Editor’s note: This article was updated on September 28, 2023.
NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — New York City is now officially led by a Freemason.
While Mayor Eric Adams left the ceremony off his official schedule, he and New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban and New York Police Department Chief of the Department Jeffrey Maddrey were all inducted as “Master Masons” over the weekend at Gracie Mansion, which serves as the official residence for the city’s mayors.
“Today we held an occasional Grand Lodge with the Grand Line officers and Brothers for the first time in history at Gracie Mansion,” the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge posted on Facebook on September 23. “The result of this special occasion resulted in New York City’s Mayor, The Honorable Eric Adams, Police Commissioner Edward Caban, and Chief of the Department Jeffrey Maddrey being raised as Master Masons.”
“Tony Herbert, citywide liaison to the mayor’s office, confirmed that the event took place and that he was there, but did not comment on the mayor’s attendance,” Gothamist reported.
Other city officials, including Herbert, also were honored.
Several other officials joined the ceremony on Saturday, including Herbert, NYPD Deputy Chief of Manhattan Borough North Ruel Stephenson, Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow and State Sen. Kevin Parker, according to the Facebook post. Stephenson, Pretlow, Parker and Herbert received their 32nd Degree Freemasonry, making them “Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masonry Northern Jurisdiction PHA,” according to the post.
Prince Hall Masonic Temple is part of “Prince Hall Freemasonry,” an African-American version of freemasonry.
While Freemasons will claim they are not an anti-religious group, their rituals deliberately mock Catholic rites. The Vatican has declared that Catholics who join the Freemasons are in a state of grave sin and cannot receive the Eucharist.
“The faithful who [enroll] in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, reaffirmed in 1983. The prohibition has always been in place, since the papal bull In eminenti issued in 1738 by Pope Clement XII.
Prince Hall Masonry retains the problems of Freemasonry more prominent among white Protestants, as former Mason turned Catholic convert David Gray explained at OnePeterFive.
A detailed breakdown of the teachings of Freemasonry can be found in this piece last year from LifeSiteNews.
Father William Saunders further explains the problems in an article for EWTN.
“The Catholic Church has difficulties with Freemasonry because it is indeed a kind of religion unto itself,” he wrote. “The practice of Freemasonry includes temples, altars, a moral code, worship services, vestments, feast days, a hierarchy of leadership, initiation and burial rites, and promises of eternal reward and punishment.”
“While in America most Masons are Christian and will display a Bible on their ‘altar,’ in the same lodges or elsewhere, Jews, Moslems, Hindus or other non-Christian religions can be admitted and may use their own sacred scriptures,” he explained.
One “rite” includes an explicit rejection of the papacy and an eternal power.
“When one reaches the 30th degree in the masonic hierarchy, called the Kadosh, the person crushes with his foot the papal tiara and the royal crown, and swears to free mankind ‘from the bondage of despotism and the thraldom of spiritual tyranny,'” Saunders explained.
The Catholic priest further explained one oath:
A candidate makes an oath to Freemasonry and its secrets under pain of death or self-mutilation by kneeling blindfolded in front of the altar, placing both hands on the volume of sacred law (perhaps the Bible), the square and the compass, and repeating after the ‘worshipful master.’ Keep in mind that the candidate does not yet even know all the ‘secrets’ to which he is taking an oath.