Humanum Genus

Pope Leo XIII
April 20, 1884

Freemasonry (Humanum Genus), encyclical by Pope Leo XIII

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Prayers for the Conversion of Freemasons

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Description of Contents

"... their ultimate purpose [is] the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, ... drawn from mere 'Naturalism'."

This prophetic encyclical from a Pope who took seriously his duty to preserve the Faith is a warning to Catholics to recognize and guard against the increasing attacks of the Church's enemies, who are led by Freemasonry.

Studying world events from a supernatural point of view, Pope Leo notes the world is divided into two warring camps: the Kingdom of God, i.e., the Catholic Church; and the Kingdom of Satan, made up of those who refuse to obey God and the Catholic Church, His voice upon earth. The Pope commends his predecessors who had condemned Freemasonry, warning governments of the dangers, as well as maintaining vigilance in protecting the Church, the chief enemy of Masonic plans for world domination.

He shows that Masonry is founded on Naturalism. He explains how it attacks the Church, morality, marriage, youth and education, all of which is happening in front of our eyes today. Pleasure is the main weapon to be used against youth. Education is to be removed from the control of the Church. The end result of men following their passions is slavery.

Masonry teaches the false theory of absolute equality, which leads in the political sphere to rule by popular will, i.e., "democracy." With God excluded from the State, all religions are on an equal footing. False equality leads to the triumph of Masonry's offspring, Socialism and Communism. It also produces an era of licence or "liberty" that is meant to facilitate the ruin of Christian civilization.

The Pope's warning to States is that if God's laws are not respected, if lawful authority is scorned and subversive doctrines encouraged, a complete overturn of the social order will result. Furthermore, Masonry will not hesitate, says the Pope, to depose rulers who will not run their governments according to Masonic dictates.

Masonry deceives people with flattery and false promises of a new world order of peace and harmony, calumniating the Catholic Church as the enemy of the liberty and equality of the pagan world state. However, only the "old" Christian social order can bring peace and prosperity, says Pope Leo, as only the Church maintains the sacredness of the individual, the dignity of civil authority, the tranquillity of order, and true charity towards the poor.


"The race of man, after its miserable fall from God ... separated into two diverse and opposite parts.... The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ.... The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents....

"At every period of time each has been in conflict with the other.... At this period, however, the partisans of evil seem to be combining together, ... led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly and openly, and this with the set purpose of utterly despoilng the nations of Christendom, ... of the blesssings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

"Again, as all who offer themselves are received [as members] whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age — that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This ... is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.

"... the sect of the Freemasons also endeavours to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mould to their opinions that soft and pliant age ...; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth ... after their own plan. Therefore in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church ... nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.

"... in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer.

"... the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness ..., a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of Communists and Socialists; and to their undertakings the sect of Freemasons is not hostile, but greatly favours their designs, and holds in common with them their chief opinions.

"We have to deal with a deceitful and crafty enemy, who gratifying the ears of people and of princes, has ensnared them by smooth speeches and by adulation. Ingratiating themselves with rulers ... the Freemasons have endeavoured to make them their allies and powerful helpers for the destruction of the Christian name....

"In like manner they have by flattery deluded the people. Proclaiming with a loud voice liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it was owing to the Church and to sovereigns that the multitude were not drawn out of their unjust servitude and poverty ... and exciting them by a thirst for novelty, they have urged them to assail both the Church and the civil power.

"... they are prepared to shake the foundations of empires, to harass the rulers of the State, to accuse, and to cast them out, as often as they appear to govern otherwise than they themselves could have wished."

"... tear away the mask from Freemasonry ... instruct the people as to the artifices used ... in seducing men and enticing them into their ranks, and as to the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their acts.

"... let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the Masonic sect, if he values ... his eternal salvation.... Let no one be deceived by a pretence of honesty.... [A]s the whole principle and opject of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful.

"By uniting the efforts of both clergy and laity, strive, Venerable Brethren, to make men thoroughly know and love the Church; for the greater their knowledge and love of the Church, the more will they be turned away from clandestine societies.

"... draw the minds of men to liberty, fraternity and equality ... not such as the Freemasons absurdly imagine, but such as Jesus Christ obtained for the human race ... the liberty, We mean, of sons of God, through which we may be free from slavery to Satan or to our passions ...; the fraternity whose origin is in God ...; the equality which, founded on justice and charity, does not take away all distinctions among men, but, out of the varieties of life, of duties, and of pursuits, forms that union and that harmony which naturally tend to the benefit and dignity of the State.

To understand how Freemasonry is herding us into its evil New World Order,

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