Friday, May 22, 2020
According to the author, pure Freemasonry was infiltrated by occultists in the mid-18th century, but it had nothing to do with Rosicrucians, magic, etc. (Pp. 91-96). Weninger claims that modern Masonic scholars also rule out that it comes from the spirit and from the Rosicrucian, Kabbalistic, Templar tradition (p. 108). According to the author, "esotericism" is an experience and inner cognition about one's self, a process of inner transformation (pp. 109–111) that some Freemasons can also understand in a mystical sense (p. 111). Weninger admits that Masonic rituals are rich in "hermetic thinking" (p. 110). Then he speaks of occultism and magic (pp. 111–112), and that the Catholic Church recognizes legitimate and effective magical acts ("The Catholic Church knows legitimate acts of magical-mysterious and thus magically effective acts", p. 113) such as exorcism and blessing ("exorcisms", "formula of blessings", p. 113), and this "magic was not and is not condemned by the Catholic Church", (p. 113).
The Author Doesn't Succeed in Convincing
Book presentation with Msgr. Weninger on February 12 in Vienna; next to him Georg Semler, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Austria, and on the far left the publisher Georg Löcker - fellow lodge brothers.
Von P. Paolo Maria Siano*
[Katholisches] In 1982 Michael Heinrich Weninger (born 1951 in Wiener Neustadt) joined the diplomatic service of the Republic of Austria, where he had a brilliant career. Among other things, he was from 1993 to 1997 head of the Austrian embassy in Belgrade and from 2008 to 2009 in Sarajevo.  Weninger, who has been a widower since 2009, was ordained a priest by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Vienna on June 24, 2011. Msgr. Weninger is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
In October 2014, the website of the East Lancashire Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons (English masonry was founded by the masters of the United Grand Lodge of England - UGLE) announced that a few days earlier, three ceremonies were held in Austria in the presence of an English Masonic delegation Installation by masters. The ceremonies took place in two boxes of the Mark Master Masons (MMM)  - in the St. Margaret's Lodge of MMM and the New Quarries Lodge of MMM, which is the oldest English-speaking Mark Master Mason Lodge in Austria - and in a Royal-Ark-Marine Lodge (RAM) held at the New Shores Lodge of RAM.  These three Austrian lodges with English names are associated with English Freemasonry and use rituals in English.
In each of these three lodges the "Brother" Msgr. Michael Weninger ("Bro. Rev. Michael Weninger") as chaplain for 2014–2015, who even celebrated a commemorative Mass on the fifth anniversary of the opening of the New Quarries Lodge and St. Margaret’s Lodge. 500 Freemasons of all obediences were present at the Mass. The Masonic website adds that “Bro. Rev. Michael ”(Bro. Stands for “brother ”, that's how the Freemasons call themselves) is well qualified for the position of lodge chaplain, since he lives in the Vatican and works as a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue:
"Since he lives in the Vatican as a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue but works in Rome."
Anyone who knows a little about Masonic matters knows that Msgr. Weninger, in order to be appointed chaplain of a lodge (or rather three lodges), had been initiated as a Mason of the first degree (apprentice) years before, then had to be transferred to the second degree (journeyman) before finally moving to the third degree, the master degree. Then he must have climbed to the higher grades, first as a master mason, then as a Royal Ark Mariner. It cannot be ruled out that he completed other “side degrees”.
It is therefore likely that Msgr. Weninger became a Mason even before he was ordained. I remember years ago someone mentioned the case of a former Austrian diplomat who had joined the Roman Curia as a priest and was considered a member of Freemasonry. It is only now that I have no doubt that this information is factual. And so we come to our days.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Msgr. Michael Heinrich Weninger in Vienna in the presence of Georg Semler, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Austria (GLvÖ), presented his 500-page book “Lodge und Altar. On the Reconciliation of the Catholic Church and Regular Freemasonry.” In it he claims (I summarize):
that the Church's rejection of Freemasonry was motivated more by political than religious reasons;
that the Church was unable to distinguish between regular and irregular Freemasonry;
that the freemasons of regular freemasonry (e.g. the UGLE, the GLvÖ etc.) are not excommunicated
and that you can be Catholic and “regular” Freemason.
