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Bishop Schneider explains the ‘true face of Freemasonry’

Bishop Schneider gave this speech on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry in 1717 in England and has kindly granted LifeSiteNews permission to publish it.
Fri May 8, 2020 - 4:17 pm EST
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Bishop Athanasius Schneider

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May 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a speech that he gave in 2017 to the Pontifical Foundation Kirche in Not (Aid to the Church in Need) in Germany, Bishop Athanasius Schneider presented the history and main characteristics of Freemasonry. In his presentation, he makes it clear that Masonry is forming an “anti-Church” and has, in its higher degrees, a satanic orientation.

Bishop Schneider gave this speech on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry in 1717 in England. He kindly provided LifeSiteNews with an English translation of his manuscript and gave us permission to publish it.

In his presentation, the prelate made it clear that Freemasonry is working against the Catholic Church and that its higher degrees are committed to worship Satan. He writes:

“In the first grades of Freemasonry, there is venerated an uncertain and nebulous divinity as the ‘Great Architect of the Universe,’ who in the higher and then in the highest grades becomes more and more concrete; in the higher grades this uncertain divinity is identified as the Lucifer, as Satan, as the good god, the adversary of God; and the true God is here the ‘bad God.’”

Freemasonry, Schneider continues, is  a “naturalistic religion,” a mixture of pantheism, gnosis, and “self-salvation”; however, this “religion” is only “apparently tolerant.” But in reality, Freemasonry is an “utmost demanding and intolerant” religion. This intolerance stems finally from the satanic traits of higher Freemasonry, as Bishop Schneider explained. 

In lower grades of Freemasonry, “there is venerated an uncertain and nebulous divinity as the ‘Great Architect of the Universe,’ who in the higher and then in the highest grades becomes more and more concrete; in the higher grades this uncertain divinity is identified as the Lucifer, as Satan, as the good god, the adversary of God; and the true God is here the ‘bad God.’” 

The German prelate further explained that Freemasonry is the “anti-Church.” He then quoted Pope Pius VIII who, in 1829, said about Freemasonry: “It is a satanic sect, which has its demon as its god.” The essence of the Masonic religion “consists of the perversion, that is, of the subversion of the Divine order of creation and of the transgression of the laws given by God.”

Bishop Schneider shows that Freemasonry is satanic and is working against the Catholic Church and Christian society. He does this with the help of several historical instances, where Freemasons were in leading figures, for example in the Russian Revolution (Alexander Kerensky). 

In light of Schneider's words, it is worth mentioning here that in 2017, the German historian Dr. Michael Hesemann discovered a historical document – a 1918 letter from Cardinal Felix von Hartmann to the Apostolic Nuncio in Germany, Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli  – which warns Rome against the Masonic plan behind the revolution that was taking place in Germany and Russia, among other places, and that was aiming at the fight against monarchies and the Catholic Church.

Von Hartmann wrote on November 8, 1918:

“His Majesty the Emperor [German Emperor William II] just has let it be known to me ‘that, according to news that came to him yesterday, the Grand Orient has just decided first to depose all Sovereigns – first of all him, the Emperor – then to destroy (?) the Cathol.[olic] Church, to imprison the pope, etc and, finally, to establish on the ruins of the former bourgeois society a world republic under the leadership of American Big Capital. The German Freemasons are purportedly loyal to the [German] Emperor (which is to be doubted!) and they informed him about it. Also England wants to preserve the current bourgeois order. France and America, however, are said to be under the full influence of the Grand Orient [Masonic Lodge]. Bolshevism is said to be the external tool to establish the desired conditions. In the face of such a great danger which threatens in addition to the Monarchy, also the Catholic Church; it is thus important that the German episcopacy be informed and that also the pope be warned.’

So far the message of His Majesty. I have believed myself to be duty-bound to pass it on to Your Excellency, and I have to leave it up to Your judgment whether You wish to pass this message on to Rome. The stormy demand of the [German] Social Democrats that the Emperor should abdicate gives a certain confirmation to this message. May God protect us and His Holy Church in this terrible turmoil!”

This historical document, which Dr. Hesemann found in the Vatican’s Secret Archives, can support in a unique manner Bishop Schneider's arguments as laid out in his 2017 talk.

More relating to current events, Bishop Schneider is able to prove that Freemasons had leading roles in the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s in France and that Freemasons themselves stated publicly that they are behind France’s allowance of same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, and abortion. Stated Schneider:

“In 2012 the Parish Newspaper Le Figaro published a comprehensive dossier about Freemasonry, and Le Figaro let top members of Freemasonry speak in its newspaper forum. One of these Masonic officials openly stated that the laws legalizing abortion, the so-called ‘same-sex marriage’ or ‘marriage for all,’ and euthanasia were prepared in the idealistic Masonic ‘laboratories’ and then, with the help of lobbying and through their members in parliament and in the government, pushed through the legislation.”

