The Real Reason Catholics cant be Freemasons

 

The real reason Catholics can’t be Freemasons

by Ed Condon

taken from Catholic Herald uk

An 1891 cartoon in Puck shows Pope Leo XIII doing battle with Freemasonry

The principles of Freemasonry are fundamentally incompatible with Catholic teaching

The mutual antagonism of the Catholic Church and Freemasonry is well established and longstanding. For most of the past 300 years they have been acknowledged, even in the secular mindset, as implacably opposed. In recent decades the animosity between the two has faded somewhat from the public consciousness as the Church’s direct institutional involvement in civil affairs has become less pronounced and as Freemasonry has waned dramatically in numbers and prominence. But as Freemasonry turns 300 years old, it is worth revisiting what was at the core of the Church’s absolute opposition to the group. Freemasonry can appear to be little more than an esoteric men’s club, but it was and remains a highly influential philosophical movement – one which has made a dramatic, if little-noticed, impact on modern Western society and politics.

The history of Freemasonry itself is long and interesting. Its gradual transformation from the medieval workers’ guilds of stonemasons into a network of secret societies with their own Gnostic philosophy and rituals is a fascinating tale in itself. The era of the latter version of Freemasonry began with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 in the Goose & Gridiron pub near St Paul’s Cathedral. In the early days, before the Church made any formal pronouncement on the subject, many Catholics were members and the English Catholic and Jacobite diaspora was crucial to spreading Freemasonry to continental Europe. At one point it was so popular among Catholics in some places that Francis I of Austria served as a formal patron.

And yet the Church became the greatest foe of the Masonic lodges. Between Clement XII in 1738 and the promulgation of the first Code of Canon Law in 1917, a total of eight popes wrote explicit condemnations of Freemasonry. All provided the strictest penalty for membership: automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy See. But what did and does the Church mean by Freemasonry? What are its qualities which are so worthy of condemnation?

It is sometimes said that the Church opposed Freemasonry because of the lodges’ supposedly revolutionary or seditious character. There is a widespread assumption that Masonic lodges were essentially political cells for republics and other reformers, and the Church opposed them as part of a defence of the old regime of absolute monarchy in which she was institutionally invested. But while political sedition would eventually come to the front of the Church’s opposition to Masonic membership, this was by no means the initial reason the Church opposed the Masons. What Clement XII described in his original denunciation was not a revolutionary republican society but a group spreading and enforcing religious indifferentism: the belief that all religions (and none) are of equal worth, and that in Masonry all are united in service to a higher, unifying understanding of virtue. Catholics, as members, would be asked to put their membership of the lodge above their membership of the Church. The strict prohibition, in other words, was not for political purposes but for the care of souls.

From the outset, the primary concern of the Church has been that Masonry suborns a Catholic’s faith to that of the lodge, obliging them to place a fundamental secularist fraternity above communion with the Church. The legal language, and penalties, used in the condemnations of Freemasonry were actually very similar to those used in the suppression of the Albigensians: the Church sees Freemasonry as a form of heresy. While the Masonic rites themselves contain considerable material which can be called heretical, and is in some instances explicitly anti-Catholic, the Church has always been far more concerned with the overarching philosophical content of Freemasonry rather than its ritual pageantry.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Catholic Church and its privileged place in the government and society of many European countries became the subject of growing secularist opposition and even violence. Now, there is little if any historical evidence of the lodges playing an active role in beginning the French Revolution. However, the anti-clerical and anti-Catholic horrors of the Revolution can be traced back to the secularist mentality described in the various papal bulls outlawing the Masonic lodges. Masonic societies were condemned not because they set out to threaten civil or Church authorities but because such a threat was the inevitable consequence of their existence and growth. Revolution was the symptom, not the disease.

The alignment of Church and state interests, and their assault by seditious and revolutionary secret societies, were clearest where the Church and state were one: in the Papal States of the Italian peninsula. As the 19th century began, a new iteration of Freemasonry came to prominence which was explicit in its revolutionary character and avowed in its opposition to the Church; they called themselves the Carbonari, or charcoal merchants. They sanctioned and practised both assassination and armed insurrection against the various governments of the Italian peninsula in their campaign for a secular constitutional government, and were perceived as an immediate threat to the faith, the Papal States and the person of the pope.

