1866, in the course of an article on only religious institution that dares the Masonic Statutes, expressly dis- to do deadly battle with Masonry. cusses that one in which there is Protestantism has yielded in its presmention made of the existence of ence-for is not the heir-apparent of God, and the immortality of the the English throne the Grand Master soul. “ Is there nothing," asks the of Masonry in England, and is not Monde Maconnique,to be exacted the representative of royalty its of a man in order that he may be Grand Master in Ireland ? Protesdeemed worthy of being a Mason? tant Germany has fallen prostrate beNothing, except that he be an honest fore Masonry-for is not its emperor man. Is he to reject the idea of a its grand protector (to use the jarGod? Give him such an idea as gon of its pantomimic ritual) in his will satisfy his reason. Is he to mighty empire, and his omnipotent doubt of a future life? Prove to Prince-Chancellor one of the grandhim that annihilation is contradic- est of its grand officers? Down with tory. Is he to despise the founda- Catholicity! for whilst it stands tions of morality? Well, what mat- erect, there will stand with it, as ter if he does, if he lives and acts as there stands to-day, a feeble old man if he acknowledged them." Is it in Rome to bid the Masonic hosts possible to conceive an ethical sys- stand back, and to wither them into tem more revolting than this; or is impotence with a curse little less it hard to conceive the manner of than divine. But, with all its pasmen that will be moulded out of its sionate longing, Masonry shall not adoption ? With such principles for be triumphant, for Catholicity has its guidance, it cannot astonish us the assurance of its Founder that it to hear Proudhon, who was as high will not go down in face of it, or of in Masonry as his congenial merits the gates of hell. deserved from it, proclaiming that It is not our purpose just now to “ Freemasonry is the very negation travel farther into the fields of Maof the religious element." And so sonic operations or Masonic projit is we find that the press organs of ects. We have written but a slight Masonry are steeped to their utmost fraction of all that might be written capacity in the filth and hideousness about them. But we trust we have of a downright Atheism, or a Deism said enough to show, that Catholics that despises God. Any one who are not unjustified in looking with has taken the trouble of purchasing, aversion upon this huge Masonic in Brussels, in Liege, or some other organization. Even if they did not of the towns of Belgium, or at some know what it is, what it aims at, of the kiosques in Paris or Mar- and how it seeks the accomplishment seilles, the journals of the sect, will of what it aims at, they would have readily agree that we have not in more than ample reason for shrinkthe least exaggerated the impious ing from the remotest contact with character of their contents. And it, in the repeated and emphatic what does all this mean? It means condemnations with which it has simply that Masonry is the propa- been visited by the Infallible Head gandist of infidelity, to the end that of their Church. it may thereby destroy the Catholic Of these condemnations it may Church. This is the passionate long- not be uninteresting that we should ing of the sect. “Down with Catho- here recapitulate a few. In the first licity!" is its cry, not alone in effect, half of the last century, Masonry bebut in words—for Catholicity once gan to be openly propagated throughgone, the name and the glory of its out Europe, and speedily made its Divine Founder go with it. Down mark for evil. Accordingly, we find with the Catholic Church!-it is the the Pastor of the fold awake and vigilant. On the 27th of April, word for word in the present let1738, Clement XII issued a Bull, ters; therefore, acting on certain In eminenti, condemning the asso- knowledge, and in virtue of the ciation. “Reflecting," wrote his plenitude of the Apostolic power, Holiness, “ on the great evils which we confirm and renew it, and we these secret societies give us reason will and decree that it shall from for apprehending, as well for the this day be put in force as if it had tranquillity of states as for the safety been just published for the first of souls, after having taken counsel time." with our Venerable Brethren, the Towards the early part of the cardinals, of our own motion, and present century, Masonry sent forth by the plenitude of the Apostolic one of its pernicious offshoots in power, we have resolved and decreed the infamous confederation known that the before-named societies, as- as the Italian Carbonari. The consemblies, or reunions of Freemasons, federation was not long in existence whatever name they may take, should until it made evident its vast capabe condemned and proscribed; bility for evil. As usual, the Head therefore, we condemn and pro- of the Church was wakeful against scribe them by this present Consti- the new enemy, and so we find Pope tution, whose effect is to last forever. Pius VII issuing his Bull, Ecclesiam Therefore, in virtue of holy obedi- a Jesu Christo, of the 17th Septemence, we forbid all the Christian ber, 1821, denouncing the impious faithful, and each one of them in association—tracing its intimate alparticular, of whatsoever age, dig- liance with Freemasonry, and visitnity, or condition they may be, cleric ing it with the Church's anathema. or laic, secular or regular, to estab- In this Constitution the illustrious lish, propagate, or favor the afore- Pontiff renews the penalty of a said society of Freemasons, to join specially reserved excommunication or assist at their reunions under against all the members of the conpain of excommunication, to be in- federation, and against those who in curred ipso facto, without any further any way favored it. But the propadeclaration, and specially reserved to gandists of the secret societies abated ourselves and our successors, so that nothing of their unholy energy in no one can absolve them from it their warfare against the Church; it without our authorization, save only appeared rather as if they had been in articulo mortis."

