of these United States decree the separation of Church and State, and refuse to the Church any part in the civil government of the country; not only those by which the pretensions of the Churches and their right to dictate opinions may be
freely discussed by the public press; but also the great principle on which the governments of all Republics are founded, of the sovereignty of the people, the only legitimate source and author of civil power and government. It asserts the divine right of Princes, if held by the Church of Rome to have lawful authority, to govern men against their will; that they are the Ministers of God; and that the people have no power to free themselves from the tyranny and oppression of these divinely commissioned scourges and Assassins of Humanity.
It is an indictment of Humanity itself, for its instinctive struggles to lift itself above the miseries and indignities of bodily and intellectual bondage to Priest and Potentate; for the involuntary and irrepressible aspirations of its soul towards light and knowledge and the free atmosphere of intellectual expansion; and for the not more involuntary quiverings of its tortured, racked, wrenched and multilated muscles and nerves. It is an indictment of Civilization, of Progress, of the Spirit of Manhood, of the self-respect of the Peoples, of the Progress onward and upward of Humanity, of the Spirit of the Age, which is the very Inspiration of God; and of God Himself and the beneficent Providence of God, Who loves the people in rags, hungry and hopeless, better than He loves the Priests in scarlet and the Tyrants in purple.
In renewing and by his Apostolic authority confirming everything decreed by former Popes against Freemasonry, ratifying their Bulls as well in general as in particular, Leo XIII. leaves to his faithful subjects no discretionary power to regard any portions of those anathemas as obsolete, or to pay respect and obedience to those laws, Bills of Right, or Constitutions of the countries in which they live, which may forbid the enforcement of the commands of the Church contained in these Bulls.
For he immediately adds: “Having entire confidence in this respect, in the good will of those who are Christians, we beseech them, in the name of their eternal salvation, and WE DEMAND of them to make it for themselves a sacred obligation of conscience, NEVER TO DEPART, EVEN BY ONE SINGLE LINE, FROM THE MANDATES PROMULGATED ON THIS SUBJECT BY THE APOSTOLIC SEE.”
He then proceeds to direct by what measures and devices the Clergy are “to cause to disappear the impure contagion of the poi-son which circulates in the veins of society, and infects it throughout.
First—By tearing off the mask of Freemasonry, and showing it as it is.
Second—By special discourses and pastoral letters to instruct the people. “Remind the people,” he says, “that by virtue of the decrees often issued by our predecessors, no Catholic, if he desires to continue worthy of the name, and to have for his salvation the concern which it deserves, can, under any pretext, affiliate with the Sect of Freemasons.”
Then, by frequent instructions and exhortations to help the masses to acquire a knowledge of religion, expounding, in writing and orally, the elements of the sacred principles which constitute the Christian philosophy; and so to increase the devotion of Clergy and Laity to the Catholic Church, the result whereof will be increased disgust for secret societies and greater care to avoid them. To which method of inculcating what is believed by the Church to be truth, and opposing the progress of what it believes to be error, a Freemason will be the last man in the world to object, if it is not to be supplemented by other too well-known methods.
And, to engage with great zeal in increasing and strengthening the Third Order of Saint Francis, in the discipline whereof the Pope claims to have made wise modifications, so that “it may be able to render great service in helping to overcome the contagion of these detestable Sects.”
Third—To re-engage in establishing corporations of workingmen to protect, under the tutorship of religion, the interests of labor and the morals of workers; with societies of patrons, to assist and instruct the proletaires, such as is the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Fourth—Vigilantly to watch with pastoral solicitude over the young, drawing them away, by renewed efforts, from the schools and teachers where they would be exposed to breathe the poisoned breath of the Sects; parents, teachers and curates, urged by the Bishops, guarding their children and pupils against “these criminal societies,” which are ever endeavoring to ensnare them; those who have it in charge to prepare young persons to receive the sacraments, inducing every one of them to take a firm resolution not to join any society without the knowledge of their parents or without having consulted their curate or confessor.
