The Vatican has refused to accept the recent appointment of a U.S. Lebanese Ambassador in Los Angeles, California because of his affiliations to Freemasonry.

Late last week, Breitbart reported that according to the "Italian news website, Il Messaggero, Pope Francis informed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri during his visit to the Vatican last week that Johnny Ibrahim, who currently serves as Lebanon’s general consul in Los Angeles, was an unacceptable candidate for Ambassador to the Holy See, given his affiliation with Freemasonry.

The report states that Mr. Hariri was surprised by the refusal but promised to find another candidate. Ibrahim has acknowledged that he has had contacts with French freemasonry but claims that he has never been a member."

The decision reflects the long-standing position of the Roman Catholic Church who starting in 1738 with Pope Leo XII who publically decried the teachings of Freemasonry to be incompatible with the Church and declared that Catholics who joined the Masons were excommunicated.

Many Popes since have reiterated these claims over he last couple hundred years and even Pope Francis has come out on more than one occasion against the Freemasons since he was elected as the Holy Father to all Catholics.

For example, in July 2013, Pope Francis had criticized the influence of Freemasons on the Church when he said:

“The problem is not having this [homosexual] orientation. No, we must be brothers and sisters. The problem is lobbying for this orientation, or lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me."

In a June 21, 2015 statement, the Pope when speaking on Freemasons had called them, "Masonic, hardcore anticlericals and Satanists." The Pope had said:

"At the end of the 19th century there were the worst conditions for young people’s development: freemasonry was in full swing, not even the Church could do anything, there were priest haters, there were also Satanists.... It was one of the worst moments and one of the worst places in the history of Italy. However, if you would like to do a nice homework assignment, go and find out how many men and women saints were born during that time. Why? Because they realized that they had to go against the tide with respect to the culture, to that lifestyle."

In January of this year, Pope Francis demanded that Cardinal Burke purge all the Freemasons from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta . The Vatican journalist Edward Pentin had written:

"Hopes that the contraceptive scandal would be addressed came on Nov. 10, when Cardinal Burke was received in private audience by Pope Francis. During that meeting, the Register has learned, the Pope was “deeply disturbed” by what the cardinal told him about the contraceptive distribution.

The Pope also made it clear to Cardinal Burke that he wanted Freemasonry“cleaned out” from the order, and he demanded appropriate action.

The concern was followed up by a Dec. 1 letter to Cardinal Burke, in which the Register has learned that the Holy Father underlined the cardinal’s constitutional duty to promote the spiritual interests of the order and remove any affiliation with groups or practices that run contrary to the moral law."

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