QUAERITUR: MASONS! IN THE SANCTUARY! AIYEEEE!

From a reader:

There is a Freemason in my parish [AIYEEE!??] – yes he is Catholic.  [Say it ain’t so!] He is known as a Freemason to many people and he, despite the Church’s clear teachings on the subject, does not feel it is wrong for him to be both a Freemason and a Catholic. He feels his local lodge is not anti-Catholic so he is comfortable with his club of “old men”. Several of my friends and I have discussed this with him on a couple of occasions, even in front of the pastor in an informal setting. The pastor of our parish knows that he is a Freemason, and he continues to let him serve often as a Sacristan, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and he partakes of the Holy Eucharist. What, if anything, should be done about this situation when it seems  that the pastor does not care if he is a Freemason or not. [Maybe heeeeeees one tooooo….]

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document called “Declaration on Masonic Associations“.

Declaration on Masonic Associations

It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. [Get that?]

It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L’Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981). [Bishops and pastors can’t decide to the contrary.]

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.

Joseph Card. RATZINGER
Prefect

+ Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Titular Archbishop of Lorium
Secretary

If this fellow is a Mason, and if he is publicly known to be a mason, and if the pastor has been told, and if, indeed, he is acting in liturgical roles, and if he is receiving Holy Communion, then the bishop must be informed.

I suggest writing to the bishop with a copy to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

I very much doubt it will be ignored.

In the meantime, make sure he hasn’t hidden secret manuscripts under the altar.  Look for secret signs scratched around the base.  If necessary, for a fee and the promise of a few car chases, I should be able to help locate the missing clues.  I am, after all, a certified symbologist.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Our Catholic Identity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

118 Responses to QUAERITUR: MASONS! IN THE SANCTUARY! AIYEEEE!

  1. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z, you said, “In the meantime, make sure he hasn’t hidden secret manuscripts under the altar. Look for secret signs scratched around the base. If necessary, for a fee and the promise of a few car chases, I should be able to help locate the missing clues. I am, after all, a certified symbologist.”

    What??? Details please.

  2. moon1234 says:

    Yes me too. What are the symbols to look for…. or were you being sarcastic?

  3. torch621 says:

    I think that last statement was a reference to National Treasure.

  4. zippityzach says:

    Thank you for the info. We have a Diocecan Parish run by Franciscans and it was several years ago when a friend of mine told me that the Priest there (alas he is no longer there, moved to another Diocese) told him that he could be a member of both the Masons and the Catholic Church. I am trying to compile as much info about his as possible to alert our Bishop. Since starting to follow this blog I am learning a great deal more than I was ever taught. Thank you so much!

  5. A. J. D. S. says:

    You guys. Father Z was referencing The Da Vinci Code (the protagonist is supposed to be a Harvard “symbologist”).

    Please don’t tell me you guys have never read this important piece of American literature!

  6. Supertradmum says:

    I am close to families which have been involved in Masonry. There is no doubt it is Satanic. At the later levels, the members actually desecrate the mitre of the Pope and call upon a name of a demon, who is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This is not merely a fraternal organization.

    Also, it is based on a view that religion has no place in the public sphere and it worthless for influencing politics. The members are also encouraged to be anti-Catholic, surprise, surprise.

    As to the symbols, some are connected to the devotion to demons. This is serious business, not to be ignored. I would approach the priest one more time, and then go directly to the Bishop, armed with the documentation. This man needs to be delivered from his involvement.

  7. justMe says:

    Hmmm what harm can a Freemason do to the Church ?

    All this talk about Masons being harmful to the Church is Bugnini me.

    “ O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church ( Freemasons ) and those recommended to you.”

  8. Supertradmum says:

    justMe,

    Freemasonry is based on a naturalistic humanism, which denies any spiritual involvement of the Catholic Church in the public place. The entire idea of complete separation of Church and State, not a Catholic teaching, by the way, is based on some of the ideas which came out of the freemasonry movement in England and France, in the very beginnings, in the 18th century. It was rather quickly condemned by the Vatican, which you can see here, and on other sites. http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/n038rp_MasonryCondemned.htm

    The dangers of the group are not merely that they have a code of secrecy, but that they have hated the Institution and Hierarchy of the Holy Catholic Church, and have worked against it continually. In addition to this hatred, are the satanic connections, which cannot and have not been denied by some who have come out of the lodges. Satan gives power to those who worship him, as he is the god of mammon. A mason at the highest levels takes a knife to the Bible and destroys it, denies the Kingship and Divinity of Christ, and moves into the murky world of the occult, involving giving allegiance to certain demonic powers by name.

    What harm they can do is on the political and governmental level, in business, in even charitable works, which separate God from man and emphasize man’s innate goodness without grace. Father’s comment about the symbols has to do with the demon involvement. Curses and such are common among masons who use such powers against their enemies.

    They particularly hate the Pope, as I mentioned above, as the symbol of Christ’s Reign on Earth and the superior role of the Pope in all things, both spiritual and temporal. If you are skeptical, I suggest you ask a local exorcist. To state that masonry is not dangerous is simply naive.

  9. justMe says:

    Supertradmum,

    On your side on this, was trying to be cryptic : see spelling of ‘ bugging ‘ me – refers to Annibale Bugnini an alleged Mason who spear headed the liturgical reforms during Vatican II.

  10. Thomas S says:

    I had to take a double take last year as I was driving behind a car that had a Rosary hanging from the rear view mirror and a Masonic magnet attached to the bumper.

    I almost followed the guy home to confront him.

    Maybe I should have…

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Father,
    Although I knew you were referring to the da Vinici code-a very silly book and sillier movie, I still responded to the seriousness of a possibility of some demonic influence which this man is or would be bringing into the Church.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    justMe,

    not lost on me-I just do not take this thread lightly.

  13. JonM says:

    Father, thank you for posting this.

    Many men are confronted with the temptation of accepting the invitation because Freemasonic networks are direct pipelines for career enhancement and advancement.

    Most see Freemasons as a simple ‘guys club’ that does local charity and might help with a business connection on a blue moon. Even if this were the case, SuperTradMom aptly points out that this would contribute to the agenda of humanism, an implicit denial of the Church and supernatural Grace.

    Of course in truth, Freemasonry is a sinister, evil organization. Though most do not know all of the secrets, even on the lower levels, porch Masons are marinated thoroughly with humanistic, counter-Christinan, and dualistic (that is, double life) principles that simply are incompatible with Christ’s one true Church.

    Indeed, there are such things as ‘secret handshakes’ and signals such as ‘mason in distress’ (word of warning: If you use such ‘tokens’ at a whim or as an outsider, you will face serious consequences.)

    The culture of Masonry runs very deep in American institutions. I know for a fact that the Air Force mirrored its achievement levels off of the Masonic degrees, right down to using the same title name.

    It is a sad testament to the times that an organization that has sponsored the overthrow of Catholic monarchies and Church power is no longer combated with martial spirit. There are even events in which prelates publicly accept awards from Freemasons.

    I do hope the writer is successful in bringing to justice the Catholic Freemason, however I wager heavily the most that will come of it is a few EMHC by weeks. My money is on silence from the Bishop.

  14. gambletrainman says:

    My mother had 2 sisters living near us. One (Catholic aunt) was married to a Methodist who did everything for her, yet he was a Mason. My other aunt had a daughter, who, seeing the good he was doing for his wife, concluded that Masons aren’t bad at all, and sticks to that point today. (He died in the ’70’s, and his wife in 1990). When I found out what Masons were really like, I tried to explain to my cousin, but she was so adamant that the Masons are just like the Knights of Colubus (Protestant version), that we almost broke off relationships over this. It was not until just this past summer that I found out how horrific this group is, but a lot of those under 33rd degree themselves don’t realize how bad the order they belong to really is—especially here in the States.

  15. Jordanes says:

    A few years ago in our parish, some members of the Knights of Columbus wanted to have a Freemason accepted into the Knights. Objections were raised by one of Knights, who knew that was unacceptable — but his objections were airily dismissed with a claim that our bishop had formally dispensed with the old ban on Freemasonry.

    So I wrote to the bishop about it to find out the truth. The bishop kindly wrote back, and referred to and quoted from the above CDF statement, saying that not only had he not given any dispensations but that he did not have the authority to issue any such dispensations, and reiterated that the CDF statement remains in force for all Catholics. The bishop’s letter was shown to the Knights who had made up the story about the bishop’s dispensation, and the kibosh was duly placed on the attempt to admit the Freemason. A copy of that letter has been kept on permanent file with our local K of C council for future reference in case anybody tries any funny business like that again.

  16. Childermass says:

    Perhaps the bishop can give the man in question a one-way ticket to Iran to join the ghost of another, more illustrious Mason.

    We recently discovered a Mason in our Knights of Columbus council, and fortunately our leadership was able to expel him without too much trouble, once we knew he was adamant about keeping his membership.

