Boromir (dying): It is over. The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness and my city to ruin.
Aragorn: I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
The year 2017 marks three infamous anniversaries. Aware of these centenaries, the man of good will bear with him the needling, acute consciousness of defeat—or at least of a disheartening fourth-quarter deficit—at the hands of the Church’s opponents, the global apparatchiks of the banal. These villains were busy in the sixteenth, eighteenth, and twentieth centuries and all the darkling years between.
Of course, there are blessed anniversaries as well: May’s centenary of the first Fatima apparition and the October centenary of the Miracle of the Sun. And two of the infamous ones are well-noted: in October, the fifth centenary of the Protestant revolt and the first centenary of the Marxist revolution in Russia.
Sandwiched between these well-known events lies the third centenary, in late June, of another world historical event. But few seem to note it.
The Freemason conspiracy
On June 24, 1717, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was founded to unify the Freemasons, whose express, covert goal was to destroy the Catholic Church. Four existing “lodges” gathered that day at the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse in London, St. John the Baptist Day, to gather the principles of the European Enlightenment into a single, powerful, secret society for implementation. The newly minted Masons required no more than seven decades before yielding their first fruit: the anti-Catholic French Revolution of 1789. It was the first of several Masonic-influenced revolutions over the next century and a half.
The first strike against global magisterial Christendom was the advent of Protestantism in 1517; the culminating atheist blow was struck in 1917 by the Bolsheviks at Winter Palace. But the popular Western culture’s jump from Protestantism to atheism makes little sense without the role of Freemasonry, the Enlightenment’s crowning contribution to the insurgency. The Marxists would not have worked cryptology and infiltration so masterfully unless the Masons had done so first.
So, you see, this late June tri-centenary reads like Act Two, a missing bridge, connecting the beginning and the culminating chapters of a Baroque, three-act composition: the great modern attack on the Church. Church historian Roberto de Mattei recently aligned 1517, 1717, and 1917 in this manner:
Pius XII, in his speech to the men of Catholic Action on October 12, 1952, summed it up like this: “Christ, yes; Church, no (the Protestant Revolution against the Church in 1517); then God, yes; Christ no (the Masonic Revolution against the central mysteries of Christianity in 1717); finally, the impious cry: God is dead; rather, God has never existed (the atheistic Communist Revolution in 1917). And here, Pius XII concludes, is the attempt to build the structure of the world upon foundations that we do not hesitate in pointing out as the principals responsible for the danger that threatens mankind” (citation).
Here’s a fresh way of looking at the same facts: given the natural progression of spurious ideas from 1517 to 1717 and thereafter, the Bolsheviks did not even need to storm Winter Palace in 1917. The major and the minor premises of their anti-Catholic syllogism had already been lain; no conclusion needed to be articulated. If anything, the opponents of the Church should rue the day that Communist revolutionaries began clamoring openly about the death of God, because they thereby put the Catholic world on defensive notice. Better for them to have remained silent.
The one, true Faith was undone—popularly anyway—by first unfastening Christianity from the Church and then by untethering belief in “the spiritual” from its affixation to monotheism. As our Lady insinuated at Fatima, atheism and the other “errors of Russia” had already eventuated of their own force well before the public battle cry at Winter Palace. This proves to be especially true when one considers that the Bolshevik Revolution occurred two weeks after the last Fatima apparition.
Modernism, as I’ve written in these pages before, is nothing more than the amalgam of 1517 and 1717 in what I’ve called “Protestant-Enlightenment” thought (“Why America Perishes Without Rome,” September-October 2016). Forget Common Core and do some even newer, truer math: 1517 + 1717 + a little time for percolation = anti-Catholic atheism, without Communists or Jacobins.
Modernism as Protestant-Enlightenment
Even more than being a progression of ideology in early modern history, the development of Protestantism into Enlightenment thought should be conceived as a co-occurrence of two distinct anti-Catholic worldviews sharing a common intellectual wellspring. (Actually, it is both of these at once.) After all, both worldviews continue to exist independent of one another in 2017.
In America, the “religious right” still dons the mantle of its Protestant progenitors, just as the “secular left” still carries the Enlightenment torch of false, Masonic liberty. Neither worldview swallowed the other. In fact, partisans on either side—the light and the dark counterparts of modernism—falsely believe they oppose one another.
Beginning in the sixteenth century, both the Protestant and the Enlightenment worldviews sought to overturn the Church’s Aristotelian-Thomist view of nature, or the natural law. If the great fourth-century B.C. “discovery,” as Robert R. Reilly calls it, by Plato and Aristotle was that of nature—with subsequent fine-tuning by Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics—then the great A.D. sixteenth-century “cover-up” by Protestant-Enlightenment modernism was, again, of nature.
In other words, beginning five centuries ago this October, these two camps labored to push snow over the tracks leading intelligent observers to know what nature truly is. Indeed, modernism’s goal is to keep them ignorant of it.
The Protestant-Enlightenment rejection of the natural law can be expressed in three prongs, proving the otherwise rivalrous religious right and secular left to be cousins if not siblings. The Catholic natural law describes nature as morally free, as intelligible, and as purpose-oriented.
