This is the second in a series of articles exposing the evils of Freemasonry (in which membership is forbidden for Catholics) and its war against the Catholic Church and Christianity in general.
In a constant effort to increase its acceptability to every segment of society, Freemasonry uses symbols, objects and beliefs which are both familiar to and held sacred by those it seeks to lure into its movement.
Fundamentally opposed both to the Jewish religion and to Christianity, Freemasonry seeks to lure Jews and Christians through pretended tolerance and by using whatever it can of these religions in its ceremonies and teachings. For example, the Torah, the Temple in Jerusalem and various symbols of Judaism are used to lure Jews. For Christians, the Holy Bible, the feast days of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist are used.
Before going into the way elements of Christianity are used by Freemasonry, the fundamental difference between Freemasonry on the one hand, and both Judaism and Christianity on the other must be delineated.
That fundamental difference can be expressed in one word—monotheism.
Monotheism is the truth that there is but one God. All other “gods” are the inventions of man, and ultimately, of Satan. Freemasonry seeks to overthrow this truth by reviving the ancient mysteries of the pagan religions of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome (1).
Since Freemasonry considers itself superior to all religions, it has no compunction about using Christian elements for its own ends.
For Masonry is no religion, nor does it presume to take the place of any religion, but only to inculcate those principles of pure morality which Reason reads on the pages of the great Book of Nature, and to teach those great primary truths on which all religions repose. What edifice of faith and creed each brother builds upon that foundation we have no right to inquire, and therefore do not seek to inquire (2).
How is the Bible used? A Christian entering Freemasonry is strongly encouraged to swear the Masonic oaths he takes on the Bible. (Jews swear on the Torah, Muslims on the Koran.)
The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. … The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding … (3).
Quotations from the Bible are used extensively at times in books explaining Masonic teachings and rituals, but the context in which these Scripture passages are used makes it clear that Christ’s teachings are subservient to the teachings of Freemasonry (4).
The feasts of St. John the Baptist (June 24) and St. John the Evangelist (December 27) are important to Freemasonry because they mark the summer and winter solstices, which were important to the ancient pagan religions (5). Also, both Saints were adopted by Freemasonry as a means of concealing their gnostic doctrines. Albert Pike in his work, Morals and Dogma, quoting an unnamed opponent of Freemasonry, puts it this way:
The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic. Thus they deceived the adversaries whom they sought to supplant. Hence Freemasonry … adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, and associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint John the Baptist … (6).
It would, therefore, be most fitting to invoke the intercession of these two Saints when trying to gain the conversion of anyone ensnared in Freemasonry!
The perversion of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist is another means of supplanting Christianity with Freemasonry.
Masonic baptism is practiced primarily in Europe, but the ceremonial is included in its book of rites for the northern jurisdiction of the U.S. According to the ceremonial,
Masonic baptism was instituted far more for the parents than for the children, while it affords each father an occasion for renewing his own obligations. He, also, by concurring in an act which impresses upon his child of his own sex, in advance, the character of Mason, and which gives it, of either sex, a right to the protection and careful guardianship of the Lodge, obliges himself of necessity to rear it in the principles of Freemasonry. … In our ceremony of Baptism we neither imitate nor have it in view to supply the place of any religious rite of any church. For baptism is not the exclusive property of religion. As the natural symbol of purification of the soul, it was used in the ancient mysteries and solemnities of India, Egypt, and Greece. … It was not imagined that the ceremony itself (Masonic baptism) had any healing virtue, or conferred holiness upon the recipient (7).
It is well to recall here that although Freemasonry claims it is not a religion and does not desire to replace any religion, yet by clearly declaring itself the foundation on which all members are to build their own personal creeds, Freemasonry in effect claims to be superior to all religions—the true super-religion governing all the others. (See footnote 2 above.)
Thus, while claiming not to be a religion, Freemasonry uses prayers, excerpts from the Scriptures and symbols identical to those used in Christian Baptism: water, oil, salt, a white garment and sponsors called godparents who make premises on behalf of the infant.
Water is used by the Worshipful Master to wash the infant’s left hand as a cleansing symbol of innocence and purity of heart, mimicking the use of baptismal water in Christian Baptism.
