Newsletter of the District
Philippine Bishops at war with Freemasonry
Fr. Vicente Griego SSPX
– Take it! And read!” These words which sparkled the conversion
of a St Augustine, were also very instrumental in the conversion
to Catholic Tradition of H.E. Bishop Salvador Lazo, Bishop-Emeritus
of San Fernando Diocese, La Union, Philippines. It was only after
his retirement, in 1995, that he found time to read, now that he
was freed from all the administrative work involved in running a
diocese, and from all the reports required by a Bishops’ Conference.
The results of this reading, especially of reading the encyclicals
of the Popes and books by or about Archbishop Lefebvre can be summarized
in his simple remark: “I’ve been lied to for thirty years!”
was an issue the bishop really discovered and studied in depth.
He was stunned when he realized the parallel between the Masonic
teaching as exposed by Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical Humanum
Genus, of 1884, and many of the key ideas and doctrines officially
taught by the Second Vatican Council, particularly on religious
liberty and the New Mass. It became even clearer when he came across
a little booklet by John Vennari (editor of the Catholic Family
News, MPO Box 743, Niagara Falls, NY 14302, USA) on the Masonic
Blueprint for the subversion of the Catholic Church, The Permanent
Instruction of the Alta Vendita, published by TAN books.
must ask for, what we should look for and wait for, as the Jews
wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs… Lay (your
snares) in the sacristies, the seminaries and the monasteries…
You will have preached a revolution in tiara and in cope, marching
with the cross and the banner, a revolution that will need to be
only a little bit urged on to set fire to the four corners of the
world…” (pp.10-11, Philippine Edition)
knowing that his days were coming to their end, that he would soon
have to “give an account of his stewardship” (Lk 16, 2), wanted
to share the graces he had received with his fellow-bishops of the
CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines). He concentrated
his efforts to open their eyes by sending them regularly large excerpts
of his findings in various books. This is how, not long before
his death, which occurred on April 11, 2000, he asked the priests
of the Society of St Pius X to distribute John Vennari’s booklet
to all the Bishops of the Philippines.
With the gracious
permission of Mr. Vennari, we produced a Philippine edition of the
booklet, inserting in it a rather recent statement by the Bishops
of the Philippines on the issue of Freemasonry. This edition came
out in June 2000 and was sent, on June 26, to all the Bishops of
the Philippines, as a post-mortem apostolic gesture of Bishop Lazo.
Take note of the date: June 26.
Here is that
Statement of the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines.
OF THE PHILIPPINE HIERARCHY ON MASONRY
IN SPITE of
the many and repeated condemnations of Masonry issued by the Holy
See, there seems to be some doubt as to whether Catholics may become
Masons. It is frequently asserted that the various Masonic societies
here in the Philippines are non-sectarian organizations which Catholics
may join without injury to their Catholic faith. This is false and
We wish to reiterate in the strongest and most solemn terms of which
We are capable the ruling decreed by the Holy See that a Catholic
who knowingly and willingly becomes a Mason automatically incurs
excommunication, may not receive the Sacraments of the Church an
d may not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
A little reflection
is enough to show the justice and reasonableness of this prohibition.
All assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, Masonry is today
what it has always been. A naturalistic religious sect which denies
or ignores many of the truths contained in Sacred Scripture and
defined by the Catholic Church as necessary for salvation. For example,
the official doctrine of Masonry denies, explicitly or by implication,
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the strict sense. According
to Masonic teaching, Christ is a mere man; a great and wise man
indeed, but nevertheless only a man; hence if He is called the Son
of God, it can only he in a loose or metaphorical sense,
not in the literal sense in which Christ himself claimed to be the
Son of God. Hence, to subscribe to the official doctrine of Masonry
by membership in that society is, in effect, to deny or doubt an
essential truth of Catholic belief.
It is true
that Masons believe in some kind of a supreme deity whom they call
the Architect of the Universe; but this deity as described in the
official books of Masonry is very far indeed from the Almighty
God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one nature in three divine Persons
whom Catholics acknowledge and worship. In fact, the term "
Architect of the Universe" has been and in interpreted by Masons
in many ways, some of which are not even Christian. Moreover, this
very vagueness as to the nature of God and our relations to Him
is in itself a serious danger to religion, because it is a powerful
inducement to religious indifferentism and ultimately to skepticism
and even atheism.
But it is not
only on doctrine grounds that Masonry is unacceptable to Catholics.
