|Masons swear an oath of to the secret society on pain of death|
Taken aback somewhat by the fact that a communicating Catholic was telling me that he was a Freemason in the same relaxed fashion as he would were he to tell me he had just seen a great 2 for 1 offer on mature cheddar, I told him that I found what he had told me rather 'odd'. Never having been one to beat around the bush on this issue, I told him that it was impossible to be a communicating Catholic and an active Freemason and that it was really a matter he should take to Confession. Yes, that's right. I said words to that effect in the middle of Sainsburys.
He said words to the effect that quite a proportion of congregations in Brighton are Masons. I told him words to the effect that it would not surprise me greatly, but that, still, the fact that lots of people are doing it does not make it right. I told him it was a mortal sin to be an active Mason and read him the riot act as charitably as I could, given that he is active in a fraternity that Popes since the 1800s have warned is essentially diabolical, even if it performs noble work of charity.
"No, that's not true," he said, "the Catholic Church relaxed the rule on Freemasonry in 1969". I told him that it was perceived to have been relaxed, in the same way as it was perceived that everything was relaxed (it sounds almost as if the Church from top to bottom smoked pot for a couple of years and just let things slide for a while), but that in no way was it made lawful for Catholics to be active Freemasons. I asked him if he could be so kind as to show me that document from Vatican II that abrogated the Church's law on participation in Freemasonry. He said that he didn't have any Vatican II documents, but that he "knows" it was relaxed because "loads of Catholics" became Masons in 1969 with the "relaxation of the ban". What was it about 1969?! I repeated that the Church's stance had never changed formally, but that it would seem that there was a trend during this period in which people became convinced that the ban had been lifted even though no words to this effect were uttered by a Pope. I asked him whether he put his authority over that of the Church in these matters but he continued to maintain that the Church had changed its mind so everything was hunky dory. Certainly, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, appears to agree with me...
"The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion....Consequently, neither the excommunication nor the other penalties envisaged have been abrogated." ~ Cardinal Ratzinger, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 26, 1983
Always a good man to have on your side in a Catholic debate, the Supreme Pontiff. It all got me thinking what the point is of belonging to a secret society if you blow your own cover so openly in the middle of Sainsbury's? It was almost as if he had wanted me to congratulate him on his seventh anniversary of being a member of the 'synagogue of Satan'. It was like we were talking at parallels, because no matter what I said about the moral wrongness of belonging to the Freemasons while communicating as a Catholic, he appeared totally indifferent to the argument, as if, even if it were true that the Church had never relaxed the ban and that it was really very, very wrong to be an active Freemason, that it might be true for me, but not for him. I asked him what on earth "they" have to do with "us" and he replied, "quite a lot actually", and I guess that, if loads of parishioners, Priests and perhaps (could it really be?) Bishops are Freemasons, as he appeared to indicate, then he is right. It has to be said that while Pope Benedict XVI is the true Pope of Christian Unity, seeking to bring lost sheep into the true fold of the Church, the Masons are the World's single most successful religious organisation in terms of 'ecumenism' because in their fraternity, Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Catholics all get together, put aside their 'differences' and get deep into an heretical cult.
|"No man can serve two masters..."|
"Anyway," I told him, "I thought it was St Mary Magdalen's was the parish for 'odd' people," meaning that St Mary Magdalen attracts eccentric types, but, miraculously, he hadn't managed to notice any 'odd' people at St Mary Magdalen's! "Perhaps they cover it up better, there," he said. It was around this time that quite possibly the campest man at St Mary Magdalen's walked past and might just as well have said, "Coo-ey! Fancy meeting you here!" Pure comedy! It's almost as if the 'Great Architect of the Universe' was writing the script.
He had said he was sad to have missed the Missa Cantata for Candlemas at St Mary Magdalen's last night but he was in another town. I told him about the Latin Mass on Fridays. He told me he knew about it and has done for a long time and that he likes the Latin Mass having experienced 'both rites'. It is unclear whether he meant old rite and the modern rite or the Scottish and York rites. It's only, now, writing about it, I realise that he probably doesn't come on Fridays because he's at the Lodge that night too. Being an active Freemason is a bit like declaring with your mouth that you belong to Christ, the Bridegroom, but, every single week, continuing a steamy affair with a 'lodger' that should have been put to bed seven years ago. It is, essentially, an adulterous relationship. I must say I ended up feeling for the guy because it appeared he'd be heartbroken if he had to end this affair.
Anyway, just to re-cap, the Church's stance on secret societies was not abrogated in 1969, making it licit to join the Freemasons and to aid their plan to destroy all major World religions (Catholicism included) in order to establish a neo-pagan One World Religion throughout society and indeed, the World. For that reason Freemasonry is directly opposed and incompatible with the Catholic Faith. If we deny Christ, there is no 'fraternity'. Anyway, 'odd'? Who's he calling 'odd'? After all, he's the one going around showing people his left nipple and doing funny handshakes! If only I'd thought of that at the time...