Is Masonic infiltration responsible for the widespread apostasy among Catholic clergy?
As should be clear to anyone looking at the facts surrounding Pecorelli’s List, Freemasonry has certainly entered the walls of the Vatican at least several decades ago.
Thu Oct 20, 2022 – 12:12 pm EDT
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(LifeSiteNews) Something has gone seriously wrong within the hierarchy of the Church. The widespread heresy, scandal, corruption, and apostasy of the shepherds whom Christ aptly condemned as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” is too systematic, and now overt, to have come about by mere chance or human weakness.
Ingenious planning and ruthless, calculated execution have brought the Church’s hierarchy to such a state that evil bishops no longer hide their rejection of the Deposit of Faith, their hatred of Christian morals, or their contempt toward believing, faithful Catholics.
The pro-LGBT, pro-contraception, pro-abortion, pro-women-priests agenda of the German bishops’ “Synodal Way,” the Flemish bishops’ “rite of blessing” for homosexual couples, Cardinal Arthur Roche’s derisive labelling of traditional Catholics as more Protestant than Catholic, the Pope’s elevation of numerous LGBT-promoting bishops to the College of Cardinals, the cover-up of the infamous McCarrick case, the widespread network of the gay lobby among bishops and within the walls of Rome, the handing over of the underground Church in China to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by the Vatican, the Holy See’s endorsement and joining of the strongly pro-abortion Paris Climate Agreement, the worship of the Pachamama and participation in indigenous invocations of the spirits of the dead… the list goes on and on.
The mass apostasy that we are seeing today within the ranks of the Church’s highest members, however, has not been the work of a single day or of a single year. In this regard, a few facts will help put the present situation in perspective. The report below will include the following:
- The Masonic plan to infiltrate the Church’s hierarchy laid out in the “Alta Vendita,” and Vatican/Masonic correspondence evidencing an attempt to take over Italian seminaries in the 1960s.
- Pecorelli’s List of 1978 identifying 120 Vatican officials who were members of Freemasonry, including their dates of entry, code numbers, and acronyms.
- Facts about the Roman Masonic Lodge Propaganda Due (P2) and its leader Licio Gelli, as background to Pecorelli’s List.
- The Vatican-commissioned Gagnon investigation regarding the infiltration of Freemasons within the Holy See, and the circumstances surrounding the death of John Paul I.
- The undercover work of Father Luigi Villa against Freemasons in the Vatican, a mission assigned by Padre Pio and confirmed by Pius XII.
- Notable names on Pecorelli’s List and the damage to the Church done by Masonic prelates.
The Alta Vendita: A Masonic plan laid out
In the late nineteenth century, the document, “The Permanent Instruction on the Alta Vendita,” directed members of the Masonic Lodge to undertake a century’s long effort to undermine the Catholic Church from within. The document stated:
The Pope, whoever he may be, will never come to the secret societies. It is for the secret societies to come to the Church… The work we have undertaken is not the work of a day, nor of a month, nor of a year. It may last many years, a century perhaps, but in our ranks the soldier dies and the fight continues…
Once your reputation is established in the colleges… and in the seminaries – once you shall have captivated the confidence of professors and students, act so that those who are engaged in the ecclesiastic state should love to seek your conversation… Then little by little you will bring your disciples to the degree of cooking desired. When upon all the points of ecclesiastical state at once, this daily work shall have spread our ideas as light, then you will appreciate the wisdom of the counsel in which we take the initiative…
That reputation will open the way for our doctrines to pass to the bosoms of the young clergy, and go even to the depths of convents. In a few years the young clergy will have, by force of events, invaded all the functions. They will govern, administer, and judge. They will form the council of the Sovereign. They will be called upon to choose the Pontiff who will reign; and that Pontiff, like the greater part of his contemporaries, will be necessarily imbued with the… humanitarian principles which we are about to put into circulation…
Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You wish to cause the last vestige of tyranny and of oppression to disappear? Lay your nets like Simon Bar Jona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents, rather than in the depth of the sea… You will bring yourselves as friends around the Apostolic Chair.