Oil is used in Masonic baptism to anoint the child with the Delta symbol, which symbolizes three names of the Supreme Deity among the Syrians, the Phoenicians and the Hebrews (Self Existence, the Nature-God or Soul of the Universe, Supreme Power) in imitation of the anointing in the name of the Blessed Trinity in Christian Baptism.
Salt is placed on the tongue of the godfather and the infant in Masonic baptism as a symbol of the vow taken to watch over the infant. (In the traditional rite of Catholic Baptism, salt is blessed and used as a prayer for and symbol of the wisdom that preserves the baptized from the corruption of sin, and as a protection against demonic influences in the exorcism portion of the rite).
In Masonic baptism the infant is clothed in a white apron as an emblem signifying that every Mason is destined for an active and laborious life. The white garment in Christian Baptism signifies the Christian dignity and state of grace of the newly baptized child as a redeemed and sanctified child of God. He is told that he must bring this garment of innocence and grace unstained into everlasting life.
Masonic godparents are the special instruments through which the Lodge watches over and protects—until they are adults (especially if they are orphaned)—the children of Freemasons. In the traditional Catholic rite of Baptism, Christian godparents, on behalf of the child, and speaking for it, renounce Satan and all his works, profess the Faith and vow to live the life of a good Christian. (This is done by the parents in the new rite.)
It is obvious that the use of so many elements of Catholic Baptism by Freemasonry is no innocent coincidence (8)!
Just as Freemasonry uses the symbols of the Sacrament of Baptism to its own ends, so also it mimics the Holy Eucharist. Its ceremonies for Holy Thursday are a kind of memorial of the Last Supper, commemorating the loss to death of a “Most Wise and Perfect Master”—a Christ stripped of His divinity. Former 33rd-Degree Scottish Rite Mason Rev. Jim Shaw, in his book, The Deadly Deception, describes the ceremony:
On Thursday evening we gathered at our home Temple and dressed for the ceremony. It was always a most solemn occasion and seemed a little awesome, even to those who had done it many times.
Dressed in long, black, hooded robes we marched in, single file, with only our faces partly showing and took our seats.
There was something very tomb-like about the setting. … After the opening prayer (from which the name of Jesus Christ was conspicuously excluded), I stood and opened the service. As I had done so many times before, I said, “We meet this day, to commemorate the death of our ‘Most Wise and Perfect Master,’ not as inspired or divine, for this is not for us to decide, but as at least the greatest of the apostles of mankind…” (9).
Rev. Shaw then goes on to describe the Masonic communion service, during which bread and wine are distributed to the participants in a setting he describes as one of heavy gloom, with its Christless prayers and hymns. He calls it a Black Communion, a strange Black Mass. The service closes with the snuffing out of candles, the last one representing the life of Jesus: “We had dramatized and commemorated the snuffing out of the life of Jesus, without once mentioning his name, and the scene ended with the room in deep silent darkness” (10).
These are just a few examples of elements taken from Christianity, twisted around to fit Freemasonry’s purposes, which, because of their surface similarity to Christianity, can lure the poorly instructed or nominal Christian into the world of Freemasonry. Once in, he can be led, step-by-step, away from Christ, the God-man and Redeemer, into a world view where God and His teachings are systematically blasphemed.
A Religion of Blasphemy
Freemasonry lays great store in the importance of reason in its belief system. In such a system, therefore, one would expect to find consistency as an integral feature. However, inconsistency is the hallmark of Freemasonry, for contradictions in it abound. Among the most notable is its claim both that it is and is not
Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion (11).
It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation (12).
Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it (13).
For Masonry is no religion, nor does it assume to take the place of any religion, but only to inculcate those principles of pure morality which Reason reads on the pages of the great Book of Nature, and to teach those great primary truths on which all religions repose (14).
The inconsistencies, the contradictions in the above quotations, which are so contrary to right reason, are obvious. There is one major aspect of Freemasonry that is hellishly consistent, however, and that is its systematic blasphemy against God and His Revelation to us through Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, handed down to us from the Apostles. First of all, Freemasonry places itself above all divinely revealed religion (see the second and fourth quotations above). It also denies the divine inspiration and inerrancy of Sacred Scripture by declaring the books of the Bible to be merely a collection of oriental books of different ages, on a par with other ancient books (15), and that the doctrines contained therein are not strict truth (16).
