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Rowan Williams apologises to Freemasons
Telegraph (UK) ^ | 20/04/2003 | Chris Hastings and Elizabeth Day

Posted on 04/22/2003 1:54:17 AM PDT by nickcarraway

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been forced to apologise to Britain's 330,000 Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and that he had rejected them from senior posts in his diocese.

Dr Williams has written to Robert Morrow, the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, in an attempt to defuse the row prompted by comments he made last year. In his letter, the Archbishop apologises for the "distress" he caused and discloses that his own father was a member of the Craft.

Freemasons, many of whom are active members of the Church of England, reacted angrily to his disclosure that he "had real misgivings about the compatibility of Masonry and Christian profession" and by his admission that, as Bishop of Monmouth, he had blocked the appointment of Freemasons to senior appointments.

His comments about Freemasons were in a private letter leaked to the media shortly after Downing Street confirmed his appointment as head of the Church of England.

Subsequent attempts by his advisers to defuse the row only caused further offence. A spokesman said the Archbishop was worried about the ritual element of Freemasonry, which has been seen as "satanically inspired".

In his letter of apology, Dr Williams tries to distance himself from his own reported comments. He claims that his views were never meant to be public and were distorted by the media.

He wrote: "I have been sorry to learn of the distress of a considerable number of Freemasons . . . In replying to private correspondence, I had no intention of starting a public debate nor of questioning the good faith and generosity of individual Freemasons and I regret the tone and content of the media coverage."

He added: "The quoted statements about the 'satanic' character of the Masonic ceremonies and other matters did not come from me and do not represent my judgment. Since my late father was a member of the Craft for many years, I have had every opportunity of observing the probity of individual members."

Dr Williams does not, in his letter, deny that he has misgivings about the role of Freemasons within the Church.

He wrote: "Where anxieties exist, however, they are in relation not to Freemasonry but to Christian ministers subscribing to what could be and often is understood [or misunderstood] as a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty."

He ends his letter by stating that Freemasons' commitment to charity and the community is beyond question.


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1 posted on 04/22/2003 1:54:17 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Having read a 33rd Degree Masonry text on the proper rites to worship Lucifer the Morning Star, I find the outrage of the Masons at being called incompatible to Christianity to be, shall we say, very Islamic.
2 posted on 04/22/2003 1:59:51 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: nickcarraway
Interesting considering Dr. Williams became an honorary druid last year.
3 posted on 04/22/2003 2:03:31 AM PDT by flying Elvis
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To: American in Israel
Brace yourself for the flames.
4 posted on 04/22/2003 2:04:02 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: American in Israel
Brace yourself for the flames.
5 posted on 04/22/2003 2:04:15 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: American in Israel
Brace yourself for the flames.
6 posted on 04/22/2003 2:04:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: nickcarraway
[H]e said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity

He's right.


7 posted on 04/22/2003 2:04:54 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: flying Elvis
C. S. Lewis is spinning in his grave. (figuratively)
8 posted on 04/22/2003 2:06:16 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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9 posted on 04/22/2003 2:08:29 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: HiTech RedNeck
-grin- Hey, beats terrorists.

And it is the truth. Just check it out for yourselves.
10 posted on 04/22/2003 2:18:06 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: flying Elvis
Really? A Druid! Now that is a catch. You get fifty points for that one. Makes this seem rather planned doesn't it.
11 posted on 04/22/2003 2:19:31 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: ppaul
www.cuttingedge.org. Tell me what's there. I'm afraid to go to the site lest my computer be possessed.
12 posted on 04/22/2003 2:22:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: American in Israel
Gee.. do you have any Jack Chick tracts so we can read all about it?

Seriously, I have had two grandfathers who were Masons.. and one was a 33rd Degree. He was a carpenter, the local fire chief, and a devout Christian.

Some people just want to see Satanic influence in everything.

