Sunday, August 26, 2012

Masons at Mass

There was a Mass for Freemasons in Brazil!

In Britain there was a period shortly after the Council when there was confusion over whether or not a Catholic could be a Freemason. English Mason are different from the anti-clerical church burning clergy murdering atheists of the continent. If they are anti-Catholic then it is only in that English way of preferring religion to be controlled by act of Parliament rather than God himself.

There was a time when Freemasons were strong and significant influence amongst the Anglican bishops, and Protestantism generally and indeed every part the establishment, amongst the police and local magistracy they were at one time apparently quite pernicious. Now it seems in England their Lodges are almost empty.

However the ban on Catholics being Freemasons, or more correctly the declaration that Masons are in a state of grave sin and are not permitted to receive Holy Communion was not restricted to any geographical area or groups of Masons that espouse any particular cause, it was applied to all Masons, everywhere.

The problem is not so much with the secrecy of Freemasonry or even their strange rites, to suggest that they are ultimately Satanists as some Catholic writers do seems to be a little far fetched. The problem is a little more fundamental than all that. It is simply that Masonry teaches equality of belief. Freemasonry comes directly from age that gave birth to the Revolutionary "virtues" of  liberté, égalité, fraternité, especially the last, "brotherhood".

There is a "Supreme Architect", a positive force within the universe, his design is mediated throughout history and throughout the world, there seems to be an influence of 18th century Deists here, who taught God was in everything. The problem for Catholics, and indeed all Christians, unless of course that Christianity has been shaped by Masonry, is that Jesus Christ is not the unique revelation of the God, but one of the revelations, along with Osiris, Mohammed, Buddha or whoever or whatever. The value of these teachers is not so much in who they were, as Jesus, the Son of God, would be for a Catholic, but what they said or taught, but always seen through the Masonic lens of universal Brotherhood. Thus Jesus is important but only in so far as he taught love of neighbour. Thus Masonry seriously subverts Christianity.

The progress through the various "degrees" of Masonry is there to teach adherents that the principle mark of the "Architect" is Brotherhood, which is really at the heart of so many 18th century documents, such as the American Constitution or the writings of the French Revolutionaries, almost reaching it zenith in the writings of Tom Paine. As one progresses through the the "degrees" it seems that one is confronted by one's fears and taboos in order to find liberty.

The accusation of Satanism within Free Masonry isn't really well founded, except in so far as it is one of the taboos or fears that needs to be confronted, and as we might say today "worked through" on the way to "liberty"; freedom from religious constraint. Masonry comes from the same stable as the English libertine "Hell Fire Club" which had as a basic principle a freedom from sexual or moral constraint, at its worst Masonries principles of "Brotherhood at all costs" is present in the post French Revolutions Terror.

Neither the Hell Fire Club or the spirit of the Terror are present in English provincial Masonic Lodges and indeed Christian prayers might well be said by the local Anglican vicar but at its heart is the teaching that Jesus is not uniquely the Son of God, this is the grave sin of a Catholic who embraces Freemasonry, this is what makes it impossible for him to be in communion with the Catholic Church.


Physiocrat said...

I think there is a bit more too this. Lex orandi, lex credendi applies. The Masonic ceremonials have been carefully constructed to inculcate a particular body of philosophical teaching. Essentially it is Gnostic. Of course the same applies to our own liturgy which is why it is so important to recover the orthodox Catholic liturgy in its fullness as a matter of urgency.

momangelica said...

Fr Ray,
My daughter sent me this on 7th August.
Our Lady spoke of the troubles that Masons would cause the church on numerable occasions.

RichardT said...

Don't they look silly in their little aprons? They look ready to do the washing up after coffee.

tubbs said...

Heavens! Our Lady warned us about the Masons? Did she also let us in on whether the Nats would win the World Series?

Gigi said...

Hmmm. No I think there is more to the Masons that is sinister rather than silly or pretentious. Closed-shop allegiances can be very anti-Christian, even at a basic level. Potentially very damaging when encountered in the police, judiciary etc. The oaths still sound pretty disturbing. As with everything covert, degrees of involvement rather than enlightenment, I fear.

gemoftheocean said...

"The progress through the various "degrees" of Masonry is there to teach adherents that the principle mark of the "Architect" is Brotherhood, which is really at the heart of so many 18th century documents, such as the American Constitution..."

Not REMOTELY close -- it's quite clear you've never read the US Constitution, or you are confusing it with something else entirely. Your contention sounds like some anti-American claptrap you've picked up from somewhere.

If you can find anything remotely 'Masonic' about the constitution, I'D like a specific example.

Physiocrat said...

tubbs - I have always been suspicious about statements allegedly coming from Our Lady. I wonder if she is knowledgable about racehorses? She could have useful information to impart.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"... principle mark of the "Architect" is Brotherhood, which is really at the heart of so many 18th century documents, such as the American Constitution.."

Is Brotherhood and the checks and and balances on the role of the President not at the heart of the Constitution?
It is a very bland document but it blandness is revolutionary!

