Catholic Statement About the Order of DeMolay
Quite often, members of DeMolay have experienced a sort of
"communication gap" between members of the Catholic faith and the Order
of DeMolay. The following statement was made in 1969 on the occasion of
the 5Oth Anniversary Pilgrimage to Europe. You may find it helpful in
explaining the possibility of a young man of the Catholic faith in
wanting to petition a DeMolay Chapter.
While it is a well known fact that the Order
of DeMolay has no religious requirements for membership except a belief
in God, oftentimes in the past, officials of particular religions have
objected to their members being affiliated with DeMolay. Some of the
strongest objections in this regard have come from Catholic officials,
however their objections to DeMolay have gradually lessened over the
years, and then a major breakthrough occurred in 1969.
This breakthrough was on a visit to the
Vatican in Rome in July 1969 as part of the 1969 European DeMolay
Pilgrimage. While the DeMolay group missed having an audience with the
Pope, since he had already departed for his summer home, the DeMolays
were received by the Pope's representative, Cardinal Jan Willebrands.
His remarks are reproduced below and you
will note the endorsement he gives DeMolay, and it is suggested that you
keep this message on file as an answer to any Catholic Church officials
in your community who might raise some objection of a member of their
denomination joining DeMolay.
Cardinal Jan Willebrands, Secretariate for Christian Unity:
It is a pleasure and an honour for me to
welcome you - at the request of the Secretariat of State -in the house
of the Holy Father. The Holy Father is taking a short and necessary
vacation in his residence at Castel Gandolfo, preparing at the same time
his journey to Africa. Therefore he can now receive only on Wednesdays.
This is the reason why I have been asked to
greet you in his name. The inspiration and ideal which led to the
foundation of the Order of DeMolay in 1919 have their full meaning, even
increasingly, in our days.
Although the disaster of a world war does
not afflict us at the present moment, we all know the sufferings
inflicted upon humanity by the war in Vietnam, the conflict in the
Middle East, the divisions through racism, poverty, etc. We live in a
On the other hand, mankind has never been so
united, by means of communication, as we are now. The whole world has
become my neighbour, but alas the whole world is not my friend. From the
day of tomorrow on, the moon, a satellite of the earth, will fall under
our direct control, will become an over-space territory, another
Living in an age or highest scientific
perfection and technical possibilities, man tries to overcome the
problems of human society and the problems or his personal life, through
the application of skilled labour, which brought him so far in the
domination or nature. However, with full appreciation for the values of
science and power, we cannot forget that science and power are in the
hands or man, they are governed by man for the service or man. It is
precisely at this point, at the human level, that other elements and
characteristics have to play a decisive role, those elements which made
man great in his government, in his behaviour, in his relationships with
his fellow men. Such elements or characteristics are above all:
reverence for God, supreme source of justice and peace; love of man
respecting his human dignity as a creature and son or God, and therefore
comradeship, honesty towards every man and towards our country. So we
fulfill the commandments given in the book or Deuteronomy (6, 5), and
Quoted by Christ in the gospel or Mark (12,29): "Hear, 0 Israel: the
Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with
all your strength", and Christ adds to this first command' the second,
which we find also in the book Leviticus (19, 18): "You shall love your
neighbour as yourself", and he concludes, there is no other commandment
greater than these.
This inspiration animates the Order or
DeMolay and therefore you as its members, in your service of humanity,
especially or the sick, the abandoned, the invalids etc.
May I, as the President or the Secretariat
for Promoting Christian Unity, express my gratitude and joy that the
membership or the Order includes Catholics and Protestants and Jews in a
great cooperation for the benefit or humanity.
I congratulate you particularly on the
occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Order and I pray that the Lord
of hosts may bless you in all your noble work.