Msgr. Weninger even sent his book to Pope Francis, Cardinal Schönborn and various Vatican figures. Grand Master Semler praised the book as an important step towards reconciliation between the Church and Freemasonry. 
The Freemasons and Msgr. Weninger hope to meet with the Holy Father or with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
Dialogue with members of the Catholic hierarchy is not new to Austrian Freemasonry. From 1968 to 1983 the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Franz König, was the protagonist of the dialogues with representatives of Austrian, Swiss and West German Freemasonry, which culminated in the 1970 Lichtenau Declaration in favor of the compatibility of the Catholic Church and regular Freemasonry. It states that the latter is not a danger, which is why excommunication should be lifted.
Later, the German bishops in 1980 and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981 and 1983 reiterated the incompatibility between the church and the lodge, and that was not for political but for doctrinal reasons, after Masonic writings by members.
Another interesting novelty is that the book by Msgr. Weninger is based on his dissertation, which he submitted to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with which he received his doctorate and which was published by this university in November 2019. That is its title: “Wisdom. Strength. Beauty. On the reconciliation of the Catholic Church and regular Freemasonry, Tesi Gregoriana (Spiritualità series, 16), PUG 2019, p. 523.
The case of Msgr. Weninger raises a few questions and considerations:
1) Why did this website of the English masonry reveal the Masonic status of Msgr. Weninger, who is so well integrated into the Vatican? Was it an accidental carelessness or a clever display?
2) How long is Msgr Weninger's membership in Freemasonry in the Archdiocese of Vienna and the Roman Curia?
3) How is Msgr. Weninger's canonical position affected by his "coming out"?
4) How do Freemasonic prelates behave towards their subordinates who express amazement and concern about the affiliation of clerics and lay Catholics to Freemasonry?
5) Can the so-called "Masonic regularity" be a criterion for the canonical rehabilitation of Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry? In fact, I find a certain contradiction with the topic of “Masonic regularity.” For example, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) recognizes the Grand Lodge of Austria (GLvÖ) as "regular", which in turn recognizes the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI) as "regular", which the UGLE does not recognize. Now, what credibility can the Grand Lodge of Austria claim before the Roman Curia, since it recognizes the Grand Orient of Italy as "regular", which is clearly a secular and esoteric Freemasonry with a long anti-clerical tradition?
6) Austrian Freemasonry wants a dialogue with the Pope, the Prefect of Faith and other personalities from the Vatican. Good. I hope, however, that the Austrian Freemasonry will not only talk to Msgr. Weninger's book, but also the rituals of the three degrees of apprentice, journeyman and master; the rituals of the high degree rites to which the masters of the Grand Lodges of Austria have access and the esoteric and initiatic writings that are reserved for the Masonic masters (there are, I know that very well).
Only careful review of such extensive documentation can enable ecclesiastical authorities and Catholic scholars to make a real and objective judgment about Freemasonry.
Finally, for reasons of space, I limit myself to this brief information: Regarding the English Master Mark Masonry (MMM) and the Royal Ark Mariner (the RAM level is reserved for MMM), which is connected to the above-mentioned United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) I know with certainty that even bricklayers of these degrees, who are apparently "biblical", are able to maintain esotericism. The same thing happens in Austrian Freemasonry. Therefore, the statements by Msgr. Weninger is anything but convincing.
* Father Paolo Maria Siano belongs to the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FFI); the church historian with a doctorate is considered one of the best Catholic experts in Freemasonry, to whom he has dedicated several standard works and numerous essays.
1] Delicate and responsible missions, since from 1991 to 1995 there was war in the crumbling Yugoslavia. This also applies to operations in Sarajevo, the formal capital of the EU protectorate of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the de facto capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats have been united since 1996.
Austrian diplomacy emphatically supported this compulsory situation, as if trying to force “fraternity” in an experiment.
2] The Mark Masonry originated in England in 1756. This makes the mark master degree one of the oldest freemason degrees. It was only introduced in Austria in 2009.