13 posted on 04/22/2003 3:29:54 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: American in Israel
In reality, it would be very difficult for the uninitiated to get a copy of anything pertaining to the 33rd degree. Where did you get this information? What steps have you taken to authenticate it? Are you aware that there are organizations that call themselves Masonic, but are not in any way affiliated with the craft? Are you aware that such organizations are free, under the 1st Amendment, to utter and publish any trash that they want on any subject? Are you aware that some of these organizations make up their rituals as they go along, and shape them to fit their particular circumstances no matter how hateful and ignorant they may be?
14 posted on 04/22/2003 3:44:15 AM PDT by RushLake
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To: nickcarraway; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
Hasn't the Catholic Church said as much regarding FreeMasonry?
15 posted on 04/22/2003 3:52:09 AM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: American in Israel
<< Having read a 33rd Degree Masonry text on the proper rites to worship Lucifer the Morning Star, I find the outrage of the Masons at being called incompatible to Christianity to be, shall we say, very Islamic. >>

Perhaps any rebuttal to your ignorant vomitus should best begin: "Having read the Protocols of Zion ... ?"

16 posted on 04/22/2003 3:54:04 AM PDT by Brian Allen ( Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: RushLake
Don't confuse him with facts. Besides, you're only feeding the conspiracy in his mind (you're attacking the veracity of his evidence, therefore you must be one of "them").
17 posted on 04/22/2003 3:54:22 AM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: nickcarraway
I had a relative (by marriage) who was 33rd degree Mason. Of course, he claimed to be a Christian, but contributed little to his church while contributing lavishly to the order. (See Matt. 6:21)

That relative is now deceased, but thankfully his pastor refused to perform a Masonic funeral. I can only hope that my relative saw and accepted the true Light of the world before he passed - rather than the so-called light promised in Masonic ritual.

18 posted on 04/22/2003 3:55:34 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: RushLake
<< In reality, it would be very difficult for the uninitiated to get a copy of anything pertaining to the 33rd degree. Where did you get this information? What steps have you taken to authenticate it? Are you aware that there are organizations that call themselves Masonic, but are not in any way affiliated with the craft? Are you aware that such organizations are free, under the 1st Amendment, to utter and publish any trash that they want on any subject? Are you aware that some of these organizations make up their rituals as they go along, and shape them to fit their particular circumstances no matter how hateful and ignorant they may be? >>

I would say he knows everything you have postulated to be true and should be reminded of the awful harm done to Zionism by those who claim authenticity to The Protocols of Zion!

But, then .....on second thoughts .......
19 posted on 04/22/2003 4:01:25 AM PDT by Brian Allen ( Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: nickcarraway
How Episcopalian. How fundamentally gutless. Did Jesus give a damn about hurting the feelings of the scribes and Pharisees ? Did he apologize for the hurt caused by his 'insensitive' comments about 'vipers' and 'whited sepulchers' ?

Standing for Christ means standing for his truth and that means saying things that people aren't going to want to hear.
20 posted on 04/22/2003 4:18:52 AM PDT by Tokhtamish
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To: American in Israel
Satanic rituals? Here I was thinking that the primary benfits of being a Mason was not paying retail prices, 'cause Joe was in the heating and air conditioning trade, Frank was a plumber and so on.
21 posted on 04/22/2003 4:25:58 AM PDT by csvset
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To: American in Israel
Funny, I didn't know he was Druish...
22 posted on 04/22/2003 4:27:01 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Brace yourself for the flames.

Electronic or post-mortem?

23 posted on 04/22/2003 4:29:50 AM PDT by Garth Rockett (Am I the only Republican on the payroll?)
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To: Qwerty
<> Read the scriptures concerning the work of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of all them who believe how he was crucifed for our sins and rose again the 3rd day for our salvaion. He is God before he was a man and he is God in the flesh.All mankind must come to God through the salvation provide for mankind at the cross and this must be done by grace through faith without works; then one's good works are counted. One can not buy or earn or receive salvation by good works; this is religion and has been the death of millions. The masons and druids and other faith by works religions are dead and hopeless and many times are used to gain money and power, not salvation. Masons are heretics who do good works to no avail.
24 posted on 04/22/2003 4:30:39 AM PDT by wgeorge2001 ("The truth will set you free.")
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To: csvset
"Satanic rituals? Here I was thinking that the primary benfits of being a Mason was not paying retail prices, 'cause Joe was in the heating and air conditioning trade, Frank was a plumber and so on. "

BINGO! It's a group of guys who are networking. Plus, the peace of mind you get knowing the guy you hired isn't going to go and do half-a**ed work is nice.

25 posted on 04/22/2003 4:31:00 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: wgeorge2001
Are you a Mason? Do you know any?

I suspect... no.

26 posted on 04/22/2003 4:32:14 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: Qwerty
Seriously, I have had two grandfathers who were Masons.. and one was a 33rd Degree. He was a carpenter, the local fire chief, and a devout Christian.