God is portrayed as a deceiver who “…leads the masses away from the highest Truth” (17), and as being merely, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself (18), which is the exact opposite of the truth, i.e., that we are made in the image and likeness of God. The Blessed Trinity becomes merely one in a series of “trinities” to be found in the various man-made pagan religions of old (19).
Jesus Christ is portrayed as “Jesus of Nazareth,” a great teacher whose teachings are quoted, but not as God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: “…and every true Knight of the Rose will revere the memory of him who taught it, and look indulgently even on those who assign to him a character far above his own conception or belief, even to the extent of deeming him Divine” (20). Even on Holy Thursday, when Christ is commemorated at Lodge services, Christ’s name is omitted, and He is not prayed to; indeed, that is forbidden (21).
The occult philosophies of ancient times are portrayed in a positive light, and magic is portrayed as a form of science, which ignorant Christianity suppressed by substituting faith for science.
“The dunces who led primitive Christianity astray, by substituting faith for science … have succeeded in shrouding in darkness the ancient discoveries of the human mind” (22).
By denigrating faith in this fashion, in one fell swoop Freemasonry sweeps away belief in Christ, in His Church and its teachings, in the efficacy of the Mass and Sacraments and in Holy Scripture.
Satan’s very existence is denied: “…there is no rebellious demon of Evil, or Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal controversy with God …” (23). Satan is a force, not a person, created for good, but which may serve for evil, an instrument of liberty or free will (24). Evil is portrayed as created by God (25), and what we know as the effects of Original Sin on man were the intention of God for man (26).
Freemasonry portrays itself as a friend and benefactor of all mankind, but its beliefs about humanity betray an underlying contempt of the human race and an elitism which admits only a relative few to knowledge of “Truth” (27). Mankind is portrayed as no better than the animals (28). Freemasonry teaches that it is permissible for a “superior” race to rule an “inferior” one, and that God’s justice “does not require us to relieve the hard-working millions of all labor, to emancipate the serf or slave, unfitted to be free, from all control” (29).
In the following chapter we shall examine Freemasonry’s similarity to the New Age Movement, which denies that Jesus Christ is God and which ultimately worships Satan.
At every turn one takes in the maze of Freemasonry, he runs up against a black wall of blasphemy. Indeed, that seems to be the reason for its existence—the establishment of a religion of blasphemy!
Partisans of Evil
In Chapter One we quoted extensively from Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Humanum Genus (1884) in order to lay the groundwork for considering modern-day Freemasonry.
We return to that encyclical in order to highlight in this chapter one of the important aspects of Freemasonry Pope Leo XIII pointed out over a century ago. Equating Freemasonry with the domain of Satan, using St. Augustine’s image of the two cities, the City of man and the City of God, the Pope warned that there was a coming together of the “partisans of evil,” led on in particular by Freemasonry (30).
Now let us look at that phrase of Pope Leo XIII regarding the “partisans of evil” coming together and being led by Freemasonry. Pope Leo had warned that the Masons would abet socialist and Communist revolutions everywhere. Let us examine some history of this century.
By World War I, many European governments were dominated or heavily influenced by Freemasons. Catholic schools were closed and outlawed in some nations. In the aftermath of World War I, Communism seized control of Russia; a few years later Mussolini’s black-shirted socialists, called Fascists, took over Italy; and in 1933 the Nazis, though receiving less than 50 percent of the vote, formed a government in Germany and quickly suppressed all opposition. All of these were supported by Freemasons at the time.
Nazism (like Freemasonry and the New Age movement today) was riddled with occultism (the swastika is from ancient pagan religions). Among Nazis there was a fascination for ancient pagan religions of the East. Nazism also sought to revive interest in the ancient pagan religions of pre-Christian Germany, coupled with theories of racial purity and the superiority of Germans. Communism also has occultic roots. If some of Karl Marx’s writings—including his poetry—are a barometer, he was a Satanist, not an atheist. So we can see that all these “isms” have a certain commonality. Fascism in Italy, used the pagan symbols of ancient Rome.
