I need a list of papal encyclicals/bulls in which both Jews and Freemasons are mentioned in the same document.

  • How far back do you need to go? Search on vatican.va and papalencyclicals.net. Jun 24, 2015 at 18:49
  • Do you want ones that mention "Jews" in reference to practitioners of contemporary Judaism, or is it okay if it only mentions Jews of Biblical times? I'm not asking because I've done any searching yet, only because I'm anticipating a possible point of confusion. Jun 24, 2015 at 21:02

3 Answers 3


Pope Leo XIII is your man. He definitely didn't like the Freemasons, and with good reason if you read the document, seems like they're not as benign a force in Italy as they seem over here .

We wish it to be your rule first of all to tear away the mask from Freemasonry, and to let it be seen as it really is; and by sermons and pastoral letters to instruct the people as to the artifices used by societies of this kind in seducing men and enticing them into their ranks, and as to the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their acts. As Our predecessors have many times repeated, let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them. Let no one be deceived by a pretense of honesty.

Humanum Genus

But I think that's the only Free Masonry specific Encyclical there is. The Pope does say that his predecessors have repeated his statements, so there's probably something.

Nothing in there tying Freemasonry to the Jews though, not that I'd expect there to be.


Peter Turner's answer refers to the encyclical Humanum Genus of Pope Leo XIII, written in 1884. This document reviewed actions taken and documents written by previous popes, and repeated the condemnation of Freemasonry, not only in its own right but with respect to its response to these previous papal actions. It confirmed prior Church documents condemning the Freemasons, and requested the help of all bishops in extirpating the group:

Now, the masonic sect produces fruits that are pernicious and of the bitterest savour. For, from what We have above most clearly shown, that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view - namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, ...

We pray and beseech you, venerable brethren, to join your efforts with Ours, and earnestly to strive for the extirpation of this foul plague, which is creeping through the veins of the body politic. You have to defend the glory of God and the salvation of your neighbour; and with the object of your strife before you, neither courage nor strength will be wanting.

(paragraphs 9, 31)

The document refers to several prior documents: The apostolic constitutions In eminenti, written by Pope Clement XII in 1738, Providas Romanorum (Google Translate from an Italian translation; the official translation in Latin appears to be unavailable), written by Benedict XIV in 1751, Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo (translation into English apparently from a French translation of the Latin original), written by Pius VII in 1821, and Quo Graviora, written by Leo XII in 1826, as well as the encyclicals Traditi humilitati of Pius VIII in 1829, Mirari vos, of Gregory XVI in 1832, and Qui pluribus of Pius IX in 1846.

The Wikipedia article on Freemasonry states that "the earliest rituals and passwords known [are] from operative lodges around the turn of the 17th–18th centuries"; it appears unlikely, therefore, that the Catholic Church said anything significant about it prior to 1738. Leo XIII did issue a couple more encyclicals on the subject, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a few statements as well, but the above is more or less a complete list of authoritative publications by the popes on the subject.

None of these documents mentions, or even seems to refer to, Judaism or the Jewish people. I conclude that there are no official papal publications which refer to both Jews and Freemasons.


Modern-day Judaism—which is based on the Talmud, condemned by Popes and put on the Index—is a sect of naturalism; thus, Pope Leo XIII indirectly refers to Judaism in his encyclical on Freemasonry, Humanum Genus (1884), which is sometimes published with the subtitle "On Naturalism & Freemasonry," because there's a strong connection between these two ideologies.

For example, Msgr. George F. Dillon (1836-1893)—whose 1884 work War of Antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization (free audiobook) Pope Leo XIII highly recommended all Catholics read as a way "to tear away the mask from Freemasonry" (Humanum Genus §31)—says:

The Jewish connection with modern Freemasonry is an established fact everywhere manifested in its history. The Jewish formulas employed by Freemasonry, the Jewish traditions which run through its ceremonial, point to a Jewish origin, or to the work of Jewish contrivers . . . . Who knows but behind the Atheism and desire of gain which impels them to urge on Christians to persecute the Church and destroy it, there lies a hidden hope to reconstruct their Temple, and in the darkest depths of secret society plotting there lurks a deeper society still which looks to a return to the land of Judah and to the re- building of the Temple of Jerusalem?

Here are some of the many Papal documents condemning Freemasonry; perhaps one of them mentions Judaism explicitly (source):

  • Clement XII, Constitution "In Eminenti", 28 April, 1738;
  • Benedict XIV, "Providas", 18 May, 1751;
  • Pius VII, "Ecclesiam", 13 September, 1821;
  • Leo XII, "Quo graviora", 13 March, 1825;
  • Pius VIII, Encyclical "Traditi", 21 May, 1829;
  • Gregory XVI, "Mirari", 15 August, 1832;
  • Pius IX, Encyclical "Qui pluribus", 9 November, 1846;
  • Pius IX, Allocution "Quibus quantisque malis", 20 April, 1849;
  • Pius IX, Encyclical "Quanta cura", 8 December, 1864;
  • Pius IX, Allocution "Multiplices inter", 25 September, 1865;
  • Pius IX, Constitution "Apostolicæ Sedis", 12 October, 1869;
  • Pius IX, Encyclical "Etsi multa", 21 November, 1873;
  • Leo XIII, Encyclical "Humanum genus", 20 April, 1884;
  • Leo XIII, "Præclara", 20 June, 1894;
  • Leo XIII, "Annum ingressi", 18 March, 1902 (against Italian Freemasonry);
  • Leo XIII, Encyclical "Etsí nos", 15 February, 1882;
  • Leo XIII, "Ab Apostolici", 15 October, 1890.

Also, St. Maximilian Kolbe, who died at Auschwitz, told the Masons that they are controlled by Jews.

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