Mozart and Freemasonry
So my brother came back from a trip to Austria and noticed the Masonic symbols that surrounded some of the Mozart items. For instance, there was a image of Mozart wearing a Masonic  apron, as well as the "calipers" on his tombstone.

My questions are: what are the earliest condemnations we have by Church against Freemasonry? Could Mozart just not have known that his Catholicism and Freemasonry are imcompatible? Is anyone aware of  specific condemnations from the Archbishop of Salzburg to Mozart for being a Mason?
The first prohibition of Catholics from becoming Freemasons was from 1738, in the form of the papal bull In Eminenti, from Pope Clement XI.  This was a couple of decades before Mozart was born.  But Freemasonry was extremely popular in many places throughout Europe, and many powerful people were members.  Empress Maria Theresa was very against Freemasonry, but her husband, Francis, was a Freemason and very supportive of it.  So being that one of the rulers of the empire was a Freemason, it was able to flourish despite the papal bull.  In 1751, Pope Benedict XIV issued the another bull, Providas, which confirmed Pope Clement XI's, and there was renewed suppression of Freemasonry in many Catholic countries, but it still survived in Austria because of the support of Emperor Francis.  He died in 1765, and around that time Empress Maria Theresa issued orders for all Masonic lodges to be closed.  But their son, Joseph, became the new Holy Roman Emperor, and he was a real Enlightenment kind of guy, and Freemasonry was again able to flourish because of him.  The next time Freemasonry was really suppressed in Austria was under Francis II.  The French Revolution was going strong at that point, and Francis wasn't having any of that reformer stuff, so he cracked down on anything that smacked of it, including Freemasonry.  Around the turn of the century, he closed the Masonic lodges and that was really it for Freemasonry in Austria until it reemerged in the 20th century.

So during Mozart's life, Freemasonry had the support of the rulers in Austria, and a lot of people were members.  The Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Count Hieronymus Joseph Franz de Paula Graf Colloredo von Wallsee und Melz (greatest name ever), was quite an Enlightenment guy himself, and you can be sure he wouldn't have done anything to suppress it in Salzburg.
If I recall correctly( don't remember where I red it) at the time Mozart joined the Freemasons, his Bishop had not  forbbiden Catholics in the diocese to join the Masons. So, as far as Mozart knew, there was nothing wrong between being a member of the  Masons and a Catholic.  Hopefully, If from other things I have read about Mozart, he was a devout Catholic, so I guess it's possible that he would have stopped being a Mason had his Bishop said anything.
Despite "freethinkers" and Hollywood's claim, my understanding is that Mozart was quite Catholic.
From Wikipedia article Mozart and Roman Catholicism

I don't know how reliable it is because of the source but it should be decent

Catholic upbringing

Mozart's parents (Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Mozart) were Catholics and raised their children in this religion, insisting upon strict obedience to the requirements of the Church.[2] They encouraged family prayer, fasting, the veneration of saints, regular attendance at Mass, and frequent confession.[3]

Leopold Mozart continued to urge strict observance upon Wolfgang even when the latter had entered adulthood. In 1777, he wrote to his wife and son, who at the time were on their journey to Paris:

Is it necessary for me to ask whether Wolfgang is not perhaps getting a little lax about confession? God must come first! From His hands we receive our temporal happiness; and at the same time we must think of our eternal salvation. Young people do not like to hear about these things, I know, for I was once young myself. But, thank God, in spite of all my youthful foolish pranks, I always pulled myself together. I avoid all dangers to my soul and ever kept God and my honor and the consequences, the very dangerous consequences, before my eyes.[4]
By "very dangerous consequences", Leopold was most probably referring to a specific doctrine of Catholicism, namely that persons who die in a state of mortal sin will experience eternal punishment in hell.

Leopold extended another important element of Catholic belief—the existence of earthly miracles as signs from God—to the case of his son, whose abilities he considered to have a divine origin. In 1768, he wrote to his friend Lorenz Hagenauer, describing his son as

a miracle, which God has allowed to see the light in Salzburg ... And if it is ever to be my duty to convince the world of this miracle, it is so now, when people are ridiculing whatever is called a miracle and denying all miracles ... But because this miracle is too evident and consequently not to be denied, they want to suppress it. They refuse to let God have the honor.[5]
In the phrase "denying all miracles," Leopold may have been referring to the emerging values of the Enlightenment, at the time in full swing. Participants in this cultural movement often favored scientific (as opposed to miraculous) explanations of unexplained phenomena.


Main article: Mozart and Freemasonry

Mozart joined the Freemasons in 1784, and remained an active member until his death; see Mozart and Freemasonry. His choice to enter the "Zur Wohltätigkeit" lodge was influenced by his friendship with the lodge's master, Baron Otto Heinrich von Gemmingen-Hornberg, and his attraction to the lodge's "shared devotion to Catholic tradition."[10] Nor was Mozart's Masonic commitment the most likely source of his occasional anti-clerical statements, and even less indicative of any essential antipathy to Catholicism. Such anti-clericalism is much more easily attributed to the fashionable anti-clericalism of Febronian Catholicism favored by those in power in Mozart's social ambit at this period, which still reflected curiously a very conservative Counter-Reformation aesthetic environment.[11]

Freemasonry was banned by the Catholic Church in a Papal Bull entitled Eminenti Apostolatus Specula issued by Pope Clement XII on 28 April 1738. The ban, however, "was published and came into force only in the Papal States, Spain, Portugal, and Poland."[12] It was not promulgated in Austria, where Mozart lived, until 1792 (after Mozart's death). Hence, although the Catholic Church's opposition to Freemasonry would eventually become known in Austria, during Mozart's lifetime "a good Catholic could perfectly well become a Mason," and it is clear that Mozart saw no conflict between these two allegiances.[

Last rites

There is conflicting evidence concerning whether Mozart received last rites of the Catholic Church on his death bed. In 1825, 33 years after Mozart's death, Mozart's sister-in-law Sophie Haibel prepared a brief memoir of Mozart's death for her brother-in-law Georg Nikolaus von Nissen, the second husband of Mozart's widow Constanze, who with Constanze's help was then preparing a Mozart biography. Sophie wrote:
My poor sister came after me and begged me for heavens' sake to go to the priests at St Peter's and ask [one of] the priests to come, as if on a chance visit. That I also did, though the priests hesitated a long time and I had great difficulty in persuading one of these inhuman priests to do it.[14]
Further annotations were written on Sophie's letter. One of them, in Nissen's hand, says, "The priests declined to come because the sick person himself did not send for them."[15] According to Halliwell, "A later annotation states that although Mozart did not receive the last rites (presumably absolution and Holy Communion), he was given extreme unction. Yet Nissen's biography claims that he was refused extreme unction. Thus there is confusion about which, if any, of the sacraments for the sick and dying Mozart received."[16]

While it is unclear whether Mozart received last rites on his deathbed, there is no evidence suggesting that he actually refused them. Even Nissen, who was of the opinion that the priests failed to come, notes, "Even if Mozart did not receive the last rites, he would have received extreme unction."


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)