Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement - Rev. E. Cahill

False Ideas about Freemasonry

Freemasons, especially in Ireland and Britain, usually describe the Craft as a benevolent institution whose primary object is the advance of social wellbeing and the relief of human misery. The Order, they will further tell us, although not directly concerned with religious belief or practice, encourages religious observance. Its rules and customs allow each member to practise freely his own religion and cherish his own national and political convictions. It repudiates all connection with the disruptive secret societies, with the Malthusian League and the League of Free Thought, with Hermeticism, Communism, etc., or with any of the various manifestations of the modem anti-Christian movement. Hence many Catholics, while understanding that Masonry is not a genuinely charitable institution, believe it to be nothing worse than an association of non-Catholics, especially merchants, Protestant clergymen and professional men, for mutual assistance and support, which Catholics, however, are forbidden to join by reason of the oaths of secrecy which the members take.

Assertions of Masonic Apologists.

On the occasion of the great Masonic gathering held in Dublin a few years ago to celebrate the second centenary of the founding of the Irish Grand Lodge, the Masonic "Senior Grand Chaplain," who is identical with the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh, preaching in St. Patrick's Cathedral to the assembled brethren, insisted on the facts that British and Irish Freemasonry require a profession of faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, as a condition of membership, and that no work is lawful in the Masonic lodges without the presence of the Bible. His words, coming from a professing Christian, manifestly imply that British and Irish Freemasons must profess a belief in the true God whom Christians adore; and that they must acknowledge the sacred character of the Old and New Testaments, which would imply a belief in the Divinity of Christ.

The Grand Chaplain also asserted that "Masonry does not interfere with any Church system and teaches its members to live as good citizens, obeying both the divine and human law." Here again the preacher, who himself professes faith in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and so must hold that the law of Christ is included in the Divine Law, plainly implies that Masonry inculcates the principles of Christianity. Finally, he stated expressly that Freemasonry has no concern with politics; but rather teaches its members to be loyal and faithful to established governments.

An apologist of the Craft, writing in the Irish Times on the same occasion, develops the thesis of the Senior Grand Chaplain. "Masonry," he writes, " . . . throughout the English-speaking world is not anti-Christian. On the contrary its foundation is a deep faith in God"—as if Jews and Mohammedans may not be anti-Christian, although their religions require belief in God. Again, he writes: "Irish Freemasonry has suffered from the myth that it has some connection with the so-called Freemasonry in Southern Europe, whose activities are anti-Christian and highly political."

We are far from suggesting that either the Senior Grand Chaplain or the Irish Times apologist is insincere. It is certain, however, that the statements we have quoted, and which are persistently repeated even by well-meaning persons, are each and all misleading. They are, moreover, quite characteristic of Freemasonry. Similar professions have been constantly made on its behalf for the past two hundred years in every country of Europe, as well as m the united States of America.

"With a fraudulent external appearance" . . . [writes Leo XIII] "and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manicheans of old, strive as far as possible to conceal themselves. . . . They assume the character of literary men and scholars, associated for the purpose of learning. They speak . . . of their love of the poor; and they declare their one wish to be to share with the largest possible number all the benefits of civilized life. Even if we werfre to admit tehse objects to be among their real aims, they are far from including them all."

Partial Explanation of Current False Ideas.

That there should exist a certain amount of misunderstanding both within and without the Order as to the real aims and nature of Freemasonry is inevitable, even independently of any fraudulent desire of secrecy or misrepresentation on the part of the Order itself. Thus, to take one notable example, what ignorance do we not sometimes find even among Catholics, not to speak of those outside the Church, of the real spirit and teachings of Christianity. Even of those that are imbued with the true Catholic spirit how small a percentage are capable of analysing it or explaining it to others or pointing out its essential opposition to the spirit and tendencies of Calvinism or Anglicanism or Mohammedanism!

