Did a Freemason Almost Become Pope?
The Story of Cardinal Rampolla
by Craig Heimbichner
Life within the Church is not immune from the disease of faddishness, whether the fads are mere oddities or outright heresies. Occasionally, however, something truly significant is dismissed as a fad when the dismissal itself is foolish. Such is the case with the current attitude in some quarters toward the resurrection of old accusations of Masonic intrigue within the Church. Once a common fear, the specter of scheming infiltrators in parishes (or even in the Vatican itself) from the Lodge is now under attack as a leftover bit of lunacy from the days when hucksters and hoaxers played on the alleged gullibility and paranoia of the Vatican. This even holds true in the case of one of the most famous and forgotten stories involving the election of a Pope: for when Pope Leo XIII died, it is said that a Freemason was very nearly elected as his successor. This older story was widely repeated in the decades following the Second Vatican Council, but has lately been increasingly dismissed as a false rumor and is enjoying skeptical scrutiny. This article will examine whether or not there are reliable historical evidences for asserting that Cardinal Rampolla, who almost became Pope, was actually a Freemason. The answer may astonish even the most seasoned skeptic.
Who was this mysterious Cardinal who was en route to the Papacy? Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro (1843-1913) was born on August 17, 1843 at Polizzi in the Sicilian diocese of Cefali. Following his studies in the Capranica College at Rome — and having taken holy orders — he studied diplomacy at the College of Ecclesiastical Nobles. In 1875, Father Rampolla was appointed councilor to the papal nunciature at Madrid. Two years later, Father Rampolla was recalled to Rome and appointed secretary of the Propaganda for Eastern Affairs and for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. He was subsequently consecrated titular Archbishop of Heraclea in 1885; he re- turned to Madrid as papal nuncio, but was shortly afterwards created Cardinal in 1887. On his return to Rome, he became secretary of state for Pope Leo XIII, strident opponent of Freemasonry. As Leo XIII’s secretary of state, Cardinal Rampolla was looked upon by many as new to the Sacred College and therefore, free from traditional preconceptions — in the eyes of some, just the man to carry out papal policy.
During a turbulent, war-torn and tense era of Europe, Cardinal Rampolla worked actively on foreign policy during his service to Leo XIII. To the Cardinal’s credit, he reestablished the papacy’s relations with Germany. These were times of war, times in which Europe knew it was sitting on a powder keg. Bismarck arranged the Triple Alliance between 1878 and 1882, bringing Germany, Austria and Italy together defensively in case the French initiated a war of revenge and tried to recover Alsace-Lorraine. However, in 1890 France picked up Russia as an ally. Rightly or wrongly, Cardinal Rampolla was held responsible for the rapprochement with France and Russia, and thus garnered the suspicions of Austria, where some held him to be too sympathetic to the Catholic Slavs of Croatia, Carniola, Bohemia and other parts of the Monarchy. This shadow of resentment would follow him into the next papal conclave and beyond.
But other shadows would follow Cardinal Rampolla as well, including the astounding accusation that the man was a Freemason. To examine the background of this well-nigh unbelievable story, let us review some of the known facts regarding Freemasonry at the time of Leo XIII and his subsequently notorious Cardinal.
Lucifer: Freemasonry’s “Light-Bearer”
Freemasonry dates itself officially from 1717, at which time four Lodges merged in the Devil’s Tree Tavern in London to form the first Grand Lodge. Widely viewed as a benevolent fraternal institution, Freemasonry (or Masonry) describes itself as a system of morality veiled in symbols, and a search after “light”. However, this description, like Freemasonry’s official history, is a cover story. The story has fooled generations of Masons who have joined innocently and contributed to the good name of the institution, largely concealing the true nature of the Lodge through their ignorance, the nature of which is known to its real leaders.
