What Happened to the Church

© Copyright 2022, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)

Many people want a short and sweet explanation of what happened to the Church that caused the disappearance of everything it was for nearly 2,000 years. I provide the long version of that explanation in my work The Phantom Church in Rome, available in the book section. While I am not sure a short version is possible to do justice to what happened to the Church, I will try to provide a brief summary here.

Poison imbibed over time in small doses is just as effective in most cases as a massive dose administered all at once; it simply takes a little longer to achieve the desired result. Parading as various “isms” over many centuries, this is how the Church was finally brought to her knees – small doses of poison, secretly doled out over time to those in seminaries, Catholic universities and parochial schools. Gallicanism and Protestantism are the two “isms” most liable in all this, for both shared a common denominator that appeared to be an outside entity but in reality was also the driving force behind all the “isms” generated after the Reformation. This includes but is not limited to Naturalism, Jansenism, Quietism, Illuminism, Regalism, Rationalism, Fideism (also called Traditionalism), Humanism, Nationalism, Socialism, Communism and Modernism. This force was itself fed by ancient heresies that can be traced back as far as pre-Christian times. For even St. Jude warns of “certain men secretly entered in.” This driving force is, of course, Freemasonry.

Gnosticism
The Church has battled heresies from the beginning. As Holy Scripture tells us, there is nothing new under the sun. Numerous offshoots of the first major heresy combatted by the Church, (Gnosticism, manifested in the various sects of Freemasonry and related secret societies), is what plagues the Church today. Modernism is often cited as the primary heresy, even in my own book, which finally toppled the juridic Church, but Gnosticism is part and parcel of it. Modernism is described by Pope St. Pius X as “the synthesis of all heresies.” Gnosticism, then, emerges from Modernism’s core to serve as its polar or guiding star. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines Gnosticism as:

“The doctrine of salvation by knowledge. Whereas Judaism and Christianity, and almost all pagan systems, hold that the soul attains its proper end by obedience of mind and will to the Supreme Power, i.e. by faith and works, it is markedly peculiar to Gnosticism that it places the salvation of the soul merely in the possession of a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of magic formulae indicative of that knowledge. Gnostics were ‘people who knew,’ and their knowledge at once constituted them a superior class of beings.” Because they despised matter, they reduced Christ to a mere phantasm, denying the Incarnation.

Sound familiar? Not only does it describe the ruling elite today, but the “mysteries” and Satanic teachings of Freemasonry and its upper echelons to whom those elite belong. They just “know” what is best for us; they “know” things we cannot and do not (nor ever want) to know. On the religious spectrum, “They possessed what may be called ‘theosophic’ treatises and revelations of a highly mystical character,” and placed “unshakable trust in astrology, the persuasion that the planetary system had a fatalistic influence on this world’s affairs,” so the science of the day was an important part of their belief system (M.L. Cozens, in his 1928 A Handbook of Heresies).

Cozens also says of Gnosticism: “The Gnostics taught salvation not by faith and love but by speculative knowledge and in more degraded development, by magic rites…” Like Freemasonry, Gnosticism “was but a large conglomeration of sects,” among them Manichaenism, and the Catholic Encyclopedia demonstrates the diverse teachings and beliefs of several of these. Cozens explains that trying “…to describe it is like trying to describe the ever-changing pattern within a revolving kaleidoscope. Each teacher reforms it or adds some startling revelation of his own.”

Modernism
The similarities to or affinity with Modernism lie in its elusive nature, “its ever-changing pattern” as Cozens characterizes Gnosticism above. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as follows: “Etymologically, modernism means an exaggerated love of what is modern, an infatuation for modern ideas, ‘the abuse of what is modern,’ as the Abbé Gaudaud explains (La Foi catholique, I, 1908, p. 248).’ …The spirit of this plan of reform may be summarized under the following heads:

• a spirit of complete emancipation, tending to weaken ecclesiastical authority;
• the emancipation of science, which must traverse every field of investigation without fear of conflict with the Church;
• the emancipation of the State, which should never be hampered by religious authority;
• the emancipation of the private conscience whose inspirations must not be overridden by papal definitions or anathemas;
• the emancipation of the universal conscience, with which the Church should be ever in agreement;
• A spirit of reconciliation among all men through the feelings of the heart. Many and varied also are the modernist dreams of an understanding between the different Christian religions, nay, even between religion and a species of atheism, and all on a basis of agreement that must be superior to mere doctrinal differences.”
• And to this we must add Pope St. Pius X’s teaching in Pascendi that “…sentiment and experience alone, when not enlightened and guided by reason, do not lead to the knowledge of God…”