If this is true of the Catholic Church, notwithstanding its open declaration of its doctrines, practices and aims, and its continuous efforts to make them understood by all, is it such a matter of wonder that there are multitudes of Freemasons, at least in the outer circles of the Order (and high officials are often only in the outer circles) who, although staunch supporters of Freemasonry, know in reality little or nothing of the real aims and character of the Order to which they belong and which they support? It is true that the oaths of absolute secrecy which all take and which are manifestly unlawful seem to preclude the possibility of entire good faith (at least in the case of members that are thoughtful or intelligent), but they are consistent with ignorance of the real nature of Freemasonry.

But in addition to all this, Freemasonry is far from being an open and honest association like the Catholic Church. The latter, even from the beginning, "lays all its cards on the table." It will "not receive a neophyte till he is made fully aware of the teachings he has to accept and the manifold obligations he is undertaking. Freemasonry, on the other hand, is a secret society. We shall show later that it is an openly avowed object with the Masonic leaders to conceal the real character and aims of the Order so as to deceive, at least in part, not only the outside public, but even the vast majority of their own members. Hence these latter are utilised as instruments for purposes which they do not understand, while they are solemnly sworn to secrecy even as regards the very little which they may actually know.

Masonic Benevolence.

First as to Masonic benevolence. We do not deny that very many individual Freemasons, at least of the outer circles of the Order, are men of much natural goodness and kindliness. It is also true that Masons assist each other a good deal, and that in Ireland, as in all countries in which Masons have secured influence and power, non-Masons, and especially Catholics, have to suffer from the systematic and oftentimes unscrupulous partiality which Freemasons show, even in the exercise of public functions, towards the members of the Craft. It is true, moreover, that Masons, even in their corporate capacity, do sometimes take part in works of benevolence or philanthrophy. But Masonic benevolence as such is of a type quite different from that upheld and enforced by Christian teaching. It has no reference to the love of Our Divine Lord, whose divinity Freemasonry does not recognize, nor to the spiritual welfare of either giver or recipient; and is practically confined to the members and dependents of the Craft. It is in fact purely or mainly utilitarian, and is one of the means utilized to win credit for Freemasonry with its own lower grades and with outsiders.

Freemasons' Belief in God.

Secondly, as regards the belief in God, which the Anglo-American and Irish Freemasons have to profess. It is well known that the symbolic and somewhat cryptic term, "The Grand Architect of the Universe" by which they designate their God, does not necessarily mean a personal God in the Christian sense, and that the profession of faith in the Grand Architect, which the English-speaking Masons still retain as one of the "landmarks" of their sect, is so vague that practically any kind of Atheism, Materialism, Pantheism, or Polytheism may be covered by it.

It can be shown conclusively from authentic Masonic documents that the Masons' "Grand Architect" is very far indeed from being identical with the God of the Christians, and that the phrase is in reality a formula, which may be used to indicate the object of worship chosen by the particular individual that uses it, whatever that object may be; besides in real esoteric Masonry, which is the centre on which the whole order pivots, the object of worship, as we shall show in a later chapter, is a material and not a spiritual being, or if a spiritual being, that being seems to be none other than Satan—the spirit of evil.

"The formula of the Grand Architect" [says the official organ of Italian Freemasonry] . . . "is the most large-minded and righteous affirmation of the immense principle of existence, and may represent as well the [revolutionary] God of Mazzini as the Satan of Carducci [in his celebrated Hymn to Satan]; God as the fountain of love, not of hatred; Satan as the Genius of the good, not of the bad."

So-called Schism In Freemasonry.

It is true that when the French Grand Orient in September, 1878, erased from their constitutions the paragraph referring to the existence of God, which had been inserted in 1849, the British and Irish Masons disapproved of their action, and passed a resolution requiring from visiting brethren belonging to the French Grand Orient an explicit profession of belief in the "Grand Architect of the Universe" as a condition of admittance into their lodges. This disapproval, however, or so-called repudiation, is (like nearly everything connected with Freemasonry, except its fundamental opposition to the Catholic Church) so vague and equivocal as to be devoid of all real effect, and was merely intended to meet the exigencies of public opinion; for an open profession of atheism or materialism would have been at the time very injurious to Masonry in some countries.

Freemasonry and Christianity.

It is quite untrue that Masonry inculcates or implies any kind of belief in Christianity. Even the English Masonic manuals distinctly repudiate any such claim. Thus, we read:

"It does not even require of the members of the Masonic order a profession of Christianity; but freely admits Jews, Mohammedans, and others who reject Christian doctrine."

