A MASONIC LODGE in Italy has taken the unprecedented step of appointing a Catholic priest as its chaplain.
Announcing the unnamed priest’s appointment, Grand Master Fabio Venzi of the Regular Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Italy discussed the troubled relationship between Freemasonry and the Catholic Church.
The Vatican’s understanding of the incompatibility of the two is “often based on masonic realities which we consider ‘irregular’, and therefore not representative of true masonic tradition,” he said.
His Grand Lodge, part of the Anglo-Saxon masonic tradition based at Freemason’s Hall in London, had “always treated the Holy See with great respect, and we have even named a lodge after Pius II, Enea Silvio Piccolomini. This is unique in the history of Freemasonry.” Speaking of the appointment of the priest, Grand Master Venzi said: “Never before has a masonic lodge made such a gesture towards the Catholic Church, distancing itself from other irregular masonic lodges that, with their anti-clericalism, have caused much harm to the image of Freemasonry in the world.
“We have played our part and we hope the Church will lay the groundwork and have the patience to deal with the peculiarities and differences within the world of Freemasonry,” he concluded.