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Is Freemasonry a Cover for Satanists?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:57 pm    Post subject: Is Freemasonry a Cover for Satanists? Reply with quote

The Devil in Disguise?
Extracted from The Brotherhood, the secret world of the freemasons
By Stephen Knight
CHAPTER 25 - The Devil in Disguise?
Enemies of the Brotherhood have been denouncing its rituals as devil worship for more than 250 years. One of my purposes was to discover if these denunciations were true or false. Another was to try to resolve, by taking an entirely new approach, the continuing problem of whether or not Masonry was compatible with Christianity
For the average reader, the difficulty of overcoming any religious objections to Freemasonry is increased rather than lessened by the very abundance of printed matter on the subject. Much of the vast literature of Masonry is devoted to religious issues. The problem is further aggravated by the extreme unreliability of a large portion of this bibliography, wherein scurrilous tirade frequently masquerades as learned treatise
Almost everything written so far on Freemasonry and religion has fallen into one of two categories: arguments attacking Masonry by non- or anti-Masons, and arguments defending Masonry by committed Masons. There is virtually nothing from neutral outsiders. This, then, would be my approach: as a neutral investigator holding no brief for Christianity and no automatic aversion to devil worship. For the purposes of the investigation, I would suspend moral judgement, admit no good, bad, right or wrong because these could only confuse the issue further. The questions were: Is Freemasonry compatible with Christianity? and, Is masonic ritual, or any element of it, diabolism? By sticking to these and looking unemotionally at facts, both questions were surely capable of a yes or no answer. The reader could then make his or her own moral judgements
Another part of my 'new approach' was to avoid the sophisticated theological arguments which have inevitably entered - in fact dominated - the debate
In fact the answers can be arrived at simply and on strictly logical grounds
One does not have to be a theologian - nor even a Freemason or a Christian - to recognize that Christians and Freemasons would have to worship the same God for the two to be compatible. The question simply, then, is do they? If Freemasonry were found, despite its protestations to the contrary, to be a quasi-religion and to have a different god from the Christian god, then the two would naturally be incompatible
It has been said that these issues are of no concern to Freemasons, but hundreds of members of the Brotherhood have spoken to me of the turmoil they experience in attempting to reconcile their religious views with the demands of masonic ritual. It is of obvious importance to a section of those interested in Freemasonry, whether they be initiates or among the ranks of the 'profane', to attempt to find some answers which can be understood without profound religious knowledge
First, then, is Freemasonry a religion? The Rev Saul Amias takes the official masonic line in saying that Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for religion
'There are Christians, there are Moslems, there are members of every religion in Freemasonry,' he told me. 'Catholics are not allowed by their own church to become masons, although some do come in. There's nothing incompatible with my religion as a Jew, as an orthodox Jew, in Freemasonry, nothing at all. It is not a religion.' Other Masons told me that Freemasonry is no more a religion than are Rotary Clubs or tennis clubs. Amias agreed with this
'But,' I objected, 'the Rotary Club and the tennis club do not meet in such solemn environs. You have a masonic temple. You have an altar.You kneel before your deity, the Great Architect. You swear oaths on your Volume of Sacred Law - the Bible, the Koran, whateyer is deemed most appropriate. All these are surely religious trappings?' He replied, 'Agreed. But these are to enhance the individual Mason's belief in his God. Vouchsafe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Supreme Governor of the Universe, to our present convention, and grant that this candidate for Freemasonry may so be endowed. . . and so on. This is a prayer to the Almighty that is said by the chaplain, in the case of my Lodge, by myself. A prayer to Almighty God in whom Jews and Christians believe
This is to enhance it, to encourage it. But we do not pray and worship to a masonic God. There is no idol.' A former Freemason, City of London merchant banker Andrew Arbuthnot, was also able to speak on the question with the knowledge of an initiate. He told me: 'If you take a purely objective view of religions in the plural, one has to accept that Freemasonry is a religion. It induces a sense of brotherhood and togetherness by means of a secret society, which always gives that sense, but it leads people towards the thought of a Supreme Being, to the transcendental. It is at least as much a religion as the average, dry Church of England conventional matins service.' When Walton Hannah's Darkness Visible appeared in 1952, it caused a sensation. This book alone deals conclusively with the matter of whether or not Masonry is a religion as well as reproducing word for word the entire ritual of Freemasonry in the three Craft degrees and concluding that Masonry and Christianity are not compatible. Following its publication, an Anglican vicar who, unlike Hannah, was a Freemason, wrote a book under the pseudonym Vindex, which was entitled Light Invisible. This was subtitled: The Freemason's Answer to Darkness Visible, and sought to disprove Hannah's assertion that Masonry and Christianity were incompatible. Where the book is valuable, however, is in confirming that Masonry does in fact regard itself as a religion, whatever it might tell outsiders: We now come to the core of the matter. What is the religion of Freemasonry? It is the oldest of all religious systems, dating from time immemorial [my italics]. It is not in itself a separate religion, and has never claimed to be one, but it embodies in itself the fundamental truths and ancient mysteries on which every religion is based. Taunts that it worships a 'common denominator' God are rather wide of the mark if the phrase indicates any inadequacy or limitation in nature or tide of the God we worship, for we worship and believe as a first principle in the fullness of the Godhead of which other religions see only in part
This 'Total God' which Freemasonry claims for itself is not presented to potential initiates as such. Thousands of practising Christians in Britain today worship the Freemasonic God believing it to be precisely the same as the Christian God, if they will it. This is perhaps the most prevalent misunderstanding by the average Freemason of his own" Brotherhood
Candidates for initiation are told that one of the basic qualifications for membership is belief in a Supreme Being of some kind - Jehovah, Allah, the Holy Trinity of Christianity, it does not matter. So long as this belief is present, then whichever divine creator an individual Freemason wishes to follow can be accommodated under the masonic umbrella term for all Supreme Beings (the impossibility of more than one Supreme Being is ignored), that of Great Architect of the Universe, [Denoted in printed masonic rituals as TGAOTU], or sometimes the Grand Geometrician, who created everything with one sweep of His divine compasses. As Vindex puts it in his general downgrading of all the Faiths as mere parts of the Masonic Whole: As Masons, we believe in God, the Father, Almighty. As Christian Masons we may believe in a symbolical triune essence, and that Jesus Christ is His Son, Our Lord. As Moslem Masons we are equally entitled to believe that Mahomet is His prophet. With these subsidiary and secondary beliefs Masonry has nothing to do, giving her members a perfect liberty to interpret the Godhead as they please
This is what Freemasons are taught, and this is what the majority of Freemasons believe. Even if it were true, there is enough in this statement to show that Masonry and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Because in this official view propounded by Vindex for public digestion, the very essence of Christianity is obliterated. In Masonry, we learn, Christ is not God but man - in Vindex's estimation the man who showed 'more than any other man who ever lived' what God is like. He later adds: 'I for one can never understand how anyone who takes an exclusive view of Christ as the only complete revelation of God's truth can become a Freemason without suffering from spiritual schizophrenia
' There are many people who would agree with this non-exclusivity of Christ's teaching. But Christianity does not agree with it. The definition of a Christian is one who believes in Christ's teachings. And Christ taught, rightly or wrongly, '. . . no one cometh unto the Father, but by me'. Therefore Vindex, although an Anglican cleric, was not a Christian. And the Freemasonic God he describes is not a Christian one
Earlier I used the words 'even if it were true' when referring to the statement made by Vindex and by Freemasonry of the nature of the Masonic God. I did this because the assurance given to candidates that the name Great Architect of the Universe can be applied to whatever Supreme Being they choose is worse than misleading: it is a blatant lie
In fact the Masonic God - cloaked under the description Great Architect - has a specific name and a particular nature, which has nothing to do with Christ, Vishnu, Buddha, Mohammed or any other being recognized by the great faiths of the modern world
Two-thirds of Freemasons never realize the untruth of the line they are fed as to the identity of the Great Architect, because it is deliberately kept hidden from them. It is no overstatement to say that most Freemasons, even those without strong religious convictions, would never have joined the Brotherhood if they had not been victims of this subtle trick
The true name, although not the nature, of the Masonic God is revealed only to those Third Degree Masons who elect to be 'exalted' to the Holy Royal Arch. The Royal Arch is often thought of as the Fourth Degree (but as explained in Chapter 5, the Fourth Degree is that of Secret Master), by others as a 'side degree'. In fact the Royal Arch is an extension of the Third Degree, and represents the completion of the 'ordeal' of the Master Mason. Only about one-fifth of all Master Masons are exalted. But even these, who are taught the 'ineffable name' of the masonic God, do not appreciate its true nature