Again, Brother Albert Pike, admittedly among the best and most authentic exponents of Anglo-American Masonic teaching, writes:

"Masonry propagates no creed except its own simple and sublime one taught by nature and reason. There never has been a false religion in the world. The permanent, one, universal revelation is written in visible nature. . . . There is but one religion, one dogma, one legitimate belief."

In other words the religion of Masonry is Naturalism, the very antithesis ol Christianity. Again, not only is it untrue that Freemasonry requires or imposes a belief in Christianity, but the very contrary is the case, as we shall see later. For the one and only thing in which Freemasonry is everywhere and always consistent with itself is antagonism to Catholicity, which it recognizes as the only form of Christianity that matters.

Oneness and Solidarity of Freemasonry.

Nor can it be maintained that the Freemasonry of these countries is opposed to the fierce anti-Christian policy of the Continental Grand Orients. All recognized Masonic authorities are unanimous in declaring that Freemasons throughout the world are one body.

"The absolute oneness of the craft," says an American past Grand Master, "is a glorious thing. Neither boundaries of States nor vast oceans separate the Masonic fraternity. Everywhere it is one." Hence, all Freemasons are truly said to form in reality only one great lodge, distinct lodges under separate jurisdictions existing only for the sake, of convenience. Every regular Freemason is entitled to be received as a brother in any regular lodge, and to be relieved if in distress. British and Irish Masons are no exceptions to the rule, and therefore are recognized as brothers by the members of the Continental as well as the American lodges.

Besides, even though it were conceded that they do not at present openly support the anti-Christian policy of the French Grand Orient, English-speaking Freemasons cannot deny that they were definitely associated with the Continental Grand Orients during the first three quarters of the nineteenth century, when some of the most anti-Christian of the Masonic activities were pursued with the support and approval of English and Irish Freemasonry.

Again, no one has heard of their repudiating the Portuguese, Italian and South American Grand Orients, whose policy, consistently supported by the English Press, and by the full weight of English Masonic influence , has been as notoriously anti-Christian as that of France. Owing to the universal solidarity of the Masonic order each section shares the responsibility for the evil doings of the others, at least till these evil acts are repudiated, and as far as possible effectually opposed.

Mackey, who, with the possible exception of Pike, is the most widely recognized and authentic exponent of Anglo-American Freemasonry, gives the explanation which lies at the root of the pretended differences between Anglo-Saxon and Continental Masonry. His explanation is that the latter is more candid and outspoken: "The European Masons," he writes, are far more liberal in their views of the obligation of secrecy than the English or American." And again: "The usages of Continental Masonry permit a freedom of publication that would scarcely be tolerated by the English or American fraternities." And finally:

"The doctrine of Freemasonry is everywhere the same. . . . While the ceremonies and ritual . . . vary in different countries, the science and philosophy, the symbolism and the religion of Freemasonry continue, and will continue to be the same wherever true Masonry is practised."

The universal solidarity of Freemasonry is asserted still more emphatically in the official report issued in 1908 by the representatives of the International Masonic Bureau, who formed a committee appointed to investigate this very matter:

"From a serious study of Masonry, of its history in every country, of its rituals, ils customs, its efforts and its successful accomplishments, we have confirmed the conclusion that between all the Grand Orients and all the Grand Lodges which have sprung from the parent Grand Lodge of England in 1717 there exists uniformity of principles, of symbols, of customs, and of spirit, which go to prove that all the regular Masonic associations have the same common origin, pursue in general the same ends, and possess the same aspirations. There exists in every organized Masonic activity a common store of ideas, a resemblance of form testifying to a common origin, and showing that all Masons belong to the same family [these common ideas and inspirations being] above all those of French Freemasonry."

Irish Freemasonry Identified with American Freemasonry.

