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 Grand Masonic Lodge of Manitoba.

UPDATE: The Knights of Columbus in North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba have canceled the Mass that had been scheduled to be held in a Masonic lodge.

(LifeSiteNews) — The Knights of Columbus in North Dakota and the Canadian Province of Manitoba are holding a Mass of solidarity and friendship at the International Peace Garden in the Masonic Auditorium on the grounds of the park. The building functions as the annual meeting place for the Peace Garden Lodge of the Freemasons, raising serious questions about holding a Mass there.

The annual International Peace Garden Field Mass has been offered by the Knights of Columbus since 1960 as a gesture of solidarity between the two provinces of Knights in North Dakota and Manitoba. The International Peace Garden is an international territory that borders the U.S. and Canada.

In previous years, the Mass was held outside and then in an auditorium for a music camp. This year, it has been scheduled for Sunday, July 9 in the Masonic Auditorium, which functions as a lodge for the Masons, with Archbishop Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg as the celebrant.

The auditorium is built in the shape of the symbolic Masonic square and compass logo and is home to the Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons, which holds annual Masonic meetings there. According to online sources, “The officers, ritual and program are rotated each year between the Grand Lodges of Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Saskatchewan.”

READ: Everything you need to know about Freemasonry’s core teachings  

According to the website for the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, “The International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons was formed in 1993 with Warrants granted by the Grand Lodges of Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota. The Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan became a chartering Grand Lodge in 2000. Its purpose is ‘to promote and enhance fraternal relations among Freemasons of North America and to assist in the expansion and maintenance of the International Peace Garden.’ It meets once a year. Membership in the International Peace Garden Lodge of Freemasons is open to any Master Mason in good standing for a one-time fee of $50.”

According to Canon Law, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass “is to be carried out in a sacred place unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in such a case the celebration must be done in a decent place.” Given the doctrine and rituals of Freemasonry, which include gruesome blood oaths upon advancement to higher degrees, the suitability of an auditorium that functions as the annual meeting place for a Masonic Lodge is certainly dubious, raising questions among concerned Catholics.

READ: Freemasonry: Men of honesty or a brotherhood of crime?

According to Church law, it has long been forbidden to be a member of Freemasonry, which rejects Catholic dogma on original sin, redemption through Christ, and the necessity of grace and the Church for salvation. Beginning with Clement XII in 1738, many Popes have condemned Freemasonry, with the penalty of excommunication still in place for any Catholic who becomes a member of a Masonic Lodge.

The inherent incompatibility of Freemasonry with the Catholic faith was expressed clearly by Leo XIII in Humanum Genus: “Let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them. Let no one be deceived by a pretense of honesty. It may seem to some that Freemasons demand nothing that is openly contrary to religion and morality; but, as the whole principle and object of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful.”

Leo XIII noted the special animosity toward the Papacy and the Catholic Church that was fostered among the Freemasons, who “especially desire to assail the Church with irreconcilable hostility,” and who “will never rest until they have destroyed whatever the supreme Pontiffs have established for the sake of religion.”

READ: Three reasons Catholic Popes have repeatedly condemned Freemasonry

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by Fr. Michael McGivney in Connecticut in direct opposition to the work of the Masons in America and as a Catholic alternative to the ostensible economic benefits and social advantages offered by membership in the Masonic lodges of New England. Much of the good work that the Knights of Columbus have achieved in Catholic health care and education was undertaken in opposition to initiatives of the Masons. The hosting of a Mass by the Knights of Columbus at the Masonic Auditorium at the International Peace Garden, a site also used by the Masons, whom the Knights were founded to oppose, would seem especially incongruous.

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Archdiocese of Winnipeg for clarification and comment on the matter. In response, the archdiocese issued the following statement:

Earlier this year, Archbishop Gagnon responded positively to an invitation from the Knights of Columbus to say an outdoor Mass at the International Peace Gardens on July 9, 2023. The facility where the Mass will take place was originally built by the Freemasons and is now owned and operated by the International Peace Gardens Association.

This Field Mass has been organized by 4th Degree Knights from Manitoba and North Dakota since 1960. This is a unique event where people gather from two nations to celebrate the harmony and fraternity between our two countries and to pray for peace in an outdoor setting.

For further information, please contact the Knights of Columbus Manitoba State Council Office at [email protected] or 204-663-8022.

READ: Albert Pike’s anti-Catholic Freemasonry and its diabolical influence in America

LifeSiteNews also reached out to the Knights of Columbus Manitoba State Council Office but did not receive a statement before publication. This article will be updated should we receive a reply.


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