One such leader was Grand Commander Albert Pike (1859-1891), whose statue in Washington, D.C. is a prominent testimony to his influence. Albert Pike ruled the most politically influential branch of high grade Freemasonry (which confers higher degrees as a “commentary” on those of the Grand Lodge). As Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Pike wrote in 1871 (shortly before the pontificate of Leo XIII) of the true nature of the “light” which Masons seek. In his voluminous tome Morals and Dogma, traditionally handed out to high degree Freemasons only, Pike states, “LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light ...? Doubt it not!"
That this diabolical and blasphemous secret was kept from lower members is also baldly stated in this higher handbook by Pike. Of the Blue Degrees (the degrees of the ordinary Blue Lodge) the Grand Commander is candid: “The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are [sic] displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry … It is well enough for the mass of those called Masons, to imagine that all is contained in the Blue Degrees; and whoso attempts to undeceive them will labor in vain …"
The conspiratorial plans of the real rulers of Freemasonry are stated starkly by Pike: “… the World will soon come to us for its Sovereigns and Pontiffs. We shall constitute the equilibrium of the Universe, and be rulers over the Masters of the World.." This attack on Church and state is symbolized in the 30th Degree, the degree of Knight Kadosh (Hebrew for “consecrated”), during which the candidate ritually stabs a mock papal tiara and a mock crown on two human skulls, crying “down with imposture!"
Freemasonry’s protectionist and preferential system of deceit and subversion — which has spread like a cancer throughout Europe and the United States — is revealed even in the lower degrees, in which the candidate swears grisly death oaths on a Bible (itself a sacrilegious act) to cover for fellow Masons and to prefer them in employment. The basic third degree excepts “murder and treason” from such concealment, while the seventh or Royal Arch Degree — considered the completion of the third — significantly alters the oath to be “without exceptions." This change implies that concealment of the “secrets” of fellow Masons must cover murder and even treason if required. Functioning like a crime syndicate, this system dominates political and judicial life in England and the United States. To the thoughtful reader the above facts will also bring “light” to many recent political events.
The ultimate masters of Freemasonry are revealed through the clear symbolism of the third degree, during which the candidate is ritually escorted through a drama pledging to rebuild the Temple of Solomon — the aspiration of Judaism since its destruction, foretold by Our Lord and accomplished in 70 A.D. If any doubts remain about the true masters and purposes of Freemasonry, they should be removed during the Royal Arch Degree: during the enactment of the Royal Arch ritual of “exaltation” of the candidate, the unambiguous lines are recited, “For the good of Masonry, generally, but the Jewish nation in particular."The subservience of Masonry to the “Jewish nation in particular” — or, one might say, to the Judaic modern claimants — is further evident from the square and compass symbol on every Lodge. This square and compass is itself an incomplete occult hexagram of the Judaic Kabbalah. The hexagram in turn is falsely called the Star of David, although this occult symbol had absolutely nothing to do with King David or the Old Testament.. Adopted by the Second Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1898, the hexagram has since become well known as the symbol of the Israeli state. This symbolic link between the Lodge’s most basic symbol and the most recognizable Judaic symbol is a final powerful hint that the real history of Freemasonry is much more complicated than the Lodge cover story, and in fact intersects with Judaism, although the story is too complex to pursue in the space of this article.
All of the above essential facts were well known to the Popes, who began (with Clement XII) condemning Freemasonry in 1738 shortly after its formal inception. This condemnation was reinforced by several Popes, culminating in the most profound condemnation, the encyclical Humanum Genus issued by Leo XIII on April 20, 1884.
How did the Popes know the real nature of Freemasonry? Among many avenues, one is worthy of special comment. Documents from the Freemasonic Lodge known as the Alta Vendita were seized by the Pontifical Government of Pope Gregory XVI. Pope Pius IX gave Jacques Crétineau-Joly (1803-1875), a journalist and historian, permission to publish in his book The Church and the Revolution copies of the documents and correspondence of the Alta Vendita. In October, 1884, about six months after the appearance of Humanum Genus, these same documents were reiterated with full historical commentary in a series of lectures given in Edinburgh, Scotland by Monsignor George F. Dillon. These lectures so impressed Leo XIII that he had them published and distributed at his own expense.
