Freemasonry


#1

What are your thoughts on freemasonry? Are freemasons less objectionable now than they were in the past?

I’ve heard that masons are anti-catholic, but I have a few family members that are confirmed, practicing Catholics (whether or not they are good or bad Catholics is a different story)* and *freemasons. They don’t seem all that terrible to me. I certainly don’t approve of their secrecy, but they do a lot of great charity work. Countless children have been given free medical care at Shriners’ Hospitals.


#2

[quote=Stephen Mills]What are your thoughts on freemasonry? I’ve heard that masons are anti-catholic…

[/quote]

Freemasonry is fundamentally anti-Catholic.

*“The Papacy has been for a thousand years the torturer of humanity, the most shameless imposture in its presence to spiritual power of all ages . . . In presence of this spiritual cobra, this deadly, treacherous, murderous enemy, the most formidable power in the world, the unity of Italian Masonry is of absolute and supreme necessity.” *

Albert Pike A. Pike, Dec. 28, 1886, letter to the Italian Grand Commander, (Official Bulletin, Sept. 1887, 173)

“Popery and priestcraft are so openly allied that they may be called the same. Nothing that can be named is more repugnant to Masonry, nothing to be more carefully guarded against, and this has always been well understood by all skillful masters” (Freemason’s Chronicle, 1887, I. 35)

[quote=Stephen Mills]I have a few family members that are confirmed, practicing Catholics (whether or not they are good or bad Catholics is a different story)* and *freemasons. They don’t seem all that terrible to me.
[/quote]

They probably aren’t terrible people but they aren’t Catholic. One cannot be both Catholic and a Mason. The church’s teaching regarding Freemasonry is very clear.

[quote=Stephen Mills]I certainly don’t approve of their secrecy, but they do a lot of great charity work. Countless children have been given free medical care at Shriners’ Hospitals
[/quote]

Al Capone was big on charitable work. It’s great PR.


#3

[quote=St. James]Freemasonry is fundamentally anti-Catholic.

*“The Papacy has been for a thousand years the torturer of humanity, the most shameless imposture in its presence to spiritual power of all ages . . . In presence of this spiritual cobra, this deadly, treacherous, murderous enemy, the most formidable power in the world, the unity of Italian Masonry is of absolute and supreme necessity.” *

Albert Pike A. Pike, Dec. 28, 1886, letter to the Italian Grand Commander, (Official Bulletin, Sept. 1887, 173)
[/quote]

Do the writings of Albert Pike and documents written over 100 years ago really speak for all Masons? Simply because Pike was personally anti-catholic doesn’t mean the entire organization is, does it?

[quote=St. James]They probably aren’t terrible people but they aren’t Catholic. One cannot be both Catholic and a Mason. The church’s teaching regarding Freemasonry is very clear.
[/quote]

My thoughts exactly, the Church’s teachings are clear, but this has not stopped them from becoming Masons which is why I said they are “bad” Catholics, not bad people.

What are freemasons doing in the world today that is so awful?


#4

[quote=Stephen Mills]What are your thoughts on freemasonry? Are freemasons less objectionable now than they were in the past?

I’ve heard that masons are anti-catholic, but I have a few family members that are confirmed, practicing Catholics (whether or not they are good or bad Catholics is a different story)* and *freemasons. They don’t seem all that terrible to me. I certainly don’t approve of their secrecy, but they do a lot of great charity work. Countless children have been given free medical care at Shriners’ Hospitals.
[/quote]

Twenty-first century American or British Freemasonry has little in it that is anti-Catholic. The ‘secrets’ of Freemasonry are ‘open’ secrets inasmuch as one can buy a “Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor” and one will have as much information as an outsider might need to know about the details of the Masonic ritual. (This is an authorized ‘paraphrase’ of the most common variant of the Masonic rites–they vary slightly from state to state and between variations of the Masonic tradition). Some aspects of Freemasonry would NOT be clear simply from reading the ritual. John J. Robinson’s “Born In Blood” and “A Pilgrim’s Path” would be excellent resources to gain some insight into what the Masonic oaths are really about, for example. Some of Robinson’s notions are controversial, but he does give one some excellent insights into Freemasonry.

French “Grand Orient” Masonry–which is actually considered a renegade form of Freemsonry–was explicitly anti-Clerical (often anti-theistic and also reportedly anti–Semitic). Grand Orient Freemasonry spread throughout much of Europe and Mexico: it may be the manifestation of Freemasonry which led the Papacy to prohibit Roman Catholic participation in Masonic lodges. This prohibition has not been repealed—at best some statements about Freemasonry by various Catholic organizations have ‘waffled’ a bit about the status of Freemasonry, lending wiggle-room for other individuals to claim it is OK to be Catholic and a Freemason. From the point of view of the Lodge itself, one’s church membership is irrelevant. By long custom one need only be willing to affirm belief in a Deity to be a Freemason.