According to the New Catholic Dictionary (Conde Pallen and Wynne, editors; 1929) the teaching and belief of secret societies is nothing more than Positivism. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that Positivism “…denies the validity of metaphysical speculations, and maintains that the data of sense experience are the only object and the supreme criterion of human knowledge; as a religious system, it denies the existence of a personal God.” This is identical to what Pope St. Pius said above in Pascendi.

We also see on the list above the same superiority of the Gnostic, the reverence for science, the disparagement of any authority other than their own (superiority) and a different interpretation of reality, placing feelings over intellect. The ever-evolving nature of Modernism, to remain “current” with technology and the ongoing doctrinal revision they prescribe is like the ever-changing pattern Cozens describes above. Like Gnosticism, Modernism leads to Pantheism, and this is the teaching of Pope St. Pius X. “That every phenomenon of conscience proceeds from man as man… is the identity of man with God, which means Pantheism” (A Catechism of Modernism, p. 118). And both Gnosticism and Freemasonry have the hidden meanings behind their symbolism in common. Also, Gnosticism and Modernism both reduce belief to religious sentiment, or “quasi-intuitive knowledge” and falsify Catholic reality. There are amazing correlations between the properties of Modernism listed above and the teachings of the various interconnecting heresies as found in the Catholic Encyclopedia below:

• So Jewish Kabbalism is “theosophy mixed with various forms of magic and occultism.” It can be traced to “the Oriental or Egyptian Pantheists, and the Gnostics of the earliest Christian ages.
• Theosophy is “the knowledge of God supposed to be obtained by the direct intuition of the Divine essence… In method it differs from theology, which is the knowledge of God obtained by revelation, and from philosophy, which is the knowledge of Divine things acquired by human reasoning… It receives its knowledge by intuition or illumination.
• Theosophy is inherent in Gnosticism: “The Gnostic systems reveal more theosophy than theology.” The professed objectives of the Theosophical Society in New York City founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1875 are to form the nucleus of a universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color; to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. This last clause gives occasion to include magic, the occult, the uncanny, and the marvelous in any and every form.
• Madame Blavatsky was the founder of a branch of Freemasonry known as Co-Masonry.

Scholasticism
As Michael J. Mahoney, S.J. tells us in his 1918 work Formal Logic, “Untrained reason is liable to err, especially in the solution of more difficult problems… The laws of thought put us in touch with reality…” And the Church for this reason prescribes the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Scholastic method, to keep us grounded in reality. Pope St. Pius X said of the Modernists’ aversion to Scholastic philosophy in his Pascendi dominici gregis:

Q. Do dislike and hatred of scholasticism go hand-in-hand with Modernism?
A. “Certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method.”
Q. Hasn’t their ignorance of scholastic philosophy given birth to Modernism itself?
A. “The whole system, with all its errors, has been born of the alliance between faith and

Modernism teaches that dogma must be adapted to the times, that it can change, that reality can change. But as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

“Assuredly Catholic truth is not a lifeless thing. Rather is it a living tree that breaks forth into green leaves, flowers, and fruits. There is a development, or gradual unfolding, and a clearer statement of its dogmas. Besides the primary truths, such as the Divinity of Christ and His mission as Messias, there are others which, one by one, become better understood and defined, e.g. the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and that of the Infallibility of the Pope. Such unfolding takes place not only in the study of the tradition of the dogma but also in showing its origin in Jesus Christ and the Apostles, in the understanding of the terms expressing it and in the historical or rational proofs adduced in support of it. Truth consists in the conformity of the idea with its object. Now, in the Catholic concept, a dogmatic formula supplies us with at least an analogical knowledge of a given object. For the modernist, the essential nature of dogma consists in its correspondence with and its capacity to satisfy a certain momentary need of the religious feeling.”

The author of the Encyclopedia article then goes onto explain how Modernism took hold in Catholic universities and seminaries.