At the time of the publication of the Alta Vendita, Italian Freemasonry carried an especially anti-clerical animus and hatred of the papacy and the Church. In 1877, the Lodge, Propaganda Massonica, also known as Propaganda Due (P2), was established in Rome for political persons whose membership was kept utterly secret due to the Papal condemnations of Masonry. But by 1917, in celebration of their 200-year anniversary, the Masons brazenly marched in St. Peter’s Square flying a banner that read, “Satan will rule in the Vatican, the Pope will be his slave.”
Several decades later, following the promptings of the Alta Vendita, the Freemasons in Italy began to execute a concrete plan to undermine the Church from within. In 1961, the chairman of the Pontifical Commission for Cultural Heritage of the Church, Monsignor Francesco Marchisano, who went by the Masonic code name FRAMA, wrote three letters to the grand master of the Grand Orient of Italy (G.O.I.) regarding a plan to take over priestly seminaries in Italy’s Piedmont and Lombardy regions.
The seminaries of Trent, Turin, and Udine were identified as ideal locations for the attempt, where a good number of fellow Freemasons were known to have already infiltrated. The letters were obtained and published in September 2002, by Fr. Luigi Villa, in a dossier titled, “An Appointment Scandal,” and again in September 2019, in the journal founded by Fr. Villa, Chiesa Viva.
The 2002 publication came in response to the appointment of Marchisano to the position of vicar general for the Vatican City and president of the San Pietro Works. Villa had previously exposed Marchisano’s full Masonic registration data in June 1981 in Chiesa Viva. The monsignor’s letters to the Grand Master read as follows:
May 23, 1961
Venerable and Illustrious Grand Master,
With great joy I received, through F. MAPA [Msgr. Pasquale Macchi, Secretary of Pope Paul VI], your delicate task: to quietly organize throughout the Piedmont and Lombardy, a plan to destroy the studies and discipline in the seminaries. I don’t deny that the task is huge and I need many collaborators, especially among the teaching staff. You should notify me so I can approach them as soon as possible with some study tactics. I reserve more accurate communications after a meeting and personal interview with MAPA.
Meanwhile, please accept my prayerful greeting.
To Ven G. Master of the G.O. (delivered by hand)
September 12, 1961
Illustrious and Reverend G. Master,
After having approached and contacted F.F. [Fellow Freemasons] Pelmo and Bifra [Franco Biffi, Rector of the Lateran University] several times, I returned to MAPA to submit an initial work plan. He recommends starting with the disintegration of the curriculum, pressing upon our faithful teachers, because with a new updating of topics of pseudo-philosophy and pseudo-theology, they will cast the seed at the students, now thirsty for anything new. Thus, the disciplinary disruption will be a simple consequence that will result spontaneously, without us having to deal with it: the students will think they did it themselves. It is therefore essential that you pay these teachers well, of whom you already have the list. I will be a diligent overseer and I will refer everything to you, faithfully.
With the most devoted and friendly greeting
The Grand Master – Palazzo Giustiniani (delivered by hand)
Illustrious and Reverend G. Master,
In the meeting, last night, F.F. [Fellow Freemasons] Pelmo, Mapa, Bifra, Salma [Salvatore Marsili, O.S.B. Abbot of Finalpia], Buan [Abp. Annibale Bugnini, Commission on the Liturgy], Algo [Alessandro Gottardi, Archbishop of Trent] and Vino [Virgilio Noe, Master of Ceremonies] were present, I could conclude that: – First, we should start experiments at some seminaries of Italy, those of Trent and Turin, or that one of Udine where we have a good number of F.F.[Fellow Freemasons]; – Secondly, we must spread our concept of freedom and human dignity, in all the seminaries without any hesitation from either of the Superiors, nor by any law. We need a comprehensive printing. At this point, we need a meeting with all of you to decide how to act and to whom to entrust the various tasks.
