I was a Freemason
Wlodzimierz Redzioch talks to Dr. Maurice Caillet.
Freemasonry, as any other secret organisation, has the aureole of mystery. There are many legends connected with it and it is hard to get trustworthy information about it. That’s why every opinion that comes from this world only for the initiated is valuable. Such a voice is the book-testimony of the French medical doctor Maurice Caillet, who was an agnostic, a Freemason for 15 years, the President of a Masonic lodge, who converted to Catholicism during his visit to Lourdes in 1984, who left Freemasonry (‘Mason in dream’). I asked him to tell us about his experiences in the Grand Orient de France.
Wlodzimierz Redzioch: – How did it happen that you decided to enter Freemasonry at the age of 36?
Dr. Maurice Caillet: – In 1968 I worked as a gynaecologist. Then I was a rationalist, materialist and atheist. At that time I tried to get divorced and felt lonely. In May my friend proposed to enter a new ‘spiritual family’ – Freemasonry with its attracting ideals of Freedom, Equality, Fraternity, Tolerance and Solidarity. I was impressed, also by the fact that the Worshipful Master of the Grand Orient de France accepted me himself, perhaps the reason for that was that I was a well-known doctor using in-vitro fertilisation and sterilisation as well as an advocate for legalising abortion. That’s how I became a Mason. I was a Mason for 15 years, including 2 years of being the superior of a lodge. I put many details about the activities of Freemasonry at my web site: www.cailletm.com.
– What are the rituals of the Masonic initiation?
– The rituals of the Masonic initiation are close to the rituals of the initiation of the animists. They are to symbolise the transmission from the world of secular things to the world of sacrum. A profane, i.e. a candidate for a Mason must take four trials symbolising the earth, water, air and fire. He must also take an oath to keep the Masonic secrets. It forbids revealing the names of ‘brothers’-masons and the activities of the lodge, even to your spouse.
– Freemasons try to present Freemasonry as humanistic philosophy aiming at seeking the truth. How can one seek the truth when one proclaims extreme relativism at the same time, so the truth also becomes something very relative?
– Freemasonry praises humanism but it is humanism without God who revalorises and glorifies man. They define God as the Great Architect of the Universe. Freemasonry is dedicated to seeking the truth or rather partial truths because Masons cannot discover any truth. Freemasonry also rejects any dogmas, thus making relativism a kind of dogma. It also means rejecting the Judeo-Christian revelation.
– Does the rejection of the Judeo-Christian revelation makes Freemasonry, especially the French one, so much anti-Catholic?
– In the French Church there is a strong Gallicanist tradition [Gallicanism was a political-religious movement, initiated in the Middle Ages, aiming at making the French Church independent from the papal authority and at limiting the papal rights], which had existed before Freemasonry was created. Many bishops, princes and kings rejected the care of the Magisterium. When in 1738 Clement XII condemned membership in Freemasonry, neither the state nor the Bishops’ Conference announced the excommunication officially. During the French Revolution in 1789, the clergy and aristocracy became scapegoats of the revolutionary authorities – most priests were murdered or banned to exile. After the period of relative peace in the years 1895-1905, the French Church was again persecuted by the Masonic governments until the definite separation of the Church from the state in 1905. In turn, the government of Vichy [the government of Philippe Pétain with its headquarters in Vichy collaborated with the Nazi Germany] from 1940 persecuted Masons who were handed over to the police, imprisoned and often transported to Germany. The mutual dislike is still vivid, the more that in 1983 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger acknowledged that membership of Catholics in Freemasonry meant mortal sin that did not allow them to receive Communion (the document ‘Declaratio de associationibus massonicis’, issued in 1983 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose Prefect was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger).
– Masons take the oath obliging them to help one another. What are the practical consequences of this oath?
– The consequences are varied. From the political and social point of view, it introduces certain chaos that does not serve healthy democracy. Masons-brothers belong to both right-wing parties and to left-wing parties but as far as some social issues are concerned they act together in secret to introduce bills concerning, e.g. contraception, abortion, divorces, ‘marriages’ of the same sex, adoption of children by homosexuals, euthanasia or manipulation of human embryos. From the economic point of view some works are reserved in the first place for people belonging to Freemasonry, thanks to the contacts in the lodge, and especially in fraternities (les Fraternelles), which gather Masons from certain branches, e.g. the Fraternity of Building and Public Works. As far as the judicial system is concerned we meet various forms of favouring when a convict belongs to Freemasonry. Masons play a big role in the world of culture, especially in the media and education. Thanks to their activities society systematically accepts Masonic ideals such as the wrongly understood idea of freedom the aim of which is to abolish ‘the taboo’ of traditional morality.
– You can conclude that the big influence of Freemasonry on political, economic and cultural life is not a myth but reality…
– In fact, in France the influence of Freemasonry is not as big as it was in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century but still is real.
– Recently you have revealed that in the socialist government of Mitterrand there were twelve Masons and in the present government of Sarkozy there are two. Whereas in your book you present the matter of introducing abortion in 1974 as an example of the Masonic influence on the French politics. Could you give some details about this matter?
– I personally fought to introduce the bill allowing abortion. In 1974 Freemasonry, through the organisation called Planning Familial [Family Planning] exerted pressure on the public opinion, overstating the data concerning illegal abortions: 300,000 a year whereas the serious demographical research gave a much smaller number – about 50,000. The new President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who placed the issue of legalisation of abortion in his election programme, employed as his personal advisor Jean-Pierre Prouteau, the Master of the Grand Orient de France. Whereas the advisor of Simone Veil, the Minister of Health, was Dr. Pierre Simon, the Master of the Grand Lodge of France and founder of Planning Familial. The National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale – French Parliament) passed the bill without any problems because the Masons from the Left-Wing and the Right-Wing voted in the same way!
– Did you have contacts with Masons outside of France and do you know what the influences of Freemasonry in other countries are?
– I did not have any contacts with Masons outside of France. Besides, I left Freemasonry in 1987 and since that time I have followed the news only in the media. That’s why I cannot confirm what the media write about the development of Freemasonry in the countries of the former Soviet block where Freemasonry was persecuted by communism – another ‘humanism’ without God, after the fall of the Berlin wall.
– How did it happen that you converted to Christianity?
– In 1984 I took my seriously ill wife to Lourdes hoping she would recover. When my wife was in the pool of the sanctuary I went to the crypt. There I took part in Holy Mass for the first time in my life. The passage from the Gospel for that day said, ‘Ask and it will be given to you, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you’ and these were the words from the Masonic ritual to become Grand Disciple. For the first time I saw in the consecrated Host the Light I had sought in vain in 18 Masonic initiations. Shocked, I heard an inner voice that called me to make a sacrifice. Therefore, after the Mass I followed the priest to the sacristy and asked for baptism to offer my whole being to God.
– What does it mean for you ‘to be a Catholic’?
– For me to be a Catholic means to believe in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who died for my sins and resurrected, to accept the teaching of all councils, to worship God in the Eucharist, to venerate the Mother of God and accept the teaching of the Pope (triduum candorum custodia – three truths guarding clarity). Finally, it means practising, as far as possible, theologal virtues (faith, hope and charity) and cardinal virtues (fortitude, justice, prudence and temperance). Thanks to the fact that I am a Catholic I can be a member of the Catholic Writers Association, which is my real joy.
– And finally, I would like to ask you whether leaving Freemasonry caused you problems?
– My leaving Freemasonry was connected with the professional conflict with my director, who was a Mason from the same lodge. When I wanted to settle this conflict before state court and not before the Masonic instances I received serious threats (a death threat). However, Christ is victorious and finally I won my lawsuit against that man.