For the rest, to implore the aid of the Lord, with great ardor and reiterated solicitations, proportioned to the necessity of the circumstances and the intensity of the peril.
“Haughty on account of its former successes, the Sect of Freemasons insolently erects its head, and its audacity no longer seems to know any
bounds. United to one another by the bond of a criminal federation, and by their secret plans, its adepts lend to each other mutual support and incite each other to dare and to do evil.”
“To which violent attack an energetic defense must respond. Good men must unite and form an immense coalition of prayers and efforts. Especially the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, must be besought to become the auxiliary and interpreter of the Church, displaying her power against the Sects which are reviving the rebellious spirit, the incorrigible perfidy, and the cunning of the Devil. Saint Michael, who precipitated the revolted angels into hell; Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin, and the great Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, must also be enlisted; and thus the imminent danger to the human race may be averted.”
Instruction of the people in religious doctrine; enlargement of the Third Order of Franciscans, organization of associations of workingmen; gaining control of the education of the young, and incessant prayer—these are to be the ostensible means of offense and defense. A la bonne heure! if no more were meant. But the Church of Rome has never been in the habit of making known the real means or instruments which it has determined to use for the suppression of heresy or to repress the struggles of Humanity to escape from the intolerable burdens of oppression; and it is not likely to do it now. The ostentatious recital of these peaceful means of antagonism does not agree with the explicit reenactments of the Bulls of Clement and Benedict. The Church has other measures in view than teaching and prayer; and it is already using them in Belgium and Brazil. It has mysteries the divulgation of which is interdicted; Conclaves and Consistories, Generals of the Order, Assemblies that are secret, as their decisions and the means and agents of execution are. The adepts blindly and without discussion obey the injunctions of their chiefs, holding themselves always ready, upon the slightest notification or hardly perceptible sign, to execute the orders given them, devoting themselves in advance, in case of disobedience, to the most terrible penalties, and even to death, were the order even to bring about the murder of another William the Silent or of the Chiefs of a Republic.
With such a Past as that of the Church of Rome is, it would have been wise not to provoke comment upon its real crimes by accusing others of having committed imaginary ones; or exposure of the doctrines of the Jesuits by libeling those of Freemasonry.
It is not only just and fair and reasonable, but of absolute necessity, to conclude that anyone who speaks to men by authority intends the consequences that may naturally, anywhere, be the effects
of his words. It is even of absolute necessity, sometimes, to conclude that ambiguous phrases and significant suggestions and veiled meanings, when used as they are here, are employed to induce the commission of infamies, the explicit incitation whereunto might startle the conscience of Humanity. And this is especially of unavoidable necessity, in the interpretation of the mandates of the Church of Rome, against those whom it considers its enemies. For it has never yet repudiated and condemned the maxims of the Spanish Jesuits or declared the suppression of the Truth or the suggestion of False-hood, for the benefit of the Church, to be contrary to the Spirit of the Gospel, or confessed itself ashamed for having so long employed the infernal enginery of the Inquisition. It is infallible, can never have erred, can never change. It long ago lost all right to expect the world to give it credit for honesty of intention or frankness of expression.
This new Proclamation of Interdict and Excommunication is, it is probable, more especially intended as a political manifesto to the Clergy and Catholics of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Brazil, inciting them to treasonable plottings and combinations against the Constitutional Governments of those countries. It preaches to them a new Crusade, the purpose whereof is to destroy those governments, to depose the Monarchs who permit the existence of Freemasonry in their dominions and the expression of the voice of the people in public affairs; and to place in those Kingdoms the education of the young in the hands of the soldiery of Loyola, and the power of persecuting Freemasonry and Heresy and the favouring of liberal government in the Holy Office or Inquisition, armed with all its old inhuman and unchristian powers, against which the sense of justice of the whole world long ago revolted. In Brazil it incites the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro and the Bishop of Para, and all the Jesuits and Ultramontane Clergy, to renew the war a few years ago waged by them against Freemasonry, against the Emperor and Parliament, and the Laws of the Empire, acting towards the Emperor as towards one excommunicated, reprobated and accursed.