The Alta Vendita documents are remarkable in that they expressly declare a plan to infiltrate and destroy the Catholic Church, a plan which (it was stated) might require even a century. A few excerpts are typical: “Our ultimate end is that of Voltaire and of the French Revolution — the final destruction of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea … The Pope, whoever he is, will never come to the secret societies; it is up to the secret societies to take the first step toward the Church, with the aim of conquering both of them. The task that we are going to undertake is not the work of a day, or of a month, or of a year; it may last several years, perhaps a century; but in our ranks the soldier dies and struggle goes on … What we must ask for, what we should look for and wait for, as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs … You will contrive for yourselves, at little cost, a reputation as good Catholics and pure patriots. This reputation will put access to our doctrines into the midst of the young clergy, as well as deeply into the monasteries. In a few years, by the force of things, this young clergy will have overrun all the functions; they will form the sovereign’s council, they will be called to choose a Pontiff who should reign …”
Against this background of spiritual warfare and revolution stemming from the Masonic Lodges — called by Pope Pius IX the “Synagogue of Satan” — Leo XIII issued his thundering encyclical against Freemasonry. Yet his own secretary of state, so close to him, would later be accused of belonging to one of the most diabolical sects of this infernal network of subversion.
Surprisingly, the darkest aspects of Freemasonry were not even taught in the extensive, high degree Scottish Rite. Albert Pike writes that “the Occult Science of the Ancient Magi … is found enveloped in enigmas that seem impenetrable, in the Rites of the Highest Masonry. Yet it is a fact that even the 33rd Degree does not convey occult study.
Where, then, is the “highest Masonry” to which Pike refers actually practiced?
The little-known answer is that the highest Masonry is found in occult Lodges, the principal two of which were (and are) the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded by Freemasons in England in 1888, and the Argenteum Astrum, the magical Order connected to the Masonic Academy known as the Ordo Templi Orientis (the Order of Oriental Templars), or simply the OTO for short. This latter Lodge grew from the incipient activities of Freemason Karl Kellner in the late 1800s and was formalized by Freemason Theodor Reuss in the early 1900s. Its most notorious member, the founder of the Argenteum Astrum or Silver Star, was the “Great Beast” Aleister Crowley, British spy and grandfather of modern Satanism. The OTO exists today in approximately 40 countries and has merged with the French Gnostic Catholic Church, whose services it celebrates worldwide every Sunday at “nightfall”. The Gnostic Mass itself was written by none other than Aleister Crowley himself and endorsed by Theodor Reuss in 1920 for all members of the OTO.
The Austrian Veto
Amidst this dark swamp of Satanic intrigue and Freemasonic-Kabbalistic anti-Christianity, Pope Leo XIII died on July 20, 1903. Even as tributes to the Pontiff poured in from King Edward and Kaiser Wilhelm, the conclave began preparations for the solemn duty of electing a successor to the Chair of Peter. Cardinal Rampolla emerged well in the lead as the votes were tallied. Suddenly the conclave was interrupted by a shock: Jan Cardinal Puzyna, Bishop of Cracow (at that time within the Austrian Empire) rose to give a declaration which stunned the assembly. In Latin he declared, “… officially and in the name and by the authority of Franz-Josef, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, that His Majesty, in virtue of an ancient right and privilege, pronounces the veto of exclusion against my Most Eminent Lord, Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro.”
The almost forgotten Right of Exclusion, or Jus Exclusivae, possibly stemmed from the 16th Century; it is certain that it was debated in the 17th. Around the middle of that century, treatises began to appear discussing the Jus Exclusivae, and repeated use was subsequently made of it in conclaves, by German and Austrian emperors and Spanish kings, from 1721 to 1903 — the last exercise of the Right being the exclusion of Cardinal Rampolla.
Varying reasons have been alleged for the general establishment of the Jus Exclusivae, from pure politics to Catholic oversight and protection of the papacy. In a sense, the former Holy Roman Empire at its best believed itself to function in such a protective manner. It is possible that a devout emperor or king with vital information could have exercised the Right with integrity in order to protect the Chair of Peter from a corrupt candidate.