Again, Irish Freemasonry is confessedly in close and cordial union with that of U.S.A., which latter is definitely affiliated to the French Grand Orient, and is no less anti-Christian than it. The two principal sections of Freemasonry in the U.S.A., viz., the Ancient Scottish Rite and the Blue Lodges, which are by far the most numerous and powerful Masonic bodies in the world, are affiliated to the Grand Orient, and many of their journals expressly support its anti-Christian policy. Their official organs, The American Freemason and The New Age, openly proclaim and insist upon the anti-Christian mission of all Freemasons. Thus when American Freemason was urging during the year 1917 the re-affiliation of the American Blue Lodges with the Grand Orient, the reasons it gave were that the latter openly teaches the true Masonic doctrine, viz., "the essential divinity of man," and is at one with Krishna and Buddhist and Vedist, who teach that "Divinity's holiest shrine is within the heart of man"—the doctrine that has made "Masonry a universal society above and beyond all religious confessions and having to serve as handmaid to no Church or sect."

The Ancient Scottish Rite of U.S.A. recently led the fight against the Catholic Church in support of the anti-Christian Oregon school laws, and feed lawyers to uphold, in the name of the Masonic body, these laws in the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. The Grand Commander, J. H. Cowles (33rd Degree), in an important address which he delivered in 1926 at Omaha, U.S.A., before the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient Scottish Rite (the address is reproduced in The New Age Magazine, December, 1926), describes the religious and educational policy for which the Craft stands. This policy is identical with that of the French Grand Orient.

The attitude of The New Age Magazine, which is the official organ of the American branch of Ancient Scottish Rite, towards the Mexican persecutions makes its anti-Christian character still clearer. Thus in a recent issue of this paper the editor rejoices that the Mexican Government is destroying the Catholic Church,

"which has perverted the Mexicans during 400 years. Physically and morally it has made them slaves and fanatics, and kept them in ignorance. It is the glory of Calles to have taken up the fight against ignorance and superstition. He can rely upon the sympathy and aid of the Americans, The successful work of Ambassador Morrow and the sympathetic air journey of Lindberg have cemented still closer the bonds of sympathy between the United States and Mexico."

Yet The New Age Magazine, as well as The American Freemason, formally associate American Masons with their Irish brethren, and several representatives from the American lodges attended as honoured guests at the Dublin celebrations of June, 1925.

Again, in the New Year's Message of the Grand Master of the Mexican Freemasons, which was read before the York Grand Lodge of the city of Mexico, and which is reproduced in The Freemason of January 22, 1927, the Grand Master, Brother P. G. James, stated that the Mexican Grand Lodge is in close and friendly relations with those of England, Ireland, and Scotland, with thirty-six Grand Lodges of U.S.A., and with several others of Canada and the British Dominions, He shows, too, that the Masonic principles of Mexican Freemasonry are identical with those of the other regular Jurisdictions throughout the world: that the Mexican Masons are willing to receive members of any of these latter into their lodges, etc.

In face of this close association or identification of English and Irish Freemasonry with that of America (viz., the U.S.A. Mexico, etc.), it is manifestly impossible to deny that the former is like the latter, anti-Christian in aim and spirit.

All sections of Freemasonry—Irish, English, American, French, Italian and Mexican—are "tarred with the same brush." They have the same common purpose, sometimes concealed, sometimes half manifested, sometimes openly avowed, but always steadily pursued; and this purpose is none other than the avowed object of the Continental Grand Orient, which is the destruction of the Catholic Church.

Freemasonry and Politics.

The assertion that Masonry has no concern with politics, and that it teaches its members to be loyal and faithful to the established Government is equally misleading, and cannot be reconciled either with recognized historical facts or with the openly professed principles of Freemasonry. The fact is that Masonry supports those Governments whose constitution and administration are in accordance with Masonic principles and aims, and that it works for the destruction of all others. Hence, in Catholic countries whose Governments profess or promote a Christian policy, Freemasonry is or aims at being disruptive and revolutionary. In the non-Catholic countries, or in those whose Governments are in line with Liberal or unchristian principles, Freemasonry affects the pose of being constitutional.

"With tongue and purse" [writes A. Pike] . . . "with the Press, and if needs be, with the sword, we will advance the cause of human progress, and labour to enfranchise human thought, to give freedom to the human conscience, above all from papal usurpation."