This is basically because of deliberate obfuscation of the truth by some of those who know, and a general acceptance that everything is as they are told by most members of the Brotherhood
In the ritual of exaltation, the name of the Great Architect of the Universe is revealed as JAH-BUL-ON not a general umbrella term open to any interpretation an individual Freemason might choose, but a precise designation that describes a specific supernatural being - a compound deity composed of three separate personalities fused in one. Each syllable of the 'ineffable name' represents one personality of this Trinity: JAH = Jahweh, the God of the Hebrews
BUL = Baal, the ancient Canaanite fertility god associated with 'licentious rites 'of imitative magic'
ON = Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian god of the underworld
Baal, of course, was the 'false god' with whom Jahweh competed for the allegiance of the Israelites in the Old Testament. But more recently, within a hundred years of the creation of the Freemason's God, the sixteenth-century demonologist John Weir identified Baal as a devil. This grotesque manifestation of evil had the body of a spider and three heads - those of a man, a toad and a cat
A description of Baal to be found in de Plancy's Dictionary of Witchcraftis particularly apposite when considered in the light of the secretive and deceptive nature of Freemasonry: his voice was raucous, and he taught his followers guile, cunning and the ability to become invisible
In 1873, the renowned masonic author and historian General Albert Pike, later to become Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council (of the 33rd Degree). at Charles ton, USA, wrote of his reaction on learning of Jah-Bul-On. He was disquieted and disgusted by the name, and went on: 'No man or body of men can make me accept as a sacred word, as a symbol of the infinite and eternal Godhead, a mongrel word, in part composed of the name of an accursed and beastly heathen god, whose name has been for more than two thousand years an appellation of the Devil.' I have spoken to no less than fifty-seven long-standing Royal Arch Freemasons who have been happy to talk to me, to help me in my ambition to give Freemasonry 'a fair crack of the whip'. Most of them spoke quite freely, explaining without hesitation their views, reactions and answers to the criticisms and queries I raised. However, all but four lost their self-assurance and composure when I said, 'What about Jah-Bul-On?' Some, although they had previously told me they had been exalted to the Royal Arch, and therefore must have not only received the lecture on the name but also studied the passages and enacted the ritual relating to Jah-Bul-On, said they had never heard of it. In most cases the interviewees very rapidly brought the meeting to a close when I asked the question. Others laughed unconvincingly and extricated themselves from having to reply by jauntily saying such words a5, 'Oh, that old chestnut', and passing quickly on to some other subject, normally going on the offensive with something like, 'Why are you so interested in Freemasonry in particular? Why don't you look into Christianity or something? Why do people always pick on Freemasonry?' thereby diverting the conversation from the course I had plotted. If I insisted on returning to Jah-Bul-On, almost invariably the interview would be unceremoniously terminated. Others said that although they had heard of the word, they did not know what jt meant. To them it meant Go~ previously erudite Freemasons, with a precise knowledge of every other aspect of Masonry we had discussed, suddenly became vague and claimed ignorance of this most central of all Freemasonic subjects. While professing an almost total lack of knowledge of Jah-BulOn, several dismissed it as of no real importance
Charles Stratton, one Royal Arch Freemason for whom I have the utmost admiration, told me this of Jah-Bul-On: 'No one ever has time to think about its meaning, you're too busy trying to remember your words. As far as I know it's just another name for Jehovah.' Acute silences, chiefly of embarrassment, followed my question on many occasions, as happened when I spoke to a most co-operative officer both of Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter
We had been discussing whether or not Freemasonry was a religion, and I had run through my customary list of religious terms used in Freemasonry. Then I added, 'One comes across the phrase, "the sacred tenets of Freemasonry"
This seems to imply that Masonry thinks of itself as a religion.' The Grand Officer replied, 'No, I haven't said that. . . the sacredtenets?' 'Yes.' 'Well, the word sacred means holy.' 'Yes. Then there's the "Holy" Royal Arch.' He paused. When he began to speak again it was much more slowly
'Yes. The Holy Royal Arch. They are all expressions of . . . religion in its fullest sense, not in a masonic sense. I cannot stress too strongly the fact that there is no masonic religion, no masonic god, deity or someone or something to which a Freemason must swear loyalty. No.' 'What about Jah-Bul-On?' He was obviously taken off-guard. He said nothing for nearly ten seconds and looked most discomfited. At length, proceeding with the extreme caution of a man feeling his way through a thicket of thorns, he said: 'These are
. . Hebrew words which are. . . murdered from their original. And Jahis the Hebrew word for God, so it's God again. You come back to God, the real God. But these - ha! [he chuckled] - these are ways in which we express our loyalty to God.' 'It's interesting you should choose only to define the first syllable, which is of course the most acceptable to those with religious convictions. But what about the other parts of that word which are, are they not, Baal and Osiris?' Another long pause. 'I don't know them. That's the higher echelons of Freemasonry.' 'That's in the Royal Arch, isn't it?' 'I don't do Royal Arch. I do Chapter, but not Royal Arch. ' This was the first lie he had told me, and I could see it was unpleasant for him. [See Mackey' s Revised Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Volume 1, P 191.] I continued: 'It is established that Jahbulon is a composite name for God, made up of Jah---' 'What's Bul-On?' 'Bul is Baal and On is Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian god of the dead.' 'Well...' 'Pike was outraged when he heard that name for the first time and saw it associated with Freemasonry, which of course was so dear to him. He said that nothing would induce him to accept as the name of God a word which is in part the name of a pagan god and for more than two thousand years an appellation of the devil.' 'I agree on that, but I . . . I . . . I don't know about it. It's not that I don't want to. I don't know about it so I really can't comment. You'll have to ask someone who knows. ' 'Does it worry you?' 'In one of the higher degrees they use Jesus Christ.' 'Yes, there are several masonic orders which are exclusively Christian - the Knights Templar, the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Societas Rosicruciana, the Knights of Malta, the Order of Eri. But does the name Jah-Bul-On worry you?' 'Many Masons wouldn't subscribe to those Christian degrees. ' The implication was clear: if Christ was an acceptable part of Freemasonry even to a non-Christian, why not the devil as well? Unacceptable though he might be to most initiates, he has his place
The Church of England has been a stronghold of Freemasonry for more than two hundred years. Traditionally, joining the Brotherhood and advancing within it has always been the key to preferment in the Church. This situation has altered in the past twenty years and today there are fewer Masons within the Church than ever before. Even so, the Church is still rife with members of the Brotherhood. This is why, despite overwhelming evidence of Masonry's incompatibility with Christianity and the shattering revelation as to the nature of the Masonic God, no amount of pressure from inside or outside the Church has so far succeeded in forcing an enquiry into the subject
Thirty years ago a thirty-eight-year-old Anglican clergyman, the Rev Walton Hannah, gave up his living in Sussex to devote himself to studying and writing about Freemasonry. In January 1951, Hannah launched his attack on clergymen Freemasons in an article in Theology. The article created a fissure through which poured the pent-up anxieties and suspicion of non-masonic Anglicans, which had been rumbling beneath the surface for years. The controversy spread far beyond the pages of theological journals as spin-off 'shock-horror-sensation' pieces appeared in the popular press. The furore led to a debate in the Church Assembly and it began to look as if the whole subject of Freemasonry in the Church might be brought before the Convocation of Canterbury. But as the Archbishop of Canterbury himself (Fisher) was a powerful Freemason, the Brotherhood had little trouble in blocking the attempt, and it was ruled out of order on a technicality
Hannah later published his condemnation of Freemasonry and his arguments against its compatibility with Christianity in his book Darkness Visible,in which he pointed out that every Christian Church that had studied Freemasonry has declared that it was incompatible with Christianity. These condemnations ranged from the famous papal pronouncements, the first of which was in 1738, to an instruction of General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, that 'no language of mine could be too strong in condemning an Officer's affiliation with any Society which shuts Him outside its Temples'. The Greek Orthodox Church, pointing out that Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian communities had also declared Masonry incompatible with Christianity, condemned the movement formally in 1933 in part and significantly because 'it constitutes a mystagogical system which reminds us of the ancient heathen mystery-religions and cults - from which it descends and is their continuation and regeneration'
Dr H. S. Box, author of The Nature of Freemasonry, attempted to raise the issue of Freemasonry in the Canterbury Convocation of the Church of England in 1951. 'Due largely,' Hannah says, 'to the persuasive influence of the Masonic Bishop of Reading, Dr A. Groom Parham, this was never debated.' There was, though, a debate in the Church Assembly in 1952. Hannah records that the 'critics orMaSOnry were frankly out-manoeuvred by the unexpectedness and speed with which masons acted': the motion for an enquiry was overwhelmingly rejected. The Church of England has still never considered the matter officially
