Pepe Rodríguez

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Masons in the Vatican?

(Fuente: © Rodríguez, P. (2006). Masonería al descubierto. Barcelona: © Temas de Hoy, capítulo 21, pp. 377-385)

Nota: en este texto no se incluyen las notas a pie de página del libro original.

Text by Pepe Rodríguez
Translated by: Amravin2008

The secrecy surrounding the operations of the Vatican power apparatus, both in terms of the scope of the church as of their economic and political management, as well as the questionable human quality of many of their remarkable men, has led-and surely will lead-to creating all sorts of theories, hypotheses, legends and Chinese stories about what is happening, or what is supposed to be happening inside the very alleged home of Peter.

One of the most successful conspiranoic literary legends during the last four decades, aims to show the infiltration of Freemasonry at the highest levels of the Vatican, a process that would reach up to its summit, with the progressive Paul VI -accused of being a Mason, of course, to end up falling irremediably down with ultra-conservative Pope John Paul II.

The first question that should be asked by any amateur criminologist could be, what would Masonry win by infiltrating under the skirts of cardinals and others of that same species? For those who know the Freemasons and the Catholic Church, the answer would be, nothing at all! In the case that "Freemasonry" would be devoted to such games, the Freemasons would miserably waste their time, money and efforts.

But for those who imagine the Freemasons and the Catholic Church for what they are not, have never been, and never will be, the answer would point to the opposite extreme, to an excessive craving for achieving the control of the world, falling in the stupidity of believing that those with a real capacity to influence events and certain sectors of society can not do without wearing an apron or without belonging to something very hidden and named in some sophisticated way. In what handbook of the high degrees of cretinism is it said that to conspire, one needs to put on an embroidered uniform? Conspiring seems certainly more literary while dressed in black in a lodge located in a basement of the Vatican; but people who are dedicated to this ancient art prefer to remain in the Bermudas, by their own pool, sharing a good lobster on the table. They may be conspirers, but no fools.

Masons in the Vatican? Yes, indeed. Already Malachi Martin, a Jesuit who was adviser to Pope Pius XII -who in 1950 imposed the dogma that the Virgin was raised to heaven in body and soul -, was speaking in his books -for example in Vatican (1986) - about the presence of Masonic, and even satanic pedophiles in the vortexes of the Catholic Church, hallucinating miles after drinking, among others, the already dry sources of their coreligionists Leó Taxil, the lying writer who, in the nineteenth century, invented a remarkable part of the black legend of Freemasonry, lies publicly unveiled and recognized by himself, but that still are fostered and repeated from within the Catholic cave.

In recent times, many books have addressed the issue of the freemasons infiltrating the Vatican and their alleged struggle to seize power within the Church. Under the pseudonym of The Millenarians, Monsignor Marinelli, in his book Via col vento in Vaticano, published in Spain as El Vaticano contra Dios [The Vatican against God] (1999), spoke of various members of the curia to whom he appends the Masonic affiliation. For more ecstasy, he also plays out the pathetic, absurd and empty confession -as if there was a microphone in the confessional? -of an alleged repentant satanic group member who, according to Marinelli, goes camping wildly inside the Vatican.

Another suspect pseudonym, Disciples of Truth, is used to continue the task started by The Millenaries when they publish Lies and crimes in the Vatican (2000) and In the Shadow of the Sick Pope (2001), books in which fables are given out, without the slightest shame or rigor, on the alleged war between the curial power led by Opus Dei and "Masonry, led by Archbishop Paul Marcinkus".

Authors far removed from these have also fallen into the temptation of giving credence to such arguments. Ricardo de la Cierva did the same in his book The Invisible Freemasonry (2002); Jorge Blaschke and Santiago Rio, expressing many more doubts than De la Cierva, addressed the matter in True History of the Masons (2006) and this author is no less guilty than they are, as he decided not to address the issue for being too absurd, when in the last minute he omitted his opinion about a folly that many believe is real. Novels such as Dan Brown's raise the topic unto the category of some intergalactic threat.

Is there any basis for believing that a portion of their eminences would wear an apron under their cassocks? The only evidence is an alleged listing of alleged clergy freemasons, their parents as unknown as doubtful, which over three decades has been played out in various -mostly very conservative Catholic media-, in tabloid and uncritical manners.

The alleged list of Vatican Freemasons was published in several Italian media since 1976, a year to remember, since the appearance of the list at that time was not coincidental. According to available data, the listing appeared in the weekly Panorama on August 10, 1976, being reproduced in the same year in Publia Gazzette and in the French Bulletin de l'Occident Chrétien; in Euroitalia it was published on August 17, 1978; In OP (Osservatore Politico) it was published on September 12, 1978, in Oggi on June 17, 1981; and in 30 Giorni -a magazine by the ultra-conservative group - on November 11, 1992. That same listing will be printed by Ricardo de la Cierva (2002) and Jorge Blaschke and Santiago Rio (2006) in their respective books already cited.