  17. Supertradmum says:

    One thing I forgot to mention is that masons hold the heresy of Indifferentism, one condemned in the Modernist statements of several Popes. This heresy maintains that all religions are relative and leads to a syncretic idea of religions. This can be seen in the ancient Egyptian religion references in masonry, the Islamic references, especially in the Shriners, who are also Masons, and in the references to other arcane religions. The desire for a completely secular education system, ironically perhaps, is also masonic, as well as found in other secularists.

    I cannot believe that those in the higher levels, who must go through the anti-Catholic and demonic rituals, do not know how bad it is….through their free will, they ascribe to the occult and hatred of the Church.

  18. TJerome says:

    The Democratic Party is far more evil than Freemasonry. To my knowledge, lFreemasonry doesn’t promote abortion or gay marriage like the Democratic Party does. George Washington, our first president, was a Freemason. Was he evil? Although I have zero interest in Freemasonry, in the US it is more of a social club, not unlike the Elks or the Moose. The Freemasons I know are upstanding men (unlike Ted Kennedy, John Kerry who support abortion on demand and gay marriage, etc.) . Perhaps in Europe it is far more nefarious. The Democratic Party through its promotion of abortion, etc., is far more dangerous and deleterious to the health of the Church and society in general than Freemasonry. When the Church condemns the Democratic Party I will take its position on Freemasonry more seriously. Until then, count me out of this hysteria.

  19. TJerome says:

    ps: and the Democratic Party would like to have everyone in a public schools taught by union, Democratic teachers.

  20. Yes, I have been arguing about this for a long time and people seem to have no awareness about this masonic problem!

    It is now about time that we all work to forbid the music of Mozart from any use in the Church. He was a certified mason (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_and_Freemasonry), and his music helped wipe out Gregorian chant and replace it with modernistic music that appeals to merely emotional responses, just like the piano.

    Fr. Z, can you help us to start a campaign to stop the use of the Mason Mozart’s music in our churches?

  21. JonM says:

    TJ,

    Respectfully, your opinion that the American Democratic Party is ‘far more evil” than Freemasonry a) wrong and b) irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    First, Freemasonic luminaries are most certainly pushing the agenda of abortion, population control, anti-Catholic kulturkampf, etc. In fact, leaders of both the Republican and Democratic Parties are high ranking Freemasons. Every American President has been, accept for Kennedy (who was at least publicly a total traitor to the faith anyway.)

    But why your opinion is irrelevant is that this is a matter of Church law. Though the 1983 code stirs up a veritable foggy brew that makes seeing clearly impossible, it is still in there that Freemasonic membership is punishable by automatic excommunication. Period.

    Further, opposing an organization that worships satan is not hysteria in my view.

  22. Central Valley says:

    Jordanes, I like your post and have a similar story. When I used to be active in K of C, I noticed once at a meeting that one of the members cars had Masonic emblems all over it and right next to the emblems was a Knight of Columbus emblem. Sadly, were I am at nobody cared. For this and other reason, I no longer participate with the local K of C.

  23. JonM says:

    *accept of course should be except

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    This is interesting, I’ll just add my personal observations.

    In the American South, used to be that everybody who was anybody was a Mason. All of my great-grandfathers and both my grandfathers were Masons, as was my grandfather-in-law the Methodist minister. My paternal grandfather and my grandfather in law were 32nd degree, the former was a high-up Knight Templar and the latter a Shriner. Nobody who knew either man would think for a minute that they would have anything to do with satanism, demon worship, or for that matter anti-Catholicism, and their rank was such that if that sort of thing was around they would have known about it. The Reverend would have run a knife through his own heart before he’d have run it through a Bible.

    Something has changed substantially in the last 50 years. You don’t see very many professional men or young men in the Masons around here any more – most of them are like the original letter writer said “old men’s clubs”. The Shriners are pretty active but they have, the last I heard, begun to separate themselves from the Masons (there was a proposal a few years ago to drop the requirement that you be a Mason to join).

    Unless the society has gone completely underground, has abandoned its former buildings (which are often boarded up or for rent), and severed its connections with the Shriners and so forth, I think they are on the wane and the “biological solution” is going to take care of them shortly. At least here in the South.

    None of this is to say that the principles and practices of Masonry are not antithetical to Catholicism and Christianity at large, because they are. But I just don’t see the sort of wide-ranging evil influence operating around here that some have suggested. Maybe this is a local phenomenon and they are operating on a “Da Vinci Code” scale elsewhere.

  25. Andy Lucy says:

    “At the later levels, the members actually desecrate the mitre of the Pope and call upon a name of a demon, who is mentioned in the Book of Revelation.”

    As a former York Rite Knight Templar (as high as you can go), and 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason (as high as you can go in ritual Masonry… 33rd degree is honorary), I have to laugh at asinine statements such as this. No such events take place. Your description reminds me of the silly assertions of Maria Monk against the Church. She was wrong… and Supertradmum is as well.

    Freemasonry is fundamentally incompatible with Catholic theology. That is why I am no longer affiliated with the Lodge. However, the Lodges who actively work against the Church are European Lodges… not American. American Lodges, Councils, Chapters and Commanderies have a hard enough time trying to decide if they are going to have a chili supper or a pancake breakfast for their annual fundraiser. If you asked any of the 32nd degree Masons or Templars what a mitre is, they would reply that it is a woodworking tool to accurately cut angles. American Freemasonry is a primarily Protestant affair. No atheists, madmen nor fools are admitted.

    Decry Freemasonry for its philosophy and teachings… but not for things that are third hand falsehoods. It demeans the argument.

  26. JonM says:

    I am disheartened by the ridicule this subject is receiving.

    This is a serious, monumental problem both outside of the Church and in it. Ridiculing this only serves to mock the brave Catholics who have, over time, stood up to this latest vessel of evil.

    If anyone doubts the role of Freemasonry in our society, I invite skeptics to glance at Lady Gaga. Or Rhianna. Or Taylor Swift. Or Jay-Z. Or, perhaps become versed in J-Pop and K-Pop noting how they mirror American Pop, down to bizarre choreography that sure does like one-eye rhythms.

    A good starting point is Kanye West’s Power, one that involves horned Egyptian goddesses self-communicating (one consuming from a Chalice, the other self-administering a Host.) This, while newly initiated Kanye stands between the classic two pillars, bathed in compass and T-Square imagery. Don’t be distracted by the pretty girls.

    Perhaps when grave matters are more seriously weighed, we will understand just why such a darkness has cloaked the world and why 90% of those who even go to Mass reject bare bones teachings.

  27. JonM says:

    @Andy Lucy,

    First of all, York Rite Freemasonry has different rituals than Scottish Rite. Perhaps this will upset you, but typically the movers and shakers are of the latter.

    Maybe your lodge was different. But what SuperTradMom writes is no rumor. On the mid level, out come coffins, nudity, and firearms. A few years ago ‘back home’ there was an accident in this ritual, which never was thoroughly investigated. The dead guy was pretty real.

    And for the record, Eyes Wide Shut events do exist. Freemasonry is a diseased tree from which other malignant shoots are linked.

  28. Andy Lucy says:

    “Though the 1983 code stirs up a veritable foggy brew that makes seeing clearly impossible, it is still in there that Freemasonic membership is punishable by automatic excommunication.”

    Mind citing the canon that specifically mentions Freemasonry? It is in the 1917 Code, but not the 1983 Code.

  29. Andy Lucy says:

    JonM… I belonged to both rites. Nothing of the sort ever happened, and I attended Lodges from Maine to Florida to California. IT DOES NOT OCCUR. No nudity. No firearms. No coffins. No desecrating of mitres.

    Until you have been there and can tell me that you saw it with your own eyes, then I will trust my own experiences over second or third hand allegations that you proffer.

  30. Andy Lucy says:

    BTW… the guy who got shot was not shot as part of any ritual approved by any governing body in the US. It was a stupid stunt perpetrated by an idiot. Saying that incident was indicative of American Masonry is like saying that the silly liturgical nonsense many of us have to endure is approved by Rome. It ain’t so.

  31. Jerry says:

    @Andy Lucy – “Mind citing the canon that specifically mentions Freemasonry? It is in the 1917 Code, but not the 1983 Code.”

    Did you read the first three paragraphs of the letter from the CDF Fr. Z quoted?

  32. Andy Lucy says:

    Jerry… yes I did. I especially noted the following section, “… since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly…”

  33. Christo et Ecclesiae says:

    Andy Lucy – you seem to know what you are talking about.

    He does get to the point… Masonry is incompatible with the Church and her teachings. Speculate all you want about anything else, but most of these ritualistic accusations typically spread from hearsay.

  34. ghp95134 says:

    I must agree with AnAmericanMother and Andy Lucy. My father (a Shriner), uncle, cousin, and both grandfathers are/were Scottish Rite 32nd Degree Masons, and our family has had Masonic ties since 1850 when ancestors were founding members of a Lodge in Stewart Co., Georgia. (Yes, we are all Southern-bred.)

    I suspect American (and British) Masons are just like BPOE: fine upstanding businessmen & public safety officers who support the community, are normally active church (Protestant) members, and do great charitible work — especially for seriously burned children. And … they like a beer or two (not unlike the Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion).

    My father has no knowledge of Demonisn or anti-Catholicism, and states that anyone who believes in God/Supreme Being can join … which is why Muslims can be members. I would venture to guess that if you (calmly) brought your suspicions of anti-Catholicism, Demonism, and claims of nefariousness to their attention, they would gladly disabuse you of those ideas. And, I would further venture to guess those stated concerns would be the first time they heard any such silliness.

    And for the record: No, I am not a Mason.

    –Guy Power

  35. Sixupman says:

    In the UK Masonry is a means of obtaining preferment in local government, departments of central and regional government, the police, deals between businessmen, etc.,etc.

    The Church of England is connected with Masonry. In Carlisle Cathedral, at Evensong, I heard recited a Masonic prayer. [One day I will explain what I was doing there.]

    Scottish Masonry will be virulently anti-Catholic – which is also evidenced outside the Lodges.

  36. Indifferentism and an insistence that you can’t possibly believe anything but the blandest, most generic Christianity are bad enough to cause problems, especially when tied to secrecy oaths. For example, our little Jacobin friends of the French Revolution. However, in the US, many people with religious backgrounds have long managed to “tune out” the bits that conflicted with Christianity in all sorts of things. I’m sure that many American Masons were part of this American tradition of ignoring what we can’t possibly believe people mean, despite what they literally say. :) Of course, this sort of thing can’t last forever; people eventually have to believe things wholeheartedly or throw them out.

    That said, it’s true enough that Masonry has been tied into the occult in certain times and places, or has been used as a model by organizations wishing to spiff up their occult rituals. (Wicca, for instance, whose founder stole as freely from Masonic stuff as from Catholicism and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.) People who want to keep an open mind and be freethinkers can be as susceptible to trying out magic as to trying out scientific experiments or new philosophies. Similarly, in some times and places, total atheism replaced vague deism, radical politics replaced socializing, and huge favoritism in real life replaced being a fraternal club. If you get the wrong people in power in secret organizations, they probably have a lot of scope for sexual and physical abuses, too.

    But these side issues aren’t what the Church condemned Freemasonry for. Indifferentism and so forth, coupled with an oath that’s not something fitting for a Catholic to take, is more than enough.

  37. Leo XIII is quoted in the old Catholic Encyclopedia about this very issue, saying that of course many individual members aren’t involved in the nasty stuff. But “The Masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the acts and things it has accomplished, as by the whole of its principles and purposes.” Which is exactly what you’d expect a theologian or a philosopher to judge by.

    There are plenty of nice men’s clubs out there (including the K of C) which don’t include all the Masonic baggage. Catholics should join one of them.

  38. I have seen that lots of so called catholics find themselves superior to the teaching of God and of the Church. If they don’t agree, they just ignore it and keep doing what they want. Here, in this corner of Europe, we also have people of the “the secret sect [ that is] relentlessly undermining the great Church”, as it said Catherine Emmerich. And they go to Mass also and say they are catholics. The person we are talking about here is much worse because he takes Communion and is a Minister of Communion! God must be very angry with that. I’m sure his priest allows it because he’s afraid of him – that people is really dangerous.

  39. shadowlands says:

    supertradmom said:
    ‘I cannot believe that those in the higher levels, who must go through the anti-Catholic and demonic rituals, do not know how bad it is….through their free will, they ascribe to the occult and hatred of the Church.’

    ‘For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows. .’
    I Tim 6:IO. Douay-Rheims Bible.

    I have know more than one Roman Catholic mason, they were pretty high up in the Church laity ranks as well. EMHC for example. I think it’s more common than folks like to admit! Maybe only when you get to the highest degrees, do you realise the true meanings and it seems too late then, to do anything. It’s never too late for God to change you, while there’s breath in your lungs, use them to cry out to His Holy name.

    Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved. Literally! Have faith, a mustard seed will do. He can move a whole mountain with that.

  40. We Lutherans also have a difficult historical relationship with the Masons, as well as a prohibition of lodge membership, which is rarely, if ever, enforced. More’s the pity.

    I know of one case in which a pastor actively used his network of Masonic connections to undermine the ministry of a neighboring colleague. Although it is not (technically) related, the same fellow was also involved in an ugly case of sexual misconduct at about the same time. You can imagine the delight which the word “Masonic” gives me, even years later.

    On the other hand, I spent quite a bit of time with a very active Mason some years ago, when his wife was sick. She was a church member, but he was not — although like most Masons, he seemed to believe fervently that his lodge membership was compatible with Christianity. In our conversations, he left me with the very strong sense that Masonic lodges are collapsing even faster than … okay, I’ll say it … Protestant churches.

  41. Seraphic Spouse says:

    I was going to mention Mozart, and my understanding that devout Catholics in Europe of the 18th century could be both Catholics and Masons, but I was beaten to the punch by the reverend Dominican father above, and now I don’t know what to say. Irony is problematic on the internet; it is hard to tell who is being serious and who is being facetious. Mozart guilty of horrific liturgical abuse leading to (I imagine) “On Eagle’s Wings”? Er–what?

  42. JonM says:

    @Andy Lucy,

    Again, your defense of Freemasonry is misplaced if for no other reason than it has historically been opposed to the Church to the point of fomenting revolutions against it and legitimate Catholic leaders.

    There is beaucoup evidence that during the 1960s, Freemasonic influence change not just liturgical celebration, but effectively modified understanding of theology amongst the vast majority of Catholic, lay and clerical. This simply is indisputable.

    Now, regarding particular ceremonies at particular lodges, obviously I can’t say what occurs where. To an extent, it is futile to debate this subject because a) I know these happen b) the concept of Freemansonry sans the flair is totally incompatible with Jesus Christ, His Church, and Her true mission and c) the idea of a secret network that requires blood oaths confirmed by humanistic ritual in order to advance in commerce is, um, sort of opposed to the natural law.

    Shouldn’t it arise some interest that business, legal, and political leaders in the West are almost uniformly Freemasons?

    We can post back and forth arguing how the rituals are despicable and evil as I claim or fine and uplifting as you seem to suggest. This will not accomplish much. Instead, I suggest those reading this exchange to perform their own research, interview family that left Freemasonry, meditate on the distinct missions of the Church and Freemasonry and then arrive at your own conclusions.

    To start, here is a courageous Catholic lawyer who left Freemasonry and the Shriners:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stu6rTacfAk

    To you personally, I sincerely hope that you come to understand that praying to the Sacred Architect is homage not to the Trinity, the one true God, but rather something else.

  43. JonM says:

    As an addendum, I think the fact there is even an argument on this illustrates why the Church is collapsing.

    If we are to be sticklers about how many times to swing a censor (as long as we do so out of loyalty to what the ritual signifies, we most certainly should) or chide a Priest for involving his beloved dog on occasion at the close of Mass, we had better be ready to follow with equal gusto critical Church law.

    The penalty for membership in a Freemasonic lodge is automatic excommunication.

    Otherwise, we are nothing but a bunch of hypocritical Pharisees, who like progressives, pick and choose what aspects of the faith to advance.

  44. albizzi says:

    It is very highly probable that Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, cardinals Villot and Casaroli (to name only a few in the Vatican’s hierarchy) were freemasons as it is written in the books of Fr Luigi Villa “Paolo sesto beato?” and “Giovanni XXIII beato?”
    The high ranked catholic clerics currently living are more discreet but certainly as efficient as their predecessors.
    Why should a simple parish priest worry about one of his faithfuls belonging to freemasonry?

  45. Andy Lucy says:

    JonM… my “defense” of Freemasonry was nothing of the sort. I stated, quite clearly, I thought, that Freemasonry is not compatible with theological tenets of the Church. I am not, now, a Mason. I am a former Mason, and currently a 3rd degree Knight. I am neither excommunicated, nor am I under interdict.

    My statements were simply an attempt to remove the condemnation of Freemasonry from the realm of fantasy, and into the realm of reality. Condemn it for what it is… not some fantastic fairytale consisting of a litany of abuses that are farcical, hysterical imaginings. The occurrences you claim, quite simply, do not happen… therefore, you are claiming to decry a group for doing things they do not do. Keep it up, and no one will listen to you… and then you’ll be guest hosting Coast To Coast AM, searching out Illuminati conspiracies.

  46. albizzi says:

    There are lodges in the basic levels where ordinary masons are gathering. They are men like you and me and nothing special happens in these levels. That is why the desecrations and satanic rituals are called “hearsays” by them and they laugh when you quote these . Desecrations and satanic rituals only happen in the upper levels.
    For example a priest who enters the freemasonry is welcome immediately in the upper levels where he is obliged to partake in these rituals and is strongly enlisted in FM with a few risks he may attempt to get back.