Hannah's conclusion, echoed today by several deeply concerned Church of England clergy and bishops in private conversation, is that 'the Church. . . dares not offend or provoke thousands of influential and often financially substantial laymen by enquiring into the religious implications of Freemasonry'
The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie, is not a Freemason and a recent survey suggests that many fewer bishops are Freemasons today than in the 1950s, when it would have been hard to find half a dozen bishops who were not Masons
One great difficulty, today as in the 1950s, is for non Masonic clergy and laity - and indeed the general reader to obtain reliable information about the religious implications of Freemasonry. The vast - though often inaccessible - masonic literature is contradictory and full of gaps. It is all but impossible to know which books and what parts of them reflect the inmost beliefs of the masonic leadership
To take one striking example: in the first three degrees the 'blue' Craft Masonry conducted in Lodges - the initiate is introduced right away to 'The Great Architect of the Universe' as the masonic deity. He will doubtless assume according to his upbringing that this is merely a quaint way of referring to Jahweh, Allah, or the triune God of Christianity. If he should wonder why this title is a masonic secret and why masonic texts therefore cryptically refer to the 'GAOTU' instead of simply to God with a capital 'G', he will probably see no more than a little harmless clandestinity, maybe guessing (incorrectly) that it is a time honoured vagary deriving from the days of 'operative' masons
The average Christian man who has not studied the theological implications of the oaths, rituals and lectures usually experiences a certain initial moral and religious disquiet about what he has done in joining. Many have admitted to being somewhat ashamed by the initiation ceremony they have undergone. But all this is allayed by the reassurance that so many of the eminent' and reputable have for centuries done the same and that the masonic system somehow enjoys an immunity in these matters sanctioned by tradition
As already stated, it is only when a Master Mason is 'exalted' to the Royal Arch and becomes a member of a Royal Arch Chapter, that the real name of the 'GAOTU' - Jahbulon - is communicated to him. Even then, carried so far by his experience of the first three Craft degrees, and being used by that time to the ambivalence surrounding all masonic ritual and symbolism arising from the fact that the one masonic dogma is that there are no immutable truths, most fail to appreciate that they have been deliberately misled into thinking 'GAOTU' is the one God of the great monotheistic religions. No one will enlighten the duped Royal Arch Masons for no one has the authority to do more than sketch his own personal interpretation of what the attributes of Jahbulon may be
Those that have a feeling for the occult - the true adepts - recognize each other: they appreciate the real significance behind the deliberate masonic ambiguities. They develop a confidence in drawing their own deductions, making their own interpretations of symbolism and ritual. Such people come slowly to be accepted into the inner sanctum of the Brotherhood. But even among themselves - to judge by what senior masonic defectors have reported, and by the rare esoteric literature solely for advanced Masons - there is no mention of anything openly suggestive of satanism. There is no need: long practice of the masonic system ensures that the understanding is on another level. In just the- same way, in worldly matters, all Masons at their initiation are required to 'declare on your honour that - uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself... for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry'. Most candidates fully understand that this is humbug: they know full well that many join primarily or at least partly in the hope that membership will forward their worldly ambitions
But they give their word - and so, right from the beginning, they enter into the double-speak of Masonry. A doublespeak some learn to talk like a guided missile homing on its target. It is a double-speak the student of Masonry must learn to recognize and not allow to confuse him
Against all this, the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), for example, even today carries no literature examining Freemasonry and discussing whether a Christian should be a Mason
Hannah states that the SPCK issued a directive to their bookshops that his book Darkness Visible, probably still the most accurate and scholarly general work on the matter, should not be stocked. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the President of the SPCK. The Archbishop of Canterbury responsible for banning Hannah's book was Dr Geoffrey Fisher - a Freemason of long standing
There is no doubt that Freemasonry is extremely anxious to have - or to appear to have - good relations with all Christian Churches and, knowing that no serious masonic scholar and no Christian theologian has been prepared to argue compatibility, the Movement remains silent. There is evidence of very considerable efforts being made by Masons - including pressures on publishers, distributors and libraries - to suppress works critical of the Brotherhood
[This even extends to the Brotherhood's own publications. When the British Library applied in the normal way to Freemasons Hall for two copies of the Masonic Year Book for the Reading Room in 1981, it was informed that it would not be permitted to have copies of the directory then or in the future. No explanation was given. See also pp. 9-12 on the prepubliction adventures of The Brotherhood.] - Hannah related how a mysterious gentleman invited him to the foyer of the Savoy Hotel where he offered the author £1,000 in notes for not publishing Darkness Visible or any other attack on Masonry. It should be stated that there is no evidence of this particular incident except Hannah's word
Hannah ends his review of the attitudes of the Christian Churches towards Freemasonry by remarking: 'There is fear on both sides, hence the search for truth is stifled, and the religious bigamy continues. Only Rome can afford to smile at the situation, and continue to win converts.' For once, Hannah - who became a Roman Catholic after the Church of England had failed to examine Masonry and pronounce upon it - was wrong
The Church of Rome, traditional arch-enemy of Freemasonry, is even more the object of masonic attention than the Church of England
Roman Catholics of the older generation remember pamphlets published by the Catholic Truth Society (the Roman Church's equivalent of the SPCK) about the incompatibility of Freemasonry and Catholicism at every church bookstall
They understood that a long line of Popes had declared Freemasonry illicit and that Catholics who were Freemasons were automatically excommunicated by the mere fact of membership
The situation today has mysteriously changed. Like the SPCK, the CTS has ceased publishing any guidance on Freemasonry. Priests, although perhaps better trained today than ever before, are commonly ignorant about the subject and are themselves unaware of their Church's present position
I have discovered that there is a deliberate policy in operation within the English hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to keep its members in ignorance of the true standing of the Church on the question of Freemasonry. This policy is intended to cover up a huge mistake made by the English Catholic Bishops in 1974 which led to Catholics in Britain being informed that after two hundred years of implacable opposition from Rome, the Holy See had changed its mind and that with the permission of their local Bishop Catholics could now become Freemasons. As well as covering up what I can now reveal as this blunder on the part of the English hierarchy, the wall-of-silence policy conceals, perhaps inadvertently, a more sinister situation in Rome, where I have evidence that the Vatican itself is infiltrated by Freemasons
In 1982 I asked a trusted friend, a Roman Catholic and like myself an author and journalist, to raise the matter of the widespread ignorance of Catholics with the present Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume. The Archbishop's response was: 'I think it would be wise to wait for the publication of the new Canon Law before taking any public stance on the questions of Freemasons.' His General Secretary, Monsignor Norris, wrote in amplification: '... we have been informed that Freemasonry in this country has no connection with Freemasonry of an unpleasant kind on the Continent'. He went on to add that a Catholic's Bishop could give permission for a man to join the Brotherhood if 'convinced [membership] will have no bad effect on the person's Catholicity'
Only now, after independent investigation by my Roman Catholic friend and myself, and contact with the Roman Church's hierarchy in Rome, can this statement be revealed as inaccurate. Norris's comment that'. . . we have been informed...' begs the question - who convinced the English hierarchy that English Freemasonry is fundamentally different? What happened to the Canon Law automatically excommunicating Freemasons? The story is a strange one
By the 1880s eight Popes had already condemned Freemasonry when Freemasons urged that these condemnations had been based on erroneous information and were excessively severe. This led Pope Leo XIII to issue his famous encyclical Humanum Genus in 1884. Leo XIII classed Freemasonry as a grouping of secret societies in the 'kingdom of Satan' and, like the Greek Orthodox Church half a century later, stated that it wished 'to bring back after eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans'. He qualified Masonry as subversive of Church and state, condemned it for its rejection of Christian revelation, and for its religious indifferentism the idea that all religions are equally valid. He warned against the effectiveness of masonic organization, its use of figurehead leaders, and its subtle use of 'double-speak'. He urged the bishops to whom the Encyclical was addressed 'first of all to tear away the mask of Freemasonry, and let it be seen for what it really is'
