Expert Answer Forum
Masons QUESTION from Jeff November 1, 1998 I have read for years that the Catholic Church condemns Freemasonry and other such societies, and I do not question the Church's wisdom on that point, but it has never been adequately explained to me why. Some rather fantastic answers have been posed to me, but most of them involve some rumors about grizzly or altogether unbelievable practices attributed to these groups. Could you please clear it up for me? Also, what is the definitive difference between such groups and the Knights of Columbus? Thanks. ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on November 4, 1998
The 1917 Code of Canon Law specifically prohibited membership in Masonic societies. The 1983 Code does not make a specific mention, but make a generic statement that:
One who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or moderates such as association, however, is to be punished with an interdict Historically, the Masons were specifically an anti-Catholic group with decided motivation and agenda to plot against the Church.
When the new code was being written, many argued that the prohibition should be specifically retained and the anti-Catholic agenda of the Masons continued. Others argued against it because they felt that the Masonic societies in their countries were not particularly anti-Catholic anymore.
Thus it was felt that since the anti-Catholic problem was not universally held it would not be appropriate to include the specific prohibition in the Code.
However, the decided anti-Catholicism of Masons was not the only issue.
Thus, in 1983 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a declaration indicating that Catholic joining any Masonic societies are involved in grave sin and are thus to be barred from the sacraments.
This legislation is still in effect. And local Bishops CANNOT rescind or dispense from this ruling.
Any Catholic today, joining or maintain membership in any Masonic society is committing a grave sin and should refrain from the Sacraments until that person resigns from the Masonic society and brings the issue to confession.
The reasons for this prohibition involve the irreconcilable nature of Masonic teachings and Catholic doctrine.
From my experience there is still MUCH anti-Catholicism among MANY Masonic members. But regardless of that, the theological principles taught by the Masons are TOTALLY hostile to Catholic doctrine.
There is no way a person who even remotely understands their faith to possibly believe that Masonic teachings can be consistent with that Faith.
In my opinion Masonry is an evil association with roots in satanism. The Masons itself trace their spiritual heritage to Tubal Cain (one of their secret words.
Tubal Cain, a forger of tools made out of bronze and iron (thus the image of masonry), is mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 4:22) and is the descendent of Cain, who killed his brother Abel (Gen. 4:8).
The fact that this society traces its spiritual heritage to a murderous and condemned family line should give one a clue to something wrong.
The so-called secret rituals of Masonry are hideous and are remarkably similar to some rituals in satanism. Even the rituals involved in the first stages of membership contain these hideous elements – more than enough to warn ANY discerning Catholic.
We will be doing a full expose on the Mason next year and placing that on the website.
As to your second question of the similarities between the Knights of Columbus and the Masons, the ONLY similarity is the element of secrecy over some of the initiation rituals. That is the ONLY similarity.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization fully obedient and loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
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