only stirred up to more diabolical During the Pontificate of Benedict activity. Accordingly, it seemed XIV, an attempt was made to main- fitting to the then Sovereign Pontiff, tain that the Constitution of Clement Leo XII, to warn the faithful anew XII had ceased to have effect, and against these iniquitous confederathat his condemnation of it was, tions, and he published, on March therefore, null. Benedict XIV made 3d, 1825, his Bull, Quo graviora, a diligent examination of the matter, containing a republication of the and soon resolved all doubts upon Constitution we have already enuthe subject. On the 18th of May, merated. In this Bull his Holiness 1751, his Holiness issued a Bull, reaffirmed the Apostolic condemnaProvidas, confirming in every par- tions of secret societies, declaring ticular the Constitution of his pre- that their founders and their chiefs decessor. “To the end," says the were the propagandists of indifferBull, "that no one may accuse us ence in matters of religion, and that of falling short in anything which they claimed for themselves and their prudence demands of us, we have organization a power of life and death resolved to renew the Constitution over those who violated their secrets of our predecessor, by inserting it or refused obedience to whatsoever



ordinances the Lodges might send Masonry. In the Monde Maconforth. In this Bull special mention nique of May, the issue is directly is made of Freemasonry, and all the put: “One cannot,” says that jourfaithful are warned against associa- nal, “be at the same time a Mason tion or participation of any sort in and a Catholic." In such a strugthe Masonic organization. It re- gle Catholics have no doubt of the news the penalties of former Consti- result. They know what Christ has tutions imposed on those who be- promised to his Church, and they come members of it, and reserves know that Christ will not be wanting the excommunication specially to to his promises. But at such a time, the Holy See.

and in face of such hostile forces Scarcely had our present illustrious ranged against her, it is not becomPontiff ascended the Papal throne ing that her children should be inthan he, too, hurled the anathemas active. They must not cease to do of the Church against the secret so- battle for the cause and the interests cieties. In his Encyclical, Qui plu- so dear to her heart. They must be ribus, of November 9th, 1846, he firm in their allegiance. to her, and re-enacted the preceding Constitu- loyally obedient to all her commands. tions, and made distinct mention of There must be no union of any sort the Masonic brotherhood. Again, whatever with organizations, whatin 1865, in his Allocution of Sep- ever be their name, which aim at tember 25th, he reaffirmed his pre- the overthrow of her authority. Comvious condemnation, and earnestly panionship in secret associations must implored of all the faithful who had be avoided, and the children of the had the misfortune to join the Ma- Church must not suffer themselves sonic body to separate themselves to be tempted into seeming acknowl.from it, and return to the obedience edgment of the lawfulness of such of dutiful children.

associations by sharing in any of their From all this it is clear that the assemblages, whether of festivity or Church looks with horror upon the otherwise, remembering that by such Masonic confederation, and she does participation they incur the anger so, because she holds that Masonry and the punishment of their Church, is working in direct antagonism to Catholics have but to be earnest her teaching and to her interests. in their attachment to their creed, The struggle has reached to this: and let it struggle as it will, Masonry Which shall be triumphant, Masonry will be made to feel that it has enor Catholicity? There is no effort countered a foe which it is powerless at concealment of the purposes of to vanquish.

Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour ?
What, though we wade in wealth, or soar in fame?
Earth's highest station ends in “Here he lies!”
And “Dust to dust” concludes her noblest song.


On the ist of March, at sunrise, banks, one of which was perhaps the a great many years ago, two travel- Allia. lers, with their guide Domenico, We soon saw before us the range passed out from Rome on the Via of Mount Lucretilis, on the hither Salaria for an expedition into Sabi- side of which lay Horace's farm, for num. We had come chiefly for curi- he had from it a full view of Soracte, osity—the Englishman's occupation the top of which was visible on the —to see what we could of Rome and other side of the Tiber, a beautiful its vicinity. A pair of light Roman peaked outline. It was Horace's horses took our vehicle at a fair pace signal for a larger supply of billets towards Cures, now Correze; from upon the hearth when the snow lay that place we were to proceed on upon it—"dum stet nive candidum." foot.

