Early Years

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Due to Masons in the Italian government, Italy entered W.W. I on the side of the Allies fighting the Central Powers.

One of Roncalli's first assignments in W.W.I was with a medical unit at Bergamo. While there in Mar. 1916, all the priests in the Italian Army were made Chaplains and given the rank of lieutenant. Roncalli was both a nurse and a priest to the shattered bodies that came back from the front. After the defeat at Caporetto, masses of horribly wounded men overflowed the entire city, and Roncalli worked night and day giving last rites and comfort to dying boys. Later in the spring of 1917, he served at the front moving through the mud and rain among the troops in a cassock stained with blood.64

Later in life, Roncalli would look back and say, "I thank God that I was a sergeant and a military chaplain in World War I. How much I learned of the human heart at that time time; how much experience I gained, how great the grace I received..."

It is hard to fault him for wanting peace and peace at any price. A letter to his brother Severio written from Constantinople, 28 April 1938 reflects his desire for peace, "For our own part, let us try to keep the peace with everyone, speaking against no one and staying out of politics."65

Exactly what he meant by staying out of politics is hard to grasp, because he himself was to use the words of his biographer "As the Bishop's secretary, Roncalli was in the thick of the socio-ecclesiatical politics, which eventually led to the founding of the Italian Christian-Democratic Party. "66 But he did try to keep peace with the Jews, as Pope he removed words in the Good Friday liturgy that the Jews disliked, and when speaking to Jews on various occasions called himself a "brother" to the Jews.67


Another impact on his life was when he went to Turkey in 1935 as Papal nunico. One book indicates that while in Turkey, he became part of the Rose-Croix (the Rosicrucians).68

If true, his move after the war to represent the Vatican at Paris, France takes on added significance. Paris is a nerve center for Occultic Secret Societies including the Masons and especially the Rosicrucians. Interestingly, from 1952 onwards the permanent observer for the Holy See at UNESCO was Roncalli.69 UNESCO was as in shown later a Masonic invention designed to promote the New Age religion.

During the Second World War, during the occupation of Greece by Italy, Roncalli felt that the Italian occupation was kind and beneficial to Greece. Writing to his sister from Athens 14 June, 1943 he states that Freemasonry was causing a bad division between Greece and Italy. "We see how Greece which is orthodox and, because it is dominated by Freemasonry, hostile to anything which might draw it nearer to Italy (not because of national interests but because Italy holds the centre of Catholicism...Oh, Sister Maria, how I dislike politics! and nationalism it is a real curse for a

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