The power of the Freemasons, using the example of Italy: From the left the symbols of the Grand Orient of Italy, the Grand Lodge of Italy and the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy.
By P. Paolo M. Siano *
In June 2021, the Chiarelettere publishing house from Milan published the 751-page book “Potere Massonico”, “The Power of Freemasons. The 'brotherhood' that commands in Italy: politics, finance, industry, mass media, justice, organized crime ”, by Ferruccio Pinotti.
Aldo Cazzullo (journalist des Corriere della Sera like Pinotti) already mentioned the myth that there is good Freemasonry and bad Masonry ... Among the famous Italian Freemasons (the "good" ones, like I assume) Cazzullo also counts Giosué Carducci, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Gabriele D'Annunzio (see p. IX). In addition, he is of the opinion that Giuseppe Mazzini's membership as a Freemason is now largely ensured (see p. IX). Certainly Freemasons were men of the (anti-clerical and anti-papal) Risorgimento such as Aurelio Saffi, Nino Bixio, Count Camillo Benso of Cavour (see p. IX). Freemasons were also philosophers such as Fichte, John Locke, Proudhon, Voltaire ... (see p. IX).
After listing the "good" Freemasons, Cazzullo wonders why Freemasonry is associated with "strong powers" and organized crime ... (see p. Xf)
There are three major and leading Masonic estates in Italy: the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI), the Grand Lodge of Italy (GLDI), and the Regular Grand Lodge of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Italy (GLRI). But there are also over 200 irregular or bogus Masonic Lodges that create covert lodges that are often conspired with or infiltrated by crime. If you add up reliable numbers, there are over 40,000 Freemasons in Italy (see p. X).
The power of the Masons
While a few years ago some Catholic sociologists and some Freemasons claimed that Freemasonry was weak and didn't count for much, Cazzullo admits otherwise:
"The 'Brothers of Italy'1 are in excellent health. And their power network is stronger than ever. The problem is when the lodges become business circles, instruments of the Mafia's infiltration into the real economy and money laundering, centers for political-mafia counter-deals, clergy that determine the fate of judges, job advertisements at universities, political careers and awarding high military ranks and determining institutional positions ”(p. XI).
Before I go into Pinotti's text, I would like to make a few comments on Cazzullo's foreword. While one tries from a "secular" or legal (civil and criminal law) point of view to differentiate between a "good" and a "bad" Freemasonry, from the point of view of the Catholic faith "good" Freemasonry is also incompatible with the Church. That being said, some of the “good” Freemasons listed by Cazzulo leave a lot to be desired.
Giosué Carducci, winner of the 1906 Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote a “Hymn to Satan” in 1863, which was published in 1869 in the information sheet of the Greater Orient of Italy (GOI), which was already a secular and esoteric Freemasonry at that time.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, Grand Master of the Grand Orient, 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR), high degree of the Memphis Misraim Rite (Freemasonry, which sees itself as the guardian of the magic and esotericism of ancient Egypt), was also active in the French spiritualism (the spiritualist Garibaldi is also mentioned by Massimo Introvigne).
In the book “Mazzini. Freemasonry, World Revolution,”Regensburg 1901, the Jesuit Father Hermann Gruber portrays Mazzini and Garibaldi as the “leading heads” or “military arm” of the anti-Catholic revolutionary party that led to the capture of Rome in 1870. Leaders of the Italian Ancient and Adopted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry between the 19th and 20th centuries such as Lemmi, Nathan, Tamaio, Riboli etc. boasted that they were disciples of Mazzini and Garibaldi (see p. 4f).
In the Massoneria Oggi magazine No. 1/1999 of the Grand Orient, Attilio Mazza shows in his article "D'Annunzio esoterico" (Esoteric D'Annunzio) that the famous poet, soldier and Freemason of the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Adopted Scottish Rite of Piazza del Gesù 2 Gabriele D'Annunzio loved magic, occultism, talismans (he had one in the shape of a horned flickering devil) and alchemy (see pp. 17–24).
What can we say about the philosophy of Locke (empiricism), Proudhon (atheism and socialism), Voltaire (Enlightenment and Deism) and Fichte (Idealism), which is hostile to the harmony between Catholic faith and reason?
So let's take a look at Ferruccio Pinotti's book.
