This book proves Bugnini was a Freemason!

And Baggio, too, for that matter.

And a couple of others who have not been identified. What a treasure this is: finally we know that evidence of Bugnini’s Masonic membership exists, albeit lying in a dusty vault somewhere under the Vatican.

A priest by the name of Fr Charles Murr has just released a book which documents an investigation into ecclesiastical Freemasonry begun under Pope Paul VI. That’s right, Paul who was by no means a model Pope, had the fortitude to at least start the investigation. But unfortunately, as the books relates, he did not have the stomach to carry through the report’s findings.

Pope John Paul I also read the report but mysteriously died before he could take any action. The report then passed to John Paul II, who simply ignored it. Not very saintly of him, was it?

One wonders about the implications of the hierarchy confronting the fact that the Novus Ordo was created by a Mason. What does that say about the new Mass? What does it say about Traditiones Custodes? (Not what we say – which barely passes muster in polite conversation – but could we one day see a ceremonious tossing of an official Church document into an elegant Italian garbage bin?)

Would we see a very hasty evaporation of the ghastly Spirit of Vatican II as prelate after prelate tries to distance himself from the novelties imposed upon the Church by a Freemason?

No wonder the report has never been released. It would simply create a huge headache for the Church the intensity of which would make the abuse scandals pale into insignificance.

So until the report is opened by some unfortunate prelate, it will gather dust along with the so-called Red Dossier, Benedict XVI’s report into the sexual, moral and financial scandals in the Vatican. Both documents are no doubt mouldering in the archives somewhere near the real Third Secret of Fatima and the first drafts of the McCarrick Report.

But do read Fr Murr’s book, if you have the chance. If nothing else, it is a reminder that there has always been and will always be good men in Rome.

Cardinal Rampolla – the archetypal Freemason cleric

The first significant inroad made by Freemasonry into the heart of the Church was the appointment of the influential Cardinal Rampolla as Secretary of State. Ordained in 1866, Mariano Rampolla was made a bishop by Pope Leo XIII and appointed Apostolic Nuncio of Spain in 1882 for five years. 

It was during this time that Pope Leo released his landmark encyclical condemning Freemasonry, Humanum Genus. Released in April of 1884, this was to be his final official condemnation of the Craft. Only six months later, Pope Leo received his famous vision of the devil ‘conversing’ with God and subsequently wrote the prayer to St Michael. The date of that vision is particularly significant: it was October 13th – precisely 33 years before the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Some time after this, the Pope decreed that the St Michael prayer and the Salve Regina be recited after every Low Mass.

In 1887, the Pope promoted Rampolla to Cardinal and in the same year, appointed him as his Secretary of State. (16 years)

 It seems strange to think that a Pope who was so opposed to Masonry allowed a character like Rampolla to achieve such prominence. Perhaps Pope Leo’s confidence in Rampolla reflected something of the latter’s character: he has all the hallmarks of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Leo XIII died in 1903 and Rampolla became known as the best potential new pope, or  ‘papabile.” This was despite Rampolla’s liberal tendencies already being widely known. 

In an unusual political intervention, the French Foreign Minister urged the French Bishops to vote for Rampolla, in order to maintain the support given to the French by Leo XIII.

Some of Rampolla’s other supporters at this time were Bishop Pietro Gasparri, Rampolla’s Under-Secretary of State, Msgr della Chiesa, and his private secretary, Eugenio Pacelli. Another supporter, Bishop Rafael Merry del Val, became Pro-Secretary of the conclave. This followed the sudden death of the original Pro-Secretary, Msgr Volpini. The Pro-Secretary plays an important ceremonial role after the election of a new pontiff and is also automatically elevated to the role of Cardinal at the same time as a former Cardinal is elevated to the papacy.

Cardinal Rampolla received the highest tally in the first vote and things appeared to be going his way. Suddenly there was an unheard-of intervention by the Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Puzyna, on behalf of His Imperial Majesty Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary. Franz Josef was invoking a power of veto that had not been used in 400 years to eliminate Rampolla as a candidate. Del Val had tried without success to stop this intervention from taking place.

When Rampolla realised that the request was valid, he asked that his supporters transfer their votes to the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto. The final ballot in fact elected Cardinal Santo and he took the name Pius X.

Pius X abolished the Imperial Privilege soon after his election, possibly due to the common opinion that the Emperor was motivated by political intentions. The true reason behind the intervention was not known until a decade later.

