In centuries past Christianity was defined as Roman Catholicism. Its supremacy was successfully challenged by dissenters in the 16th century in what came to be known as the Protestant movement—people protesting against the excesses, oppression, and unbiblical assertions of the popes and the Church as an institution.
As a reaction to Protestant revolts, the Jesuit Order was founded in 1540, answerable only to the Pope. Their members were required to perform “spiritual exercises” for the purpose of giving up their will entirely. We have a word for it today. We call it brainwashing. Ex-Jesuit, Malachi Martin describes it for us in The Jesuits, p. 197,
“You do not merely do what you are told without showing any overt opposition. Nor do you merely choose to will as your Superior wills, to do willingly what he commands. Now you agree mentally with your superior; you have obedience of the intellect. Unconditionally, you think like your Superior. You submit your judgment to that of your Superior ‘so far as only the surrendered will can sway the intellect.’ This highest form is what Ignatius calls ‘blind obedience…the voluntary renunciation of private judgment’.”
They were essentially a secret society having open membership as well as secret agents to infiltrate and subvert governments. By the mid-1700’s they were hated by virtually all European governments for their ungodly tactics. Kings threatened to break away from the Roman Church in the same manner as the Church of England had done earlier. Finally, in 1773 Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuit Order, and for this he died of poison the next year.
With the rise of revolutionary Freemasonry at the same time in history, the Jesuits found common cause with them in punishing the Roman Church. Adam Weishaupt, an ex-Jesuit, funded by Jewish banking interests, established his Illuminati and infiltrated the Masonic lodges. France soon was lost to the Roman Church, and Pope Pius VI was furious. Anger gave way to fear, however, when Napoleon took the Pope captive. He died in exile in 1799 and was replaced by Pius VII.
When Napoleon fell, the “Holy Alliance” was formed in 1815 at the “Congress of Vienna.” The papacy emerged once again, its deadly wound healed (Rev. 13:12). However, it arose no longer as the superpower of Europe, but as one of the powers. For this reason the Church found it necessary to compromise in a power-sharing arrangement. Each of these powers, of course, competed with the others to gain a greater share of power. But no one nation or king or pope reigned supreme.
The Prisoner of the Vatican
In 1870 the Church suffered another catastrophe when Victor Emmanuel took the Papal States from papal control and united Italy as one nation. Pope Pius IX retreated into the Vatican in a self-imposed exile, calling himself a “prisoner of the Vatican.” He was hoping, no doubt, that Catholics everywhere would sympathize with him, come to his rescue, and restore his civil power.
It did not happen. By this time too many Catholics were disillusioned with the Church. So the Popes stewed in the Vatican for the next 70 years until finally Pope Pius XI made a treaty with Mussolini that established Vatican City as a City State. Mussolini paid the Vatican $90 million to compensate the Church for its loss of the Papal States in 1870. The investments from the “donation of Mussolini” had increased to $2 billion by 1939. The money was used to create the Institute for Religious Agencies (the Vatican Bank) on June 27, 1942.
The Lateran Treaty, as the Concordat with Mussolini was called, was a major turning point in the history of the Roman Church. It brought the Vatican back as one of the major players in international affairs, and it gave them the funds to do so—or at least a way to start building up their funds once again.
The Church in Poverty
Although the Church had much wealth, it was nearly all tied up in art and buildings. The Church had a serious money shortage in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Paul Williams tells us in The Vatican Exposed, p. 23,
“With the loss of land came the loss of taxation. By 1900 the annual budget of the Vatican was slightly less than $4 million and Leo XIII was struggling to make ends meet.”
On page 24 he continues,
“In January 1922, when Benedict XV died, the annual budget was cut back to $1 million. To meet expenses, the Church was forced to secure loans, mostly from German banks.”
Paul Williams tells us on page 15,
“Nearly everything within the Lateran Palace was in a state of disrepair. The upper floors were damaged by leaks and covered with mounds of guano from thousands of pigeons that roosted in the attic…
“The Holy Father could hear rats scurrying through the walls. Rats had even infested other buildings in the Vatican complex, including St. Peter’s Cathedral. The pests had even managed to gnaw on the remains of the popes who had been entombed in glass within the side altars… Rats in the Lateran Palace and the Basilica of St. Peter! Yet there were no funds available for an exterminator.”