Hence, whatever Freemasonry may be in itself, the assertion that it has no connection with politics, and that it stands for loyalty to the legitimate civil authority is certainly false. The fact that such a pretence could be put forward in Ireland after the events of the past seventeen years only exemplifies the brazen effrontery of the Masonic spirit. The Orange lodges of the Irish North-Eastern counties are closely associated with the Masonic body, the personnel of both being to a large extent identical, and the object aimed at practically the same, except that Orangeism is regional and less educated or dangerous than Masonry, and is merely used as a tool by its Masonic masters. The organization of the Orange rebel army, in 1912-1920, and the hideous pogroms perpetrated in Belfast under the direction of the Orange lodges, as well as the Curragh mutiny of 1913, were supported by the whole weight of Masonic influence. The crimes were condoned, and several of the criminal leaders rewarded by being raised to some of the highest offices in the State.

But although Freemasonry constantly throws the whole weight of its influence into certain political movements or activities and, when it suits its purpose, even promotes revolution and anarchy, or organizes political pogroms and assassinations, it must not be concluded that Freemasonry is merely or primarily a political organization or a school of political thought. Just like its philosophism and its humanitarianism, politics is only an instrument to be used as occasion requires. In fact Freemasonry does not propagate any special political doctrine. Although it usually utilizes the shibboleths of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, Masonry is eminently protean. At different times and in different countries it will be aristocratic, monarchical, or imperialist, demagogic, bourgeois, or socialist, militarist or pacifist. Its political role is really only a means to an end. Freemasonry is something more than a political school or a political or social party. What then is Freemasonry? This question we shall strive to answer in our next chapter.


I. Lodges Recognized by British Freemasonry,

The Revue International des Societes Secretes of Sept. 18, 1927, reprints from The Freemason, April 9th of the same year, a list of the Grand Lodges which are recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England. The list includes the following:

The Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland,

The Grand Lodges of Australia, viz,, those of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

The Grand Lodges of Canada, viz,, those of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, New Scotland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

The following foreign Grand Lodges, viz., the National Grand Lodge of Denmark; the National Grand Lodge of Egypt, the Independent and Regular National Grand Lodge for France and the French Colonies, the Grand Lodge of Greece, the Grand Lodge of Italy, the Grand Lodge of Liberia, the Grand Lodge of the Low Countries, the Grand Lodge of Norway, the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, the Supreme Council of the United Lusitaman Grand Orient of Portugal, the Grand Lodge of Sweden, the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland.

The following Grand Lodges of U.S.A. [49 are named].

The Grand Lodges of Central America, viz., those of Costa Rica, Cuscatlan of Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama,

The Grand Lodge York of Mexico,

The following Grand Lodges and Grand Orients of South America, viz,, the Grand Orient of the Argentine, the Grand Orient of Brazil, the Grand Orient of Chili, the National Grand Lodge of Colombia at Cartagena, the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Colombia at Bogota, the Grand Lodge of Ecuador, the Grand Orient of Paraguay, the Grand Lodge of Peru, the Grand Orient of Uruguay, the Grand Lodge of Venezuela,.

The following Grand Lodges of the West Indies, viz*, those of Cuba and Porto Rico,

We know, from other sources, that there are other lodges and sections of Freemasonry recognised by or affiliated with the British and Irish Grand Lodges, Thus besides the "Grande Loge Nationale Indpendendante et Reguliere pour Ja France" which was founded in 1914, there is also the Lodge of "St. George" formed by the English in Paris the same year; while after the Great War several other such lodges were opened in different places in France, Hence, when it is asserted that British and Irish Freemasonry does not recognise that of France, the assertion is at most true only of a certain section of French Freemasonry.

It will be observed, too, that among the lodges formally recognised by British Freemasons are the Grand Orients of Portugal and Brazil which are amongst the most agressively anti-Christian, and even atheistical and revolutionary sections of Freemasonry in the world. For the character of the Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina, also close-by allied with British Freemasonry

II. Oneness of Latin and Anglo-Irish Freemasonry.

In the Irish Freemasons Calendar for 1929, pp, 219-22, are the several Grand Lodges and Grand Orients all over the world with which the Grand Lodge of Ireland professes to have official association with the address of the Secretary of each. The list includes the Grand Orients of Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Grand Lodges of Greece, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Noway, Belgium, Holland and France; also the Grand Lodges of the Philippine Islands, Porto Rico, Egypt, Liberia, the Argentine, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, the Grand Lodge York of Mexico, etc.

