Catholicism and Freemasonry

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Catholicism and Freemasonry have had a conflicting relationship since the latter first emerged. The Catholic Church has throughout history accused Freemasonry in general and its Continental Freemasonry variation in particular of fomenting anticlericalism. [1][2] From 1738 until the present day, the Church has prohibited its membership from becoming freemasons, under threat of excommunication. The 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia went as far as to argue that some Masonic ceremonies are anti-Catholic.[3] However, this claim does not appear in subsequent editions.

Grand Orient Freemasonry and Anticlericalism

Continental Freemasonry, the branch of Freemasonry that has been concentrated in traditionally Catholic countries, has been seen by Catholic critics as an outlet for anti-Catholic disaffection, and many particularly anti-clerical regimes in traditionally Catholic countries were perceived as having a strong Masonic element,[4] even being compared by a Catholic spokesman, William Whalen, to the Ku Klux Klan.[5]

According to Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston the American Grand Lodges, which are aligned to the United Grand Lodge of England are viewed as far less anti-catholic and mainly as a social and business group.[6]

The Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, which is attached to the United Grand Lodge of England, claim that the Continental Freemasons' anticlericalism is a "deviation" from proper Freemasonry.[7]

France

Catholic authors have often seen Freemasonry in France as being particularly hostile to Catholicism[8] and the American Freemason Christopher Hodapp complained that the attitude of French Freemasonry towards Rome was a major reason why there was disunion between English speaking and French speaking Freemasonry,[9] as long ago as 1918 this split has been emphasised by American commentators.[10]

It was claimed that Napoleon I had encouraged the resurrection of Freemasonry after the French Revolution as a counterweight against the Catholic Church.[11]

In 1877 the Grand Orient de France allowed atheists to join, and split from the United Grand Lodge of England, forming what became known as Latin Freemasonry.[12] Catholic sources, quoting Masonic documents from both the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Orient of France,[13] saw Freemasonry as the primary force of French anti-clericalism from 1877 onwards.[2] During the Affaire Des Fiches (1904-1905) it was discovered that army promotions were partly determined by the Grand Orient of France's card index on public officials, detailing which were Catholic and who attended Mass.[14] French Masonic publications called for religious orders to be expelled from France.[15]

Germany

The Papal encyclical Etsi multa of Pope Pius IX in 1873 claimed that Freemasonry was the motivating force behind the Kulturkampf: "Some of you may perchance wonder that the war against the Catholic Church extends so widely. Indeed each of you knows well the nature, zeal, and intention of sects, whether called Masonic or some other name. When he compares them with the nature, purpose, and amplitude of the conflict waged nearly everywhere against the Church, he cannot doubt but that the present calamity must be attributed to their deceits and machinations for the most part. For from these the synagogue of Satan is formed which draws up its forces, advances its standards, and joins battle against the Church of Christ." [16] The Catholic Encyclopedia also claims that the Kulturkampf was instigated by Masonic lodges.[17]

Belgium

The rivalry between the Catholic Church and the Grand Orient of Belgium led to the foundation of the Free University of Brussels which was founded largely by Belgian Freemasons concerned at the expansion of Catholic influence within Higher Education.[18]

Italy

In the Papal constitution Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo (1821) Pope Pius VII linked the anticlerical Italian secret society, the Carbonari to Freemasonry.[19]

In the period between Italian unification (1870) and the Lateran Treaties (1929) there was a cold war between the Papacy and the Kingdom of Italy (see Prisoner in the Vatican). The Papal Encyclical Etsi Nos,[20] complained about the way in which post-unification Italy denigrated the role of the church,[21] which the Vatican blamed primarily on Freemasonry.[22]

The hostility to Freemasonry shaped much of the Catholic Church's strategy in regard to the newly established Italian state. For example, in the encyclical Custodi di quella fede Leo XIII warned against Catholics becoming involved with liberal groups[23] and asked Catholics to become more involved in forms of Catholic Action away from the "Masonic" state.[24]

In 2007 Italian politicians in the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and Forza Italia accused “radical and Masonic” groups of being behind a threatened investigation by the European Commission of whether or not the tax-exempt status of the Church’s hospitals, schools, and other social service organizations should be withdrawn.[25]

Mexico

The Mexican Revolution was seen by the leadership of the Catholic Church to be both masonically inspired and anti-clerical with Cardinal William Henry O'Connell in 1914 claiming that there was a Masonic conspiracy to spread atheism and anarchy.[26][27]

The Mexican government's anticlerical stance after the Mexican Revolution coincided with a succession of presidents who were "Masons and strongly anticlerical".[28] Even recent President Vicente Fox stated, "After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic Freemasons who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of popular indigenous President Benito Juarez of the 1880s. But the military dictators of the 1920s were a more savage lot than Juarez." [29]