Pinotti claims that "the great Italian newspapers have always been and are full of Freemasons" (p. 6). Some examples. The Corriere della Sera was founded by the Freemason Eugenio Torelli Viollier. Freemason Carlo De Benedetti is historical editor of the Repubblica Espresso Group (GEDI Group since 2016). The Freemason of the Grand Lodge of Italy was the oil company boss and publisher Attilio Monti, founder of the Monrif Group, who owns the QN brand (with the daily newspapers Quotidiano Nazionale, Resto del Carlino, La Nazione, Il Giorno, Il Telegrafo). Eugenio Cefis, chairman of the board of ENI, was also a Freemason and he was free to use the daily newspaper Il Giorno (see p. 6). The Freemason industrialist Gaetano Semenza (1826–1882), was the founder of the leading business daily Il Sole 24 Ore3 and a friend of Garibaldi and Mazzini. Another Freemason is Silvio Berlusconi, who controls three large private television stations, the daily newspaper Il Giornale and the publishing group Mondadori, in which has been incorporated as the publishing house Rizzoli (see p. 7).
Pinotti affirms that Freemasonry "commanded Italy from the beginning" (p. 8) 4. "It tacitly dominates politics, economics, finance and business" (p. 8).
“Freemasonry is actually the 'strong power' par excellence, which for more than three centuries has linked the high offices of the state and key positions in politics and economics, the invisible binding agent that unites seemingly distant and even contradicting figures, the element that supports domination of one of the world's most coveted realities, both domestically and internationally, is crucial: a country that remains, regardless of political views, the cradle of Western European civilization; the historic seat of the first world religion, Catholicism; the second largest European and seventh largest world producer; the place that produced geniuses like Enrico Fermi (also a Freemason) and Nobel Prize winners like Giosué Carducci and Salvatore Quasimodo (also "initiated"); the place where 65 percent of the art treasures that make up the World Heritage Site are concentrated; a central hub in the European Union and in the Mediterranean ” (p. 8f).
“Freemasonry has always moved around these gigantic interests, a reality of enormous complexity, but also one of the most stable power networks - from the early 18th century to the present day - in balancing power and creating alliances, sometimes even criminals , with other powers: from the secret services to the mafia and terrorism, from high-ranking banking to wild financial speculation […] ”(p. 9).
Pinotti distinguishes “a double level” (p. 9) of Freemasonry:
“There is the official level, full of symbols and references to personalities of high rank; a world rich in philosophical, social, humanitarian and internationalist values whose contribution to issues such as freedom, equality, religious tolerance, and resistance to political and religious dogmatism is difficult to deny ”(p. 9f).
He mentions Carducci, Garibaldi, Mazzini as "high-ranking" Freemasons (p. 9, footnote 4).
Pinotti reports on an interview he was given for life by the then senator Francesco Cossiga (1928-2010), Italian President from 1985-1992, who was always a great admirer and defender of Freemasonry. Pinotti asked Cossiga about box P25. Cossiga replied:
“The real story of the P2 is that it was an American creation. […] The P2 consisted only of ultra-Americans, of personalities who were very close to the American world ”(p. 118). According to Cossiga, the P2 was a "philo-American and transatlantic" operation (p. 118).
I come to the fifth and last part of the book, in which Pinotti "after reconstructing the long red thread of Masonic power in Italian institutions and politics" (p. 581) undertakes a "journey" into the three most important Italian Masonic affairs: the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI) by Grand Master Stefano Bisi, the Grand Lodge of Italy in the Palazzo Vitelleschi (GLDI) by Grand Master Luciano Romoli (it is a mixed Grand Lodge, ie also with women) and the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy by Grand Master Fabio Venzi (GRLI).
Pinotti states that Venzi has been a grandmaster for “twenty years without a break, a rule for life, so to speak” (p. 581), and expressly repeats that Venzi's tenure as grandmaster, from 2001 to the present day, “is of a very long duration” (p . 665).
Fabio Venzi is indeed the only Grand Master in Italy who has lasted that long, but that's not surprising when you consider that the Regular Grand Lodge (GRLI) is strictly pro-English and in partnership with the United Grand Lodge of England ( UGLE), whose grandmaster has been His Royal Highness Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent, (born 1935) since 1967.
Grand Master Bisi (Grand Orient) wants dialogue with the Catholic Church and speaks of “common values” and “reconciliation between the Church and Freemasonry” (p. 589). Bisi denies that Freemasonry is “an enemy of any church” and hopes that (his) Freemasonry will one day he could celebrate with a Pope, the breakthrough of Italian troops near the Roman city gate Porta Pia (1870), i.e. the downfall of the Papal States ... (see p. 590, footnote 7).