The link between the passive threat of the philosophy and secrecy of Masonry and the active revolutionary plots and acts of the Carbonari was laid out in Pius VII’s apostolic constitution Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo, promulgated in 1821. While the Carbonari’s avowed and active opposition to the temporal governance of the Papal States was addressed and condemned, it was still made clear that the gravest threat posed even by these violently revolutionary cells was their philosophy of secularism.

Throughout all the various papal condemnations of Freemasonry, even when lodges were actively supporting military campaigns against the pope, as they did with Garibaldi’s conquest and unification of Italy, what was always the first objection of the Church to the Lodge was its threat to the faith of Catholics and the freedom of the Church to act in society. The undermining of the teachings of the Church in the lodges, and the suborning of her authority on matters of faith and morals, were described repeatedly as a plot against the faith, both in individuals and in society.

In the encyclical Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII described the Masonic agenda as the exclusion of the Church from participation in public affairs and the gradual erosion of her rights as an institutional member of society. During his time as Pope, Leo wrote a great many condemnations of Freemasonry, pastoral and legal. He outlined, in detail, what the Church considered to be the Masonic agenda and, reading it with contemporary eyes, it is still shockingly relevant.

He specifically referred to the aim of secularising the state and society. He referenced in particular the exclusion of religious education from state schools and the concept of “the State, which [Masonry believes] ought to be absolutely atheistic, having the inalienable right and duty to form the heart and the spirit of its citizens.” He also decried the Masonic desire to remove the Church from any control in, or influence over, schools, hospitals, public charities, universities and any other body serving the public good. Also specifically highlighted was the Masonic push for the reimagining of marriage as a merely civil contract, the promotion of divorce, and support for the legalisation of abortion.

It is almost impossible to read this agenda and not recognise it as the underpinning of almost all of our contemporary political discourse. The settled view on these matters of many, if not all, of our major political parties, indeed the very concept of the secular state and its consequences on Western society, including the pervasive divorce culture and near universal availability of abortion, is a victory of the Masonic agenda. And this raises very real canonical questions about Catholic participation in the modern secular political process.

Throughout the centuries of papal condemnations of Freemasonry, it was normal for each pope to include the names of new societies that shared the Masonic philosophy and agenda and which should be understood by Catholics to come under the heading of “Masonic” in terms of canon law. By the 20th century, this had come to include political parties and movements such as communism.

When the Code of Canon Law was reformed, following Vatican II, the canon specifically prohibiting Catholics from joining “Masonic societies” was revised. In the new code, promulgated in 1983 by St John Paul II, explicit mention of Freemasonry was dropped completely. The new Canon 1374 referred only to societies that “plot against the Church”. Many took this change to indicate that Freemasonry was no longer always bad in the eyes of the Church. In fact, the reforming committee made it clear that they meant not just Freemasons, but many other organisations; the “plot” of its secularist agenda had spread so far beyond the lodges that to keep using the umbrella term “Masonic” would be confusing. The then Cardinal Ratzinger issued an authoritative clarification of the new law in 1983, in which he made it clear that the new canon was phrased to encourage broader interpretation and application.

Given the crystal-clear understanding in Church teaching regarding what the Masonic plot or agenda against the Church includes (marriage as a merely civil contract open to divorce at will, abortion, exclusion of religious education from public schools, exclusion of Church from the provision of social welfare and or control of charities), it seems impossible not to ask: how many of the major political parties in the West can now be said to fall under the prohibition of Canon 1374? The answer may well be rather uncomfortable for those who want to see an end to the so-called culture wars in the Church.

More recently, Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken of his grave concern at Masonic infiltration of the Curia and other Catholic organisations. At the same time, he has warned against the Church becoming a mere “NGO” in its methods and goals – which is the direct danger of that secularist mentality which the Church has always called a Masonic philosophy.

Masonic infiltration of the hierarchy and Curia has long been treated as a kind of Catholic version of monsters under the bed, or McCarthyite paranoia about commie infiltrators. In fact, when you speak to people who work in the Vatican, you will quickly discover that for every two or three people who laugh at the very notion, you can find someone who has directly encountered it. I myself know at least two people who were approached about joining during their time working in Rome. The role of Masonic lodges as a confidential meeting point and network for those with heterodox ideas and agendas has changed little from pre-Revolutionary France to the modern Vatican; 300 years after the founding of the first Grand Lodge, the conflict between the Church and Freemasonry is still very much alive.

