Pope Francis, Freemasonry, 2017

I had a bit of a “WHOA!” moment.

First, let me say that I really like what Nick Donnelly is doing at the UK wing of EWTN online.

Next, let me say that we must not underestimate the evil influence in the Church of true Freemasonry.  In these USA we have club-like offshoots of Freemasonry which are not like their European counterparts.  Also, Catholics are specifically forbidden to belong to any masonic sect or group or offshoot, what have you.  FORBIDDEN.  A prime objective of Freemasonry is destruction of the Catholic Church.  Holy Church explicitly imposed the penalty of excommunication on Catholics who become Freemasons (cf 1917 Code of Canon Law can. 2335).  The 1983 Code can. 1374 doesn’t explicitly mention Freemasonry or excommunication, but it clearly means that Catholics cannot join such groups: “Can. 1374 – A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”  However, on 26 November 1983, just before the promulgation of the 1983 revision of the Code, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement with a clear indication: “The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”  HERE

Now, back to something Donnelly published at EWTN UK.  Read this and get to the place where I had my “WHOA!” moment.  Meanwhile, my emphases:

Pope ordered Card. Burke to clean out Freemasons from the Knights of Malta

It has emerged that during a meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke in November about the scandal of the Knights of Malta distributing condoms and oral contraceptives in Africa, the Holy Father instructed Cardinal Burke to “clean out” Freemasonry from the order. [This is great, if true, but it isn’t the WHOA! yet.] The Holy Father gave this order to Cardinal Burke in his role as patron of the Knights of Malta by papal appointment.

The Vatican journalist Edward Pentin revealed details of Pope Francis’s concerns about the influence of the Freemasons on the Knights of Malta:

Hopes that the contraceptive scandal would be addressed came on Nov. 10, when Cardinal Burke was received in private audience by Pope Francis. During that meeting, the Register has learned, the Pope was “deeply disturbed” by what the cardinal told him about the contraceptive distribution. The Pope also made it clear to Cardinal Burke that he wanted Freemasonry “cleaned out” from the order, and he demanded appropriate action. The concern was followed up by a Dec. 1 letter to Cardinal Burke, in which the Register has learned that the Holy Father underlined the cardinal’s constitutional duty to promote the spiritual interests of the order and remove any affiliation with groups or practices that run contrary to the moral law.

Edward Pentin reports that Pope Francis was “deeply disturbed”[Pentin is the best working English language vaticanista these days.] by the evidence concerning Malteser International’s distribution of condoms and oral contraceptives in the Far East and Africa during the tenure of Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, a German Knight of Malta.  Boeselager was dismissed as grand chancellor following an internal investigation by the Knights of Malta. It is not clear why Pope Francis specifically identified Freemasonry as a problem in his response to the evidence presented by Cardinal Burke during the November meeting.

Pope Francis has previously criticized the destructive influence of the Freemasons and their hostility towards the Church. During his address to young people during his apostolic visit to Turin the Holy Father [Francis… not B16 or JP2…] spoke about “Masonic, hardcore anticlericals and Satanists“:

At the end of the 19th century there were the worst conditions for young people’s development: freemasonry was in full swing, not even the Church could do anything, there were priest haters, there were also Satanists…. It was one of the worst moments and one of the worst places in the history of Italy. However, if you would like to do a nice homework assignment, go and find out how many men and women saints were born during that time. Why? Because they realized that they had to go against the tide with respect to the culture, to that lifestyle. [I wonder if  that will result for the children born into our times and through what hellish crucible they will have to pass.]

It was during his in-flight press interview in July 2013 that Pope Francis first expressed his concerns about the influence of Freemasons on the Church:

“The problem is not having this [homosexual] orientation. No, we must be brothers and sisters. The problem is lobbying for this orientation, or lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me.”


2017 marks the 300th anniversary of the foundation of Freemasonry with the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in London. [WHOA!]


How many portent-laden anniversaries is that for 2017?

In retrospect, I knew that date for the foundation of modern Freemasonry in England, but it hadn’t bubbled up to the surface until now.

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. chantgirl says:

    500th anniversary of the Reformation
    300th anniversary of masonic temple
    100th anniversary of Fatima

    I keep repeating, if God does decide to give us some shock-and-awe type chastisement, faithful Catholics will have no reason to be surprised, and no excuses for not praying/sacrificing more.