Not in any way to demean your grandfathers, but what do you mean they were Christian?

I do not understand a belief system contrary to Christ, and still be a "devout Christian?"

27 posted on 04/22/2003 4:45:48 AM PDT by sirchtruth
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To: sirchtruth
It's a requirement that you believe in the Christian God, it's one of the main principles. However, you wouldn't need to be, say, Lutheran. My one grandfather was a Protestant, the other I believe is Catholic, unless he just attends Catholic mass to appease my hyper-Catholic grandmother.
28 posted on 04/22/2003 5:06:15 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: Qwerty
Qwerty,

You really are wasting your time. These "Masons are the Devils" threads pop up time to time, and you're not going to change any minds. You're not even going to find a civilized debate, nor even informed opinion. Just a bunch of "I knew a Mason and he was evil" and "I read a website about Masons that said" stories.

George Washington, who was a Mason like a surprising number of our Founding Fathers, laid the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, VA. Stick around here and you'll become convinced that he was a devil-worshiping, low-down, dishonorable, wicked, going-straight-to-hell drinker-of-infants-blood.

29 posted on 04/22/2003 5:10:05 AM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: TontoKowalski
Tonto..

Yeah I suspected as much but I thought I'd give it a try, anyway. People living in fear of the Masons is just way too kooky.

Have a good day..

-Erika

30 posted on 04/22/2003 5:14:01 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: American in Israel
I have a bunch of old Mason books which were handed down. I flipped through them one night and read a bunch of weird ritualistic mumbo-jumbo. I don't know if it is satanic but it sure was strange.
31 posted on 04/22/2003 5:15:10 AM PDT by Stew Padasso
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To: Stew Padasso
Well, looks like your ancestors were into Satan worship. Is your name Damien?
32 posted on 04/22/2003 5:16:27 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: sirchtruth
"I do not understand a belief system contrary to Christ, and still be a "devout Christian?"

As a Freemason and Christian for many years, there is no conflict since there is no 'belief' system in Freemasonry.

33 posted on 04/22/2003 5:17:17 AM PDT by anthony634
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To: Qwerty
You didn't say the magic word...
34 posted on 04/22/2003 5:19:28 AM PDT by Stew Padasso
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To: anthony634
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA

HIS EMINENCE THE MOST REVEREND LEONTY ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK METROPOLITAN OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK-CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA

59 EAST SECOND STREET NEW YORK 3, NEW YORK Telephone, Gramercy 7-7836

CIRCULAR LETTER

May 9, 1960 # 18649

TO ALL PASTORS AND CHURCH COMMITTEES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA

The Great Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, in session on March 29, 1960 RESOLVED: to publicize again for general information, the resolution concerning Masonry passed by the Great Council of Bishops on October 25, 1949 (see Russian Orthodox Messenger, p. 33 # 3, 1950) which reads as follows:

a) to caution members of the Russian Orthodox Church of America and especially the pastors, of the incompatibility of membership in the saving Church of Christ and simultaneously membership in Masonic Lodges, which are a mixture of pagan and other religions with certain secret "initiations" as a fixed ritual of the order;

b) to explain to the faithful that our Church views Masonry in perfect accord with the teaching of the Greek Orthodox Church and accepts her testament expressed by the Head of the Church of the Hellenes, the Most Reverend Chrysostom, Archbishop of Athens, in session of October 12, 1933 in Athens, in the following two statements:

FIRST: All the faithful children of the Church must stand apart from Freemasonry. With unshaken faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, possessing the truth revealed by Him and preached by His Apostles, partaking in the Divine Sacraments through which we are sanctified, we must not fall from the grace of Christ by becoming partakers of other mysteries. It is not lawful to belong at the same time to Christ and to search for redemption and moral perfection outside Him.

SECOND: all who have become involved in the initiations of masonic mysteries must from this moment sever all relations with masonic lodges and activities, being sure that they are thereby of a certainty renewing their links with our one Lord and Saviour which were weakened by ignorance and a wrong sense of values.

c) to reiterate the statement of the Eastern Churches to those who entered masonry not realizing that by it they were passing into another religion comparable to the Gnostic sects of Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Persia and Greece, that the Church awaits with great love their contrition for their ignorant departure from Christ, and calls on all faithful to pray that the One Lord Jesus Christ 'the way, the truth and the life' may illumine and return to the truth those who in ignorance have gone astray.

d) to caution all faithful, especially the youth, to take to heart the directions of our Episcopate concerning Masonry, that the Grace of God be with them, their parents and relatives and with their organizations, now abiding in the mercies from above for their loyalty to the Orthodox Church of their fathers.