“The insufficient cultivation of Catholic philosophy and science is the second deep explanation of the origin of modernist errors. Both have too long confined themselves to answers which, though fundamentally correct, are but little suited to the mentality of our adversaries, and are formulated in a language which they do not understand and which is no longer to the point. Instead of utilizing what is quite legitimate in their positive and critical tendencies, they have only considered them as so many abnormal leanings that must be opposed . . .” (Gaudeau, “La Foi Catholique”, I, pp. 62-65). Another point is that the intrinsic nature of the movement of contemporary philosophy has been too much despised or ignored in Catholic schools. They have not given it that partial recognition which is quite consonant with the best scholastic tradition: “In this way, we have failed to secure a real point of contact between Catholic and modern thought” (Gaudeau, ibid.). For lack of professors who knew how to mark out the actual path of religious science, many cultured minds, especially among the young clergy, found themselves defenseless against an error which seduced them by its speciousness and by any element of truth contained in its reproaches against the Catholic schools. It is scholasticism ill-understood and calumniated that has incurred this disdain.”

This is nothing more than the result of a continuous infusion of poison into the veins of Catholic intellectuals.

Cozens explains how this happened as follows: “Among the clergy ordained during the past quarter of the century were some who, finding it impossible to reconcile the dogmas of certain modern scientists with the dogmas of the faith, despaired not of modern science but of the faith. Instead of holding firmly that God’s revelation is infallibly true, and that all other truth must eventually be found in harmony with it, they decided that whatever in Christian doctrine was out of harmony with the spirit of the age must go — or, as they would say, be so reinterpreted as to harmonize with it. It would seem simpler having decided that the Church’s creed was untrue to leave the Church — this these worshippers of the age refused to do, claiming a right to remain within the visible Church and form therein an esoteric body who instead of molding their beliefs to her creed, should mold her creed to their beliefs.”

Gnostic technocracy and Modernism
The Gnostic heresy seemed to die out, although it was reborn with the establishment of Freemasonry in 1717. That Modernism as described above, with its ideas of complete emancipation from all religious authority, subservience to the state, superiority of science to religion, total freedom of conscience and ecumenism surely corresponds with every goal ever expressed by Freemasonry is beyond any doubt. And now we also have technocracy, which the Internet author Douglas Beaumont links to both Modernism and Gnosticism as follows:

“The modern infatuation with technology is implicitly Gnostic. Technology replaces physical reality with mere images (representations / simulations) of reality – removing us, by degree, from the reality we are meant to live in. When we allow ourselves to accept technology’s replacement of reality (the simulacrum) as our reality – confusing information with matter – we are essentially embracing Gnosticism.” To emphasize the unreality of today’s Modernism with its technical gimmicks, he quotes a dialogue with Plato from The Sophist below:

“Theaetetus: How, Stranger, can I describe an image except as something fashioned in the likeness of the true?

“Stranger: And do you mean this something to be some other true thing, or what do you mean?

“Theaetetus: Certainly not another true thing, but only a resemblance.

“Stranger: And you mean by true that which really is?

“Theaetetus: Yes.

“Stranger: And the not true is that which is the opposite of the true?

“Theaetetus: Exactly.”

This, uncomfortably, reminds us of two things. First the Novus Ordo church, which bears only an outer resemblance of the “true” Church. And second, Traditionalism, which also bears only a certain resemblance to the true Church, yet is not that Church. People do not realize that by accepting such diabolical substitutions, not only have they become practicing Gnostics, but they have lost all touch with reality. If we understand only these two heresies, throughout the entire history of the Church, we have the answer to what caused Her destruction, without needing to understand much more. And yet there is one other heresy that brewed for centuries just beneath the surface, a heresy with Gnostic origins that eventually contributed to Modernism. This is addressed below.

The origin and rise of Gallicanism
The definition of infallibility, as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, was intended to wipe out all traces of Gallicanism in the Church. But what appears to have happened instead is its early migration to schismatics and heretics with Gnostic tendencies (the Old Catholics and their offshoots) and its later manifestation among Modernists, with their hatred of dogma and papal authority. It appears to this author that this could not have happened without there being some hidden, longstanding effort to infiltrate the clergy and destroy the Church. Masonic documents clearly state this was always their intention, and the Alta Vendita detailed their plans to achieve it. While Henry Cardinal Manning clearly perceived the Gallicanist heresy as the primary reason for calling the Vatican Council to define infallibility and stamp out this error, he could not have seen the ultimate success of the Modernists and the extent of the inroads made by the Masonic element, which came only after his death.