  2. jaykay says:

    Fr. Z: “How many portent-laden anniversaries is that for 2017?”

    I’ve read that in 1917 Italian Masons paraded triumphantly in Rome, to mark the bi-centenary, including banners depicting Lucifer trampling St. Michael. Apparently St. Maximilian Kolbe witnessed this and it spurred him to found the Militia Immaculatae.

  3. Joseph-Mary says:

    Well the dubia had not been made public yet, had it? Of course it was sent privately and ignored. But if all this is true, was it a set up? Some folks might think the present action against Malta looks like retaliation…

  4. FarmerBrawn says:

    Something is fishy here. Cardinal Sarah says he was encouraged to continue the reform of the reform and then gets a papal smack down. Now Freemasonry with Cardinal Burke – or at least that’s what is being alluded to.

    Regardless the problem is Modernism and it is so pervasive you can’t pick out one secret society or country whatever any more.

    And yes, I do believe there is an asteroid or super volcano or solar storm with our name on it whenever God is about full up with insults and the most merciful thing to do is set the record straight.

  5. DeGaulle says:

    Howdy, Father Z, and thank you for another mind-boggling article. Just when we’re all in despair that Pope Francis is a full-on liberal, we get something like this. I am particularly intrigued with the Pope’s differentiation between those whose being is as homosexuals (whom we’ve always had) and those who ‘lobby’ for these things.

    This is the 300th anniversary of the first Grand Lodge. Consequently, the year of foundation was 1717-does this represent a doubling-down? Is there something about the number ’17’?

  6. LeeF says:

    For all that he gets wrong in our eyes, the Holy Father sure does get a lot of stuff right. Stuff that the giddy Fishwrap crew downplays and ignores. We must pray harder for him, and perform mortifications as Father recently recommended, so that the Holy Spirit will guide him rightly in all things and be heard.

    Re the KoM itself, what kind of organization do people expect when the main criteria are faded noble lineages/prominence and giving large sums to the Church in order to get in? The criteria sure aren’t humility and faithful adherence to Church teachings.

  7. JustaSinner says:

    300th anniversary of Freemasonry and the average age of a Freemason/Shriner is 69.3 in the US. Way to Go Pope Francis, give these old geezers some free press and infect the millennial idiots with a sense of ‘taboo’, guaranteeing the increase in this old guy fraternal order. LET IT DIE…on average 2 masonic lodges close per month. How desperate are Freemasons for members? Their ‘official’ name is Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; hence any race touched by slavery–blacks and Jews–have been banned for ever. (Prince Hall excluded) Until now…black freemasons are turning some lodges around attendance wise.
    Just. Let. Them. Die. Off.
    Then again, I don’t doubt ulterior motives in Francis on this one.

  8. Plebs Sancta Dei says:

    This is confusing. The only explanation I have come up with that explains the thought patterns and actions of our Holy Father and the liberal cadre of prelates who are pushing their nefarious agenda is freemasonry and the global elite plan to destroy everything we know to be True. But freemasons would not try to “clean out” the freemasons, right?

  9. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    “Can. 1374 – A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”

    Democrat party?

  10. Mike says:

    Baffling. One of the Satanic influences spread by Freemasonry is the indifferentism against which Pope St. Pius X and other courageous anti-Modernists stood so steadfastly — and which has spread like wildfire since Nostra aetate‘s equivocation regarding non-Catholic “religions,” the abrogation by Paul VI of the Oath against Modernism, and the general postconciliar deprecation of the Great Commission, including by the current Pope himself.

  11. Jann says:

    I followed the link to EWTN’s UK website and was rather dismayed to see the way the news story “Divorced & remarried can receive communion if “at peace with God”, say Maltese bishops” was presented. The photo and presentation, stating how “the bishops of Malta have abrogated the following binding magisterial documents of the Catholic Church.” could possibly leave those not well catechized or deeply committed thinking that the actions of the Maltese bishops are within their rights, especially as the perennial teaching of the Church is only offered in a “Comment” at the end of the article by quoting a statement by Cardinal Burke in a recent interview. Very understated but perhaps too much so for the general population to which EWTN is directed.