With my prayerful greeting
The Grand Master – Palazzo Giustiniani (delivered by hand)
‘Pecorelli’s List’: 120 Vatican officials named Freemasons
On September 12, 1978, nearly a century after the publication of the Alta Vendita and just shy of two decades since the launching of the plot to take over Italy’s seminaries, Italian lawyer and investigative journalist Carmine Minor Pecorelli, director of a news agency and journal specializing in political scandals and crimes, L’Osservatorio Politico, published a list of high-ranking Vatican cardinals, bishops, and priests whom he identified as members of Masonic lodges. The list came to be known as “Pecorelli’s List,” and included the names, dates of entry into Freemasonry, code numbers, and acronyms of 120 Vatican officials.
Pecorelli himself belonged to the Roman Masonic Lodge, Propaganda Due (P2), which was discovered by the Italian police to have ranking members of nearly every branch of the country’s government, including national defense. An official investigation uncovered lists of members grouped by political office, all under the thumb of Licio Gelli, venerable master of the Masonic Lodge.
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Why Pecorelli published a list of high-ranking members of the Vatican whom he claimed also numbered among the Freemasons may never be known. Was it slander? Was it to discredit the Church? Or was it because his list would have just exposed the greatest scandal within the walls of the Vatican in his (or our) lifetime, a work not unappealing to a political journalist with sensitive inside information.
What is known is that Pecorelli was shot dead in Rome six months later, almost to the day, on March 20, 1979. He was killed with four gunshots in Rome’s Prati district. Apparently, the bullets were of the Gevelot brand, a peculiarly rare type of bullet not easily found in either legal or clandestine markets. The same type of bullet was discovered in the “Banda della Magliana’s” weapon stock, concealed in the Italian government Health Ministry’s basement. Among those targeted by the police investigations was the head of Propaganda Due, Licio Gelli.
Propaganda Due and Licio Gelli
Licio Gelli had joined Italian Freemasonry only a few years before in 1965. However, he quickly rose to a role of incredible power within Masonry and within Italy when, in 1970, Lino Salvini, then Grand Master of Italy’s Grand Orient Lodge, tasked Gelli with restructuring the Propaganda Due Lodge of Rome, of which he became the venerable master in 1975. This lodge, originally founded in 1877 for Roman politicians whose membership in Masonry had to be kept utterly secret due to their public office and proximity to the papacy, rose from numbering a mere 14 members in the mid-1960’s to almost 1,000 by the end of the 1970’s under Gelli’s leadership.
On March 17, 1981, Italian police raided Gelli’s home as part of an investigation into the alleged kidnapping of the Sicilian banker, Michele Sindona. The authorities discovered lists of 962 members of the Masonic Lodge Propaganda Due. The names included 43 members of Parliament, 3 cabinet members, 43 generals, 8 admirals, the heads of all of Italy’s armed forces, heads of the security services, diplomats, police chiefs in Italy’s four biggest cities, and Vatican officials, to give only a few of the more prominent political personages.
To Italian authorities not numbering among the members of P2, Gelli’s vast network of Masons secretly answerable to him constituted a “state within a state” and threatened the nation’s stability and sovereignty. Having thrown itself into the fray of Italy’s politics, P2 was involved in such things as the “Italicus” train bombing of 1974, in which 12 people were killed, and the Bologna Station massacre, in which 85 people were killed.
Its members were also found to have taken control of the Vatican Bank, bringing the Holy See nearly to bankruptcy in a financial scandal that broke in the mid-1980s and from which the Vatican has yet to fully extricate itself. In the 1970s, the activities of P2 caused a stir even within Freemasonry, finally leading to the official dissolution of the Propaganda Due Lodge in 1981 by the Grand Orient of Italy.
