Monday, 2 January 2017

Masons Despoil Fatima

Eventually anyone who goes to a traditional Mass on the Continent is going to come across talk of the Masonic Lodge. In the UK, we don't worry about the Masons quite so much, perhaps because the British (or Scottish) Masons, living in a Protestant country, don't  have the same anti-clerical zeal as the Continental types.

Or so I think. I am rather new to worries about Masonry. There are so many other groups to worry about. Thus I was absolutely staggered to discover today that Masons in Portugal despoiled the little oak tree of Fatima, set up a mocking museum and had a blasphemous procession with the captured relics.

This is from a book by Father John de Marchi, The True Story of Fatima, which can be found online through EWTN:

During the night of October 23 [1917], as duly recorded in the newspaper, Diario de Noticias, some gentlemen from Santarem (whose names, incidentally, are listed) joined with some other apostles of enlightenment from Vila Nova de Ourem, then continued on to the Cova da Iria. Here is part of the contemporary newspaper report:

With an axe they cut the tree28 under which the three shepherd children stood during the famous phenomenon of the 13th of this month. They took away the tree, together with a table on which a modest altar had been arranged, and on which a religious image (of our Lady) had been placed. They also took a wooden arch, two tin lanterns, and two crosses, one made of wood and the other of bamboo-cane wrapped in tissue paper.

These prize exhibits, including, as a footnote explains, a bogus version of the tree, were placed on exhibit in a house not far from the Seminary at Santarem, and an entrance fee exacted from those who wished to enter and be entertained at the widely advertised religious farce. One disappointment to the sponsors was the fact that not everyone, even among the Church's active critics, agreed it was amusing. The profits from the exhibit were to be turned over to a local charity, but the beneficiaries said very politely, "Thank you; no." Later, in the evening, a blasphemous procession was held.

The parade was headed by two men thumping on drums (a newspaper account reveals), while just behind it came the famous tree on which the Lady is said to have appeared. Next came the wooden arch, with its lanterns alight, then the altar table and other objects which the faithful had placed upon it at the Cova da Iria. To the sound of blasphemous litanies, the procession passed through the principal streets of the city, returning to the Sa da Band Eira Square, at which point it broke up.

Further research discloses that many of the demonstrators, less than satisfied with the appeal to bigotry they had attained, reorganised on a street not far from Sa da Band Eira Square, and were about to start parading anew when a woman, from a window above them, dropped a pail of water on their heads. She succeeded, less willingly, in drenching a local policeman as well, and the commotion in the street was considerable. A more substantial force of police then came along and dispersed the gathering.

The affair was a disgrace (the newspaper concludes). How is it possible that the authorities tolerate such a thing while at the same time refusing permission for the processions of the Church to which nearly the whole population belongs and whose ceremonies in no way offend the religious convictions of others?

What amazes me is how very 21st century such insulting hijinks seem.

UPDATE (January 4): This is going viral getting me quadruple my daily allowance of hits. Why is this going viral getting me so many hits? I mention the Freemasons once in TEN YEARS of blogging, and it goes viral reintroduces me to a wider audience. Goodness me. 


  1. I've studied Latin for years but only a little bit of ancient Greek. How cool you're going to learn it? What made you decide to, if I may ask.

    -Longtime lurker (from the Seraphic Singles days)

  2. Hello! Well, I studied Ancient Greek in uni, and then I reviewed it in my late twenties, and now I have been asked to teach it!

    1. Good luck! (Just realized I commented on the wrong post by accident. Sorry!)


  3. Hi, masonry has been condemned from the outset in all its forms by the Church. There is no such thing as good freemasonry in any of its forms or in any country where it has set up. Freemasonry has diabolical aims which are fundamentally in opposition to Catholicism. Yours in Christ

    1. That's as may be, but Masonry in the UK does not have the same traddy-shriek factor as the Continental satan-worship or whatever it is that they do over there. George IV and Robbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott were all Masons and they were all staunch Protestant Christians. Well, maybe not auld Rabbie. But honestly a lot of British masons have thought they were Christians as well, and you can look 'em up. I'm not saying there is any good freemasonry; I'm just saying it has been different in the UK and has meant different things to people in the UK than it would mean to both freemasons and Catholics in Portugal.

  4. Mrs MacLean,
    Good but you have been a little fooled.
    Part of the 'Craft' of Freemasonry is to seek out 'solid' Christians to join so as to provide 'cover' and 'deniability' - Maosnry in the UK is just as evil as elsewhere. Think: cover, deniability, triangulation by opposites.

  5. I shall have to take your anonymous word for it for now, as I haven't given the matter much thought. There is a funny scene in a Nancy Mitford novel in which the hapless English bride of a French aristo discloses that her English (but francophile) aristo father is a Mason, and there is a massive scandal and her grumpy father telling her that although completely respectable in the UK, this should not be bruited abroad in France.

    It could be that the freemasonry has encompassed the entire English and Scottish aristocracy, legal systems and postal services (it certainly seems so) except for the Catholics for two hundred, but Catholicism steamed on merrily in England until about 1962 and in Scotland until about 1992, and I daresay it wasn't the British freemasons that brought about the disasters unless they included British Catholics. Which they very well may have--I have hitherto avoided traddie discussions of the various lodges.

    1. I should add that so many people have told me that Bugnini was a (Continental) Freemason that I assume that this is worthy of pious belief.

  6. A few days late, but I saw this on buzzfeed (yes, a dreadful website). A link about British freemasons
    Feel free to remove the link or the comment as you see fit. Oddly, I also remember reading something lately about how North American lodges are generally on the decline and can't get new members.