After Benedict XV died, Pope Pius XI was determined to change things. He came out of exile.
The Church Re-enters the World Stage
Pius XI began to complain that the Church had never been compensated for the loss of the Papal States in 1870. He then made a series of agreements with Mussolini, which brought the dictator to power and established fascism in Italy. The most important agreement (June 9, 1923) was for the leader of the Catholic Populist Party to resign his position and to disband the party. The next year the Pope ordered all Catholic priests to resign from the party, and in 1926 the party was declared illegal. Williams says on p. 27,
“When several members refused to acquiesce to this demand, the pope threatened them with excommunication and ordered all members of the clergy who supported the Catholic Populist Party to resign.”
The fascist state was assured.
Vatican diplomacy with Mussolini culminated in the Lateran Treaty on Feb. 11, 1929. Williams says on p. 26,
“The final section of the agreement—called ‘the Financial Convention’—provided a payment of $90 million in cash and government bonds and an undisclosed sum for the pope’s ‘privy purse’ as restitution for the former papal principalities. The Italian government also agreed to pay the salaries of all parish priests in the country.”
When the Vatican Bank was established, the pope appointed Bernardino Nogara as its manager. He had been the financial wizard who had reorganized the Reichsbank in Germany. He agreed to do work for the Vatican under the condition that he be given complete control over all the investments and to be completely independent of all other Vatican bureaucracies. Usury banking suddenly lost its historic sinful status. Paul Williams says on page 37,
“Prior to this dramatic departure from the rigid dictates of canon law, the Church held that its teachings were semper eadem—teachings that were changeless and immutable—teachings that bound its adherents to a certain way of life and bestowed upon them a clearly defined Catholic character. But with the creation of the Special Administration of the Holy See, something remarkable happened. The changeless changed. A practice that had been condemned as the ‘most grievous manifestation of wanton greed’ was now being sanctioned by Holy Mother Church—not for the good of the faithful, but for the cause of its own gain.”
Thus were the seeds of change planted, which came to full fruition with the 21st Church Council called Vatican II (1962-1965). By 1958 the Vatican controlled more than 90 out of 180 of Italy’s credit, banking, and insurance companies. By the time Nogara died in 1958, a few weeks after the death of Pius XII, the Vatican had come to be known as “Vatican, Inc.”
The Vatican and Hitler
Shortly after the accord with Mussolini, Pius XI made a similar agreement with Hitler in Germany (July 22, 1933). As he had done with Mussolini, the Vatican agreed to disband the Catholic Center Party, withdraw from labor unions, and throw its support behind Hitler. This was negotiated over a three-month period in 1933 by German Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen (who was a Catholic).
Thus, the Catholic Center Party was disbanded and Catholics were instructed to vote for Hitler—not because they agreed with his personal or nationalist policies, and not even because he opposed Jews, but because he was considered to be the best hope of destroying Communist Russia. Avro Manhattan tells us in Vatican Imperialism in the Twentieth Century, p. 205,
“At the head of the new Germany, and second only to Hitler, there stood the German Vice-Chancellor, the leader of the Catholic Party, the personal friend of Pacelli, the Papal knight Franz von Papen.”
“Many German Catholics, who knew nothing of the secret Hitler-Pacelli bargain, bitterly protested at the dissolution.”
Eugenio Pacelli, the friend of von Papen, was the Vatican’s representative in Germany, the Papal Nuncio, who was soon to become the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and finally (in 1939) he became Pope Pius XII.
Those German priests who objected to the Vatican policy on moral grounds were persecuted by Hitler, and the Vatican turned a blind eye. Their opposition to official Church policy had brought them outside the protective umbrella of the Church.
In turn, Hitler offered to give the Church a Kirchensteuer, or “Church tax” levied on all practicing Catholics in Germany. The tax was deducted from their paychecks and gave the Vatican billions in revenue.
