The Bishop and the Freemason

October 10, 2022
Msgr. Francesco Soddu and Stefano Bisi

The recent inauguration of a Masonic temple in the presence of the Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia caused amazement and dismay in Umbria, Italy. Dangerous liaisons that have been multiplying for several years in Rome.

The faithful of the Diocese of Terni have been speechless since September 27, 2022, when their bishop participated in the inauguration of the new Masonic temple erected in the heart of his good city, in the company of the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI) Stefano Bisi.

The earthquake that quickly followed made Msgr. Francesco Soddu lose his smile, prompting him to produce – in vain – an attempt to justify his action by means of a press release published on the website of his diocese.

It reads: “As regards the opening of the new branch of the GOI in Terni, an instrumental reading, deliberately equivocal and misunderstood, of the presence of Bishop Soddu at this occasion arouses astonishment, perplexity, and bitterness.”

“The interpretation of the facts, which did not even take into account the contents of what the bishop said, totally misrepresents the sense of his presence which, without being identified with a current foreign to Christian doctrine, instead had the sole purpose of bearing witness to the fidelity to the Gospel and to the Church, especially at this time of synodality which characterizes it.”

“Astonishment” and “perplexity”? These are two euphemisms which the Catholics of Terni will have difficulty swallowing considering the 200 counts of excommunication with which the Church has struck Freemasonry for nearly three centuries.

As for the “boss” of the Italian Grand Orient, interviewed by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, all of this belongs to the past: “The time of the Crusades is over,” explains Stefano Bisi who specifies how much the letter signed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, entitled “Dear Masonic Brothers” and published on February 14, 2016, in the weekly Il Sole 24 Ore, has moved the lines.

The former president of the Pontifical Council for Culture – who has just reached the age limit of 80 – then listed alleged “convergences” between the Church and Freemasonry: “An anthropology based on the freedom of conscience and intellect and on the equality of rights, and a deism which recognizes the existence of God, leaving however mobile the definitions of His identity.”

Moreover, the high prelate relativized the condemnations made by the Church, considering that they “did not prevent dialogue,” and that it was necessary to “overcome the attitude of integralist Catholic circles, which, to strike at some representatives, even hierarchical members of the Church whom they disliked, resorted to accusing them of Masonic membership.”