Pinotti also elicits critical statements of former Freemasons of the Grand Orient: 1) Amerigo Minnicelli (pp. 594–614), lawyer, 18th degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which was excluded by the Grand Orient because it prevented the Calabrian Grand Orient from infiltrating the Greater Orient 'ndrangheta 6 and the "' mafia-like dynamics' which have also established themselves at the national level in the voting modalities within the Grand Orient" (p. 594). Minnicelli had his own website, www.goiseven, which has then closed; 2) Lawyer Francesco Guida, who switched to the Traditional Italian Masonic Order (OMTI) (pp. 615–626).
The following excerpts from Pinotti's interview with Alessandro Meluzzi (pp. 627–633), “Sleeping Freemason” (p. 631), former member of the Grand Orient, psychiatrist are very interesting. Pinotti asks the following question:
“Freemasonry is religious in its own way. It admits the existence of a great builder of the universe. For the Freemasons, part of this reality is Lucifer, who is also sung about in a hymn by the Freemason Giosué Carducci. What do you think of the accusations of anti-clericalism traditionally made against Masonic lodges? ”(P. 630).
Here is Meluzzi’s answer, who factually confirms it ...:
“Every interpretation is partial because it is individual. I can tell you what Freemasonry was to me, but my point of view is not unanimously recognized. I believe there was a moment in history when urbanization and industrialization exposed the divinity of man in a way so blasphemous that it had to be addressed to a higher authority. Whether that is Lucifer or not, everyone has to decide for himself ”(p. 630).
Again Pinotti-Meluzzi: "Do you know of any sulphurous infiltration in the Vatican, for example by cardinals of Masonic conviction?"
“There are many unsuspecting people in the Masonic lodges. There are those who stick the symbol on the lapel of their coat and those who do not want to reveal their membership. As for the Catholic Church, I would be more concerned now about who is pulling the strings of Vatican politics ”(p. 631).
The chapter devoted to Grand Master Venzi's Regular Grand Lodge (pp. 653–675) is noteworthy and reveals two approaches of the Catholic world by Freemasonry. According to him, there is the “official” approach, that of “high hierarchies”, which considers the incompatibility of Church and Freemasonry from the “doctrinal” point of view (“deism”, “relativism”, “gnosticism” ...). The other approach, which is typical of the "members of lower rank", attributes a "satanic", "heretical" character to Freemasonry, which is devoted to "Satanism or Luciferism" (cf. p. 667). In this context, Venzi refers to his book "L'ultima eresia" ("The Last Heresy. Church and Freemasonry: Three Centuries Between Satanism, Gnosis and Relativism"), in which he, according to his own conviction, describes the "complete lack of stability" of the " relativistic or Gnostic components” of Freemasonry (see p. 667f).
I, however, take the liberty of affirming the incompatibility between the Church and Freemasonry and therefore refer to some of my articles.
On the regular grand lodge:
Short answer to a Grand Master of Freemasonry
On the Grand Orient:
Initiation and gnosis await those who knock at the Freemasons' Union
On the Grand Lodge:
"Lucifer, the Light Bearer" - Lecture of the Grand Lodge of Italy (2014)
In the book "The Power of Freemasons", the statement of an anonymous former Freemason from the Grand Lodge, who was contacted by Ferruccio Pinotti, is also very interesting. Among other things, he asks him: “One enters a lodge in order to have the opportunity to forge extended personal relationships that pay off on a material level: but do other kinds of relationships arise?” (P. 696).
In his response, the former Freemason says at one point:
"[...] If you mean relationships between men and women within the lodge, I can tell you straightforwardly that there is a ...! Every now and then, Eyes Wide Shut-style parties were organized that bordered on an orgy, at any rate they were clear opportunities for sexual encounters ”(p. 697).
Pinotti remarks: “Strong and cutting comments, which, however, are followed by deep reflection: From this point of view I understand and share in a certain way why women are excluded from Masonic orders. I can understand the Grand Orient of Italy which, in accordance with the type of initiation it practiced, does not allow the reception of women ”(p. 697).
Licio Gelli (1919-2015)
In addition, according to "Alessia" (the fictional name of this former Freemason), Freemasons "finally adopt a 'masculine' 'and authoritarian style" (p. 697).
I come to the end. Assuming there is a "good" Freemasonry, then I wonder to what extent it would be able to contain and defeat the "bad" Freemasonry ... Let us not forget the esoteric theory of the necessary unity of opposites ... Sephiroth and Qliphoth ...
Even the former prosecutor, member of parliament and current lawyer Carlo Palermo appears at the end of a video (duration 1 hour and 40 minutes) with the title “Dalla P2 ai Rosacroce” (“From P2 to the Rosicrucians. There is a Masonic lodge for world government works "), seems to share the myth of a “good” Freemasonry:" We have to understand the non-evil nature of Freemasonry ... In the whole part where it is only a cultural activity and an activity of historical reconstruction of human thought [...] " .
