Reliable sources on Freemasonry


#1

I am currently doing some research on Freemasonry for a short novel I am writing for my literature class. It takes place in the mid-1800s in Rome, and centers around the Masonic-led revolts in the Papal States, the First Vatican Council and the reign of Pius IX. In case you were wondering, no I am not trying to write one of those conspriacy/mystery novels that are nothing more then Da Vinci Code rip-offs, like a few recent authors have done trying to cash in on Dan Brown’s popularity.

Anyway, I was hoping some of you can guide me to some reliable sources on the Freemasons for research. I’m not looking for unfounded conspiracy theories, just facts about history (esp. in Italy), membership, ranks, rituals, ideologies (theological, philosophical and politcal).

Thank you for your help :slight_smile:


#2

Or if anyone here can give me some solid information I’d appreciate it :wink:


#3

bump :wink:


#4

I cannot help you personally but I would warn you about such a line of enquiry here. Please read my post and take it very seriously.

I was told that freemasonry was absolutely forbidden by Rome. Was shown a document allegedly drawn up by the present Pope when he was advisor to JP 2. Was specifically told that ‘any catholic who becomes a freemason is not eligible to receive communion, is excommunicated and is a heretic’!. SEE POSTS HERE.

I was also told Freemasonry is an alternative religion which does not believe in the Christian God.

A sacristan who is a freemason. I was advised to tell him of his error. I did and he more-or-less tell me where to go. On the advice of those herein, put it about that he was an excommunicated heretic. He is now seeking legal advice as he alleges I have damaged his reputation and his employment

I have sort advice from a canon lawyer who has categorically stated the document I was shown carries no weight., Rome does not encourage freemasonry but freemason catholics are NOT exommunicated, heretic or debarred from the Sacrament.

Furthermore, the sacristan showed me inside his local temple. There is a big carpet hangng down a very high wall. ON it is a ladder ascending from earth to heaven. On it is a triangle of the triune God. At the head of creation are the letters IHS. Not sure what they mean but am told it is representative of Christ.

The moral is there are some fantastic people here but do not take seriously anything they tell you, particularly in respect of freemasonry. It just does not stand up


#5

I cannot help you personally but I would warn you about such a line of enquiry here. Please read my post and take it very seriously.

I was told that freemasonry was absolutely forbidden by Rome. Was shown a document allegedly drawn up by the present Pope when he was advisor to JP 2. Was specifically told that ‘any catholic who becomes a freemason is not eligible to receive communion, is excommunicated and is a heretic’!. SEE POSTS HERE.

I was also told Freemasonry is an alternative religion which does not believe in the Christian God.

A sacristan who is a freemason. I was advised to tell him of his error. I did and he more-or-less tell me where to go. On the advice of those herein, put it about that he was an excommunicated heretic and a devil worshipper. He is now seeking legal redress as he alleges I have damaged his reputation and his employment

I have sort advice from a canon lawyer who has categorically stated the document I was shown carries no weight. Rome does not encourage freemasonry but freemason catholics are NOT exommunicated, heretic or debarred from the Sacrament. Said something about etwwin here which is very conservative Catholic? Dont really understand what that means!

My own legal advice has told me ‘evidence from heresay obtained at an internet forum will not stand up if it goes to court’.

Furthermore, the sacristan showed me inside his local temple. There is a big carpet hangng down a very high wall. ON it is a ladder ascending from earth to heaven. On it is a triangle of the triune God. At the head of creation are the letters IHS. Not sure what they mean but am told it is representative of Christ. I feel really stupid now :mad:

The moral is there are some fantastic people here but do not take seriously anything they tell you, particularly in respect of freemasonry. It just does not stand up


#6

Caesar-

I was a Past Worshipful Master of my Lodge and a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite member. I demitted from both organizations. Ask away, and I’ll be glad to respond to your questions so far as I am able to.


#7

Sixtus, I am sorry for the situation which has arisen. The document may carry no weight but the fact remains that it was issued/signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

It, the Declaration on Masonic Associations states quite clearly ***Therefore 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. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. *** Read it in full cin.org/vatcong/masonas.html

It refers to an earlier document *Clarification Concerning Status of Catholics Becoming Freemasons * from Feb. 1981 which starts by saying ***On 19 July 1974 this Congregation wrote to some Episcopal Conferences a private letter concerning the interpretation of can 2335 of the Code of Canon Law which forbids Catholics, under the penalty of excommunication, to enroll in Masonic or other similar associations.

Since the said letter has become public and has given rise to erroneous and tendentious interpretations, this Congregation, without prejudice to the eventual norms of the new Code, issues the following confirmation and clarification:

  1. the present canonical discipline remains in full force and has not been modified in any way;

  2. consequently, neither the excommunication nor the other penalties envisaged have been abrogated;
    *** cin.org/vatcong/freem.html

Prior to this came many papal documents, none of which have been overturned.


#8

Caesar - There is a book written by Paul A. Fisher Behind the Lodge Door which mainly deals with Masonic activity in the USA although Chapter One does give a little background.

In 1964, it was reported that Pope Paul VI, Dec 6, at Vatican II, agreed to make it easier for Catholics who had become Freemasons to be reconciled with the Church, by simply confessing to a priest and asking for absolution.

I haven’t tracked this down any further than the puported article in New Age June 1966, Alphonse Cerza, "The Vatican Council and Religious Liberty" p.12 So it is heresay on my part. I’ll look into it if I have time later


#9

I wouldn’t trust any document deemed “trustworty” regarding a secret society.