 The Royal-Ark Mariner-Logen (RAM) and the Mark Master Masonry (MMM) are part of the Anglo-Saxon high degree system, with the RAM standing above the MMM. Both MMM and RAM degrees accept masters of all creeds, while certain obediences only allow "Trinitarian Christians".
 The Grand Master said: "This book is very important. Even if there is practically no longer any conflict with the Church, we in the Grand Lodge have a vital interest in making a gesture of reconciliation. ”
 A few days ago, the online Freemason encyclopedia Freemason Wiki published a detailed review of the Weninger book and the following note: "How important Weninger's book is taken internationally is shown by two events: Christoph Bosbach, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany, on the book presentation" traveled specially from Catholic Cologne ". And more importantly, when the Pontifical Gregorian University learned of his research there, he explicitly encouraged the author to submit the book to her as a dissertation. The Gregoriana is run by Jesuits; the current Pope Francis is also one. "
Monday, April 20, 2020
A documentary was made about the Pontifical Scottish College in Rome. The Scottish College, together with the National Church of Scotland and a hospice, is part of the Scottish National Foundation in Rome, which was founded in 1600. The idea for this came to Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) and was supported by Queen Mary Stuart. By that time, the unity of faith in Scotland had already been broken and the state was shattered by radical Protestant tendencies (in 1560, the Scottish Parliament had introduced Calvinism against the will of the Queen). Rome sought ways to support Scottish Catholics and the Catholic faith in Scotland. The documentary was broadcast on Easter Sunday. It also showed footage of a meeting between the Scottish seminarians and Pope Francis. However, some of this video footage was removed from the film at the intervention of the Holy See. Vatican censorship concerns a scene, as reported by the Daily Record, where the Scottish seminarians presented the Pope with a bottle of Scotch whisky. Not what can be seen addressed by the censors, but what could have been heard: Francis said at the presentation of the whisky:
The final version of the documentary about Scots College, which aired on Sunday, lacked the above-mentioned scene, according to the Scottish Daily Record, which is close to the Labour Party. Actor and TV presenter Tony Kearney, a member of BBC Alba, the Gaelic-language broadcaster of BBC Scotland, was the documentary's production director. He confirmed the incident to the newspaper:
Pope Francis on the whisky he was presented with: "This is the real holy water"
The "joke," Kearney says, served to break the ice with the seminarians. All footage relating to the pope had to be approved by the documentary filmmakers from the Vatican's Communications Department, which was set up by Francis in 2015. Upon its intervention, the scene was deleted.
"I am a Freemason, and Bergoglio too"
Tony Kearney called it a "joke." There have been several similarly joking, ambiguous scenes with Pope Francis. Is this also the basis of the following episode?
Roberto Garcia is a well-known journalist in Argentina. From 1970 to 1972 he was Programme Director of Canal 9, 1983-2008 editor-in-chief of the business daily Ambito Financiero. Today, he is a sought-after columnist. Since 2009, a permanent column by him has appeared in the daily newspaper Perfil. On the private channel Canal 26 he hosts his own talk show La Mirada – de Roberto Garcia.
On November 27, 2017, he hosted journalist Edgar Mainhard of the Argentine online news platform Urgente 24 and Juan Bautista Yofre is called "Tata" on his show. In order to better understand the connections, the attendees must first be introduced.
Yofre alias "Tata" was under Argentina's Head of State and Government of Carlos Menem (1989–1999) Secretary of State and head of the SIDE (Secretaria de Inteligencia del Estado), the most important Argentine secret service. He then represented Argentina as ambassador to Panama and Portugal and held the position of Secretary of State in the Presidential Chancellery from 1993 to 1998.
Since 2000 he has appeared mainly as the author of books on Argentine contemporary history. One focus is on state terrorism and the "deep state." For Argentina, he describes the two-demon theory. It equates the terror of left-wing guerrilla organizations during democracy until 1976 with the terror of the military during the military dictatorship from 1976 and analyzes action and backlash.
Garcia and Yofre have known each other since the early 1980s, when Yofre was a columnist for the newspaper Ambito Financiero, which was run by Garcia.