In the case of Cardinal Rampolla, the reasons for the veto are still a subject of debate. What is not debated is the result: Cardinal Rampolla rose to object, ballots were recast, and eventually the second-place candidate became Pope. That Cardinal — Giuseppe Melchiorre Cardinal Sarto of Venice — at sixty-eight became Pope, choosing the papal name of Pius X. As Providence would have it, in spite of Cardinal Sarto’s humble protest at his election, the right man was chosen. Pope Pius X went on to become the last Pope to have governed the Church with the oversight of a canonized Saint.
But beyond Providence, what were the human reasons for the exclusion of Cardinal Rampolla? Was the move a cunning and cynical power play by Austria — or did an alert emperor save Rome from a Masonic attempt at usurpation?
Political reasons could always be alleged; indeed, the normal causes of such large events are normally resolvable to politics. Those who argue for a purely political analysis advance several considerations. First, had Pope Pius X known Cardinal Rampolla to be a Freemason, certainly he would not have kept any offices. Second, it is alleged that only in 1929, after the pontificate of Pius X, did rumors arise about Cardinal Rampolla’s alleged Masonic membership. Finally, Cardinal Rampolla was perceived to have thwarted the wishes of Hungary, particularly in episcopal appointments, giving Franz Joseph cause for revenge.
The above analysis would be persuasive absent direct evidence to the contrary. However, direct evidence does exist that Cardinal Rampolla was not merely a Freemason, but a member of the diabolical Masonic Academy, the OTO itself. Second, missing from the above analysis is the account of the intervention made by Monsignor Jouin. Let us begin with the latter event.
Monsignor Ernest Jouin (1844-1932), implacable foe of Freemasonry, was Apostolic Prothonotary and Curé of St. Augustine parish in Paris, France. In 1913, Msgr. Jouin founded the Ligue Franc-Catholique (League of French Catholics) for patriotic and social defense. On March 23, 1918, Msgr. Jouin founded the Revue Internationale des Sociétés Secrètes (International Review of Secret Societies) with the approval of the Holy See. Msgr. Jouin achieved a reputation as a sort of clerical Sherlock Holmes, capable of ferreting out Talmudic and Masonic intrigue. Indeed, Msgr. Jouin coined the apt term “Judeo-Masonic.” In a private audience, Pope Pius XI asked Msgr. Jouin to continue his combat with Freemasonry. Pope Benedict XV praised Msgr. Jouin in 1918 for risking his life to combat the Masonic sects; one year later, the Vatican formally praised the Monsignor on June 20, 1919, in a letter signed by Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State. The note concluded with the words, “His Holiness is thus pleased to congratulate you and to encourage you in your work, whose influence is so important in warning the faithful and helping them to struggle effectively against the forces aimed at destroying not only religion but the whole social order."
Monsignor Jouin is said to have intervened personally with Emperor Franz Joseph to ask for the Jus Exclusivae to be invoked, having some evidence that Cardinal Rampolla had at least a close affinity with the Freemasons. The OTO itself, in the November, 1999 newsletter for Thelema Lodge in Berkeley, California, acknowledges that Msgr. Jouin accused Cardinal Rampolla of belonging to the OTO..
The Ordo Templi Orientis
Is there evidence that Msgr. Jouin was correct about Cardinal Rampolla? The answer is yes — the very Manifesto of the OTO itself, which proclaimed the OTO’s existence to the Masonic world.
Dating of the Manifesto has been a subject of debate within the modern branches of the OTO, with the earliest date given as 1912  and later dates including 1917 and 1919. The most current and extensive research into OTO documents is an ongoing project of Peter Koenig of Switzerland. Koenig dates an early Manifesto at 1912, and a later one at 1919. It is the latter document — Liber LII — which contains the name of Cardinal Rampolla, well in advance of the 1929 date of origin claimed by misinformed Catholic writers who seek to discredit the Rampolla-OTO connection.