Finally, Bishop Schneider reminded his audience that, in spite of the overwhelming power of these forces, Christ Himself is the Victor and Lord of history. He also urged all to pray for Freemasons who are ensnared in this evil network as it puts their souls at risk. Schneider further reminded us that the Catholic Church, in a 1983 statement, has made clear her clear condemnation of Freemasonry when she stated:

“The Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.” 

This important and scholarly talk by Bishop Schneider can help us to understand perhaps also current events in Church and in society. Pope Benedict XVI, when he was still a cardinal, told Dr. Robert Moynihan that he considered Freemasonry to be the largest threat to the Catholic Church.

Additionally, in a 2018 interview with Peter Seewald – which is included in a new biography that was just published in Germany – Pope Benedict also pointed to today's aggressive pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda and spoke here of “dictatorship” and of the “spiritual power of the Anti-Christ.” 

“Today, one is being excommunicated by society if one opposes it [this agenda],” the retired Pope added. “Modern society is in the middle of formulating an anti-Christian creed, and if one opposes it, one is being punished by society with excommunication,” he went on to say. 

Here the retired Pope spoke the piercing words about the Anti-Christ: “The fear of this spiritual power of the Anti-Christ is then only more than natural, and it really needs the help of prayers on the part of an entire diocese and of the Universal Church in order to resist it.”

Below is the full text by Bishop Schneider:

The True Face of Freemasonry

In 2017, Freemasonry had its 300th anniversary of its foundation on June 24, 1717. According to official reports, it was the result of a reunion of four “lodges” or secret societies, which formed then the Great-Lodge of London. A Protestant clergyman, James Anderson, wrote the first Masonic statutes.

The Catholic Church condemned this association of pseudo-religious background already 20 years after its start with the highest ecclesial punishment, the excommunication. Why? Because Freemasonry is a “naturalistic religion,” a mixture of pantheism, gnosis, and “self-salvation.” This “religion” is only apparently tolerant. In fact, it is [an] utmost demanding and intolerant [religion]. The Freemasons say about themselves that they would be the “initiated,” the “perfect” and the “illuminated” people. And the remaining humanity is for them profane, imperfect, and darkened.

The Masonic religion intends independence from the true God, so that the human being stands in the position of God, takes the place of God, and decides about good and evil.

In the first grades of Freemasonry, there is venerated an uncertain and nebulous divinity as the “Great Architect of the Universe,” who in the higher and then in the highest grades becomes more and more concrete; in the higher grades this uncertain divinity is identified as the Lucifer, as Satan, as the good god, the adversary of God; and the true God is here the “bad God.”

The Church recognizes that Freemasonry is a true and ever more powerful secret society with pseudo-religious content, which was spread very quickly in countless affiliated organizations and often under different names, which penetrated foremost powerful levels in society, in politics, and in the world of finances.

It was Pope Pius VIII who, in 1829, gave one of the most apt and precise definitions of Freemasonry: “It is a satanic sect, which has its demon as its god” (cf. Encyclical Traditi humilitati nostrae). The essence of the Masonic religion consists of the perversion, that is, of the subversion of the Divine order of creation and of the transgression of the laws given by God; the members of Freemasonry in its higher degrees see in this perversion the “true progress” of humanity, the mental building of the temple of humanity. Instead of God’s Revelation, there stands the Masonic secret and the human being makes himself ultimately a god (cf. X. Dor, Le Crime contre Dieu, Chiré-en-Montreuil, 2016, 162). In fact, Freemasonry is the perfect Anti-Church, where all the theological and moral foundations of the Catholic Church are turned into their opposite! A Freemason once told his sister the following in a private talk: “Do you know what we Freemasons are in fact? We are the anti-Church.”

Historians recognized in Freemasonry the seed of political totalitarianism (e.g. A. Cobban, Historia de las Civilizaciones, quoteted in: A. Bárcena, Iglesia y Masonería, Madrid 2016, 71). The confusion and the deceit of it consists in the fact that Freemasonry praises itself with attractive names and definitions, like “philanthropy,” “humanism,” “intellectuality,” “tolerance,” and at the same time, Freemasonry masks itself with these names.

With the refusal of the supernatural Divine Revelation, Freemasonry also rejects the natural law. This is exactly the point which leads to all totalitarian systems. Already the Freemason Jean-Jacques Rousseau from Geneva wrote: “The life of a human being is not only a gift of nature, but a conditioned gift by the state” (The Social Contract II, 5).