The Murder of Pope Pius XI
Finally, in January 1937 three German cardinals and two bishops came to the Vatican to protest to Pius about the Nazi harassment and restrictions. The Pope was old and sick, but he apparently began to regret his alliance with Hitler. He then ordered an encyclical called Humani Generis Unitas to be prepared. Williams writes on p. 51,
“His decision to issue the encyclical may have been caused by his desire to denounce the forces of evil—forces that he had helped to unleash—before his impending death. Two days before his death Pius XI was reported as pleading with his physicians to keep him alive: ‘I want to warn Catholics everywhere not to support Hitler and Mussolini. It might help to stop the outbreak of the war. Let me live another forty-eight hours’.”
“Cardinal Tisserant added in his journal that a few Vatican officials, including Carding Pacelli, were highly concerned about the release of the encyclical and its effect on the Vatican’s relations with Nazi Germany. They were most particularly concerned with the fact that Hitler might terminate the Kirschensteuer, which was now producing for the Holy See nearly $100 million a year.
“But the encyclical never saw the light of day. Pius XI died on February 10, one day before his scheduled meeting with the hierarchy…
“In his journals, Tisserant recalls that the face of Pius XI was ‘distorted’ and that the body bore ‘strange bluish markings.’ He further notes that these markings seemed to be covered with a white powder to make them appear ‘less blue.’ Tisserant asked for an autopsy. But his requests fell on deaf ears. Pacelli, who as Carmerlengo remained in charge of the funeral and burial, would not grant permission and remained ‘stony’ and ‘impassable’ before Tisserant’s pleas.
“In his journals, Tisserant drops the second bombshell by writing in his native French, ‘Ils long assassine’—‘They have assassinated him.’
“On March 2, 1939, the college of cardinals elected Eugenio Pacelli as Pope Pius XII. It was the swiftest conclave in three hundred years, lasting only one day.”
Pacelli’s murder of Pope Pius XI was rewarded with the papal hat.
Pope Pius XII was as ruthless as he was anticommunist. Under his pontificate, Americans heard Father Caughlin’s radio anticommunist broadcasts and the political charges from Sen. Joe McCarthy. Both were Catholics.
World War II and Catholic Croatia
One may forgive the Popes for backing Hitler and Mussolini on the grounds that they represented the best hope to defeat Communist Russia. However, the Popes had another very important motive. It was defeat of the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches. Most of this warfare took place in the Balkans during World War II.
The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 had overthrown not only Russia but also the Russian Orthodox Church, whose power depended upon the Czar, “Protector of the Church.” At first, the Vatican rejoiced, thinking that they would be able to “evangelize” Russia when the violence ended. But when this dream evaporated, they became anticommunist.
The Orthodox Church was now divided and weakened. The Greek Orthodox Church, cut off from its Russian younger-but-bigger brother, was vulnerable to Rome.
Hitler invaded Yugoslavia in 1941 and divided the country. Catholic Croatia was split from Orthodox Serbia. Croatia was given official “Aryan” status and made into an independent Catholic Kingdom under Pavelic and his followers, known as the Ustashi. They appointed Tomislav II as their puppet king.
Croatia immediately began to cleanse the nation of all “Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and dogs.” Paul Williams says on pages 65-72,
“On July 22, 1941, Minister of Education Mile Budak officially confirmed the plan of genocide by saying, ‘We shall kill one part of the Serbs; we shall transport another; and the rest will be forced to embrace the Roman Catholic religion…
“From December 1941 to February 1942, 40,000 Serbs were executed at the notorious Jasenovoe Camp, the Ustashi answer to Dachau. . . Between June and August of 1942, 66,000 Serbs, including 2,000 children, were put to death…
“Several commandants and officers at Ustashi death camps were Catholic priests. Fr. Miroslav Filipovic, a Franciscan friar, served as the commandant of Jasenovoe…
“As smoke poured from the death camps, Ustashi soldiers traveled throughout the countryside, destroying towns and villages, gathering mounds of loot, and putting thousands of Serbs to death…
“In order to be singled out for heroism, Ustashi bands would pose with their victims before cameras. The captured photographs—too grisly to reproduce—show Ustashi beheading Serbs with axes, cutting through the necks of their victims with saws, and carrying heads on sticks through the streets of Zagreb.
