Rotary and Freemasonry
SIR,-1-or the information of your many readers in Ireland I wish to point out that strenuous efforts are being made to increase the number of Freemasons and to recruit members among Catholics. For some years past "special Commissioners for extension activities," appointed by the Rosicrucians of San los& California, are at work in the Thirty Counties in yeland. There is also considerable activity on the part of bodies associated with Freemasonry. Chief among those I wish to refer to Rotary. A short time ago Dr. A. 0. Potter, Rotary International Secretary, Zurich, told a Dublin audience that he had seen Arabs and Jews in Palestine " with their feet under the same table " at Rotary meetings. He might have said exactly the same thing with regard to Freemasonry which has been referred to in several Papal Encyclicals. For the further benefit of your readers will you permit me to quote the following from the excellent pamphlet on Freemasonry by Reverend George Clune, B.A., L.Ph.. B.C.L..essued by the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland: ,' There remains a word on one organisation, of recent birth which is Masonic in atmosphere, namely Rotary. To outward appearances Rotarians are business and professional men who know nothing of creeds, or politics or national boundaries, and who come together to promote good fellowship and mutual understanding, and to foster high standards of conduct in busi ness and the professions. According to itself, it is ' a code of lay morality and national and international citizenship.' But what is lay morality?' It is a morality which takes no account of the priest, no account, therefore, of Christ or the Church: it is a morality which a layman might discover for himself. In one word, it is a morality which is pagan —to be a good man and true or a man of Honour and Honesty.' " We begin to realise more fully the spirit of Rotary when we read such a statement as this (made by Bro. Vincent Davile, President of the Rotary Club of Caracas, Venezuela), from Venezuela: We Freemasons have the honour of being described as the elder brothers of the Rotarians; between Rotary and 1Freemasonry there are vital points of contact.' And what are we to think when we find the Rotarians of Mexico in meeting assembled sending this telegram to Calles: We deem it an honour to send you a cordial and respectful salutation, and we resolve to co-operate with your government as far as lies in our power'?' Their lay morality ' means co-operation with the persecutor and butcher, Canes. " We may remark that the Spanish hierarchy have forbidden their people to have any part or share in Rotary, and that the Holy See forbids Bishops and other ecclesiastical superiors to allow the priests subject to them to join Rotary or to take part in its assemblies. Three main reasons are given: first, the Masonic origin of Rotary; second, its hostility to the Church; third, its moral code, which very closely resembles that of Freemasonry." Fr, Clune is a well known authority on this subject and his warning is much needed today.