The Manifesto of the OTO was published in Reuss’ Masonic journal The Oriflamme. This journal was not widely read — as is typical of Masonic journals — but remained relatively inside information for Freemasons themselves. The Manifesto chiefly sought to establish the supremacy of the OTO as an Academia Masonica or “Masonic Academy” — a sort of “graduate school” for Freemasons. Standard editions of the “Blue Equinox,” an important subsequent collection of OTO official documents, have contained the Manifesto and continued to carry Cardinal Rampolla’s name.
The Manifesto claims that the OTO is a “body of initiates in whose hands are concentrated the wisdom and the knowledge of the following bodies:
“1. The Gnostic Catholic Church.
2. The Order of the Knights of the Holy Ghost.
3. The Order of the Illuminati.
4. The Order of the Temple (Knights Templar).
5. The Order of the Knights of St. John.
6. The Order of the Knights of Malta.
7. The Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
8. The Hidden Church of the Holy Grail.
9. The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.
10. The Holy Order of Rose Croix of Heredom.
11. The Order of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch.
12. The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry (33 degrees).
13. The Rite of Memphis (97 degrees).
14. The Rite of Mizraim (90 degrees).
15. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry (33 degrees).
16. The Swedenborgian Rite of Masonry.
17. The Order of the Martinists.
18. The Order of the Sat Bhai, and many other orders of equal merit, if of less fame.
“It does not include the A.A., with which august body it is, however, in close alliance.
“It does not in any way infringe the just privileges of duly authorized Masonic Bodies."
These are grandiose claims. Theodor Reuss had indeed gained charters (chiefly from English Freemason John Yarker) in a number of Masonic organizations, and sought to bring them together within the OTO. At the same time, Reuss was busily involved in a revival of the notorious Bavarian Order of the Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt. It would be too far afield to discuss the legitimacy of every claim listed above; suffice it to say that the strongest points of Masonic initiation were ingeniously condensed from the typical 33 degrees (or the 97 and 90 degrees of the Memphis-Mizraim Rites) into the first six degrees of the OTO. The first three degrees largely paralleled the typical Blue Lodge; the fourth degree conveyed the Royal Arch secret “name of God,” a blasphemous combination signifying Yahweh, Baal and Osiris (“Jah-Bul- On”); the fifth conveyed the Rose Croix initiation which mocks the Mass, including the trampling of a crucifix; and the sixth conveyed the Knights Templar degree of Kadosch in which the papal tiara and crown are attacked symbolically atop skulls. With these six degrees, the OTO whisked the aspiring Freemason through the essence of initiation to the penultimate “light” offered in ordinary high degree Lodges.
However, the OTO conveyed something more in its upper degrees. The seventh degree taught the theory, but the eighth through the ninth initiated the candidate in one of the most jealously guarded secrets of Kabbalistic depravity, known as “sex magick”. Recent research into the origins of the OTO indicate that this tradition was probably passed down via the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (listed in the Manifesto) by Louis Maximilian Bimstein, son of Rabbi Judes Lion Bimstein, who went by the name “Max Theon” (“Supreme God”) and received Hassidic initiation in Poland. The tenth degree conveyed occult- Masonic rulership over the OTO Lodges in a country or group of countries (Aleister Crowley was “Supreme and Holy King of Ireland, Iona, and All the Britains That Are in the Sanctuary of the Gnosis”). The eleventh degree involved sodomy, and the overall world ruler of the OTO was called the OHO, or Outer Head of the Order. Theodor Reuss was OHO; later Crowley would claim the role for himself.
Cardinal Rampolla and the OTO
To establish its occult supremacy and authenticity of lineage, the OTO listed many names in the Manifesto. As is typical in Masonic and occult lore, many ancient names were listed to establish a symbolical affinity and imply consequent dignity upon the Lodge. Names such as “Simon Magus” and “Apollonius Tyanaeus” were included not because these men belonged to the OTO, but because they were prominently associated with Gnosticism, pagan mysticism, mystery, heresy, or some prominent alternative to Christianity. Hence the Manifesto introduces this list by stating that “in more remote times, the constituent originating assemblies of the OTO included such men …”
The Manifesto then grabs our attention, for it interrupts the list with the words, “And recently …” The names that follow are exactly fourteen. Among them is the name Cardinal Rampolla.