[See the alleged list of Vatican Freemasons: Part 1 (108 Kb), part 2 (138 Kb) and Part 3 (69 Kb)].

The roster of freemasonic clerics varies very slightly and depending on the medium that made it available, goes up to one hundred and twenty names, most of them bishops, but with a well-nourished group of nearly a dozen cardinals. In sum, representing 2 per cent of the bishops and 7 per cent of the cardinals, demonstrating how vast is the power, -assuming that because they are Masons- they set the vast majority of Catholic church power represented by fellow non-Masons to checkmate, according to the conspiranoics.

No need to insist too much on the fact that since 1738 the Catholic dome, with Clement XII, believed to smell sulfur and burned horn every time they heard or imagined the word "Mason". Such vast ignorance about Freemasonry was only comparable to the superb paranoia they unleashed by that mere name. That propensity to Masonic panic had not disappeared from the Roman curia, let alone when John XIII and Paul VI opened the Church to the modern world through the Second Vatican Council; and it survives to this day in the greatest of the curial cavern.

A friend specialized in studies of the Vatican, cleric and excellent knower of the ultraconservative Roman curial told me of anecdotes he lived that are quite eloquent in relation to the matter at hand. For example, Cardinal Pietro Palazzini, a friend of Escrivá de Balaguer, considered that the Freemasons caused the world's problems and that, more critically, the Queen of England ruled it all. Another Cardinal, Silvio Oddi, was so concerned about the possible influence that Freemasonry would have on the conclave for the succession of Pope John Paul II, that he came to propose, with insistence, that the conclave should be made public rather than secret, so that everyone could see each cardinal's vote, to discover that way the dread compliance with Masonic slogans.

Also the telluric Marcel Lefebvre shared fears of his colleagues, though, more cautiously, saying that he did not know if some prelates were Masons, since it was a secret society, but that some of them had acted as if they were. In the journals of that environment-Sí Sí No No and Le Courrier de Rome-, the Masonic presence in the Vatican dome has always been given as a fact.

For Luigi Villa, director of the magazine Chiesa Viva, there was no doubt that the Popes John XXIII and Paul VI were freemasons, but the arguments given to justify such an opinion do not support even a sneeze, that's how flimsy they were... although many current conservative prelates are still repeating those in private, making freemasons out of Paul VI, the Cardinals Casaroli, Cardinal Pio Laghi, Agostino Bea or Benelli, and Lanza Montezemolo -designer of the new papal coat-, and any other who would smell like progressivism.

According to the Roman Curia, through the hands of ultra-conservative prelates have passed grossly counterfeit letters that were attributed to Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, identified under its Masonic secret acronym 'CASA', awarded to him in the listing that we have been quoting.

The key to understanding the substance of such absurd allegations is the notion that these prelates and many others (also related doctrinal) have had -and still have - over the fact of being a Mason. From the most reactionary of Catholic statement, by "Mason" is meant the same as one of their sacred coreligionists, Francisco Franco, supposed it to mean. These prelates, like the very Catholic dictator Franco, saw a Mason ambushed behind every Democrat, every liberal, every progressive ... they saw a Mason behind each discrepant with deep dogmatism. And they saw Jewish-Masonic conspiracies threatening (them) everywhere.

Behind this list one should guess the thinking and interests of the most reactionary sectors of the Roman Curia, both by the fact that hundreds of clerics who are cited in it were part of the more progressive sector of the Catholic Church -something that for Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, who believed that the Masonic infiltration was real, led him to assert that the list was false, since, according to him, there were freemasons also in the right wing, and not only among the progressives by the date around which the list was first published, August 1976.

The Second Vatican Council opened doors to progressive church approaches that led the most conservative and traditionalist in the Catholic hierarchy to panic and hysteria, they hated Paul VI for that same reason -and they succeeded in canceling much of this progress during the pontificate of Wojtyla -; in that opening, as we saw in a previous section, a new look towards Freemasonry was included, portraying Freemasonry as compatible with the Catholic belief. In this regard, between 1974 and 1976, many episcopates and dozens of religious institutions that felt supported by Cardinal Seper, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which in July 1974, had declared the dual affiliation compatible for the believer, kept "the prohibition for clerics, members of religious and secular institutes, from entering into any Masonic partnership".

With such background in mind, the making of a list of freemasonic clerics as the most reactionary interests, covered many flanks at the same time: the list invested the most prominent ecclesiastical progressive sector with serious suspicions, while involving them in the express prohibition by Seper of 1974; also defaming and weakening Paul VI; placing Freemasonry back into the camp of the conspirators and enemies of the Church; and played the alarm so that the traditionalistic forces were able to rearm with their most rancid dogmatism.

The authors of the original list, in order to make things credible, provided names, dates of registration in Freemasonry, registration numbers, secret acronyms identifying and position of each cleric mentioned in the list, for example: "Casaroli Agostino: 28 / 9 / 1957 - Ma-tricola 41/076 - Case (Ministerio Affari Esteri)".