It matters not that the two modernist worldviews reject the three Catholic premises of nature for opposing reasons. Protestantism rejects nature’s moral freedom because of man’s “total depravity” and his “bondage” in sin; Enlightenment rejects morality and freedom altogether. Protestantism rejects nature’s intelligibility because of sola scriptura; Enlightenment thought dismisses all the grounds for the notion of intelligibility. Protestantism rejects nature’s purpose by denying the Lord’s continuing connection to it; the Enlightenment states flat out that Aristotle erred by affirming the existence of “final causation.”
Constituent motivations aside, what matters is the bottom line: the Reformation and the Enlightenment together rejected the natural law. And any attack on the natural law, Protestant or Enlightenment, yields a potent diminution of creed, clergy, and the sacramental concept of Church.
Yet here’s a distinction between the two camps that actually matters: as toxic as the thought of “reformers” like Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli was, today’s surviving congregations (especially American ones) that refrained from devolving to liberal Protestantism have held the cultural line in surprising ways. They have resisted the New World Order far better than Catholics, for fifty years or so. This has been an unexpected boon to all people of good will. Although the ideas of 1517 veritably led—should have led—mainline Protestantism to the ideas of 1717, not all its practitioners followed upon this primrose path.
Such a tendency, or approximate movement, in Protestantism toward Enlightenment secularism and deism—or even toward 1917’s post-Enlightenment atheism—does not, thankfully, prove to be absolute. A small portion of Protestantism somehow managed not to decompose constantly (as most of the sects do)—and, except for the fact of their status ex eccleisiae, it is not this theologically conservative minority of Protestants with which we are concerned.
We are talking here about the cultural Whig Protestantism that readily merged with Enlightenment thought and which eventually bled directly or indirectly into the ongoing Marxist cultural revolution in the twenty-first century.
A history of infiltration
Whereas the once-hot Protestant opposition to Rome would run cold and then turn almost amicable during the twentieth century, the Masonic and Marxist insurgency into the Church became more calculated and increasingly virulent. Leaving aside any further discussion of our Protestant brethren, given their sincere if mismanaged love of Christ, the Masonic grandkids of the Enlightenment and the post-Enlightenment atheists of Marx’s genealogy grew to be the arch-nemeses of the Church.
During the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, for instance, the Masons and the Marxists perfected their understanding of the principle lex orandi, lex credendi (“manner of prayer affects belief”), leading each camp to push specifically for the desecration of the “source and summit” of Catholicism—via Communion in the hand. Defile ritual to revile theology.
Communist agent AA 1025 states in his alleged memoirs:
To weaken more the notion of “real presence” of Christ, all decorum will have to be set aside . . . no more sign of the cross, no more genuflections, but only dignified, stern attitudes. Moreover, the faithful will have to break themselves from the habit of kneeling, and this will be absolutely forbidden when receiving Communion . . . very soon, the host will be laid in the hand in order that all notion of the sacred be erased (AA-1025: Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration into the Church, St. Benedict Press, 2009).
In the other camp, the high-ranking Masonic “P2” Lodge released the following document in 1962: “Get women and laity to give Communion, say that this is the Age of the Laity. Start giving Communion in the hand like the Protestants, instead of on the tongue, say that Christ did it this way. Collect some for Satan Masses.”
Hold the line
In May, new Gallup polling showed that a preponderance of Americans have adopted Masonic viewpoints on eight moral issues, which registered at an all-time high approval rating: birth control (91 percent), divorce (73 percent), heterosexual fornication (69 percent), homosexuality (63 percent), birth outside wedlock (62 percent), doctor-assisted suicide (57 percent), pornography (36 percent), and polygamy (17 percent).
The reader will recognize in most of these issues the Masonic predictions of Our Lady of Good Success. Things are simple: society cannot resist the diabolical genius without the true teachings of Christ’s Church. Many Protestants disapprove of these eight items, as they should, but without full communion with the one, true Church, they cannot make a compelling case of it to the pagans.
And our fellow Catholics—can’t you just hear it—will say precisely what they’ve been trained to say: “Who am I to judge? Sure, these issues don’t meet the ideal, but come on, live in the real world: be practical.” Praxis over doctrine, Roberto de Mattei reminds us in the speech above, was the primary tool of Masonry and Marxism in extinguishing the potency of truth. Praxis is the watchword of the common, and without guardians in the Church to call the common (i.e., the cowards) to principle, the line will not be held.
The years 1517, 1717, and 1917 were about breaking the line. Here’s calling all men to hold it, even if we pay dearly. If Protestants and Freemasons were, respectively, the light and the dark counterparts of modernism, what then were the Bolsheviks but post-modernists, one half-step beyond view? By all the standards of modernist optics, they are invisible. But, even as these three parties—the parties of 1517, 1717, and 1917—remain conceptually distinct, we must note the phantasmagoria connecting the light, the dark, and the invisible.
Admittedly, this is shady stuff. One asks, where is the Christian hope in all of it? Under such grim circumstances, it is acceptable to shortcut to good news, I daresay. Whether one feels confidence in the viscera, one does well to recall the July 13 centenary of the middle Fatima apparition when our Lady delivered her tripartite secret to the three seers.
“In the end,” she promised, her “Immaculate Heart would triumph.” Indeed. Yet the Blessed Co-redemptrix can intercede for redemption only when we act: she will triumph, but only when good men remember what it is to lay down their lives so that the line is unbroken.