The conditions of membership in this society, and its known practices,
are in direct violation not only of Christian morality but even
the Natural Law.
for instance, are obliged to take a solemn oath to keep absolutely
secret whatever they may subsequently be told regarding the doctrines
and the duties of Masonry, under pain of the direct punishments
not excluding death itself. There are many objections to such an
oath. In the first place, it is clearly wrong to swear to keep secret
something that oath not to be kept secret. Secondly, the grave consequences
of violating the oath, which include torture and destruction at
the hands of the other members of the Masonic fraternity, are either
seriously meant or not. If not, the supreme majesty of God is invoked
to witness to a trivial and ridiculous proceeding, an act which
partakes of the nature of sacrilege. If seriously meant, a power
is attributed to the Masonic society, the power of capital punishment,
which has been given by God to the State alone, and that under the
severest limitations. Finally, the absolute and unrestricted loyalty
to a private organization implied by such an oath is directly contrary
to the Natural Law, which prescribes that our adherence to such
voluntary societies is necessarily limited by our primary obligations
to God, to the Church, to civil society and to the family.
In spite of
Masonry's outward profession of neutrality and even of friendship
towards all religions, it is an historical fact confirmed by countless
examples that the Masonic society as such has been and is consistently
hostile to the Catholic Church, and even to many forms of non-Catholic
Christianity; and in several cases priests have been prevented by
Masons from hearing the confession and reconciling Masons on their
death bed. Masonry has consistently advocated and actively promoted
the exclusion of Catholicism from any position of influence, however
legitimate, in almost every walk of life. So bitter and relentless
is this hostility of Masonry to the Church, that a prominent Filipino
Mason was widely applauded by his fellow‑Masons when he publicly
asserted not long ago that the Roman Catholic Church is a greater
enemy of the Filipino people than atheistic Communism.
To sum up,
Catholics are forbidden to join the Masonic Fraternity. Catholics
who knowingly and willingly become Masons are automatically excommunicated,
they may not receive any of the Sacraments of the Church; they may
not act as sponsors in Baptism and confirmation; they may be excluded
from acting as witnesses in Catholic marriages where such action
would cause scandal, and finally Masons may not be buried in Catholic
14th day of January, 1954.
For the Catholic
Hierarchy of the Philippines:
Archbishop of Cebu
T. G. HAYES, SJ
Archbishop of Cagayan
Archbishop of faro
Bishop of San Fernando
Bishop of Tagbilaran
Bishop of Lingayen
Auxiliary Bishop of Nueva Segovia
Bishop of Tuguegarao
Appointed Bishop of Lipa
Bishop of Bacolod
DE LA FUENTE. OP
Prelature of Batanes‑Babuyanes
Bishop of Palo
Bishop of Legaspi
Prelature of Infanta
Apostolic Administrator of Ozamiz
(Sgd.) REV. CHARLES VAN
DEN OUWELANT, MSC
Apostolic Administrator of Surigao
Archbishop of Nueva Segovia
Archbishop of Nueva Caceres
Archbishop of Manila
(Sgd.)+LUIS DEL ROSARIO,
Bishop of Zamboanga
Bishop of Calbayog
Apostolic Administrator of Lucena
Vicar Apostolic of Montaďtosa
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
Prelate of Cotabato
Apostolic Administrator of Sulu
Vicar Apostolic of Calapan
Bishop of Sorsogon
(Sgd.) MSGR CLOVIS THIBAULT,
Apostolic Administrator of Davao
Apostolic Prefect of Palawan
Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, by John Vennari,
Philippine Edition, pp. 68-74)
On June 29th,
2000, Brigadier General Josefino Manayao, of the Philippine Army,
was killed by the Communists, in an ambush, in Jones, Isabela Province
(North of the Philippines). Manayao was publicly a member of the
freemasony, while at the same time, claiming to profess the Catholic
faith (which is very common in the Philippines).
Lazo’s post-mortem apostolate fruitful? God knows. Whether because
of this booklet or not, here is what happened in any case.
EXPLAINS WHY GENERAL WAS DENIED FINAL RITES
BY ANSELMO ROQUE Philippine Daily Inquirer Central
CITY: Why was Brig: Gen. Josefino Manayao denied the final rites
by the Catholic Church before burial on Tuesday?
posed this question after Manayao a known Mason, was accorded military
honors but was refused a funeral Mass by the diocese.
of the 502nd Infantry brigade, was killed, along with 12 soldiers,
in an ambush by the communist New People's Army in Isabela on June
27. Msgr. Michael Veneration, vicar general of the Cabanatuan City
diocese, explained that it was not local practice but a universal
policy of the Catholic Church that was observed in Manayao's case.
