A Conspiracy Against the Catholic Church?
Everyone can appreciate a good conspiracy theory. Though as bad as it was, look at how well the book, “The Da Vinci Code” did. What if I told you that there was a legitimate conspiracy against the Catholic Church? That there were two Popes that wanted it known and published it? Well you’re in for a treat. Let’s talk about the Alta Vendita.
In the 19th Century, an Italian secret society called the Carbonari, joined with some groups of Freemasons in an effort to subvert the Catholic Church. They drafted a document known as the Alta Vendita, which was said to have been at that time the “governing centre of European Freemasonry”. The plan was not to tear down the Church from the outside, as that would make their efforts obvious. The plan was to infiltrate and tear down from the inside. This was not to be a work done overnight, but a slow process. “In our ranks,” says the Alta Vendita, “the soldier dies and the struggle goes on.”
What was the struggle? What were they trying to accomplish? They wished to infiltrate the minds of Catholics with liberal ideologies, spreading their lies about the faith and the world, creating a laxity towards orthodoxy and praising free thought above all else. They wanted this type of mindset in seminaries, monasteries, all the way up to the Pope. This type of philosophy was the bedrock for the French Revolution. This can be seen in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the “Principles of 1789”.
Now, many uber-traditionalists and sedevacantists look at the train wreck of the post-conciliar Church and see the victory of the Alta Vendita. Let me state, I do not think that the work of the Alta Vendita is the root cause for all of the troubles we have seen since Vatican II, or even prior to it. I do think however, that the mindsets that the Carbonari had and that the Freemasons still peddle – that of the anti-philosophy of modernism and relativism – is the root reason, but I digress. They did not succeed. “The gates of Hell shall not prevail”, as our Blessed Lord told Peter. They still have not prevailed. They may have stormed the Gates of Heaven, and taken large shots at the Barque of Peter, but they have not prevailed and never will.
Pope Pius IX requested that the Alta Vendita be published. He guaranteed the authenticity of the documents of the Alta Vendita in a work by Cretineau-Joly called “The Roman Church and Revolution”. He wanted to expose the works of darkness to ensure it did not go unchecked. I do not buy into conspiracy theories, but when I saw that not just one Pope, but also Pope Leo XIII wanted this published, I knew other people might find this interesting. In John Vennari’s book, “The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita”, he quotes directly from the Alta Vendita. I wish to draw attention to a few key points that he quoted from the document:
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 towards the Church, with the aim of conquering both of them.
The task that we are going to undertake in 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.
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 for this Pope a generation worthy of the reign we are dreaming of. Leave old people and those of 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 the path that we are laying out for our brethren there are found great obstacles to conquer, difficulties of more than one kind to master. They will triumph over them by experience and by clear sightedness; but the goal is so splendid that it is important to put all the sails to the wind in order to reach it. You want to revolutionize Italy; look for the Pope whose portrait we have just drawn. You wish to establish the reign of the chosen ones on the throne of the prostitute of Babylon; let the clergy march under your standard, always believing that they are marching under the banner of the Apostolic keys (Vatican).
You intend to make the last vestige of tyrants and oppressors disappear; lay your snares [traps] 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. The fisher of fish became the fisher of men; 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.
This is pretty vile stuff, right? The bad philosophies of that time, like a disease, continued to spread. The Popes of the 18th and 19th centuries fought tooth and nail to try to vanquish these philosophies. The Church was at war. Pope Pius IX dropped the bomb of the “Syllabus of Errors” in 1864, which clearly defined what the Church was fighting. It was a showdown between the Church and liberalism which blew up in the philosophy of modernism. Pope Pius X then took the reigns and fought Modernism with his pontificate. He published his encyclical Pascendi Gregoris and another Syllabus against the errors of Modernism in the 20th century.
Fr. Vincent Miceli described Modernism’s “trinity of parents” in this way:
1. Its religious ancestor is the Protestant Reformation;
2. Its philosophical parent is the Enlightenment;
3. Its political pedigree comes from the French Revolution.
Reportedly, some thought that Pope St. Pius X had eradicated the philosophy, but according to John Vennari, he states that Pius believed they had only forced it to go underground.
Fast forward to today.
But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism”, which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.
Modernism went underground and reappeared in the 20th and 21st century as the philosophy of relativism. It now shows its ugly head in our local churches where priest and laity defy our Holy Father and the teaching of the Church. It is embedded into the catholic school systems, especially in Canada. It is all over the internet, just look at “Catholics for Choice”.
Do we stand a chance against the enemies of the Church? YES – EMPHATICALLY, YES. Within the first month of our new Holy Father’s pontificate, we are seeing a good shepherd stepping into the wolves den and decrying the philosophies that their countries and governments support. We have a man at the helm. Let’s get behind him and fight, with prayer and reason, united to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. With the Cross as our standard, victory is assured.
Vennari, John. The Permanent instruction of the Alta Vendita