President Plutarco Elías Calles, a Freemason[30] sought to vigorously enforce the secularising provisions of the constitution and enacted additional anti-Catholic legislation known as the Calles Law, which enacted a number of anti-clerical provisions, for example fining priests for wearing clerical dress.[31] Many Catholics rebelled against the oppression in the conflict which is known as the Cristero War. On May 28, 1926, Calles was awarded a medal of merit from the head of Mexico's Scottish rite for his actions against the Catholics.[32]

In August 2007 Pedro Marquez of the Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico, in discussing a call by the Church to lift the ban in the Mexican constitution against Catholic schools and newspapars, stated "The Catholic hierarchy wants to dictate a political policy and that is a very grave error, as our society is no longer in the era of Christianity and priests are no longer viceroys of New Spain," and that "There is a tendency in the Church to meddle in the social and political affairs of Mexico, but the priests should return to their Churches".[33]

Spain

Freemasonry was banned in Spain in the Eighteenth Century due to the Papal ban. It became the focus of liberal and anticlerical feeling.[34] During the Spanish Civil War the church named Masonic support of the Republic as one of the reasons it backed the Nationalists.[35]

In 2004, the president of Spain's Union of Catholic Professional Fraternities blamed the anti-clerical measures of the Socialist government on a "tremendous crusade by Masonry against the Church".[36]

Portugal

By the 1830s Freemasonry was seen as a driving force in the anti-clericalism of Portugal's liberals.[37]

The Grande Oriente Lusitano supported the Radical Republicans of Afonso Costa who pursued a strongly anti-clerical programme.[38] Catholic sources attributed the apparent obstruction of Artur Santos, the mayor of Ourem, to the Fatima apparitions in 1917 to his Masonic membership.[39]

Ecuador

Gabriel García Moreno, Catholic president of Ecuador, allegedly murdered by the masons.

Some attributed to Freemasonry the assassination of Gabriel Garcia Moreno who twice served as President of Ecuador (1859-1865 and 1869-1875) and was assassinated during his second term, just days before he was to take office in his third term.[40] He is noted for his conservatism and Catholic religious perspective.

Part of the animosity García Moreno generated was because of his friendship toward the Society of Jesus, and during a period of their exile, he helped a group of displaced Jesuits find refuge in Ecuador. He had also advocated legislation which would outlaw secret societies.[41] This action and many similar ones encouraged the anti-Catholic parties of Ecuador, especially the Masons, to see in him an inveterate enemy. The 1869 constitution made Catholicism the established religion of the state. He was the only ruler in the world to protest the Pope's loss of the Papal States, and two years later had the legislature consecrate Ecuador to the Sacred Heart. One of his biographers writes that after the public consecration, he was condemned to die by German Freemasonry.[42]

When he was elected a third time in 1875, he and many of his supporters considered it to be a death warrant. He wrote immediately to Pope Pius IX asking for his blessing before inauguration day on August 30:

I wish to obtain your blessing before that day, so that I may have the strength and light which I need so much in order to be unto the end a faithful son of our Redeemer, and a loyal and obedient servant of His Infallible Vicar. Now that the Masonic Lodges of the neighboring countries, instigated by Germany, are vomiting against me all sorts of atrocious insults and horrible calumnies, now that the Lodges are secretly arranging for my assassination, I have more need than ever of the divine protection so that I may live and die in defense of our holy religion and the beloved republic which I am called once more to rule.

García Moreno's prediction was correct; he was assassinated exiting the Cathedral in Quito, struck down with knives and revolvers, his last words being: "¡Dios no muere!" ("God does not die!")

On August 5, shortly before his assassination, a priest visited García Moreno and warned him, "You have been warned that your death was decreed by the Freemasons; but you have not been told when. I have just heard that the assassins are going to try and carry out their plot at once. For God's sake, take your measures accordingly!" [43] García Moreno replied that he had already received similar warnings and after calm reflection concluded that the only measure he could take was to prepare himself to appear before God. [44]

"It appears he was assassinated by members of a secret society," observed a contemporary review of public events.[45]

History of the Catholic ban on Masonic membership

Current position of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church's most recent statement on Freemasonry was released in the 1983 document Quaesitum est, written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II. This document remains the most current standing reference on the Church's policy on Freemasonry.[46] Quaesitum est states:

"The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion...."

Quaesitum est clarified the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which did not explicitly list Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns.[47] This contrasted with the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication. The omission of Masonic orders from the 1983 Canon Law prompted Catholics and Masons to question whether the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons was still active, especially after the perceived liberalization of the Church after Vatican II.

