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to Think About
are over 35,000 Freemasons in Ireland of the approximate 4 million members
worldwide. The Grand Master’s Lodge – usually known by its initials GML
– is one of the oldest Craft Lodges in the Irish Constitution and celebrated
its 250th Anniversary in 1999. With a membership of 67, GML probably ranks
as one of the largest Metropolitan Lodges but only half of the Lodge members
are based in Ireland. The other half are overseas members who have affiliated
over the years – in fact, GML is almost more cosmopolitan than metropolitan,
with its international members spread over 15 countries in five continents!
There are 375 Lodges in all of Ireland, 280 of which are based in the North and bordering counties. The remaining 95 are based in parts of Connaught (14), Munster (19), Dublin (38) and the balance in the greater Leinster area. A Lodge has to have a minimum of 7 members and with the large numbers in Ulster that would leave a bare minimum of 2,000 members. Bearing in mind the total number of Irish Freemasons this figure of 2000 is very conservative.
Lodges are made up of the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer & Secretary, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Inner Guard, Chaplain, Almoner, Director of Ceremonies, Steward of Charities. Other pseudo-religious terminology is:
Masonic Temple, 'The Craft', 'The Old Religion'... , Baphomet making the sign of St. John, initiation rites - Let the 'Oblations' begin...
Masonry is a parallel religion to Christianity. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, "Freemasonry displays all the elements of religion, and as such it becomes a rival to the religion of the Gospel. It includes temples and altars, prayers, a moral code, worship, vestments, feast days, the promise of reward and punishment in the afterlife, a hierarchy, and initiative and burial rites" (vol. 6, p. 137).
I'm unaware of any Irish governmental policies on Freemasons holding any high office in the land but the following is taken from the Ministry of Defence in the UK. Whether the same principles apply to Northern Ireland is unclear.
"The following instruction sets out guidance governing the membership by members of the armed forces of societies such as freemasons: there is no intention or policy to preclude service personnel from membership of any lawful and benevolent organisation. However, involvement in organisations of a secretive nature, such as the freemasons, carries with it the risk of establishing disparate loyalties which may have a destabilising influence on the chain of command, not least by the perception of preferential treatment and undue influence. While membership of such organisations is clearly a matter for the individuals concerned, serving personnel should not encourage or promote membership amongst their colleagues, meetings should not be held on MOD premises, and use should not be made of any MOD property.
Ministry of Defense United Kingdon New 2001 Department Policy on Freemasonry in the Military.
With such a large membership, particularly north of the border, the question has to be asked:
What influence does Freemasonry have on the Peace initiative if their anti-Catholic stand and policies are so strong? As long as Freemasonry thrives in the North of Ireland there will never be peace, regardless of what happens with Sinn Fein. This truly is a Catholic/Protestant issue with many, many of the Unionist politicians and leaders across all areas of society being prominent members of the Freemasons! Their allegiance would be towards the Scottish Rite which has its roots in the Knights Templar, that most evil of organisations.
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