October 19, 2018
Freemasonry: priests as Masons
(Rome) On September 30, the inauguration of Don Giancarlo Dessì as the new pastor of Segariu in the Archdiocese of Cagliari. It is worth noting that a relationship between the Don Dessì of today and his relationship to Freemasonry has not been satisfactorily clarified. Can a pastor also be a Mason?
In the past, first rumors, then documents about an alleged lodge membership of the pastor appeared. Shortly before the arrival of the priest in his new parish a Sardinian lodge brother confirmed: "It's true: he was initiated in 2014".
Lodge excursion with pastor
In the Archdiocese of Cagliari, nobody wants to get to the bottom of the matter. The Internet newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (NBQ) researched the matter and encountered a wall of silence from archbishop's office.
For some time, the Sardinian priest has been suspected of belonging to a Masonic lodge. "That Freemasonry is a secret society is no secret. The fact that the Church of Cagliari practices the same secrecy as a priest is being suspected of being a lodge member is curious, if not ambiguous," said NBQ. Last July, as usual, the Archdiocese announced changes in the See. The list of transfers included Don Dessì. During his time as a pastor of the city of Mandas, there were accusations that he had entered a Masonic lodge. Specifically named was the lodge Armando Corona No. 5 of Cagliari, which belongs to the Grand Lodge of the Old and Accepted Scottish Rite of Italy.
Armano "Armandino" Corona (1921-2009), after whom the lodge is named, was a Sardinian doctor and contractor. He was a member of the left-liberal Republican Party of Italy and was President of the Regional Assembly of Sardinia. Corona, a member of the Lodge since 1969, was, above all, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy from 1982-1990.
"Brother Freemason, by profession priest"
In 2016, compromising photos of the priest emerged with the aproned brothers. The pastor denied and spoke of "photomontages" and "slander". At first it was said that the Archdiocese would initiate a canonical case against the priest, but then it became quiet. For two years no one in the Archdiocese wants to talk more about the matter, not even about whether an investigation was carried out or not.
A local blogger wrote:
"For the Church, the matter is clear: A bishop or priest who belongs to the lodge must be tried before an ecclesiastical court and laicized. Was Don Dessì subject to a canonical process? And if so, was he acquitted or convicted? Nobody knows anything, not even in Rome."
It would have to be the interest of the archdiocese to dispel any suspicion or clarify whether Don Dessì is a 'lent' borrowed from the church, NBQ said, and sent a request to the Ordinariate last July to refer to the Vicar General, who was unavailable. After a few days of futile attempts, the newspaper turned to the editor-in-chief of the diocesan church newspaper, who referred to the Diocesan Press Office, which referred to the Vicar General, who - now available - briefly referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The result of several days of research? It was not possible to get a clarification from the Archdiocese about Don Dessì.
Last September 20, ten days before the inauguration of Don Dessì in Segariu, new documents appeared. The aforementioned blogger published several documents of the Lodge Corona No. 5.
Lodge Membership of Don Giancarlo Dessì
This includes an invitation and agenda for the Lodge meeting on 21 July 2014. The document is signed by the Secretary of the Lodge, who invited the chair, Gian Luigi Piras, for "temple work" on behalf of the Master. Each lodge brother had to appear in the "dark suit, white shirt, black tie, white gloves, insignia of his degree." The temple work on that summer evening provided above all for the initiation of a new lodge brother: "Dr. Don Dessì Giancarlo, a priest by profession."
The priest was also introduced in other documents as a lodge brother. For the temple work of 21 October 2014, he is described as a "speaker."
On one of the invitations is added in a handwritten note:
"I, undersigned Guido Asuni, former secretary of the Lodge Corona, confirm that the priest Don Giancarlo Dessì, pastor of Mandas, was initiated on July 21, 2014 as a Masonic brother."
NBQ contacted Asuni, who confirmed the information after initial reluctance. "It is true. I confirm that Don Giancarlo Dessì was initiated that year as a Masonic brother. At that time I was secretary of the Lodge Corona, but I left that year. So what I can confirm is that Dessì was at least part of Freemasonry in 2014. What happened then, I can not say, because I have changed obedience."
Asked how the priest justified his entry into the lodge at that time, Asuni answered evasively:
"Someone asked him about it, but he was vague, that's all I know, and there are situations that are secret."NBQ wants to know from Asuni if he has been contacted by the Archdiocese to provide information.
Asuni: "I was never called. Nobody ever asked me about it. One thing is certain: should Don Dessì in the meantime have left Freemasonry, he would have the duty to say this publicly, to clarify his position."
NBQ then again contacted the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cagliari, but they responded just as curtly as a few months earlier.
"We are not interested in this at the moment."And hung up.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Picture: Il color Porpora sbiadito / NBQ
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