A number of Catholics became Freemasons assuming that the Church had softened its stance.[48] Quaesitum est addressed this misinterpretation of the Code of Canon Law, clarifying that:

...the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden."

These "irreconcilable principles" include a "deistic God"[49], naturalism[50] and religious indifferentism.[51]

Freemasonry's position

Masonic bodies do not ban a Catholic from joining if he wishes to do so.[52] There has never been a Masonic prohibition against Catholics joining the fraternity, and many Freemasons are Catholics.[53]

The Grand Orient de France publicly campaigns for "laïcité" and a restriction on the Catholic Church's role in politics.[54]

Original prohibition

In 1736, the Inquisition investigated a Masonic Lodge in Florence, Italy,[55] which was condemned in June 1737. The Lodge had originally been founded in 1733 by the English Freemason Charles Sackville, but accepted Italian members, such as the lodge's secretary Tommaso Crudeli.[56]

In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued Eminenti Apostolatus Specula, the first papal prohibition on Freemasonry.

In May 1739, Tommaso Crudeli, who was a physician and freethinker, was taken into custody and questioned about his heretical beliefs and Masonic affiliation. It was reported in England at the time that he had been tortured,[57] a claim that is still repeated today.[58] He was released in April 1741 and died in January 1745.

The Inquisition

Another case involved John Coustos, a Swiss Protestant living in England. He founded a Masonic Lodge in Lisbon and was arrested by the Portuguese Inquisition while traveling on business. After being questioned, he was sentenced to the galley.[59] Three other Portuguese Masons were put to death.[60] Coustos was released in 1744 as a result of the intercession of King George II of England, and after his return to England, wrote a book detailing his experiences at the hands of the Inquisition.[59]

In 1815 Francisco Xavier de Mier y Campillo, the Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition and Bishop of Almería, suppressed Freemasonry and denounced the lodges as “societies which lead to sedition, to independence, and to all errors and crimes.”[61] He then instituted a purge during which Spaniards could be arrested on the charge of being "suspected of Freemasonry".[61]

Freemasonry and Josephinism

Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790, was a proponent of enlightened absolutism. His ecclesiastical policies of measured toleration and national control of the church, known as Josephinism, were aimed at breaking any real control of the Austrian church by Rome.[62] There is no evidence that Joseph II was a Mason, but he was regarded as being favorably inclined towards freemasonry,[63] most of his advisers were Freemasons[64] and the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia claimed that he had an alliance with Freemasonry.[65]

Freemasonry was banned in Austria-Hungary shortly after Joseph II's death in 1790,[66] a state of affairs that continued until 1867 in Hungary and 1918 in Austria.

Reiteration of ban on membership

The ban in Eminenti was reiterated by several later popes, notably Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical Humanum Genus (1884). The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication.[67] The 1917 Code of Canon Law also forbid books friendly to Freemasonry.[68]

Post Vatican II

Vatican II's "Cardinal" John O'Connor poses with masons of the Grand Lodge of New York in 1997.
After Vatican II the Church appeared to some to be easing its stance towards Masonry. In 1974 Cardinal Seper, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed a document that stated, in part, that
"The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith... has ruled that Canon 2335 no longer automatically bars a Catholic from membership of masonic groups... And so, a Catholic who joins the Freemasons is excommunicated only if the policies and actions of the Freemasons in his area are known to be hostile to the Church ..."[69]

This advice led some Catholics to believe that the prohibition was no longer in force,[70] and that the Church no longer had many of its traditional objections to Freemasonry.[71]

In 1983, the Church issued a new Code of Canon Law. Unlike its predecessor, Canon 1374 does not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. It states in part:

"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."

This omission caused some Catholics and Freemasons to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons may have been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalization of Vatican II,[72] and caused confusion in the Church hierarchy.[73] Many Catholics joined the fraternity, basing their membership on a permissive interpretation of Canon Law and justifying their membership by their belief that Freemasonry does not plot against the Church.[74] It is claimed that Catholic Freemasons in America ignore the 1983 clarification from the Vatican, looking to the 1974 pronouncement.[75]

1980s developments

In the February 1981 letter Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the United States Bishops, the matter was clarified, and the prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders remains.

This was followed by the 1983 document Quaesitum est, issued by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who had become the Congregation's prefect in November 1981. To quote:

"The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion..."[76]

This is the authoritative interpretation of the Vatican's position on this subject.