What exactly is Gallicanism? Cozens, cited above, writes: “The Gallican school held 1) that the Pope’s definitions were not infallible in themselves but only after acceptance by the Universal Church and 2) that a general council’s authority was above that of a Pope. Some French ecclesiastics also claimed that the king had the right to forbid the publication in France of papal bulls that no act done by the king’s agent on his authority could involve excommunication and that the king could prevent any bishops recourse to Rome even if the Pope commanded his presence.” To this should be added the errors of Febronianism, first advocated by the German bishop of Trier, Johann Nickolaus von Hontheim, (using the pseudonym Febronius), in 1763. Hontheim taught that Christ did not give “…the power of the keys to Peter but to the whole Church; that the pope’s power, as head of the whole Church… is of an administrative and unifying character, rather than a power of jurisdiction;” that the appointment of bishops and the establishment of dioceses should be left to provincial synods and metropolitans and even the determination of matters of faith should be left to these same authorities. “Hontheim advanced along the same lines, in spite of many inconsistencies, to a radicalism far outstripping traditional Gallicanism” (Catholic Encyclopedia). This proposed expansion of Gallicanism, condemned by Clement XIII, is interesting because of its place in time. This will be discussed further below.

Manning on Gallicanism
Writing in his The Vatican Decrees in Their Bearing on Civil Allegiance, 1875, Cardinal Manning explains the origins and nature of Gallicanism:

“It has been acknowledged by the adversaries of the doctrine [of infallibility] that from the Council of Constance in 1414 to this day the doctrine [of infallibility] has been the predominant belief of the Church. I gave evidence of its existence from the Council of Constance upwards to the Council of Chalcedon in 445. Next, I trace the history of the growth of the opinions adverse to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff from the council of Constance to the year 1682, when it was for the first time reduced to formula by an assembly of French ecclesiastics under the influence of Louis XIV. Lastly, I showed how this formula was no sooner published than it was condemned in every Catholic country by bishops and universities and by the Holy See. Gallicanism has no warrant in the doctrinal practice or tradition of the Church either in France or at large in the 1000 years preceding the Council of Constance. The first traces of Gallicanism are to be found about the time of that council. After the council of Constance they were rapidly and almost all together effaced from the theology of the Church in France until their revival in 1682. In another work Privilegium Petri, written in 1867, Manning writes:

“The main principle of Ultramontanism [unflagging loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the papacy] was distinctly recognised and put in act by the Council of Constance. Does anyone imagine that in this the Council of Constance differs from the Councils of Chalcedon or of Trent, or that its acts embody any other principles than those of the universal tradition of Christianity namely, the supreme authority of the successor of St. Peter ruling and teaching the whole Church on earth?

“It would seem that some suppose the Catholic Church to be a system, like the Austrian or the British empire, in which nationalities are to play their part, balanced by constitutional checks. This Judaic notion began to rise when the idea of Catholic unity began to decline. The assimilation of all national distinctions to a higher type — the extinction, that is, of nationalities in Christ Jesus — eliminated Jew and Greek, Teuton and Latin, from the sphere of faith. It was the rise of modern nationalities which caused the great Western Schism, for the termination of which the Council of Constance was assembled. The schism was healed, though the Council of Basle for a while re-opened it. The national spirit continued still to work, and in a part of Germany and England grew to a head, which in the sixteenth century issued in the Protestant schism… It was not the infallibility of the Pope, ex cathedra, which drove Protestants into schism. It was the denial of the infallibility of the Church which made them heretics.

“Gallicanism is nationalism: that which the Gospel casts out; that which grew up again in medieval Christendom. It is the Christian Judaism which strove to elect its own High Priest; the national factions which rent the Sacred College; the nationalism which set up two or three uncanonical Popes, and two or three national obediences; the spirit of egotism, worldliness, and avarice, which caused whole nations of Europe to apostatise from the Divine will, from the
unity of the Church, and to erect Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism on the schismatical basis of national Churches.

