For being a member of a Masonic lodge, a Catholic priest at the posh French ski station of Megeve has been stripped of his functions at the request of the Vatican. Father Pascal Vesin of the Sainte-Anne d'Arly-Montjoie parish was ordered by the bishop of Annecy, Yves Boivineau, to halt his functions due to his "active membership" of the Grand Orient de France. A statement from the parish said the move had been "made at Rome's request." The bishop had asked Vesin earlier to forsake Freemasonry, which he had refused to do.

The real reason why the Roman Catholic Church, The Church of England and others are so against Freemasonry is because it has been the single most effective agent of social and political change in the world ever, actually delivering where Christianity has failed miserably due to the wealth and power seeking desires of so many of its leaders. Masonry has been anti-clerical but for exactly the same reasons as Jesus Christ was anti-clerical which was basically because he despised the hypocrisy, elitism and authoritarianism of the clerics at the top.

I am not, and I have never been a Freemason. I fully accept that it has had many bad apples within its ranks over the years. But I am also eternally grateful to it. Without Freemasonry I would be a peasant working for gruel for the descendants of the Norman aristocracy. Therefore, I would never condemn any Christian for being a member of a lodge. Mind you, to really get my respect, Freemasonry should go back to allowing female members like it did in many of its European lodges when it started.



  1. Well, at least they’re being consistent:

    “The 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.[79] 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.[80] The 1917 Code of Canon Law also forbade books friendly to Freemasonry.

    In 1983, the Church issued a new Code of Canon Law. Unlike its predecessor, 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 may have been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalisation of Vatican II.[81] 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, there is still a ban on Catholics joining Masonic Lodges. For its part, Freemasonry has never objected to Catholics joining their fraternity. Those Grand Lodges in amity with UGLE deny the Church’s claims and state that they explicitly adhere to the principle that “Freemasonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for religion.”[36]
    In contrast to Catholic allegations of rationalism and naturalism, Protestant objections are more likely to be based on allegations of mysticism, occultism, and even Satanism.[82] Masonic scholar Albert Pike is often quoted (in some cases misquoted) by Protestant anti-Masons as an authority for the position of Masonry on these issues.[83] However, Pike, although undoubtedly learned, was not a spokesman for Freemasonry and was controversial among Freemasons in general, representing his personal opinion only, and furthermore an opinion grounded in the attitudes and understandings of late 19th century Southern Freemasonry of the USA alone. Indeed his book carries in the preface a form of disclaimer from his own Grand Lodge. No one voice has ever spoken for the whole of Freemasonry.[84] (Wikipedia)

  2. The Western Esoteric Tradition informs Masonry, but then it also informs Christianity (it’s why the death and resurrection of God thing works so well). Of course, most Masons nowadays (if ever) have little interest in this side of things. It’s a boys’ club and unlike the boys’ clubs that men like our new Archbishop of Canterbury belongs to by reason of his social class, anyone can join it (at least any man can).

    • Many, if not most, of my ancestors were Masons and their wives (including my Grandmother) happily belonged to Eastern Star. I don’t recall when women were ever Masons, at least in the US but not saying they weren’t.

    • Women were Masons in France and elsewhere in Europe under one of the Scottish Rites. I am ashamed to say that it was the British Lodge, which has always been reactionary and chauvinistic, that insisted that the inclusion of women should cease.

  3. I’ve been a Freemason for 8 years now, and was Master of my Lodge 2010-2012. There is much truth in the “old boys’ club” theory of modern Freemasonry. However, the Craft in London raised more than £2 million to buy a “cyberknife” for Barts, a surgical instrument that is more precise than a scalpel for treatment of cancers. I forget what they’re now raising money for, but it’s another medical marvel. It helps support the children of Masons who die unexpectedly when young, and has a set of nursing homes for elderly Masons and their widows. The principles of Freemasonry are “Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.” And how more Christlike can one get with those three principles.

    In addition, I was someone who couldn’t memorise even the simplest lines in an amateur play around 16 years ago. Since I’ve been a Freemason I’ve memorised around 2 hours of ritual and greatly enhanced my speaking skills and memory. I’ve also met a bunch of guys who I would never have met in other ways.

    My successor as Master was baptised a Roman Catholic. The current Master is a Hindu. His successor will probably be a Muslim. Many of the Brethren in my Lodge are Jewish. It is a great way to learn acceptance of everyone.

    They also had no problem with my being gay. They hastened to reassure me at the interview that “they had seen my website”. And, after I was initiated, they even asked if my husband was interested. (He’s an agnostic so isn’t eligible as all Masons must profess a belief in a Supreme Being–that’s more than is required in the C of E in some places…)

    All in all, I enjoy it. Keeps me off the streets. Helps me put my Christian beliefs around social action into practice.

  4. Two things I’ve never understood:

    1) Freemasonry

    2) Obsessive objections to Freemasonry

    [I mean, I don’t get the Game of Bridge, either. But you don’t see people excommunicated “According to Hoyle”, either. What-EVER!]