Sunday, August 26, 2012
Masons at Mass
There was a Mass for Freemasons in Brazil!
In Britain there was a period shortly after the Council when there was confusion over whether or not a Catholic could be a Freemason. English Mason are different from the anti-clerical church burning clergy murdering atheists of the continent. If they are anti-Catholic then it is only in that English way of preferring religion to be controlled by act of Parliament rather than God himself.
There was a time when Freemasons were strong and significant influence amongst the Anglican bishops, and Protestantism generally and indeed every part the establishment, amongst the police and local magistracy they were at one time apparently quite pernicious. Now it seems in England their Lodges are almost empty.
However the ban on Catholics being Freemasons, or more correctly the declaration that Masons are in a state of grave sin and are not permitted to receive Holy Communion was not restricted to any geographical area or groups of Masons that espouse any particular cause, it was applied to all Masons, everywhere.
The problem is not so much with the secrecy of Freemasonry or even their strange rites, to suggest that they are ultimately Satanists as some Catholic writers do seems to be a little far fetched. The problem is a little more fundamental than all that. It is simply that Masonry teaches equality of belief. Freemasonry comes directly from age that gave birth to the Revolutionary "virtues" of liberté, égalité, fraternité, especially the last, "brotherhood".
There is a "Supreme Architect", a positive force within the universe, his design is mediated throughout history and throughout the world, there seems to be an influence of 18th century Deists here, who taught God was in everything. The problem for Catholics, and indeed all Christians, unless of course that Christianity has been shaped by Masonry, is that Jesus Christ is not the unique revelation of the God, but one of the revelations, along with Osiris, Mohammed, Buddha or whoever or whatever. The value of these teachers is not so much in who they were, as Jesus, the Son of God, would be for a Catholic, but what they said or taught, but always seen through the Masonic lens of universal Brotherhood. Thus Jesus is important but only in so far as he taught love of neighbour. Thus Masonry seriously subverts Christianity.
The progress through the various "degrees" of Masonry is there to teach adherents that the principle mark of the "Architect" is Brotherhood, which is really at the heart of so many 18th century documents, such as the American Constitution or the writings of the French Revolutionaries, almost reaching it zenith in the writings of Tom Paine. As one progresses through the the "degrees" it seems that one is confronted by one's fears and taboos in order to find liberty.
The accusation of Satanism within Free Masonry isn't really well founded, except in so far as it is one of the taboos or fears that needs to be confronted, and as we might say today "worked through" on the way to "liberty"; freedom from religious constraint. Masonry comes from the same stable as the English libertine "Hell Fire Club" which had as a basic principle a freedom from sexual or moral constraint, at its worst Masonries principles of "Brotherhood at all costs" is present in the post French Revolutions Terror.
Neither the Hell Fire Club or the spirit of the Terror are present in English provincial Masonic Lodges and indeed Christian prayers might well be said by the local Anglican vicar but at its heart is the teaching that Jesus is not uniquely the Son of God, this is the grave sin of a Catholic who embraces Freemasonry, this is what makes it impossible for him to be in communion with the Catholic Church.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake