The major mysteries of the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons have been mysteries to the Masons too. It has been shown here that most of them can only be explained if we accept the Knights Templar’s origin hypothesis. However this hypothesis does not explain other “mysteries” and problems like the Masonic devil worship, the Masonic responsibility in the Vatican participation in financial frauds, the Masonic infiltration of law enforcement and government, or a KGB connection. Obviously these “mysteries” do not come from the ritual, the history or the legend of Freemasonry but, very often, they are allegations by anti-Masonic writers (an example can be found in the book “The Brotherhood” by Stephen Knight (11). This book does not provide any solution to the Masonic mysteries, nor does it give anything new on the origin of the order. It only repeats accusations against Freemasonry, taken mostly from newspaper accounts of events and information taken out of context, or incomplete.
The main difference between Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church is to be found in the fact that Freemasonry accepts, as members, people of all faiths, without discrimination, while the Catholic Church believes that its faith alone is right and that, when possible, it should suppress all the others. Pope John XXIII, however, softened the Church position and promoted a dialogue with other religions.
There is no doubt that the Bank of the Vatican was involved with the Masonic lodge known as “Propaganda Due, or P2”, a research lodge formed originally by the Italian Grand Orient. In 1975 the Venerable Grand Master Licio Gelli, an Italian fascist, headed it. The P2 was expelled from the Grand Orient of Italy one-year later, and could not be considered anymore, from 1976, to be an official Masonic organisation. Gelli used it for his own purposes and built a vast network of influent members: politicians, bankers, publishers, army officers, etc. Michele Sindona, a financial adviser to the Vatican, became a member in 1976 and Roberto Calvi, the head of the “Banco Ambrosiano”, but also linked to the bank of the Vatican or “Instituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR)”, joined in 1977. From 1977 until 1989 Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, a native of the USA and friend and former bodyguard of Pope John Paul II, managed the IOR.
Banco Ambrosiano and the IOR created foreign subsidiaries and moved a lot of money in them for no obvious reason. When the Italian government started checking what was going on Carli was found hanging from the Blackfriards Bridge in London. Did he hang himself or was he murdered, one does not really know? The IOR alone lost about 450 million dollars but would not give any explanation on what went on and why. The Italian government wanted to try Marcinkus for fraudulent bankruptcy in 1987, but the Vatican gave him diplomatic immunity. However the IOR paid 244 million dollars to the Banco Ambrosiano while denying any guilt or involvement in the fraud which brought the total lost of the IOR to 700 million dollars. This did not prevent Stephen Knight to say that it was a Masonic scandal, and not a Vatican scandal.
The origin of the Scottish Rite and the York Rite Masonry are better known. The real mystery lies in the origin and purpose of the “Craft”, or “Blue lodge” Masonry of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Membership is declining sharply as there are very few new young recruits, and many older masons leave the order for one reason or the other. The main question now is “where does the Craft go from here”? Many more young people now refuse to follow in their fathers, and sometime, grand fathers’ footsteps. In our permissive and materialistic society, the concept of personal morality, personal pride, and personal honour seem to be something of the past. Probably these concepts have to be adapted to the need of the men of the end of the second millennium and of the beginning of the third. (15)