ERR News - Estonia Public Broadcasting
Clerics Preach Freemason-less Clergy
A 30-strong group of clergymen belonging to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church petitioned the church's elders on Monday to ban church ministers from belonging to the Freemasonry organization.
Joel Luhamets, head of the church's Tartu Deanery, said that people do not trust Freemasons and it would therefore pose a problem if ministers belonged to the organization, reported ETV.
A Freemason told me that if the church leaders banned him from being a member of the Freemasons, he would resign from his lodge. My wish is that the Freemasons would resign [from their lodges], then clergy work would be more liberated, said Luhamets.
Assessor Dean Jaan Tammsalu, who belongs to the Masonic association, said that the attack derives from ignorance. It is not an alternative church. I am not simultaneously a member of two churches, I belong only to one church, I believe in only one God, he said.
The reason is that people are prejudiced about how Freemasons are connected. We know that if a state official is a member of a political party, it is not a good thing, though political parties are not felonious [ ] But a person in an office must be free, said Luhamets.
Tammsalu said that he has been banned from the Christian radio station Pere Radio because of his membership of the Masons and expressed sorrow that his six-year association with the Masons was seen as nullifying his far longer service to the church.
If forced to make a choice, Tammsalu said he would pick the church. He said that public conflicts within the church that are based on ignorance can harm the church's reputation.