“Catholic priests, invariably Franciscans, not only encouraged but also took an active part in the slaughter… In September 1941 an Italian correspondent wrote of a Franciscan priest urging the Ustashi to massacre Serbs in a village south of Banja Luka, while brandishing a crucifix. The unrestrained ‘ethnic cleansing’ even horrified hardened Nazi officers.
“The wholesale slaughter produced a financial windfall for the Church. Orthodox churches, monasteries, and houses were ransacked and the valuables were transferred to Franciscan churches and monasteries and later to the Vatican.
“With bayonets at their throats, great masses appeared before Catholic priests to recant their false form of Christianity and to receive the sacrament of penance.
“All the converts were compelled by the Catholic clergy to send congratulatory letters to Archbishop Stepinac... Within a matter of months over 30 percent of the Serbs residing in New Croatia were converted to Roman Catholicism.
“At the end of the war Archbishop Stepinac was arrested for war crimes by the Yugoslav government. A parade of prosecution witnesses testified at Zagreb on October 5, 1945, that Catholic priests armed with machine guns went out to convert Orthodox Serbs and massacred them. Most of the witnesses were Croat Catholic peasants and laborers. The archbishop was found guilty and sentenced to sixteen years in prison.
“Upon hearing the verdict Pius XII uttered a cry of outrage and ordered the excommunication of everyone who had taken part in the trial. In the Catholic Press, Archbishop Stepinac was presented as a champion of religious freedom who opposed the godless forces of Communism… The campaign succeeded. In 1951 Stepinac was released from prison after an appeal had been issued by the United Nations. The triumphant archbishop returned to Rome where he was embraced by the pope and elevated in status to a cardinal…
“On October 4, 1998, Pope John Paul II traveled to the Republic of Croatia to announce the beatification of Archbishop Stepinac.”
The murderous dictator, Pavelic, was captured by American forces at the end of the war. During his trial, Pope Pius XII arranged for Pavelic to be sent to Vatican City, where he was given sovereign protection. Likewise, the gold from Croatia’s treasury was sent to the Vatican for “safe-keeping.”
“In 1959 Pavelic suffered a heart attack while visiting Spain. The ‘Butcher of the Balkans’ received a special blessing and the sacrament of extreme unction from Pope John XXIII on his deathbed.”
In addition, the Vatican “rat-line” provided Vatican passports for thousands of fleeing Nazis—for a price, of course. They had to pay 40 to 50 percent of their money to the Vatican for their services.
“In all, more than 30,000 Nazis escaped justice, thanks to Holy Mother Church.” (Williams, p. 77)
Violent anticommunism was the primary doctrine of Pope Pius XII for as long as he was alive. He did not know to what extent the Church and the Vatican itself had been infiltrated by freemasons.
1958: End of an Era
When Pope John XXIII (the so-called “pink pope”) was elected in 1958 at the death of Pius XII, the freemasons knew their time had come. They came to power, and Vatican II was their great success in eroding centuries of Roman Catholic traditional teaching. There has been a conflict between the “traditionalist” Catholics and the new Church ever since that time, but the average Catholic remained confused, irritated, and even angered.
The only pope who seriously attempted to oppose them was John Paul I in 1978. He lasted just 33 days before being poisoned by his own Secretary of State, Cardinal Jean Villot, masonic name “Jeanni,” Lodge #041/3, Zurich, August 6, 1966 (Williams, p. 152).
After seeing his Secretary of State on the list of Vatican officials who were Masons, John Paul made the mistake of informing him that he was going to be dismissed the next day. Pope John Paul died by poison that same night. Cardinal Villot seized his papers and had him embalmed immediately. The hostile takeover of the Vatican would never again be seriously challenged.