You may have heard that Pope Francis has made a surprising statement regarding gays. "Who am I to judge?"
The orientation is ok, he says, but a "gay lobby" (another thing he recently referred to) is not. Neither is a greed lobby, an overtly political lobby, nor....Masonic lobbies.
"The problem is not having this orientation," he said. "We must be
brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of
greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This
is the worse problem." (link)
So, there are Masonic lobbies in the Vatican? Or is he talking about elsewhere?
No sarcasm meant here, I honestly want to know what he's referring to.....
Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, writing for the UK's Catholic Herald has a couple of theories:
If there is a masonic lobby in the Vatican, it could mean that there
are Deists in the Vatican – people with a watered down version of the
Church, religious indifferentists, people who no longer believe in the
efficacy of the sacraments except as pieces of theatre, certainly not
outward signs of inward grace.
Secondly, the masonic lobby, if it exists, could be the lobby of
Italian big business and Italian banking. As such it might have an
interest in the way the Vatican bank is run; or it could be trying to
undermine the Church’s social teaching. It could – historically – have
been steering the Vatican away from compromises with the Italian left,
the traditional enemy of the masons.
This isn't so far-fetched, given the sordid history of Italy's Propaganda Due (P2) Lodge:
a Masonic lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy
from 1945 to 1976 (when its charter was withdrawn), and a
pseudo-Masonic, "black", or "covert" lodge operating illegally (in
contravention of Article 18 of the Constitution of Italy banning secret associations) from 1976 to 1981. During the years that the lodge was headed by Licio Gelli, P2 was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries, including the collapse of the Vatican-affiliated Banco Ambrosiano, the murders of journalist Mino Pecorelli and banker Roberto Calvi, and corruption cases within the nationwide bribe scandal Tangentopoli. P2 came to light through the investigations into the collapse of Michele Sindona's financial empire.
Note that it's charter was revoked due to its shenanigans, and it operated illegally for a few years, but hell, this could be exactly the kind of thing The Pope was on about. I actually think Lucie-Smith's hypotheses aren't too far-fetched.
P2 is a sinister story I know far too little about, and I'd like to know more about it. Looks like I know where my next book euros are going!