Rampolla was replaced as Secretary of State by Bishop Merry del Val; other progressive prelates, supporters of Rampolla, still held their important posts in the Vatican.  Rampolla became Secretary of the Holy Office in 1908.

The truth behind the Emperor’s intervention was not revealed until 1918, after Rampolla’s sudden demise. Amongst the Cardinal’s private papers were documents that indicated he was a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis,  or OTO, an occult arm of Freemasonry. This cult incorporates elements of Gnosticism, Kabala and Eastern mysticism and is the foundation of Aleister Crowley’s ‘sex magick.’

Of special interest in our own days is one aspect of the initiation ritual of the eleventh degree of the OTO: sodomy. Msgr Jouin believed that Cardinal Rampolla was initiated into the OTO in Switzerland and that he was a Grand Master of the OTO.


A Contemporary Vatican Freemason

Michael Heinrich Weninger was born in 1951, in Wiener Neustadt . He entered the diplomatic service of the Republic of Austria and in 1993 became head of the Austrian embassy in Belgrade. This appointment lasted until 1997. From 2008-2009, he worked in Sarajevo, again as head of the Austrian embassy. That year, his wife died and he left the diplomatic corps.

It is most likely that Weninger was already a Freemason by this time. He has said that his path crossed with many Masons from the early 2000’s and this continued after he became a priest. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Vienna in 2011 by the dissident Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. Schonborn is known for his open support for gays and hosts sacrilegious pro-sodomy events in his Cathedral annually.

In 2012, Fr Weninger became a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, working under Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Two years later, it became known that Fr Weninger was a Freemason, as his role as chaplain for three Mark Masons Lodges was published on a Masonic website. The same article related that he consecrated the new lodge of the Mark Masons no. 1954 in 2014.

When the rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University learned that Fr. Weninger was planning a book on the compatibility of Freemasonry and Catholicism, he invited the priest to study under him and write a dissertation on that topic. Fr. Weninger’s doctoral dissertation was completed in 2019: he successfully defended it, and was awarded the maximum grade of 10.0 summ cum laude.

The thesis title was Über die Aussöhnung von Katholischer Kirche und regulärer Freimaurerei (On the Reconciliation of the Catholic Church and Regular Freemasonry). It was published as a book in February of 2020 under the title of “Lodge and Altar.”

In order to prove the compatibility of Masonry with the Catholic Faith, Fr. Weninger relies on a false distinction between “regular” and “irregular’ lodges. However, Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical Etsi Multa made it very clear that there is no difference between the various forms of lodges.

One commentator points out that Fr. Weninger is wrong on another score: he writes that although Fr Weninger claims that Freemasonry is not a religion, “the fact that he published his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Spirituality (and not at the Institute of History) suggests that Freemasonry is after all a form of spirituality.”

In his book, Weninger reveals his flawed understanding of the Catholic Faith. He writes that the Church uses magic in Her rituals such as blessings and exorcisms: “The Catholic Church knows legitimate acts of magical-mysterious and thus magically effective acts”, p. 113. He further states that “magic was not and is not condemned by the Catholic Church” (p 113),thereby suggesting that the “hermetic thinking” (p 110) and magic inherent in Masonic rituals are acceptable to the Church.

While perhaps not the most reliable of sources, the occultist Leo Zagami ties the release of this book to a request from Queen Elizabeth and the United Grand Lodge of England to the Vatican to review its prohibition on Freemasonry.

Far from receiving any censure from the Vatican for his allegiance to Freemasonry, Fr Weninger’s career has continued to blossom., for example, he was a speaker at the G20 Interfaith Forum in October last year.

Like the Australian priests Fr. Stephen Hackett and Fr. Costigan, Fr. Weninger promulgates the dangerous and erroneous message that no penalty applies any longer to Catholics who are Masons. The fact that he freely spreads this heresy, and is not only not chastised but is promoted, shows that profound hold that Freemasonry has on the Roman Curia.