“Gallicanism is no more than a transient and modern opinion which arose in France, without warrant or antecedents in the ancient theological schools of the great French Church: a royal theology, as suddenly developed and as parenthetical as the Thirty-nine Articles; affirmed only by a small number out of the numerous episcopate of France, indignantly rejected by many of them; condemned in succession by three Pontiffs; declared by the Universities of Louvain and Douai to be erroneous; retracted by the Bishops of France; condemned by Spain, Hungary, and other countries, and condemned over again in the bull Auctorem Fidei… They had no antecedent traditions, no roots in the theology of the great Church of France. Cardinal Aguirre has abundantly shown that the Saints, doctors, episcopate, and schools of France taught one uniform doctrine with the Church of all other countries, as to the supremacy and infallibility of the Chair and successor of Peter. The Gallicanism of 1682 was a feeble imitation of the preamble of the 24th of Henry VIII, by which the schism of England was accomplished.”

Some 20 years after Manning’s death, the Catholic Encyclopedia had a somewhat different view of Gallicanism’s transient nature. “But, if its provisions disappeared from the laws of France, the principles it embodied for a time none the less continued to inspire the schools of theology and parliamentary jurisprudence. Those principles even appeared at the Council of Trent, where the ambassadors, theologians, and bishops of France repeatedly championed them, notably when the questions for decision were as to whether episcopal jurisdiction comes immediately from God or through the pope, whether or not the council ought to ask confirmation of its decrees from the sovereign pontiff, etc. Then again, it was in the name of the Liberties of the Gallican Church that a part of the clergy and the Parlementaires opposed the publication of that same council; and the crown decided to detach from it and publish what seemed good, in the form of ordinances emanating from the royal authority.” Yet later in the same article, they declared that Gallicanism could survive only as a heresy. True, but as experience has shown it certainly was not a “lesser” heresy; it became a driving force behind the “synthesis of all heresies” — Modernism.

Secret societies
And standing where we are today, Manning’s hope that Gallicanism was entirely quashed was a hope not realized; far from it. His underestimation of what Cozen’s classifies as only a “lesser” heresy can be attributed to the Masonic forces that appear to have wormed their way into this religious and political movement, possibly from the very beginning, but definitely following the Reformation. Here we are speaking of what merely began as an underground current following the disbanding of the Templars in 1312, during the reign of the Avignon popes. Supposedly some of those disbanded, perhaps bearing grudges against the Church, continued under other names and in secret. In his Freemasonry and the Vatican, quoting from several sources, Comte Leon de Poncins states that “In reality, there was an ancient Catholic Masonry, about which little is known, which gradually fell into abeyance” (p. 115). He here seems to refer to a Catholic Masonry in existence that was centered around the masonry, or brick and stone laying guilds. But he also quotes another source that claims the Stuarts and Irish/Scottish aristocracy also belonged to a type of Catholic Masonry, in the 1600-1700s, which was later infiltrated by Protestant Freemasons.

Quoting from what he claims to be the most comprehensive and well-documented history of Freemasonry ever written, by one N. Deschamps, de Poncins relates that: “In the Middle Ages and at the time of the Renaissance, the Freemasons in Germany and Italy were overwhelmed with favors by the sovereign pontiffs and there is not a trace of heresy or hostility against the Church in the statutes of Stroudsburg of 1462 or as revised in 1563. However, in 1535 we come across a document which reveals the existence of an order under the name of Freemasons whose anti-Christian principles are absolutely in harmony with those of modern Masonry, and this time it is no longer a question of builders protecting their arts… The oldest and most authentic document of the Masonic Lodge, known as the charter of Cologne, dates back to the year 1535. It reveals the existence already going back sometime perhaps even two centuries of one or several secret societies which eked out a clandestine existence throughout the various states of Europe in direct antagonism with the religious and civil principles that formed the basis of their constitutions.
Deschamps then goes on to quote from Michelet regarding the hotbed of Jewish influence and heresies existing in the Languedoc region of southern France. De Poncins concludes his quotes from this author with the following: “Sixteenth century Freemasonry arose out of the ruins of the Knights Templar…” This leads us directly back to the Avignon papacy and the advent of the Gallicanist heresy. Disbanded and frustrated, it appears they managed somehow to influence those in positions of authority in the Church, men who most likely took them for good Catholics and trusted them, and it is into their ears they began to whisper doubts regarding papal supremacy and early ideas of democracy such as Marsilius of Padua taught. In short they began the campaign to democratize and modernize the Church, to align Her with the state once they had toppled the monarchies, to strip the Church of Her rightful power. If their efforts are viewed over time with the hindsight afforded by history, it can easily be seen that this is what they did gradually over the centuries until the time of the Vatican Council.