Political and social anarchism is a phenomenon which mostly embodies the spirit of Freemasonry, since one of their key principles is “ordo ab chao” [“order out of chaos”]. This means that one must first create a chaos and then build a new, other order, an order created by men. In the ritual of the ancient accepted Scottish Rite from the year 1892, the candidate of the 32rd, the penultimate degree, of Freemasonry, receives the following instruction: “1. The first ‘roar of guns’ came when (Martin) Luther put into his mind the rebellion of the reason. 2. The second ‘roar of guns’ came when it was announced in America that every human government receives its authority from the people and only from the people. 3. The third ‘roar of guns’ was when in France, the ‘Human Rights’ in the formulation of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ were proclaimed” (M. Tirado Rojas, La Masoneria en Espana, 1892, I, 163). 

The candidate of the 33rd degree receives this instruction – and the following is a quotation from this same Scottish ritual: “Neither law nor the property nor the religion may rule over men, and, since they are annihilating men by depriving men of their most precious rights, we have sworn to do terrible vengeance. They (law, property and religion) are enemies against whom we have sworn implacable war at any price. From these three infamous enemies the religion must be the permanent object of our deadly assaults. When we have destroyed the religion, we shall have the law and the property at our disposal and we can regenerate the society by means of building the Masonic religion and the Masonic law and the Masonic property on top of the corpses of those murderers” (ibid., 169-170). According to the Masonic ritual, the word “religion” refers to the Christian, more concretely to the Catholic religion.

It is known that European Freemasonry, and in particular Alexander Kerensky, the Grand Master of the “Grand Orient” of Russia, supported logistically and politically the October Revolution of 1917, in the year of the 200th anniversary of the foundation of Freemasonry. Lenin and the new Communist leaders did not tolerate any kind of rivalry. Therefore, they forbade traditional Freemasonry in the Soviet Union. At the Third Congress of the Communist International [party] in 1921, traditional Freemasonry received the following significant assessment: “Freemasonry reminds us, through its rites, of religious customs. However, we know that every religion suppresses people. Freemasonry represents a social power and because of the secretive nature of its meetings and the absolute secrecy of its members, it is a ‘state within the state.’”

On April 11, 2001, on RAI2 (Italian Television Media), Giuliano Di Bernando, who was the Grand Master of the Masonic lodge GLRI (Gran Loggia Regolare d’Italia) in the years 1990-1993, spoke the following significant words about the religious character of Freemasonry: “One becomes a Freemason through initiation. The initiation is a constitutive act through which the human being
is given a dimension, which he did not have before. An analogy we find in Baptism. One is not born a Christian, one becomes a Christian through Baptism. In the same manner, one becomes a Freemason through initiation. That means that one remains a Freemason for the whole life; even if someone later rejects Freemasonry, he remains nevertheless a Freemason. Even if one is sleeping, if one is an enemy of Freemasonry, one remains a Freemason, because one has received the initiation. And the initiation is a holy act.”

Freemasonry supported also the so-called “Sexual Revolution” of 1968. The two Grand Masters of the two largest Masonic organizations in France, Frédéric Zeller and Pierre Simon, were actively engaged with some of their members in the Paris student revolts of May 1968. The said Grand Master Pierre Simon became then assessor of the minister Simone Veil, who legalized abortion in France. 

In 2012 the Paris Newspaper Le Figaro published a comprehensive dossier about Freemasonry, and Le Figaro let top members of Freemasonry speak in its newspaper forum. One of these Masonic officials openly stated that the laws legalizing abortion, the so-called “same-sex marriage” or “marriage for all,” and euthanasia were prepared in the idealistic Masonic “laboratories” and then, with the help of lobbying and through their members in parliament and in the government, pushed through the legislation. This can be read in the newspaper Le Figaro from the year 2012 (supplément LE FIGARO, 20-21 Juillet 2012).

Because of its precision, the following analysis given in 1894 by Pope Leo XIII about the essence, the principles and the actions of Freemasonry, can be hardly surpassed and it remains fully valid:

“There is likewise a great danger threatening unity on the part of that association which goes by the name of Freemasons, whose fatal influence for a long time past oppresses Catholic nations in particular. Favored by the agitations of the times, and waxing insolent in its power and resources and success, it strains every nerve to consolidate its sway and enlarge its sphere. It has already sallied forth from its hiding-places, where it hatched its plots, into the throng of cities, and as if to defy the Almighty, has set up its throne in this very city of Rome, the Capital of the Catholic world. But what is most disastrous is that, wherever it has set its foot it penetrates into all ranks and departments of the commonwealth, in the hope of obtaining at last supreme control. This is, indeed, a great calamity: for its depraved principles and iniquitous designs are well known. Under the pretense of vindicating the rights of man and of reconstituting society, it attacks Christianity; it rejects revealed Doctrine, denounces practices of Piety, the Divine Sacraments, and every Sacred thing as superstition; it strives to eliminate the Christian character from marriage and the family and the education of youth, and from every form of instruction, whether public or private, and to root out from the minds of men all respect for authority, whether human or Divine. On its own part, it preaches the worship of nature, and maintains that by the principles of nature truth and probity and justice are to be measured and regulated. In this way, as is quite evident, man is being driven to adopt customs and habits of life akin to those of the heathen, only more corrupt in proportion as the incentives to sin are more numerous” (Apostolic Letter Praeclara gratulationis).