The official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano went further, claiming that Freemasonry acted as a rival to Catholicism because of the competing symbolic forms and the designation of Catholic non-Masons as outsiders.[77]

German Bishops Conference

The 1980 German Bishops Conference produced a report on Freemasonry listing twelve points and allegations.[78]

Among the allegations were that Freemasonry denies revelation[79] and objective truth.[80] They also alleged that religious indifference is fundamental to Freemasonry,[81] that Freemasonry is Deist,[82] and that it denies the possibility of divine revelation,[83] so threatening the respect due to the Church's teaching office.[84] The sacramental character of Masonic rituals was seen as signifying an individual transformation,[85] offering an alternative path to perfection[86] and having a total claim on the life of a member[87] It concludes by stating that all lodges are forbidden to Catholics,[88] including Catholic-friendly lodges[89] and that German Protestant churches were also suspicious of Freemasonry.[90]

Report of the American Bishops Conference

In the 1980s, the Bishops' Committee on Pastoral Research and Practices concluded that "the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion, active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice." This report, together with two others, was sent in a public letter by Cardinal Bernard Law.

Anslow affair

On September 15, 2000, the Reverend Thomas Anslow, Judicial Vicar of the Los Angeles Archdiocese wrote a letter to David Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Bureau of Los Angeles. In reply to the question "whether a practicing Catholic may join a Masonic Lodge" he said that "at least for Catholics in the United States, I believe the answer is probably yes".[91] This letter was later publicly retracted with the explanation that the analysis was faulty.[92] He said that Freemasonry fostered a "supraconfessional humanitarian" conception of God replacing faith and revelation.[93]

Esposito affair

On March 1, 2007, Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary made a statement that membership in Masonic organisations "remains forbidden" to Catholics and called on priests who had declared themselves to be Freemasons to be disciplined by their direct superiors.[94] It was in reaction to the declaration that the 85 year old priest Rosario Francesco Esposito‎ had declared himself a Freemason.[95]


Church attitudes towards Freemasonry

Freemasonry is seen by the church as being in fundamental competition with Christian doctrines for a number of reasons:

  • It is alleged to advocate a Deist view of religion
  • It has been involved with anticlerical groups and events
  • It advocated a radical separation of church and state
  • It was a secret society and its very secrecy created distrust
  • Avowedly anti-catholic groups such as the Orange Order in Northern Ireland and Scotland and the carbonari in the Papal States were based on Masonic organisation, although how influenced by Masonic ideas these organisations were is controversial
  • That Freemasonry has a religious nature which together with its acceptance of people of any faith minimised the importance of religious dogma
  • Masonic initiation rituals for the "higher" degrees are reputedly anti-Catholic

