French Roman Catholic priest Father Pascal Vesin had served his parish in Sainte-Anne d’Arly Montjoie in the Alpine resort of Megéve since 2004, almost 10 years. That is until this spring when the Church discovered that he is a Freemason. Father Vesin is a member of the Grand Orient de France’ That watchdog of the church, The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asked for his resignation in March. Three members of the diocese of Annecy then met with him but Father Vesin said he would not leave the Lodge.
So in May Vesin was removed of all Priestly duties by his Bishop. He appealed for a hearing with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but was turned down. He wrote to the Pope saying that he was “wounded by the injustice’ and requested a reversal of the decision. To no avail. Not willing to give up Vesin set out on foot leaving the town in the Haute Savoie region of France on July 14th for a hike through the Alps – final destination, The Vatican in Rome, Italy. Before leaving he blogged to his congregation, “This adventure is a step towards openness, dialogue and debate.” Bringing nothing but a knapsack, his journey took 39 days before arriving in St. Peter’s Square where he hoped for an audience with the Pope.
“I hope I am received by Pope Francis or one of his secretaries” a very tired Vesin said when he got there.
“I feel my initiative is in synch with what this new pope is preaching and seems to be starting.”
Conservative Sectarian Christianity’s main criticism of Freemasonry is that it’s a false religion. But Vesin belongs to The Grand Orient of France where there is no test for a belief in Deity. Funny looking religion that doesn’t require a belief in God. But there always seems to be another charge that authorities can levy.
Father Vesin has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pascal.vesin?fref=ts
After his 900km walk from Megeve, France to the Vatican, he still awaits an audience with Pope Francis.