In another article, we looked at the significance of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions and the 300th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry. Eyewitness accounts of 1917 events, including that of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who witnessed Masonic attacks on Our Lady of Fatima and the Pope in Rome.
In his book Athanasius and the Church of Our Time, the Rt. Rev. Rudolf Graber, bishop of Regensburg (1962-1982), identified the influence of Freemasonry in the catastrophic collapse of the true Catholic Church and the emergence of the “spirit of Vatican II” Church. He quotes from a book published in 1964 by Freemason Yves Marsaudon:
“The goal is no longer the destruction of the Church but rather to make use of it by infiltration. One day the dogmatic Church must disappear or adapt itself, and in order to adapt, return to its sources.”
Bishop Graber saw this as the culmination of a Masonic plan that he traced back to an 1839 secret instruction [of the Alta Vendita] outlining their plans to “popularize vice in society” and the moral corruption of the clergy:
“We must not individualize vice; in order for it to grow to the proportions of patriotism and hatred of the Church, we must generalize it. Catholicism is no more afraid of a sharp dagger than the monarchy is, but these two foundations of the social order are likely to collapse through corruption; we at all events never allow ourselves to be corrupted. Do not, then, let us make martyrs but let us popularize vice among the masses. Whatever their five senses strive after shall be satisfied. … Create hearts full of vice and you will no longer have any Catholicism. That is the corruption, on a large scale, which we have undertaken, the corruption of the people by the clergy and that of the clergy by us, the corruption which leads the way to our digging the Church’s grave.”
Clearly, Freemasonry is fundamentally hostile to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, given its history of violent anti-Catholicism, even though it accepts Catholics in its lodges. Since Pope Clement XII’s apostolic letter In Eminenti Apostolatus Specula (1738), a series of magisterial statements have been issued warning against the threat posed by Freemasonry. According to the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Freemasonry was an organization that plotted “against the Church or legitimate civil authorities.” The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Declaration on Masonic Associations, issued in 1983, upholds the penalty of excommunication for Catholics who join Masonic Lodges:
“Therefore, the negative position of the Church in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged, since their basic principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the teachings of the Church, and consequently, membership of them remains forbidden. The faithful who belong to Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”
The Catholic Church has been aware of Freemasonry’s original strategy to destroy the Church since its founding in 1717, which was modified in 1908 to become a plan to infiltrate the Church.