The Catholic Church and Masonry
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The following comments refer to a letter that Card. Franjo Seper, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent in 1974 to Card. John Krol of Philadelphia regarding the application of the canon 2335 of the Code of Canon Law of 1917. On that occasion, Seper affirmed that the automatic excommunication established by that canon for Catholics who enter Masonry would be only applicable to those joining organizations that actively plot against the Catholic Church. This was interpreted as a de facto lifting of the previous excommunication.
Question: Could you comment on the fact that the Vatican released a document saying that Catholics can enter the Masonry?
In 1981, Card. Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of that same Congregation, issued the "Declaration on Catholic Membership in Masonic Associations." In it, the letter of 1974 was blamed for giving "rise to erroneous and tendentious interpretations."
In 1983 the new Code of Canon Law was promulgated by John Paul II. This code revised canon 2335 of the 1917 Code, and incorporated it into the new canon 1734, which reads as follows: "One who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or moderates such an association, however, is to be punished with an interdict." Therefore, this canon lifted the automatic excommunication of Catholics who become Masons. It did not even mention Masonry by name.
So, the following comments made when Seper's letter had been just released (September 1974) remain valid and may be applied not only to Paul VI but also to John Paul II.
Answer: In summary the subject can be presented as follows:
In His infinite wisdom, Our Lord Jesus Christ understood that it was not enough for Him to live on earth and teach the truths we find in the Gospels. His life was most holy, He worked every kind of miracle, He died the most sublime death, He resurrected gloriously and ascended to Heaven. These facts form a series of marvels, each one constituting the apex of its genre. This was not enough, however, for Him. He thought it necessary to found an organization, the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, to prevent those facts from falling into oblivion or being badly interpreted. Also she was founded to articulate the action of all good people in a visible structure so that they would effectively implant the Catholic Religion over the entire world.
With this we have the idea that for the expansion of a doctrine and the conquest of the world by such a doctrine, an organization is necessary. Without an organization, nothing important, serious, grand, stable and lasting can be realized.
Every Masonic lodge is a religious temple, above. Its teachings are placed on an altar, below
Since this is true, the same principle can be applied to the enemies of the Church. This necessity which was foreseen by Our Lord Jesus Christ, was also seen by the Devil, who has all natural wisdom.
With the aim of destroying the work of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Devil established the Masonry. It took its present form probably sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries. Present-day Masonry was first a guild of masons – the engineers and workers who built the houses, castles and cathedrals – that was transformed into a secret society under the influence of the Jews who entered it. This secret society took as its goal the destruction of the Catholic Church and the establishment of the kingdom of Satan on earth.
Masonry, however, is not just an organization intended to establish the kingdom of Satan; it is also intended to adore Satan, just as symmetrically the Catholic Church is not only turned to conquer the entire world but principally to worship the true God. Therefore, Masonry is the religion of the Devil and simultaneously an organization to spread this religion throughout the world.
Since it is a secret society, it is not easy to demonstrate its history. We study it through traces and vestiges that its action leaves here and there. In the 18th century, the first pontifical document against Masonry appeared (Clement XII, In eminenti, 28 April 1738). From then until Vatican Council II the Catholic Church took an open and continuous stand against Masonry. Since one is the Church of Jesus Christ and the other is the Church of Satan, between the two organizations there is the most complete and irreconcilable opposition possible. This fight will continue until the end of the world.
The condemnations the Church launched against Masonry were due to two facts: first, the need to warn the faithful about the secret action of Masonry, and, second, because of Masonry’s unscrupulous and insistent attempt to infiltrate the Church, to secure places and positions in her ranks – Bishops, Cardinals and other high offices – so that from inside the Church it could plot her destruction. The only way the Church had to defend herself against such an adversary was to denounce it and to dig a deep trench separating the two, putting Catholics on one side and Masons on the opposite.
A supposed Masonic ceremony: high degree members carry the devil Baphomet
When Vatican Council II was convened, the ecumenical movement received an enormous stimulus. The Greek word oecumene means universal. The ecumenical movement pretends to abolish the differences among all the religions and ideologies in the world and form a great unity. This unity supposedly would bring a stable universal peace. In view of this new ecumenism, the Council determined that all the errors and heresies should no longer be attacked. An atmosphere of détente was established.
One of the most acute manifestations of this détente was the Council’s determination to prohibit any official talk about Communism. This was a great contradiction. The Council was first planned by Pius XII as an assembly to defend the Church and the world against all the modern evils. Now then, the worst evil was Communism, which threatened the entire globe. Nonetheless, Vatican II forbade that it be denounced, or even mentioned.
Masonry was not officially addressed at the Council, but with this idea of reconciliation with all religions, openness toward the religion of Satan could not fail to come to pass.
Today, after the Council, we have the Vatican issuing a document with the consent of the Pope affirming that Catholic laymen are no longer forbidden to enter the Masonry. So, from now on a layman can at the same time be a part of the Church of Our Lord and of the Church of Satan. It is the most complete contradiction one can imagine: to simultaneously adore Our Lord Jesus Christ and His enemy, Satan.
Card. John O'Connor posing with Freemasons wearing their ritual aprons
Catholic iconography has depicted the Immaculate Conception in her statues and pictures as Our Lady standing on a serpent whose head she smashes with her foot. It is a most appropriate depiction. She smashes the head of the serpent because it represents evil, sin, treachery and eternal death. Now, a Pope approves that Catholics can enter the organization of the children of the serpent. It is not comprehensible, unless he also is playing the game of Masonry. If one can licitly be a follower of the Devil in this progressivist ecclesiastical structure, the Conciliar Church, then this question necessarily arises: Is this structure still the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ? This is the tremendous doubt that weighs over the ecclesiastical structure that we see today.
Given the numerous condemnations of Masonry made by previous Popes, Paul VI is perfectly aware of how evil Masonry is. Notwithstanding, he allows Catholics to enter Masonry. The shepherd says to the sheep: “Do you see that wolf? He is a good friend, go and keep him company.” Who is this Pope? Who is this Shepherd that favors the wolf instead of protecting the sheep? Who can explain the mystery of a Pope who acts in this way?
Ultimately these are the questions that summarize the situation.
Question: There are second-class masons – the owner of the corner store, the butcher, the sergeant of the police force, etc – whom almost everyone knows. If we were to give the man in the street the explanations you are giving us, he will deny such things and say the Masons he knows are inoffensive people or even good people who support charitable organizations. How can we show these people that Masonry is an organization that has been trying to destroy the Church for so many centuries?
Answer: You describe a real problem, because Masonry hides its goal for those who are only in the first degrees of initiation, and presents a philanthropic face to the general public.
There are two ways to demonstrate this to the common Catholics. The first is to show the condemnations of the previous Popes who describe Masonry as the greatest enemy of the Catholic Church. In contradiction to these many condemnations, Paul VI now is supporting Masonry just as he supports Communism.
The second is only applicable for a certain type of person of a more historical and political bent. It is to show that there is a universal movement – the Revolution – that for many centuries has walked unceasingly in the same direction, always methodically opposing Christendom. Now then, this movement is not a natural reaction caused only by ungoverned passions, because the passions have contradictory impulses and often clash with one another. On the contrary, the Revolution moves with a great uniformity of action and goal. Therefore, there is an organization that controls it and leads it. It plays the role of a maestro in an orchestra. This organization is Masonry.
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