  12. Fr., this couldn’t be a ploy (God forbid!) to further isolate Card. Burke, could it? Give a man a job that cannot be done and then blame him for not doing it? Afterall Freemasonry is a secret ‘brotherhood’, they do not wear distinctive badges or gather in public places for all to see. Even if someone steps forward to say they are a former mason and can identify other masons how can we know they are telling the truth? One would need masonic documents (which could be forged!) or some concrete evidence. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial, to see the evidence against him and to face his accusers. The Freemasons are not going to hand over their own whether clerics or lay. The matter of the condoms was a practical matter with records and witnesses. When it comes to this alleged presence of masons among the knighs I wonder how the good Cardinal can carry out this investigation?

  13. Jann says:

    This morning I read the news story about what is being headlined as “Italy’s Worst Cyberespionage Ever” at pcworld. According to the article: “Judging by the targets, mostly in financial and Freemason environments, the two probably wanted to use the obtained information to gain insider information for Westland Securities’ business and raise Giulio Occhionero’s profile in the Freemasons.” One of targets, was Cardinal Ravasi who last year called for dialogue between the Church and Freemasonry.
    (See — http://www.pcworld.com/article/3157524/security/siblings-arrested-in-italys-worst-cyberespionage-operation-ever.html#tk.rss_all )

    One can only hope that some sort of leak or collection of leaks in the future will expose all those freemasons in the Vatican, at the present time and even in the past.

  14. servulus indignus Christi says:

    Dear Priest of Christ, Fr. Z.

    I’m glad for the whoa moment, but I’m slowly drifting from your website over some matters of which this is indicative. Many other traditional leaning sites that share news and commentary have been mentioning this fact for months (some even years) now!

    Anyhow, I’m glad your readership will now be aware of it as well.

  15. ChesterFrank says:

    Then according to Can.1374 I cannot register as a Democrat either ;-)

  16. aliceinstpaul says:

    This may sound stupid, but since I obediently avoid Freemasonry I don’t read about it on the web or go ask Freemasons what they do.

    What’s the purpose of Freemasonry? Why have lodges and guilds and little groups? Islam seems to be an invention based on some heresies and mistranslations of Christianity, ultimately a creation of the Devil, but at the human-political level, it was created to justify certain leaders having complete control (Mohammed being entirely an invention for that purpose) over their subjects.

    But what’s the goal for Freemasonry? Is/Was it specifically created just to oppose the Church? To make a group of men who aspire to be gods?

    Do they worship Satan?

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    Not buying it. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    This posting is right up my alley…I have been studying the Knights of Malta since 2011 and have written three novels, two which have been published, on the infiltration of Freemasonry into the Knights of Malta. The second novel, which has not yet been published, goes into more detail as to the French connections, which includes Napoleon. But the rot set into the Knights very early on in the 1700s. Three of my novels which are historical fiction deal with the fall of the Knights and Masonry.

    Do not think this is not true. There is enough historical evidence for the fact, which I write about especially in my second novel, as to the infiltration of the Freemasons into the Knights.

    Please pray I can get the second one published when I finally finish it….the details I put into the novels concerning certain non-fictional people, have been documented.

    Years ago, I discovered that there were many Freemasons in the Knights. This is not a ploy by the Pope, but a real, serious problem. Yes, one can pretend to be very Catholic and be worshiping Satan at the same time.

    In addition, I belong to a Third Order which prays for the Doloran Fathers, who make up an order of exorcists. We pray prayers specifically against the Masonic Curse with people who are under this, which happens when someone enters into the Masons…and this becomes a generational spirit. There are many demons involved in Freemasonry. The Masonic Knights were part of the reason the Knights failed in Malta. It is the goal of Masonry to destroy the Church. The prayers we pray are only done with a physical witness and are not online. If one is interested, one may contact me on facebook messenger. Do not use prayers online….do not.

    Read my two books for a start and watch Michael Voris’ best FBI on the history of Masonry…he does not cover all the stuff, but some…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86GrvQRThSk

    In addition, years ago, in 2013, when I was staying with friends in Ireland, I watched the entire debate in the Oireachtas on the abortion bill. After it was rammed through, I asked God how this could have happened. Then, I fell asleep praying. I had a vivid dream of the inside of a building and a huge bouquet of yellow roses. When I woke up, I was perplexed, but knew the dream was an answer to my prayer. I went to a friend and described the dream to him, a good trad Catholic man, and he was instantly shocked…He had the interpretation. He turned on his computer and showed me the Dublin Masonic Temple…the members not only were have a yellow rose sale, but the same room I had seen in my dream was on the website. I asked my friend where this temple was…he told me it was a mere six blocks from my room.