One of the most cunning, and therefore satanic manners of the fight of Freemasonry against its arch-enemy, that is, against the Catholic Church, consists of the infiltration into the Church. The following excerpt, recognized by many historians as authentic and quoted by Bishop Rudolf Graber (in his book Athanasius and the Church of Our Time), from the “Instructions” of the so-called “Alta Vendita,” a kind of Government Centre of European Freemasonry in the 19th century, illustrates this truth. Here follows a quotation from the “Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita”: 

“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 the struggle goes on. We do not intend to win the Popes to our cause, to make them neophytes of our principles, propagators of our ideas. That would be a ridiculous dream; and if events turn out in some way, if Cardinals or prelates, for example, of their own free will or by surprise, should enter into a part of our secrets, this is not at all an incentive for desiring their elevation to the See of Peter. That elevation would ruin us. Ambition alone would have led them to apostasy, the requirements of power would force them to sacrifice us. 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... Now then, to assure ourselves a Pope of the required dimensions, it is a question first of shaping him... for this Pope, a generation worthy of the reign we are dreaming of. Leave old people and those of a mature age aside; go to the youth, and if it is possible, even to the children. 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. And this Pontiff, like most of his contemporaries, will be necessarily more or less imbued with the Italian and, humanitarian principles that we are going to begin to put into circulation. Let the Clergy march under your standard, always believing that they are marching under the banner of the Apostolic keys. You intend to make the last vestige of tyrants and the oppressors disappear; lay your snares (nets) like Simon Bar-Jona; lay them in the sacristies, the seminaries, and the monasteries rather than at the bottom of the sea: and if you do not hurry, we promise you a catch more miraculous than his. You will bring friends around the Apostolic Chair. You will have preached a revolution in tiara and in cope, marching with the cross and the banner, a revolution that will need to be only a little bit urged on to set fire to the four corners of the world” (originally in: Msgr. Delassus, Conjuration antichrétienne, Paris 1910, Tome III, pp. 1040-1046. The full text of “The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” is also published in: Msgr. Dillon, Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked, Dublin 1885, pp. 51-56).

That this statement is not invented can be proven with the following quotation of a leading Italian Modernist, who in 1905 wrote in his book: “We want to organize our action [to be] more target-oriented: A Catholic Freemasonry? Yes, exactly, a Freemasonry of the catacombs. One should work towards the aim, to reform Roman Catholicism by a progressivist, theosophical sense, through a pope, who will let himself be convinced by these ideas” (A. Fogazzaro, Il Santo, Milano, 1905, p. 44 e 22). The facts are showing sufficiently that Freemasonry is the greatest thinkable contrast to the Catholic religion. Therefore, in 1983 the Church gave the following, and still valid, declaration, namely through the Congregation of Doctrine of Faith: 

“The Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.” 

The power of the Masonic ideology in politics and society has reached nowadays its peak, wherein Freemasonry is spreading throughout the entire human society an ideology of destruction of life with the help of abortion and euthanasia. The concept and the reality of the family is undergoing a process of destruction through the brainwashing with the gender ideology, enacted by the state. Every person who is still thinking by himself, and overall every Christian, must – as much as possible – give resistance and defend common sense and the Divine law, even at the price of suffering and of disadvantages. 

As Christians we have to know that Christ the Victor over all evil in this world, that God, and not Freemasonry, is the Lord of history. We belong to the community of the victors, even if the enemies of Christ, Freemasonry, are looking at us as the defeated ones. Our Catholic Faith is stronger than all the perverse figments of fantasy and intrigues of the Masonic religion. We only fear God! 

However, at the same time we shall have, from the bottom of our hearts, true compassion with the members of Freemasonry, because they became victims of an immense deceit. A Freemason is ultimately the utmost unfree human being, whose eternal salvation of his soul is most endangered. May inside the Church a movement grow up to save the souls of Masons, who are our fellow human beings. This should be done foremost through the prayer of the Rosary and the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her Immaculate Heart will triumph, as she told us in Fatima; it will triumph also over Freemasonry and Communism. And through Mary God will give to humanity and to His Church a time of peace. 


  athanasius schneider, bishop athanasius schneider, catholic, freemasonry, freemasons

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