War of Anti-Christ with the Church - Rev. G. E. Dillon

The Carbonari

In this sect, the whole of the hitherto recognized principles of organized Atheism were perfected and intensified. In it, from the commencement, a cunning hypocrisy was the means most used as the best calculated to lead away a people Catholic to the very core.

The first of the Carbonari of which we have any distinct notice appeared at a season when Atheism, directed by Weishaupt, was busy in forming everywhere secret associations for apparently no purpose other than political amelioration. He determined to try upon the peasantry of Italy the same arts which the French had intended for the Catholic peasantry of Ireland. The United Irishmen were banded together to demand amongst other things, Catholic Emancipation. Never had a people greater reason to rise against oppression than the Catholics of Ireland of that period. They were urged on to do so, however, by leaders who, in many instances, were not Catholic, and who had no political grievance, and whose aim was the formation in Ireland of an independent republic ruled, of course, by themselves, on the model of the one which was established then in France. That seemed to the Catholic the only way to get out of the heretical domination which had for such a lengthened period oppressed his country. Now, the Carbonari of Italy were at first formed for a purpose identical with that of the United Irishmen. They conspired to bring back their national independence ruined by the French, the freedom of their religion, and their rightful Bourbon sovereign. With them it was made an indispensable obligation that each member should be not only a Catholic, but a Catholic going regularly to the Sacraments. They took for their Grand Master, Jesus Christ our Lord.

But, as I have said before, it is impossible for a secret society having a death penalty for breach of secret, having ascending degrees, and bound to blind obedience to hidden masters, to remain any appreciable length of time without falling under the domination of the Supreme Directory of organized Atheism. It was so with Carbonarism, which, having started on the purest Catholic and loyal lines, soon ended in being the very worst kind of secret society which Infidelity had then formed on the lines of Masonry. Very soon, Italian adepts in black Masonry invaded its ranks, the loudest in the protestation of religion and loyalty. Equally soon, these skilled, experienced, and unscrupulous veterans in dark intrigue obtained the mastery in its supreme direction, won over proselytes from fit conspirators, and had the whole association in their power. It was then easy to find abundant pretexts to excite the passions of the rank and file, to kindle hopes from revolution, to create political dissatisfaction, and to make the whole body of the Sect what it has actually become. Italian genius soon outstripped the Germans in astuteness; and as soon, perhaps sooner, than Weishaupt passed away, the supreme government of all the secret societies of the world was exercised by the Alta Vendita or highest lodge of the Italian Carbonari.

The Alta Vendita ruled the blackest Freemasonry of France, Germany, and England; and until Mazzini wrenched the scepter of the dark Empire from that body, it continued with consummate ability to direct the revolutions of Europe. It considered, with that wisdom peculiar to the children of darkness that the conspiracy against the Holy See was the conspiracy in permanence. It employed its principal intrigues against the State, the surroundings, and the very person of the Pontiff. It had hopes, by its manipulations, to gain eventually, even the Pope himself, to betray the Christian cause, and then it well knew the universe would be placed at its feet. It left unmeasured freedom to the lodges of Masonry to carry on those revolutions of a political kind, which worked out the problems of the sect upon France, Spain, Italy, and other countries. It kept still greater movements to itself. The permanent instruction of this body to its adepts will give you an idea of its power, its policy, and its principles.