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Religious opposition to Freemasonry

July 15, 2011

So as we can see it’s from previous chapters, Freemasonry has often attracted criticism from religious state’s who’s governments believe God or a deity is recognised as the state’s supreme civil ruler, it’s also been scorned by other organised religions arguably for its’ supposed competition with them, and or for its sacrilegious contempt and opinions towards those religions or orders.

Though in my opinion and in the latter centuries in particular, this is just a front, as religions and Freemasonry are embroiled so much so together, it’s hard to separate their overall agendas, – as I say, Freemasonry’s goal is to amalgamate all religions into one, so it’s impossible to separate them.

We also know that Freemasonry have long been the target of conspiracy theories by those who see it as an occult and evil power, and which I am one of those who kind of see it this way, though more chiefly in the upper echelons [2%] of the fraternity than opposed to the lower rankings within it.  Although there are members of various faiths, certain Christian and Islamic denominations have had highly negative attitudes to Freemasonry, banning or discouraging their members from being Freemasons, and even imposing the death penalty as in the case of Iraq and at the time Saddam Hussein’s reigned, – so no wonder they hung him, – and where Freemasonry is once again beginning to flourish   Though it must be fair to say, the denomination with the longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church, and the objections raised by it are based on the allegation that Freemasonry teaches a naturalistic deistic religion which is in conflict with Church doctrine.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication, and also forbade books friendly to Freemasonry.  Though in 1983, the Church issued a new Code of Canon Law, and unlike its predecessors, it did not explicitly name Masonic Orders among the secret societies it condemns.  It states in part: “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict”, – which is to suspend all public worship and withdraws the church’s sacraments in a territory or country.

This omission caused both Catholics and Freemasons to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons may have been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalisation of Vatican II, and even more importantly, considering there have been hundreds of thousands of Catholic Freemasons in existence for hundreds of years already.  Just like many Masonic lodges in the middle-east, they know how to keep a low profile.

However, the matter was clarified when the present Pope Benedict XVI Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued Quaesitum-est, before becoming Pope, which stated: “… the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden.  The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion” [2].

Thus, from a Catholic perspective, there’s still a ban on Catholics joining Masonic Lodges, though we know there’s thousands who are, and it’s more a matter of expected formality for the pope to have issued the Quaesitum-est.  For its part, Freemasonry has never objected to Catholics or anyone from other religions joining their fraternity.  Those Grand Lodges in amity with UGLE deny the Church’s claims, and state that they explicitly adhere to the principle that; “Freemasonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for religion. There is no separate ‘Masonic deity’, and there is no separate proper name for a deity in Freemasonry”. In contrast to Catholic allegations of rationalism and naturalism, it’s said that Protestant objections are more likely to be based on allegations of mysticism, occultism, and even Satanism.  It’s also said of Masonic scholar Albert Pike as often being quoted [in some cases misquoted] by Protestant anti-Masons as an authority for the position of Freemasonry on these issues.  And that Pike, although undoubtedly learned, was not an official spokesman for Freemasonry, and was controversial among Freemasons as at that, representing his personal opinion only, and furthermore an opinion founded in the attitudes and understandings of late 19th century Southern Freemasonry of the USA alone, and that in his book it carries in the preface a form of disclaimer from his own Grand Lodge.

It’s quite understandable, but there is no one voice that has ever been able to speak for Freemasonry as a whole.  Freedom from secret societies is one of the frees the Free Methodist Church was founded upon, and its founder B.T. Roberts was a vocal opponent of Freemasonry in the mid 18th century, who opposed the society on moral grounds and stated: “The god of the lodge is not the God of the Bible”.  Roberts believed Freemasonry was a mystery or alternate religion and encouraged his church not to support ministers who were Freemasons.  In the past, few members of the Church of England [C of E] would have seen any inappropriateness in concurrently adhering to Anglican Christianity and practicing Freemasonry at the same time, in fact ever since the founding of Freemasonry, many Bishops of the C of E have also been Freemasons, such as Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher. However, in recent decades reservations about Freemasonry have increased within C of E, or at least openly admitting their connection.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, appears to harbour some reservations about Masonic ritual, whilst being anxious to avoid causing offence to Freemasons inside and outside the Church of England.  Back in 2003 he felt it necessary to apologise to British Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and that he had barred the appointment of Freemasons to senior posts in his diocese when he was Bishop of Monmouth. [3]

Extract from Trapped in a Masonic World

[1]”Quaesitum est,” Acta Apostolicae Sedis 76 (1984) 300. (From EV, No. 553, pp. 482-87)

[2] “cover ups in rome, page 1.”<http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread108133/pg1&gt;.

[3] “Freemasonry: French Masons.” <http://www.lycos.com/info/freemasonry–french-masons.html&gt;

Anti-Freemasonry Party link on Facebook;

https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_168080909920846

Free 21 page sample of Trapped in a Masonic World; http://www.ebooktika.com/category/Philosophy+and+Politics-19

www.trappedinamasonicworld.co.uk

© 2011 Copyright – David McCann.

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