  47. albizzi says:

    Lucy,
    Did you officially retract from your belonging to FM?
    If not, sorry to say, your excommunication is still pending “ipso facto”.

  48. Andrew says:

    Fr. Augustine Thompson OP

    It is now about time that we all work to forbid the music of Mozart from any use in the Church.

    Are you suggesting that “listening to the music of Mozart = membership in a Masonic sect”? Then listening to Mendelssohn makes me a Jew?

  49. traditionalorganist says:

    albizzi,

    You’re paranoid. Yes, Freemasonry is forbidden, but you have no right to cause scandal by suggesting that Blessed John XXIII and Paul VI, may he rest in peace, were freemasons. Just because you don’t like what seemed to spring from their papacy doesn’t give you the right to suggest alignment with the satanic. Do you realize the subversive nature of your suggestions?

  50. Gail F says:

    As someone with no affiliation to Masonry, let me tell you I give a lot more credence to Andy Lucy than some of the other posters here. If Masonic lodges are full of anti-Catholic Satanists aimed at overthrowing the Church through bizarre rituals, they certainly do a bad job of it. If they are full of indifferentists whose rituals and beliefs weaken all religious ties — well, welcome to AMERICA (and Europe). Almost everyone does the same.

    Seems to me that Masonry is on the wane here in the USA, and that while I am perfectly willing to believe that it has an anti-Catholic basis that would be possible for leaders to activate, that in general here it does function as a men’s charitable society. Again, my take is that it has an anti-Catholic and occult basis that is and should be considered dangerous — hey, I’ve read “The Lord of the World” — but that for the vast majority of American members these things are either ignored or not taken seriously and that it is equally plausible that it will die out or morph into something else, as most of those 18th century things have done.

    Lady Gaga and Kanye West as tools of Masonry??? The mind boggles.

  51. Gail F says:

    And BTW, when my father was inducted in to the Knights of Columbus in the 1960s, the ritual involved a coffin and a fake “accidental” shooting they all had to swear not to report to the police. I don’t know if that is or was a general KofC thing, but he never went back. Sophomoric and offensive rituals are not confined to Masons and college fraternities, and they are one reason that I have never joined any similar organization no matter who sponsored it.

  52. LaxMom25 says:

    Albizzi,
    In response to: “Why should a simple parish priest worry about one of his faithfuls belonging to freemasonry?”

    Don’t parish priests work and pray to help the souls with which they have been entrusted to reach eternal life. The consequence of this parishoner’s actions are grave, to himself, his fellow parishoners, and the parish priest.

  53. Joseph says:

    I don’t quite understand the admonitions directed at Andy Lucy. I read his comments as decrying Masonry while at the same time challenging what *seems* like it might be misinformation about it.

    As Catholics, we should be no strangers to misinformation circulated about what we do and hold. Does it seem so unlikely that some of the common wisdom about what Masons do might be inaccurate?

    I read Andy Lucy as being concerned about what is true or not. His experience shouldn’t be discounted, if we take him at his word (and I see no reason not to) that he has intimate knowledge of what actually goes in in Masonic meetings in the States. Maybe the desecration, etc. happened before his time and don’t happen now? I don’t know.

  54. Andy Lucy says:

    “Did you officially retract from your belonging to FM?
    If not, sorry to say, your excommunication is still pending “ipso facto”.”

    If by officially, you mean that I sent a letter asking my name to be removed from the rolls, and tearing up my dues cards… then yes. I also discussed it with my priest prior to my conversion. I left the Lodge prior to my conversion, and I was assured by both my parish priest and my bishop that it was no impediment to my conversion.

    And after reading my replies again, I fail to see where I even intimated that Masonic rituals are “…fine and uplifting…” Putting words into my mouth is not a good way to debate a subject. But, then, you are condemning Freemasonry for things they never did, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you are condemning me for things I never said.

  55. Banjo pickin girl says:

    There is a lot of misinformation in some of these comments. There was recently a book published by a former Mason that is popular in Catholic circles repeating some of the same stories you hear sometimes about Satanism, desecrating the Bible, etc. Freemasonry is what Andy Lucy has said it is. And there is a large difference between the American lodge and the French lodge. I am a faithful Catholic convert from a Masonic family. I have all my father’s ritual books and have studied them in detail. He was at the top level in both the York and Scottish rites and a Shriner. He was buried in his Masonic apron. I once considered coMasonry when I was in my gnostic phase.

    Freemasonry is more gnosticism and indifferentism than anything else. It is incompatible with being any kind of Christian because of those two things alone. It is important to know that many Protestant sects forbid their members to be Freemasons. But Freemasonry is nothing to panic about, especially in America and especially now, when the average age of a Shriner is 72 and the average age of a member of Eastern Star is 68. Fr. Z. calls this the biological solution. There are many much more dangerous ways to be gnostic and indiffernt these days without going through the intensive study that Freemasonry requires hence it is quickly dying off.

    I expect to be flamed and told I know nothing but so be it.

  56. “he, despite the Church’s clear teachings on the subject, does not feel it is wrong for him”

    Ah, well, then….As the Lord so often said:’if you keep my commandments you abide in my love, except whenever you feel deep down that it is right to break my commandments, then, don’t worry about it. Surely, you’ll abide in my love regardless.

  57. oratefratres says:

    Is it me or am I seeing repeated reports of Freemasons among Knights of Columbus. Didn’t Father McGivney wished to provide an alternative for Catholics who endanger themselves by joining Masonry? To me this is a tragedy. This also leaves me with much skepticism toward the intentions of those Masons who are with K of C despite their appearance. I do not know if they can be trusted. It is with certitude that K of C was founded partially to counter the Masons. With this knowledge, it is fitting to posit that Masons are joining K of C to possibly infiltrate, as they have already been successful in doing in The Church’s hierarchy.

    Jerry… yes I did. I especially noted the following section, “… since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly…”

    @Andy Lucy,
    First of all thanks be to God that such an immense grace was poured upon you to leave the Masons and thereby redirecting you to become a Soldier of Christ. We need more Men Like you.

    I know the above quote was directed to Jerry, but I am not sure if you are stating that the Church does not refer to the Mason’s in the 1983 code? On the contrary the CDF’s declaration regarding the absence of the expression “MASONIC ASSOCIATIONS” is due to the fact that there are other groups who fit into the same category thereby excluding a singular expresion. Furthermore the third paragraph of the CDF’s declaration is really clear: “Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion”. The mention of grave sin and prohibition from Holy Communion seem to presuppose EXCOMMUNICATION.

    Regarding what goes on inside these lodges regarding their rites, I would say that such things cannot be denied universally. Your experience in the U.S. is not exhaustive and fails to account for all places like Europe for example. Since those who have mentioned these things taking place claim that they were former members or witnesses in other places, such events cannot be denied. However, they do need to be verified. So in some sense I agree with you that realism needs to considered like verification, but the denial of their existence (off the wall rites) cannot be maintained easily.

  58. Andy Lucy says:

    “And there is a large difference between the American lodge and the French lodge.”

    Indeed. So much so, that not a single Grand Lodge in the US recognizes Grand Orient Freemasonry. Prince Hall Lodges do not recognize them, either.

    Much of the intense anticlericalism attributed to Freemasonry as a whole, comes from Continental Freemasonry, not from Lodges affiliated with the United Grand Lodge of England nor from North American Grand Lodges. Continental Freemasonry is much more likely to be involved in actively trying to undermine the Church, while English and North American Freemasonry, rife with indifferentism, does not.

  59. TJerome says:

    Jon M, and others like him.

    You have lost all sense of proportionality. The Freemasons are small, insular and have little influence, particularly on ordinary Catholics in the pew. Fake Catholics ensconsed in the Democratic Party (referred to by Cardinal Burke as the Party of Death) are far more dangerous to the Faith and they do influence the ordinary Catholics in the pew. Look what happened at Notre Dame last year when they gave Obama an honorary degree in direct conflict with the USCCB’s express prohibition. The Church did nothing to Notre Dame and the ordinary Catholic is left with the impression that honoring abortionists must be ok because Notre Dame did it. The Democratic Party is evil, not only has it worked tirelessly to divide the Church in this country, but the party platform itself is intrinsically evil since it promotes abortion on demand. If the Church had any guts they would make membership in the Democratic Party an impediment from receiving Holy Communion. I bet Pius XI would if he were still alive. It’s a far greater scandal that allegedly “Catholic” pro-abortion Dems receive Communion than being part of an insular group like the Freemasons. The so-called “pro-life Dems” folded like a cheap tent over Obamacare and passed it even though it provides funding for abortion. I’m sorry. I am a very staunch Catholic but I think the Church is making a huge mistake when it goes after the trivial rather than the 900 gorilla sitting in its living room.