Hiéron du Val d’Or
According to Wikipedia and other sources, “The Hiéron du Val d’Or (English: “Sanctuary of the Golden Valley”) was a Catholic esoteric secret society in France, which existed from 1873 until 1926. It was founded by a Jesuit Victor Drevon and the half-Basque, half-Russian Alexis de Sarachaga. It was allied to concepts of royalism and was culturally conservative; it sought to erect a Catholic hermetic Freemasonry, contrary to the anti-clerical Freemasonry of Grand Orient de France and was particularly devoted to Christ the King.”
According to authors Lincoln, Leigh and Baigent, in their work Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Hieron du Val d’Or admitted the existence of a hidden pope and his entourage, which of course would include bishops, waiting in the wings to act either as a replacement for or an alternative to the current church in Rome: “The Hiéron’s agenda was the creation of a new Habsburg and Catholic Holy Roman Empire with a French temporal and spiritual head in the manner of the Grand Monarch, an association of Europeans bound by common law and dedicated to advancing the mission of Christ the King.” (Here they cite sources linked to the “Catholic” secret society Marcel Lefebvre reportedly belonged to, the Priory of Sion.) “They [the Hieron] claim the existence of a secret parallel Catholic tradition called l’Eglise d’Avignon (Church of Avignon), which they trace to the medieval Papacy installed in Avignon from 1309 to 1378. The claim is that it continued in secret with a Pope who represents the esoteric aspects of the Catholic Church. L’Eglise d’Avignon is said to serve as an intermediary between the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox tradition.”
“The Templars, like all other secret orders and associations, had two doctrines,” the Mason Pike says in his Morals and Dogma, “one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic.” So what was Johannism? Eliphas Levi informs us that although outwardly Catholics the secret cult of the Templars was Johannism… The Johannites, who were Kabalists and Gnostics adopted part of the Jewish traditions and talmudic accounts. They regarded the fact of the gospels as allegories of which Saint John had the key. Their grand pontiffs assumed the title of Christ” (Trail of the Serpent, 1936). Pike explained that the Templar founders “…took an oath between the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople, a See always secretly or openly hostile to that of Rome from the time of Photius. The avowed object of the Templars was to protect the Christians who came to the Holy Places: their secret aim was the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon on the model prophesied by Ezekiel. “This rebuilding… had become the secret dream of the Patriarchs of the Orient. The Temple of Solomon, rebuilt and consecrated to the Catholic worship would become, in effect, the Metropolis of the universe. THE EAST WOULD PREVAIL OVER THE WEST AND THE PATRIARCHS OF CONSTANTINOPLE WOULD POSSESS THEMSELVES OF THE PAPAL POWER.”
Neo-Modernism equals Freemasonry’s triumph
The timing of the emergence of this organization is important, because it occurs only seven years after the close of the Vatican Council. I say emergence because that it existed secretly for centuries is proven by what is said above by de Poncins. Undoubtedly Modernist tendencies were already secretly at work in the Church, but this is an indication that far more was going on than was initially realized. “Catholic” Freemasons no doubt went to ground following the condemnations against Freemasonry that began in the late 1700s and continued in earnest through the reign of Pope Leo XIII. When they briefly came up from underground, it was only under the guise of renouncing “anti-clerical Freemasonry” while retaining all of the esoteric symbols of Freemasonry. Wikipedia claims the The Hiéron du Val d’Or gradually disappeared after 1925, but as we know, it only went to ground once again. Did it re-emerge in the 1940s?
The following 1950 instruction from the Holy Office seems to indicate that it did:

“Among the things which are springing up again with renewed vigor and not only in Italy is Freemasonry with its ever-recurring hostility to religion and to the Church. What appears to be a new feature in this Masonic renaissance is the rumors circulating in various social classes that a particular rite of Masonry might no longer be in opposition to the Church whereby even Catholics can enroll at their ease in the sect without fear of excommunication and reproach. Those responsible for propagating these rumors must surely know that nothing has been modified in the Church’s legislation relative to Freemasonry and if they continue this campaign it can only be in order to profit from the naivete of simple folk. The bishops know that Canon 684 and especially Canon 2335 which excommunicates those who have given their names to Masonry without any distinction between rights or as full in force today as they always have been; all Catholics ought to know this and remember it so as not to fall into this snare and also so as to know how to pass do judgment on the fact that certain simpletons believe they can call themselves both Catholics and Freemasons with impunity. This, I repeat, applies to all Masonic rites, EVEN IF SOME OF THEM IN VARYING CIRCUMSTANCES DECLARED THAT THEY ARE NOT HOSTILE TO THE CHURCH” (Most Reverend Mario Cordovani, Master of the Sacred Palace; printed in Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1950, as quoted by de Poncins).

