A war that is “religious”


Public life liberates itself of every discipline, every dogma.


The State frees itself from any constraint. No God. No Master.


This is the leit-motiv of every power. Of the individual lay person. Of the family that has become atheist. Of every state institution. Of all that is Masonic. In Europe as in the USA, as in Canada. On every continent, this is the way it is.


It can be taken into account, particularly these days, by comparing the apostolic exhortation of Pope John Paul II: Ecclesia in Europa, published June 29, 2003, and a discourse from Jacques Chirac pronounced June 23, 2003, for the 275th aniversary of the creation of freemasonry in France.


The apostolic exhortation: Ecclesia in Europa, despite its length, its weakness as a document, despite its overabundance of statements, of suggestions, of implorings of diverse subjects, a new weakness of the document, despite uncertain political statements, contestable or contested, after however a grave realist constat on the present situation of peoples in Europe, this exhortation is, above all, a lively call to a “European conscience” to discover and accept one’s Lord and Master, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was only yesterday the greatness of Europe and its Civilization.


A lively call from the Supreme Pontiff. An inestimable call, full of faith in Our Lord. A call full of hope. A moving call despite the numerous weaknesses of the document, in its base as in its form.


A missionary and Catholic call which is opposed to a discourse from Mr. Jacques CHIRAC, a discourse addressed June 23, 2003, in the Freemasons of France proceedings at the time of the 275th anniversary of the creation of Freemasonry in France. There, being presumptiously spread, terms chosen by the Pope himself in the conclusion to his exhortation - being presumptiously spread is the refusal of all dogmatism, of all Catholicism. Freemasonry, in every country, particularly in France, is launched against Christ and His Church and against His dogma. Freemasonry is the refusal of all dogma, of all Revelation. Freemasonry has not ceased to struggle for the “crushing the the Infamous One”, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the ruin of the monarchy, because it is Catholic. Thus, the institution of the laitizing of the States without God. Thus the seperation of Church and State. The politics of the Nations, Canada’s as well, does not come from the Vatican, we are told.


Thus, will Europe yield to the entreaties that are being so often repeated by the Pope - repetitions that are in the Pope’s honour - to place in the New Constitution of Europe a clear statement of the beneficial and historic role of Christianity in Europe?


Yes! A war there is. And it is a religious one.


And this is why it is not useless to point out that the finale of the apostolic exhortation is precisely centered on the combat described by the Apocalypse between the woman and the dragon. Why then this finale? It is because “the war is a religious one”. Between the Church and Freemasonry.


Here are the documents.


The State frees from all. No God. No Master. No dogma.


The apostolic exhortation of John Paul II : Ecclesia in Europa.


The call of the Pope :


Europe has need of a qualitive leap in examining its conscience concerning its spiritual heritage. Such a surge can only come to it from a renewed awareness of the Gospel of Christ. It belongs to every Christian to work toward satisfying this hunger and this thirst for life. This is why “the Church experiences a need to renew vigoriously the message of hope which has been confided to her by God” and she repeats to Europe: “The Lord, your God, is in you; it is Him, the hero who brings you salvation” (So 3,17). Its invitation to hope is not based upon a utopist ideology. (...) It, on the contrary, is the eternal message of salvation proclaimed by Christ (cf. Mk. 1:15). With the authority which comes to her from her Lord, the Church repeats to the Europe of today: Europe of the third millenium, “that your hands do not fail you” (So 3:16) ; do not yield to discouragement, do not resign yourself to modes of thinking and of living which are not based upon the firm certitude of the Word of God!


Taking up this invitation to hope, I still yet repeat once more today, Europe who is at the beginning of the third millenium: “Discover yourself again. Be yourself. Discover your origin. Live your roots”. In the course of centuries, you have received the treasure of the Christian faith. It has founded your social life on principles drawn from the Gospel and one sees traces of it in art, in literature, in the thought and culture of your nations. But this heritage does not only belong to the past; it is a project for the future, to transmit to future generations, for it is the matrix of the life of persons and of peoples who together made up the european continent.


Do not be afraid! The Gospel is not against you, it is in favour of you. This is confirmed by the constatation that Christian inspiration can transform the whole of political, cultural, and economic constituents in a cordiality where every european will feel at home and form a family of nations which other regions of the world can be inspired from in a fruitful manner.