This resolution is to be promulgated to all concerned and is to be published in the official organ of the Metropolia and if possible, in circulars, for the guidance of all."

In informing all members of the Russian Orthodox Church of America of the above, the Great Council of Bishops strongly recommends that all Reverend Rectors admonish their parishioners who are members of the Masonic Lodges, and use their pastoral influence, especially during Penance, that they repent and leave the masonic organizations. The parishioners who refuse to do so are to be deprived, as unrepentant sinners, of Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, to whom is glory and honor forever. Amen.

The names of those deprived of Communion must be kept in the parish records as evidence for their exclusion from membership in Parish and Diocesan councils and as delegates to the All-American Sobor. SIGNED by Member of the Metropolitan Council Protopresbyter Feofan Buketoff and Secretary of the Metropolitan Council Right Reverend Joseph Pishtey.
35 posted on 04/22/2003 5:22:30 AM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: narses
The Church considers swearing secret oaths of any description to be contrary to Christian belief.

On top of that, Masonry in Latin America and Continental Europe - in contrast to Masonry in England and North America - is openly anti-Christian, atheistic and even professedly Satanic.

36 posted on 04/22/2003 5:24:04 AM PDT by wideawake (Support our troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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To: Qwerty
Alrighty, you seem to know what freemasonry isn't...do you know what it IS, and can you share?
37 posted on 04/22/2003 5:26:43 AM PDT by Jn316
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To: narses
The Catholic Church & Freemasonry

By Rev. Robert I. Bradley, S.J.

What is the truth regarding the present official attitude of the Catholic Church toward Freemasonry? To begin this inquiry into that which is now in effect, we should go back to what was stated in the Church's canon law before there was any doubt about where the church stood on Masonry. The former code (which, incidentally, was promulgated on Pentecost, May 27, 1917, just two weeks after Our Lady's first apparition at Fatima) contained a canon which definitely capped all the previous papal condemnations of it. Canon 2335 reads as follows:

Persons joining associations of the Masonic sect or any others of the same kind which plot against the Church and legitimate civil authorities contract ipso facto excommunication simply reserved to the Apostolic See.

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, however, when the revision of the Code of Canon Law was underway, the prevailing spirit of "ecumenical dialogue" prompted questions among various bishops as to whether or not Canon 2335 was still in force. Responding to these questions, a letter from Cardinal Francis Seper, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the presidents of all the episcopal conferences, dated July 18, 1974, stated that: (1) the Holy See has repeatedly sought information from the bishops about contemporary Masonic activities directed against the Church; (2) there will be no new law on this matter, pending the revision of the Code now underway; (3) all penal canons must be interpreted strictly and (4) the express prohibition against Masonic membership by clerics, religious, and members of secular institutes is hereby reiterated.1 This rather awkwardly structured letter (which, for whatever reason, was not published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official journal of record for the Holy See) came to be interpreted in many quarters as allowing membership by laymen in any particular Masonic (or similar) lodge which, in the judgment of the local bishop, was not actively plotting against the Church or legitimate civil authorities. This state of affairs, in which undoubtedly a fair number of Catholics in good faith became Masons, lasted for some years.

Then, on February 17, 1981, Cardinal Seper issued a formal declaration: (1) his original letter did not in any way change the force of the existing Canon 2335; (2) the stated canonical penalties are in no way abrogated and (3) he was but recalling the general principles of interpretation to be applied by the local bishop for resolving cases of individual persons, which is not to say that any episcopal conference now has the competence to publicly pass judgment of a general character on the nature of Masonic associations, in such a way as to derogate from the previously stated norms.2 Because this second statement seemed to be as awkwardly put together as the first, the confusion persisted. Finally, in 1983 came the new Code with its 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.