So was this revived Modernism, neo-modernism, only a resurfacing of that “ancient Catholic Masonry,” meaning that it did not remain in abeyance? It surely is no coincidence that only six years later, in 1956, an organization surfaced in France appearing to be a Catholic form of Masonry. Fascist and royalist in nature, documents show, it has been linked to Marcel Lefebvre and Abbe Ducaud-Bourget, even Angelo Roncalli himself. This is the Prieure de Sion or Priory of Sion; its subtitle is Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union. (To read more on this subject visit https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/?s=Masonic+origins). Does the papal document above not also condemn the founders of Traditionalism who belonged to the Shickshinny Knights of Jerusalem? This Masonic sect appears to be an organization founded at the same time as the Priory of Sion. John Wathen, who wrote a book defending the non-Masonic orientation of the Shickshinny Knights, obviously was ignoring this pronouncement from Rome. And how do those upholding the Gallicanist heresy fit into the Gnostic/Modernist framework?

Following the definition of infallibility, those already lodged as “serpents in the bosom of the Church,” undoubtedly opposed to the definition of infallibility, launched a retaliatory attack from within Her own ranks where many of them were already lodged — a carefully calculated, pervasive infiltration of Catholic thought processes, later identified as Modernism. It was the final, less diluted dose of the poison that had been circulating in the veins of certain Catholic “intellectuals” for centuries. And by the time the source of the poisoning was discovered, it was too late to save the patient. Modernism had already so weakened the Church She was unable to recover, and the extent of the internal damage done and the two World Wars prevented the popes from taking the drastic measures necessary to successfully treat and cure it. The Catholic Encyclopedia terms Modernism as a tendency, a proposed remodeling and reforming of the Church according to 20th century ideas and ideals.

But in reality, it was much more than it appeared to be, otherwise it would never have been successful. Even Pope St. Pius X in his Pascendi noted that “…the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has, in these last days, increased exceedingly” and that their ultimate plan was to “overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom itself.” And that goal has now been achieved. But who are those most dedicated to overthrowing the Church if not Freemasonry and its numerous satellite organizations? In giving Modernism an actual name, was Pope St. Pius X possibly only acknowledging the existence of an anti-dogmatic, anticlerical “Catholic Freemasonry” within the Church? Could this Freemasonry have consisted in opposing sides so to speak, or perhaps methods — each just as dangerous, but one more subtle — that bore a greater sympathy for “Tradition” — as in Traditionalists?! As de Poncins and other authors explain, Freemasonry plays both sides — the left AND the right — and tolerates division even within its own ranks.

Author Craig Heimbichner, in his Blood on the Altar (2005) notes that many of those initially singing the praises of the Latin Tridentine Mass in the late 1960s, early 1970s were practicing theosophists, who succeeded in luring traditionalists into “Latin Mass” groups. He links the awe for the old Mass to C.W. Leadbetter, founder of the Liberal Catholic (Theosophical) church in Sydney, Australia in 1917, citing several quotes proving theosophic occultism later was introduced into Traditional circles. He quotes Wasserman as stating that “Persons of Gnostic-hermetic interests have more in common with traditionalist Catholics than with either modernist Vatican II Catholics or with Protestants…The Right-wing exploits a superstition among some Catholics who hold to a kind of unspoken “magic sacramentalism,” [condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis against Modernism], i.e, the notion that being present at the Holy Mass itself, with its awe-inspiring solemnity and its bells, incense and candles — not one’s state of grace, fidelity to the Commandments of God or relationship with Jesus Christ — becomes the individual’s guarantor of sanctity.” Heimbichner calls this a “Satanic perversion” of Catholicism, mixing Gnostic/pagan elements with the true, much as is done in the Satanic rituals connected to Voodoo and Santeria. And if this is what those investigating Traditionalism really wish to expose themselves to, they definitely are not looking for the true faith as taught by St. Peter through Pius XII.