  60. patrick_f says:

    @Gail F – That council…without giving away our rituals for initiations – was NOT following them – FYI the KOFC is not secretive organization, only our initiation rites, so that they are meaningful to the next man

    The problems with Masonry is they “do alot of good in the community”, so people turn their heads much the same way that they do with certain so called “Reproductive Centers”. In fact, its dangerously close to the arguement many use for places like planned parenthood, “well they do so much good for women, not just abortions” …

    Whatever! Evil, and wrong, are still evil and wrong – Denying the One true God, is missing the commandments before you even start. When you accept the relativistic idea the masons do (they require only a belief insome God..and do not name him) then you are dangerously close to heresy IMHO

  61. patrick_f says:

    Also for the record, I am a 4th Degree Knight, so that should verify my statement on the order

  62. Andy Lucy says:

    oratefratres, I was merely pointing out what I feel to be an issue with the 1983 Code as compared to the 1917 Code. The older Code was more explicit, and I have met more than a few Catholic Masons who said that their priest (and a couple, their bishop) had told them it was no longer forbidden. The necessity for a CDF clarification (not easily available until the late 90s on the internet) demonstrates this shortcoming in the 1983 Code.

  63. patrick_f says:

    See…I think the problem with the 1983 code is it leaves alot to “common sense” . People should know the first commandment. Anything that diminishes that commandment….regardless of how much good they do, should be avoided

  64. William Tighe says:

    As a pedantic footnote, or aside, may I recommend the best scholarly book on the history of Freemasonry? It is David Stevenson’s *The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century, 1590-1710* which was published by Cambridge University Press in 1988, with paperback reprints in 1990 and 2005. It demonstrates that “masonry,” as anything other than an association of masons, developled at the Scottish Royal Court in the 1590s under the aegis of James VI’s Master Mason, James Shaw; and that until the 1640s, after James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne in 1603, it functioned as a kind of “Scotsman’s Club” at and around the Royal Court in London.

  65. dans0622 says:

    Canon 1374: “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.” Clearly, there are no automatic penalties here. That does not mean being a Mason is fine and dandy, as the CDF made clear.

    For those who were Masons before the 1983 Code came into effect, and were under the automatic excommunication, there is Canon 1313.2: “If a later law removes a law or at least a penalty, the penalty immediately lapses.”

    There is, certainly, the question of whether or not a Mason might fall into heresy, apostasy or schism. That is another issue, with an automatic penalty attached (cf. c. 1364).

  66. Ed the Roman says:

    I know for a fact that the Air Force mirrored its achievement levels off of the Masonic degrees, right down to using the same title name.

    Details, please. I’ve been an Air Force contractor for a long time, and I was a Reserve officer with joint experience longer than that.

  67. jlong says:

    How does one become a member? What happens if a Catholic in ignorance joins? How many people at the lower levels know the full extent of mason beliefs?

  68. JaneC says:

    My husband and I are quite concerned that someone who works at our local Catholic school is a Mason. There is a car always parked in the school lot that has Masonic bumper stickers. We hope it is one of the two school employees who are Protestant, and not one of the Catholics! Thank you, Fr. Z, for pointing out the CDF document. If the owner of the car turns out to be a Catholic, we’ll know what to say, and what to write to the bishop, if it comes to that. (Note: we are not “hunting” Freemasons in our parish, and not actively trying to find the owner of the car.)

  69. nanetteclaret says:

    About 20 years ago (when I was Episcopalian and before I knew better), I was involved with a family in which the father was a mason and the mother was eastern star. They were VIRULENTLY anti-Catholic, so much so that even though they were presbyterian, they refused to say the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed because they have the words “Catholic Church” in them. One time, I went with them to the masonic temple to have lunch and it totally creeped me out. The walls were decorated with figures from Egyptian mythology. I knew then that something was really wrong with their beliefs.

  70. randomcatholic says:

    Masonry is not compatible with the faith. It teaches false doctrines. It is to be avoided, and if one is involved, they need to repent of the membership in the Lodge. John Salza’s books on this topic are EXCELLENT.

    Yes, most Masons in the US these days are just guys involved in a civic organization that they use to build social capital. Yes, their membership is down something like 70% (see Putnum’s bowling alone). If someone is Catholic, and they are informed about what the Church teaches on Freemasonry and why, and they remain a Mason, that communicates a lot about their level of faith. They are (like the rest of us) in need of ongoing conversion.

    But we should NOT make light of this issue. What about people like Fr. James Coyle, and Masonry’s close ties with the Klan, and the failure to convict Coyle’s murderer, and Masonry’s role in that failure? We ought not to forget Fr. Coyle’s memory. It would do well too to study Masonry’s role in the persecution of Catholics in Mexico, including the martyrdom of several priests and members of the Knights of Columbus.

    Miguel Pro, pray for us.

  71. Peggy R says:

    This is very interesting as I don’t have a great deal of experience or knowledge myself on this. I have known of the prohibition on Masonic membership. Bp. Bruskewitz announced excommunications of laity who were in such groups in his diocese, I recall. And the Vatican upheld his declarations. I had read a couple years ago of a protestant pastor calling on his male parishioners to leave masonry. He ran up against some tough opposition and may have lost his post. I can’t find the stories any more.

    The local Shriners put on a parade every June in our area. When I came back to the area I was dismayed that no Catholic schools were involved in this “community” event. I was chalking it up to the retreat of the Church in our city as demographics changed and diocesan schools got smaller. I don’t know the reason for no Catholic schools participating, but I am now glad they do not.

  72. chcrix says:

    This thread at least confirms my impression of who goes for facts.

    Like one other poster though, I am curious about one thing: Is Father Augustine Thompson really calling for a ban on Mozart, or is this a joke in response to some of the more bizarre comments in the thread.

    If it isn’t a joke, I’m afraid I am not ready to ditch Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus just yet. Indeed, I will probably still attend performances of Die Zauberfloete.

  73. randomcatholic says:

    I hope that the banning Mozart thing is a joke. Yes, the magic flute was inspired my masonic ritual in part, and yes Mozart was a Mason. But great art is great art is great art. There is no way Moazart is coming out of my collection because Mozart may have been a mason. I don’t think the Church would countenance such an approach either. A great painter who is a sinner and may have died (God forbid) in a state of mortal sin is still a great painter, and his work may have significant artistic merit. The same goes for Mozart or anyone else.

    But much of what has been shared about the dangers of Masonry ARE facts. For sources I recommend the books by Salza (a former Mason himself) and for a non-sectarian historical account of Masonry’s role in the murder of a Catholic priest in the south (and the “exoneration” of his murderer) see: Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America, by Sharon Davies.

  74. RJ says:

    Thank you Andy Lucy for your very clear-headed comments.

  75. albizzi says:

    Hey, Traditionalorganist, who is causing a scandal in saying that probably John XXIII and Paul VI probably were initiated in the freemasonry? Not myself.
    I just quoted two books written by a respectable and traditional priest, Fr Luigi Villa, 93 years old, who is in good standing with the Church in the diocese of Brescia (Italy).
    So far as I know, this priest never was forbidden, defrocked or even suspended. His books aren’t forbidden to read and are available on the net: http://www.huttongibson.com/PDFs/Paul-VI-Beatified-Book.pdf
    The problem is that since long he owns written instructions to investigate the freemasonry in the Church by his previous bishop. Nobody could attack him from this side and nobody could disprove his book’s allegations because they sound the truth.
    He frequently receives death threats and was assaulted several times, once very seriously. This didn’t shut up his voice.

  76. albizzi says:

    I must add that I am not a sedevacantist and that I always was very respectful and obedient to our Holy Father the Pope.
    But I keep open my ears, my eyes and my mind. Until now that’s not yet forbidden.
    In addition, that would not be the first time that a pope would cause scandal in the Church history, if not in matters of faith, at least in matters of morals. I can give you a lot of historical examples.

  77. Joseph-Mary says:

    The masons may be considered by some to be small, insular, and waning but is it not true that a number of presidents and supreme court justices have been masons and look at the direction our country is taking. Indifferentism for sure but followed by the embracing of intrinsic evils.

  78. Maria says:

    Can’t think why any Catholic would wish to be a Freemason anyway; There is plenty of work to be getting on with in The Church.

    My viewpoint is really that anything that has to be so secret and exclusive is not operating from a Christian standpoint.

    God has no favourites and all are welcome in His Community.

    There are no secrets.
    On the contrary, Jesus tells us to spread the Godd News far and wide.

    He is all I need and I should think is all anyone would need.

    There is only One Grand Master, and He is God Almighty.

  79. Latriagiver says:

    Love the sense of humor.

    To add to the reality of this all, a neighboring parish had a new pastor and a new associate pastor assigned. The associate pastor, after feeling very unsettled and directed in prayer, had discovered hidden Masonic symbols in the sactuary, one on the back of a crucifix, one near the altar, and one near the ambo. I do not have the details, but according to the associate pastor, he consulted another priest outside of that parish. According to a few, the symbols were not there a few months back. To the naysayers of Masonic/evil presence, what is the purpose of placeing any symbols on anything like this?….. if not to affect its surroundings. [It would be interesting to chat with him about this.]