There, freemasons were not mentioned anymore: excommunication was no more inflicted upon them. This meant a final reconciliation: it was made crystal-clear that freemasonry was not fighting against Catholicism, but they were cooperating instead. Had they become members of a lodge, Catholics would not have been ousted from the ‘assembly’: no one would have asked them to renounce their faith. Common effort has ever since replaced infighting. Nowadays, many bishops and prelates told me that, as freemasons, they are doing a wonderful job for both their believers and themselves! With irregular freemasonry, of course, it is different…

Fr Weningen, in an interview for, reproduced at Freemason Wiki

A Vatican Freemason Promotes Indifferentism

This G20 Interfaith Forum took place last year, in October 2020. Australian readers may be interested to note that former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was a speaker at this conference – Anonymous Catholic


A leading Vatican Freemason from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) is one of the speakers representing the Holy See at the G20 Saudi Arabia Interfaith Forum Oct. 13–16.

Father Michael Heinrich Weninger, who was outed as a Freemason when celebrating Mass at the 2014 consecration of the new lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1954, Austria, spoke Tuesday on slavery and human trafficking.

Weninger is accompanied by Islamic expert and PCID president Cdl. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot and Bologna’s Cdl. Matteo Zuppi, the latter of whom is a confidant of Pope Francis and a close ally of Italian Muslims.

Despite the interdicts of 11 popes over 200 years condemning Freemasonry and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) reiterating that membership in Masonic lodges “remains forbidden,” Fr. Weninger continues to occupy a position in the Roman curia and advocate for freemasonry.

“The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion,” the CDF ruled in 1983.

The Interfaith Forum is being viewed as a public relations strategy by Saudi Arabia under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “who has tried to put an international sheen on his despotic reign.”

Critics are slamming the Vatican endorsing the regime despite its notable human rights violations and radical departure from the ideals proposed by Pope Francis in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Those found with Bibles, crucifixes or other Christian material still risk arrest and, if they’re foreigners, deportation.

Observers have also pointed to the unmistakable coincidence of the Interfaith Forum occurring in light of Saudi Arabia’s bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia failed to secure one of the three-year seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council, obtaining just 90 votes from the 180-member body.

Speaking to Church Militant, renowned Islamic scholar Robert Spencer called the Vatican’s participation in the Interfaith Forum “a travesty.”

“While Saudi Arabia has taken steps toward reform, there still exists no church of any other non-Muslim house of worship on Saudi soil because the Saudi government is bent on implementing Muhammad’s command that only Islam should exist on the Arabian Peninsula,” commented Spencer, author of 21 books on Islam and the Middle East.

“Those found with Bibles, crucifixes or other Christian material still risk arrest and, if they’re foreigners, deportation. Women were recently given the right to drive, but that only underscored how severely Saudi society oppresses women,” Spencer underscored.

Saudi Arabia was the only country up for membership that failed to get elected, leading Bruno Stagno, Deputy Executive Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), to applaud the “stunning rebuke to Saudi Arabia under Mohammed bin Salman.”

It was the “only country not elected, shunned by a majority of the U.N. The kingdom reaped what it deserves for its serious violations of human rights and war crimes abroad,” Stagno observed.

Ironically, while Saudi Arabia hosts an international Interfaith Forum endorsed by Pope Francis, “with few exceptions, Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam,” HRW 2020 World Report states.

The Islamic theocracy “systematically discriminates” even “against Muslim religious minorities” while “government-affiliated religious authorities” continue to “disparage Shia and Sufi interpretations, versions and understandings of Islam in public statements, documents and school textbooks,” HRW reports.

Death Penalty, Immigration

The country is notorious for its use of the death penalty, HRW notes. On April 23, 2019, it carried out a mass execution of 37 men, including 33 from the country’s minority Shia community “who had been convicted following unfair trials.”

Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry reported that the country executed 179 persons between January and mid-November 2019, mostly for murder and drug crimes. Executions are by firing squad, beheading and even crucifixion, sometimes in public.

Pope Francis has stridently opposed the death penalty in his latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, but has remained silent on the practice in Islamic countries and continues to ally himself with Islamic proponents of the death penalty like Saudi Arabia and Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Church Militant reported.

In stark opposition to Pope Francis’ call for the welcome and humane treatment of migrants in Fratelli Tutti, Saudi Arabia is known for its systemic oppression of migrant workers.

Further, the theocracy is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and does not have an asylum system to protect people fearing persecution.

Call to Unity

At the Forum, Cdl. Ayuso flagged the pontiff’s encyclical calling for “unity, solidarity and fraternity, for bettering our ‘common home,’ as Pope Francis is continuously reminding us all.”

