Lithgow Mercury, Australia
Masons told to choose the lodge or the church
Thursday, 23 October 2003
Rev Winthrop successfully had a motion passed at this week's Sydney Anglican Synod 'encouraging all Christians who are members of a Masonic Lodge to demonstrate their commitment to Jesus Christ … by withdrawing from the Lodge'.
Lithgow's Anglican Church Parish Council created divisions within the Lithgow community last December when a motion was passed calling on Freemasons and members of the Order of the Eastern Star to choose between those movements and continuing membership of the congregation.
In his motion to this week's Synod, Rev Winthrop requested the Synod to 'affirm that Freemasonry and Christianity are fundamentally irreconcilably incompatible; and affirms that Freemasonry teaches and upholds false religious and spiritual beliefs that are contradictory to biblical Christianity'.
Grand Master of the NSW and ACT Freemasons, Tony Lauer, said yesterday the resolution is pure discrimination, smacks of bigotry and religious fundamentalism and is a betrayal of all Freemasons who practice the Anglican faith.
"… this is a one man vendetta on the part of Rev Winthrop, over a local issue and very petty situation that received widespread publicity which occurred in Lithgow last year.
Mr Lauer's full statement appears on page two.