Expect to be innundated with a considerable quantity of garbage about Freemasonry. Catholics who decry bigotry against themselves prove themselves capable of an equal degree of bigotry–if not sheer stupidity–when this topic comes up. They are remarkably willing to credit Jack Chick-style smear campaigns against the Masonic Lodge knowing full well that Jack Chick and his ilk are incompetant or unwilling to appropriately address Roman Catholic issues. Just be aware that a simple web search will readily locate Masonic resources which will answer the vast majority of anti-Masonic smears. I get rather heated about this topic because although the Catholic laity are rather less knowledgeable than Protestant laypeople about anything to do with religion–their own or anyone else’s–Catholic apologists and leaders are by-and-large better educated and generally smarter than many of their Protestant counterparts. They had ought to know better. Their ignorance of the history of Freemasonry appears willful and hateful from my vantage point.

This is not to suggest that you are free to join a Masonic Lodge as a faithful Catholic or that you would want to. You are not supposed to join a Lodge per the teachings of the RCC, and even if you could join, the Lodge does not claim to be for everyone.


#5

Here is a link to an article which talks about why Freemasonry is forbidden by the Church.
ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/CAMASON1.htm

Your relatives who are involved in this are at odds with the Church, and cannot receive communion until they renounce their membership, and go to confession.

If you want to be a Mason, you are automatically out of the Catholic Church, excommunicated!.. these are the words issued by Cardinal Ratzinger, approved and ordered by John Paul II in Nov. 1983: “The Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. Catholics who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. Local Ecclesiastical authorities do not have the faculty to pronounce a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which may include a diminution of the above-mentioned judgment”.

<A href="http://religion-cults.com/Secret/Freemasonry/Freemasonry.htm#“MASONS”...%20"CHRISTIANITY">http://religion-cults.com/Secret/Freemasonry/Freemasonry.htm#“MASONS”...%20"CHRISTIANITY"


#6

A bit of context is in order. There does appear to be a less adversarial relationship between the Catholic church and Masonry today than there has been in the past.

I attribute this to the changes in the Church in the past 40 years. The church’s ecumenicism of today is less threatening to Masonry than it’s focused commitment to the social Kingship of Christ of times passed. If this focus was to return to the church, so would the adversarial relationship with Masonry return.

The philosophy of Freemasonry has not changed. Only the PR has changed.


#7

[quote=St. James]The philosophy of Freemasonry has not changed. Only the PR has changed.
[/quote]

So what is exactly the philosophy of Freemasonry? This is what I really want to know. I understand that the church thinks it is wrong, but I want to know why the church feels this way.

For years I’ve simply thought of Freemasons as protestant Knights of Columbus.


#8

[quote=Stephen Mills]So what is exactly the philosophy of Freemasonry? This is what I really want to know. I understand that the church thinks it is wrong, but I want to know why the church feels this way.

For years I’ve simply thought of Freemasons as protestant Knights of Columbus.
[/quote]

Freemasonry thinks of itself as an association of good men who are working together to improve themselves and society. It does not belief itself to be a ‘religion’ as the link by e-catholic claims. To the contrary, members are strongly encouraged to retain an association to their own religious affiliation. The only request is that they not create dissension within the Lodge by discussing religion (or politics) in the Lodge.

The article is an example of the Catholic bigotry and lack of serious reflection on this topic that is generally so uncharacteristic of Roman Catholicism. The ‘blood oaths’ mentioned in the post are an example. Freemasons do not swear themselves to perform such oaths on themselves nor on others: they ask God to impose a ‘no less penalty’ than such-and-such. They are NOT even asking God to rip them from stem to stern, but only to punish them in a manner as awful as if one were ripped from stem to stern. As I say: Catholic prelates and apologists are usually pretty bright dudes. They usually have an alphabet soup of earned academic degrees behind their names. They can generally apply a higher level of critical thinking to a subject matter than this. They clearly don’t WANT to for some reason.

Robinson’s book “Born in Blood” speculates that the Freemasons are a remanant survival of a priestly order which the RCC conspired to abolish without just cause in the late middle ages. As I say, this is pure speculation on Robinson’s part, and seems not especially germaine at this late date even if it were true: Freemasons clearly have not been ordaining one another to some sort of renegade priesthood for centuries, if they ever did so. The form of Freemasonry extant in the USA and Great Britain is militantly non-denominational and intereligious–the Grand Lodges of those countries refused to recognize certain German variants of Masonry which denied admission to men of Jewish origin, for example.