The oldest Mason's listing is dated July 1955 -Morgante Marcello: 22/7/1955 - Registration 78/0361 - MORMA (Vescovo di Ascoli Piceno) - and the last incorporated is of December 1970 -Nigro Caramel: 21 / 12/1970 - Matricole 23/154 - CARNI (Rettore Seminar Pontifical per gli Studi Giuridici) -, covering the listing for the last portion in the life of a Pius XII already very sick, and the stage of opening and ecclesiastical modernization of the pontificate by John XXIII and Paul VI (until 1970).

The choice of that time period, between 1955 and 1970, of placing the advancement of Freemasonry on the Vatican dome, does not seem coincidental. It is not coincidental, taking into account the pontificate periods involved; but it is suspicious that the list ends by the end of 1970, when Grand Master Lino Salvini took office at the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI). Salvini, an arrogant with little lights who allowed the delinquent Licio Gelli to begin shaping his mafia network under the umbrella of the Masonic lodge Propaganda 2, an organization that, indeed, from 1971, but not before, will become firmly established among the most corrupt Italian men of Christian democracy; and from his hand, eventually entering the Vatican, although not looking to initiate freemasons among the cardinals, but on the contrary, making contacts and partners to undertake large and corrupt business with some cardinals... who were not exactly progressive.

In this network of ecclesiastical Freemasonry, in which someone with little imagination baptized as loggia Ecclesia, had belonged to the mafia organization of Licio Gelli -as repeated ad nauseam by Catholics writers and journalists and diverse conspiranoics -, its affiliates would have entered from1971 on, but not before. But it turns out that the list of freemasonic clerics dates to its last initiate to the end of 1970. Moreover, only someone illiterate in Masonic matters, or a manipulator, could claim that the alleged loggia Ecclesia was "in direct contact with the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, Duke Michael of Kent". If the Ecclesia had been part of Propaganda 2 by Gelli, it could not have had any connection with the British GLUI, and if it had belonged to the GLUI, it could not have had the structure or the location that is being adjudicated to it. The fabrication seems more than evident.

Curiously, when in May 1981, listings of members of the Propaganda 2 by Licio Gelli were seized and published, political, military, journalists, editors, lawyers ... all, except ecclesiastical figures were among the 962 names. A miracle indeed, if we recall that many members of Gelli's corrupt organization were daily mass Catholics, with deep economic and personal relationships with members of the Vatican curia, and precisely this path of brotherhood among the freemasons of Gelli's mafia with the clergy's mafia, as Cardinal Marcinkus which, among many other disasters, led to the bankruptcy of the IOR (Institute for Works of Religion), called the Vatican bankruptcy, and, indirectly, facilitated the rise of Opus Dei to the control apparatus of the Catholic Church.

The tempo of the apparitions of that listing in the Italian press also deserves some attention. So when, in August 1976, the list of "Vatican freemasons" was first published, Licio Gelli was being judged within the Grand Orient of Italy for his many perpetrated irregularities, a fact that went unnoticed before masons and profanes. The noise that was triggered by the publication of that list was useful to many, also to Gelli, who momentarily would save his Masonic skin inside the GOI.

The following recurrences of the listing in the Italian press also lacked manipulative context. In the magazine Oggi (17 June 1981) the listing was published when, after renewing condemnation against Freemasonry, in February that year by order of the new Pope Wojtyla, it became evident it was not taken seriously or adopted by a majority of bishops; but in those days in May, another problem for the Church also emerged when, in the middle of the investigation of some fraudulent bankruptcy starring Michele Sindone, the roster of members of the "Freemasonry" of Gelli appeared brimming with fervent Catholics, as noted above.

A decade later, in the weekly 30 Giorni (November 11, 1992), the publication of the list in the body of the ultraconservative Communion and Liberation -which will have Giulio Andreotti, one of the darkest and twisted wretches of world politics, among its directors -came to reinforce the resurgence of the anti-Masonic campaign that Ratzinger had launched at the beginning of that year, from Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops.

We could extend what has been said unto this point to many additional comments, leading us to believe that the listing of "Massoni Vaticani" was a falsehood fabricated by the most reactionary of the Roman Curia; a rabble not unknown to the very Licio Gelli and his own private circle of depraved Christian Democrats.

However, it would be risky on our part, to deny the possibility that some ecclesiastical figure, prelate or not, would had been a Mason in those days. Their initiation as such does not seem very feasible, but at that time many clerics and also prelates, maintained excellent relations with Freemasons and they shared many of the ideas and approaches that both institutions have in common ... just as those same groups related and exchanged thoughts with personages from various fields as well. Where is the danger? Perhaps the danger could be in reducing the level of dogmatism that is imposed by the Holy Mother Church on her own peoples?

But, what did exist and still exists among the Vatican Curia and its heavenly court, is another form of brotherhood that, more in the style of Propaganda 2 by Licio Gelli-and not Masonic in any manner- is made out of the so-called "careerists", who help each other to quietly climb and thrive through the merciless forest of cassocks that toil to build the kingdom on behalf of their own interests, while grazing pastures on someone else's lawns.

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