Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mozart, Masonry and Catholicism

From National Catholic Reporter:

According to historians, Mozart was initiated into a Masonic lodge in Vienna at 28, and eventually became a Master Mason. He wrote at least eight pieces of music for the Masons. Conoscenti also detect influences of Masonry in his famous opera "The Magic Flute."

Mozart joined despite the fact that Pope Clement XII had prohibited membership in 1738, and this antipathy is still alive. In 1983, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated: "Faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."

One understands, therefore, why links between the pope's favorite composer and the Masons make Catholics nervous.

Yet Mozart also composed some of the most famous Roman Catholic Masses and other liturgical scores in Western history, more than 60 pieces of sacred music altogether. How to reconcile these two aspects of his biography has long been a puzzle.

Once again, Schönborn is at the center of the debate.

Speaking July 16 in Chieti, Italy, at the opening of a Mozart festival, the Austrian cardinal asserted that "there's no foundation for his frequently mentioned membership in the Masons." (Read more.)


From Catholic World Report:

Born on January 27, 1756, he was baptized the next day as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, at St. Rupert’s Cathedral in Salzburg. He would later drop the Johannes Chrysostomus (added by custom because he was born on the feast of St. John Chrysostom), and change the Greek Theophilus to the Latin equivalent Amadeus (one who loves God, or one who is loved by God).

Wolfgang and his sister were raised in a devout and strictly observant Catholic household. Their parents, Leopold and Anna Maria, encouraged family devotions and prayer, fasting, regular attendance at Mass, frequent confession, the veneration of saints, and other typically Catholic devotions.

Leopold was a moderately successful composer himself, and a teacher of music, working as a court musician for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. While Leopold and Anna Maria had seven children, all died in infancy except Anna Maria (affectionately called “Nannerl”) and young Wolfgang.

Herr and Frau Mozart were always concerned for the spiritual well-being of their children. Leopold once wrote to his wife and son on their way to Paris in 1777, “God must come first! From His hands we receive our temporal happiness; and at the same time we must think of our eternal salvation.” These words were written out of fear that Wolfgang had become “a little lax about confession.” Leopold saw it as his duty to impart to his children the truth of the Catholic faith, and to instill in them a personal piety that they would maintain throughout their lives. (Read more.)


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