1. Relativistic Reconciler
The website of the Grand Lodge of the Italian Symbolic Rite (comprising Master Masons of the Grand Orient of Italy), carried these excerpts from a speech of 13/3/14 by mason “Dominic P.”, who now sees a papal bridge between the Lodge and the Church.
One glimmer of light for mutual understanding and conciliation comes, in my opinion, from the interview that the Pope gave last year to Eugenio Scalfari, the director of the newspaper La Repubblica. A conversation which I would call ‘disturbing’ but in a good way.
[...] When the pope is asked the question: "Your Holiness, is there a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?" he replies surprisingly that "Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good […] Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."
These are words by which one is authorised to call into question one of the motives which, historically, the Catholic Church accused Freemasonry of, namely: "the Masonic method is […] incompatible […] because it is based on a symbolic and relativistic concept of the whole which is completely unacceptable for a Christian […]"
[...] His reference to good and evil and the value that each of us can give to the good and to evil is equivalent to an admission of relativism, which would seem unthinkable in a pope. In this sense the pope’s expressions provides a glimpse into an unexpected widening of the Catholic conscience that explains his often repeated call to Mercy. […]
2. Innovative Renovator
On 12 June 2014, at the presentation of the book by Ignazio Ingrao The Secret Council (Il concilio segreto — Piemme Publisher, 2013), the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy, Stefano Bisi, stated among other things (about the relations between Church and Freemasonry) that the opening of the Church to the world “seems to find new momentum with Pope Francis. There are many premises for a new season of the Church, in dialogue with the world. Now we need to see whether the expected reforms will follow from them.”
The event was also attended by Marco Politi (Vatican correspondent of Il Fatto Quotidiano) and Alberto Melloni (historian of the Modernist “Bologna school”) who also stressed the “new and strong innovative drive” of the Pontificate of Francis who wants “a remodelling of the Church in its appearance” and “a review of the pastoral care of interpersonal relationships.”
The Masonic Bulletin further reported:
And this “leap forward of the Church in modern society” then and now pleases Freemasonry, which today just as during those heated years has again taken to follow with interest the changes that are outlined Oltretevere [in the Vatican]. […] Politi said that several prelates and scholars in recent years have proposed to hold a Vatican [Council] III, but perhaps, noted the journalist, there is not even a need for it. The season of the Church reforms is, in fact, now already open.
3. Fearful Fraterniser
In 2014, Michela Scolari — the sole custodian of the memoirs of Licio Gelli [1919-2015], the notorious Grand Master of the arch-criminal P2 Lodge — informed the journalist Andrea Scanzi of Il Fatto Quotidiano, that 6-7 years earlier, Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) visited Licio Gelli at his Villa Wanda in Arezzo, where he lived under house arrest. Gelli had excellent connections within Freemasonry and the Argentine political class in the 1970s and 1980s. To Scolari, Gelli revealed that he had known Bergoglio since 1973, when Gelli was the Argentinean Plenipotentiary Minister and great friend of Peron.
4. Brother Bergoglio: Epochal Change-Agent
From the last speech given by lawyer Gustavo Raffi
“The world is changing at a speed which, a few years ago, would have been completely unimaginable. This ‘liquid’ world — to use the term coined by Zigmunt Baumann — is radically transforming all the ‘rigid’ structures which the sea of the past has deposited on the shores of the present.
“Just look back inside those walls that separate Italy from the Vatican to understand that something is changing. We observe with care and respect as this Pope is accelerating the timing of an epochal change within the horizon of structures traditionally reluctant to welcome the innovative ferment.
"And the reflections of his influence echo far beyond the borders of the sacristy. But it’s also up to us. It’s up to us to make the crossing of this liquid reality happen. It is also up to us to deal with the changing contemporary world. With the claim — never betrayed — to be always contemporary to posterity.
“That is what calls us to make our identity as Italians and Freemasons and to set sail and navigate with confidence into the future, whatever it has in store for us.”