The essence of Freemasonry is as follows: that it is necessary to convince men of "good will" that denominational religion in general-and Catholicism in particular-is divisive. Men must see each other as brothers, working by means of natural virtue to pursue the common good without doing or saying things that might divide a nation needlessly along denominational lines. Thus, all matters of religion are reduced to "opinions" that are best left unaddressed in public while men of "good will" pursue social and economic progress in the framework of the modern state, which is thus indifferent to the Incarnation and the Redemptive Act of the God-Man. Men of "good will" must find some "common ground" upon which to agree, thereby assuring themselves that they can build a new world order (novus ordo secolorum) founded on man's natural abilities, absent any advertence to the Deposit of Faith Our Lord entrusted to the Catholic Church and absent any reliance upon sanctifying grace, to redeem the world according to the varying needs of the times.
As Pope Leo XIII noted in Humanum Genus, the philosophy of Freemasonry seeks to separate the Church from the State. It deifies man and embraces moral and theological relativism as virtues upon which to pursue the common good. It seeks to imbue an ethos of naturalism in every aspect of a nation's social life, making it more difficult for men to seek out the truth of their identity as redeemed creatures and to pursue their eternal destiny through Christ's true Church. It is an especially important goal of Freemasonry to undermine the sanctity and the stability of the family by a variety of means, including the state control of education.
Pope Leo XIII put it this way in Humanum Genus:
When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality. We say nothing of those more heavenly virtues, which no one can exercise or even acquire without a special gift and grace of God; of which necessarily no trace can be found in those who reject as unknown the redemption of mankind, the grace of God, the sacraments, and the happiness to be obtained in heaven. We speak now of the duties which have their origin in natural probity. That God is the Creator of the world and its provident Ruler; that the eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; that the last end of men is a destiny far above human things and beyond this sojourning upon the earth: these are the sources and these the principles of all justice and morality.
If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded. And, in truth, the teaching of morality which alone finds favor with the sect of Freemasons, and in which they contend that youth should be instructed, is that which they call "civil," and "independent," and "free," namely, that which does not contain any religious belief. But, how insufficient such teaching is, how wanting in soundness, and how easily moved by every impulse of passion, is sufficiently proved by its sad fruits, which have already begun to appear. For, wherever, by removing Christian education, this teaching has begun more completely to rule, there goodness and integrity of morals have begun quickly to perish, monstrous and shameful opinions have grown up, and the audacity of evil deeds has risen to a high degree. All this is commonly complained of and deplored; and not a few of those who by no means wish to do so are compelled by abundant evidence to give not infrequently the same testimony.
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions.
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring.
What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract -- that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite.
With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.
The point of the Church's concern over the influence of Freemasonry in the world is not necessarily about attempting to chart and document this or that conspiracy. No, the Church's consistent condemnation of Freemasonry is rooted in her understanding that ideas have consequences; ideas that are inimical to the Faith will always have bad consequences for men and for their societies. It is thus important to be aware of these false ideas and that there are people who hold them who have tried quite mightily to use them in their own positions of political and/or social influence.
A bill was introduced on January 7, 2003, by Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-South Carolina) to require a period of "universal national service" for all Americans, both men and women, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six. Although the bill, numbered S. 89, has no co-sponsor in the Senate at present, the May 31, 2004, issue of The Howard Phillips Issues and Strategies Bulletin indicates that the Selective Service System does indeed have it own plans to push for the passage of such legislation after the 2004 Congressional elections. Included in the Selective Service System's plans are efforts to require Americans between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five to keep the government informed as to any extraordinary "skills" they might develop over the course of time.
Of particular interest to me when researching the facts for my article was to confirm my recollection that Hollings is a Freemason. I typed in his name and the word "Freemasonry" into a search engine, coming up with a list of prominent Masons on a Masonic website. Hollings's membership in the Lodge is relevant to the bill he introduced as a system of universal national service would doubtless include mandatory participation in various educational programs designed to indoctrinate in all manner of political correctness those young people who had been home-schooled or were sent by their parents to schools that kept such rot out of their curricula. Hollings's bill thus proposes to develop a system that would force young people who have been shielded from the evil influences of religious indifferentism and social relativism into being subjected to those influences for a period of at least two years. Hollings's bill thus demonstrates a desire to increase the power of the state over the lives of young citizens, which is of the essence of Freemasonry.
