Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Columnist: Sagoe, Dominic
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to comment on the papal knighthood of former president John Kufuor on your popular medium. This commentary has received extensive coverage in Ghanaian media and some international media especially on the internet. My yahoomail and facebook Inboxes are now replete with messages from many very prominent Ghanaians including non-Catholics, Catholics many of whom are knights of the Church and several priests who have shaped my life from my childhood days in Amisano, Elmina. Many have been the commendations for the facts presented in that piece. However, the article has also been criticised constructively by many well-intentioned personalities. I humbly welcome their criticism and accept them bona fide.
The article has also stirred debate and generated some invectives from my detractors. In humble deference to a “Senior Brother”, I restrained myself from making any further comments on the invectives. I have however been challenged by many too, to make my evidence available for public consumption. In this follow up, I intend touching briefly on a few comments the first article generated. In addition, I will most importantly give overwhelming evidence to substantiate my claim regarding the Masonic status of former president Kufuor.
First of all, I deem it important to state that the piece was not intended as a personal vendetta on masons. In no part of the article did I attack masons. After all, freedom of association and religion are fundamental constitutional rights. Many prominent Ghanaians, across the political and religious divide I must state, are masons and are contributing enormously to national development in diverse areas such as health, education, the judiciary, the legislature, the diplomatic corps et cetera. I only sought to elucidate or echo the position of the Catholic Church with regards to freemasonry or “Catholic Masons”.
To reiterate, “The Catholic Church's most recent statement on Freemasonry was released in the 1983 document, Quaesitum Est, written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II. Quaesitum Est states that "The (Catholic) faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion...." Further, if a “Catholic Mason” adamantly and persistently refuses to submit to the pope’s authority in precluding his membership in the Lodge, he finds himself in a state of “automatic excommunication”. The Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since Masonic principles (which I will need several books to elucidate) have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden to Catholics.”
Most importantly, to date, none of my critics has countered my claim that former president Kufuor is a mason. At best, they have gone ad hominem, hurling invectives at me instead of attacking the issue head-on. I hereby provide incontrovertible evidence that former president Kufuor is a mason and has not precluded his membership in the Masonic Lodge, at least at the time of going to press. A Masonic webpage http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/49/p09.php has as one of its stories “Grand Master Meets Former Ghana President and Mason John Kufuor”. Another Masonic webpage http://genericmasonic.homestead.com/gl_annual_investiture_2009.pdf also generates a PDF file of the minutes of the Freemason`s Grand Lodge Annual Investiture held at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London on Wednesday, the 29th day of April, 2009 which I mentioned in the last article. Check out former president Kufuor`s presence at the meeting on Page 43 of the file - “I am also delighted to welcome, from Ghana, VW (Very Worshipful) Bro His Excellency John Kufuor, PGSwdB (Past Grand Sword Bearer), the former President.” Several prominent Ghanaian masons, including diplomats, doctors, and business leaders were also present at the investiture but they have no locus in this matter, since I am unaware of their religious or “Catholic pretensions.” Pages 18, 35, 36 and 37 will confirm their presence. It is important to state that detractors who block the above websites will be working in vain because I have already harvested my evidence. I am indeed prepared to give hard copies to interested media houses or individuals as incontrovertible evidence to make my case. Thus, summing up the evidence presented above, former president Kufuor is a Past Senior Grand Deacon (PSGD) and Past Grand Sword Bearer (PGSwdB) of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of England. This is palpable evidence for those who have vociferously denied and asked for proof that former president Kufuor practices the Masonic craft. You see now! Next, I look at the issue of the former president`s Masonic title “Grand” as in Past Senior Grand Deacon (PSGD) and Past Grand Sword Bearer (PGSwdB).
On this issue, let us refer to the PDF file you now have from http://genericmasonic.homestead.com/gl_annual_investiture_2009.pdf . Let us move over to the last paragraph of page 41. Here, the Masonic Pro Grand Master articulates in the second sentence that “Grand Rank is not only conferred for your past services to the Craft, but equally for the expectation of your future commitment to ensuring that Freemasonry continues to excel (Page 41)” First of all, it is important to query, what has been former president Kufuor`s past services to the Masonic craft to have received the “Grand” rank? I have no idea. On this issue, I am helped by Apam who commented on my first article on one popular website. Apam seems to know a lot! To quote Apam, “The answer is simple! He has played his part well in ensuring that "The Great Work of the Ages" is done right here in Ghana and in Africa. Under Kufuor, Ghana forwarded the National ID scheme. Kufuor also helped with programs such as e-zwich and promoted biometric designs to collect human imprint data. On the surface, this looks like a normal scheme that will improve the country. However, he has brought the country and the black people of this region one step closer to having a “One World Planetary Situation”. That was part of his task as president. For that work, he was awarded the Chatham House prize as well as other prizes. Underneath, those who know the game plan are aware that this is a crucial step that many countries in the world are taking to have all their citizens registered under the Central Computers in Brussels. This will help with human population management under the 'One World Government'. This was all very well done during his 8-year reign.” Does Apam make sense? Please decide for yourself. Second, what is former president Kufuor expected to do in the future to ensure that freemasonry continues to excel? Will his papal knighthood play a role in the “Grand Design” to ensure that freemasonry continues to excel? Yet again, I have no idea.