Ed Condon is a canon lawyer. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the history of the Church’s legal sanctions against Freemasons

This article first appeared in the August 11 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here

 

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Prominent Catholic writer criticises Pope for creating ‘liquid society’ Church by Nick Hallett

Prominent Catholic writer criticises Pope for creating ‘liquid society’ Church

by Nick Hallett

posted Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vittorio Messori said Pope Francis is in danger of undermining the ‘stability and firmness’ of Church doctrine

A prominent Catholic writer has accused Pope Francis of turning the Church into a “liquid society” where uncertainty is the only certainty.

Vittorio Messori, who came to prominence after interviewing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1984 for the book The Ratzinger Report, said the Pope is in danger of making the same mistake as Protestants by reinterpreting doctrine and undermining the “stability and firmness of the Catholic Church”.

In an article for Italian magazine Il Timone, translated by the National Catholic Register, Messori started by criticising a “disconcerting interview” with the Jesuit superior general Fr Arturo de Sosa.

He accused Fr de Sosa of effectively “‘liquefying’ the Gospel itself” by saying Jesus’s words were not recorded on tape and “we don’t know exactly what he said”, meaning we can “adapt” the Gospel according to the times.

He then accused Pope Francis of having a similar attitude, especially when the Pontiff criticises a “Catholic temptation” to have “rigid” rules rather than judging on a “case by case basis”.

The old Jesuit tradition of “discernment”, Messori added, has been twisted so it now means to “freely interpret even dogma, depending on the situation, as has happened in some official documents containing [the Pope’s] signature, which have aroused perplexity (to use a euphemism) in some cardinals.”

Messori said “in all humility” that such an approach seems “wrong and damaging to the Church and the faith”.

“In a ‘liquid world’ where everything becomes uncertain, precarious, provisional, it is precisely the stability and firmness of the Catholic Church that all humanity needs, and not only believers,” he added.

“Those rocks of dogma, to which the superior general of the Society of Jesus is allergic, could and should become firm ground in a society that flatters itself and tends towards mushy chaos.”

More than ever, the Church needs the “full clarity of the Catechism” rather than the “ever-changing ‘in my opinion’”.

He said that Protestantism has gone down this road, “and history has shown what it has led to, but unfortunately, as usual, history is not magistra vitae [life’s teacher].”

As well as the Ratzinger Report, Messori also published a best-selling interview with Pope John Paul II, and has been described as the “most translated” author in the Catholic world.

 

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Has the sacrament of Marriage lost its sanctity ?

Mumbai is a metropolitan city. We have fast food, fast cars, fast life…. Now the latest is fast marriages.

To get married in a Church one needs to do a marriage preparation course obtain a certificate , get ones marriage banns read and wait and see that there are no objections.

All this while there were ” allegations” that priests were involved in Court marriages but there was never proof since things were done by remote control and the Priest would never come in the forefront.

A court marriage can be done by giving  5 days notice in the case of Christians in Man tralaya. Compare this with the waiting period in the case of Church marriage where one needs to wait for at least 4-5 months before the marriage can be solemnised. Moreover there may be impediments.

We now have documentary evidence of a Roman Catholic priest presently posted in St. Micheals Church Mahim of having stood as a witness in a Court marriage of a couple who is yet to get married in a Church. The said priest is good at making videos and was recently in the news when a video was released  showing a mirror under the camera in a ladies toilet. Surprisingly the mirror disappeared after various ladies approached the Police. Normally mirrors are always above wash basins but this was not the case here.

The said priest gives wonderful preachings on morality and being Christ like in all our dealings but has himself chosen to bypass a catholic marriage nay a sacrament in case of this couple and has opted for a court marriage.

The saddest part of all this is that our beloved Cardinal Oswald Gracias has chosen to remain silent despite the happening being brought to his notice .

Till today no official has been released by the Cardinal condemning this type of acts by his Priests who are all bound by a vow of obedience.

In my opinion the said act of the priest challenges a Sacrament and  is a grave liturgical abuse.

Our catholic leaders who were in the forefront and are all prominent letter writers have suddenly become silent.

Its sad that we have reached such a state in Mumbai.