There were further condemnations in 1894 and 1902. Then the Canon Law promulgated in 1917 provided in Canon 2335 that 'ipso facto excommunication' is incurred by 'those who enrol in the masonic sect or in other associations of the same sort which plot against the Church or the legitimate civil authorities'. One reason for the unusual frequency of these papal condemnations is that Freemasonry has always had sympathizers, even members, clerical as well as lay, in the Roman Catholic Church
From the 1920s Freemasons increasingly urged that British Freemasonry (and indeed other Freemasonry which did not accept the avowed atheism of the French and certain other 'Grand Orients' which had cost them recognition by the British Grand Lodges) was different from what the Popes had had in mind and so was unjustly condemned: they insisted that this British-type Free masonry did not plot against either Church or state. The Vatican paid no attention, but three Jesuits with masonic contacts (Gruber, Bertheloot and Riquet) successively urged study of the possibility for a rapprochement
Then came Vatican II and the great impetus this gave to the ecumenical movement - the reconciliation of all Christians. Senior members of the Brotherhood saw an opportunity to exploit this enthusiasm and used its ecclesiastical contacts to renew its call for an end to Catholic hostility. In America, France and Germany, notably, there were a number of small indications that the Catholic attitude to Masonry was softening. These were enough for Harry Carr [Past Junior Grand Deacon; Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 and of four other Lodges - 2265, 2429, 6226 and 7464; Hon. Member of six Lodges - 236, 2429, 2911, 3931, 7998 and 8227; Hon. Member of eight Lodges in France, the USA and Canada.], one of those leading Freemasons who, like Dr Theophilus Desaguliers in the eighteenth century, exercise immense influence from a discreet position some rungs below the top of the Grand Lodge ladder
Carr spoke of the possibility of reconciliation to the London Grand Lodge Association in February 1968
As related in his book The Freemason at Work, a questioner asked Carr how there could be any such move while 'defamatory and inaccurate' anti-masonic literature was on sale at Westminster Cathedral bookstall. Carr wrote to Cardinal Heenan, then Archbishop of Westminster' who undertook to have the offending literature, if indeed inaccurate, withdrawn. It was. Heenan saw Carr on 18 March 1968
Carr stressed the old distinction between British and atheistic Continental Freemasonry and said that both as a Jew and a Mason he hoped the time had come for a reconciliation. According to Carr, this led Heenan to offer himself as 'intermediary' between English Freemasonry and the Vatican. Carr says he saw Heenan again on the eve of the Cardinal's departure for Rome. There was talk of a revision of Canon 2335 and of meetings between the Brotherhood and the Holy See
On the surface nothing happened for nearly three years until the spring of 1971 when the Jesuit Father Giovanni Caprile, a leading and very hostile Catholic expert on Freemasonry, changed tack and wrote a number of conciliatory articles in the quasi-official Civilta Cattolica. It was widely believed that Caprile's new line was backed by none other than Cardinal Villot, then Vatican Secretary of State. The story is that Villot, dubbed a 'progressive', used Father Caprile's articles to overcome the resistance to any change in the Church's teaching on Masonry by Cardinal Franjo Seper, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith
Against this background Carr saw Heenan a third time on 26 April 1971 and Heenan related how the Holy See had granted dispensations to two English Masons to remain members of the Brotherhood after their reception into the Roman Catholic Church
On 12 June 1973 Heenan felt able to warn his priests that a change in Rome's policy towards Masonry was imminent. He was right. After years of procrastination Cardinal Seper felt obliged on 19 July 1974 to authorize the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to write a confidential letter to certain Episcopal Conferences, the English among them, commenting on the interpretation to be given to Canon 2335
Seper said no more than he had to: someone had pointed out that, as there was no comma in the definitive Latin text of Canon 2335, it was not clear whether all Freemasons were automatically excommunicated, or onlythose Freemasons whose particular group plots against Church or legitimate civil authorities. Wherever a Canon provides for penalties, Seper was obliged to point out, the most restrictive interpretation had to be given in the case of ambiguity. Therefore, the Canon reserved automatic excommunication only for the plotters
Of itself the cautious letter signalled no change in the Church's attitude to the Brotherhood. But Caprile in Civilta Cattolica published what was allegedly an 'authorized commentary' suggesting that the Church now officially accepted that there were masonic associations which did not conspire against Church or state, that the Church now intended to leave it to local Episcopal Conferences to decide whether their local Masons were in this category - and if they were, there need be no ban on Masonry
The English bishops accepted this view and issued a statement of general guidance which reads in part: Times change. The Holy See has reviewed the Church's present relationship with Freemasonry... the Congregation 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 policy and actions of the Freemasons in his area are known to be hostile to the Church
The Catholic News Service announced that the effect of this guidance 'is to move from a ban on Catholics belonging to the Masonic Movement to a cautious procedure whereby such membership may in some cases be sought'
For Carr and for Masonry this was the definitive breakthrough: the reconciliation so long sought by the Masons had been achieved. As Carr puts it, 'There must be hundreds of dedicated Masons all over the world who have played some part in the achievement of this long desired end. We have seen masonic history in the making. . . the sad story which began in 1738 is happily ended.' Masons hastened to spread the word that Catholics could at last be Freemasons without incurring their Church's displeasure
Inside sources have informed me that behind all this disarray in the Vatican there may well have been a small number of masonic prelates - specifically an Archbishop who in July 1975 was dismissed from his post when 'unquestionable proof' of his being a Freemason was submitted to the Pope. Prima facieevidence of a few such cases does certainly exist, but as Paul VI, fearing scandal, ordered no enquiry to establish the truth, rumour has taken over and spurious lists of high-ranking 'masonic prelates' have been passed around, making the facts more than ever difficult to establish
Everywhere there was confusion. In Brazil, on Christmas Day 1975, at the request of the Masonic Lodge Liberty, Cardinal Abelard Brandao Vilela, Primate of Brazil, celebrated Mass to commemorate the Lodge's fortieth anniversary
For his attitude towards the Brotherhood the Cardinal next year received the tide 'Great Benefactor' of the Lodge
All this happened under Pope Paul VI who, whatever his other virtues, is widely considered to have been a weak man unable to face scandal if need be to keep masonic influence out of the Vatican and national Episcopal conferences
With the advent of Pope John Paul II it soon became clear that Harry Carr had been over-sanguine in suggesting that the story was at an end. On 17 February 1981 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a 'declaration' stating that the 1974 letter had given rise to 'erroneous and tendentious' interpretations. It insisted: '. . . canonical discipline regarding Freemasonry remains in force and has not been modified in any way, consequently neither excommunication nor the other penalties envisaged have been abrogated'
The 1974 letter had merely drawn attention to the fact that the Church's penal laws must always be interpreted restrictively. In evident reproof of the English bishops, the Congregation declared that it had not intended Episcopal Conferences to issue public pronouncements of a general character on the nature of masonic associations 'which would change the position of the Church in regard to Freemasonry'
The 1981 declaration pulls the rug from under the new understanding of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Masonry. Yet it has had virtually no publicity and the myth that canon law on the subject was changed in 1974 persists
Roman Catholics seeking a true answer to the question of the Church's position on Freemasonry can find it only in the pages of this book. A high Vatican official, well qualified to explain the present position of the Holy See, said I should "make four points: First: the purpose of the Vatican letter of 19 July 1974 was simply to point out that only the restrictive interpretation of Canon 2335 should be applied: in other words only those Freemasons whose organization plots against the (Roman Catholic) Church, or the legitimate civil authorities are automatically excommunicated, a matter which it is of course extremely difficult to determine in the case of a secret society where the thinking of its clandestine leading members is not known to the ordinary membership
Secondly: the Church wishes to reduce wherever possible the offences that incur automatic excommunication. Consequently the new Canon Law now before the Pope may very well end automatic excommunication for Freemasons even under the restrictive interpretation of the present Canon 2335
Thirdly, and most important: it does not follow that because some action may no longer attract automatic excommunication it becomes licit. If something is contrary to Divine Law it is illicit even though the Church may apply no extraordinary sanctions. The Vatican draws particular attention to the findings of the German bishops as recently as May 1980. After prolonged study in co-operation with German Freemasonry of only the first three 'Craft' degrees, the German bishops concluded that 'Masonry has not changed' and can in no way be reconciled with Christianity. The position of the Catholic Church is thus that, as Freemasonry is essentially similar in Britain and Germany, the German bishops' conclusions that Freemasonry is contrary to Divine Law applies to British as much as to German Freemasonry
Fourthly: there are moral as well as theological and political' issues. It is unChristian to join any secret organization which systematically benefits its own members to the detriment of the legitimate interests of non-members
Insofar as Freemasonry is guilty of this, Roman Catholics obviously should not join it
