Inimica vis (On Freemasonry) was a Papal Encyclical addressed to the bishops of Italy.[1] It remarked on the multiple condemnations of Freemasonry over the preceding century and a half and concentrated on the local difficulties of the Italian church. It was promulgated by Leo XIII in 1892. It is still quoted in current Catholic criticisms of Freemasonry.[2]

Inimica vis
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII
Coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII
Signature date 8 December 1892
SubjectOn Freemasonry
Number45 of 85 of the pontificate
Ad extremas →

It is viewed as reproving the Italian bishops for an apathetic response to Freemasonry[3] and it complained that some members of the Catholic clergy were co-operating with the Masonic and anticlerical government of Italy.[4] It was seen as the start of Papal "bargaining" with the forces symbolised by Freemasonry,[5] although it has also been noted that Freemasonry was denounced as a "vile sect".[6]

On the same date Inimica vis was promulgated, 18 December 1892, Pope Leo XIII wrote Custodi di quella fede, an encyclical epistle addressed to the Italian people, attacking Freemasonry.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Inimica vis, text of the encyclical.
  2. ^ Bearing “False” Witness Continues, Mark Alessio, The Remnant.
  3. ^ p. 48, That They Be One: The Social Teaching of the Papal Encyclicals, by Michael Joseph Schuck, 1991, Georgetown University Press.
  4. ^ Roman Catholic Church Law Regarding Freemasonry Archived 1999-01-27 at the Wayback Machine, by Reid McInvale.
  5. ^ The Miter and The Trowel by William G. Madison.
  6. ^ page 144, World Christianities, C. 1815-1914, y Sheridan Gilley, Brian Stanley, Cambridge University Press.