The Gagnon report
Simultaneous to the publication of Pecorelli’s List, within the walls of the Vatican, the findings of a three-year official audit of all the offices of the Holy See, conducted by Archbishop Edouard Gagnon, concerning allegations that certain prelates and clerics of the Roman Curia were secretly members of Freemasonry, were presented in person to Pope John Paul I. According to the recently published memoirs of Gagnon’s secretary, Father Charles Murr, “Archbishop Gagnon compiled an exhaustive dossier which left him in no doubt that these shocking allegations were in fact true.”
Gagnon’s investigation of Freemasonry within the Roman Curia had been officially commissioned by Paul VI in response to the particular accusation that two high-ranking prelates were Freemasons: Annibale Bugnini and Sebastian Baggio. Bugnini was in charge of the Commission for the reform of the Latin Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council, which produced the Novus Ordo Missale Romanum. Baggio was Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, responsible for the nomination and choice of bishops throughout the entire Catholic world.
While the full contents of Gagnon’s investigation are not publicly known, some details about the affair have been divulged. Among such details is the fact that Gagnon made known that he did in fact have evidence confirming that Archbishop Bugnini and Cardinal Baggio were members of Freemasonry. This evidence included the authentication of documents by INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, responsible for the investigation of international crimes. Gagnon’s findings thus corroborated Pecorelli’s List, which also included the names of these cardinals.
As a result of Gagnon’s investigation, Bugnini was sent in the last years of his life to Iran as Apostolic Nuncio, where he would ostensibly do the least harm to the Church, given the scarcity of Catholics in Iran and the nearly non-existent interaction between the Holy See and Iran’s Islamic government.
Baggio, however, proved harder to get rid of. He would, in fact, remain head of the Congregation for Bishops until 1984, several years into the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, holding a tenure of twelve years in that position. The length of his tenure would contribute considerably to the incalculable harm done to the Church by this Masonic episcopal kingmaker.
Taking a step back, a few striking facts about the month-long pontificate of John Paul I raise the question of the depth of the Masonic plots within the Vatican. On September 12, 1978, Pecorelli published his list of Vatican officials who were members of Freemasonry. On September 25, 1978, Archbishop Gagnon met privately with John Paul I to present to him the findings of his three-year investigation into the same matter. The archbishop carried a large dossier and made known to his secretary that he broached to the Pontiff the topic of Baggio’s membership in the Masonic Lodge. He also told his secretary that the Pope had agreed to deal with the Mason cardinal.
On September 28, John Paul I called Baggio personally to have him come meet the Pontiff in his office that day. Baggio met privately with the Pope in his personal apartment later that evening at 8 p.m. for about an hour and was heard to be yelling at the Pope by the Swiss Guards who were in attendance outside the room, to which they later testified. The next morning, September 29, John Paul I was found dead in his room. He was declared by the doctor to have died around 11 p.m. the night before. Six months later, on March 20, 1979, Pecorelli was shot dead in Rome.
Given the circumstances and questions surrounding the death of John Paul I – the fact that the Pontiff died so suddenly a mere two weeks after the publication of Pecorelli’s List, three days after he received Gagnon’s report in private audience, and only two hours after his confrontation with Baggio, the Mason naming the Church’s bishops and the last man to have seen the Pontiff before he was found dead – Father Luigi Villa, a Vatican official working under the protection of the Holy Office (about whom more will be said below), ordered Cardinal Palazzini to have an autopsy conducted. Three autopsies, officially called “medical examinations,” were conducted, the verdict of each confirming that the Pope had been assassinated. The results of the autopsies were not published by the Vatican, which officially gave “heart attack” as the cause of the Pope’s death, after changing the narrative several times.
Fr. Luigi Villa
To add to the Masonic intrigue within the Church, in addition to the work of Archbishop Gagnon in investigating Freemasonry within the Vatican, there was another priest who for several decades, both before and after, was also engaged in the same mission.
In 1956, Fr. Luigi Villa, on a visit to Padre Pio, was assigned by the saint with the mission to dedicate his entire life to defending the Church from the work of the Freemasons, especially those within the Church. Subsequently, Pope Pius XII personally confirmed this mission by giving Villa a papal mandate to do exactly this. The Pope placed the priest under the protection of Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office, Pietro Parente, and Pietro Palazzini.