The Vatican's position is thus plain enough for anyone able to travel to Rome and obtain an audience with an eminent official. As most Catholic clergy and laity are not in a position to do this, it is curious that the English hierarchy have left English Catholics in ignorance. It is impossible to guess how long they would have remained ignorant had not New English Library decided to commission this investigation into Freemasonry
An eminent prelate in Rome, who enthusiastically welcomed the prospect of this book and described the project as 'work of great importance', disclosed how the English Roman Catholic hierarchy, far from hastening to 'tear away the mask from Freemasonry' as urged by Pope Leo XIII, is in practice out on a limb in its toleration of Freemasonry and its unwillingness to give any guidance to Catholics, even to its own priests. He explained, 'The English bishops are anxious to give an English face to Catholicism. So, because Freemasonry is so English, they feel they must come to terms with it. The bishops wish for silence. ' Effectively, then, the true position of the Roman Catholic Church is not unlike that of the Church of England. Faced with the prestige, influence, and prevalence of Freemasonry in British society, both are similarly paralysed
The Vatican contact said, 'The Catholic hierarchy are well aware too of the pressures on the Roman Catholic laity in many walks of life to join Freemasonry if their worldly interests are not to be too gravely prejudiced in an increasingly masonic world. If the English Bishops do not consider they should demand that the faithful make the sacrifice required by the official Vatican position, it is hardly surprising that Freemasonry among Catholics is on the increase. It is certainly no longer safe to assume that Roman Catholic professional men are not Freemasons.' The people and places in the following episode have been given obvious pseudonyms to make identification impossible and so to protect my informant, an Anglican vicar. For more than five months after I first heard of this man's plight, he was guarded about what was happening to him. Eventually, though, he decided that the disturbing events which took place in and around his parish during 1981 should be widely known - if only to warn other clergymen of the trouble in which they might become embroiled if they did not handle their local Freemasons skilfully. At this time the vicar requested that I did not disclose his name. Less than two days later, after much contemplation and soul-searching, he decided that he must stand up and be counted even if it meant placing himself in jeopardy again. But his fear overcame him once again and the pseudonyms were inserted into his story
The Parish Church of Epsilon lies between the Berkshire villages of Zeta and Theta. From the porch there is a beautiful view of the Kappa valley and the highway beyond. For the Vicar of Epsilon, however, all beauty ends when he enters his church. He strongly suspects, from his experiences since taking up the living in 1980 and from his own observations and research, that the building called Epsilon Parish Church is not a church at all, but a pagan temple. It .is full of masonic symbols. The Rev Lamda Mu says he came close to being driven out of his p4rish and his livelihood after opposing plans, on Christian grounds, for a service in the church for members of the two local masonic Lodges. When I met the Rev Mu he told me, 'In May 1981 I knew almost nothing about Freemasonry, but I have since come to understand the spiritual implications of this whole secret society, religion, or whatever you may care to call it.' On 5 May 1982, before deciding finally that it would be too dangerous to be named, he wrote to me, 'Apart from my testimony, there are two principal reasons why I have decided to contribute to your work on Freemasonry.' He asked that I list these reasons in full in his own words: (1) A number of people for one reason or another in contributing to this book were unwilling to give their names and I am told that some of the evidence had to be disguised. This in fact would make it possible for people to criticize the book as sheer fabrication. I was impressed by the author's motives in preparing this book on Freemasonry as he wanted to examine the subject from all points of view so that the reader might be able to make his own judgement on Freemasonry. I have learned that Freemasonry is very big indeed and I am only describing my contact with Freemasonry
(2) I am contributing as a member of the established Church, that has had strong contacts with Masonry for a very long time. In this day and age it is fashionable to criticize the establishment, and my very real fear is that should anything vaguely comparable happen in this country with regard to Freemasonry as happened with the P2 Lodge in Italy [see Chapter 26], it could not only seriously undermine but possibly destroy confidence in authority and the use of authority in this land. I therefore wish to dissociate myself from all those who desire to use criticism of Masonry for their own ends
Mu wished it to be said that he bore Masons no animosity or ill-will. He said that in whatever contacts he had had over the events so far, the Freemasons themselves had been courteous and polite. 'I must also add that there are a number of Masons in my parishes, some of them are very close friends of mine, and some of them played a very active part in saving one of my churches from certain closure. ' This is the Rev Mu's story
'I remember as a small boy that my mother announced after seeing a postcard that somebody had gone to the "Grand Lodge Above". She then showed me my father's masonic apron. In 1967 at theological college, there was a discussion about Freemasonry among some of the students. I had no idea what Freemasonry was. I was given a book on heresies by one of the students which contained eight pages on Freemasonry. I read it and this in fact has coloured all my thinking on Masonry. I felt, as a Christian believing in Jesus Christ, I could not become a Mason as this would mean denying Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world
'Before I became Vicar of [Epsilon] in Berkshire in 1980, I was told that the Freemasons had an annual service once a year in [Epsilon] Church. I raised this with the Bishop, who advised me to allow the Masons to have their service but ask to see the order of service beforehand and to insist on every prayer being said "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". In May 1981, I received a letter from the [Theta] Lodge requesting a service in [Epsilon] Church
The letter gave no indication as to what exactly the Masons wanted and I was concerned that I would be involved in all sorts of bizarre rituals. I later discovered that they had only wanted Prayer Book Evensong. The surprise for me on the letter was a masonic symbol, which I recognized immediately as being like a sign in [Epsilon] Church. I had to reply to the letter fairly quickly, but I had no idea what to do. The one person I felt I could talk to about this was away on holiday. I did not know who were Masons and who were not. I did not know what the feelings of the local clergy were on Masonry, and I was not absolutely certain if even the Bishop was a Mason
(As it turned out he most certainly was not.) I remembered hearing something of a clergyman who was driven from this country to Canada or somewhere because he opposed Masonry. I later discovered that this was Walton Hannah. I had no wish to follow him but I was extremely reluctant to be involved in any way with a society that wanted a service in church but wanted the Founder of the church excluded. It took me four or five days to summon up enough courage to reply to the Masons. I said that all my knowledge of Masonry was second hand, I knew very little about Masonry, except that Masons had services which did not allow the name of Jesus Christ to be used, and for that reason I was not happy about them having a service. I did not flatly refuse to give them a service, but made the same conditions as those suggested by the Bishop, only adding that I should preach the sermon. Had I known then the kind of hymns Masons sing, I would have wanted to see those in advance as well
'Over a period of time, I became aware of a gathering storm, and I began in desperation to search for books about Masonry. I found one which only confirmed my views and made me even more aware of the true nature of Freemasonry
Also I began to find out who were Masons in all three of my parishes, and this provided me with many surprises. I sensed a major storm was brewing and I felt totally ill equipped to face what was about to happen. I had become aware that a number of Popes had condemned Masonry and I discovered a number of books on the subject at Douai Abbey. I had practically no time to read them before I was given six days' notice that the only subject on the agenda for the next Parish Church Council meeting at [Epsilon] was the Annual Freemasons' Service. In that brief period of time I tried to prepare as convincing a case as possible as to why I knew a Christian could not be a Mason. I used some information from the recent 'Credo television programme, and I even quoted from the 39 Articles the relevant articles which should convince any Anglican that he cannot be an Anglican and a Mason. I was not allowed to explain anything about the rituals of Masonry as the meeting suddenly exploded in uproar. Some of the members were very angry with me and felt that I had insulted their relatives dead and living. In the end the PCC passed a resolution asking me to consider writing to the Masons inviting them back again. If I did not do this, I was told that they would all resign, and one person warned me that I might become" a Vicar without a Parish"
They then decided to have a further meeting two weeks later
