Christopher Ferraro gives us a modern world history lesson – Free Masonry vs. The Catholic Church

Coming on September 1 is Liberty: the God that Failed, which examines “the long chain of frauds and usurpations” by which the common man was subjected to the power of secularized central governments founded on the very principles radical libertarians defend (even as they complain about the resulting abuses of state power and call for an “anarcho-capitalist” utopia).

One cannot understand the perilous situation in which our Pope finds himself today without recognizing that he is struggling against a social order whose anti-Catholic and Masonic foundations have long since been forgotten. In the following excerpt from Liberty: the God that Failed, Mr. Ferrara provides a sketch of Pope Leo XIII’s own struggle against the forces that were constructing political modernity during his pontificate by the violent overthrow of Catholic social order in country after country. By reviewing this history we can learn not only how the Church arrived at her present state of crisis but also what we can expect in the future if she is not completely reformed according to her own sacred Tradition. MJM

Pope Leo XIII and the New Zeitgeist

The pontificate of Leo XIII (1878-1903) spanned the historical transition between the Church’s militant opposition to emerging political modernity, as summed up in the Syllabus, and a conditional truce with the new order of Liberty for lack of any practical possibility of overturning it, especially in France. Leo’s pontificate also spanned the Progressive Era in America (1890 to the early 1900s) and the rise of what has been called “the Americanist heresy” among liberal American Catholics who, like their European counterparts, opposed the “ultramontanes,” slighted the Syllabus, and sought not merely a prudential accommodation to the new order, but the Church’s embrace of Liberty as a positive good and indeed the divinely ordained future of the human race. Leo charted a course through these developments that left the Church’s opposition to the new order intact in principle and rejected “Americanism,” but recognized the insuperable practical realities that had come into play after a century of revolution and social upheaval had all but destroyed Christendom.

By the time Pope Leo ascended to the papacy in 1878, the post-Christian state was already a reality in America, France, and Italy, where the Pope’s temporal sovereignty now extended no further than a Vatican city state surrounded by a republic that Masonic heroes had imposed by the usual means: force of arms, followed by token plebiscites and the passive popular acceptance of a fait accompli. As the turn of the century approached no one was more aware than Leo that, as the mid-20th century liberal Catholic luminary, John Courtney Murray, S.J. put it, “a new Zeitgeist was on its conquering march, [and] a new climate of opinion and feeling had rolled in from many quarters upon the world, especially upon the European world which was closest to him.” [i]

In his inaugural encyclical, Inscrutabili (1878), on “the evils of society,” Leo offered this withering assessment of what the new Zeitgeist had produced after a century of violent revolution, war and devastation:

… widespread subversion of the primary truths on which, as on its foundations, human society is based;… obstinacy of mind that will not brook any authority however lawful;… endless sources of disagreement… civil strife, and ruthless war and bloodshed;… contempt of law which molds characters and is the shield of righteousness;… insatiable craving for things perishable, with complete forgetfulness of things eternal, leading up to the desperate madness whereby so many wretched beings [] scruple not to lay violent hands upon themselves;… the shamelessness of those who, full of treachery, make semblance of being champions of country, of freedom, and every kind of right; in fine, the deadly kind of plague which infects in its inmost recesses, allowing it no respite and foreboding ever fresh disturbances and final disaster.[ii]

In his next encyclical, Quod apostolici, issued in the same year, Leo repeated the theme of a “deadly plague that is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction…”[iii] A line of subsequent Popes, including Pope Pius XII, would track the progress of the “plague” in their own pronouncements, offering a series of increasingly grim prognoses culminating in Pius XII’s observations after World War II that “We are overwhelmed with sadness and anguish, seeing that the wickedness of perverse men has reached a degree of impiety that is unbelievable and absolutely unknown in other times,”[iv] and that “[t]he human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its destruction.” [v]

Read more