The 'One World Government' that Apam suggests sounds comical but I have yet found evidence that it is not. Please turn over to page 43 of the PDF file you now have and the third paragraph. To quote “The Grand Lodge was closed in ample form and with solemn prayer. At the close of the proceedings, the first verse of the National Anthem was sung.” It is important to, as you know I love to do by now, pose a few questions. Which National Anthem was that and for which country or government? I have more reason to believe Apam`s 'One World Government' theory when Ghana is referred to not as a country but as a “District” (First line of page 26). Check out the many “Districts” and “Provinces.” Again, did our former president participate in singing the Masonic National Anthem? What about Ghana`s National Anthem? What statement does that make about the former president`s allegiance to Nkrumah land? You see, when “great men” including former presidents/politicians, kings, diplomats, lawyers, doctors, Chancellors of renowned international Universities, big time business leaders et al. from around the world meet behind closed doors and are singing one National Anthem, should ordinary homo sapiens like you and I not be worried?
I have now shown beyond doubt that former president Kufuor is a freemason. He is at the same time, at least according to my critics, a “proud” Marshallan. It is again important to proceed now with a few more questions. How does he blend the exhortation and expectation of his Masonic Pro Grand Master to “ensure that freemasonry continues to excel” with the expectations of Marshallans to contribute his quota to the development of Nkrumah land, the Noble Order and the Catholic Church? Which comes first? How does he blend his Masonic regalia and apron, and the papal knighthood costume cum the Marshallan regalia? Which of them does former president Kufuor prefer? In the event that he passes away, will he get a Catholic cum Marshallan burial or a Masonic burial? Note that a blend of the two will not be possible since masons in full regalia are not and will not be allowed in a Catholic requiem mass to perform their rites. The above are legitimate questions that require answers.
I wish to reiterate that per the precepts of Quaesitum Est as delineated above, former president Kufuor, as a mason, finds himself in a state of “automatic excommunication” and cannot be Catholic. Consequently, he cannot also be a Marshallan as being Catholic is a necessary precondition for being a Marshallan. In addition, assuming without admitting that papal awards can be conferred on non-Catholics or non-Christians, what is the locus of freemasons in this paradigm. Will it not constitute a contradiction that membership in a Masonic lodge results in automatic excommunication for the “Catholic mason” and yet the excommunicated mason at the same time is highly honoured by the pontiff? Will this award not constitute a very bad precedence in the Catholic Church? Will the duality of being a Marshallan and a freemason not constitute a very unfortunate precedence in the Noble Order? These are also legitimate questions that require answers.
In a dispassionate view, it is evident from the evidence presented above that whichever bishop or archbishop emeritus nominated former president Kufuor for this award has erred in toto. He has disappointed we the Catholic faithful and has set a very bad precedence for awarding people who belong to institutions or groups that the Church views as detractors or in being apt “plotting against her”.
Another issue raised by my detractors is that former president Kufuor was awarded not because he is Catholic but because he has contributed so much towards the development of the Church in Ghana. I ask my detractors to give me examples and all they cite is his reinstatement of Religious and Moral Education into the Junior High School syllabus and preventing the gay conference. I cannot help but laugh! No comment on that. If it is the case of contribution towards the growth of the Church in Ghana, what about Aunte Dorcas, the retired cook of St. Teresa`s Minor Seminary, Amisano via Elmina who looked beyond perceived unfair wages and bona fide cum pro bono cooked for seminarians, hundreds of whom are now priests, in that Church institution for over 35 yrs of her life? What about Teacher Quansah, the Catechist who has bona fide cum pro bono been the shepherd of the Catholic Church in the little village of Simiw near Ankaful in Cape Coast for over 30 years? Are they not deserving of papal awards? I must state unequivocally to our bishops that until they commence nominating such real “foot soldiers” of the Church and discontinue nominating “automatically excommunicated” politicians for such papal awards, I cannot help but write the way I do.
In finishing, I wish to state that this matter will not end only in script or lettering. The ball has been passed already and the appropriate quarters` have received petitions. I and the many other staunch Catholics who have expressed solidarity for this cause are ready to fight on to seek redress. The fight will be tough but we shall persevere. We shall not relent unless determined-not-to-repent miscreants, hypocrites and enemies of the Church, masquerading as bona fide Catholic men and women, are flushed out of the Church. We will not sit down for Sir James Marshall et al. `s toils to go to naught! I again wish to reiterate that as a staunch Catholic, I am unrelenting in my belief in papal infallibility. The connivance was here in Ghana and not at the Vatican. Oppugnare est defendere! Long Live the One Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church! God bless Ghana!
Bro. Dominic Kweku Sagoe,
Institute of Psychology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)