'What surprised me most of all was that they could not accept or could not hear me say that Masonry was contrary to the first three of the Ten Commandments and denied Christ. They said that as many clergy were Masons, including bishops, there was nothing wrong with it. I do not recount all this in order to criticize the way the PCC reacted. I felt that for many decades the PCC had been badly let down by the clergy who have been Masons and believed that it was compatible with their allegiance to Christ. It grieves me to think of those times and the only reason why I relate all this is hopefully to spare some other vicar and PCC the kind of experience we all suffered at that time. The next morning, I wrote to the Bishop and said that I had no intention of sending any letter to the Masons. One of my churchwardens came to see me. He was greatly distressed by all that had happened and asked me to reconsider writing to the Masons and he told me how upset many people were, and that unless I wrote a letter they would all resign. I wrote a further letter to the Bishop suggesting how I proposed to resolve the crisis. The Bishop replied with a very tough letter condemning Masonry in no uncertain terms. He supported my actions, adding that had he been in my position he would have done as I did. The letter displayed his deep loyalty to Christ. Nevertheless at the next meeting, I did produce a letter which was not accepted. I produced another letter, in which I regretted the upset I had caused everyone and that I had not realized that all they wanted was Evensong. I also said that I thought that they had wanted a masonic service. Even with the letter that I finally sent to the Masons I had to omit the one and only reference I made to Jesus Christ. One of my churchwardens worked overtime to restore peace and harmony, and he succeeded
'I felt very puzzled by all that had happened. I could not understand why the PCC acted in the way it had. Why had they been so angry and upset? What puzzled me most of all was that none of them were Masons! There had to be a reason behind it all and I just did not know the reason. The Bishop came to see me. At first I was worried as he had told me before I became a vicar that he would support me in my parishes but if he felt that I was wrong over something he would tell me privately. I need not have worried, his real concern was how I had taken everything, and he only came to support me and my wife
In retrospect I feel she suffered most of all through the crisis. We had a long and happy time with the Bishop over a meal discussing all that had happened; he also told me to expect further consequences of my actions. I did not understand at the time what he meant, and to a certain extent, I still do not understand. I had only just weathered a major crisis. Without the firm support of the Bishop, it is unlikely that I would still be Vicar of [Epsilon ]. I was still very puzzled by all that had happened and I just did not appreciate the spiritual implications of Freemasonry
'If ever I faced another crisis over Freemasonry, I felt that I had to know what Freemasonry was. I came up against another problem: nearly all the books that I had borrowed on Freemasonry had been out of print for many years
It took many months even to obtain one or two of the books. Someone lent to me a copy of Richard Carlile's Manual of Freemasonry. This was the first masonic book I ever saw that gave full details of the rituals of Masonry
Although produced early in the last century, it remains a very important document on Freemasonry. I also wrote to London Weekend Television in the hope of obtaining a copy of the German Bishops' Report on Freemasonry from James Rushbrooke, a scholar who had appeared on the Credo programme
On the same day, I received not only James Rushbrooke's translation of the Report, but also another translation from some other source. Not only that but the Rev John Lawrence, who had also been involved in the Credoprogramme, contacted me, and not long afterwards, I was also visited by James Rushbrooke. James impressed upon me how large a thing Masonry was and considered that I had acted bravely in taking the action I did, ".
. because you know they will put your name down on their list of clergymen who are actively opposed to Freemasonry"
'There were two other things that happened. One was that the local Masons went to another church and the preacher at the service made some unpleasant comments about my attitude towards Freemasonry. The Vicar of the parish came and apologized to me afterwards. I felt very sorry for him and tried to ease his conscience, but I also pointed out that I as a Christian could not accept Masonry. The other incident was that a member of one of my parishes, a Mason, asked to see me. I had made a point of seeing the churchgoing Masons and I thought I had reassured them that I had no intention of driving Masons out of church. The minute you drive any sinner out of church you go against the principle that the church exists to reform penitent sinners through our Lord Jesus Christ. Freemasonry does not operate on that principle and therefore I explained that I was against the system but not the people involved in it. This parishioner was still worried and confused by my actions. We had a very long conversation in which I began to have the feeling that Masonry really did have a false spirit behind it. The fellowship of Masonry was a counterfeit of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I was taken by surprise for a moment when he told me that if I wanted to join a Lodge, I would be made very welcome! 'I have only told you the bare bones of what happened. I have deliberately avoided as far as possible giving theological opinions about Masonry or indeed details about the rituals of Masonry as there is plenty of information available to anyone who wishes to find it. The books on Masonry are endless. During the following month:, I learnt more and more about Masonry and discovered many more symbols of Masonry in [Epsilon] Church to the extent that now I really wonder if it is a church at all
'I have also learned that the last family owner of [Epsilon] Court had been a top Mason. I found this out from an old masonic book which listed two pages of his many masonic connections. I have also become alarmed by the deep occult connections there are in Masonry.' The one fortunate discovery Mu has made, he told me, was the testimony of former Masons who have renounced the Brotherhood and turned 'wholeheartedly to Christ'
In May 1981 - a month of controversial masonic activity in a number of disparate areas - another clergyman was sacked from his church and ordered to leave the manse. He later claimed before an industrial tribunal that the Presbyterian Church of Wales had dismissed him purely because he had preached against Freemasonry. The Rev William Colin Davies of Whitchurch, Cardiff, requested through his lawyer that there should be no member of the Brotherhood on the tribunal, which was agreed
The minister's duties called for him to preach thirty-six Sundays of the year at his own church and twelve Sundays in other churches without a regular minister. In August 1979 Davies wrote to the Church's rota secretary stating that he did not wish to be seen to be helping in the teachings of tenets of Freemasonry, which he believed to be 'a challenge to the discipleship of Jesus Christ'. He enclosed a cheque for £108.00 to cover his absence from certain churches where he felt his presence had been both unexpected and unwanted because of his views on Freemasonry. When I spoke to him about his case in May 1982, Davies said that the Presbyterian Church of Wales was particularly strongly influenced by members of the Brotherhood among its own members and administration. He explained, 'I became a minister in 1974 and Cardiff was my first pastorate. I had two churches. In one of them I encountered some Freemasons. I did not know then what I know now. I researched into Masonry and found it entirely incompatible with faith in Jesus Christ
I spoke privately to some men in the church, and without making it a bee in my bonnet I did some comparisons between Freemasonry and Christianity during the course of some sermons. I compared, for example, the meaning of faith in Christianity and the masonic meaning of faith
'In February 1980 I discovered a booklet called Christ, the Christian and Freemasonry which I circulated among the members of the church
'By this time I had been reported to the local church governing body - the presbytery - and a committee of seven men came to see me. I know now that some of them were Freemasons. They accused me of being an evangelical Christian, which I am, 'intolerant of un-Biblical teaching and in particular Freemasonry'
They accused me of being un-compassionate, which presumably meant I had upset Masons' and their relatives' feelings. It was said that membership of my church was going down, but I had had about fifty of the elderly members die and had introduced twenty-six new members. They said I was not ecumenically minded enough in that I didn't join in local services of other churches, which was not true. It is true that I have reservations about the present moves towards church unity but we did have ecumenical meetings with local churches roundabout. And I was accused of allowing the children's work to decline when it is actually expanding. I knew then that the rest of the charges had been trumped up by Masons determined to end my opposition to Masonry
I was not allowed to answer the charges. And then when I next met them a month later on 20 June 1980 they presented a report before the governing body without any warning - and I was dismissed
'I received information several days later from a member of my other church who made some enquiries of some masonic friends that a Lodge meeting had taken place in March at which it was decided that pressure had to be brought to bear to have me removed. I have made this charge in public and it has never been rebutted
'I was dismissed from the pastorate, not from my ministry. These are technically different, in practice the same. I then appealed to the highest body in the church, the Association, which appointed a panel of men to look into it
They said that a period of twelve months should be allowed to see if a reconciliation could be achieved between me and the local people who wanted me sacked. I agreed to this but they made no attempt at reconciliation
'I won my appeal but it was not implemented because my local church would not accept it. I was sacked and told to leave my house within six weeks.' The elders of the church claimed before the industrial tribunal that Davies had not been an employee of the Church but self-employed, and as such ineligible to claim unfair dismissal. They cited the case of a minister dismissed from Scunthorpe Congregational Church in 1978 as a precedent. But the non-masonic tribunal decided that Davies had been an employee and therefore had the right to seek a ruling
Meanwhile, after six months on the dole, he works (at the time of writing) as minister for an independent church he has formed at Whitchurch along with members of both his former churches.
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Catholicism vs. Freemasonry—Irreconcilable Forever
Author: 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.