  80. Maria says:

    Latriagiver,

    I would have thought that minds that operate like this ………….

    (To the naysayers of Masonic/evil presence, what is the purpose of placeing any symbols on anything like this?….. if not to affect its surroundings.)

    ……..are very disturbed and even having these people present in the Congregation can influence for the worst, let alone the symbols and scrawlings.
    Not all mentally disturbed people are unintelligent or uneducated, and many simpler folk can be influenced and unsettled by what they deem as ‘superior’ intellect.

    It is a pity that Freemasons have such a lot of secrecy and exclusiveness surrounding them. This gives rise to suspicion and doubt, and I am sure that there are some very well meaning young men who have joined to follow family tradition without a clue as to what they are joining or why.

    Building on sand.
    Very dodgy ground.

    (My earlier post btw should have read Good News and not Godd News – sorry about that.
    I shall have to check the editing first in future.)

  81. Allan S. says:

    Questions:

    1) As Canon law forbids joining such an association, and not merely being a member, what is the status of a Catholic who was received into the church AFTER becomming a Mason? Such a man does not appear to have violated the section.

    2) What steps should a Mason take to remove whatever sanction he may have incurred by reason of Masonic membership?

    I think this information would be helpful to add to this thread, as it may be referenced now or in the future by someone looking for practical advice. Where I live, a great many Phillipino men are both Masons and Catholics. This is all news to me.

    Thank you.

  82. Latriagiver says:

    Maria:

    I think you misinterpreted my general comment….

    People who think that Masonic imagery is “fluff” are dead wrong. Evil works in may ways. This is one of them. If they think that Masonry and its imagery does not have a supernatural affect on its surroundings, then what would be the purpose of placing them in the Church, unless to counter or affect Good. Masonry is one of those hidden twisted evils…..

    I am not sure what to make of the rest of your conclusion….

  83. Latriagiver says:

    Fr. Z: [It would be interesting to chat with him about this.]

    The Associate Pastor (who found the symbols) was soon removed and sent to a “priest rehabilitation place” in Maryland for “disobiedience.” (matters concerning the EF he was not allowed to say) interesting that a newly ordained priest of only 6 months would need to be rehabilitated. Go figure…… Symbols did not want to be found.

    He was Father “last name”, now that he has returned he is Father “first name”. ……… if you get my drift.

  84. Limerickman says:

    Albizzi,
    The words “traditional” and “priest” do not make a person infallible….where you got the information online…http://www.huttongibson.com/PDFs/Paul-VI-Beatified-Book.pdf is more a reason to disbelieve it. Mel Gibson’s father is not known for his devotion to reasoned thought.
    While Popes have been great sinners in the past, it is unlikely that one who bears the title Blessed along with his name (John XXIII) and the other Paul VI who was known to wear a hairshirt throughout his pontificate, that either men would have been members of a secret society such as the Freemasons. I might also add that the Masons in Europe for years claimed Blessed Pope Pius IX as one of their own….its what you call disinformation….its used to dishearten believers.
    I have no trouble in believing that some lodges of Grand-Orient Freemasonry have kept the atheistic spirit of the French Revelution very much alive in the institutions of Europe and the Eurozone area. By the way membership in England is falling through the floor at present, in an effort to increase memberships they have been inviting camera crews into the Grand Lodges of England and Ireland, to film what goes on.

  85. M.D.R. says:

    randomcatholic,

    You mentioned that it would do well to study Masonry’s role in the persecution of Catholics in Mexico. Do you think that Masonry still has a direct influence in Mexico? My hope is that that influence has lessened over the last century.
    I don’t know much about the Masonic situation in Mexico, especially nowadays, but I did read Rev. Fr. Francis Clement Kelley’s book called a few years ago, called, “Blood-Drenched Altars: A Catholic Commentary on the History of Mexico.” (Tan books)

    Part of the description on the back of the book says…”Spain ruled Mexico–1521-1821–she raised that country and her native peoples to equality with the Europeans–in religion, education, and opportunity and produced in the process a flourishing and prosperous Catholic civilization, complete with colleges, universities, hospitals, orphanages and institutions for the care of the poor. But the book goes on to show how all this was swept away in the wanton devastation of the great Masonic revolution, which lasted from 1810 to 1928, which had but one peaceful interlude
    of 35 years (1876-1911) during the rule of strongman Porfirio Diaz. The result of the revolution is that Mexico, despite her rich resources and former prosperity, became abjectly poor; that Mexico, despite her population’s being almost all Catholic, was forced to suffer under an anti-Catholic government.”

    randomcatholic, have you read this book, and do agree with its claims? I found the book to be fascinating, but have not seen this info anywhere else. There are many disturbing things in this book relating to freemasonry, if they are true. Thanks for any feedback you can give.

  86. Supertradmum says:

    AnAmericanMother and Andy Lucy,

    Because I am best friends with an exorcist, for whom I pray, and have heard many lectures on exorcism, and because one of my best friends married into a masonic family and had to deal with spiritual problems, I can assure you that there are specific demons associated with masonry and also that there are and have been in the recent past in the state of Illinois, rituals involving the denouncing of Christ and desecration of both the Bible and Papal symbols. If these things were not present in the lodges with which you are familiar, I say that you are merely fortunate. These rituals were part of the original masonic levels, and do exist. None of this is hearsay. I regret your doubting and being open-minded as to the serious evil which is part of masonry. As I suggested above, consult your local exorcist.

    As to Mozart, I threw away my favorite opera many years ago, The Magic Flute, on discovering the masonic symbols, philosophy and connection with the cult. (I was much younger when I feel in love with this and was naive.) It was a hard sacrifice, as the Aria by the Queen of the Knight is one of the most beautiful in all opera. However, one must be sensitive to the roots of art. Listening to something over and over, just like reading bad books over and over, destroy one’s sensitivities to the Holy Spirit.

  87. Supertradmum says:

    TJerome,

    Masons are not small and ineffective. One of my friends in the g
    Government of Iowa told me years ago that in order to be in the state patrol and other protection agencies of the state and cities, including the police forces, it was de regueur that one joined the masons and/0r shriners. I asked a state patrolman in my area and his answer was that “there are a lot of masons” in the protection ranks.

  88. Maria says:

    Latriagiver,

    Hello again. I am sorry I was not very clear. I do relise that you were pointing out how very serious this situation is.
    I pointed out your quote meaning to say that the person/s who did/do this kind of thing are at very worst, with malicious intent to harm Gods’ Church and Community.
    What they did by scripting on The Holy Crucifix is at worst, with evil intent, and at least, being severely disturbed persons.

    Either way they can have an adverse effect on the Community.
    Both ways, there is a lack of respect for Our Lord and His people, and at the very least, a lack of respect for Church property.

    I believe that the ‘intent’ of a possessed person is what carries the evil strength in the deed, not the scrawl itself, and the enemy knows that evil spirits can have a bad efffect on the victim/s and surrounding persons targeted for attack. I really do not think of it as fluff.

    I do believe the persons concerned and the articles vandalised need to be exorcised.

    When I said building on sand, I was thinking of the wise man building on The Rock, The Church, and the foolish man building on sand, a worldly organisation of mortals and their errors in the hope of gaining business success and power.

    As to reference to those who innocently join, I think that there are a number of young men who do not realise at the first instance what they are getting into.

    Hope that makes sense.

  89. albizzi says:

    Limerickman,
    You are not very well informed. There is an official story of Paul VI’s pontificate and a hidden one that sometimes is hair raising. All the informations given by Fr Villa in his book are well backed from certified sources that everyone may check and control, or official declarations of the pope himself.
    If anything in these books was false or contrary to the truth, the Vatican would have easily suspended and banned Fr Villa forever from the Church and a judicial action undertaken to stop priting the book. Instead Fr Villa send it to almost all the bishops of Italy and to a lot of them elsewhere. Any reaction from the Vatican? none. The only unofficial comments Fr Villa got was that the way to the beatification was definitively barred to Paul VI due to this book.
    Has anyone ever heard about the reopening of the beatification cause of Paul VI?
    Instead to talk about things you don’t know but only through official thurifers, I recommend you to read the book from huttongibson.com (that’s the only english version I found since I read it in Italian from another site) and make your opinion by yourself.
    I want to add that beatifications are not infallible. Only canonizations are, although the recent ones made under JPII are a bit flawed since that Pope himself ordered to cancel the Devil’s advocate work in the beatification and canonization trials.
    Another interesting source besides Fr Villa’s is given by an interview of Mrs Von Hildebrand (the wife of the theologian Dietrich Von Hildebrand) to latinmassmagazine.org where she speaks about the late Card. Gagnon who was entrusted to make a report about the FM in the Church. Fr Villa took a part in this report which Paul VI declined even to touch it.