Anti-masonic papal encyclicals


See also

Multimedia

Footnotes

  1. In Latin countries, the lodges have often attracted freethinkers and anticlerical types; in Anglo-Saxon nations, membership has mostly been drawn from white Protestants. Freemasonry, Concise Britannica; J. Franklin, `Catholics versus Masons', in J. Franklin, Catholic Values and Australian Realities (Connor Court, 2006), ch. 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 "French Masonry and above all the Grand Orient of France has displayed the most systematic activity as the dominating political element in the French 'Kulturkampf' since 1877." From Masonry (Freemasonry) from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  3. "The Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just vengeance on these 'high criminals' for the murder of Molay 128 and 'as the apostle of truth and the rights of man' 129 to deliver mankind 'from the bondage of Despotism and the thralldom of spiritual Tyranny'." From the article Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. "In France, in 1877, and in Portugal in 1910, Freemasons took control of the government for a time and enacted laws to restrict the activities of the Church, particularly in education. In Latin America, the Freemasons have expressed anti-Church and anti-clerical sentiment." Catholics and the Freemason 'Religion', Fr William Saunders, Arlington Catholic Herald
  5. An estimated 30,000 Masons belong to five hundred lodges within three jurisdictions in Italy. Everyone knows that the Grand Orient Lodges of Europe and Latin America have been anti-clerical from the start. For the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to advise Catholics against joining these Grand Orient Lodges would be like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People advising blacks against applying for membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Those who say that the Church really directs her condemnation against the Grand Orient Lodges must assume that the Vatican does not know that Freemasonry is English in origin and overwhelmingly English-speaking in membership. The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership
  6. "...In the historical view, Freemasonry in Europe and Latin America has opposed the Catholic Church and has been virulent in its anti-clerical attitude. To a great extent, however, this mentality is not typical of Freemasonry in the United States... There is a concern that certain Freemasonry groups display all the elements of a religion, but forbid the mention of Jesus Christ within the lodge. This, too, is not exemplified in masonic groups in the United States but is found in other parts of the world. Most Masons in this country join for social and business reasons. In general, there has been no conflict between Freemasonry and the Catholic Church in this country. Both organizations have existed in harmony in the United States....", 10 June 1991, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Houston-Galveston archdiocese, in a letter to Reid McInvale, quoted in ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY by Reid McInvale, Texas Lodge of Research
  7. 15. Are Freemasons anticlerical?, Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium
  8. "The Grand Lodge of France was among the most violently anticlerical of the world"Interview with ZBIGNIEW SUCHECKIby Wlodzimierz Redzioch, Catholic Culture
  9. Christopher Hodapp, Freemasons For Dummies
  10. "So far does this militant atheism of "Latin Freemasonry" in France go," Caillaux's Secret Power Through French Masonry; Ex-Premier Long Immune from Attack Because of His Connection with Atheistic Order Wholly Different from English and American Fraternal Societies (PDF), The New York Times Magazine, Charles Johnston, Feb 24, 1918
  11. Page 152, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, by Jasper Ridley, 2002
  12. For example, the The Miter and the Trowel says "the Latin Grand Lodges" and "the Latin version of Freemasonry" and "unique to Latin Masonry".
  13. The Freemason's Chronicle, 1889, I, 81 sq and Bulletin du Grand Orient de France 1890, 500 sq - cited as footnotes 157 and 158 Masonry (Freemasonry) from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
  14. Larkin, Church and State after the Dreyfus Affair, pp. 138-41: `Freemasonry in France’, Austral Light 6, 1905, pp. 164-72, 241-50.
  15. "The Republic must rid itself of the religious congregations, sweeping them off by a vigorous stroke. The system of half measures is everywhere dangerous; the adversary must be crushed with a single blow" Massé in the Compte rendu du Grand Orient de France, 1903, cited in Nourrisson, "Les Jacobins", 266-271 and then Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  16. Para 28, Etsi Multa
  17. "They also instigated the "Kulturkampf". The celebrated jurisconsult and Mason, Grandmaster Bluntschli, was one of the foremost agitators in this conflict; he also stirred up the Swiss "Kulturkampf"." From Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia and "German Freemasons fostered the Kulturkampf and helped further the dominance of the Prussian state." Freemasonry', New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 ed, Volume 6, p 135, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  18. Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Page 312, Historical dictionary of Brussels, by Paul F. State
  19. "It also links Freemasonry with the Society of the Carbonari, known as the "Charcoal Burners", who at that time were active in Italy and were believed to be a revolutionary group." ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY by REID McINVALE, Texas Lodge of Research
  20. Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy), promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1882
  21. "If ever these perils were menacing in Italy they are surely so now, at a time when the condition of the Civil State itself disastrously imperils the freedom of religion." Paragraph 1, Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy)
  22. "It is even reported that this year it is about to receive the deputies and leaders of the sect which is most embittered against Catholicism, who have appointed this city as the place for their solemn meeting. The reasons which have determined their choice of such a meeting place are no secret; they desire by this outrageous provocation to glut the hatred which they nourish against the Church, and to bring their incendiary torches within reach of the Roman Pontificate by attacking it in its very seat." Paragraph 3, Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy).