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 1374 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 iconciliabilia habita sunt cum Ecclesiae doctrina"); (3) Catholics who join the Masons are in the state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion and (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 Church and 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 the 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 immemorial 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.


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 Catholics 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.


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) 300. (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 (Bowie, 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.

Printed with ecclesiastical permission
This leaflet, item # 96595, may be obtained for 5 cents per copy from: World Apostolate of Fatima Washington, New Jersey 07882-0976
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Catholic Encyclopedia: Inside Story on Masons & Illumina Reply with quote


The name assumed by the members of a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776.

Weishaupt was born of Westphalian parents at Ingolstadt (Bavaria), on 6 February, 1748, and lost his father in 1753. Although educated at a Jesuit school, he fell early under the influence of his free-thinking godfather, the director of the high-school of Ickstatt, to whom he owed his appointment as professor of civil law at the University of Ingolstadt in 1772. He was the first layman to occupy the chair of canon law at this university (1773), but, in consequence of the growing rationalistic influence which he exerted over the students both in his academic capacity and in his personal intercourse with them, he came into ever sharper collision with the loyal adherents of the Church and with those who were influential in government circles. As, furthermore, his obstinate nature led him to quarrel with almost everyone with whom his intercourse was at all prolonged, he felt the need of a powerful secret organization to support him in the conflict with his adversaries and in the execution of his rationalistic schemes along ecclesiastical and political lines. At first (1774) he aimed at an arrangement with the Freemasons. Closer inquiry, however, destroyed his high estimate of this organization, and he resolved to found a new society which, surrounded with the greatest possible secrecy, would enable him most effectually to realize his aims and could at all times be precisely adapted to the needs of the age and local conditions.

His order was to be based entirely on human nature and observation; hence its degrees, ceremonies, and statutes were to be developed only gradually; then, in the light of experience and wider knowledge, and with the co-operation of all the members, they were to be steadily improved. For his prototype he relied mainly on Freemasonry, in accordance with which he modelled the degrees and ceremonial of his order. After the pattern of the Society of Jesus, though distorting to the point of caricature its essential features, he built up the strictly hierarchical organization of his society. "To utilize for good purposes the very means which that order employed for evil ends", such was, according to Philo (Endl. Erkl., 60 sq.), "his pet design". For the realization of his plans, he regarded as essential the "despotism of superiors" an the "blind, unconditional obedience of subordinates" (ibid.), along with the utmost secrecy and mysteriousness. At the beginning of 1777 he entered a Masonic Lodge and endeavoured, with other members of the order, to render Freemasonry as subservient as possible to his aims. As Weishaupt, however, despite all his activity as an agitator and the theoretic shrewdness he displayed, was at bottom only an unpractical bookworm, without the necessary experience of the world, his order for a long time made no headway. The accession to it, in 1780, of the Masonic agent Freiherr von Knigge (Philo), a man of wide experience and well known everywhere in Masonic circles, gave matters a decisive turn. In company with Weishaupt, who, as a philosopher and jurist, evolved the ideas and main lines of the constitution, Knigge began to elaborate rapidly the necessary degrees and statutes (until 1780 the Minerval degree was the only one in use), and at the same time worked vigorously to extend the order, for which within two years he secured 500 members. When the great international convention of Freemasons was held at Wilhelmsbad (16 July to 29 August, 1782) the "Illuminated Freemasonry", which Knigge and Weishaupt now proclaimed to be the only "pure" Freemasonry, had already gained such a reputation that almost all the members of the convention clamoured for admission into the new institution. Particularly valuable for the order was the accession of Bode (Amelius), who commanded the highest respect in all Masonic circles. Assisted by Bode, Knigge laboured diligently to convert the whole Masonic body into "Illuminated Freemasons". A number of the most prominent representatives of Freemasonry and "enlightenment" became Illuminati, including, in 1783, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, the foremost leader of European Freemasonry and the princely representative of the illuminism of his age. Other famous members were Goethe, Herder, and Nicolai. The order was also propagated in Sweden, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, and France. But in 1783 dissensions arose between Knigge and Weishaupt, which resulted in the final withdrawal of the former on 1 July, 1784. Knigge could no longer endure Weishaupt's pedantic domineering, which frequently assumed offensive forms. He accused Weishaupt of "Jesuitism", and suspected him of being "a Jesuit in disguise" (Nachtr., I, 129). "And was I", he adds, "to labour under his banner for mankind, to lead men under the yoke of so stiff-necked a fellow?--Never!"

Moreover, in 1783 the anarchistic tendencies of the order provoked public denunciations which led, in 1784, to interference on the part of the Bavarian Government. As the activity of the Illuminati still continued, four successive enactments were issued against them (22 June, 1784; 2 March, and 16 August, 1785; and 16 August, 1787), in the last of which recruiting for the order was forbidden under penalty of death. These measures put an end to the corporate existence of the order in Bavaria, and, as a result of the publication, in 1786, of its degrees and of other documents concerning it--for the most part of a rather compromising nature--its further extension outside Bavaria became impossible. The spread of the spirit of the Illuminati, which coincided substantially with the general teachings of the "enlightenment", especially that of France, was rather accelerated than retarded by the persecution in Bavaria. In two letters addressed to the Bishop of Freising (18 June and 12 November, 1785) Pius VI had also condemned the order. As early as 16 February, 1785, Weishaupt had fled from Ingolstadt, and in 1787 he settled at Gotha. His numerous apologetic writings failed to exonerate either the order or himself. Being now the head of a numerous family, his views on religious and political matters grew more sober. After 1787 he renounced all active connexion with secret societies, and again drew near to the Church, displaying remarkable zeal in the building of the Catholic church at Gotha. he died on 18 November, 1830, "reconciled with the Catholic Church, which, as a youthful professor, he had doomed to death and destruction"--as the chronicle of the Catholic parish in Gotha relates.

