His sudden death has shaken the economy and politics of the West African country. Freemasonry is also influential on the Ivory Coast. Alassane Quattara, Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, and that of Gabon, Ali Bongo Odimba, were among the first to be included in the condolence book. In the Congo, Gabon and Sierra Leone, there is no prospect of a higher position in the state without initiation in the lodge.
The funeral ceremonies, in addition to a Masonic "farewell", which was not publicly announced, also foresaw an ecclesiastical funeral with a Requiem Mass on February 12th. So it had been announced from Coffie's circle.
Despite massive pressure, Cardinal Kutwa refuses Church funeral
In spite of massive political pressure on him, Cardinal Kutwa has denied the Grand Master an ecclesiastical funeral. The archbishop of Abidjan remained firm, recalling that Catholic faith and Freemasonry were incompatible. Cardinal Kutwa also instructed Msgr. Ziad Sacre, head of the Catholic, Lebanese mission of the country, not to undertake an ecclesiastical funeral for Michel Georges Ghorayeb. The Lebanese Ghorayeb, a Freemason like Coffie, had been killed together with him in the traffic accident.
Coffie was called "Le Papa" by the Freemasons. "Le Papa et un autre frère, Michel Ghorayeb, sont morts" (The father and another brother, Michel Ghorayeb, are dead), Jeune Afrique reported on 31 January, citing the Grand Lodge of the Ivory Coast.
It was the Greek Orthodox priest of Abidjan who finally agreed to perform the religious rite on 6 February as part of a vigil.
Incompatibility: Fellowship automatically leads to excommunication
The incompatibility between the secret bond of the Lodges and the Catholic Church was confirmed by Pope Clement XII. in the dogmatic bull In Eminenti of 28 April 1738. Since then, Catholics know that they merit the punishment of the excommunication latae sententiae when they join a lodge.
The founding of the Grand-Lodge of London in June 1717 is considered the "birth-hour" of Freemasonry around the world. All other lodges invoke this grand lodge. 300 years later,
nothing of what Pope Clement XII. in his bull has been altered. On 26 November 1983, the Catholic Church finally confirmed the condemnation of Freemasonry. The Declaration of the Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, took place with the express approval of Pope John Paul II. It stated that the negative judgment of the Church on Freemasonry was "unchanged". Literally it means:
"The negative judgment of the Church on Masonic associations thus remains unchanged because their principles have always been regarded as incompatible with the doctrine of the Church, and therefore, their membership in them is prohibited. The faithful who are members of the Masonic associations are, therefore, in the state of serious sin, and can not receive Holy Communion."
"Those who put pressure on Cardinal Kutwa to persuade him to allow an ecclesiastical burial for the Grand Master, despite the condemnation, may have been accustomed to dealing with a spineless clergy ready to bend, eager to please. But not all, thanks to Providence, are this way. There are Church leaders who continue to take the Catechism seriously and, above all, say no, when the sacraments and especially the Eucharist are at stake," said Mauro Faverzani of Corrispondenza Romana.
Great influence of the lodges on the policies of several African states
The funeral ceremonies for the influential Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Ivory Coast lasted several days from the 6th to the 10th of February, and were strikingly similar to the protocol for the corresponding celebrations at the death of a head of state. A large number of politicians had appeared, including the country's Minister of Security, Hamed Bakayoko, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Ivory Coast, who had been in office since 2015, and Alain Donwahi, the Grand Master of the Province of the Grand Center. Also present were Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Koné, former Prime Minister Jeannot Ahoussou Kouadio, Chairman of the Economic and Environmental Council, Charles Koffi Diby, and former Prime Minister Henriette Konan Bedié.
They presented themselves to Cardinal Kutwa. Jean-Pierre Kutwa, ordained a priest in 1971, was appointed Archbishop of Gagnoa in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI appealed to him to take the archbishop's See of Abidjan. In February 2014, Pope Francis Francis raised him to the rank of Cardinal.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL (Screenshot)