  90. capchoirgirl says:

    Re: Mozart

    I think the good father was saying Mozart in connection with *liturgy*, yes? So we could keep The Magic Flute and the Queen of the Night’s aria, but not, say, the Requiem or any of his Masses, in a church setting. In a concert setting, that’s different.

  91. Supertradmum says:

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Catholics-Cannot-Be-Masons/dp/0895558815/ref=pd_sim_b_8

    Andy Lucy,
    I am concerned that there seems to be confusion about this. Where there is confusion, there is evil. There is occult in the pagan rituals, all which are connected to demons. anti-Catholic and involved in occultist rituals. The truths of masonry are in direct contradiction to Christianity, and specifically Catholicism. I am sorry that you either are not revealing what I know are true and occultist rituals, or for some reason, your lodge did not do the same rituals as Scottish Rite, which is the big rite in my area. If your York Rite is so different, I am very glad for you, as you escaped from some very spiritually dangerous levels of evil.

    As I noted in the reference to Mozart, one can dull one’s conscience by being engaged in something over and over in contrary ideas. Such levels of masonry and the concordant rituals can dull someone’s conscience. One, for example, must renounce the oaths taken while a mason and go to Confession.

    Andy, can you discuss the desire for a one-world religion and one-world government, which is part of the Scottish Rite?

  92. Lori Pieper says:

    Albizzi,

    “All the informations given by Fr Villa in his book are well backed from certified sources that everyone may check and control, or official declarations of the pope himself.”

    I checked out this book on the link you gave and noted that while there are footnote numbers in the text, there are absolutely no footnotes. So much for being able to check the sources! Does the Italian version actually have footnotes and is it available online? Have you ever checked out the footnotes yourself to see if the information was credible?

    Apart from the lack of footnotes, the work is filled with incredible lapses in logic, twisted interpretations of known facts, and rampant nonsense. I don’t think the footnotes are going to help it much. Then there is the question of the virulent anti-Semitism spread through the work.

    By the way, if you claim to be faithful to the Church and not a sedevacantist, why are you spreading so much time spreading the opinions of Gibson, who apparently IS a sedevacanist? I think that anyone who claims to be a faithful Catholic would know enough to stay away from the likes of him.

    Given the fact that many many utterly faithless so-called “Catholic” Catholic politicians have never been given the boot, I don’t think the fact that Fr. Villa has not been excommunicated is worth much.

    You’re skating on thin ice with all of this stuff.

  93. Andy Lucy says:

    Supertradmum… you are working on secondary and tertiary information. I base my statements on primary observation and participation. There is no “… denouncing of Christ and desecration of both the Bible and Papal symbols…” in any of the Lodges, Consistories, Councils or Commanderies which I had the opportunity to visit… over 150. Many was the time I went to Lodges in Illinois… never once saw what you describe. Sorry… but your secondhand and thirdhand fallacious tales do not jive with what I saw with my own eyes.

    Now, as to your assertion that I am a liar… ” I am sorry that you either are not revealing what I know are true and occultist rituals…” I would simply state that you have no clue as to that about which you speak. I have no reason to lie. I denounce Freemasonry as incompatible with the Faith. As to whether the rituals you claim to have heard about in a secondary or tertiary manner occur in ANY Lodge in the United States… it is possible, but incredibly unlikely. I am familiar with the rituals of several different Grand Lodges, Commanderies and Councils, and none of them even vaguely or obliquely hint at the tripe you posit. As a historian, your data are unsubstantiated by primary evidence. Sorry… it is what it is.

    As I stated numerous times, Freemasonry is not compatible with Catholicism. Period. The naturalistic philosophy and indifferentism are the reason. The silly things you proffer as reality are the product of a feverish imagination.

    Cast your mind back the the 19th century. In 1836, there was a book published entitled “Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, or, The Hidden Secrets of a Nun’s Life in a Convent Exposed.” It provided lurid examples of the horrible atrocities committed by priests upon the nuns of Montreal. Everyone who had any sense KNEW these allegations HAD to be true… after all… Popism was evil and would send anyone connected to it to hell. Why would such a brave lady lie about it?

    Everyone here knows that book was a load of codswallop… she was a brain damaged girl who was manipulated by anti-Catholic bigots. So are the charges you make, based not upon your own observation and investigation, but upon the word of others… who, I would be willing to bet my last shilling, never set foot inside a Lodge, let alone worked through the degrees. Sensationalist tripe does nothing to further your case against Freemasonry, and in fact, damages the case against Freemasonry made by opponents such as myself, in that people will hear your far-fetched tales and then begin to wonder if the people who denounce the Craft based on more, shall we say, logical and proveable grounds, are also lying. It helps no one but the Freemasons, who can point to your statements as demonstrations of the blind hatred of an organization of which you have zero first hand knowledge.

    The Freemasons, as an organization, are dying out. Younger men are not interested in sitting around a Lodgeroom and memorizing arcane rituals. 50 years ago, there were numerous Masons in government service, in many agencies. Today, not so much. I was usually the youngest member in any of the Lodges I visited, usually by a few decades. Lodges are closing and amalgamating all over the country. In my small area alone, where 100 years ago there were 8 Lodges, there are now 2.

    I am not going to post any further responses to this thread. I have said all that can be said. If people wish to continue to condemn Freemasonry for things they don’t actually do, feel free. Knock yourselves out. But calling me a liar does not diminish one whit what I have stated as the observations of my own eyes. Y’all have fun, now!!

  94. albizzi says:

    Lori Pieper,
    The whole and complete book in Italian is available here: http://www.mariamadremia.net/index/Paolo%20VI…%20beato%20it.pdf.
    I don’t have any connection with that Gibson. I found the book available in english on his site, which I visited for the 1st time ever, for your convenience.
    If you understand italian certainly this will help; Traduttore, traditore.
    The papacy of Paul VI was devasting. One understands well why through this book.
    I acknowledge that it may be sometimes shocking. Truth is sometimes hard to swallow while ignorance is a soft pillow.
    If I skate on thin ice, maybe you are like an ostrich with the head in the sand
    Did you read Dr Hildebrand’s interview?

    If I skate on thin ice, you are like an ostrich with the head in the sand

  95. PostCatholic says:

    This was an amusing read. I wish your questioner very good luck in making the clergy force an old man choose between his church and his drinking pals.

  96. TJerome says:

    Supertradmum, the Freemasons, in Chicago are a mere gnat. However, fake Catholics like Senator Durbin and Governor Quinn, both rabidly pro-abortion Dems are not. When the Church excommunicates this scum, I will take it’s position on Freemasons seriously. Until then, it’s like killing the gnat while ignoring the evil 900 pound Gorilla. The Church in this instance, is DEAD WRONG. It has lost it’s moral compass in terms of what is truly evil. The Democratic Party is the very embodiment of evil. Only fake Catholics think otherwise.

  97. AnAmericanMother says:

    Andy Lucy,

    I believe you.

    What you say comports with my observations, which are admittedly at second hand because my grandfathers and grandfather-in-law never disclosed any confidential information. But they were all Southern gentlemen in the best sense of the word and good churchgoing men — one Presbyterian, one Episcopalian, and one Methodist — who would never had had anything to do with anything the least bit fishy, let alone as nefarious as some are claiming.

    I still have my paternal grandfather’s Templar sword. It’s a lovely piece of elaborate late 19th century steel and enamel work, with his name engraved on the blade and a silver inlaid hilt with ivory grip. Hope there’s not some lingering demonic curse associated with it

  98. Could someone please clarify something for me? My mother’s co-worker is a freemason (non-Catholic) who is engaged to marry a Catholic woman. They intend on having a Catholic nuptial mass. Does the groom-to-be have to renounce his association with the masons before the wedding, even if he has to intent to convert? I asked my pastor, a Franciscan, but he sort of skirted around the situation. Thanks!

  99. Supertradmum says:

    Andy Lucy,

    I must state that there is a discrepancy between what at least two exorcists have stated and your testimony. I can only say that your experience did not cover all lodges. I believe a fully appointed exorcist, and what I am relating is not based on hearsay, but serious discussions and prayers for those who have suffered masonic connections, leading to demonic problems in their families and extended families

    I am very glad you did not experience these things. God bless you.

  100. Supertradmum says:

    TJerome,

    I am a happy GOP member. There are many types of evil. As to influence, hidden or overt, we must pray and be vigilant.

  101. PostCatholic says:

    http://www.shrinershq.org/ShrinersHQ/LadyDeanna/

    Interesting. Someone should write the bishop of St Catherine’s, Ontario and ask him to tell this lady how raising money to operate hyperbaric chambers is the work of Satan. Also, probably someone should tell Satan his minions are running burn centers. Where there’s fire, you know? there’s usually smoke.