According to him, the Catholic Church all over the world prohibits
giving of sacraments and Catholic rites to members of the Free and
Accepted Masons, a society made up of persons who are united for
fraternal purposes and who uses secret signs as a means of recognition.
in the canon law of. the Church," Veneracion said. Manayao's
wife; Cornelia, said she was hurt by Cabanatuan Bishop Sofio Balce's
denial of the Church's final rites for her late husband. She had
asked two Army chaplains to convey her request to Balce. "We.
are members of the Catholic Church and we help when we are needed.
Bishop Balce and my husband are friends," Cornelia told the
INQUIRER. She said she was told that the bishop would be holding
Masses for "the repose of the soul" of her late husband
for nine days.
the first elected worshipful master of the Capitan Pepe Masonic
Lodge 293 and a past grand Masonic lecturer, according to his brother
Masons here. On Tuesday; his body was taken to Fort Magsaysay in
Palayan City, about 20 kilometers from here, for a last visit to
the camp where he had been assigned and for a memorial service offered
by fellow officers and soldiers. He was brought back here and given
the last rites by his fellow Masons in a memorial park chapel.
Veneracion said Balce denied the Manayao family's request for final
rites by "articulating the position of the Church regarding
that it pained the bishop as he was close to the Manayaos but he
denied the request not as personal decision but to uphold Church
law," Veneracion said. Contrary to reports, he said the law
has not been lifted. In fact, this provision was reiterated during
the plenary council of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
in January 1991, Veneracion said. "There is really, a discrepancy
of principles and beliefs between the Catholic Church and the Free
and Accepted Masons," he said. And Church authorities here
will maintain what has been ordered by higher authorities in Rome,
Daily Inquirer, July 6, 2000, p.1 and p.4. – PDI is the second
largest Daily in the Philippines.)
debate continued for more than a month.
such a stance by one Bishop was not very ‘Conciliar’, was rather
a reminiscence of ‘pre-Vatican II” days. So, ‘some’ people tried
to oppose this courageous bishop to the Bishops’ Conference. Thanks
be to God, the CBCP held together.
UPHOLDS BAN ON RITES PDI FOR MASONS
Bishops Conference of the Philippines has reiterated the Church
position banning communion' and funeral rites for Catholics who
reiteration of its position on Freemasonry was also in reaction
to adverse public reaction to the withholding of funeral rites for
slain Army Col. Jose Manayao.
It also comes
on the heels of the Vatican's affirmation of the Church ban against
giving communion to divorced and remarried couples.
first elected worshipful master of the Capitan Pepe Masonic Lodge
293, was killed in an ambush by communist New People's Army rebels
on June 29 in Jones, Isabela.
He ,was buried
with military honors in his home province of Nueva Ecija, but was
refused Church rites by Cabanatuan Bishop Sofio Balce.
penalties reflect the serious irreconcilable points between the
Christian faith and the philosophy of Masonry," said Palo Archbishop
Pedro Dean, chair of the CBCP Commission on the Doctrine of the
tenets that are irreconcilable with Catholic teachings include:
• God is the
great architect of the world. but He leaves it on its own and has
• God did not
reveal Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
• Jesus' divinity
has no place in Masonic philosophy. They say that he was just a
• There is
no objective truth in morals and doctrine. That would be bigotry.
• One religion
is as good as any other.
• Man's perfection
is not to be found in his love for a personal God but only in the
development of his natural powers. Man has an immortal soul but
has no supernatural destiny.
who want to join any associations need first to study deeply its,
In the case
of Freemasonry, the decision of a Catholic to join it must first
take into account the reasons why the Church has kept a negative
judgment toward it," Dean said.
Dean said the
CBCP declared in 1990 that any Catholic publicly known as a. Mason
may not be given communion nor be allowed to stand as a sponsor
in baptisms, confirmations and weddings.
A Mason, the
CBCP said, may also not be admitted into religious organizations
and may be denied funeral rites unless signs of repentance before
his death is shown.
funeral rites are allowed by the bishop, no Masonic services shall
be allowed in the Church or cemetery immediately before or after
the Church rites in order to avoid scandal," the CBCP said
in its declaration.
In 1993, the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement, approved
by Pope John Paul 11, that membership in Masonic associations remained
forbidden. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 20, 2000)