  23. "Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God." Para 15, Custodi di Quella Fede
  24. "Masonry has confiscated the inheritance of public charity; fill the void, then, with the treasure of private relief." Para 18, Custodi di Quella Fede
  25. Politicians say Masons behind investigation of the Church in Italy, Catholic News Agency, August 31, 2007
  26. CALLS IT MASONIC CONSPIRACY; Cardinal O'Connell Assails Leaders of Mexican Revolution, November 16, 1914, New York Times
  27. page 206, The Mexican Revolution, Alan Knight, ISBN 0803277717
  28. "After the defeat and exile of the dictator in the 1910 revolution, a succession of Presidents who were Masons and strongly anticlerical ruled the country under the 1917 Constitution that maintained substantially the same liberal principles of 1857." From MEXICAN MASONRY- POLITICS & RELIGION by Oscar J. Salinas E., Past Senior Grand Warden - York Grand Lodge of Mexico (as hosted on the web page of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Mexico)
  29. Fox, Vicente and Rob Allyn Revolution of Hope p. 17, Viking, 2007
  30. Denslow, William R. 10,000 Famous Freemasons p. 171 (2004 Kessinger Publishing)ISBN 1417975784
  31. Tuck, Jim THE CRISTERO REBELLION - PART 1 Mexico Connect 1996
  32. The Cristeros: 20th century Mexico's Catholic uprising, from The Angelus, January 2002 , Volume XXV, Number 1 by Olivier LELIBRE, The Angelus
  33. Mexican masons lament decline of influence and launch new attack on the Church, Catholic News Agency, August 9 2007
  34. "In Spain, more than in any other country in the world, Freemasonry really was the revolutionary conspiracy which the anti-masonic writers and propagandists of the Catholic Church described.", page 196, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, by Jasper Ridley, ISBN 1559706015
  35. Brief History of the Spanish Masonry Gran Logia de Espana
  36. "The president of the Union of Catholic Professional Fraternities, Luis Labiano, said this week a “tremendous crusade by Masonry against the Church” exists in Spain." Spanish Catholic organization blames Masons for “tremendous crusade” against Church, September 27, 2004, Catholic News Agency.
  37. By the 1830s the Masons had become, by and large, the principal promoters of anticlericalism. Chapter 22 Portugal under the Nineteenth-Century Constitutional Monarchy, Stanley G. Payne, A History of Spain and Portugal, Vol. 2
  38. Breve historial da Maçonaria em Portugal
  39. "At twenty-six he joined the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge at Leiria." OPPOSITION TO FATIMA (Part I), The Fatima Crusader, Issue 7 Page 12, Spring 1981
  40. "Gabriel García Moreno". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  41. Henderson, Peter V. N. "Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Conservative State Formation in the Andes" p. 28 University of Texas Press, 2008 ISBN 0292719035
  42. Maxwell-Scott, Mary Monica, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, Regenerator of Ecuador, p. 152. London 1914
  43. Berthe, P. Augustine, translated from French by Mary Elizabeth Herbert Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador, 1821-1875 p. 297 ,1889 Burns and Oates
  44. Berthe, P. Augustine, translated from French by Mary Elizabeth Herbert "Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador, 1821-1875" p. 297-298 ,1889 Burns and Oates
  45. Burke, Edmund Annual Register: A Review of Public Events at Home and Abroad, for the year 1875 p.323 1876 Rivingtons
  46. Quaesitum est reinforced Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons which was written in 1981 from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Bishops Conference of the United States which clarified the Church's stance by stating that the historic prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders remained.
  47. Canon 1374 stated in part: '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.'
  48. From 1974 to 1981, and even beyond, an undetermined number of Catholic men joined the Lodge, and many presently maintain membership. Articles in the Catholic press ' told readers that under certain circumstances a Masonic membership was allowed. The general public, Catholic and non-Catholic, assumed the Church had softened its stand against membership in Freemasonry. from The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership by William A Whalen.
  49. "The nature of the Masonic God is best seen in their favorite title for him: the Supreme Architect. The Masonic God is first of all a deistic God, who is found at the top of the ladder of Masonic wisdom", Jolicoeur and Knowles, pp. 14–15 cited in THE PASTORAL PROBLEM OF MASONIC MEMBERSHIP, sent out as a part of the Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry by Cardinal Bernard Law.
  50. LETTER OF APRIL 19 TO U.S. BISHOPS by Cardinal Bernard Law
  51. "The six-year study of Masonry by the German bishops and the study of American Masonry by Professor William Whalen (commissioned by the Pastoral Research and Practices Committee) confirm that the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice." Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry by Cardinal Bernard Law.
  52. Freemasonry: Your Questions Answered from the webpage of the United Grand Lodge of England: "Q Why will Freemasonry not accept Roman Catholics as members? A It does. The prime qualification for admission into Freemasonry has always been a belief in God. How that belief is expressed is entirely up to the individual. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. There are many Roman Catholic Freemasons."
  53. "During the Pontificate of Paul VI (1963-1978) local and church authorities were allowed to decide if Freemasonry in their areas violated Canon 2335. Freemasonry never formally prohibited Catholics from joining, but centuries of name calling left bitter feelings on both sides. Nonetheless, with case-by-case approval by local Church authorities, many Catholics became Freemasons" S. Brent Morris, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha/Penguin Books, ISBN 1-59257-490-4, p.207.