Villa worked tirelessly over the course of his priestly career to uncover and obstruct the maneuvers of the Freemasons who had infiltrated the ranks of the hierarchy, enduring seven assassination attempts on account of the enemies he made.
In 1971, Villa founded the journal Chiesa Viva, with correspondents from all continents, to expose the work of the Masons within the Church. Villa himself conducted investigations into the membership of prelates and priests within Freemasonry, verifying documents with police records and listings from Masonic lodges. In 1992, Chiesa Viva re-published Pecorelli’s List together with a presentation by Magistrate Carlo Alberto Agnoli, author of “La Massoneria alla Conquista della Chiesa,” who stressed the reliability of the List.
Notable names on Pecorelli’s List
Volumes could be written on the damage done to the Church by the cardinals, bishops, and priests named as Freemasons on Pecorelli’s List. I limit myself to considering only a few.
Archbishop Annibale Bugnini is listed as having joined Freemasonry on April 4, 1963, with the code number 1365/75 and the acronym BUAN. Bugnini was the man who spearheaded the changes made to the liturgy, the aims of which changes were to remove from the Roman Rite of the Mass anything that would be objectionable to Protestants. The texts of the Church’s ancient prayers and her selections from Scripture were stripped of much of their doctrinal content as well as the prized Tridentine emphasis on the sacrificial character of the Mass, so crucial to the countering of Protestant heresies. The changes to the arrangement of the sanctuary were modeled off the style of the Masonic Temple, in which the altar stands in the center rather than facing East.
The noted anthropocentric overtones of the Novus Ordo liturgy and the drastic shift toward a liberalizing of doctrine and practice in the Church, which has accompanied the liturgical changes in the Mass, are the unsurprising fruit of the work of a Freemason allowed to unscrupulously change at will whatever he pleased and thought he could impose with impunity upon the entire Latin Church.
Equally damaging to the Church was the long tenure of Cardinal Sebastian Baggio in his role as Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, which effectively made him a Masonic puppet-master of sorts. According to Pecorelli’s List, Baggio enrolled in the Masonic Lodge on August 14, 1957, with the code number 85/2640 and the acronym SEBA. In 1962 he was appointed Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, after Cardinal Jean Villot – also listed by Pecorelli as a Mason, and who at the time served as Secretary of State under Paul VI – lobbied hard to get Baggio appointed to the role. It would have been bad enough that a Freemason should have a hand at all in the choice of any bishop, but that Baggio was made Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and was thus free to name liberal, modernist, homosexual, and Masonic bishops the world over for more than a decade is unfathomable.
In a letter to his venerable grand master, dated January 4, 1969, Baggio thanked the Masonic Lodge for securing his elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals, assuring his fellow Masons of his continued cooperation in penetrating ecclesiastical circles, especially roles of leadership, for the sake of “ruining the whole Church from within in all sectors.” This letter was photographed and recently published in 2019 in Chiesa Viva:
January 4, 1969
To the Venerable Grand Master
To the Most Esteemed Assistants
I have just received the communication from Mapa of my appointment as cardinal, obtained from You through all Your powerful ways. I hasten to express to you all, beloved and esteemed Brothers, my grateful and devoted thanks. As in the past, I am always at Your disposal regarding our programs of expansion and penetration in ecclesiastical circles, especially in those spheres of leadership that will be, tomorrow, the main points for ruining the whole Church from within in all sectors.
With renewed loyalty, V.F. greets you.
SB (Sebastiano Baggio)
To add insult to injury to the Bride of Christ and assure the wholesale retreat of the rearguard of orthodox bishops in the Church, it was during Baggio’s rule as bishop-maker that the retirement age of 75 was set for bishops for the first time in the Church’s history. The immediate effect of the novel legislation was that many episcopal See’s throughout the world became vacant as bishops over 75 handed in their letters of resignation. This situation uniquely allowed Baggio an amply free hand to replace nearly the entire episcopacy of the Church in the space of a very short time and to attempt to reshape it in his own image. Rarely has any man, whether pope or bishop, been in such a position to influence so vast a part of the Catholic episcopacy in so short a time.