The Masonic website on which Hollings's name was found listed people from all over the world. The Americans listed on the site came from all walks of society. Included are thirty-five Supreme Court Justices, a subject discussed in Paul Fisher's Behind the Lodge Door. It is no accident that the flurry of egregious Supreme Court decisions from 1945 to 1973 occurred when a number of Freemasons were on the Court at various points (Fred Vinson, Wiley Rutledge, Harold Burton, Robert H. Jackson Tom Clark, James Byrnes, Earl Warren, Hugo Black, William Douglas, Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall). Eight of the nine justices serving on the Court between 1949 and 1954 were Masons. All but three of the thirty-third degree Mason President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's nine court appointees were Masons, as were four of the Mason Harry Truman's. There was a period between 1967 and 1969 when five of the nine justices were Masons (Warren, Black, Douglas, Marshall, Stewart). These Masonic justices ruled in cases that established "precedents" that are now honored without question by at least four, sometimes five or six, justices on the Supreme Court at present (John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, joined frequently by Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy).
One of the proofs of the utter triumph of the legally positivist and morally relativist ethos of Freemasonry in American government and law is that the wretched legacy of these Roosevelt and Truman justices now binds their ideological fellow-travelers who do not belong to the Lodge. Just as Masons do not need one of their own on the Throne of Saint Peter to have popes speak in ways that reflect the Masonic ethos, as Father Paul Kramer notes in The Devil's Final Battle, so is it the case that they no longer need one of their own on the Supreme Court to respect the ground-breaking decisions (pornography, contraception, abortion) rendered when the Court was their private preserve. The decisions have been preserved as sacrosanct under the legal principle of stare decisis, something that was known by the Masonic justices when they were using the very fungible nature of a written document, the Constitution, that admits of no higher authority above its own text to attempt to impose a veritable social revolution while the public was mesmerized by the novelty known as network television entertainment programming in the 1950s and 1960s.
Also included on the list were fifteen Presidents of the United States of America and the current Vice President of the United States of America, Richard N. Cheney. Senators, financiers, industrialists, movie moguls (Darryl Zanuck, Walt Disney, Cecil B. DeMille), revolutionaries and a whole host of others were found on the list. An entire book or two could be written on the cultural influences exercised just by the entertainers on the list. For present purposes, it is important to note that Disney, who left instructions for his body to be frozen after his death so that he could be resuscitated when science discovered a "cure" for death, left behind quite a Masonic legacy at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, that lives on to this day. There is a "Club 33" restaurant at Disneyland. A dues-paying member's membership was canceled shortly after he brought a priest, Father Patrick Perez, as a guest to the club.
All of this is important not because these individuals have worked or conspired together, although instances of same are not be discounted as frivolous. This is important because most men act on what they believe. A man who believes in the lies of Freemasonry is going to give expression to his beliefs in the course of his life's work. If such a man has the ability to influence the course of social life, then it is important to point out the nature of his beliefs and how they are incompatible with the true Faith-and thus the good of any nation, including our own. What is harmful to man's Last End is harmful to society. And the belief that man can act in this life without any regard to the Deposit of Faith and without relying upon sanctifying grace is harmful to man's Last End and fatal to society. Masonry does not merely wish the Church "ill," as some have contended; it seeks to eradicate the expression of the Faith in all quarters of public life. It has done so violently in the Catholic countries of Europe and Latin America, doing so more insidiously in the United States as a result of its prominence in all aspects of our social life. To recognize Freemasonry's pervasive influence and to rebut its false premises is not to engage in conspiracy-mongering. It is to alert Catholics that we must not succumb to any degree of religious indifferentism in any aspect of our national life.
