On the site Tradition In Action (no, this is not a Sedevacantist site) there is a rather stunning document. The document is not new, and I am surprised it has not received further echo.
The site has a screenshot of a tribute rendered by what I think is one of the two biggest Masonic organisations in Italy. We find therein a long rebuke of Pope Benedict for failing to mention the dead Cardinal at the Angelus of 2 September 2012 (this is what the Italian text says; the English translation does not seem very happy to me). But beside this, we find the clearly stated words:
Carlo Maria Martini volle essere iniziato Libero Muratore.
“Carlo Maria Martini willed to be initiated as a Freemason”
This is not the “wanted” as in; “he had the intention, but then he saw it would have been imprudent”. No, the clear meaning of the phrase in Italian is: “Carlo Maria Martini freely chose to be initiated as a Freemason”.
This seems to me a kind of bomb you cause to explode after one of your own has died, because to let it explode whilst he is alive would cause big harm to the brother Freemason. And in fact, it seems to me difficult to believe Martini would admit to such an affiliation and get away with it.
Whilst V II has botched this as well as many other fields, the last I have on the matter is the following declaration from the then head of the CDF, Joseph Ratzinger (“Declaration on Masonic Associations”, 1983):
“The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion….” and “…the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association(s) remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden.”
Unfortunately, no word of excommunication anymore. Still, you can see for yourself whether being a Freemason is compatible with being a priest, much less a Bishop, much less a Cardinal.
This, my friends, was Carlo Maria Martini. If anyone knows of evidence brought from others – say, the family – that martini never was a Freemason, I will gladly examine and in case publish it.
Otherwise, it seems fair to say: “Cardinal Martini, the Freemason”.