It is necessary to answer Pope Francis’ call to “reaffirm that we are members of the one human family,” he added.

Father Weninger remarked:

The International Conference on 21st Century Slavery stated that human trafficking constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights, particularly the sexual exploitation of women and children.

Injustice, exploitation and abuse are often deeply institutionalized due to financial profit. There is a need for faith leaders to challenge these social injustices, particularly as they constitute a fundamental issue of human rights.

Participants at the conference include Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, Orthodox metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis of France, Coptic bishop Anba Marco, Anglican Richard Sudworth representing the archbishop of Canterbury and Sr. Sharon Eubank from the Mormons.

Prominent Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders are also participants.

A Freemason Priest in Australia

It isn’t always left to the laity to guess that their clergy are masons – sometimes they just come out and tell us.

Anonymous Catholic

FROM The Remnant

A Catholic priest and Freemason claims that the Bishops Conference gave permission for Catholics to become ‘Australian Freemasons’ in 2016.

Fr. Kerry Costigan, now retired, of the Toowoomba Diocese in Queensland, contributed an article to the liberal publication, The Swag, in which he admitted that he has been a member of the Ashlar Lodge for over ten years. In the article, Freemasonry and the Catholic Church,  Fr. Costigan claimed that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference approved Catholics to become members of Australian Freemasonry in 2016. Fr. Costigan also wrote that he would like to see this new policy be made public. (The article is available here, behind a paywall.)

Fr Costigan’s Sketchy Synopsis

Fr. Costigan’s article begins by relating how parishioners at a Church where he was about to celebrate Mass left copies of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical on Freemasonry in the building’s foyer. He then goes on to explain that, in his opinion, Australian Freemasonry differs from that found in Europe, since it is less sectarian and political.

That article states several times that Freemasonry is not a ‘single, united body’, but that each lodge has its own supreme authority and is the sole authority over its members.

Fr. Costigan points to a change in the character of Freemasonry after the Reformation, and suggests that its current form was established during the 18th century, when it lost its sectarian and political nature. He then cites an oft-repeated tale of a 19th century French journalist whom Masons claim is the source of their bad publicity. The journalist, Leo Taxil, earned notoriety for initially exposing Freemasonry as being satanic, but later recanted and claimed that the whole episode was aimed at mocking the Church. Clearly, this explanation doesn’t account for the fact that the first papal encyclical condemning Masonry was written 150 years before Taxil was on the scene.

At this point, the article becomes a bit sketchy: Fr. Costigan claims that in 1984, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference began an inquiry into Australian Freemasonry. Fr. Costigan opines that the reason no conclusion was published was due to there being no conflict between Catholicism and Masonry. He admits that this contradicts the Vatican’s policy on Freemasonry in other countries, but fails to mention that the prohibition does, in fact, apply world-wide.

The priest goes on to say that in 2016, Catholic Freemasons contacted the Australian bishops to clarify their status. At that time, Catholic men were said to be the Grand Masters of the Western Australian, Queensland and South Australian/Northern Territory lodges. The Grand Master of SA/NT prepared a submission for the bishops and asked for an authoritative judgement from them. The ACBC’s secretary is said to have then requested a combined submission from the Grand Masters of all Australian lodges, which was to include information on the basic ideals and principles of Australian Freemasonry.

According to Fr. Costigan, the Australian Catholic Bishops, via their secretary, then replied that “any Catholic man may join Freemasonry as it exists in Australia as long as his conscience agrees.” Fr Costigan added that “the reply also asked that membership in the Craft was to be carried out discreetly and without publicity,” and he surmised that this call for discretion was due to Masonry’s prohibition overseas.

Fr. Costigan ends his article by thanking the bishops for their pastoral approach, with the hope that their statement will soon be made public. (One wonders how an article appearing in a national newsletter could not be deemed public!)  He stated that Australian Catholic Masons ‘have been condemned unjustly by the blanket condemnation of all Freemasonry’ and concluded with the somewhat blasphemous “May God prosper in the Craft.”

‘A thousand’ Catholic Freemasons in Queensland alone

Fr. Costigan’s involvement with the Ashlar Lodge has been known for almost a decade. In 2010, Tim Pemble-Smith of The Lepanto League’s QLD branch asked the former Ordinary of the Toowoomba Diocese, Bishop William Morris, to clarify the priest’s relationship with the lodge, and also to clarify his own position on Freemasonry. Bishop Morris declined to answer Mr. Pemble-Smith directly, instead publishing a clarification in a diocesan publication which stated that ‘Fr Kerry has a relationship of friendship and Pastoral Care’ with the lodge.