Cardinal Ratzinger's Declaration

Following the promulgation of the new Code, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a new declaration: (1) the new Canon 1347 has the same essential import as the old Canon 2335, and the fact that the "Masonic sect" is no longer explicitly named is irrelevant. (2) the Church's negative judgment on Masonry remains unchanged, because the Masonic principles are irreconcilable with the Church's teaching ("earum principia semper iconcilabilia habita sunt cum Ecclesiae doctrina") (3) Catholics who join the Masons are in the state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. (4) no local ecclesiastical authority has competence to derogate from these judgments of the Sacred Congregation. 3

With these official statements of the Universal Church now on record 4 , it should be clear that the lamentable confusion of so many Catholics regarding Freemasonry must be seen as only a temporary aberration -- to be written off as one most costly consequence of a mindless "spirit of Vatican II." But we may hope that, as in other issues that have plagued the Church in the last score of years, there is a providence in this, a veritable blessing in disguise. For now, more clearly than ever before, we should see just why the Catholic Church has been -- and will always be -- so opposed to Masonry. It may at first seem plausible that the main (if not only) reason for its being condemned by the Catholic Church is that Masonry is conspiratorial. Its plotting against the Church (and, in the old Code, its also plotting against the State) is the one descriptive statement mentioned in both versions of the Code of Canon Law. Moreover, as the first curial document we cited (that of 1974) seems clearly to imply, the one requisite condition for permitting Catholics to join a Masonic lodge is that the lodge in question was not actively plotting against the Church and the State. Yet, for all its initial plausibility, this opinion seems to be inadequate. The proof of this is evident not only from the two subsequent curial documents (of 1981 and 1983), but more decisively still from the entire previous history of Roman documents, both curial and papal, treating of Masonry.

Beginning in 1738 with Clement XII's encyclical In Eminenti (just twenty-one years after the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England, the event usually recognized as the commencement of the modern Masonic movement) and running through ten successive pontificates, the Church's case against Freemasonry finds its culminating statement in 1884 in Leo XIII's encyclical Humanum Genus. Masonic deceitfulness regarding its real objectives in society -- and its consequent policy of secrecy regarding the authorities of Church and State, and including even the rank-and-file of its own membership -- has always been noted by the popes, and most tellingly by Leo XIII. 5 And in the century since then and in our own country this conspiratorial policy has been amply documented.6 However useful this knowledge of Masonic strategy is for our understanding of the authentic nature of the movement, it is quite secondary. It is wholly subordinate to that which defines the movement itself: the content in function of which conspiracy is but "method," the end determining and justifying the means. That content -- that end -- is what we must now examine, if we are to find the fundamental and explicit reason for the Church's condemnation of Freemasonry.

This fundamental reason can be briefly stated. The following summary passage from Leo XIII's Humanum Genus suffices.

. . .that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view -- namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere "Naturalism." . . .

Now, the fundamental doctrine of the Naturalists, which they sufficiently make known by their very name, is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority. And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed.7 Catholicism and Freemasonry are therefore essentially opposed. If either were to terminate its opposition to the other, it would by that very fact become something essentially different from what it previously was; it would in effect cease to exist as itself. For Catholicism is essentially a revealed religion; it is essentially supernatural, both in its destiny and in its resources. Beyond all natural fulfillment, it tends toward an eternity of ineffable union with God in Himself; and beyond all natural resources, it begins that union here and now in the sacramental life of the Church. Masonry, on the other hand, is essentially a religion of "reason." With an insistence and a consistency matching Catholicism's self-definition, Masonry promises perfection in the natural order as its only destiny -- as indeed the highest destiny there is. And it provides for this perfectibility with its resources: the accumulated sum of purely human values, subsumed under the logo of "reason." Literally a logo, the Masonic compass and square are the symbol of a Rationalism that claims to be identified with all that is "natural."

The consequent syncretism, blending all the strands of human experience -- from the cabalistic mysteries of an immmemorial Orient to the technological manipulations of a post-modern West -- is the basis for Masonry's claim to be not just a religion but the religion: the "natural" Religion of Man. That is why its claim to date from the beginning of history -- its calendar numbers the "Years of Light" (from the first day of Creation) or the "Years of the World" -- is no mere jest on its part. And that is why its opposition to the Catholic Church antedates the Catholic Church's opposition to it.

For it cannot abide the Church's claim to be the One True Church, and the consequent refusal by the Church to be relegated to the status of a "sect" which Masonry would have it be. Since the Church's claim to be the One True Church is ultimately founded and validated on the reality of the One True God, the opposing Masonic claim must ultimately derive from a perception of God that diametrically opposes the Church's faith. And so it does.