Along with others, Yofre, Garcia, and Maainhard were accused of treason during the tenure of President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner (2007–2015). Prosecutors were investigating an alleged "spy ring" that allegedly hacked the president's email access. The former SIDE boss "Tata" Yofre was brought to justice as the head of the "gang", Garcia, Mainhard and others as accessories and contributors. The defendants, on the other hand, spoke of a political maneuver by the left-Peronist leadership, which wanted to stifle their unwelcome journalists and journalistic voices. In 2016, all defendants were acquitted because, as the judges found, there was no criminal offence.
In the above-mentioned broadcast of 27 November 2017, former Secretary of State Yofre spoke of a telephone conversation that had been intercepted by the secret service as part of the investigation into Iranian influence in Argentina. The investigation took place after the bombing of the headquarters of the Jewish community in Argentina on 18 July 1994. 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured. It was the worst attack in Argentina's history.
In the broadcast, Roberto Garcia asked his guest about "the impossible ones from Argentina who surround the Pope".
Yofre then revealed the intercepted telephone conversation between "Yusuf and Karim," which can be found under the transcripts of 40,000 telephone conversations that are part of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's investigative files. Nisman, himself a Jew, has been leading the investigation into the 1994 terrorist attack since 2005. In 2013, he indicted six people linked to Iran and Hezbollah. He accused the Iranian government of commissioning the attack and Hezbollah for carrying it out. In 2015, there was a bang. Nisman issued an arrest warrant for President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner for obstructing the prosecution of the assassins and their masterminds. He was then summoned to a hearing before Parliament because the Members of Parliament wanted to receive information. A few hours later, he was found dead. President Kirchner spoke of suicide. The Argentine prosecutor's office, and with it many Argentines, assume that he was murdered.
Back to the phone call that Yofre revealed.
The daily newspaper La Nacion had published on its website the recording of the intercepted phone call between "Yusuf and Karim" for a short time, but then quickly deleted it.
By "Yusuf and Karim" are Jorge Alejandro "Yusuf" Khalil and Abdul Karim Paz, two senior representatives of Iran and the Shiite community in Argentina. Khalil was General Secretary of the At-Tauhid Mosque in Buenos Aires at the time of Nisman's death, Paz was born Santiago Ricardo Paz Zuberbühler Bullrich and comes from the Argentine upper class. His cousin Patricia Bullrich was Argentina's Minister of Security until 10 December 2019, while his cousin Esteban Bullrich was Argentina's minister of education until 2017. The Catholic converted to Islam, which he studied in its Shia form at Iran's Al-Mustafa University. He was given the rank of Shiite Sheikh and became an Imam of the At-Tauhid Mosque. At the same time, he is Iran's "informal ambassador" to Argentina. Argentina severed diplomatic relations with Iran after the attack. Paz is seen as a hub for Iranian recruitment among the country's radicalized Shiites. Although the conversation was intercepted for very different reasons, Yofre described it because of a detail contained therein. Yusuf told Karim about meeting Bergoglio's "intelligence chief" in Argentina. Yofre confirmed the existence of such a "intelligence service", which Jorge Mario Bergoglio had already built up as archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina. He had known the head of the service personally, but did not mention his name on the show. Only so much did he say that it was a layman. Yusuf told Karim that the head of the Bergoglian intelligence service told him at the meeting that he was a Freemason "and Bergoglio too." Former Secretary of State Yofre followed the description with a reference to "Marcelito", Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the political arm of Pope Francis.
The topic was undoubtedly discussed by an illustrious panel in the 2017 TV show. Yofre reported facts.
-- Fact is, the intercepted telephone conversation exists
-- Fact is, what Yusuf told his co-conspirator Karim
But this ends with the verifiable parts. The rest can be noted, but not confirmed. Yusuf reports that an unnamed head of the Vatican secret service in Argentina revealed to him something about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis, during a face-to-face meeting. The credibility of Jorge Alejandro "Yusuf" Khalil, and even less that of the great unknown, the actual source, cannot be verified. The Catholic publicist Maurizio Blondet, until 2015 editor-in-chief of the Italian press service Effedieffe, published the video of the show already in 2017 with the note:
The corresponding position in the show La Mirada – de Roberto Garcia can be found from minute 20:45.
Bild: Youtube/La Mirada/Vatican.va (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org