Hello Readers. Livingstone here.
Two days ago I came across a news article regarding a recent interview with the Pope. Me being a Pope Francis fan, decided to check it out and see what the general response was.
When I discovered that he was singling out Masonry, specifically Masonic Lobbying, I knew it was time to hit the blog.
Pope Francis right now is huge. Many are saying he is the most popular pope in our lifetime. The Washington Post had an article outlining it here. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-25/national/40863777_1_pope-francis-1-2-billion-catholics-new-pope
And I agree. His washing the feet of young atheists and Muslims, praying for victims not reported in the media, saying we should not judge gays, forgone the riches of his stature for a more humble lifestyle and among many other small instances. He is someone who is reforming the image of the church even while traditionalists kick and scream that he is stripping away the pomp and fanfare of the position. He marches to his own drum and while you may not always agree with him, you respect him. I’m rooting for him and I hope he continues to preach this message.
So when some fellow Brothers directed me to his interview, explaining to me what they read, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Masonry in Europe and America, especially among Catholics, deeply wish the church would drop its animosity to them. The bans on Masonic participation, threats of excommunication, and denial of the Eucharist. In short, the church throws the book at Masons the best they can and that is how they plan to operate. They’ve changed their opinions on Protestants, Jews and Gays but Masons still are forced to live in the dark. So Mote It be it seems.
So when Pope Francis took over, there was interest to see how he would approach Masonry. His policies seemed ripe for the church to come to terms that Masonry is not a threat or competition. However his reference to Masonic lobbying seems to put a damper on that dream. Here is the quote.
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?
“The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worst problem,” he said.
“You see a lot written about the gay lobby. I still have not seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay,” he joked.
Clearly he singled out Masonry here. Yet while he singled it out, his was not doing so in a anti-masonic way. I would argue he was speaking in a more general sense. He is against lobbying by organizations. A very populist approach that is common with politicians in America. Except what inevitably happens is that the lobbying never goes away. The list of lobbying groups he mentions clearly has a negative turn. Greedy people, politicians…Masons. It’s clear. Yet his mention of orientation lobbies in light of his revealed views on gay priests shows a nuance. Also a “nothing is unclean of itself” nuance. At the end of the day, that is all anyone can hope for.
For those who don’t know, Masonry in America and Masonry in Europe are completely different animals. Europe is also packed with Masons who are Clandestine, which means they come from illegal Masonic lodges. Yes this is a thing and I’ll explain in another entry. But Masonry in America is relaxed and more carefree, Masonry in Europe is more of a machine/religion force. The clandestine Masons in France routinely engage in politics and chase after any church members who seek to try and get the church involved with the state n any way. American Masons are self-banned from talking politics or religion and lodges can’t lobby.
So Pope Francis is concerned about the European Masonic lobby and to a lesser extent the Americans. Yet lobbying is one of the foundational freedoms we have. We always talk about lobbying ending and then everyone making sense again. No. People will continue to not make sense, just not in as an insidious way. So lobbying is one of the few things people can do to push through something they strong believe in. To take that away purely is incorrect. However it is looking like digital Masons are already on the case. Yes, we even have hackers.
So the book is out. Masons, guilty by association with these politician Masons, have to deal with the wrath of the American people. At some point they snap and we’ll just hope we’re not the ones holding the button when it happens.
So in conclusion, Pope Francis has made his decision about Masony and that is what it may be until the next Pope comes along. For the Masonic community, a little depressing about how to cope with this. It’s too bad Masonry hasn’t done more to push itself. But yet again, we live in secrecy. A secrecy that doesn’t allow us to fight back abut individual issues they come up against. Will we ever come to terms with the Catholic Church…no one knows.