  54. "Enfin, cette occasion permet de rappeler que la laïcité est le garant de la paix civile et morale et qu’à vouloir s’approprier certaines valeurs, les religions -et en particulier la religion catholique sous l’impulsion de sa hiérarchie actuelle- risquent fort, à terme, de rallumer des conflits et de provoquer des exclusions que l’on croyait rejetées aux oubliettes de l’Histoire." Transl. "Finally, it should be remembered that secularism guarantees civil peace and morality and to want to appropriate these religious values - and especially the Catholic religion under its current leadership - runs a strong long term risk of reigniting conflicts and provoking exclusions that we believed had been consigned to history.", Rappel des valeurs de la laïcité, Press Release from the Grand Orient de France, date 11 September 2007
  55. From the biography of Tommaso Crudeli on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
  56. page 51, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, by Jasper Ridley
  57. "So while Grand Lodge in England contributed £21 to relieve Crudeli from distress, and English public opinion became indignant at the untrue reports that he had been tortured", page 53, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, By Jasper Ridley, 2001, Arcade Publishing
  58. "He was imprisoned and not released until April, 1741. His health was ruined as a result of the experience. He died on January 27, 1745." From the biography of Tommaso Crudeli on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
  59. 59.0 59.1 John Coustos: The Sufferings of John Coustos for Freemasonry and for His Refusing to Turn Catholic in the Inquisition, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1-4179-4187-1
  60. "Three members of the same lodge, Damaio de Andrade, Manoel de Revehot and Christopher Diego, were hanged on 8 March, 1743." John Coustos from the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, citing Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coul. Richmond, Virginia : Macoy Publishing & Masonic Suppy Co., Inc., 1996. p. 56
  61. 61.0 61.1 William R. Denslow, Harry S Truman: 10,000 Famous Freemasons, ISBN 1-4179-7579-2: "In 1815, when Ferdinand VII reestablished the Inquisition in Spain and suppressed the Masonic lodges, Xavier denounced the lodges as "societies which lead to sedition, to independence, and to all errors and crimes." Many of the most distinguished persons of Spain were arrested and imprisoned in the dungeons of the Inquisition on the charge of being 'suspected of Freemasonry'.
  62. "Austria, especially, violent measures were taken to assert the royal supremacy. Joseph II was influenced largely by the Gallican and liberal tendencies of his early teacherFs and advisers. He dreamed of making Austria a rich, powerful, and United Kingdom, and becoming himself its supreme and absolute ruler. During the reign of his mother, Maria Theresa, he was kept in check, but after her death in 1780, in conjunction with his prime minister, Kaunitz, he began to inaugurate his schemes of ecclesiastical reform." THE AGE OF ABSOLUTISM AND UNBELIEF (b) Febronianism and Josephism in HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH From the Renaissance to the French Revolution by Rev. James MacCaffrey, S.J., 1914]
  63. "The Emperor Joseph II (1780-90) was favorably inclined to the Fraternity" BROTHER MOZART AND "THE MAGIC FLUTE" by Newcomb Condee]
  64. Obviously, in the 18th century, most of the advisers to Maria Theresa and the court of Franz Joseph were Masons. Most of the laws and the things that have been done and have been good for our country were very strongly introduced by Masons. Talking to Most Worshipful Brother MICHAEL KRAUS, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Austria, Masonic Forum
  65. "In Germany and Austria, Freemasonry during the eighteenth century was a powerful ally of the so-called party, of "Enlightenment" (Aufklaerung), and of Josephinism" from the article Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  66. "Then came the French Revolution. The Freemasons were regarded with suspicion. The Austrian Lodges voluntarily closed in 1792 and those in Bohemia during the following year. Masonry in Hungary had a somewhat longer life, but by an Edict of 1795 all secret societies in the Austrian dominions were ordered to dissolve." From THE SUPPRESSION OF MASONRY IN AUSTRO-HUNGARY in March 1929 - Volume XV - Number 3, The Builder Magazine
  67. "Those who join a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort, which plot against the Church or against legitimate civil authority, incur ipso facto an excommunication simply reserved to the Holy See." Canon 2335, 1917 Code of Canon Law, quoted in Canon Law regarding Freemasonry, 1917-1983, excerpted from Canon Law, A Text and Commentary, by T. Lincoln Bouscaren, S.J. and Adam C. Ellis, S.J., hosted on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, retrieved on 9 April
  68. "Books which hold dueling, suicide or divorce licit, or which, treating of Masonic sects and other such societies, contend that they are useful and not harmful to the Church and civil society are forbidden", Section 8, Canon 1399, quoted in Canon Law regarding Freemasonry, 1917-1983, extracted from Canon Law, A Text and Commentary, Fourth Revised Edition, Bouscaren, Ellisand, Korth, 1963. Hosted on the website for the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, extracted 9 April 2006.
  69. The Miter and The Trowel by William G. Madison, A page about Freemasonry
  70. Cardinal Franjo Seper, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a letter dated July 19, 1974, to Cardinal John Krol, which concluded that "Canon 2335 regards only those Catholics who join associations which plot against the Church." from The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership 1985 by William J Whalen, distributed by the American Bishop's Conference
  71. Cardinal Seper's letter made no reference to the traditional objections to Freemasonry, namely, its religious naturalism and its oaths. Nor did the letter suggest a methodology by which a bishop might conduct his investigation, in view of the fact that the members of the Lodge, like members of the Irish Republican Army, the Mafia and other secret organizations, were sworn to secrecy. from The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership 1985 by William J. Whalen, distributed by the American Bishop's Conference.
  72. "Some brethren and some Catholics believe that since the Second Ecumenical Council, which was conducted from 1962 to 1965 and is informally known as "Vatican II", the attitude of the church has been to regard Freemasonry as an acceptable sphere for fraternal interaction." From ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY by Reid McInvale, Texas Lodge of Research.