Have confidence! In the Gospel which is Jesus, you will find the firm and lasting hope to which you aspire. It is a hope based upon the victory of Christ over sin and over death. This victory, He has desired that it be your own, for your salvation and your joy.


Be sure of it! The Gospel of hope does not deceive. In the vicissitudes of your history of yesterday and of today, it is a light which illumines and guides your path; it is a force which supports you in trials; it is a prophecy of a new world; it is a sign of a new departure; it is an invitation for all, believers or non-believers, to trace your paths forever new which opens up to the “Europe of the Spirit”, for constructing a veritable common house where the joy of living is found.”


Europe, discover yourself. Be yourself. Discover your origins. Live your roots.


The conclusion of the pontifical document : the woman and the dragon


The history of the Church is accompanied with signs which are under the eyes of all, but which needs to be interpreted. Among them, the Apocalypse presents a grandiose sign which appeared in the sky, speaking of a struggle between the woman and the dragon.

The woman having the sun for clothing, delivering in pain (cf. Ap. 12:1-2), can designate the Israel of the prophets which gives birth to the Messiah, “He who will rule the nations with an iron rod” (Ap.12:5). But she also represents the Church, the people of the new Covenant, a prey to persecution while being protected by God. The dragon is “the serpent of genesis, he who is called the Devil or Satan, he who leads the whole world astray” (Ap. 12:9). This war is not equal: the dragon appears to have the advantage, how his presumptiousness is great in facing the defenseless and suffering woman. In reality, the victor is the Son whom the woman is bringing into the world. In this war, one thing is certain: the great dragon has already won, “he was cast down upon the earth and his angels along with him” (Ap. 12:9). Those who have defeated him are Christ, God made man, by His death and resurrection, and the martyrs, “by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of His word” (Ap. 12:11) And even if the dragon persists in his opposition, there is nothing to fear, for his defeat is already consumated.

Such is the certitude which animates the Church all along its path while re-reading her history of all time from the woman and the dragon. The woman who brings into the world a male child also recalls to us the Virgin Mary, especially from the moment where, pierced by suffering at the foot of the Cross, she again engenders the Son as victor of the prince of this world. She is confided to John who likewise is confided to her (cf. Jn. 19:26-27) and she becomes as well the Mother of the Church. Thanks to the bond which unites Mary to the Church, and the Church to Mary, the mystery of the woman takes on a new light: Indeed, Mary, present in the Church as the Mother of the Redeemer maternally participates in the “hard combat against the forces of darkness” which unfolds across the entire History of man. And by this ecclesiastic identification with the “woman clothed with the sun” (Ap. 12:1), it can be said that “the Church, in the person of the Blessed Virgin, already attains the perfection which is one without stain or folds”.


The whole Church then looks to Mary...”


Discreet, but at the same time a startling conclusion. “Qui potest capere, capiat”. “Whoever can comprehend, let him comprehend”. (Mt. 19:12). Truly a war that is religious. The great Monsignor Jouin was right.


The discourse of Jacques Chirac pronounced June 23, 2003.


“Ladies and gentlemen, Grand Masters, Ladies, Gentlemen,


I am happy to receive today the representatives of a philosophical tradition which made such an important contribution, in France and in the world, toward the elaboration and diffusion of republican ideas.  There are histories which contribute towards making history, events which advance the cause of liberty. The creation in 1728 of the first French lodge is one of those. You have chosen to celebrate together this event. And you have desired to associate with it foreign freemasons. To one and all, I wish you a warm welcome. And in receiving you today, I wish to render tribute to the civil role of your societies of thought. An active role of defense and reaffirmation of republican principles, a role of vigilance, a role of reflection.

This anniversary is also the time for supplying a right idea of freemasonry, beyond the clichés and received ideas.


You inscribe your commitment in the heritage of Lights. Lights of reason, of tolerance, of human solidarity, lights of liberty, absolute liberty of conscience, the liberty to doubt, because doubt is the motor of progress. A liberty which summarizes so well the trypique: “provoke and don’t impose, suggest without proclaiming, interrogate rather than answer”. In brief, the true liberty of man arriving at scaling so many passions rather than being in social shackles. Alain Bauer, whose initiative I salute which reunites us today, has evoked the birth of masonry in France at the dawn of the XVIII century with this beautiful formula which I borrowed from him: “It is the people of the Encyclopedia which tries to become the one of Lights”. Born in the spasms of the English civil and religious wars, the Masonic ideal, the one of Isaac Newton, dreamed of substituting to dogmatism the debate of scientific progress, of freeing from its grip, of breaking rigidities, to make room for liberty, beyond the taboos and indexes of the epoch.


