Sunday, June 24, 2007
THE MAGIC FLUTE
I brought home from the library and watched "The Magic Flute" the other night--Ingmar Bergman's version of Mozart's opera in Swedish with English subtitles.
"The Magic Flute" is sometimes said to be Mozart's most popular opera, and more often called his "Masonic opera". Now I know why. There is a detailed description of the story at that link. It's basically a love story, but part of the story line includes a Brotherhood lodge with a table full of priests, and an initiation that includes a trial by ordeal involving water and fire. There is a wicked queen, said on the Grand Lodge of British Columbia website to be Maria Theresa. According to the same website the evil spirits who cooperate with her "are the Catholic Church." Sarastro, the high priest of Isis and Osiris and Grand Master of the Lodge "is Joseph II, or any other well-meaning autocrat who protected the Freemasons."
The website claims that not only Mozart, but also the librettist, Emanuel Schickaneder, was a Mason, and provides a quote about the opera from another Mason, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
It is enough that the crowd would find pleasure in seeing the spectacle; at the same time, its high significance will not escape the initiates.
Another webpage in the British Columbia website offers this analysis of Mozart's Masonic involvement:
Many of Mozart’s early contacts were Masons, some of them close friends. Others were members of Illuminati circles flourishing at the time. In Paris, the Comte de Cagliostro — not a charlatan as certain vested interests to this day would have us believe — tried to purify the existing Masonic lodges in France, and finally set up his own "Egyptian Rite" which admitted women as well as men in a kind of "Adoption" adjunct. Some suggest that Mozart knew Cagliostro and that the name Sarastro, given by the composer to the High Priest of Isis and Osiris, was an allusion to Cagliostro. More generally, however, the name is thought to have been derived from that of Zoroaster or Zarathustra, a reformer of the ancient Persian religion.
Mozart's music, of course, is wonderful. The opera, itself, would not be of particular interest, and could be easily dismissed as the piece of music to ignore because it belongs to the "other gospel", were it not that Pope Benedict is such a fan of the composer.
The matter of this opera is addressed directly in an article at Catholic Education Resource Center. Titled "Pope Benedict XVI, Mozart and the Quest of Beauty" In this article you can read that "Benedict was playing Mozart on his piano on the Sunday afternoon following his installation as Pope..." You can read the Pope's words from a ten-year-old interview:
...the largest and most important and best parts of my youth I spent in Traunstein, which very much reflects the influence of Salzburg. You might say that there Mozart thoroughly penetrated our souls, and his music still touches me very deeply, because it is so luminous and yet at the same time so deep.
Mozart, a Freemason, has penetrated Benedict's soul with luminous music. Was ecumenism part of that penetration? Certainly the Assisi events had much more in common with the Masonic Lodge than with the Roman Catholic Church.
The article goes on to quote von Balthasar "a close friend of Cardinal Ratzinger". In referring to "The Magic Flute" Balthasar wrote:
What must appear everywhere else as a vain image of fantasy or even of blasphemy--the definitive revelation of eternal beauty in a genuine earthly body--may well have become blessed reality just once, here, in the realm of the Catholic Incarnation.
Except that "The Magic Flute" is about the priests who worship the gods Isis and Osiris.
And again, from the article, comes Balthasar's tribute to Mozart:
Do we not come from God and return to him, passing through the waters and fires of time, suffering and death? And why should we not permit ourselves to be led through the dissonances of our existence by theZauberflote, a tremendous adumbration of love, light and glory, eternal truth and harmony?
So when did the worship of Isis and Osiris become eternal truth and harmony for a Catholic theologian?
The article quoted the Pope's brother Georg responding to the question "Does it disturb you that Mozart was a Freemason?":
It isn't for me to pass judgement on Mozart. He was a man with many difficulties arising from the period he lived in, and from the circumstances of his life. The issue of his Freemasonry disturbs me insofar as he was not only an ordinary member, but attained the rank of Master, and wanted to found his own lodge.
Could Georg Ratzinger pass judgment on Isis and Osiris, one wonders?
The article goes on to claim that "No thoughtful Catholic will have difficulty distinguishing Mozart's music from his Freemasonry..." Oh really? In "The Magic Flute" they are bound up together like a cat is bound up with its fur.
Something is wrong in Rome!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Viva Cristo Rey!