You are not going to want to miss this one, folks. Trust me.
Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Manchester, New Hampshire: Sophia Institute Press, 2019) by Dr. Taylor Marshall: a Review .Kevin Symonds
In this book, Taylor Marshall firmly maintains that the Catholic Church has been literally infiltrated by her enemies, thereby experiencing a massive campaign of disruption and distortion. A particular area in which Marshall advances this thesis pertains to the influence of the Vincentian priest, and later Archbishop, Annibale Bugnini (1912-1982) in the liturgical reforms of the mid-twentieth century. This review focuses on Marshall’s presentation of Bugnini’s influence upon these reforms and in particular of Marshall’s claim that Bugnini was involved with Freemasonry. It will be argued that, despite his eagerness to find evidence of ‘infiltration’ and his animus against Bugnini, Marshall actually misses some important evidence in favor of Bugnini’s membership of the Italian Freemasons.
ANNIBALE BUGNINI: FREEMASON INFILTRATOR WITH THE ROMAN LITURGY?
Archbishop Bugnini first appears in chapter nine of Infiltration, “Communist Infiltration of the Priesthood.” The available scholarly literature on this volatile topic is not very well-developed at this time. Thus, Marshall has a fairly wide playing field in which to develop his overall thesis. He takes some of the existing literature on the topic, most notably the testimony of Bella Dodd (the former Communist and famous revert to Catholicism), and then folds Bugnini into the mix.
Bella Dodd’s admission to having infiltrated seminaries with communist agents provides Marshall with some solid ground upon which to build his argument. It is now a well-known fact that Soviet Communism, by the design of Josef Stalin, attempted to infiltrate the Catholic priesthood. In fact, while the Catholic priesthood enjoyed a certain pride of place in the Soviet apparatus’ efforts of infiltration, it was not the only target, Protestantism was also similarly targeted. Having a solid foundation, however, and a securely-structured house frame built on top of it are two separate things.
Having shown the foundation, Marshall then brings in Bugnini: “Suffice it here to state that Bugnini was an infiltrated priest [i.e., an infiltrator] and a Freemason” (89). Marshall claims here imply that Bugnini must have been up to something nefarious with his work on the liturgical reforms before, during and after Vatican II.
So, was Bugnini an infiltrator of the Church when he became a priest in 1936? Marshall claims that Bugnini became a Freemason in 1963 (90), but does not say whether he thinks his infiltration preceded that step.
Marshall then turns his focus upon Bugnini, Freemasonry and the liturgical reforms of the mid-twentieth century. He begins by discussing the famous “briefcase story.”