Thus it menaces the public peace in those countries, inciting revolt and insurrection and assassination, and makes the Lord’s Prayer the patent of an Inquisitor, and the Sermon on the Mount a warrant for murder.
Already the General of the Jesuits and the Chief Inquisitor of the Holy Office have promulgated their orders to their troops and officials, commanding them to use their utmost exertions to carry into
effect the mandates of the Encyclical Letter. In Spain and Portugal secret anti-Masonic associations are already being organized under these orders, and like organizations may be looked for in the United States, with resort to every other means of warfare against the great principles which Freemasonry represents, that can be prudently and safely employed.
It is also a political manifesto, and more, for our neighboring Republic of Mexico, and those of Central and South America. There are Grand Lodges and Supreme Councils of Masons in most of them; and in all Masonry is free to exist and work undisturbed, and is powerful and influential. In Mexico the ex-President, now President-elect of the Republic, and the Actual President are 33ds, members of the Supreme Council of Mexico created by us, as the President Comonfort was a 33d, Grand Commander of that Supreme Council, and as the President Juarez was a Mason. It is well known that the population at large of the Republic is uneducated and grossly ignorant, and slavishly subservient to the Priesthood; and that it detests and hates Protestants as heretics, damned by the anathemas of the Church, and unfit to live. The Priesthood in Mexico has always been the uncompromising and wily enemy of every patriotic President, of Republican Government, of Freemasonry, of the principles on which constitutional governments are founded, and of all the men by whose sublime efforts and sacrifices Mexico was made and has been maintained a Republic.
It is also well known that, in consequence of the friendly relations between our two Republics, and the extension of railroads in Mexico, built by the capital of our citizens, there now are in that country a great number of citizens of the United States, many of whom have purchased mines and lands and are working and cultivating them. The Letter HUMANUM GENUS is so framed and worded as to be calculated, and must therefore be taken to be artfully and deliberately intended to incite the Priesthood in Mexico to renewed zeal against heresy and heretics, and more persistent and continuous and better organized and more audacious efforts to destroy Freemasonry there, and overturn Republicanism. If citizens of the United States peaceably engaged there in useful avocations should be assassinated by mobs, instigated, if not openly led, by the Priests; if Diaz and Gonzales and other Freemasons should be murdered and the Church should inaugurate a bloody civil war, Pope Leo XIII. will not be able, by any special pleading, to avoid the responsibility for all the fatal consequences that may ensue.
For men have not forgotten that Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Order of Jesus, promulgated this law.
“Visum est nobis in Domino nullas Constitutiones posse obligationem ad peccatum mortale vel veniale inducere, nisi Superior (in nomine J.-C. vel in virtute obedientiae), juberet.”
“It has seemed to us in the Lord that no Constitutions can make it obligatory to commit a mortal or a pardonable sin unless the Superior (in the name of Jesus Christ, or in virtue of obedience) may so order.”
No doubt the general of the Jesuits holds the same doctrine today, and is ready to apply it, if occasion should demand, that the Superior in the Order has the power to command an inferior to commit a mortal sin. It is a fruitful and convenient doctrine, when the matter in hand is to destroy Constitutional Governments in Catholic countries.
There is still more to be considered by the people of the United States; which, when they come fully to comprehend the purport of this manifesto from the Vatican, they will consider. The Catholics, whom it proposes to organize into Italian colonies or camps here, obeying the laws enacted at Rome, regulating their political action by principles hostile to those on which Republican Government is founded, and sedulously inculcating these upon the young entrusted to their charge, are being thoroughly informed of its contents and meaning; for it is already being read in all their churches. Those whose principles it damns as detestable and wicked will come to the knowledge of it more slowly, feeling, even if Freemasons, little interest in a Papal Bull against Freemasonry, and little inclined to read so long a paper; and slow to believe that it is an attack upon the civil institutions and systems of government under which they live. But they will well understand it by and by and have something to say in regard to it.