Admittedly, these names need not indicate strict membership in the OTO — and in some cases chronologically could not. But the Manifesto does not claim that the men listed were members; only that the “constituent originating assemblies of the OTO included such men.” A name, then, such as Wolfgang von Goethe, makes some sense, for Goethe is known to have been a Freemason (although he later repudiated Masonry). His Walpurgis Night revelry in Faust would certainly show that at least in literature he conveyed the type of notions later extolled in the OTO. Similarly, Friedrich Nietzsche is an understandable inclusion, since his book The Antichrist would easily harmonize with the crucifix-trampling Masonic Academy. Eliphas Lévi was likewise an important Masonic Magician. In short, none of the names listed in the Manifesto are without some discernable connection to the ideas or essence of the OTO, while others are now known to have been actual members, such as Franz Hartmann and “Papus” or Dr. Encausse.
If the inclusion of Cardinal Rampolla’s name was merely a “joke,” as OTO leader Bill Heidrick speculates in his recent newsletter this anomaly would be a strange exception. In addition, it would undermine a serious Manifesto which was seeking to establish an authoritative relationship to other high degree Rites of Freemasonry. Finally, Heidrick simply has no evidence for his assertion. The name Rampolla stands, listed in the OTO’s Manifesto, published in a Masonic journal. This is a hard fact which has yet to be explained away adequately. The inclusion of the name could scarcely have discredited Cardinal Rampolla, since the circulation of the Masonic journal was very limited; furthermore, Cardinal Rampolla was already dead when his name appeared (his name did not appear in the 1912 version while he was still alive and a scandal could have been generated). What would be the point?
Peter Koenig also states that Cardinal Rampolla was allegedly a member of the Spanish OTO. This being the case, what are we to make of the fact that Pope Pius X did not utterly banish Cardinal Rampolla — or that Pius X himself abolished the Jus Exclusivae? These arguments are far from conclusive. First, we have no evidence concerning how much Pope Pius X knew or even believed concerning Cardinal Rampolla while he was still alive. It is probable that the Pope was informed of the suspicion, but also quite possible that he was not prepared to believe it. Cardinal Rampolla made very favorable impressions on those who knew him. Second, Cardinal Rampolla immediately resigned as secretary of state and was replaced by Cardinal Merry del Val. While he kept some offices, he voluntarily went into semi-retirement. This may have been a deliberate arrangement between Cardinal Rampolla and the Pope to avoid scandal while removing the possibility of significant interference by Rampolla; it may further have reflected both the prudence and the charity of the Pope in taking steps based on alarming information, while still avoiding the harshest penalties absent strict proof. The proof, in the form of the Manifesto, was still some years in coming.
Similarly, Pope Pius X had excellent reasons for abolishing the Jus Exclusivae. As related by the Pope’s chamberlain: “Pius X frequently made known his decisions by motu proprio, one of his first official acts being to abolish the privilege of veto, accorded in very different times to the Emperors and the Kings of Spain and France. The Christendom in which its exercise had been tolerated no longer existed and, had the Emperor’s latest misuse of it been left unrebuked, we might conceivably have next had a Masonic President of France claiming the same right as part of the Republic’s inheritance from the Bourbon monarchy."
That Pope Pius X was keenly aware of both infiltrators and unsettling dangers is reflected in his encyclicals. In his 1907 Encyclical Pascendi Gregis, “On the Doctrine of the Modernists,” Pius X writes, “That We should act without delay in this matter is made imperative especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom … We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself …” Here we find a frank confession by the Pope that he is gravely concerned with partisans of error concealed within the priesthood itself. Does this warning reflect concerns resulting from the Rampolla affair? It would certainly seem possible, if not likely.
