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MADRID (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis' new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, embodies one of the guiding principles of Freemasonry — this according to Spain's main Masonic lodge, the Gran Logia de España.
In a statement this week, the Gran Logia proclaimed that, in the 300 years of modern Freemasonry, it has been based on a "universal fraternity of human beings who call each other brothers and sisters despite their respective creeds, ideologies, skin color, social background, language, culture or nationality." This principle, the statement read, clashed with "religious fundamentalism" on the part of the Catholic Church, which "issued severe texts condemning the toleration of Freemasonry in the 19th century."
The statement claimed that the pope's most recent encyclical "demonstrates how far away the present Catholic Church is from its former positions. In Fratelli Tutti, the pope embraces Universal Fraternity: the great principle of modern Freemasonry." The Catholic Church and Freemasonry have long been at odds, given their very distinct philosophical and theological differences.
The statement quoted a relevant passage by the pope in the encyclical: "It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. Fraternity between all men and women."
The pope quoted St. Francis of Assisi, who once said that a Christian should love his neighbor "as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him."
The statement from the Freemasons cited the pope's tribute to the saint: "In his simple and direct way, Saint Francis expressed the essence of a fraternal openness that allows us to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives."
The Freemasons' statement went on to say of the encyclical, "The letter addresses the disintegrating role of the digital world, whose operation favors closed circuits of people who think the same way and facilitates the spread of false news that encourages prejudice and hatred."
The statement quoted Francis' encyclical:
We should also recognize that destructive forms of fanaticism are at times found among religious believers, including Christians; they too "can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned." How can this contribute to the fraternity that our common Father asks of us?
As Church Militant has reported, the encyclical refrains from mentioning "evangelization" or the "proclamation of the gospel" and instead brandishes its own breed of fanaticism — the Marxist Left's repeated pronouncements on migration, markets, populism, nationalism, redistribution of wealth, private property and the death penalty, among others. Globalists are also leveraging the encyclical with the help of Marxist clergy to push for women clergy — "structures" that they feel must be altered in step with its "teaching and morals" in pursuit of a "revolution." Already, feminists have attacked the encyclical for its "sexist" title.
At least one theologian has warned that encyclicals not in step with Scripture and Tradition risk eroding the trust of the faithful in the ordinary Magisterium — a demolition that has long been the goal of Freemasonry.
Freemasonry has achieved greater acceptance in Spain, and elsewhere in Europe, in recent years. As noted by the Freemason's Spanish website, the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco had a dim view of Freemasonry. Principal political leaders of the Spanish Republic, including government cabinet members, were Freemasons who contributed to stripping Catholic religious orders of property and eliminating Catholic education in state schools, for example, during a period when anarchists, communists and others were murdering priests, as well as male and female religious.
Following his 1939 victory over anarchists, socialists, libertarians, atheists and communists in the fratricidal civil war that overthrew the Spanish Republic, Franco outlawed Freemasonry. Apologists for the secret society contend that it had merely wished to establish democracy in Spain, however. Historian Manuel Según Alonso claimed in a Spanish television interview with La Sexta that Franco hated Freemasonry for that reason. Freemasonry has been legal in Spain for the last 40 years.
As an expert on Freemasonry, Según Alonso told La Sexta: "Franco proclaimed that Masonry sought to subjugate nations by using democracy as a means." Following the Spanish civil war, Según Alonso said, "Many Freemasons went into exile. Those who were left were subject to the Special Tribunal for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism."
While Franco wanted to subject captured Freemasons to the death penalty, the historian claimed that an appeal by the American ambassador at the time convinced the dictator to reduce the penalty to 30 years imprisonment. Franco was one of the most enduring European leaders of the 20th century. He died in 1975.
The legislature of Galicia, one of the autonomous regions of Spain, declared unanimously in February 2019 its support for the "honorability" of Freemasonry. Galicia thus became the second of Spain's various regions to declare its support, following the lead of numerous city councils.
Elsewhere in Europe, Freemasonry garnered support from at least one religious figure. Chief rabbi Riccardo Di Segni visited with Stefano Bisi, the Grand Master of the Great Orient of Italy. Speaking in January 2019, said that the Order has been a place to "express a new conception, which merged the ideas of equality, freedom, progress and even a different form of spirituality."
The rabbi said that it has prevented the revival of the theories of a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy, which he claimed that fascist European governments made their own in the 20th century in promoting anti-Semitism and opposition to Freemasonry. He said that that it had its origins "during the second half of the 19th century within the Catholic Church, which represented the soul and the justification of the ancien régime," before the French Revolution, when "freedom and emancipation were making their way."
However, the rabbi stressed that "the Church has changed profoundly," even while expressing concern over the possible rebirth of anti-Semitism and anti-Masonic ideas.
Historically, several popes have denounced Freemasonry as antithetical to the Faith. Since 1738 and the publication of In Eminenti Apostolatus, Catholics are prohibited from joining. Some confusion has clouded the minds of Catholics since then, however. While a 1983 change in canon law appeared to eliminate excommunication as a penalty for membership, Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) wrote that anyone who enrolls in Masonry is in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
Over 100 years ago, Pope Leo XIII addressed the supposed aims of Freemasons. In Humanum Genus, the Pope asserted that Freemasonry's "fundamental doctrine ... is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide," which means that "they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority."
"And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed."
Watch Church Militant's in-depth video on Freemasonry.