Readers respond to Freemason
September 4, 2006
Matt C. Abbott
I received the following e-mails in response to a previous column that featured a letter from a Freemason.
From Robert Goldsborough:
I can tell you that after I skimmed Freemasons For Dummies, my more than 20 years of study into Masonic publications and documents led me to conclude that 32nd degree freemason Christopher Hodapp has written a clever piece of defensive disinformation worthy of the 'for Dummies' title.
In an attempt to discredit Randy Engel's writing on Cardinal Bernardin, Hodapp penned a screed which claims that 'Modern Catholic Freemasons know that mainstream Freemasonry does not plot against the Church openly or secretly, and see no contradiction between their faith and their membership...Catholic Freemasons are confused because the Church is itself confused on the subject.' He assures readers that there is a big difference between mainstream freemasonry, i.e. York Rite and Scottish Rite Freemasonry common to Anglo and North American lodges, and 'the anti-sectarian and anti-Catholic movements of certain Masonic organizations across Europe and even America a century ago....' That is the line that Masonry has spread across the land for decades in an effort to confuse and recruit Catholics.
In 1991, Canadian Cardinal Eduard Gagnon who was an advisor to both Pope Paul VI and John Paul II on the true nature of Freemasonry stated unambiguously 'Anglo-Masonry is no less anti-religious than the French [Grand-Orient] version... it is obvious that the attitude is very anti-Catholic.' (30 DAYS, April 1991)
Cardinal Gagnon included some revealing experiences in his 30 DAYS interview. 'Let me relate one of the many episodes. When I was teaching moral theology in Canada, I was Cardinal Paul Emile Leger's canonist. I often had to lodge requests with the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome for excommunication orders to be lifted in the cases of people who had stolen the Sacred Host on Masonry's orders. They had been well paid for the task and some regretted their action asking the Church to pardon them. The episode took place in Canada where Masonry is not believed to be anti-religious.'
As recently as 2004, Cardinal Gagnon re-affirmed what he said in his 30 DAYS interview, adding that in his opinion, the great loss of faith by a large majority of Catholics in Canada's Quebec province, which includes Montreal, was due to the subliminal Masonic propaganda that basically one religion is just as good as another. This is, of course, the heresy of indifferentism.
As an artful apologist for Freemasonry, Hodapp charges that the Catholic Church is confused about masonry and that this is why 'Catholic Freemasons' are confused. That term, of course, is an oxymoron — one cannot simultaneously be both a Catholic in good standing and a freemason. The Church was not confused in 1738 when Pope Clement XII issued his encyclical In Eminente, warning Catholics of automatic excommunication if they joined the Masons, nor was the Church confused in 1983 when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — issued the warning to the entire worldwide Church that '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 remain forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.' This monitum, approved by Pope John Paul II, forbade any member of the Catholic hierarchy from contradicting the finding.
In a May 23, 1958 pastoral letter, Pope Pius XII had warned the Catholic faithful of the coming great apostasy and identified the causes: 'the roots of modern apostasy lay in scientific atheism, dialectical materialism, rationalism, illuminism, laicism and Freemasonry which is the mother of them all.'
The Church is not confused about the spiritual danger of freemasonry to Catholics and other Christians; but high level Masons would like Catholics and other Christians to be confused about Masonry.
Masonry claims to help men be better men but Christians need only to follow Jesus Christ to be better men. As Catholics, we have the teachings of the Church and the Sacraments to help us, and need not join any organization which promises new special or secret knowledge to lead us from one occult level to another. The heresy of Gnosticism was condemned centuries ago.
Freemasonry's promotion of the heresy of indifferentism is subtle; its Gnosticism is blatant; and both are spiritual poison for all Catholics.
From Paul Fisher:
My attention was called to your column relative to a statement by a 32nd degree Freemason.
I wrote to the subject and essentially told him that I am the author of two books on Freemasonry — Behind The Lodge Door: Church, Statte and Freemasonry in America; and Their God Is The Devo; relative to some 50 Vatican documents condemning freemasonry between the years 1738–1983. Overall, the first reference, i.e., the New Age, was the most enlightening, in that it confirms most of whom are characterized as 'conspiracy nuts' have said about that fraternity.
