Letter of the month: June 1997
Subject: Re: Freemasons/Catholic Church
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 11:20:12 EDT
} Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 21:42:21 +0800
} From: Ray Lane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
} Reply-To: email@example.com
} To: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
} Subject: Freemasons/Catholic Church
} Hi Gary,
} I read some time ago that Freemasons are the mortal enemy of the
} Catholic Church and are secretly planing the (imminent) demise of the
} Pope and the Church.
Where did you read that? Can you send me a copy? Sounds pretty
} Can this be true ?......and, if not, how can we know that it's not if
} it's a "secret" plot ?
You've gone right past History and Politics and slammed straight into
epistemology. Let me try to sort things out:
No, as far as I know, no official group of Freemasons are the mortal
enemy of the Catholic Church, nor is any official group of Freemasons
planning the Church's demise.
After all, (1) all the lodges I know of are perfectly willing to
accept Catholic members, and (2) are almost too disorganized to plot a
steak dinner for 60 couples without losing money on it. (3) The only
"plot" that I am aware of that could be ascribed at all to Masonry at
large (that is, as the official policy of most or all of the various
sovereign grand lodges of the 50 US states) is the "plot" to bring in
more dues-paying members.
But, your question is broader than that.
First, there's scope and responsibility? Are any Freemasons anywhere
in the world plotting the destruction of the Church? I have no idea.
But you could ask if any Masons anywhere in the world plotting to rob
some bank. I hope not, but I don't know. And if they were, could you
consider that a specifically Masonic plot? If it wasn't something they
planned in a lodge meeting, but just on their own, say, while on a
fishing trip or during lunch one day? Would you say it was a Masonic
plot? They just arrested 3 guys from Spain who were selling pot in a
nearby town -- does that mean it was a "Spanish conspiracy" to sell
Next, there's knowability: Even if there was an official Masonic plot
to do in the Rock of Peter and the Crown of Christendom, maybe they
wouldn't tell _me_. I'm just a Past Master of a couple of lodges, after
all. Maybe only the high Grand Lodge officers are aware of such a plot.
But then, if they're the only ones who know about it, who's actually
executing the plot?
Next, there's believability: If I were involved in a plot to bring
about the fall of the Church of Rome, would I admit it? What weight of
evidence could my denial possibly have?
Finally, there's plausibility: Is it likely that an organization that
attracts members by professing ideals of "brotherly love, relief, and
truth" could then somehow convert these same overwhelmingly stable
middle-class and working guys to engage in undermining a major world
religion? And have them all keep it secret in the meantime?
} It's an interesting question, but I don't know it's origin.
The origin of most of these rumors was a fraud (named the "Taxil
Hoax") perpetrated against the _Church_ a century or two ago. Someone
who wanted to embarrass the Church printed up a fake pamphlet, which
professed to be a secret Masonic document advocating and laying out
plans for the destruction of the Church. Some Church authorities
totally fell for it, and issued huge ringing thunderous denunciations of
Masonry. Then the hoaxster revealed the fakery, and thus that he had
completely suckered and "fished in" the infallible Church. But the fake
pamphlet has kept circulating since then, and various authoritarian US
denominations (with their own beefs about Masonry) keep falling for it
and writing books about Masonic perfidy.
} Thanks for your help.
Hope that helps.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <firstname.lastname@example.org> | Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not
| P.O.Box 505, Cambridge, MA 02142 | PM: Ocean Lodge, Winthrop, MA (2nd Mon)
| ofc: 617.253-0184 fax: 253-8665 | & Mt. Scopus Lodge, Malden, MA (4th Wed)
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
| whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
| or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
P.S. I know that the structured style of my reply makes it look like
I learned to write in a Jesuit high school or prep school. I didn't.
Or at least I am apparently asserting to you that I didn't. (Unravel
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