Adv. A.M.Sodder

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What is religion pure & undefiled?Make yourself useful to people Stop using people for your gain-dr.james kottoor

 

 

 

What is religion pure & undefiled?

 

Make yourself useful to people

Stop using people for your gain

dr.james kottoor

What is important is to be a ‘good person’, not to be a believer or unbeliever or to be like any one else which we can’t however much we try. Each one of us has to use our own God-given talents and multiply them to a 100 fold.  Think of the parable of the talents. So the  fist thing necessary is to be good, to be true, honest to God, to ourselves, to others and to be busy like bee to multiply the talents God has given us without burying any of them in the ground. Even Pope Francis said it is better to be an honest atheist than a hypocritical Catholic.

 

                      Change and growth is the essence of life. But growth can be for the better or worse. We now live in a fast changing world. Religions and religiosity or spirituality are not the same but different. We see  many religions when we look horizontally, especially organized religions competing among themselves because all of them are tainted and defective. Organized religions are for the organizers. Like political parties they want to lord over others and so we campaign against it. In spirituality and religiosity we look vertically,  in our relationship with the Supreme spirit  or that power called variously – God, Iswar, Sachidananda, One without a second or Jesus whom Christians call God incarnate.

 

Perfection is no Trifle!

                    H

 Here our first duty  is to become like Jesus, a perfect human being like him by using all our God given talents to reach that goal. It is said no one could accuse him of sin. Is it possible to be perfect like Jesus?  Here recall what Michael Angelo said: “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle!” A slight shade or a small spot on a fair and lovely face may be trifle, and all of us are loaded with such defects in our character and getting rid of them all is perfection, which is not done even if we try the whole of our life time. That is why it is said, “Perfection is no trifle.” 

 

 

                    Comparisons are odious and in true religion or spirituality there is no place for proving oneself to be better than our neighbor to dominate as we are clearly taught by the parable of Pharisee and publican praying in the temple. True religion is all about service, making ourselves useful to our needy neighbor and not using our neighbor. Being useful to our neighbor and using our neighbor for our benefit make the whole difference. Hence St. James (1.27) says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

                    What does it mean? It means just the opposite of what the organized religions are often busy with and doing: a whole lot of ritualistic exercises – noisy prayers and singing, (actually or derogatively called ‘Lip service’ often without the slightest involvement of the mind), kneeling, standing, sitting, handshaking ( all sorts of physical exercises),  all forbidden by Jesus who wants us to pray in silence closing the five doors of our senses. In St.James’s definition of true religion none of the items cited above are included.

 

Today’s unbelievers, atheists

                   But in the report below many labelled as  lapsed Catholics, unbelievers, agnostics or atheists are doing just what St. James describes as marks of true religion – compassionate treatment of those in need. An atheist is busy providing affordable houses for the African-American community; a lapsed Catholic travels to India to do voluntary medical service; a former evangelical is busy attending to the mental health of gay and lesbian community; an agnostic has joined Pace Corps and is organizing food coops for the hungry. And the reporter below says:

 

                   “No, most of them do not belong to an organized religion. But many are more compassionate, welcoming and devoted to those on the margins of society than quite a few Catholics I know.” What is it that you want? Persons who tom-tom about the glories, name and fame of your personal or organized religion or those busy showing mercy and compassion to the needy, hungry, sick, lame, blind, lonely and in margins of society? St. James and Pope Francis are saying the same thing: “Get out, get out of the Church of the sacristy and go to the peripheries, to befriend the stranger and foreigner!”

                   To become truly religious and spiritual you need not belong to any organized religion, big or small. It is enough you opt to become one of the CATTLE CLASS, the  compassionate Company of Jesus who worked for the poor and needy, the lowly placed, the afflicted and homeless migrant or neighbour. Organised religion and high positions in it may be a Peacock’s feather to sport on your cap to receive unsolicited salutations and undeserved appellations but it will not make you practitioner of true religion: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father” which consists in making yourself  “USEFUL” to those in need, and not “USING” your neighbour for your own benefit. james kottoor, editor ccv.

 

 

Please read below report on unbelievers & atheists in US

 

Half of U.S. Catholics say

belief in God is not necessary

to be a good person

Michael J. O’Loughlin America the Jesuit Magazine,October 19, 2017

 

 

 

                       For the first time, a majority of Americans—56 percent—say it is possible to be a good person without religious belief. And about half of all U.S. Catholics agree.