They have by their own admittance been behind virtually every revolution since the celebrated one in France in the late 18th century. Further, their constant attacks on the Roman Catholic Church have been quite successful. Virtually every issue of the New Age attacks the Church, and there is no question they have penetrated the Vatican. Indeed, the Scottish Rite Grand Commander boasted that masonry was in attendance at Vatican II. Indeed, even the staunch Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus, works on friendly terms with the Masonic brotherhood. Indeed, the KOC received a copy of my first draft and printing of Behind The Lodge Door.
On p. 14 of Albert Pike's turgid tome, Morals and Dogma, we find the following: 'The pavement, alternately black and white, symbolizes, whether so intended or not, the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creeds. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism, Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel.' And so it goes through Pike's grand opus, and the pages of the New Age.
I noted in my response that [Hodapp] says he went to Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis. I expressed surprise, but attributed his membership in masonry to his Jesuit training at Brebeuf.
From Freemasonry Watch:
I was bemused to see you give Freemason Hodapp, author of the slightly crazed Freemasons for Dummies, so much space to respond to your column about Bernardin. Humor is indeed one of the many blessings of the faith.
I would like, if you permit, to respond to a couple of Hodapp's more lurid claims, although I would recommend to your readers the links you gave to the excellent Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic Culture articles on the subject. I believe the Catholic Culture site has a couple of other good recent articles on Freemasonry as well.
Hodapp drags out the very tired canard the so-called Taxil Hoax masons use regarding any reference to Freemasonry's very occult and satanic origins, teachings, and rituals. Leo Taxil, Hodapp claims, was denied Masonic membership. This is completely false. Taxil was the pen name of a notorious anti-cleric, one Gabriel Jogand, the founder of the Anti-Clerical League in France, and a notorious pornographer, who authored such amusing prose as The Secret Love Affairs of Pope Pius IX, The Sacred Cannibals, The Priest's Testicles, Letter from the Devil to the Pope concerning the Suppression of Menstruation in Girl's Communities, Extraordinary Correspondence of the Ecclesiastical [expletive], The Whores of the Third Estate, and The Solicitors of the Fourth!
Jogand was a member of the Grand Orient of France Lodge, The Temple of Friends of French Honor. He was a very devout freemason!
As for Palladianism, it did exist as a 'Rite' of Freemasonry in Charleston, South Carolina, and Albert Pike was heavily involved in it. Pike also wrote extensively about Lucifer, as has many other noted Masonic authors. Hodapp's effort to bizarrely claim that Lucifer is not a name for Satan is one I sometimes hear from knowledgeable masons — those who are knowledgeable about the presence and use of this word in Masonic writings — something very, very few masons are aware of. Hodapp tries to paint a picture of an anti-Catholic French Masonry and a benign Anglo-Masonry. This is very far indeed from the truth.
There is no practical difference between the two groups; if anything, the powerful Scottish and York rites of Freemasonry, as practiced in North America, are worse in their anti-Christian and anti-Catholic tenets. Consider the following: placing of the Masonic square and compass atop of the Bible, the removal of all references to Jesus Christ in prayers, the teaching that Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist were Freemasons, the forbidding of mentioning of Jesus Christ in open lodge when the candidate is asked unto whom they place their trust, the laying on of hands on the head of the new initiate in a mockery of Christian baptism, and the ritual resurrection ceremony, the blood oaths, the apron, the triangle of candles, the mock communion drank from a skull in the Knights Templar degree, and the trampling of the papal tiara in the Scottish Rite, and the mingling of Yahweh, Baal, and Osirus as the secret name for God in the Royal Arch as Jahbulon.
There is much more of course I could say, but why belabor the matter. Freemasonry is at the center of the occult, it is a deeply anti-Christian secret society, and no Catholic should have anything to do with it. The fact that some of the Church hierarchy allow masons to network and seek out new members inside dioceses today is a tremendous scandal.
I noted your reference to the occult practices in the Bernardin scandal; there are other articles which provide additional information on this matter, including the disturbing case of the official psychologist for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who was in charge of screening potential candidates for the seminaries, being an active freemason. Masonry is intensely interested in the Catholic Church, but not for the reason we would seek.
Also, author Randy Engel stands by the sentence she wrote in The Rite of Sodomy regarding Albert Pike.
Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management from Triton College in River Grove, Ill. He is the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League and the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee. He was a contributor to The Wanderer Catholic newspaper and had numerous letters to the editor published in major newspapers, including the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2006 by Matt C. Abbott