Of late, there seems to be an increasing awareness of a coming together of Communism and Freemasonry. In fact, the co-operation between Communism in the East and Freemasonry in the increasingly pagan West—with its secular humanist allies of the New Age movement—is becoming more unashamedly open. A number of instances can be cited in support of this view.
In July 1990, Fr. Robert Bradley, S.J., at a Blue Army symposium in Washington, D.C., spoke of the connection between Our Lady’s message at Fatima and Freemasonry. Though her message is known chiefly for its warning on Communism, Father Bradley makes the case that Mary was clearly advising us about Freemasonry, although neither evil is mentioned specifically by name.
The welcome temporary respite from five decades of totalitarian rule now being experienced in some parts of Eastern Europe has also been accompanied by an influx of Western materialism and the reconstitution of Lodges of Freemasonry throughout that region. In 30 DAYS magazine (July-August 1990 issue), in a piece accompanying an article on the statement of the Bishops of the Indian Ocean Episcopal Conference on the dangers of Freemasonry, we find a short review of the attempts to reactivate Masonic Lodges throughout Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. (31). This was prior to the dramatic events of 1991.
In its September-October 1990 issue, 30 DAYS ran a five-page article, “From Communism to Masonry,” giving extensive treatment to the resurgence of Freemasonry in Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R., as well as historical background on Freemasonry’s past in each country. Indeed, a resurgent Evil Empire is in the making (32)!
Even though the source is a private revelation—which we are not required to accept—it may be worth noting that the 1990 edition of To The Priests, by Don Stefano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests, contains several reported locutions from Our Lady explaining some aspects of the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) concerning the Red Dragon (atheistic Communism) and the black beast arising from the sea (Freemasonry) and the work of both in promoting apostasy and idolatry. It is said that the two will reach their zenith by 1998 (33).
A book published in 1990 by A. Ralph Epperson, The New World Order, drawing extensively on Masonic and New Age movement sources, shows the similarities and interplay between these two movements in this country and their efforts to replace America’s Judaeo-Christian heritage with a brutal form of paganism, leading ultimately to the worship of Lucifer and the elimination of every vestige of Christianity (34).
This interplay between Freemasonry and the New Age movement consists in their common views and in what they advocate—but not in their structures. Freemasonry is highly structured. It is a male-only organization, hierarchical, with very precise, elaborate rituals. It has separate groups for women and children, which are closely monitored by the male members who oversee them.
On the other hand, the New Age movement is an apparently headless network of many groups, interacting in such a way as to build a New World Order in which monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Judaism, with their “restrictive” or “unhealthy” moral codes, will have to change drastically or be abolished (by force, if necessary). Christianity and Judaism impede the “progress” that the New Agers seek to make.
The New Age has what it calls “the Christ,” but this “Christ” is NOT the Christ of the Gospels, i.e., Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In the New Age view, Jesus is separate from Christ; Jesus is a great man, like Buddha or Confucius, but is not God—He is simply a way to “the Christ.” It is this view of Christ that New Agers want Christians to adopt. They want to change Christianity! Again, they separate Jesus from Christ! St. John the Evangelist had already faced this blasphemy back in the first century. He wrote, “Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22).
What are some of the elements common to Freemasonry and the New Age?
Both seek “Light.” But when all is said and done, that “light” turns out to be Lucifer. Both deny the existence of divinely revealed religion. Both denigrate Sacred Scripture by denying its inerrancy and divine inspiration, and consider the Scriptures as merely a collection of sacred books written by men. Both deny Jesus Christ’s divinity and His role as Savior and Redeemer, as well as the fact that He established a Church. Both promote a “secret wisdom” to be gleaned from the ancient pagan religions of the East. Both promote astrology and reincarnation. Both have a gnosticism, with its elitist mentality and the lure of a secret knowledge and wisdom (which not everyone should be privy to) as the core of their beliefs. Ultimately both will lead into the worship of Satan, though many in both movements—probably the vast majority—do not realize this!
It seems that, given its much longer existence, Freemasonry has, over the past century, spawned the creation of the New Age movement as a means to spread its beliefs among that great majority of people who would never otherwise be “evangelized,” if you will, by Freemasonry’s highly structured regular organization. At some point in time, this link might be openly revealed by Masonry’s leaders.
