From The Rudder (1950 English Masterjohn translation), p. 550
THE APHORISM AGAINST FREEMASONRY
by Cyprianus, Archbishop of Cyprus
Cyprus, February 2nd, 1815
“Wherefore, clad in the sacred vestments of epitrachelion and omophorion we say, If any man preach unto you any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, even though an angel from heaven, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1,8,9) As many as are befitting, that pursue after such a diabolic and lawless employment of Freemasonry, and all they that follow unto their infatuation and unto their error, let them be excommunicated and accursed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. After death, they shall be unpardoned, indissoluble, and bloated. Groaning and trembling, as Cain, shall they be upon the earth. (Gen. 4:14). The earth shall cleave and swallow them up, as Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16, 31-32). The wrath of God shall be upon their heads, and their portion together with Judas the betrayer. As angel of the Lord will prosecute them with a flaming sword and, unto their life’s termination, they will not know of progress. Let their works and toil be unblessed and let them become a cloud of dust, as of a summer threshing floor. And all they indeed that shall abide still unto their wickedness will have such a recompense. But as many as shall go out from the midst of them and shall be separated, and having spat out their abominable heresy, and shall go afar of from their accursed infatuation, such kind shall receive the wages of the zealot Phineas; rather let them be blessed and forgiven by the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Only unconfused and undivided Trinity, the One God in nature, and by us His servants.”
This is the APHORISM of the NATIONAL MARTYR, Cyprianus, Archbishop of Cyprus, who in the year 1821, during the Greek revolution against Turkey, shed his blood in defense of the liberty of his Greek homeland from Turkey. Likewise, Archbishop Hierotheus of Patras, Greece, published two comprehensive encyclicals against Masonry, one on October 5, 1897, and another on August 22, 1899.
The Russian Orthodox Church’s Attitude towards Freemasonry was very forcefully proclaimed by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) the Presiding member of the Sremski-Karlovcy Synod in Yugoslavia, who is at the head of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia.
On August 15, 1932, the Metropolitan issued a Pastoral letter to the faithful, entitled ‘An Encyclical on Freemasonry, Theosophy, and Allied Systems’, from which we quote some excerpts and its conclusions and the decrees the ROCA adopted concerning Freemasonry and related sects:
THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA TO ALL THE FAITHFUL OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN DIASPORA
15/28 August 1932
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I John iv. 1.)
If there was ever a time when these holy words of the beloved disciple of Christ, St. John, could find their most prophetic application, it is certainly ours.
Our troubled period is very poor in prophets. On the other hand, it abounds in false prophets. The world is becoming poorer in the “Spirit of God,” but waxes rich in the “spirit of error.”
“That old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan (Rev. 20:2) has poisoned and infected the hearts of men with many false doctrines, heresies, and sects, which he uses to seduce those whose faith is not solid, those who are not instructed in the knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, turning them away from faith in God, in the Church of Christ...
[There follows a closely documented examination of the general and higher level Masonic doctrines and aims from various Masonic sources and Constitutions. It also shows the ties of Freemasonry with revolutions against Christian States and the Church. It exposes clear connections of Freemasonry to the Russian Revolution. Finally, the conclusions state:]
“Freemasonry is a secret international organisation to struggle with God, Christianity, and all National Governments, and especially Christian Governments.
“In the international organization the first place of influence and importance belongs to the Jewish membership.
“Because of this, and other important reasons it is forbidden for all Orthodox Christians to become Freemasons.
In view of what has been stated above, the Holy Council decides to:
(1) Condemn Masonry as a doctrine and an organization contrary to Christianity.... (2) Condemn equally all the doctrines and organizations having an affinity with Masonry, like Theosophy, Anthroposophy, all forms of “Christian gnosticism” [which would include such things as “Christian Yoga,” “Christian Zen, etc], and the YMCA. (3) Recommend to the diocesan bishops and to chiefs of missions to furnish their clergy with all information which may serve to enlighten the faithful regarding the above-mentioned erroneous doctrines and organizations.... (4) Recommend to pastors the necessity of questioning every person presenting himself for confession with a view to finding out whether or not that person is a member of a Masonic organization and whether or not he shares its doctrines. If it appears that the person is a member or shares its teaching, explain to him that participation in these organizations is incompatible with the name of Christian, with being a member of the Church of Christ. That he must take a firm decision to break with Masonry and with doctrines related to it; and if he does not do so, not to admit him to Holy Communion; and if he should refuse to repent, to excommunicate him from the Holy Church.
After having given you our pastoral recommendations concerning the enemies of God and of our salvation, we would remind you of the exhortations of the Holy Apostle: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.... Building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 3, 20, 21.)
“Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?.... We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and eternal life.” (I John v. 4-5, 19-20.) Amen!
President of the Council of Bishops Of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
[Taken from: Rev. P. Kohanik-Christian Orthodox Light on Speculative Freemasonry, 1948, Passaic, N.J.; St. Nectarios Educational Series No.24 Excerpts from the Encyclical on Freemasonry, Theosophy, and Allied Systems]