I stress again that Freemasonry does NOT deem itself to be a religion: they do ask all members to aver some sort of belief in God and this is due to the oaths. Originally in British legal tradition, an atheist could not testify in court: he was presumed incapable of swearing any sort of proper oath. Freemasonry implicitly makes the same oath, and moreover addresses it’s oaths to God Himself. In such a context, for someone to swear an oath to a God when he believes in no God would be nonsensical. As indicated elsewhere: this in no wise changes the fact that a faithful Roman Catholic ought not to join a Lodge by decree of their church. Though when I was an active member, a goodly number of Catholics did belong and it was rumored that there were numerous RCC priests and one or two bishops enrolled in various state Lodges. This could be a Masonic variant of an urban legend, though I received my York Rite degrees alongside a UCC (United Church of Christ) minister wearing a clerical collar. The York Rite sends several clergymen per year on an all-expense paid trip to the Holy Land which is an attraction to many. BTW, the York Rite is a Masonically affilliated but separate organization from Freemasonry proper.


#9

[quote=flameburns623]Robinson’s book “Born in Blood” speculates that the Freemasons are a remanant survival of a priestly order which the RCC conspired to abolish without just cause in the late middle ages. As I say, this is pure speculation on Robinson’s part…
[/quote]

“Pure speculation” is putting it mildly. The Freemasons did not exist prior to the 18th century. A late Middle Ages origin for them is as fanciful as the Masons’ own claim to have been contributors to the building of Solomon’s Temple.

– Mark L. Chance.


#10

Is Skull and Bones a part of the international masonry that are people like George W Bush and John Kerry


#11

[quote=mlchance]“Pure speculation” is putting it mildly. The Freemasons did not exist prior to the 18th century. A late Middle Ages origin for them is as fanciful as the Masons’ own claim to have been contributors to the building of Solomon’s Temple.

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

The Masonic Lodge ‘went public’ in 1717. There is more than adequate evidence it’s underground existence predated that by a considerable time. John Robinson aside, Masonic symbolism and rather clear references to something like Fremsonry are pretty well documented. Almost no one believes that the Lodge simply sprang into existence in 1717. Almost no one believes that it is the literal heir to the Knights Templar or the builders of Solomon’s Temple, either. The odds-on likeliest source may well be the one favored by the Lodge itself: that Freemasonry is the vestigial remnant of one or more Guilds of the middle ages, which began accepting ‘honorary’ members to attempt to preserve itself. The appendant bodies such as the York Rite and Scottish Rite–although they may have some degrees with ancient variant Masonic rites–are latecomers. The Shrine is an entirely artificial and late product of the imagination of several Freemasons in the late 19th century. And academic fraternities (such as ‘Skull and Bones’), women’s societies, and Masonic youth organizations are all definitely late developments.


#12

[quote=Stephen Mills]What are your thoughts on freemasonry? Are freemasons less objectionable now than they were in the past?

I’ve heard that masons are anti-catholic, but I have a few family members that are confirmed, practicing Catholics (whether or not they are good or bad Catholics is a different story)* and *freemasons. They don’t seem all that terrible to me. I certainly don’t approve of their secrecy, but they do a lot of great charity work. Countless children have been given free medical care at Shriners’ Hospitals.
[/quote]

Yes they do good works to blind you,they are underhand like the devil who mixes up lies with a little bit of truth.
I wouldn’t touch freemasonry with a bardge pole,this has been talked about a lot on this forum, try a search and you should find it.


#13

[quote=Stephen Mills]So what is exactly the philosophy of Freemasonry? This is what I really want to know. I understand that the church thinks it is wrong, but I want to know why the church feels this way. For years I’ve simply thought of Freemasons as protestant Knights of Columbus.
[/quote]

Freemasons, Scottish Rite Masons, Shriners etc. are NOT “Protestant Knights of Columbus” The Knights are the strong right arm of the Catholic Church. Outwardly, the Masons etc. have an almost Uniartian view of religions. They are not Protestant per se since the organizational ethos does not necessarily coincide with Christianty or any other faith, just a supreme entity.

As far as being Anti-Catholic, several masons in this forum have admitted that desecrating a papal tiara and/or a bishops mitre as a sign of whatever they oppose is part of a higher level ceremony. Allegedy it is not just “anti Catholic” statement but an enlightenment of anti oppression in any form…yadda yadda yadda.

As to why the Church forbids memberhip in Masonry and other similar orgs see Cardinal Ratzinger’s offical position in e-catholic’s post.


