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Clement XII and Freemasons QUESTION from Rick Sayman November 2, 2000 I am a returning Catholic, having been away for sometime. Now I attend RCIA clases and have ran into a grave stumbling block in my choice. I now know that the RCC is Jesus' true church and don't want to leave. But durring the time I was away, I joined the Masonic Lodge. Now I am told, that I am in grave danger if I do not remove myself from the Masons.
I have been looking into it, and have one question. What made Clement XII decree on 28 April 1737, then again the following Jan. that the Masonic lodge needed be shuned as it seems to have been? I have yet, in my 12 plus years as a member of the Masons, seen anything that would justify his actions. WHY???? What went on back in 1730's? What am I missing?
ANSWER by Mrs. Suzanne Fortin, B.A. on November 6, 2000 Dear Rick
Clement XII had a very good reason for wanting to excommunicate Catholics who joined the Masons. Freemasonry teaches religious indifferentism: that all religions are the essentially same and have the same core beliefs.
If you've examined the world's religions in an honest fashion, this isn't true. But this point is lost on Mssons because they overlook differences and concentrate on what they perceive to be the same teachings. To them, differences were mere trifles-- things not to insist on, but matters of opinion.
What this leads to is denial or distortion of fundamental dogmas of the Church. The whole point of being Catholic is that you believe that God truly revealed himself to the world-- not symbollically, not allegorically, but in a real and historical fashion, and that he established the Church to preserve his Revelation and elaborate on it, so that nothing the Church teaches contradicts it. If we believe this, then we are obliged to believe the dogmas of the Church as realities, not as symbols, allegories, or any other kind of representation that negates their essence.
I am unaware of the present state of freemasonry, but it seems to me that if Masons still teach about universal world religion empty of all supernatural dogma, then I think that no Catholic can belong to such an organization.
Thank you for your question.
God Bless, Suzanne Fortin
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