Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Was My Father a Bad Man?

The question is a serious one and not a rhetorical one. I hope that some readers can shed light on something that has puzzled me ever since the book, The Da Vinci Code, was published. It was brought back into focus for me today when I read some literature about Our Lady of Good Success, the Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres. The literature stated that, according to Mother Mariana, "Our Lady prophesied that at the end of the 19th century and especially in the 20th century Satan would reign almost completely by the means of the Masonic sect."

Wikipedia shows the Masons in a different light, as a social organization. I cannot summarize the whole article here for it is quite long, but you can read it for yourself: Freemasonry. Apparently, people who were considered good and moral and all that wonderful kind of stuff, like George Washington, were members of the Masons. Where I grew up in Maine and New Hampshire, the Masons were considered to be community leaders with good morals. Most attended church. From the Wikipedia article, the central statement for me was the following: "Freemasonry's central preoccupations remain charitable work within a local or wider community, moral uprightness (in most cases requiring a belief in a Supreme Being) as well as the development and maintenance of fraternal friendship – as James Anderson's Constitutions originally urged – amongst brethren."

So, I don't get it. My father was a Mason. Was he a bad man? Does anyone know?


  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    Like you, I've read articles and I've viewed documentaries about Freemasonry but it is something for which I have no personal knowledge of anyone belonging to a lodge, so my understanding is narrow and limited in perspective.

    For me, it is akin to formulating an opinion on Christian demonminations; which I find pointless.

    Blessings and peace to you today.


  2. Elizabeth,
    There is a lot of unclearness where this group is concerned but the Catholic Church has come out against them- they are on the Vatican's list of organizations Catholics are forbidden to join. As to the whys and wherefor's you can read this article from Catholic Online also John Salza who was a former Mason did some interviews on EWTN some time ago and gives a good explanation of the group and their dangers.
    I don't think the group started out to be what they are today and I doubt your Dad joined for any kind of sinister purposes. If you Google John Salza's name you should get some links to his interviews, they were posted on You Tube.
    God Bless!

  3. MTJ, indeed it is confusing when members of the organization are local church leaders. And maybe it differs by lodge. Who knows? Blessings to you, too.

    Thanks for the links, Karinann. I will take a look at them. My Dad died in 1973, so it was some time ago that he belonged to the organization.

  4. I have seen many documentaries and read things about masonry and don't have any absolute conclusions about it. I've never pursued it myself and I think it has lost some favor with my generation, but probably for different reasons than having to do with religion.

    My father was an active mason for a time in his life and he was also a very devout and well studied Christian. I never discussed the topic with him before he died, but there was no issue about it that I was aware of. He was buried with some symbolic artifacts of masonry and some fellow masons attended his service wearing garb that I didn't understand the significance of.

    After he died (he was 67, I was 39), I found in his extensive library of Christian literature some anti-masonic books. My mother said in his latter years he had basically dropped out and did not attend Masonic events. However, he maintained friendships with some in the organization and retained his membership.

    I think he had become aware of certain questionable origins, practices, and beliefs of the organization. But he was also aware of some of the networking advantages of being a part of the organization and of the charitable things shriners did.

    I don't think being a part of the organization at the lower level makes anyone a bad person, but as they progress up the hierchy there may be some evil oaths and practices which is when a member needs to decide whether or not they should part ways. Being a mason probably did not make your father a bad man.

    Tossing It Out

  5. Elizabeth,
    My grandfather belonged to a Masonic lodge also and as you say it was a common practice in NH and ME to be a churchgoer and a Mason so maybe their intentions were good and they didn't see the problem with it. I know the Catholic Church forbids it and I was a bit surprised to find out that my grandfather was a member before he died. He was a practicing Catholic and seemed like a good man but like you I've read negative things about the Freemasons. I'll have to check out the link Karinann left. As for whether your father and my grandfather were bad men, I guess only God knows. I've never understood the secrecy of such groups to be honest.

  6. Many years ago I was a part of a junior Masonic organization and found out that the local chapter that sponsored us had unwritten rules concerning who would be allowed to join. I did't like that and stopped participating.

  7. Lee, Mary, Slamdunk, thanks for the comments. I guess we are all in the same boat: not being a member of the organization itself, and the organization being secret, it's hard to know. I do plan to follow Karinann's link, but that won't be until this weekend. Time is limited for me during the week.

  8. Deception comes gift wrapped in attractive casing.

    As pe r th e knowledge I have Free Masons are a Satanic cult. We have a lodge in my city too.

    As a child my mother and her siblings were taken to a Masonic Temple by a family friend (none of my family were associated with them) and she saw some strange things there.

    Christians should stay clear of such thing.

    There are plenty of Christian organizations doing huminitarian work - join and suport them.

  9. Dear Beth, I thought over my comment an d I want to add tha tI don' t wan t to imply that your Dad was a bad man. Maybe he did not know the real philosophy or belief system behind the Free Masons. They have a heirachy and Masters are at the top.A lot of secrecy is practiced.In India where false religions flourish we were taught about various cults .

  10. No your father was not a bad man, my uncle is a freemason in Scotland. It's not a dark or evil organization intact they do a lot of work for charity which they don't boast about. Scaremongering and ignorance mainly from the catholic church among others.

  11. Amrita and Ryan, thank you for your comments. I think that if, worst case scenario, there is something dark or evil about the Masons that perhaps it was not in his lodge and definitely I don't think he thought of his association there as anything but charitable. So, I remain confused, but I do think that my father was probably a good man, at least at the core.

  12. I finally found you Elizabeth, happy too read you again.
    My dad was a member of Knights of Columbus and was very much against the Masons or even the color "orange". He would never say why.
    I think when groups do things in secret it causes much speculation, K of C had their secret rites as well......who are we to say who was good, bad, right or wrong. That is God's job. I have to say I like any organization that helps families by providing food, shelter even clothing for those who had no proper clothes to be buried in. K of C did this but also my friends father, a Mason, did as well......:-) Hugs

  13. Welcome back, Bernie. I am glad you found me. You make a good point: It is not up to us to judge.

  14. How interesting. I've never met anyone who was a Mason, nor do I know anything about it. But I'd imagine that you knew your father's character in a way that goes much deeper than could be defined by his affiliations.