 

                        Those are the findings from a new Pew Research Center report drawn from two polls conducted among about 5,000 American adults in June and July.

 

                       The majority of Americans now believe that “God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality,” said Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, in a post about the findings. “[T]he public’s increased rejection of the idea that belief in God is necessary for morality is due, in large part, to the spike in the share of Americans who are religious ‘nones,’” he explained.

 

 

                 The majority of Americans now believe that “God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality.” “In the 2011 Pew Research Center survey that included the question about God and morality, religious “nones” constituted 18 percent of the sample. By 2017, the share of ‘nones’ stood at 25 percent,” the report notes.

 

              But even some believers have changed their opinions on the matter during the past few years. According to the report, among white evangelical Protestants, 32 percent now say belief in God is not necessary to have good values and be a moral person, up from 26 percent who said this in 2011.

 

About half of all U.S. Catholics—or 49 percent—agree that it is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. But there is a sharp difference between Hispanic Catholics and white Catholics. Fifty-seven percent of white Catholics say God is not necessary for morality, but just 38 percent of Hispanic Catholics agree.

 

 Regarding these so-called atheists Columnist Kaya Oakes writes labeling them:  Devoted Atheists: “In finding a way to be compassionate toward nonbelievers, it helps that many of my non-believing friends are not simply spending their Sunday mornings paging through The New York Times and lingering over brunch, but are actively engaged in community service and social justice issues.

 

               “An atheist friend works in affordable housing issues in the African-American community. Another atheist friend writes about feminist issues, particularly focusing on empowering young girls. The lapsed Catholic son of a friend travels to India to volunteer in medical clinics. A former evangelical I know works to bring attention to mental health issues in the gay and lesbian community. Atheist and agnostic students of mine have served in the Peace Corps, started food co-ops in inner-city food deserts, volunteered with literacy organizations, taught inmates to read at San Quentin and tirelessly worked to correct the notion that millennials are interested only in cellphones.

 “No, most of them do not belong to an organized religion. But many are more compassionate, welcoming and devoted to those on the margins of society than quite a few Catholics I know.” It shows loss of faith sometimes reflected a sense of sorrow for some, for many others, leaving one faith tradition behind to explore others or to explore living without faith, led them to an amazing discovery.”

(Material from Religion News Service was used in this report.)

                                                ************************************

 

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Sacrilege in fancy dress – Mr. John Menezes

JOHN MENEZES                                                                              7 Esperança

  1. Bhagatsingh Road

Mumbai 400001

24 October 2017

The Editor

The Examiner

Mumbai 400001

 

Subject:  Sacrilege in fancy dress

 

Sir,

The Examiner, October 21, on its cover shows a concelebration at the National Symposium held at the College of St. Pius X, October 13 – 15. The celebration is collectivist and anthropocentric and attracts comment on two grounds:

  1. In his Encyclical, Mediator Dei (20/11/1947) Pope Pius XII has stated in Section 69: “Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ’s very person.” This collectivism  repudiates the power of performing actions by a  celebrant in the Person of Christ and deprives the innocent faithful of their spiritual entitlement, namely, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass;
  2. In his book, The Order of Melchisedech, late Michael Davies, convert from the Anglican to the Catholic Church, has written on the revised 1968 rite of priestly ordination:   “Every prayer in the traditional rite which stated specifically the essential role of a priest as a man ordained to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead has been removed. In most cases these were the precise prayers removed by the Protestant Reformers or, if not precisely the same, there are clear parallels.”  The rites of ordination were drastically revised by Paul VI w.e.f. 06/04/1969 to render them null and void and, therefore, practically all the performers in this collectivist celebration are lay persons in disguise parading themselves in “fancy dress.”

The innocent faithful present on the occasion, who were entitled to Catholicism from their supposed pastors, have instead been treated to a grave sacrilege in fancy dress.

John Menezes

7 Esperanca, S. Bhagatsingh Road, Mumbai 400001; Tel: 9167541628.

 

 

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Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage.

Please click on the site above, read and sign.
“Let marriage be honored among all”
(Heb. 13: 4)

Join thousands of concerned bishops,
priests and Catholic faithful declaring
their fidelity to the unchangeable
teachings of the Church on marriage and
Her uninterrupted disciplin

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