This history, these convictions, freemasonry assumes them with pride. They found its commitment. They mark its traditions. Three centuries have passed and you depend on your works continue to be realized in liberty, the refusal of certitude, international expansion, always seeking the irreplaceable serenity in which reflection comes about, far from the agitation of the world. Its fidelity to traditions, its commitment to the service of man, freemasonry has dearly paid for it, persecuted by every totalitarianism. The black hours of the Occupation and of collaboration have painfully left its scars. Since August of 1940, an anti-Masonic legislation was promulgated. Disciplines were dissolved, their locals occupied, their temples devastated, their archives destroyed, their collections pillaged. Freemasons were denounced, their names delivered to the occupying Nazis. Many were deported and were put to death in the camps. Never in its history, French freemasonry, which had always developed in the greatest respect for institutions and for laws, had it to endure such an unleashing of violence and hatred.


This relentlessness can only be explained by the impeccable attachment of freemasons to the Republic. The Republic, which they helped to be born, spread ideas of reason and progress. They watched over it when it was fragile and attacked. They nourished it by their demands and reflections. They had always been in the front lines of its defenders. In the XVIII in the XIX centuries, they were naturally, of all combatants, the ones against authoritarianism. In the taverns of origins, they contributed to diffuse the values which were those of the French Revolution and which proclaimed the declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen. In the great wave of 1848, they struggled for political and union liberties, freedom of the press, freedom of association, abolition of slavery. After having contributed towards giving birth to the III Republic, they were numerous in being committed to the League of the rights of man, so that the innocence of Captain Dreyfus could triumph. Some years beforehand, they had prepared for a very large part and ardently supported the law of 1882, a capital law for the Republic, which created a primary obligatory teaching, a lay one and free. With the same firmness, the same enthusiasm, they supported the law of 1901, which guaranteed freedom of association, then that of 1905, which separated the churches from the State. The battle for the laity owes much to their commitment. A battle each step of the way, a battle which always timely. A battle for tolerance and for a society based on respect or one another and which does not stop at differences, at the origins, at religions. During the course of time, to the degree that it rooted the Republic, that it imposed the universal values that it defended, French freemasonry knew how to attract women and men committed to social life and representing France in all its diversity.  It was not great social questions that touch upon the human condition that Freemasons have surmounted. Recently, individually or in a concerted manner, they have intervened in the debates concerning the place of women in our public life, on bioethics, the reception and place for the handicapped, the future of the school, European construction, lasting development, globalization, cultural diversity, also the question of demographic shock and the necessary adaptation to French society and its structures. Because Freemasons have at heart a demand for humanism, they are the avant-garde of the struggle against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, against discrimination and very simply against violence. It is for you, of individual and collective progress, of a true living together, only emancipation from passions and particular interests, from communitarianisms and integrisms, from the ignorance and from the antagonisms that they engender.


Ladies and gentlemen, this anniversary which brings you here today, you live it, I imagine, as a renewed commitment towards the future, for more progress, more liberties. Today, I offer you tribute by your action which plays an essential role in the rooting of the republican ideal in France. In receiving you all, one and all, I wish to pay you the respect of the Nation for what you are and for what you do. I thank you.”




A Freemasonry which is committed, since its establishment, to “the heritage of Lights. Lights of reason”. “Lights of liberty, absolute conscience”. “Lights which struggle against all dogmatism”, would not be open to the discourses of the Pope on the Catholic origins of Europe. The one who intervenes, Jacques Chirac confirms in “European construction” would not open up to the striking call of the Pope: “The Lord your God is in you, it is Him the hero who brings you salvation”. It would not enter, as the Pope calls it “into the new millennium with the book of the Gospel”. Only the contrary!


A war that is religious, as I stated. Let us not forget the Pope’s conclusion in his Exhortation. “... And the Dragon was filled with fury against the Woman, and he made war on the rest of her children, to those who observe the commandments of God and bear witness to Jesus Christ” (Ap. 12:17)


Freemasonry inscribes its commitment in the heritage of Lights. Light of reason. Light of liberty, the absolute liberty of conscience.


Freemasonry has led the battle for the laity. A battle each step of the way. A battle which remains always timely.