There was a little snow upon its Our guide Domenico, a sinister- further sides, but not much; while looking, servile fellow, wore an Eng- Lucretilis was considerably whitened lish shooting-jacket, was attended with it in front of us. At half-past by a couple of dogs, and carried a eleven we put up at Cures, some good double-barrelled gun. He was twenty or thirty miles from Rome; one of those men who are spoiled and here we dismissed our carriage and made venal by their intercourse to proceed on foot, with our knapwith English and the touch of Eng. sacks at our back. The remains of lish gold. “We should, perhaps,'' he Numa's birthplace are but small-an said, “pick up a woodcock, or some osteria, with a few outhouses, form snipes, or at least some thrushes." Correze. But the old village of Cures He sought to please us by hinting a was in a flat somewhat further on; it desire to get rid of religion and a must have been a hamlet of no milipriest for a king. He said that he tary position or strength. A bright had been, in time past, with Leo stream runs by it, with a gravelly XII, who at times enjoyed the sight bed, and, we are told, has trout of of a boar-hunt in Sabinum ; but we a pound weight in it. We followed did not always take Domenico's word the course of the pretty stream, for gospel. We soon crossed the across some fine meadows, and gradAnio, which came down from our ually entered a woodland scene; right, across the road — a rapid, then, leaving the little river, turned turbid stream, with a considerable away to the right under the hills volume of water, the “Aniena flu- which rose around us, and, as they enta," rushing on to join the Tiber. opened, discovered to us our first Near the confluence, and hard by sight of a Sabine valley, such a one the Tiber, stands Castel Giubileo- as Horace had in votis." Right the ancient Fidenæ-on a strong hill opposite stood Soracte, rising high commanding the road; it must have in the distance towards Etruria. The been a place of considerable military valley consists of sunny slopes, or strength. Three miles on lies Cru- rather of glades running amid thicklystumerium, now Marcigliano, on a wooded slopes, over which the wild long ridge, not of such height as the vine creeps and hangs. first, but strong and precipitous. We We returned to Cures; and after then passed several little streams run- a draught of “vile Sabinum'—which ning down to the Tiber, with steep is far from despicable, being a good, strong-bodied, and well-tasted dark olive gatherers were shaking the trees wine, bearing some resemblance to or picking the black fruit, which was Burgundy—we set out for Castel S. ripe and oily, but very bitter to the Pietro, a walk of some fifteen miles. taste. A few cypress trees crowned We followed the rivulet, or “ fosso," the brow, and opposite these sat a of Cures through a pleasant vale, and knot of peasant girls, who had been soon had peeps of the distant Sabine engaged in the olive gathering. Our mountains, and the town of Farfar, classical ideas were then uppermost, on the summit of a hill. But I had and the Georgics rushed to the mind: not prepared myself for the pleasures


“ Difficiles terræ, collesque maligni, of a three days' walk in Sabinum. Tenuis ubi argilla, et dumosis calculus arvis, Rocks rose from the valley like pic

Palladiâ gaudent silvâ vivacis olivæ." tures in the old editions of Virgil, We turned to look at the setting and the opposite side was clothed sun, which was going down behind with hanging wood, like the fairy Soracte and the Volsinian Mountains banks of the Wye. Crossing the far away in Etruria; the whole valrivulet and ascending the banks, we ley beneath us, studded with its white entered a wood upon a mountain cities upon the hilltops, was glowing side, and looked down on a valley crimson as it sank; and just as it through which the river Farfar was went down we entered Castel S. winding. Several cities upon the Pietro. We could see the whole of hills studded the vale, at the head our route as on a map, and St. Peof the valley Castel S. Pietro crown- ter's on the horizon, though near ing a hilltop, and on similar heights forty miles distant. No doubt they Montopoli and Aspra. The wood can see distinctly from S. Pietro the was full of violets and a small, sweet glorious lighting of the dome upon bell-flower. The oaks still retained Easter-eve. their brown leaves, and the olives There are, or were, no inns in and holm oaks gave an appearance Sabinum; so our guide Domenico of summer leafiness in the early took us to the parish priest, whom spring. Woodmen were engaged in he highly praised as not one of your burning large quantities of wood for every-day men. He certainly was charcoal. Descending the moun- most hospitable, coming out to meet tain, and crossing a little stream at us with bread and wine and a basket its foot, we gained a fresh view to- of eggs, insisting on our eating imwards Castel Nuovo, rising on a pic- mediately. His ejaculations of deturesque, conical hill. The slopes light at seeing two strangers showed around were covered with the gray that he knew some little English, olives, the black fruit of which was which he made us understand that he now ready for gathering. Evening had learned in Malta. As our Italian was closing in as we crossed the was very scanty, we could not keep bridge of the river Farfar. The up much conversation, but made the stream runs clear and swift, and has best of our Lenten fare, and found trout of two and three pounds, which the wine excellent. After our rethey spear like salmon by torchlight. freshment, the good arciprête took Our path ascended a steep mountain us to visit the pretty parish church, side, through vineyards, to Castel which was handsome, and had some S. Pietro. Short elms, with the tops good paintings. He rang the bell and branches lopped, supported the himself to summon the people for vines. Higher upon the hill the olive Benediction. On our return we retrees covered the rocky ground, the ceived an invitation, through Dosoil of which was so scanty that it menico, to visit one of the chief was a wonder they could grow so families of the little town, and were well and to such a size. A party of shown into a room in a handsome

« ElőzőTovább »