Let us examine a little further just a couple of the elements common to Freemasonry and the New Age. Belief in reincarnation is quite popular in our country today. It is an integral part of the New Age movement, and it is clearly central to Freemasonry. J.D. Buck (32nd° Mason), a still well-respected Masonic author of the 1920s, wrote the following in his book, Symbolism of Freemasonry or Mystic Masonry and the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity (1925), regarding those who help the poor:
Reincarnation being true, these servants of humanity are laying by a store of good Karma, which is literally, “treasure in heaven” and which must inevitably secure for I them still broader opportunities and greater power for Wood in another life; and best of all, they are unfolding the higher spiritual perceptions. (P. 9).
Following is another quote from the same author regarding salvation and Christ. In essence, the Masonic author repeats the serpent’s old lie that we can be our own gods, our own saviors—thus, we do not need Jesus Christ. Then the author claims that this (obviously perverted) notion was taught by the early Church! Again, one will also find this same type of thinking in the New Age movement today:
Every soul must “work out its own salvation” and “take the Kingdom of Heaven by force.” Salvation by faith and the vicarious atonement were not taught, as now interpreted, by Jesus, nor are these doctrines taught in the exoteric Scriptures. They are later and ignorant perversions of the original doctrines. In the early Church, as in the Secret Doctrine, there was not one Christ for the whole world, but a potential Christ in every man. Theologians first made a fetish of the Impersonal, Omnipresent Divinity; and then tore the Christos from the hearts of all humanity in order to deify Jesus; that they might have a God-man peculiarly their own! (P. 57).
Because of Original Sin, the human heart feels very tempted by the blasphemous ideal of being its own god. But to follow that path is to forfeit the true sharing in Divine Life through Jesus Christ. The attempt to be one’s own god and savior ends in everlasting death.
Today more than ever we see the truth of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s words: “Modern times are dominated by Satan and will be more so in the future. The conflict with Hell cannot be engaged by men, even the most clever. The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan.”
And what has been Mary Immaculate’s advice to us, time and again? Attendance at Mass, frequent use of the Sacraments, daily prayer (especially the Rosary), love, obedience to and prayer for the Pope, the offering up of the sacrifices of our daily lives well-lived, and total consecration to her Immaculate Heart.
We need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ our Savior, our hands in Mary’s hands, our ears attuned to the voice of Peter, and to have the wisdom and courage to be narrow-minded enough to tune out all contrary voices. All Scripture from Genesis to the Apocalypse (Revelation) assures us of the triumph of the City of God over the city of man. The grandiose schemes and machinations of the partisans of evil of our era are ultimately doomed to failure. We need but to stay our course!
Published on September 22, 2007 by Br. Charles Madden, O.F.M. Conv. in Christian Culture
This article was excerpted from Freemasonry: Mankind’s Hidden Enemy, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1995.
(1) The Deadly Deception, p. 143; also, Behind the Lodge Door, pp. 271-275.
(2) Charles P. McClenachan, 33°, The Book of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (New York: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., 1885; 1914, Revised & Enlarged Ed.), p. 558 (emphasis added).
(3) Morals and Dogma, p. 11.
(4) Ibid., pp. 540-541.
(5) Ibid., pp. 368, 595.
(6) Ibid., pp. 817-818.
(7) The Book of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, pp. 557-558.
(8) Ibid., pp. 555-576. Also, The Rites of the Catholic Church, pp. 214-226.
(9) The Deadly Deception, pp. 105-106.
(10) Ibid., p. 107.
(11) Morals and Dogma, p. 213.
(12) Ibid., p. 219.
(13) Ibid., p. 161.
(14) The Book of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, p. 558 (Ceremony of
(15) Morals and Dogma, p. 818.
(16) Ibid., p. 224.
(17) Ibid., p. 105.
(18) Ibid., p. 223.
(19) Ibid., pp. 548-563.
(20) Ibid., p. 310.
(21) The Deadly Deception, p. 106, p. 136.
(22) Morals and Dogma, p. 732.
(23) Ibid., p. 859.
(24) Ibid., p. 102.
(25) The Book of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, p. 415.
(26) Ibid., p. 416.
(27) Morals and Dogma, pp. 104-105.
(28) Ibid., p. 295