28 September 2015


Archbishop Lefebvre died while still the victim of a latae sententiae  excommunication. It would be one of Clio's more droll exercises of humour, wouldn't it ... go on, agree with me just this once ... if the Cardinal Villot who so detested him, and who defamed him to Blessed Paul VI and poisoned the Pontiff's mind against him, also died while ... er ... still the victim of a latae sententiae excommunication. But I never know what to think about these Freemasons. The English breed seems rather ridiculous than sinister. Can one really believe all the conspiracy-theory stuff? The stories about curial cardinals (in Masonic aprons) creeping around with phials of deadly poison on the night Papa Luciano died ... well, I wouldn't want to end up as a Bishop Williamson lookalike, explaining to people that the CIA blew up the twin towers. But, on the other hand, that banker chappie did end up pretty dead, didn't he, dangling from Blackfriars Bridge. And they do say that the continental breed of Masons is deadlier than the English.

Why should a prelate, or even a priest, get kicks out of all that spurious history and daft adolescent ritual? Or did they simply believe that it might help one to get on? That is Mr Sire's supposition: "one may suppose that the majority had joined the society from motives of self-advancement." He surmises that "the disclosures seem to represent a leak of the confidential list of members that, under Italian law, secret societies are obliged to deposit with the government." The list included Villot, Suenens, Poletti, Baggio, Casaroli, Macchi, Marcinkus and ... Bugnini. And the man who purveyed the list to Pope John Paul I was himself murdered a few months after handing it over ... but, on the other hand, a really efficient gang of ruthless conspirators would, surely, have murdered him before he went touting his list around. Yes? No? But stay: there is the sudden sacking of Bugnini and his
reassignment to go and evangelise the Iranian Ayatollahs ... that would be very well accounted for if B Paul VI had just been told of Hannibal's naughty little secret ... but then, there are other naughty little secrets as well as freemasonry ... the world contains women ... and boys ... and money ... or perhaps the Pontiff simply received proof of how Bugnini had duped him and manipulated the process of liturgical reform. Naughty, indeed.

You see how helpless a mass of indecision I am. Altogether useless. But read it all in Phoenix from the Ashes (see earlier posts) and see what you think.


William Tighe said...

On Freemasonry, the only really good scholarly history is *The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century 1590-1710* by David Stevenson (1988, Cambridge University Press - and reprinted many times since). Stevenson shows that it originated at the court of James VI of Scotland in the 1590s around the person of James Schaw, the king's Master Mason, as a kind of discussion circle of nobles and courtiers who did not like the rigid Calvinism that had come to dominate the Kirk; and continued as a kind of "Scots Club" at the English Court in the period 1603 to ca. 1641, achieving a wider dissemination only subsequently, during and after the Restoration.

Papabile said...

Would Lefebvre really have died under excommunication if he received the last Sacraments. My understanding was that even an excommunicate or laicized Priest had faculties to give the Sacraments and remit the excommunication at the end of life.

Am I wrong here?

Charlesdawson said...

I hate to ask this, but why is it that it is the male sex which is so attracted to these strange rituals and "secret" societies - Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Shriners, Buffaloes (or is it Moose) et al? Along with the peculiar behaviour indulged in at fraternity initiations in America? There aren't any female equivalents, or rather, those that do exist seem to be considerably more dignified and rational.

Mary Kay said...

Charlesdawson, I think women in my country like a bit less regimentation than the men. They seem to go in for things like Medjugorja (sp), Oyster Bay Cove apparitions, Divine Mercy, and generally very emotional displays of devotion to something or other, more entertaining than the less emotional attachment to Rosary, Scapular, First Fridays, etc. I believe that 'liturgical dance' erupted from some misplaced 'feeling' as opposed to a desire to converse with God; I imagine the regimental rigor of the Freemasons, Rosicrucians, etc, that you mentioned are more in the masculine realm. Look at that book by Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code, where he tidily (and scandalously) finished up by ritualizing Our Lord, Mary Magdalen, and worship in general.

Banshee said...

Because guys like to go somewhere away from women (even if it's just the porch) and talk and hang out. If they don't have much space for that at home and aren't allowed to go hang with their friends at their houses, but then they get to go to a Secret Clubhouse and use a Secret Handshake and Secret Titles, it's even better. (And it probably has a lot to do with hunting and storytelling and male dominance rituals.)

Women are a lot more territorial. We like to do our thing in our own controlled space at home, or at a friend's controlled space. Otherwise we want a neutral space that contains outsiders, like a restaurant, so that non-friends do not control the space and make our lives miserable.