  73. "Since many bishops stated in their reply to an earlier survey that confusion had been generated by a perceived change of approach by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" From Introduction to Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry
  74. "In good faith many of these men had asked their pastors and/or bishops for permission to join the Lodge. Some converts were received into the Church during these years and were not asked to relinquish their Masonic affiliation." The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership, William Whalen, 1986.
  75. "As a result many Catholics are basing their actions vis-a-vis Freemasonry on the 1974 pronouncement, ignoring the 1983 "clarification"." The Miter and The Trowel by William G. Madison, A page about Freemasonry
  76. "The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion..." Quaesitum est, 1983
  77. The March 11, 1985 issue of L'Osservatore Romano carried an article titled "Irreconcilability Between Christian Faith and Freemasonry" as a comment on the November 26, 1983 declaration. In part, the Vatican newspaper said a Christian "cannot cultivate relations of two types with God nor express his relation with the Creator through symbolic forms of two types. That would be something completely different from that collaboration, which to him is obvious, with all those who are committed to doing good, even if beginning from different principles. On the one hand, a Catholic Christian cannot at the same time share in the full communion of Christian brotherhood and, on the other, look upon his Christian brother, from the Masonic perspective, as an 'outsider.'",. The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership, William H Whalen, 1986
  78. From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  79. "1. The Masonic World View. The Masons promote a freedom from dogmatic adherence to any one set of revealed truths. Such a subjective relativism is in direct conflict with the revealed truths of Christianity." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  80. "2. The Masonic Notion of Truth. The Masons deny the possibility of an objective truth, placing every truth instead in a relative context." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  81. "3. The Masonic Notion of Religion. Again, the Masonic teaching holds a relative notion of religions as all concurrently seeking the truth of the Absolute." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  82. "4. The Masonic Notion of God. The Masons hold a deistic notion of God which excludes any personal knowledge of the deity." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  83. "5. The Masonic Notion of God and Revelation. The deistic notion of God precludes the possibility of God’s self-revelation to humankind." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  84. "6. Masonic Toleration. The Masons promote a principle of toleration regarding ideas. That is, their relativism teaches them to be tolerant of ideas divergent or contrary to their own. Such a principle not only threatens the Catholic position of objective truth, but it also threatens the respect due to the Church’s teaching office." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network.
  85. "7. The Masonic Rituals. The rituals of the first three Masonic grades have a clear sacramental character about them, indicating that an actual transformation of some sort is undergone by those who participate in them." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  86. "8. The Perfection of Humankind. The Masonic rituals have as an end the perfection of mankind. But Masonry provides all that is necessary to achieve this perfection. Thus, the justification of a person through the work of Christ is not an essential or even necessary aspect of the struggle for perfection." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  87. "9. The Spirituality of the Masons. The Masonic Order makes a total claim on the life of the member. True adherence to the Christian faith is thereby jeopardized by the primary loyalty due the Masonic Order." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network.
  88. "10. The Diverse Divisions within the Masons. The Masons are comprised of lodges with varying degrees of adherence to Christian teaching. Atheistic lodges are clearly incompatible with Catholicism. But even those lodges comprised of Christian members seek merely to adapt Christianity to the overall Masonic world-view. This is unacceptable." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  89. "11. The Masons and the Catholic Church. Even those Catholic-friendly lodges that would welcome the Church’s members as its own are not compatible with Catholic teaching, and so closed to Catholic members." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network
  90. "12. The Masons and the Protestant Church. While a 1973 meeting of Protestant Churches determined that individual Protestants could decide whether to be members of both the Christian Church and the Freemasons, it included in its decision the caveat that those Christians must always take care not to lessen the necessity of grace in the justification of the person."" From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in The Jurist, quoted in Free Masons by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on Eternal World Television Network.
  91. MAY CATHOLICS BECOME FREEMASONS?
  92. May a Roman Catholic join a Masonic lodge?
  93. "The key point in the argument is that the system of symbols common to Freemasons around the world (centering on the Architect of the Universe and given added weight by the rule of secrecy) tends to foster a 'supraconfessional humanitarian' way of conceiving the divine that neutralizes or replaces the faith dimension of our relationship with God. Even though given lodges may abstain from endorsing any particular position, including one that considers religious faith to be a matter of indifference (i.e., nothing more than a matter of personal preference), the contemporary world's social atmosphere of moral and religious relativism creates a climate in which a merely humanitarian symbol system works to undermine the religious faith by which we receive God's revelation." May a Roman Catholic join a Masonic lodge?
  94. Regent Restates Vatican's Anti-Masonry Position, Zenit News Agency, 2007-03-02
  95. Italian priest joins Masons - Catholic World News

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