Several Masonic websites list Edmund Burke, generally credited as the father of classical conservatism, as a member of the brotherhood. This makes perfect sense. Although this will anger a lot of people, the fact is that Burkean conservatism was and remains an effort to try to find some inter-denominational or non-denominational way to "conserve" the "heritage" of the West without acknowledging the Catholic Church as the repository and explicator of the Deposit of Faith and without submitting to the Social Reign of Christ the King as it was exercised by the Church during the era of Christendom. Burke's own indifferentism is cited favorably by a Fred C. Kleinknect, a "Supreme Grand Commander" of Masonry, in the context of a commentary on the ethos of Freemasonry:
Unfortunately, our purpose as well as our very existence is questioned by the uninformed. They fail to see that Masons are invariable churchgoing men who extend the precepts of their faith beyond their sabbath to every day of their lives. They work within their churches and in their communities for the betterment of their fellowmen. Masons, in fact, go beyond narrow sectarianism and limiting dogma. They agree with the statement of the famous statesman and writer Edmund Burke: "The body of all true religion consists, to be sure, in obedience to the will of the Sovereign of the world, in a confidence in His declarations, and in imitation of His perfection."
But what are "His declarations"? They are not, Masons believe, the passing credos of religious sects or cults. Rather, they are the inspired wisdom contained in the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita or any of the other Great Books of Faith that have been universally recognized as man's best guides to happiness on this world and reward in the next. Freemasonry, therefore, welcomes to its ranks Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and all good men of whatever religion who truly aspire to live accordingly to the Creator's will.
Because it is universal in scope and inclusive in membership, Masonry provides a philosophy and a Fraternity where good men can "meet on the Level and part on the Square." It binds all men in a mystic tie of sincere brotherhood and mutual love. Faith and work, soul and body, heart and hand are united as Masons everywhere labor through Freemasonry in peace and harmony to honor the Creator and serve mankind.
Kleinknect's summary of Masonry can be applied to any and every political philosophy or ideology that is founded in whole or in part on a rejection of Catholicism as the foundation of personal and social order. That one of this country's chief popularizers of conservatism, the late Barry Goldwater, whose first wife was an active ally of Margaret Sanger, was himself a Mason, also makes perfect sense. Masonry desires potential political allies to set aside whatever denominational differences they have to concentrate on the "trees" in the forest rather than seeing that the forest is made up of trees that have their proximate roots in the errors of modernity itself. Thus, good people wind up spinning their wheels and rending their garments over the symptoms of modernity rather than recognizing our problems are the result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King and can only be ameliorated by the restoration of Christendom as the fruit of the Triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. This is all the natural result of thinking and acting as though man can philosophize and theorize like the pagans who lived before the Incarnation of the Co-Eternal Word as man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb. It is a rejection of the authority that the God-Man entrusted solely to His true Church to teach and to govern all men in all nations until the end of time.
Yes, Masons often fight each other, sometimes violently. Edmund Burke was a fierce critic of the Masonically-inspired French Revolution. American Masons fought Mexican Masons during the Mexican-American War. Mexican Masons engaged in fratricidal warfare for nearly a century. Republican Masons in this country have vied for office against Democrat Masons. There is, obviously, little honor among these thieves. What unites them all, though, is this: the theft of the true heritage of the West, Catholicism, and the imposition of a variety of sterile substitutes (political ideologies, various forms of nationalism that present themselves to the public as "patriotism," educational theories stressing evolutionism and moral relativism) as its state-sponsored substitute.
There is another aspect, though, of this matter that needs to be addressed in light of a discovery made when researching Senator Hollings's Masonic membership. Also included on the list on the Masonic website is the name of one Charles B. Rangel, a member of the United States House of Representatives from the Borough of Manhattan and, much more importantly, a Roman Catholic. Rangel, who is the Ranking Minority Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is a notorious pro-abort who invokes the old Masonic canard of the "separation of Church and State" to justify his support for the systematic destruction of over 4,000 innocent human beings under cover of law by means of surgical abortion alone, not including those babies killed by chemical abortifacients. True, very few Catholics in public life who invoke the Masonic canard of the "separation of Church and State" are Masons. However, this is proof of the success of the Masonic ethos. As noted earlier in the context of the Supreme Court, Freemasonry does not need initiated members to speak its language in order to embrace its ethos of religious indifferentism and legal positivism. That Rangel, though, is listed as a member of the Lodge poses a direct challenge to his archdiocesan ordinary, Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop of New York.