There was no mention of Bishop Morris’s own stance on Freemasonry. Bishop Morris was subsequently dismissed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, for obstinately refusing to recant unrelated heretical positions. Most notably among these was his promulgation of the third Rite of Reconciliation and his unbridled support for women’s ordination. It is worth noting that Bishop Morris clung to his position for four years after first being requested to resign by the Vatican.

The Lepanto also reported in 2011 that a Catholic priest had held a public prayer service for members of the Oddfellows Lodge – a secret organisation affiliated with the Masons – and there were said to be ‘a thousand Catholics’ who were Freemasons in Queensland. A statement from then-Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, Michael Putney, was very telling. Bishop Putney said that ecumenism was breaking down many obstacles and “How the church responds to groups like the Masonic lodge is a different pastoral question which varies in different localities”.

Bishop Putney’s claim that the Church’s policy on Freemasonry can vary from place to place was in clear violation of the 1983 directive from the Confraternity for the Doctrine of the Faith, as stated below.

Hunter’s Hill Lodge in AustraliaJuly Hunters Hill Lodge

The CDF has spoken

There is no doubt that some confusion surrounding the status of Freemasonry arose when the Code of Canon Law was revised in 1983.

The new Code failed to reapply the penalty of excommunication for Catholics who held Masonic membership. This led some bishops to wrongly conclude that Freemason’s basic tenets vary from place to place and so its practise in a particular locale may not necessarily pose a danger to a Catholic’s salvation.

However, the German bishops who were in favour of retaining the penalty of excommunication concluded that Freemasonry was ‘an extraordinary danger’ for the Church. Similarly, Cardinal Pietro Palazzini spoke of the need to maintain the penalty of excommunication, since Freemasonry “eliminates truth and revealed religion while welcoming Catholics as ‘useful idiots’.”

Interestingly, Justice Michael Kirby, then deputy commissioner of the Law Reform Commission and former High Court Justice, was, in 1983, full of hope that the Vatican’s review of Catholics and Masonic membership would end the prohibition. In an address to the Lodge University of Sydney, Mr. Kirby predicted that ‘Catholics will soon be able to become Freemasons without fear of excommunication.’

Although the new code of Canon Law is less explicit than its predecessor, Quaesitum es – the CDF’s most recent statement on Masonry – is as clear as it is definitive:

  1. The Church’s negative judgment on Masonry remains unchanged, because the Masonic principles are irreconcilable with the Church’s teaching.
  2. Catholics who join the Masons are in the state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
  3. No local ecclesiastical authority has competence to derogate from these judgments of the Sacred Congregation.” (Emphasis added.)

Australian Freemasonry: no different from any other form

A spokesman from Freemasons Victoria assured this author that there is little difference between Australian Freemasonry and that which is practised in other jurisdictions. He explained that there are minor differences in dress codes or salutes, for example, but that the basic tenets are the same, and that Australian Freemasonry is most closely aligned with that of Britain. He confirmed the only requirement for membership ‘in their faith’ is belief in ‘a deity’, but that members are free to choose who that deity is. He also confirmed that the name of Jesus Christ is not mentioned in any rituals, at least in the lower levels.

So even if one of Fr. Costigan’s claims is true –  that Australian Freemasonry has no political or sectarian nature – Masonry in this country retains the philosophical marks which render it incompatible with Catholicism.

This unchanging incompatibility has been reiterated time and again by the Church.

Pope St. Leo made it quite clear that ‘the Masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the things which it has done, or brought to completion, as by the sum of its pronounced opinions.’ (Humanum Genus §11.) This teaching was echoed in 1980 by the German bishops, who stated:

“The Freemasons have essentially not changed. Membership places the foundations of Christian existence into question. Detailed investigations of the Masonic rituals and fundamental ideas, and of their current, unchanged self-understanding make clear: Simultaneous membership in the Catholic Church and the Freemasons is incompatible.” (Heresy by Association, p 195.)

Cardinal Law, at the conclusion of an American Bishops’ enquiry into Freemasonry in 1985,  said, “And even though Masonic organizations may not in particular cases plot against the faith, it would still be wrong to join them because their basic principles are irreconcilable with those of the Catholic faith.”