Even more significant is the very first encyclical of Pope St. Pius X, E Supremi Apostolatus, “On the Restoration of All Things in Christ,” given October 4, 1903. In this encyclical we read the startling statement that “there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the ‘Son of Perdition’ of whom the Apostle speaks.” (2 Thess. 2:3) The Pope was clearly worried that the Antichrist may have already been present among men. Something must have happened to shake the Pope to this extent at the beginning of his pontificate.
A clue to the cause of his alarm is given by the Pope as he continues in the same encyclical: “… [O]n the other hand, and this according to the same apostle is the distinguishing mark of Anti-christ, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God …”
The official motto of the OTO was — and still is — Deus est Homo — “God is Man.” If Cardinal Rampolla was a member or close associate of the OTO or its incipient Lodges, then an agent of the dark Masonic cult of man, embodying the proud spirit of the Antichrist, very nearly gained the Chair of Peter in 1903. The Rampolla event helps to explain the first encyclical of St. Pius X in an uncanny manner.
Although it is never a welcome task to accuse a Cardinal of diabolical intrigue, it appears that Msgr. Jouin was correct, and deserves the posthumous thanks of the Church. The evidence supports the allegation that a Freemason, Cardinal Rampolla, nearly became Pope over a century ago. But certain questions remain for all of us to ponder: if the Lodges nearly gained a victory over the Vatican so long ago, would they stop trying? Why would they stop? Would they not be encouraged? And what would they have further attempted? I believe that thoughtful answers to these questions will illuminate the history of many changes in the life of the Church over the past several decades, in which the Cult of Man has gained a rapid ascendancy, together with shocking Kabbalistic sexual depravity within the ranks of the priesthood itself — strangely “coincidental” with the highest, eleventh degree of the OTO — the “initiation” of sodomy. St. Pius X warned us of the danger of infiltration — of partisans of error within the priesthood itself. The Holy Ghost cannot be blamed for most of the changes which have caused these and other wounds in the Body of Christ; such would be blasphemy. No, we must blame the unholy spirit, the Devil, whose minions still issue from Lodges and infect the Church as long as they escape discovery. We need to take seriously once again the work of Msgr. Jouin — and St. Pius X — and pursue the detective work necessary to ferret out the architects of destruction from the ranks of the clergy, no matter how high in standing. If we do not recover this important vigilance, we will increasingly witness the Roman Catholic Church conforming to the image of the Gnostic, exhibiting with increasing temerity the Cult of Man until the Hand of God intervenes.
1. A reference to the notorious Leo Taxil affair during the reign of Pope Leo XIII, in which a dirty tricks campaign was run in order to discredit attacks against Freemasons by exaggerated “revelations” of the inner doings of the Lodges — later repudiated by their author as a hoax. The campaign was very effective.
2. Cf., Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood, pp. 535-36; Piers Compton, The Broken Cross: The Hidden Hand in the Vatican, pp. 21-24; Mary Ball Martínez, The Undermining of the Catholic Church, pp. 36-39.
3. Curiously, this skepticism is not simply coming from Catholic quarters: the OTO itself (see note 23 below) has expressed “doubt” in an internet article about the affiliation of Cardinal Rampolla with its Masonic organization. It is highly interesting that Catholics and occult Masons should find themselves agreeing to be skeptical about the same point of intersecting history. Is one side manipulating the other?
4. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, p. 321.
5. Ibid., p. 819.
6. Ibid., p. 817.
7. An illustration of this appalling ritual is contained in the Masonic manual Secret Societies Illustrated, p. 123.
8. See Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor, pp. 95-96; 229-230.
9. Ibid., p. 230.
10. Matthew 24:1-2.
11. Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor, p. 249.
12. Much confusion in terminology has led to gross inaccuracies in historical understanding, enabling propagandized accounts to shape modern discussions of the Middle East. For example, “Semite” includes both Jew and Arab; yet (to give an example) Palestinian Arabs who object to their children being shot by the Israeli military are called “anti-Semites”. This description is absurd and inflammatory. Similarly, the term “Judean” has gradually been replaced by “Jew,” although strictly speaking a Jew is a descendant of the Tribe of Judah only. Finally, many Jews of today arguably have no connection to any of the Twelve Tribes, having descended from converted Khazars in Eastern Europe. See Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, New York, 1976.