#14

[quote=flameburns623]Freemasonry thinks of itself as an association of good men who are working together to improve themselves and society. It does not belief itself to be a ‘religion’ as the link by e-catholic claims. To the contrary, members are strongly encouraged to retain an association to their own religious affiliation. The only request is that they not create dissension within the Lodge by discussing religion (or politics) in the Lodge.

The article is an example of the Catholic bigotry and lack of serious reflection on this topic that is generally so uncharacteristic of Roman Catholicism. The ‘blood oaths’ mentioned in the post are an example. Freemasons do not swear themselves to perform such oaths on themselves nor on others: they ask God to impose a ‘no less penalty’ than such-and-such. They are NOT even asking God to rip them from stem to stern, but only to punish them in a manner as awful as if one were ripped from stem to stern. As I say: Catholic prelates and apologists are usually pretty bright dudes. They usually have an alphabet soup of earned academic degrees behind their names. They can generally apply a higher level of critical thinking to a subject matter than this. They clearly don’t WANT to for some reason.

[/quote]

It does not matter what freemasons consider themselves to be, since they have all of the characteristics of a religion.
This is from a link that quotes an article from This Rock magazine.

Masonry is a parallel religion to Christianity. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, “Freemasonry displays all the elements of religion, and as such it becomes a rival to the religion of the Gospel. It includes temples and altars, prayers, a moral code, worship, vestments, feast days, the promise of reward or punishment in the afterlife, a hierarchy, and initiation and burial rites” (vol. 6, p. 137).

Masonry is also a secret society. Its initiates subscribe to secret blood oaths that are contrary to Christian morals. The prospective Mason swears that if he ever reveals the secrets of Masonry–secrets which are trivial or already well-known–he wills to be subject to self-mutilation or to gruesome execution. (Most Masons, admittedly, would never dream of carrying out these punishments on themselves or on an errant member).

[/font]http://www.cin.org/mateo/freemasons-catholic-position.html


#15

[left]“Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and it’s teachings are instruction in religion.”[/left]

Albert Pike,. Morals and Dogma, p. 213


#16

[quote=flameburns623]The York Rite sends several clergymen per year on an all-expense paid trip to the Holy Land which is an attraction to many.
[/quote]

Yes, so does the Zionist lobby. This is done in order to curry favor with nominal Christians and support among them for the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple, one of the highest goals of Masonry.


#17

[quote=St. James][left]“Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and it’s teachings are instruction in religion.”[/left]

Albert Pike,. Morals and Dogma, p. 213
[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#18

[quote=St. James][left]“Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and it’s teachings are instruction in religion.”[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Albert Pike,. Morals and Dogma, p. 213
[/quote]

[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Albert Pike never had any authority to speak for the Masonic Lodge at large. Morals and Dogma was always his private view, and Morals & Dogma carried a caveat to that effect from the Scottish Rite for decades. Pike’s role in Freemasonry became grandiosely overstated by one Leo Taxil, who foisted a hoax upon much of Europe in the late 19th century–the likelier reason that Freemasonry is so strictly circumscribed, since it would not do to oblige the RCC to acknowledge that one of it’s ‘infallible’ Popes was a dupe. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]

[quote=e-catholic]Masonry is a parallel religion to Christianity. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, “Freemasonry displays all the elements of religion, and as such it becomes a rival to the religion of the Gospel. It includes temples and altars, prayers, a moral code, worship, vestments, feast days, the promise of reward or punishment in the afterlife, a hierarchy, and initiation and burial rites” (vol. 6, p. 137).
[/quote]

[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Funny that those were selected as the 'hallmarks of a ‘religion’. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]In any case: [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]1. Freemasonry has no temples. Freemasons meet in Lodges.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]2. Freemasonry has no ‘vestments’.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]3. Freemasonry says nothing about rewards or punishments but does acknowledge an afterlife.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]4. Freemasonry has no ‘feast days’. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]5. Although Freemasonry has a code of ethics, prayers, and burial rites, so do the United State Marine Corp, the US Army, the Boy Scouts, etcetera. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]What Freemasonry lacks to define it as a ‘religion’ is a creed and a theology–by design, as it is expected the individual Freemason will find those things in their own way within their own religous tradition. [/left]


#19

[left] [/left]
[left]

[/left]
[left][font=Arial Narrow][left][font=Arial Narrow]1. Freemasonry has no temples. Freemasons meet in Lodges.[/left]
[left]2. Freemasonry has no ‘vestments’.[/left]
[left]3. Freemasonry says nothing about rewards or punishments but does acknowledge an afterlife.[/left]
[left]4. Freemasonry has no ‘feast days’. [/left]
[left]5. Although Freemasonry has a code of ethics, prayers, and burial rites, so do the United State Marine Corp, the US Army, the Boy Scouts, etcetera. [/font]

[/left]
[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]1. A rose by any other name…[/left]
[left]2. Hmm…hats and aprons but no vestments.[/left]
[left]3. Neither do Unitarians[/left]
[left]4. see # 3[/left]
[left]5. Non-sequitor, but a nice try[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left][left]

[font=Arial Narrow]What Freemasonry lacks to define it as a ‘religion’ is a creed and a theology–by design, as it is expected the individual Freemason will find those things in their own way within their own religous tradition.