It is still a mortal sin for a Catholic to belong to a Masonic lodge. As is the case with much else in the postconciliar era, there is ambiguity in the 1983 Code of Canon Law as membership in Masonic lodges is not listed as an excommunicable offense as it had been in the 1917 Code. An attempt to clarify that ambiguity was made by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, on November 26, 1983:
It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church's decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous code.
This sacred congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance is due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.
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.
It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the declaration of this sacred congregation issued Feb. 17,1981.
In an audience granted to the undersigned cardinal prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this sacred congregation. Given at Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Nov. 26, 1983. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect. Father Jerome Hamer, O. P. Titular Archbishop of Lorium, Secretary.
Cardinal Egan has thus far refused to publicly state his position about Catholics in public life who support the slaughter of the preborn under cover of law. He has a veritable stable of prominent Catholics of both major political parties, including Rangel and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current New York State Governor George Pataki, who present themselves for Holy Communion week after week after week. While the American bishops argue amongst themselves about denying Holy Communion to these Catholic reprobates, Cardinal Egan can make a very clear public statement about Mr. Rangel's Masonic membership by referring to Cardinal Ratzinger's 1983 letter. Charles Rangel is to be denied Holy Communion as a result of his Masonic membership. It will be quite interesting to see if Cardinal Egan will firmly and publicly acknowledge that membership in a Masonic lodge is incompatible with being a Catholic in good standing.
If Cardinal Egan does nothing, as he has shown to be his wont in the past four years since succeeding the late John Cardinal O'Connor, then he will demonstrate all too clearly that the false ideas of Freemasonry, which promotes social "peace" as the single most important "virtue" in society, continue to intimidate some American Catholic prelates in the Twenty-first Century just as surely as it intimidated at least a few prelates now and then in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. It is when the Church herself refuses to raise the voice of her Divine Bridegroom against the purveyors of false ideas, no less enshrines those ideas in the language of her own documents and in her own Sacred Liturgy, that those ideas become harder for the average Catholic to recognize as evil, no less resist with all of his might.
All Catholics, both those in the clergy and the laity, would do well to read the works of Saint Maximilian Kolbe and to read about the life and the work of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro. Saint Maximilian Kolbe had no less than twelve publications in Europe and in Japan opposing Freemasonry and Zionism and all other secular ideologies, promoting total consecration to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and the prominent wearing of the Miraculous Medal as the antidotes to the poisons promoted by Freemasonry and its nefarious allies. Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro gave up his life to plant the seeds for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King in Our Lady's beloved country, Mexico. These great heroes of the Faith in the Twentieth Century were not goofy conspiracy theorists. They recognized full well the dangers of religious indifferentism and secularism in all walks of life, knowing that there is no inter-denominational or non-denominational way to fight these and other, inter-related evils. We must invoke their help from Heaven and follow their example of apostolic zeal to fight such foes in our own national life today.
Our Lady has told us that her Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end and a period of peace will be given to the world. This will happen after some Pope actually consecrates Russia to her Immaculate Heart. In the meantime, as we pray and fast for this to happen, we never lose heart as we point out the errors that plague both Church and State. Indeed, we unite ourselves more fully to the Immaculate Heart and to Heart formed therefrom, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It will be by entrusting ourselves more and more completely to these two Hearts that we will be emboldened to run whatever risks we need to run in order to plant the seeds for the conversion of this nation and the world to the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen. The false ideas that hold some sway at present will become but a distant memory of the history books as people live and work once more in the shadow of the Holy Cross.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Apart from the papal encyclical letters on Freemasonry, including Humanum Genus, there are superb summaries of the ethos of the Lodge in Father Denis Fahey's The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World and in the Father E. Cahill's The Framework of the Christian State. Father Cahill devotes an entire section to so-called "White Masons," fraternal organizations, such as the Lions and the Rotary Clubs, that help to proselytize Masonic principles of brotherhood and indifferentism. And all one has to do to find some very cogent summaries of the ethos of Freemasonry is to go to their own websites. The one containing Fred C. Kleinknect's commentary above has a number of statements from Masons proving the points made in this article. The web address is: http://www.srmason-sj.org/council/fmrel.htm .
A list of notable Masons is available at http://www.mastermason.com/ARM/notable_masons.htm