I allow myself to repeat that the principles of this “good” Freemasonry (anti-dogmatic humanism, religious relativism, esotericism, initiation, gnosis ...) do not in any case allow the reconstruction of man and society according to the heart of Christ.
* Father Paolo Maria Siano is a member of the Franciscan Order of the Immaculate (FFI); The church historian with a doctorate is considered one of the best Catholic experts on Freemasonry, to which he has dedicated several standard works and numerous essays. Katholisches.info has published them:
Translation / Footnotes: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: GOI / GLDI / GRLI / MiL (screenshots)
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
1 Allusion to the first words of the Italian national anthem, which was composed in 1847 by the Freemason Goffredo Mameli and has been the unofficial Italian national anthem since 1947 and the official Italian national anthem since 2017. In 1849 Mameli took part in the revolutionary uprising led by Giuseppe Garibaldi against the papal government in Rome. Shortly before the collapse of the “Roman Republic”, Mameli was unintentionally injured by a like-minded comrade. On July 7th, 1849, at the age of 21, he succumbed to a wound infection in the pilgrims' hospice Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, whose church is today the Mass location of the FSSP in Rome.
2 The two main obediences of Freemasonry in Italy are also named after their historical seat in Rome: Piazza del Gesù (Grand Lodge) and Palazzo Giustiniani (Grand Orient). These designations were retained, although neither the one nor the other obedience has its seat either in the named places. The two directions emerged from a split in the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree of the Grand Orient in 1908. The reason for this was a dispute over the attitude towards the Catholics, who were then just organized in the Italian People's Party (PPI), for the first time since Destruction of the Papal States in 1871 by the new Italian state to participate in political life again. While the minority of the Freemasons, who organized themselves in the Grand Lodge after the split, took a more moderate line, the majority in the Grand Orient demanded the continuation of an inexorable enmity. Irony of fate: the Generalate of the Jesuit Order is located in the Piazza del Gesù. After the Second World War, the party headquarters of the Democrazia Cristiana (DC, Christian Democrats) was also located there. Palazzo Giustiniani, also called the “Green Vatican” or “Vatican of the 33rd” by the Freemasons, alluding to the 33rd and highest degree of high degree freemasonry, is today the seat of the President of the Italian Senate, the second chamber (upper house) of the Italian Parliament, the Senate Administration and the Senators for life. After Freemasonry was banned in 1926, Benito Mussolini made the palazzo available to the Senate. The building was shared by the Senate and Grand Orient from 1945–1985.
3 Until the merger with the newspaper 24 Ore in 1965, only Il Sole.
4 What is meant is the Italian state proclaimed in 1861, which emerged from the Risorgimento, the Italian national movement and the wars of 1859–1870 that began with it. First as the Kingdom of Italy (House of Savoy), since 1946 as the Italian Republic.
5 The Masonic Lodge Propaganda Due (P2) was founded by Giuseppe Mazzini in 1877 in the Grand Orient of Italy in order to protect the identity of the leading Masons within Freemasonry because of the large number of people in the lodges, the new power center of the young state. The name of the lodge was an allusion to the Vatican congregation Propaganda Fide (today the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples), which was supposed to be the Masonic counterpart Propaganda Due. In 1925, Lodge P2 was also dissolved because of the ban on all secret societies by Benito Mussolini. After the war it was rebuilt together with the Grand Orient and was directly subordinate to the Grand Master. It was only revived later. In 1970 Licio Gelli became the representative of the grandmaster in the P2, from 1975 its chair master. Gelli, an entrepreneur from Tuscany, had fought as a fascist, called up by Mussolini, as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the nationalists, served as a liaison officer to the Wehrmacht during the occupation of Yugoslavia in World War II and, after Italy's change of front in September 1943. Affiliated with anti-fascism. In 1963 he was accepted into Freemasonry. Lodge P2 came into the focus of public attention when, in 1981, during a house search in Gelli's villa, for a completely different matter, the financial police seized a list of members of Lodge P2 with over a thousand names, including that of the chief of the financial police, General Orazio Giannini. What happened in or through Lodge P2 between 1970 and 1981 or was subsequently attributed to it was the subject of investigations by public prosecutors and parliament, but is lost in a thicket of truth and disinformation. The fact is that Gelli, which was obviously his intention, had formed a powerful team of representatives from finance, business, politics, the media, the police and the military in order to gain influence in the state against the background of a possible Communist takeover.
6 Organized crime in Calabria (the Calabrian mafia).