What is not in the Constitution is as important as what is in it. I am not knocking it, simply claiming the guiding principle is not theism or even a philosophy, nothing other than liberty, equality and fraternity; Masonic principles.

Where they actually lead to is matter of opinion, Obama would say to his healthcare programme.

Physiocrat said...

Gem - If the US is not a masonic project through-and-through, why is the Great Seal loaded with masonic symbolism and why is the dollar bill covered with masonic emblems?

David O'Neill said...

At one point Catholics were excommunicated in they became Masons. I, as a Director of the Knights of St Columba, was approached by the masonic officers to form a 'Catholic lodge'. I approached my then bishop, Ambrose Griffiths OSB (RIP), for some guidance. His stance was that Catholics were no longer under threat of excommunication but should not join as "Masons tend to favour Masons, all other things being equal." This, of course, could (& possibly should) obtain with all societies of like-minded people.
It seems strange that in the USA both Masons & Knights of Columbus regularly appear together at such events as laying a corner-stone.
As to wearing regalia; dressing alike makes us alike. No bad thing if the organisation is Catholic!

Fr Ray Blake said...

David, The 1984 Code of Canon Law did not explicitly excommunicate Masons but the CDF document to which I linked says they are in a state of grave sin and therefore not able to communicate.
There was indeed confusion for a few years until the law was clarified.

Matthew Roth said...

Father, I would like to dispute your point that Masons ultimately being Satanists is far-fetched. A close family friend has personal experience with the Satanic nature of Freemasonry. That's all I Can say, it's so evil.
Also, Father, I can't imagine that ultimately the Freemasons who are most intimately involved don't plot against the Church because isn't she what stands most in their way?

Physiocrat said...

There is this CTS pamphlet on freemasonry

momangelica said...

Talking to one of my brothers yesterday, he told me how Dad didn't go to the funeral of one of his uncles as uncle was a Mason. When dad's cousin died a few years later Dad felt he had to go and apologized to the wife for not attending the first funeral. She replied that he'd done the right thing by not going; apparently, the masons turned up on the morning, covered windows, furniture and everything in black cloth; then they made a Pentangle in the middle of the floor. She said it was the most depressing day of their lives. Her husband (the cousin) resigned the next day from the Masons. After his death the Masons knocked on her door to tell her "she was now on her on" Nice bunch!

gemoftheocean said...

Afraid you'd get zero marks Father.

You entirely miss the boat -- EACH branch, legislative, judicial, executive, acts as a check on the other two. Brotherhood has ZIP all to do with it. For instance, The Judicial branch can declare laws to be unconstitutional. Zippy the wonder clown may well find out that he can not force the Catholic church to fund abortions. His attempt to be a dictator is on a collision course with the first amendment. You may not realize that we are not a 'democracy' [majority vote can be mob rule] but a representative Republic -- and that minority rights as enumerated in the constitution are to protect the individual citizen from being over-ridden by the common herd.

Although the US Constitution may look bland and cut and dried, there was much pondering over the underlying ideas -- which can be read in the Federalist papers -- the current US constitution replaced the old Articles of Confederation - which didn't work so hot. The states had to ratify the new constitution.

As for your statement:
" liberty, equality and fraternity; Masonic principles."

They are hardly exclusively Masonic. I seem to recall that we are all equal in the sight of God coming from Christianity - as well as that we are all to treat each other as brothers. As for liberty? I see nothing in the gospel that requires me to be subjected to a Muslim horde over running my liberty to practice Christianity instead of sharia law -- OR from bowing down to that cryto-Muslim in the White House who wants to destroy the Catholic church by forcing Catholic hospitals to close rather than pay for or permit abortions (along with other institutions which find it morally abominable -- 'curiously' 'obamadeathcare' specifically exempts Muslims and some other groups, but he has a hatred for Catholics.

As for the mason symbol business, I fear too many have been taken in by inability to put things in a time line. First off it took the work of 3 committees to design it, and the final design for obverse and reverse took elements from each committee. The unfinished pyramid, had been used on the back of a $50 continental note. And the eye in the triangle, symbolizing 'Divine providence' had been used elsewhere since renaissance times. The 13 layered unfinished pyramid symbolizes that the work started in 1776 is unfinished, and the Eye is the hope that Divine providence (i.e. God) favors the unfinished work.

This pyramid and eye was not favored in any Masonic texts until almost 1800 -- more than two decades after 1776 -- so you Dan Brown people can chill a bit.

The Eye is assuredly a reference to a line in the Declaration of Independence which reads: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." -- the eye was specifically suggested by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere, originally from Switzerland and one of the artistic consultants on the project. The pyramid was suggested by William Barton (who had studied Heraldry in England) and he had been influenced in this element by its use in a design by Francis Hopkinson. The only mason on any of the committees who had any elements of design chosen for the final design was Ben Franklin -- and none of his elements are masonic.

In short, a camel is a horse designed by a committee and the Great Seal had input from 3 committees and it took 6 years to come up with a final design.

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