The following is taken from the San Francisco Examiner May 26th, 1907:—

"Scottish Rite Masons of the old and new world are for the first time in the history of Masonry to have an international convention, to be held in Brussels on June 10th next, Mr. Pierce with j. Richardson of Tennessee will represent, etc., . . President Diaz of Mexico, head of the Scottish Rite in that country has selected A. Nailor of Washington D. C. to represent Mexico at the gathering, so that of the seven delegates from this country one is really the official representative of the Mexican jurisdiction. The following Supreme Councils are to be represented at the Brussels conference: Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the tf.S.A., France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, England and Wales, Scotland, Portugal , . Greece, Hungary , , , Spain, etc., etc."

The same paper in its issue of July 4th, 1907, contains a cablegram from Paris which gives several details of the above Brussels Convention, among which are the following Items: rhe Congress . . * was not held for legislative purposes but for the unification of the Scottish Rite and for devising means of obtaining the unification of the Supreme Councils all over the world and dealing with irregular Masonic lodges, , . . A resolution was passed to hold the next Congress five years hence at a city [of ILS.A,] to be decided on by the two American Jurisdictions."

III. Freemasonry and the Royal House of England

From the London Times, October 25th, 1922:—

"His Royal Highness [the Prince of Wales] has taken his Masonry seriously. The first Prince of Wales to become a member Of the craft was the eldest son of George II. That Prince's grandson, known to us as George IV, was so much interested in Masonry as to be for many years its Grand Master; and the same is to be said concerning his great-great-grandson, Edward VII. But neither of these Princes of Wales had passed through all the preliminary stages leading to high Masonic office, as has been the case with the present holder of the title. . . It is the first occasion upon which an Heir-Apparent has accepted a position in a Grand Lodge other than that of Grand Master; and this is one testimony among others that the Prince of Wales is a keen Freemason. He follows therein the example of his illustrious grandfather, Edward VII, who during his Masonic reign of a quarter of a century, displayed his zeal for the Craft continuously and in divers directions . . . The close association that always existed between English Freemasonry and the Royal House has thus been further deepened and strengthened of late years.

From the Irish Times, April 20th, 1928:—

"The fact that Prince George, the King's youngest son, has been initiated as a Freemason heightens one's interest in the attitude of Royalty towards the Craft. Not every male member of the British Royal Family is a Mason, Here is a list from the time of King Edward:—

King Edward (M.) Duke of Gloucester (not). King George (not) Prince George (M.) Prince of Wales (M.) Duke of Connaught (M.) Duke of York (M.) Prince Arthur of Connaught (M.)

There are various reasons why the King is not a Mason—many of them private, and others which cannot be explained here.

IV. Opposition of some Non-Catholic Religious Bodies to Freemasonry.

The following extract is from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, 19th May, 1927:—

"Freemasonry was severely criticised at the Synod meeting of the Free Church of Scotland, at Inverness, on Wednesday night.

"It was agreed that anyone wishing to become a member of the Church would have to sever connection with Freemasonry absolutely.

"Rev. James Macleod said a converted Freemason declared to him, 'I shall regret to my dying day ever having become a Mason."

This is typical of the attitude towards Freemasonry of some Protestant bodies in U.S.A. as well as in Great Britain. See also Appendix VI.

V. Freemasonry and the State.

The Irish Times, March 5th, 1929, has the following;

"The current number of the Freemason contains a letter from the Deputy Grand Master of Irish Freemasons (Col. Claude Cane).

. . . He points out that the (Masonic) registers me always open to inspection by the Government, and those in authority No secret is made of the membership, and the names of the leaders are to be found in the calendar which is published yearly, and can be bought by any member of the public for the sum of one shilling. The present Government of the Free State recognises that the Freemasons are a body whose constitutions and teachings insist upon loyalty of the State, as by law established, and the support of law, order and religion, and relations with them are of the best."