Despite the historically established fact that the unification of the Italian peninsula into a single political unit came about through the machinations of a group of Freemasons in high offices, we often attract criticism for bigotry and loose uncharitable attributions that a concerted plot existed and continues to exist. Our critics imply that all Italy cried out for unity never seen since the Roman Empire. So these Freemasons destroyed the Papal States, the political basis for the Unity of Christendom until shattered by the Protestant revolt. But we must not suspect a plot.
Pope Pius IX Freemason
While the author of this article in1922 was convinced that Pius IX was a freemason, and other reports are available it should also be noted that this (Masonic) website (copied here) is not privy to Italian masonic records and cannot testify to their veracity.
But, strange to say, there is no doubt that Pope Pius IX was himself a Freemason. His signature still exists in one of the Italian Lodges of Monte Video. Shortly after his ordination Mastai Feretti (which was his secular name) was sent as Auditor to the Vicar-General of Chile, and at one time it was believed that he was initiated into Freemasonry in that country. When in later years he was appointed Apostolic Delegate in Uruguay he appeared in the lodges as a fully qualified Freemason, and a writer to the Libertad dei Pensamiento, a Madrid journal, in1870, said that there was in existence in the possession of one whose name he gave (Soussingeas) a portrait of the Pope in Masonic regalia.
Quite recently, however, any doubt that may have existed on the question was put on one side by the discovery of the initiation of Pope Pius IX, into Freemasonry in the Lodge Eterna Catena of Palermo on the 15th August 1839. The following is a translation from the Italian of the Bolletino Officiale del Grande Oriente Nationale Egiziano:-
“Orient of Nuremberg, Lodge of Germanic Loyalty, daughter of the Grand Lodge of Bavaria, working under constitutions emanating from the Grand Mother Lodge of the Three Globes of Berlin.
“Our archives contain, under No. 13,715, the following document, certified and authenticated in regular and required form, written in Italian and bearing the great seal of the Grand Lodge Luce Perpetua of Naples :
“Masonic Lodge Eterna Catena of Palermo :
“We, Master Masons, dignitaries and officials of the third degree of Masonry of St. John, certify in the name of the Supreme Master, who directs all, that on this, the date given below, at the hour of twelve at night, we have received in the Lodge in the form prescribed by our rituals, and with entire conformity to our constitution, the Brother Giovanni Ferretti Mastai, a native of the Pontifical States, who, having assumed the oath in the presence of all of us, declared that he did not belong to any secret society hostile to the Lodge, and who has paid the charges demanded of him.
“Wherefore we call upon all the Masonic Lodges of the world to recognize him and hold him as a genuine and true Mason, received in a just and perfect Lodge, and thus we regard and certify him, as a conscientious and honourable man.
“In testimony of the entire truth of the present document, we sign in Palermo, in the profane and civil year 1839, on the fifteenth day of the month of August.
“Wilhelm von Wittelsburg, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Bavaria, Prince of Bavaria”
In 1874 the Voice of Masonry published the following article of news :-
“ ‘ A man named Mastai Feretti, who received the baptism of Freemasonry, and solemnly pledged his love and fellowship, and afterwards was crowned Pope and King, under the title of Pio Nino, has now cursed his former brethren and excommunicated all members of the Order of Freemasons. Therefore, said Mastai Feretti is herewith, by decree of the Grand Lodge of the Orient, Palermo, expelled from the Order for perjury.’ ”
[The Freemasons never hint at a reason for such treason or its timing. Could it have grown from the 1865 assassination, with marks of Masonic ritual, of Pius IX’s Secretary of State?]
“ The charges against him were first prepared against him in his Lodge at Palermo in 1865, and notification and copy thereof sent to him, with a request to attend the Lodge for the purpose of answering the same. To this he made no reply, and for divers reasons the charges were not pressed until he urged the Bishops of Brazil to act aggressively towards the Freemasons. Then they were pressed, and, after a regular trial, a decree of expulsion was entered and published, the same being signed by Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy, and the Grand Master of the Orient of Italy.” The King thus returned his compliments for the “major excommunication” which the Pope has sent him a few years previously with the Pope’s kind regards.” “It is difficult,” said the Pall Mall Gazette, in October 1874, “to see what retort Pius IX. can make to this decree, unless, indeed, he has in reserve some still more formidable maledictory missile to launch at the Grand Lodge of the Orient. But in these days, unfortunately, a papal anathema is hardly as terrible as a Masonic decree.”