Traditionalism and Gallicanism
Let us surmise here that “traditionalists” represent the “Catholic” side of Freemasonry, as expressed in the subtitle of the Priory of Sion. This would mean that what the Hieron du Val d’Or expresses was a correct assessment of its ultimate aims and can be interpreted as a reflection of Gallicanism. That this tendency still existed among the episcopacy, after the Gallicanist contingent put forward the question at the Council of Trent some 400 years prior: “…whether episcopal jurisdiction comes immediately from God or through the pope, whether or not the council ought to ask confirmation of its decrees from the sovereign pontiff, etc. is proven in Pope Pius XII’s answer to this longstanding question in Mystici Corporis. The pope decided that the bishops’ jurisdiction is transmitted to them only through the pope, and this was not a decision well-received in some quarters. Had he not seen danger ahead on this score, would he have defined it? If Gallicanism was not still alive after the 1869 Vatican Council, it would scarcely have been necessary.

We know from above that there is a link between the descendants of the disbanded Templars and the Hieron du Val d’Or because the latter mentions itself as an envoy of sorts between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox, and Pike links the Templars to the Orthodox. In the same breath they mention the Avignon papacy. So was that “papacy” united to or absorbed by the Eastern Patriarchate? The last of its claimants was Clement VIII, made cardinal by Avignon pope later antipope Pedro de Luna and elected pope by three remaining “cardinals” on his death. Clement VIII eventually gave his allegiance to the true Pope Martin V, but what happened to his “cardinals”? Much of this can never be known and is only a matter of speculation, but there are four things we do know today.

1) Since the 1980s, bishops calling themselves Traditionalists have “consecrated” bishops without the necessary papal mandate. The consecrations of these men were null and void according to Pope Pius XII’s 1945 election law, Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis and as indicated in the consecration rite itself. These bishop claim to possess their jurisdiction directly from God and behave in every way according to the principles espoused by the Gallicanists.

2) There are those calling themselves Traditional Catholics who maintain an air of secrecy, claim allegiance to a hidden pope and who are in touch with a French “Great Monarch.” Some belonging to this sect even say they have met him.

3) There are others, constituting a much larger group, who are working in tandem with the group above to restore the Church and the papacy. Among them are those posing as valid Catholic clergy (which they definitely are not).

4) There are even those not affiliated with Traditionalism who insist that bishops (not bishops and a true pope, only bishops) yet exist somewhere in the world, and even demand that others believe this as an article of faith. This is yet another manifestation of Gallicanism, for the Church clearly teaches that during an interregnum especially, unless bishops are in communion with a true pope, they cannot validly function nor do they constitute Christ’s Church on earth.

If the Gnostic, Gallicanist, Modernist connection does not exist, why do we see so many parallels today among the three? And why do these three heresies all lead us down the path of Freemasonry? Isn’t this really the most logical explanation of what happened to the Church?

Conclusion
Many years ago, I read somewhere that the Vatican in the 1800s made a deal of some sort with the Freemasons of Italy to protect Catholics in other lands from destruction: they would not mention the sect by name anymore but would only allude to them. I dismissed it because there was no source for the report and it could not be verified. But I have often wondered since if such a secret deal might explain why Pope St. Pius X tagged these heresies appearing in the late 1800s, early 1900s as Modernism. We will never know. We only know what we see today and everything we see tells us that Freemasonry has triumphed and only an act of God will save the Church at this point. As de Poncins points out, the full acceptance of Freemasonry by the usurper Roncalli took place in the early 1960s. The false Vatican 2 council fully embraced ecumenism — the liberty, equality and fraternity touted by Masonry.

I have tried to explain here how Freemasonry under the guise of Modernism has triumphed and what groups have contributed to that triumph. On splitting the Church into Liberal, Conservative and Traditional camps, we see the old Communist tactic of perpetual class struggle used to create the desired melding of all three — thesis (true Church) antithesis (the NO, NO conservatives, Traditionalists) synthesis, . All seem to be heading in the same direction. It is not the whole story but hopefully it will answer some questions about what happened to the Church, how it happened and why, once the enemy was detected, it was too late to save the Church we love.

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