#10

Google “Garibaldi” and see what you come up with.


#11

Why google? Everyone knows Garabaldi was a Mason.


#12

Sixtus,
As I understand the situation, Catholic involvement in Freemasonry still incurrs excommunication. The Church has always denounced secret societies, and in the past some of the versions of the Code of Canon Law have named Freemasonry as a secret society and forbade membership under the threat of excommunication. The 1983 Code of Canon Law denounced secret societies, but outright mention Freemasonry- this lead to some speculation that the Church no longer condemned it, so in response then-Cardinal Ratzinger issued a document indicating that Freemasonry was still off-limits for Catholics.

Interesting information about that Masonic lodge though. Perhaps you can explain it in more detail (might help me get some info ;)).

Sweeney,
Thank you for offering information about your past experiences with Masonry. I am currently looking for information pertaining to Freemasonry in Italy in the 19th century, but also general information about rituals/ceremonies, organization/hierarchy and symbology. Any information that you can give me in these areas would be great, and perhaps any points that you can offer will allow me to get more specific.

Thank you very much :smiley:

Eileen T,
Thank you for the information, I will check up on that book.

And yes, from what I have researched so far, it does seem that Garibaldi was a Mason, and possibily so was King Victor Emmanuel.


#13

Caesar-

I know next to nothing about Masonry in Italy in the 19th Century.

As far as ritual/ceremonies, I will answer your questions so far as I am able to.

Regarding Masonic orgnization/hierarchy, each State is its own jurisdiction and has it’s own Grand Lodge. Customs and ritual can vary widely between these jurisdictions. I am most familair with Kansas Grand Lodge, but have been to Loges in Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Scottish Rite has seperate Northern and Southern Jurisdictions, and I belonged to the Southern one, though they are quite similar. The Shriners have a national hierarchy that covers the US, Canada, Mexico and the Phillipines. Most of the other appendant bodies, like Eastern Star and the youth groups are also governed on a national basis.

As far as symbology, again, I’ll answer questions as far as I am able.


#14

Pope Leo XIII condemned Freemasonry in his encyclical Humanum Genus (I bought a copy from TAN Books, but it is available online at the Vatican website here.)
Here is a brief quote:

As Our predecessors have many times repeated, let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the Masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them.


#15

Maybe this can help you with your research:
click here :yup:


#16

So, there is no universal hierarchy, just these ruling Grand Lodges in each region?

What are the basics of Masonic ritual- ie, what is the purpose of these rituals?; are there set rubrics?; what is used in terms of people (are there ritualistic roles played by certain men?) and objects; do symbols play a role in these rituals; ect. ect.

As for symbology, I assume that there are many symbols, so once again what is the purpose, and what are some universal Masonic symbols (symbols used by all Masons, not just particular groups).

Thanks again :slight_smile:


#17

Thank you very much :smiley:


#18

Morgan’s book was written almost 200 years ago by a man who had a grudge against his Lodge (incidentally located in my Wife’s home town in New York), because he was blackballed when trying to join York Rite. Morgan subsequently disappeared, and the Masons were blamed for his murder, though the body was never found, which sparked the rise of the Anti-Masonic Party as a political force in 18th Century politics for a while. Morgan’s Wife later became one of Brigham Young’s many wives.

Books like Morgan’s have very little relevance to Masonry today, especially since each State’s ritual is different.

Masonic ritual primarily involves the initiation ceremonies - the meetings have an opening and closing ritual, but it is fairly brief and mostly involved officers outlining their duties in the Lodge. The initiatory ritual serves the same purpose as the Knights of Columbus’ initiation ritual - to teach candidates about the organization and lessons about morality in general. Actually, the Knights’ First Degree closely resembles an Entered Apprentice (First Degree) ritual in Masonry. The Knights’ 2nd & 3rd Degrees have no relationship to the Masonic 2nd (Fellow Craft) and 3rd (Master Mason) Degrees. The 3rd Degree generally resembles a play, with members taking the parts of varioius characters to “raise” the candidate to the Degree of a Master Mason (3rd Degree), the highest Degree in Masonry.

The Degrees also lead to a great deal of confusion to non-Masons - anything above the 3rd Degree is conferred by Scottish Rite, an appendant body that Masons may or may not join. Being a 32nd Degree mason only means that you chose to join Scottish Rite, and managed to stay awake through a series of plays put on usually on a Saturday, presenting each Degree. A 32nd Degree Scottish Rite member does not “outrank” anyone else. 33rd Degree is an honorary degree Scottish Rite awards to older Scottish Rite members as a reward for service to the organization. Most 3rd Degree Masons only joined Scottish Rite because the Shrine used to require Masons to also be Scottish (or York) Rite members - since the Shrine dropped this requirement, Scottish Rite membership had dropped like the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

As far as symbols, the main universal symbol is the square and compasses, with the letter “G” (for God) in the middle. This is used by pretty much all Lodges.


#19

The letter ‘G’ stands for GAU which means the Great Architect of the Universe as it symbolizes both god and geometry. Which god? That would depend on the faith/religion of each member.

This manner of reasoning gives injustice to the Catholic Faith where it is just regarded as merely equal to other religions; which Catholicism is not as it the only one true religion.

That’s why Freemasonry is not and will never be accepted by the Church.


#20

No, aeiseil, the “G” stands for “God”. The “Grand Architect of the Universe” is how God is referred to in some of the ritual lectures. BTW, “GAU” is meaningless in Masonic circles - the phrase is abbreviated “GAOTU” in the cyphers.


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