According to Lebanese news site Libnanews, quoting Italian daily Il Messaggero, Pope Francis rejected the appointment of Johnny Ibrahim as ambassador to the Vatican because he belonged to a French Masonic lodge. The cabinet of Lebanon had, however, approved Johnny Ibrahim’s appointment on July 21, 2017. But the Pope has not received the diplomat during the three months following his appointment, which amounts to a refusal of approval from the Holy See.
Still according to Libnanews on October 24, 2017, Johnny Ibrahim has admitted to having been close to Masonic lodges “many years ago,” but that he has “distanced” himself from them today. Diplomatic sources in Lebanon have confirmed the reason for the Holy See’s rejection.
On October 25, 2017, La Croix recalled that Pope Francis has always been “very critical” of Freemasonry. Thus, in the airplane trip home from the Rio de Janeiro World Youth Day in July 2013, he was, according to the French daily, “firmly opposed to the lobbyist groups infiltrating the Church,” condemning “lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies…” During his apostolic visit to Turin, in June 2015, during his address to young people, “the Argentinian Pope criticized the influence of Freemasons and their enmity for the Church: 'At the end of the 19th century, the worst conditions for the development of young people prevailed: Freemasonry was flourishing, the Church could not do anything, there were anticlericalists, there were also Satanists… It was one of the worst moments and one of the worst places in Italian history.'”
Since the papal bull In Eminenti of Clement XII in 1738, the incompatibility between the Catholic Church and Freemasonry has been clearly stated. Numerous popes went on to condemn, without ambiguity, secret societies, especially Freemasonry, and to denounce the naturalism, secularism, doctrinal relativism and secrecy associated with them.