    I knew then who was behind the pushing of the abortion bill in Ireland–the Irish Masons, and some are “Catholic”, but, of course, automatically excommunicated.

    These are all part of a plan to bring down the authority of the Church and to create chaos, on purpose…

    I highly suggest reading my novels as an introduction to this problem. It is and has been real….

  19. un-ionized says:

    Justasinner, AF&AM has nothing to do with slavery or not. I know many Jewish Freemasons. I am speaking as someone from an American Masonic family who is fully informed of their beliefs, rituals, etc.

  20. Tamquam says:

    DeGaulle: the word “lobby” in Italian can be translated “cabal”.

    I am surprised. I knew about the prohibition on Masonry. I also know that there is a like prohibition on Catholics being Communists instituted, if memory serves, by Pius XII and re-affirmed by John XXIII. That would also be covered by Can. 1374 as well. But nobody talks about this, yet Marxism of various stripes abounds and prospers right under our noses. The Pope himself seems to support some aspects of cultural Marxism. I suspect that the Masons and the Marxists have thoroughly penetrated each other’s organizations the point that they are the same thing for all practical intents and purposes. Is the Pope, then good with one form of devil spawn and opposed to another?

  21. Moro says:

    Sorry, but I don’t buy this story. The same pope who gave us Amoris Laetitia is worried about masons? Is this just a ruse to coax them into opening up for an investigation. There’s a lot of shenanigans going on and none of them add up in this particular case. I don’t know who’s to blame but this just doesn’t add up.

  22. PA mom says:

    I need to understand this better. My Catholic grandmother’s (2nd) husband has suddenly taken to wearing a ring with the mason symbol on it.

  23. Mathieu says:

    This is great to hear from Pope Francis! High-ranking freemasons may be recognized by their ring, which is like that of a Bishop, but with occult symbols (which are pretty much everywhere nowadays) on it… the devil loves to monkey around. All good and faithful Catholics should be informed about the evils of freemasonery and its goal, which is directly to destroy the Catholic Church. Just look at what happened in France to the people of la Vandée, where out of 850 000 people, anywhere from 150 000 (official, low-number by revolutionaries) to 800 000 where slaughtered.

  24. Huber says:

    “Can. 1374 – A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”

    That leaves most of the associations in the world today (Marxist as it is) including all the tentacles of the democrat party (which we now know from John Podesta’s leaked emails plots against the Church).

  25. Fr. Kelly says:

    This fits with a number of other recent events.
    Many traditionalists were dismayed when Cardinal Burke was “fired” from the Roman Rota and saw his being given care of the Knights of Malta as a demotion. Ensuing events seem to point out that he was given this charge to clean up the stinking mess of Malteser’s involvement in distributing/pushing Contraceptives and other immoral activities. It is not in the least surprising that the Freemasons would be behind this.
    We have no evidence that Pope Francis is in any way displeased with his work. The intervention of the Secretary of State into the internal governance of the Knights of Malta may be just that. It is their claim, and their claim only, (and I have seen noone else corroborating it) that Pope Francis is behind the appointing of a commission to oversee the decisions of the SMOM. I see no reason to think that the Secretary is telling the truth here.

    The other case like this is that of Pope Francis’ supposed Smackdown of Cardinal Sarah over ad orientem celebration. The truth was amply covered earlier in this blog and on CCWatershed. The critique of Cardinal Sarah was in the form of an unsigned memo from the Vatican Press Office and seems to have originated with the outgoing Secretary, Federico Lombardi. Among its incoherencies and irrelevancies, it insinuated that Pope Francis was displeased with Cardinal Sarah and was going to meet with him to reprimand him for his statement.
    Cardinal Sarah’s original talk came as the Keynote address as Sacra Liturgia in London in the first week in June. The Papal meeting that Lombardi threatens Sarah with happened the next week. Subsequently, (after meeting with Pope Francis) Cardinal Sarah published the text of his talk with no changes. This he certainly would not have done if Pope Francis had been in agreement with Lombardi’s memo.
    Both of these incidents look like Curial officials using Francis’ name to lend credence to their own positions in internal politics. Knowing of Francis’ general unwillingness to clarify anything, and with the help of their Media cronies, they generally get away with it.