It makes it to be of divine obligation for every faithful Catholic in the United States to be at heart the mortal and uncompromising enemy of the principles and spirit, the plan and purpose, of the Government under which he lives, and whose equal laws permit him to plot and conspire against it with impunity. It proclaims it to the devout believer as a truth spoken by the mouth of God, that the great axiomatic principles, dear to the lovers of human liberty in every age, dear especially, dear beyond price or expression, to the people of the United States, on which, as upon the immovable adamant of eternal Truth, their systems of government is builded,
are false and criminal and wicked, making the United States to be a part of the Kingdom of Satan.
It makes it his and her duty, therefore, to do all that it may be possible to do to eradicate these principles and destroy all that is builded upon them; to gain control, so far as possible, of the education of youth and convert the young to the Catholic faith; to win or buy for the Catholic Church a power and influence in the government of the country.
Already the Encyclical Letter is acted upon as a political manifesto in Ireland.
Archbishop McCabe, we are told, has written a letter with reference to the approaching election of Lord Mayor for Dublin. He says he is unable to understand how Catholics could in honor and conscience cast their votes for Mr. Winstanley, who is both a Home Ruler and a Freemason. “As a Freemason he is a member of a society which aims to overthrow religion. To Freemasonry the revolutions of the last century were traceable. No one can plead non-participation as long as he remains a Mason.”
And Mr. Winstanley has repudiated Freemasonry to obtain votes; and he has been defeated.
But—for which thanks be unto the God of Hosts, “from Whom all glories are! “—Freemasonry is mightier than the Church of Rome; for it possesses the invincible might of the Spirit of the Age and of the convictions of civilized Humanity; and it will continue to grow in strength and greatness, while that Church in love with and doting upon its old traditions, and incapable of learning any-thing, will continue to decay. The palsied hand of the Papacy is too feeble to arrest the march of human progress. It cannot bring back the obsolete doctrine that Kings reign by divine right. In vain it will preach new Crusades against Freemasonry, or Heresy, or Republicanism. It will continue to sigh in vain for the return of the days of Philip II. and Mary of England, of Loyola and Alva and Torquemada. If it succeeds in instigating the Kings of Spain and Portugal to engage in the work of extirpating Freemasonry, these will owe to it the speedy loss of their crowns. The world is no longer in a humor to be saddled and bitted like an ass and ridden by Capuchins and Franciscans. Humanity has inhaled the fresh, keen winds of freedom, and has escaped from companionship with the herds that chew the cud and the inmates of stables and kennels, to the highlands of Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood.
The world is not likely to forget that the infallible Pope Urban
VIII., Barberini, set his signature to the sentence which condemned to perpetual imprisonment, to adjuration and to silence, Galileo Galilei, who, it is known, avoided being burned at the stake by denying on bended knees the deductions of positive science, which demonstrated the movement of the earth; and on the 2d day of July, 1633, the Cardinal of Santo Onofio Berberini, in the name of the Pope, his uncle, announced to the world the condemnation of Galileo by an Encyclical Letter, from the Latin whereof we trans-late these words: “For which matter Galileo, accused and confined in the prisons of the Holy Office, has been condemned to adjure the said opinion....”
Nor are Freemasons likely to forget that when the Bull of Clement XII., which Leo XIII. now revives and re-enacts, was published, Cardinal Firrao explained the nature of the punishments which were required to be inflicted on Masons, and what the kind of service was which the Pope demanded from “the Secular Arm.”
“It is forbidden,” he says . . . “to affiliate one’s self with the Societies of Masons . . . UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH AND OF CONFISCATION OF GOODS, AND TO DIE UNABSOLVED, AND WITHOUT HOPE OF SALVATION.” Who will be audacious enough to censure us for replying defiantly to a decree which, by revivor of the Bull of Clement, condemns every Freemason in the world to death and confiscation, and damns him in advance to die without hope of salvation?