As exhibiting the objects and methods of the order, those documents are authoritative which are given in the first and second sections of works in the bibliography. The subsequent modifications of the system, announced by Weishaupt in his writings after 1785, are irrelevant, since the order had spread far and wide before these modifications were published. The above-named documents reveal as the real object of the Illuminati the elaboration and propagation of a new popular religion and, in the domain of politics, the gradual establishment of a universal democratic republic. In this society of the future everything, according to Weishaupt, was to be regulated by reason. By "enlightenment" men were to be liberated from their silly prejudices, to become "mature" or "moral", and thus to outgrow the religious and political tutelage of Church and State, of "priest and prince". Morals was the science which makes man "mature", and renders him conscious of his dignity, his destiny, and his power. The principal means for effecting the "redemption" was found in unification, and this was to be brought about by "secret schools of wisdom". These "schools", he declares, "were always the archives of nature and of the rights of man; through their agency, man will recover from his fall; princes and nations, without violence to force them, will vanish from the earth; the human race will become one family, and the world the habitation of rational beings. Moral science alone will effect these reforms `imperceptibly'; every father will become, like Abraham and the patriarchs, the priest and absolute lord of his household, and reason will be man's only code of law" ("Nachtr.", p. 80 sq.; repeated verbatim in Knigge, "Die neuesten Arbeiten", p. 3Cool. This redemption of mankind by the restoration of the original "freedom and equality" through "illumination" and universal charity, fraternity, and tolerance, is likewise the true esoteric doctrine of Christ and his Apostles. Those in whom the "illuminating" grace of Christ is operative (cf. Hebrews 6:4) are the "Illuminati". The object of pure (i. e. illuminated) Freemasonry is none other than the propagation of the "enlightenment" whereby the seed of a new world will be so widely scattered that no efforts at extirpation, however violent, will avail to prevent the harvest ("Nachtr.", pp. 44, 118; "Die neuesten Arb.", pp. 11, 70). Weishaupt later declared (Nachtrag zu meiner Rechtfertigung, 77 sqq., 112 sqq.) that Masonry was the school from which "these ideas" emanated.

These objects of the order were to be revealed to members only after their promotion to the "priestly" degree (Nachtr., I, 6Cool. The preliminary degrees were to serve for the selection, preparation, and concealment of the true "Illuminati"; the others were to open the way for the free religion and social organization of the future, in which all distinction of nations, creeds, etc., would disappear. The government of the order was administered by the superiors of the Minerval "churches", "provincials", "nationals", and "areopagites" (who constituted the supreme council), under the direction of Weishaupt as general of the order. Members were acquainted only with their immediate superiors, and only a few trusted members knew that Weishaupt was the founder and supreme head of the order. All the members were obliged to give themselves a training in accordance with the aims of the society, and to make themselves useful, while the order, on its part, pledged itself to further their interests by the most effectual means. They were especially recommended to systematically observe persons and events, to acquire knowledge, and to pursue scientific research in so far as it might serve the purposes of the order. Concerning all persons with whom they had intercourse they were to gather information, and on all matters which could possibly affect either themselves or the order they were to hand in sealed reports; these were opened by superiors unknown to the writers, and were, in substance, referred to the general. The purpose of this and other regulations was to enable the order to attain its object by securing for it a controlling influence in all directions, and especially by pressing culture and enlightenment into its service. All illuministic and official organs, the press, schools, seminaries, cathedral chapters (hence, too, all appointments to sees, pulpits, and chairs) were to be brought as far as possible under the influence of the organization, and princes themselves were to be surrounded by a legion of enlightened men, in order not only to disarm their opposition, but also to compel their energetic co-operation. A complete transformation would thus be effected; public opinion would be controlled; "priests and princes" would find their hands tied; the marplots who ventured to interfere would repent their temerity; and the order would become an object of dread to all its enemies.

Concerning the influence actually exerted by the Illuminati, the statements of ex-Freemasons--L. A. Hossman, J. A. Starck, J. Robinson, the Abbé Barruel, etc.--must be accepted with reserve, when they ascribe to the order a leading rôle in the outbreak and progress of the French Revolution of 1789. Their presentation of facts is often erroneous, their inferences are untenable, and their theses not only lack proof, but, in view of our present knowledge of the French Revolution (cf., e. g., Aulard, "Hist. pol. de la Rév. Franç.", 3rd ed., 1905; Lavisse-Rambaud, "Hist. générale", VIII, 1896), they are extremely improbable. On the other hand, once it had discarded, after 1786, the peculiarities of Weishaupt, "Illuminationism" was simply the carrying out of the principles of "enlightenment"; in other words, it was Freemasonry and practical Liberalism adapted to the requirements of the age; as such it exerted an important influence on the intellectual and social development of the nineteenth century. (See MASONRY; SECRET SOCIETIES.)

The documents, unquestionably genuine, that originated within the order and were published by the Bavarian government: Einige Originalschr. des Ill. Ordens (confiscated from Zwack) (Munich, 1787); with Nachtrag (seized from Baron Bassus) (in 2 parts, 1787); also documents made public through other agencies and recognized as genuine by Knigge and Weishaupt: Der echte Illuminat (Edessa, 1788); Illuminatus dirigens oder schottischer Ritter (1794); SPARTACUS AND PHILO (KNIGGE), Die neuesten Arbeiten (1794); PHILO, Endliche Erklärung (1788).

Declarations by members who left the order: COSANDEY, RENNER, AND GRÜNBERGER, Drei merkwürdige Aussagen (1786); IDEM (with UTZSCHNEIDER), Grosse Absichten des Ill. Ordens, with three appendices (1786).

In defence of the order: WEISHAUPT Apologie der Illuminaten (Frankfort and Leipzig, 1787); IDEM, Vollständige Gessch. d. Verfolgung der Illuminaten in Bayern (Frankfort and Leipzig, 1786); IDEM, Pythagoras, oder Betrachtungen über die geheime Welt- and Regierungskunst (1790).

Against the order or otherwise concerning it: STATTLER (Weishaupt's colleague at Ingolstadt), Das Geheimniss der Bosheit des Stifters des Ill. Ordens (1787); PRESTON, Illustrations of Freemasonry (1856); MOUNIER, De l'influence attribuée aux Philosophes, aux Franc-maçons et aux Illuminés sur la révolution Française (1822); JARCKE, Vermischte Schriften, II (1839); DESCHAMPS-JANET, La société et les sociét&eacutes, II (3rd ed., 1880), 93 sqq., 115 sqq.; III (1883), 34 sqq.; WOLFRAM, Die Illuminaten in Bayern u. ihre Verfolgung (1899-1900); ENGEL, Gesch. des Ill. Ordens (1906) (rich in documents, but favourable to Weishaupt); Hist-polit. Blätter (1889), I, 926-41 (official list of Illuminati).
Transcribed by Thomas J. Bress

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII
Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight
Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:58 am    Post subject: Re: Is Freemasonry a Cover for Satanists? Reply with quote

Freemasonry is a cover for Crusaders. Knights of European Orders.
The incarnation is not a soul into a body, it is an
illusory World known as a life into consciousness.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I have read about satanism emphasises sexual activity

So I do not know that Freemasonry with its elderly (av age 60+) and generally no women in the rituals would have much appeal for satanists
Rusty from Aus
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all satanists are, is a bunch of shock christians looking for attention. as far as im concerned there is no satanism. just just sensationalism by bible-thumping crackpots.
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