    Perhaps they are the true targets of the Holy Father’s wrathful diatribe against the curia this Christmas, when he complained of those who resist his reforms.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Yesterday at mass the celebrant noted it was Friday the 13th, then mentioned some humorous things people are not to do on Friday the 13th. He then asked when would be the next Friday the 13th in 2017. Answering his own question, he said, without mentioning or apparently being aware of the significance, that it would be October 13th

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    aliceinstpaul and PA mom: Two good books on Freemasonry are William Whalen’s “Christianity and American Freemasonry” and Walton Hannah’s “Darkness Visible.”

    Here’s some other notes that may help:

    – Masons tend to say publicly that: the Lodge is a place for fraternal companionship, moral guidance, business networking, and assistance during hard times. They might add that no atheists are allowed as one must believe in a deity. Masons prefer the term GAOTU (Great Architect of the Universe) as a generic term for each lodge member’s deity.

    – Several internet articles by Masons discuss the decline of U.S. Freemasonry since the 1950s. The articles mention the proliferation of other civic groups and leisure activities as major reasons.

    – The Masonic system of lodges, rituals, and degrees has influenced many esoteric/occult groups. The initiation into the 3rd Degree involves the candidate and the Lodge members simulating the “death and resurrection” of one “Hiram Abiff”- their mythical architect/mason of Solomon’s Temple. The head of the Lodge is referred to as the “Worshipful Master.” Joseph Smith, creator of Mormonism, was a Mason.

    -Some Masons also are members in AMORC- the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosy Cross. AMORC was founded/re-activated by Harvey Spencer Lewis around 1915. Like the Masons, AMORC has lodges and degrees, and is international. It is primarily an ancient Egyptian “mystery school” with some Greek and Roman influences. They are based in San Jose CA and their rather well-stocked Egyptian museum receives 100,000 visitors a year according to the AMORC website. (This museum is said to have begun with Lewis’ personal statue of the goddess Sekhmet. In the 1990s Hilary Clinton’s spiritual advisor Jean Houston owned a statue of Sekhmet, as noted by an interviewer. But I digress.) In 2004 the AMORC Peace Conference (one world government, social justice etc.) drew some 2100 members from about 70 countries. Being a Freemason-AMORC hybrid seems to be discouraged in some Masonic lodges, but is generally accepted.

    – To wrap this up here are some anecdotes from the websites of small-town newspapers in the U.S. Bible Belt: a new, if modest, Lodge was built in a town of 1200; at a Lodge social event at least 1/4 of the local population attended; in the obituaries it is sometimes noted that local elders of various Protestant denominations had a Masonic funeral rite conducted immediately prior to the church service.

  28. un-ionized says:

    Semper, you are helpful. My grandfathers’ Masonic funerals were after the regular church one though, the timing is for convenience of attendees, not a requirement.

    Beware of books purported to be by ex-Masons though (the ones you mention are fine). Our parish library had a couple of those and I asked, if someone wanted to learn about the Church would you give them a book by an ex-Catholic.

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  30. Semper Gumby says:

    unionized: Thanks. And your comment reminds me of two minor details I didn’t get to yesterday.

    Whalen’s book (Ignatius Press) has a chapter on Protestant and Orthodox criticism of Freemasonry and international Freemasonry. There is also a chapter on the higher degree Scottish and York rites. Walton Hannah’s book is published by Baronius, Hannah was Church of England when he wrote his book, then later a Catholic priest. Hannah’s book has a lot of detail on the first three degrees.

    The Masonic funeral rite might occur prior to the Protestant service, rather than in the middle or afterwards, to allow plenty of time for their rite and a bit of pro-Masonic advocating.

  31. un-ionized says:

    Semper gumby, there will not be promasonic advocating at a funeral.

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    unionized: Unfortunately, a “bit of pro-Masonic advocating” has indeed occured at more than one “Protestant funeral,” and not only in the eulogy.

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  34. Filipino Catholic says:

    Another anniversary to watch out for in 2017: according to the Computus, Easter Sunday falls on April 16 this year — the 90th birthday of Benedict XVI.

  35. ckelly says:

    To Br Tom, you will know them by their fruits — condoms and contraceptives.

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