The world has not forgotten that when Charles IX. of France and the Duc de Guise at first disowned responsibility for the massacre of 20,000 Protestants, and others, on the Eve and after the Eve of St. Bartholomew, the Catholic Clergy assumed it. Heaven adopted it, they said: “it was not the massacre of the King and the Duke; it was the Justice of God.” Then the slaughter recommenced, of neighbor by neighbor, of women, of children, of children unborn, in order to extinguish families, the wombs of the mothers cut open, and the children torn from them, for fear they might survive. “The paper would weep if we should write upon it all that was done.”
Men remember that at Saint-Michel, the Jesuit Auger, sent thither from the College of Paris, announced to Bordeaux that the Arch-angel Michael had made the great massacre, and deplored the sluggishness of the Governor and Magistrates of Bordeaux. After the 24th of August there were feasts. The Catholic Clergy had theirs, at Paris, on the 28th, and ordered a jubilee, to which the King and Court went, and returned thanks to God. And the King, who pro-claimed that he had caused Coligni to be killed, and that he would
have poniarded him with his own hand, was flattered to intoxication by the praises and congratulations of Rome. Do men not remember that there were feasts and great gaieties at Rome on ac-count of the massacre? That the Pope chaunted the Te Deum Laudamus, and sent to “his son,” Charles IX. (to win for whom the whole credit of the massacre the Cardinal of Lorraine moved heaven and earth), the Rose of Gold? That a medal was coined by Rome to commemorate it; and that a painting of the bloody scene was made, and until lately hung in the Vatican?
Freemasonry is strong enough everywhere now to defend itself, and does not dread even the Hierarchy of the Roman Church, with its great revenues, and its Cardinal Princes, claiming to issue the Decrees and Bulletins of God, and to hold the keys with which it locks and unlocks at pleasure the Gates of Paradise. The powers of Freemasonry, too, sending their words to one another over the four continents and the great islands of the Southern seas, colonized by Englishmen, speak, but with only the authority of reason, Urbi et Orbi, to men of free souls and high courage and quick intelligence.
It does not need that Freemasonry should take up arms of any sort against the Church of Rome. Science, the wider knowledge of what God is, learned from His works; the irresistible progress of Civilization, the Spirit of the Nineteenth Century; these are the sufficient avengers of the mutilations and murders of the long ages of a horrid Past. These have already avenged Humanity, and Freemasonry need not add another word—
Except these—that there are two questions to be asked, and answer thereunto demanded of all Roman Catholics in the United States who are loyal to the Constitution of Government under which they live, patriotic citizens of the United States:
Do not your consciences tell you that what is now demanded of you by Pope Leo XIII., by the General of the Jesuits and Chief Inquisitor is, TO ENGAGE ACTIVELY IN A CONSPIRACY AGAINST THAT CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH IT IS FOUNDED; AFTER THE DETHRONEMENT OF WHICH PRINCIPLES THAT CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT COULD NOT LIVE AN HOUR?
If you cannot see it in that light, do not your consciences and common sense tell you that TO APPROVE AND FAVOUR AND GIVE AID AND ASSISTANCE TO AN OPEN CONSPIRACY AGAINST EVERY OTHER RE-PUBLIC AND EVERY CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY IN THE WORLD, AND THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THEY ARE FOUNDED, IS TO PLAY A PART THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES THAT YOU PROFESS TO BE
GOVERNED BY HERE, IS IN OPPOSITION TO ALL THE SYMPATHIES OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH YOU LIVE, AND IS HOSTILE TO THE INFLUENCES OF ITS EXAMPLE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF OTHER COUNTRIES, TREACHEROUS TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY, AND UNWORTHY OF AMERICAN CITIZENS?
You will have to answer these questions, for they will not cease to be reiterated until you do, AND NOT BY FREEMASONRY ALONE.
Given at the Grand Orient aforesaid, the first day of August, 1884, and of the Supreme Council the 84th year.
The Grand Commander,
(Signed) ALBERT PIKE, 33°.
for more and the book—
Character Counts: Freemasonry U.S.A.’s National Treasure and
Source of Our Founding Fathers’