Cardinals Rampolla, della Chiesa and Gasparri
Should Not Be Disparaged
I read with interest the article by Marian Horvat titled 'The "Reconciliation" of the two Benedicts' on your website and wished to offer some observations.
It is indeed true and a well-known fact that Cardinal Rampolla election was vetoed by Emperor Franz Joseph. However, never has it been proven that Cardinal Rampolla was a Freemason, other than the lingering rumors behind what motivated the veto.
Marian Horvat's article states that Cardinal Rampolla was forced out of the Curia during St Pius X's pontificate. However, a check found that he was Secretary of the Holy Office in Dec 30, 1908 when St Pius X is very much alive! Another check on Catholic Hierarchy website notes that he was on different posts in the Curia during the entire pontificate of Pius X.
Therefore, I do not think Marian Horvat's article can be trusted. I am willing to be corrected if ample evidence to the contrary are provided, else that article smacks of rumor-mongering of a Cardinal who could no longer defend himself against his accusers.
Regards in Christ,
In your article on Benedict XV & Benedict XVI you mention Gasparri as being friendly with Rampolla. But Pius X used Gasparri for many important jobs and made him a cardinal. How does that fit?
The reason I asked in the first place is that I read that Gasparri was against Pius X's canonization because Pius X set up a "secret police" to discover who in the clergy were Masons. I don't see how he could even have been around at the time the cause came up.
Also in his book, the Marquis de Franquerie says Gasparri was a Mason. Can you inform me about these points? I'd really like to know.
Thank you for whatever help you are able to give me.
I recently read the article written by Marian Horvat on your Tradition in Action website titled 'The "Reconciliation" of the two Benedicts'. It was a most interesting read.
I have some questions, which I hope you will be able to answer. If Cardinal Giacomo Della Chiesa had so many associations with Moderninsts why did Pius X still make him a cardinal and increase his chances of becoming Pope?
I understand that Pius X did not make him a cardinal for a long time, but why did he still do so in the end?
Secondly, do you know how Cardinal Rampolla ever became Secretary of State to Leo XIII? Why did Pope Leo choose him? Was Pope Leo aware of his modermist tendencies. Also do you have any information on where Leo XIII sat regarding Modernism?
Dr. Horvat responds:
It is true that Pius X made Gasparri a Cardinal in 1907, the same year he published the condemnations of Modernism in the documents Lamentabili Sane and Pascendi Dominici Gregis.
What Americans often do not realize is the complexity of the politics of the Vatican. St. Pius X did not have control over everything. In fact, one of his great laments was that when he looked around him, there was no one with him in the fight. He pronounced that famous, sad phrase: De gentibus non est vir mecum [among all men that surround me there is no one with me]. Therefore, he did not control everything that happened in his pontificate.
The Modernist faction that was growing under the long and semi-liberal pontificate of Leo XIII was a strong and potent influence in the Church when Pius X became Pope. For example, Cardinal Rampolla was almost elected Pope instead of Cardinal Sarto and had so much power that even though St. Pius X placed him as far from the Roman Curia as he could, his influence remained so extensive that he in effect made the next Pope, Cardinal Della Chiesa (Benedict XV).
Pope Pius X was a Saint and I am sure he did all he could to avoid the influence of Rampolla and the Modernists. But I am also sure he could not do all that he wanted.
To give an idea of the opposition to the Saint, in serious Catholic circles there are suspicions that Pope Pius X did not die a natural death, but it was caused artificially. Several circles of the right in Europe sustain this thesis, and the biography of Cardinal Merry del Val on Pope Pius X gives certain hints in the same direction.
The Marquis de Franquerie is a secure source, and I do not doubt his word that Cardinal Gasparri, another of Rampolla’s disciples who became the Secretary of State of Benedict XV, was a Mason. Gasparri made many accusations against St. Pius X regarding the Sodalitum Pianum, the organization the Pontiff had founded to uncover Modernists in the Church throughout Europe. Many of Gasparri’s charges were proved false. It shows the kind of venomous intrigues St. Pius X was surrounded by.
I don't have the time right now to make a specific research on the topic, which is an interesting one. If I do any further work, I will post an article on TIA website.
For persons with this kind of question, I would suggest they read the book The Undermining of the Catholic Church by Mary Bell Martinez. It gives a very good idea of the Modernist mafia that was temporarily squelched, but certainly not exterminated, inside the Church at the time of St. Pius X and afterward.
Marian T. Horvat
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