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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus April 2003

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

A new movie by that name, starring Sean Connery, is due for release in July 2003. The plot is listed as:

"A free adaptation of the popular comic book series compiled by ALAN MOORE. Bizarre fantasy in which a group of heroes, heroines and other tortured souls straight from the pages of the world's best loved literature, be it adventure, Sci-Fi or fantasy, are commissioned by Queen Victoria to combat the threat of a madman bent on world domination."

Alan Moore also authored the Jack the Ripper graphic novel From Hell. While From Hell had anti-Masonic parts, the comic book series upon which The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is based has no Masonic plot. Several Focus readers have contacted the MIC to make us aware that in the promotional "trailer" to the movie, one scene ends with a door closing, showing a clearly visible Square and Compasses.

The MIC is aware of this upcoming movie and will make a response, should one be necessary.

The Da Vinci Code

A new book by that name, written by Dan Brown, has become a national bestseller. The book is riveting reading, both for its suspense and action. The Catholic Church is not portrayed favorably, and there are many references to Freemasonry.

Many Christians will be offended because the book implies a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. In fact, one publicity director for a bookstore chain was quoted as saying "I always believed there was something between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Now I'm convinced."

The book should be read for exactly what it is, a novel. The power of suggestion is very strong, but be wary of taking it literally.

Archbishop of Canterbury

R A H Morrow, GS, UGLE wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury:

I write in response to the reports in The Independent newspaper of your views on Freemasonry.

According to the reports:

a) you have doubts on the compatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity and believe that elements of the ritual may have a Satanic basis b) you believe Freemasonry to be both a secret society and a self-serving network c) you have in the past not appointed to sensitive senior posts candidates who are Freemasons and intend to continue that practice.

For nearly 300 years Freemasonry has existed in an organized way in England and Wales. During that period hundreds of thousands of committed Christians (clergy and laity) have found no incompatibility between their Christian faith and the principles and practices of Freemasonry. Indeed many have testified that their membership of Freemasonry has strengthened their faith and, in some cases, brought them back into active church membership.

The Archbishop responded by saying:

I have been sorry to learn of the distress of a considerable number of Freemasons. It is true that a great deal of upset and hurt has been caused by the newspaper reports about my purported views on Freemasonry. In replying to private correspondence, I had no intention of starting a public debate nor of questioning the good faith and generosity of individual Freemasons and I regret the tone and content of the media coverage.

Much of the distress has been due to what amounts to a serious misrepresentation of views I am supposed to hold. The quoted statement about the "satanic" character of Masonic ceremonies and other matters did not come from me and do not represent my judgment. Since my late father was a member of the Craft for many years, I have had every opportunity of observing the probity of individual members.

Where anxieties exist, however, they are in relation not to Freemasonry but to Christian ministry, and my letter simply reflected a personal unease about Christian ministers subscribing to what could be and often is understood (or misunderstood) as a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty. Concerns like these have led to a number of debates within the church in recent years and it is clear that there are still widely differing views - held with sincerity and honesty - about the compatibility of certain aspects of Freemasonry with Christian belief, ministry and service.

My statement about resisting the appointment of Freemasons to certain posts in Wales needs to be understood against the background of the belief that I and the Church had deliberately advanced the cause of Freemasons. In saying that I had resisted the appointment of Freemasons to certain posts I was not suggesting that people had been blackballed, but asserting that I was satisfied that membership of the Craft was neither a disqualifier nor an advantage.

I welcome the manner in which Freemasons have engaged in debate and especially the increasing openness of recent years. Their commitment to charitable causes and the welfare of the wider community is beyond question.

 (This information was provided by and is reprinted
with the permission of the United Grand Lodge of England)

 

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