“Lay your nets like Simon Barjona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents, rather than in the depths of the sea, and if you will precipitate nothing you will give yourself a draught of fishes more miraculous than his. The fisher of fishes will become a fisher of men. You will bring your-selves as friends around the Apostolic Chair. You will have fished up a Revolution in Tiara and Cope, marching with Cross and banner-a Revolution which it will need but to be spurred on a little to put the four quarters of the world on fire.”~The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita 1859, Giuseppe Mazzini
If you weren’t already aware:
“The Christian denomination with the longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church. The objections raised by the Roman Catholic Church are based on the allegation that Masonry teaches a naturalistic deistic religion which is in conflict with Church doctrine. A number of Papal pronouncements have been issued against Freemasonry. The first was Pope Clement XII’s In Eminenti, 28 April 1738; the most recent was Pope Leo XIII’s Ab Apostolici, 15 October 1890. The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication, and banned books favoring Freemasonry.”
In one of the most powerful pronouncements against Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII on April 20, 1884 declared, “Let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the Masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation.” –Humanum Genus
Also worth noting is Msgr. George Dillon’s comment concerning Freemasonry in which he said:
“I believe this secret Atheistic organization to be nothing less than the supreme conflict between the Church and Satan’s followers. It is the commencement of the contest, which must take place between Christ and Anti-Christ, and nothing therefore can be more necessary than that of the elect of God should be warned of its nature and its aims.”
In 1983, the Church issued a new Code of Canon Law. Unlike previous pronouncements, it did not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. It states in part: “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.” This named omission of Masonic orders caused both Catholics and Freemasons to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons had been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalizations of Vatican II. However, the matter was clarified when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a Declaration on Masonic Associations which states:
“…the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association 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.”
Thus, from a Catholic perspective, it is still expressly forbidden for Catholics joining Masonic Lodges. For the last two-hundred and fifty years, roughly twelve popes have condemned Freemasonry. Nowadays, even many Catholics frequently defend or dismiss the existence of a threat from the cult of Freemasonry, seeing it as nothing other than a jovial fraternity of middle-aged do-gooders. The popes would beg to differ. Of course, it must be said that many involved in Freemasonry no doubt have the best of intentions and are simply not fully aware of the organization’s dark history.
Ok, so you’re probably wondering, “Jake, why did you take the time to cite a bunch of papal documents on the Freemasons?” Here’s why. A few years ago, I was taking a leisurely stroll across the beautiful Saint Francis Seminary grounds when I noticed Masonic insignia embossed on nearly all of the lampposts. Here’s my question: Why would a symbol associated with a group that is so inimical to the teachings of the Catholic Church exist on church property? Is anybody home? The very fact that these Masonic symbols can be found on Church property is scandalous.
For years now, Cream City Catholic has tried to seek an answer from the Archdiocese to explain this mystery, but to no avail. All of my attempts, including the use of messenger pigeons, smoke signals and semaphore just hasn’t worked. But, If nothing else, the evidence of Masonic symbols on church property demonstrates the lack of knowledge, indifference, or evil that is taking place in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee right now.
“The roots of modern apostasy lay in scientific atheism, dialectical materialism, rationalism, illuminism, laicism, and Freemasonry which is the mother of them all.”~Pope Pius XII at a pontifical conference on May 23, 1958