Although Pope Leo does not explicitly speak of this essential opposition between Catholicism and masonry in terms of the First commandment of God -- "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me" -- surely the most radical and simplest way of situating this opposition is to say just this. The Masonic "God" is an idol. What the Masons really worship is Man -- or the Spirit who has deceived man from the beginning: the masked Spirit of Evil. This is the one primal reason why the Catholic Church has condemned, and will always condemn, Freemasonry. It is clearly sufficient to stand by itself as the only reason -- and in a most fundamental sense, as Leo XIII seems to imply, that is the only reason in fact.

Gravely Evil Misuse of Oaths

We can, however, give a second reason for the Church's opposition to Masonry. Not strictly independent of the first reason, based as that reason is on the First Commandment, we can yet distinguish a second reason -- based on the Second Commandment. Some ten years earlier than Humanum Genus, there appeared (even in English translation) a brief (barely more than pamphlet-sized) but penetrating work, A Study of Freemasonry, by the great bishop of Orleans, Felix Dupanloup.8 All the more impressive because of his "liberal" credentials, Dupanloup duly notes the facts, and the gravity, of the Masonic conspiracy. But what he stresses, besides the same primary point subsequently stressed by Leo XIII, viz., the Masonic violation of the First Commandment, is its violation of the Second Commandment by its gravely evil misuse of oaths. The famous (or, rather, infamous) oaths that run through the entire ritual of Masonic initiation are more than mere promises based on personal honor. They formally invoke the Deity, and have for their object a man's total commitment to a cause under the direst sanctions. The Catholic Church sees in such oaths an inescapable grave evil. Either the oaths mean what they say or they do not. If they mean what they say, then God is being called to invert by His witness loyalties (viz., to Church and to State) already sanctioned by Him.

If the oaths are merely fictitious, then God is being called to witness to a joke. It is not the secrecy of what goes on "behind the lodge door" that elicits and justifies the Church's condemnation of Masonry. It is rather the formal violation of the Second Commandment which these proceedings inescapably entail. The vaunted Masonic secrets, moreover, are scarcely that secret any longer. There is in fact a frequent Masonic plea to the effect that there are no secrets in Masonry -- that all is open to a truly open mind. On this point we may take the Mason at his word: he is speaking more truly than he knows! The case for the Catholic Church's condemnation of Freemasonry is open and clear. By its very nature as formulated in its philosophical statements and as lived in its historical experience, Masonry violates the First and Second Commandments of God.

It worships not the One True God of revelation -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- but a false god, symbolically transcendent but really immanent: the "god" called "Reason." And it invokes without adequate cause the Name of the One True God. After such a case as this, to cite the secrecies of initiation and the further secrecies of machination called "conspiracy" is not only anti-climactic, it is beside the point.

To conclude: we Catholic should now see the Masons more clearly for what they essentially are. They are the heirs (unwitting or otherwise is irrelevant) of a religion which purports to be the one religion of the one "God" -- and therefore the enemy, intrinsically and implacably so, of Catholicism. Freemasonry in its modern mode is "modernity" in the deepest (i.e., the philosophical and religious) sense of that term. It is, in a word, "Counterfeit Catholicism." For its "God" is the "Counterfeit God": the one who would be as God, the one who is the prince of this world, the one who is the Father of Lies.

Notes

1. "Complures Episcopi," Notiziario CEI (1974) 191. (From Enchiridion Vaticanum, No. 563, pp. 350-51).

2. "S. Congregation pro Doctrina Fidei," Acta Apostolicae Sedis 73 (1981) 240-41. (From EV, No. 1137, pp. 1036-39)

3. "Quaesitum est," AAS 76 (1984) 200. (From EV, No. 553, pp. 482-87)

4. A summary of this documentation was made available in this country by the American Bishops' Committee for Pastoral Research and Practice, in a report entitled "Masonry and Naturalistic Religion," published in Origins, 15 (June 27, 1985), pp. 83-84.

5. Acta Sanctae Sedis 16 (1883 sic) 420.

6. For an excellent recent survey, with emphasis on the American scene, see Paul Fisher's Behind the Lodge Door: Church, State, and Freemasonry in America (Bowle, MD: Shield, 1988).

7. Acta Sanctae Sedis 16 (1883 sic) 421. The English version used here is from a Paulist pamphlet first published in 1944 and reprinted by TAN (Rockford, IL: 1987), pp. 6-7.