Thus its practical activity is irrelevant; it is the philosophy which endangers a man’s soul.

The verse below comes from a hymn which was in use in Australian Masonic rituals  in 1951. It exemplifies Masonry’s incompatibility with Catholicism; namely that for the Freemason, salvation can be achieved without the Sacraments and without the redemptive action of Jesus Christ.

“Pure as that badge thy life may be, If by its teachings thou abide;

God’s Holy Face thine eyes shall see, If thou wilt make that badge thy guide.”

Freemasonry is always political

Deist philosophy aside, Fr. Costigan is wrong in writing that there is no political danger from Australian Freemasonry. Despite his opinions, Freemasonry’s practical activities have long been a source of contention. As early as 1876, Freemasonry was being blamed for being the driving force behind the secularisation of the education system in Australia. The Archbishop of Sydney at that time, Dr. Roger Vaughan, condemned Freemasonry for secretly driving the push for a government-controlled ‘Universal Secular, Free and Compulsory Education.’

Since then, there have been allegations of Masonic influence being brought to bear in courts of law, and university faculty appointments, at various times and places throughout the country’s history. Although not all the allegations have been proven, there remains little doubt that Freemasons have been able to exert an enormous influence in every facet of Australian society since the nation was founded. Famous Australian figures, such as Joseph Banks, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the explorers Oxley, Hume and Leichhardt, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Sir Donald Bradman, James Boag, and Sir Edward `Weary’ Dunlop were Freemasons. And many members of the Commonwealth Parliament have been Masons, including almost all conservative Prime Ministers up to 1972, from Edmund Barton to William McMahon.

Things are little different in the UK, where there have been historical calls for government enquiries into Masonry and contemporary allegations of corruption involving Freemasons in the medical field and in the police force.

What does the Bishops Conference have to say?

Fr. Costigan’s claims have been refuted by a spokesman for the Australian Bishops. Gavin Abraham, communications officer for the ACBC, issued this response to enquiries about the article:

“The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has exchanged private correspondence with officials from the Freemasons in recent years. Fr. Costigan’s writings do not accurately reflect the contents of that private correspondence nor any policy of the Conference.”

What this statement does not mention is that it appears from Fr. Costigan’s article that the ‘officials from the Freemasons’, were those Catholic men who were Grand Masters of the states’ Grand Lodges at that time, asking for clarification about their status. Additionally, the statement completely fails to account for the priest’s version of things. Quoting Fr. Costigan’s article:

“… The reply given in writing on the official letterhead of the ACBC was that any Catholic man may join Freemasonry as exists in Australia as long as his conscience agrees. The reply also asked that membership for Catholics in the Craft was to be carried out discreetly and without publicity. No doubt, this was not publicly [sic] to go against the teaching of the Catholic Church about Freemasonry existing in other countries.

“This ruling of the ACBC would certainly be appreciated by Catholics who are members of the Craft. Gratitude is expressed to the Bishops of Australia for their open-handed, sensitive and pastoral approach to this matter.

“It is hoped that before long, this approval will be made public. At the moment, the many Catholic men who belong to the Craft here in Australia have been condemned unjustly by the blanket condemnation of all Freemasonry.”

Fr. Costigan is said to be recovering after surgery and unable to speak to members of the public. So does his article represent the warped reality of a sick, old man?  Or are there bishops in Australia who tolerate and even promote the idea that Freemasonry is somehow acceptable for Catholics?

This whole episode raises more questions than it answers. At a time when there are credible allegations of Freemasons infiltrating the Church at the highest levels, an Australian priest claims that he has been a Mason for a decade, apparently with the approval of his superiors. The bishops say that they haven’t violated the Church’s policy on Masonic membership, but Fr. Costigan claims he has an official statement on the official letterhead, to the contrary.

What of the ‘one thousand’ Catholics who are Freemasons in Queensland? What of the Grand Masters who were allegedly Catholic and thus should be barred from receiving Holy Communion? Where is the bishops’ vocal condemnation of Australian Freemasonry?

It is to be hoped that someone from within the ACBC will be concerned enough to take action on this serious matter.  Souls are at stake, and it is up to the laity to persevere in demanding answers from our bishops on this, and on all deviations from Catholic doctrine.