In a recent development, the Grand Master of the Maltese Freemasons, Simon Cusens, has voiced his aspirations for society to recognize the Freemasons as peaceful and harmonious individuals. This statement comes in the wake of the Vatican’s reaffirmation of its longstanding prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic lodges. The Vatican’s recent confirmation upholds the stance that Catholic participation in Freemasonry is still strictly forbidden.
Cusens expressed his hope for a shift in perception towards Freemasonry, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to peaceful practices, philanthropy, and the promotion of harmony among all people. He highlighted that the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta, which he leads, adheres to the traditional values of “regular” Freemasonry, unlike some other groups in Malta.
Cusens chose not to directly address the Vatican’s statement, noting that Freemasons typically avoid divisive topics, including politics and religion. He pointed out that regular Freemasonry is inclusive of individuals from all religious backgrounds, as it requires its members to believe in a divine ideology or creed.
The Grand Master also mentioned that biases against Freemasonry exist in various institutions, not limited to religious ones. He noted that several Christian denominations and other faiths, such as Judaism and moderate Islam, do not oppose Freemasonry. In fact, some Christian priests are openly affiliated with both their churches and Freemasonry.
The Vatican’s recent statement, endorsed by Pope Francis, reiterates the incompatibility of Catholic faith with Masonic principles. This stance echoes a 1983 declaration, which, while removing the explicit condemnation and excommunication of Freemasons, maintained that Catholics who are Freemasons are in a state of grave sin.
Cusens remains hopeful that religious views on Freemasonry will evolve, similar to how major religions have changed their stances on issues like divorce, homosexuality, and same-sex marriages. He defends the integrity of regular Freemasonry, emphasizing its principles of brotherhood, secrecy, and the attraction of influential individuals. Freemasonry has often been the subject of conspiracy theories and controversies, but Cusens insists that it promotes virtues like truth, integrity, compassion, and service to others. He cites historical figures like Prince Philip, Winston Churchill, and Nelson Mandela as examples of notable Freemasons who have contributed positively to society.