Professor Roberto de Mattei, a well-respected Italian historian and traditional Catholic, has written a preface (see full text below) to the Italian edition of Father Charles Murr’s book on the 1978 Vatican investigation into ecclesial freemasonry, confirming the essential elements of Murr’s account. De Mattei even speaks of the “absolute historical accuracy of the events” contained in Murr’s 2022 book Murder in the 33rd Degree: The Gagnon Investigation into Vatican Freemasonry.
The English translation of de Mattei’s preface has been included, as of last week, in the new English edition of Fr. Murr’s book, as well.
Murr, an American priest who lived in the 1970s in Rome, recounts in his book how two cardinals, Dino Staffa and Silvio Oddi, had presented in 1974 to Pope Paul VI evidence that two important curial prelates themselves were Freemasons. These two prelates – Cardinal Sebastiano Baggio and Archbishop Annibale Bugnini – were “accused” by Oddi and Staffa “with proof in hand” of being “active Freemasons,” in the words of Murr. In response to these accusations, the Paul VI asked Cardinal Édouard Gagnon to undertake a thorough investigation into ecclesial freemasonry, the result of which was presented to the Paul VI in 1978.
Gagnon, who was close friends with Murr, involved Murr in some of his work by asking him for help on a practical level with some of the paper work, and shared with him and another prelate friend, Monsignor Mario Marini, his findings. He confirmed to Paul VI that Bugnini and Baggio were, indeed, freemasons.
Only yesterday, LifeSiteNews published a report recalling Murr’s comments during the October 6 episode of Faith & Reason, in which the priest explains how Baggio, as the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, was responsible for the naming of the key members of the “St. Gallen mafia” which was behind the election of Pope Francis in 2013. My friend and colleague, Liz Yore, has researched the names of the key St. Gallen mafia members named by Baggio, and she found Cardinals Carlo Martini, Ted McCarrick, Godfried Danneels, Karl Lehmann, Achille Silvestrini, and Cormac Murphy O’Connor among them. Cardinal Basil Hume is to be placed on this special list, as well.
The other suspected freemason, Bugnini, was the key architect of the Novus Ordo Missae, the Novus Ordo Mass, which for decades has been under much criticism for its watering down of the Catholicity and God-centeredness of the Tridentine Mass.
Some observers might object that all of these findings are based on just one source, Father Charles Murr. However, Professor de Mattei’s preface should cast away such doubts. The Italian historian now confirms the “absolute historical accuracy” of Murr’s account, saying that he had his own independent relationships with Gagnon and Marini and thus learned the story independently of Murr.
We are dealing here with the fact that both Paul VI and John Paul II (in 1979, after Paul VI’s death) did not intervene and remove these two suspected Freemasons – Baggio and Bugnini – from their offices despite having received grave warnings and evidence from well-respected cardinals.
Let us consider here de Mattei’s own words, at length:…