  102. Supertradmum says:

    from the Catholic Encyclopedia online:
    The Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just vengeance on these “high criminals” for the murder of Molay [128] and “as the apostle of truth and the rights of man” [129] to deliver mankind “from the bondage of Despotism and the thraldom of spiritual Tyranny”. [130] “In most rituals of this degree everything breathes vengeance” against religious and political “Despotism”. [131] Thus Masonic symbols are said to be “radiant of ideas, which should penetrate the soul of every Mason and be clearly reflected in his character and conduct, till he become a pillar of strength to the fraternity”. [132] “There is no iota of Masonic Ritual”, adds the “Voice” of Chicago, “which is void of significance”. [133] These interpretations, it is true, are not officially adopted in Anglo-American craft rituals; but they appear in fully authorized, though not the only ones authorized even by its system and by the first two articles of the “Old Charge” (1723), which contains the fundamental law of Freemasonry. As to the unsectarian character of Masonry and its symbolism, Pike justly remarks: “Masonry propagates no creed, except its own most simple and sublime one taught by Nature and Reason. There has never been a false Religion on the world. The permanent one universal revelation is written in visible Nature and explained by the Reason and is completed by the wise analogies of faith. There is but one true religion, one dogma, one legitimate belief”. [134] Consequently, also, the Bible as a Masonic symbol, is to be interpreted as a symbol of the Book of Nature or of the Code of human reason and conscience, while Christian and other dogmas have for Freemasonry but the import of changing symbols veiling the one permanent truth, of which Masonic “Science” and “Arts” are a “progressive revelation”, and application. [135

  103. ejcmartin says:

    A couple of points to add to this rather long comment thread. My father-in-law at one time when my wife was young would march off his family to Mass every week. Now he makes fun of my sons’ “talisman” around their necks (brown scapular) and likes to tell me that Christmas is a pagan ritual etc. In the meanwhile he had become a freemason. I cannot say about satanic ritual etc. but masonry undoubtedly had a part in his move from the Church.
    A second point is that a local dinner theatre recently purchased the old “masonic hall” to use for their productions. The owners and staff had experienced so many odd and eerie events they called in the local “paranormal society” to investigate, which was front page news in our local paper.

  104. PostCatholic says:

    And here I thought it had to do with silly hats being reserved to the clergy, Supertradmum.

    I think a simple application of Ockham’s razor to the problem of a faithful Catholic geezer drinking beers and talking sports in an old meeting hall with protestant geezers will lead one to conclude whatever spiritual threat consipiraloons at the dawn of the last century thought of Masonry, it’s an unlikely quarter for specific spiritual dangers to your Church. Organizations grow and change, and the pensioners in the Masons are responsible for a lot useful charity. Perhaps that’s why the Bishop on the Niagara peninsula is thinking by having the leaders of the Shriners as communicants in his Cathedral.

  105. Supertradmum says:

    PostCatholic,

    I shall pray for your bishop. Shriners are covered in the Canon Law as well as the youth groups connected to masonry. I suggest you look at the excellent YouTube listed above by one of the commentators.

  106. nanetteclaret says:

    Supertradmum –

    I believe you. Just because others have not experienced what you describe, does not mean that it doesn’t happen in other instances. For one thing, anyone who has read the Bible, and takes it seriously, should know that paying homage to anything or anyone other than the One True God is breaking the First Commandment, and nothing good can come of it. The fact that it is all so secretive shows that people can be involved and not even know the true meaning of what they are doing. Why any Christian would have anything to do with a group that uses symbols from ancient Egypt, among other things, boggles my mind. Anyone who has read the Book of Exodus should know to run as fast as possible from this organization.

  107. Supertradmum says:

    Thank you. What is unseen is more deceitful than what is seen.

  108. PostCatholic says:

    Supertradmum, I’m not from Ontario, but Washington DC, and I do not have a bishop.

  109. JCCMADD says:

    A few years back while reading a obit in the local paper I read that this poor soul die and was having a funreal mass and a mason pray service at one of the local Cathloic churches. I to this day can not understand what is going on. I know today in many of these N.O. parrishes anything goes WE MUST NOT OFFENED ANYBOBY. And I was offened by this ,what about my feels!

  110. Rich says:

    Allan S.,

    I cannot answer your questions directly, but I can speak to them in general.

    The Declaration above is brief in nature on purpose, because when such statements start going into detail, the idea may be implicitly conveyed that details not included may be exceptions to the rule. I don’t think the statement that “the faithful who enroll in Masonic associations and are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion” is supposed to be interpreted so strictly that one may engage in before-after, “but what if” scenarios, like, “but what if I was a Mason before and THEN became a Catholic, AH-HA! The statement doesn’t address THAT, does it?” You basically may not be Catholic and Mason at the same time, and this is articulated by the same statement by which any loopholes are hopefully proscribed: “membership in them [Masonic associations] remains forbidden.” So you basically can’t be Masonic and Catholic at the same time, no matter whether you were first Catholic or first Masonic. On a side note, I would personally doubt that the scenario you ask about would apply to any of your Filipino friends: correct me if I am wrong, but they were most likely Catholic first, right?

    Second, I would guess that one need only not consider himself a Mason anymore, internally renouncing his Masonic membership, and go to confession to confess any activity involved with the Masons (attending a lodge meeting, formally acting as a Mason in some event sponsored by them) after having learned one cannot be Masonic and Catholic at the same time, to “get out” of being Mason. I have known men in this situation, and what they heard from Masons has been different; Masons had told them that you can never not be a Mason anymore once you become one. As an example, Masons had compared it to being baptized Catholic, which has certain effects the Church teaches can never be undone, and that basically that one is “always Catholic” in a sense once baptized Catholic. This is a bad comparison, though, because being Mason entails only corporate membership with a group of people, whereas being baptized entails both a corporate membership within the Catholic Church -AND- an ontological change (change of one’s created being) within the soul of the individual (certain effects of original sin are washed away from the soul forever). Masonic membership effects no ontological change within the individual. Even if one considers the death of the soul of a fully aware, gravely sinning Catholic an ontological change, but this can be remedied by confession, anyway.

    There is a simple way of explaining the difficulty of being a Mason and a Catholic at the same time. You are basically renouncing your Catholic faith once you become a Mason because in becoming a Mason or in retaining membership as a Mason, you profess what is held by them: that one only has to believe that God is the “Divine Architect” of the universe, and that there is an afterlife. As a Catholic one needs to believe more than just these two things (see, for example, the Creed). You or your friends may have never heard this because what the Masons say one has to profess are usually morphed into whatever makes themselves sound as inclusive as possible. If none of this applies to the situation of anyone you know, then someone in the situation you describe should at least acknowledge the authority of the Church in this matter and not let himself be fooled by any Masons who in effect tell him that “once you go Mason, you can never go back”.

  111. Latter-day Guy says:

    It was a hard sacrifice, as the Aria by the Queen of the Knight [sic] is one of the most beautiful in all opera.

    Well, Supertradmum, I am neither Catholic nor Masonic, but as a musician I can tell you that the foregoing has shattered whatever vestiges of credibility you may have had. The aria in question is difficult and showy, but “one of the most beautiful in all opera”? Puh-leeez. It’s not even in the top 50. Anyway, I’ve got to get back to desecrating papal tiaras and summoning demons — erm — “Dove sono.” Now that’s an aria!

  112. Supertradmum says:

    Dear Latter-day Guy,

    http://www.abc.net.au/classic/classic100/opera.htm

    De gustibus non disputandum est

  113. AnAmericanMother says:

    Depends I guess on whether you prefer Singspiel or Italian opera.

    I’m sure I’m weird, but Zauberflöte is my favorite opera (probably because I don’t speak Italian but do speak German). Although I prefer “Tremble not my dear son” to “Hell’s vengeance cooks in my heart,” and the Papageno/Pamina duet “With those who feel love” or the Two Armored Men to either, the sheer difficulty factor of the Queen’s part has to command respect.

  114. Allan S. says:

    Rich:

    Thank you. So, if I understand then, the situation is remedied simply by renouncing Masonic membership fully and going to confession? If so, it sounds simple enough. I guess I was wondering if some higher authority was needed to repair/lift what I now understand to be a self-imposed excommunication.

    Thanks for answering the question,

    Allan

  115. TJerome says:

    The Democratic Party is still a greater threat to the Faith than the Freemasons since it actively works to promote abortion and to divide Catholics on the issue. Look no further than the “Magesterium of Nuns.”

  116. AnAmericanMother says:

    And, by the way, if anybody wants to view an absolutely stellar (if somewhat truncated) version of Zauberflöte, the Ingmar Bergman version is outstanding (look for the Seventh Seal joke, it’s there . . . ) If you know the German version well it will throw you for a loop because it’s sung in Swedish, but it is still beautiful. Wonderful singers (who knew that Sweden had so many talented singers? Nordin’s Queen of the Night can stand with Popp or Damrau) good acting (especially from Hågegård as Papageno) and of course multilayered intelligent direction by Bergman – much more playful and self-deprecating than usual.

  117. Latter-day Guy says:

    “De gustibus non disputandum est.”

    Just further evidence of the destructive influence of relativism! Seriously, though, everyone is entitled to his/her artistic opinion… (however wrong they might be). ;-)