13. The “greater and lesser rituals of the Hexagram” are still standard practice in the occult Lodges of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (itself named after Lucifer, the “light-bearer” who brings the “dawn”) and the magical order Argenteum Astrum, related to the OTO Lodges. See below.
14. Gershom Scholem (1897-1982), late professor of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writes in Kabbalah, pp. 362-366: “The magen David … is a hexagram or six-pointed star formed by two equilateral triangle which have the same center and are placed in opposite directions … The oldest text mentioning a shield of David is contained in an explanation of a magical ‘alphabet of the angel Metatron’ which stems from the geonic period and was current among the Hasidei Ashkenaz of the 12th Century … The oldest known witness to the usage of the term [magen David] is the kabbalistic Sefer ha-Gevul, written by a grandson of Nahmanides in the early 14th Century. The hexagram occurs there twice, both times called ‘magen David’ and containing the same magical name as in the aforementioned amulet, demonstrating its direct connection with the magical tradition.”
15. See John Vennari, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita: A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of The Catholic Church, for the most concise summary of these and other passages with a brilliant historical commentary.
16. Albert Pike, ibid., p. 839.
17. See Secret Ritual of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Kessinger Publishing Company.
18. The history of the Gnostic Catholic Church is beyond the scope of this article; however, the reader should understand that the essence of the Gnostic heresy is the sin of Lucifer, the proud dream of deification, the temptation to “be as gods, knowing good and evil”. (Genesis, 3:5) “Gnostic” derives from the Greek gnosis, or knowledge. The “G” in the middle of the Masonic square and compass symbol stands for Gnosis. (See Albert Pike, Liturgy of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, p. 104: “Masonry is the Gnosis …”)
19. Yves Chiron, Saint Pius X: Restorer of the Church, p. 122.
20. Yves Chiron, Ibid., p. 123.
21. Ibid., pp. 122-23.
22. David Kertzer, The Popes Against the Jews, pp. 268-69.
23. See “Pope Saint Pius X” in From the Housetops, No. 13, Fall, 1976, St. Benedict Center, Richmond, New Hampshire.
24. See http://www.billheidrick.com/ tlc1999/tlc1199.htm for information. Bill Heidrick of the OTO tries to distance the OTO from the accusation made by Msgr. Jouin; however, he is contradicted by the foremost OTO archivist, Peter Koenig. See below.
25. See O.T.O. Brochure: An Historical and Modern Perspective, Ordo Templi Orientis, New York, 1995.
26. Francis King, The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O., p. 9.
27. Theodor Reuss and Aleister Crowley, edited by Peter Koenig: O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick, pp. 79-107.
28. Argenteum Astrum, or Silver Star — an important repository of the occult rituals of Freemasonry and the Kabbalah.
29. Aleister Crowley, The Equinox, Vol. III, No. 1, 1919, pp. 197-98.
30. Francis King, ibid., p. 142.
31. The ultimate meaning of the “G” within the Masonic symbol is “generation” or sexual union. See Pike, Morals and Dogma, pp. 632, 771-72.
32. See T. Allen Greenfield, The Story of The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, 6-10, and Joscelyn Godwin, Christian Chanel, and John P. Deveney, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism, p. 11.
33. See footnote 24 above.
34. See http://homepage.sunrise.ch/ homepage/prkoenig/mm1.htm for details of the various Rites and Lodges, and the allegation of the membership of Cardinal Rampolla.
35. See, for example, the memoirs of Francis Augustus MacNutt in A Papal Chamberlain: The Personal Chronicle of Francis Augustus MacNutt, 1937.
36. Yves Chiron, ibid., p. 123.
37. Francis MacNutt, ibid., p. 311.
38. In his commentary on The Book of the Law, Crowley authorizes pederasty or child molestation. See Aleister Crowley, The Law is for All: The Authorized Popular Commentary to The Book of the Law, p. 55.
Reprinted from the August 2003 edition
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