Rules

If the 'rules' and 'laws' of the Catholic Church are not important anymore then there is there any reason why a layman, Priest, a Bishop or even a Pope should not be a Freemason?

Discuss. Of course, I'm not saying the Pope is a Freemason, but if the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has no 'rules' or the law of the Church is 'unimportant' or 'irrelevant', what does this mean for other rules, laws and disciplines in the Church, as well as those 'rules' adhered to by monastic communities, or laypersons, such as the one hour fast before reception of Holy Communion?

Ironically, if, hypothetically, a Pope was a Freemason (though not this one, of course), then severing the Church from its disciplines, customs, laws and rules would be a nifty way to start your pontificate. To suggest a Pope even could be a Freemason would be to commit calumny and gossip against the Pope. Both gossiping and calumny are against the 'rules', as we know, but while the Holy Father says 'don't' do this or 'don't' be that, His Holiness's message is compromised by over-riding the Church's own rules and laws ('dos and don'ts) that tell the Priest/Bishop/Cardinal/Pope how to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy.

Ironically, also, many Catholics are Freemasons precisely because they perceive the 'rules' to have been 'relaxed' in the 1970s, despite the fact that no formal relaxation of the rule on membership of Masonic lodges ever occurred. When you meet one in Sainsbury's and tell him to his face that it is a mortal sin to be a Freemason, he tells you the 'rule' was relaxed in the 1970s. Of course, it wasn't relaxed or changed, it was perceived to be because the 'spirit' of the times suggested it might have been. Why do they believe that? Could it be because 'everything' was perceived to have 'changed' in the seventies and the Church's 'rules and laws', especially in the Sacred Liturgy, were perceived to have been 'relaxed'?


A Church without 'rules' and that is entrusted to men who disregard its 'laws' could very easily slip into anarchy and lawlessness. In many areas of the World, possibly in every country, of course, anarchy and lawlessness is exactly what happens on the Sanctuary of the Living God. What delight that must give the enemy of God and man, the Devil, who, knowing the frailty of human nature, more or less told our first parents, 'Oh, go on. It's only a little rule'. Yes, it was only the breaking of a 'little rule' that lost our Original Innocence and gave us Original Sin.

The idea that those who respect the Church's laws, customs, disciplines and rules are 'pharisees' is quite cheap. The idea of obedience is not new in the Church, it was something exemplified and embodied in Our Lord Jesus Christ Who showed and lived obedience to the Father even unto His Passion and Death on the Cross.

Pope Francis will undoubtedly be the Pope that the Second Vatican Council was waiting for, a Pope who will embody its missionary zeal, its outreach and inspiring love for the poor, marginalised and discarded. Equally, however, His Holiness will also embody, just as much, the fault lines, inconsistencies, errors and liturgical 'time-bombs' promulgated in its wake.

Like many I love what the Holy Father says and does, his teaching by example, his great faith and preaching on the urgency of the Gospel, but it strikes me that the rules that apply to the Sacred Liturgy are there in order that Jesus Christ and the most sublime Sacrifice especially are as visible as they possibly can be. "He who does not pray to God, prays to the Devil," says the Holy Father, but the source and summit of Christian prayer is the Holy Mass. It can only be the Devil who wants to obscure Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The rules are there not to burden Priests or leave the Priest 'unemancipated', but to emancipate, to make more visible, to magnify the Lord.

Comments

Elizabeth said…
As does counting one's Rosary offerings, apparently. Sorry for my snark:)
Sorry, Bones, I am shocked that you even raise the question.
Ohio Person said…
So what is the story behind this picture? Where? When? Who are the other two in the picture?
The Bones said…
What question?
Katalina said…
I agree with The Bones as I did in yesterdays post about this same Issue. Every Pope has a triple role as Priest Prophet and King and in Francis we see him play well the role of Prophet. Not to certain about King as his Papacy is 3 months old. However as the last 2 days posts have shown as Priest Pope Francis is IMHO TERRIBLE. Even Pope Emeritus Benedict warned that the Pope CANNOT do what he wants to because he is NOT a absolute Monarch.
Jim said…
Spot on, Bones!
EditorCT said…
We are trying to spread the word about our petition to the Holy See, supporting Cardinal Burke's exhortations to priests to apply Canon Law # 915. You can reach the petition via the link on our homepage, and read the text/sign in support, there. I hope you all will publicise this for us, as it is of much concern to us all, worldwide. http://www.catholictruthscotland.com

God bless.