[/font][/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]It would appear that the Mason’s do have a creed. Many state lodges seem to promote such a creed as this-[/left]
[/left]
[left][left][left]
[/left]
**

[/left]
[left][font=Times New Roman][size=1]What We As Masons Believe

[/size][/left]
[left]The Masonic Creed [/left]
[left]Freemasonry teaches the universal principle of unselfish friendship and promotes those moral precepts that are in keeping with all great faiths.In pursuing this doctrine, the following, though not exclusive, is considered to be basic. [/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Masonic Beliefs[/left]
[left]* Man was created by God.[/left]
[left]* This one God is the author of all life.[/left]
[left]* God’s existence is revealed to man through faith and the Book of Holy Scriptures.[/left]
[left]* The Book of Holy Scriptures is the Ultimate Authority or Great Light of Masonry. The soul of man is immortal.[/left]
[left]
Man’s commitment to God determines his destiny.[/left]
[left]**** [/left]
[left]Masonic Teachings[/left]
[left]Considering the universality of Freemasonry, its teachings cannot be defined in a single statement orestablished profile. The following are considered to be representative of its fundamental teachings.[/left]
[left]
Man’s first duty is to love and revere God,[/left]
[left]
Implore His aid in all laudable undertakings,[/left]
[left]
Seek His guidance through prayer,[/left]
[left]
Embrace and practice the tenets of religion,[/left]
[left]* Extend charity and sympathy to all mankind,[/left]
[left]* Shield and support the widow and orphan,[/left]
[left]* Defend virtue,[/left]
[left]* Respect the aged,[/left]
[left]* Honor the bonds of friendship,[/left]
[left]* Protect the helpless,[/left]
[left]* Lift the oppressed,[/left]
[left]* Comfort the downcast,[/left]
[left]* Restore dignity to the rejected,[/left]
[left]* Respect the laws of government,[/left]
[left]* Promote morality and[/left]
[left][font=Times New Roman][size=2] [font=Arial][size=1]Add to the common stock of humanity’s knowledge and understanding.[/size][/size][/left]
[left]
[/left]
[left]Copied-Missouri Lodge of Research[/left]
[left][/font]Trinity Valley Masonic Lodge #1048[/left]
[left]Dallas, Texas[/left]
[left]www.tvl1048.org[/left]
[left]Posted: 2/22/03
*[/left]
[left]Copied-Missouri Lodge of Research **[/font] [/font][font=Times New Roman][/left]
[left] [/left]
**[/font][/font][/left]


#20

[quote=flameburns623][/left]

[left]Albert Pike never had any authority to speak for the Masonic Lodge at large. Morals and Dogma was always his private view, and Morals & Dogma carried a caveat to that effect from the Scottish Rite for decades. Pike’s role in Freemasonry became grandiosely overstated by one Leo Taxil, who foisted a hoax upon much of Europe in the late 19th century–the likelier reason that Freemasonry is so strictly circumscribed, since it would not do to oblige the RCC to acknowledge that one of it’s ‘infallible’ Popes was a dupe. [/left]

[/quote]

It does become necessary for Freemason apologists to distance themselves from Albert Pike once the truth about the man and his teachings are revealed. His teachings are difficult to defend.

However, for every Masonic PR claim that Pike’s influence on Masonry is unimportant there are many more testimonies to Pike’s great importance which are meant for Freemason consumption. These are the more truthful claims.

I acknowledge that it would be easier to defend the claim that Pike was unimportant to Masonry were it not for the fact that his body is kept in the Supreme Council 33° Temple in Washington D.C. and that there is a large statue in his honor in the Judiciary Square intersection in D.C. as well. No other Mason has been granted this honor. Certainly, no Mason who taught things contrary to Masonic principle would be honored in this way.

http://www.masonicinfo.com/images/pikemnt1.jpg

The fact that every Scottish Rite Mason was given a copy of Morals and Dogma, the Scottish right being by far the largest and most influential in Masonry, does reinforce it’s importance.

One need not appeal to hoaxes to condemn Freemasonry. The facts alone are sufficient.


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