It was from this era that the Church in the U.S. was given such bishops as McCarrick, Weakland, Mahony, Brown, and Bernadin. The crimes and sins on these men’s hands include homosexual rape, a homosexual affair, sexual abuse of minors, cover-up of abusive priests, advocacy for women priests, a militant trampling upon the Church’s traditional music and liturgy, the forbidding of Catholics to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament for Holy Communion, and the watering-down of the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life for the unborn, to put just a few sins and scandals to their names.
Other persons named on Pecorelli’s List include Cardinal Villot, the Secretary of State for the Holy See under Paul VI, who acted as a kind of patron for Baggio, getting him appointed to the Congregation for Bishops. Also named was Bishop Paul Marcinkus, head of the Vatican Bank, who joined Masonry on August 21, 1967, with the code number 43/649, and the acronym MARPA, who was involved in the bank scandal that nearly toppled the Holy See financially in the 1980s.
Another prominent name was Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, Minister of Foreign Affairs under Paul VI and Secretary of State under John Paul II. Casaroli entered Masonry on September 28, 1957, with the code number 41/076, under the acronym CASA. It was Casaroli who was responsible for the Vatican’s open attitude toward the communists during the pontificate of Paul VI, a policy called Ostpolitik, which led the Pope to remove Cardinal József Mindszenty as Primate of Hungary, resulting in the establishment of a state church under the control of Hungary’s communist rulers. This policy was later rejected by John Paul II, coming as he did from behind the Iron Curtain, but the damage to the Church in Eastern Europe had already been done.
Now, lest it be thought that the Masons named on Pecorelli’s List are a thing of the past, it must be pointed out that within the last decade names on his list continue to appear in the goings-on of the Vatican. Just one such case is Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, whom Pecorelli identified as having entered Masonry on April 2, 1970, with the code number 3317/42 and the acronym PIPIVI. Pinto ruled as Dean of the Church’s highest court, the Roman Rota, from September 2012 to March 2021, making headlines when he took it upon himself to criticize the four cardinals who had submitted the “dubia” to Pope Francis regarding his teaching in Amoris Laetitia on admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion.
As should be clear to anyone looking at the facts surrounding Pecorelli’s List, Freemasonry has certainly entered the walls of the Vatican at least several decades ago. Full verification of the list, while difficult, is certainly possible, given the police seizure of Licio Gelli’s documents naming all the members of Rome’s Masonic Lodge, Propaganda Due. Archbishop Gagnon’s report also lies unpublished within the archives of the Vatican. In addition to these sources, there are the investigations conducted by Fr. Luigi Villa, some of which were published in the journal Chiesa Viva.
With Italian prelates such as Bishop Francesco Soddu of Terni recently presuming to publicly attend the inauguration of a new entrance to the Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient of Italy, a new investigation into Freemasonry within the ranks of the Church’s hierarchy is long overdue. Only then will the damage Masonry has caused and is causing the Body of Christ begin to be brought to light.
- Alta Vendita
- Annibale Bugnini
- Carmine Minor Pecorelli
- Charles Murr
- Chiesa Viva
- Édouard Gagnon
- Francesco Marchisano
- Francesco Soddu
- Italian Freemasonry
- Jean Villot
- Latin Mass
- Licio Gelli
- Luigi Villa
- Masonic Lodge
- Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient of Italy
- Masonic Temple
- Novus Ordo
- Pecorelli’s List
- Pontifical Commission for Cultural Heritage of the Church
- Pope John Paul I
- Pope John Paul Ii
- Pope Paul Vi
- Propaganda Due
- Propaganda Massonica
- Roman Curia
- sebastian baggio