8. The English edition which I used was published in Philadelphia in 1856.

38 posted on 04/22/2003 5:32:04 AM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: wideawake
That is one of the points Fr. Bardley makes. Thanks.
39 posted on 04/22/2003 5:32:50 AM PDT by narses (Christe Eleison)
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To: Qwerty
It's a requirement that you believe in the Christian God, it's one of the main principles.

Let's make this clear there is only one main principle, that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Christian God, and you must make him Lord in your life. So, therefore, if this is so, how could you belong and believe in an organization that conjures up other beliefs that have a direct antithesis to what Jesus said?

It is impossible to reconcile both belief systems...

I don't think it's a question of whether or not you grandfathers thought they were Christian, far be it from me to make a judgement. I just want to make the point that you can't follow two beleive systems and say you follow Christ.

40 posted on 04/22/2003 5:32:55 AM PDT by sirchtruth
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To: nickcarraway
Have any of these folks who believe that the local Masonic lodge is chock-full of devil worshipers looked at the back of a US one dollar bill lately? Spending and using currency that has mysterious symbols such as a pyramid, an "all-seeing eye", and mysterious Latin words must be some sort of evidence that they do not walk their talk. Either that, or just plain hypocrisy.
41 posted on 04/22/2003 5:34:24 AM PDT by strela ("... you're lucky you still have your brown paper bag, small change ...")
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To: reagan_fanatic
Funny, I didn't know he was Druish...

Yeah, and the Druids are reputed to have built Stonehenge.

Oh, there's deep skullduggery there.

Somewhere.

If I could find it.

42 posted on 04/22/2003 5:34:34 AM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: nickcarraway
Well, of course, this is just the sort of blinkered philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss for the struggling artist. You excrement, you whining hypocritical toadies with your colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding masonic secret handshakes. You wouldn't let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn't become a Freemason now if you went down on your lousy stinking knees and begged me.
43 posted on 04/22/2003 5:36:53 AM PDT by P.O.E. (God Bless and keep safe our troops.)
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To: strela
It would be really nice if someone could get the straight dope on Freemasonry---no anti-Mason BS and no pro-Mason (or anti-anti-Mason) BS. Just the facts.

Anyone?
Anyone?

44 posted on 04/22/2003 5:37:39 AM PDT by Skooz (Tagline removed by moderator)
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To: billbears; 4ConservativeJustices
right here is answers to many questions you may or may not have, concerning the history of this land. I believe the father of this nation was also the Grand Wizard of the colonies prior our nation's birth. Maybe the war sixty years after his death was for more than tariffs...
45 posted on 04/22/2003 5:38:58 AM PDT by Ff--150 (For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen)
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To: Jn316
I'm not a Mason, nor can I ever be.. so I can't share much. But I know from my Grandfathers that it's a group of tradesmen who have to be good in their field and also Christian.
46 posted on 04/22/2003 5:42:43 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: sirchtruth
No.. there are no other religions mixed in with it, from what I understand.

Are you a mason?
47 posted on 04/22/2003 5:53:27 AM PDT by Qwerty
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To: nickcarraway


"I saw a code of Masonic legislation adapted to prostrate every principle of equal justice and to corrupt every sentiment of virtuous feeling in the soul of him who bound his allegiance to it.

"I saw the practice of common honesty, the kindness of Christian benevolence, even the abstinence of atrocious crimes; limited exclusively by lawless oaths and barbarous penalties, to the social relations between the Brotherhood and the Craft. I saw slander organize into a secret, widespread and affiliated agency....I saw self-invoked imprecations of throats cut from ear to ear, of hearts and vitals torn out and cast off and hung on spires. I saw wine drunk from a human skull with solemn invocation of all the sins of its owner upon the head of him who drank it."

President John Quincy Adams
48 posted on 04/22/2003 5:57:15 AM PDT by honway
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To: wideawake
The Church considers swearing secret oaths of any description to be contrary to Christian belief.

I expect the Church to go after college fraternities next...

49 posted on 04/22/2003 5:57:27 AM PDT by Chemist_Geek ("Drill, R&D, and conserve" should be our watchwords! Energy independence for America!)
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To: Chemist_Geek
It's not a matter of "going after" anyone.

The swearing of secret oaths in order to join societies which are known primarily for dangerous pranks and egregious public drunkenness isn't really compatible with Christian witness.

Neither is the concept of purchasing friends on a semesterly basis, now that I think about it.

50 posted on 04/22/2003 6:01:43 AM PDT by wideawake (Support our troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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