Catholicism and Freemasonry

The Roman Catholic Church has long been an outspoken critic of Freemasonry, and has continually prohibited members from being Freemasons since "In Eminenti Specula" in 1739. Since the early 1700s, the Vatican has issued several papal bulls forbidding Catholics from becoming Freemasons under threat of excommunication. The Church argues that Masonic philosophy discourages Christian dogmatism, and that it is anti-clerical in intent. ["In Latin countries, the lodges have often attracted freethinkers and anticlerical types; in Anglo-Saxon nations, membership has mostly been drawn from white Protestants." [http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/article-9364903/Freemasonry Freemasonry] , Concise Britannica; J. Franklin, [http://www.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/masons.pdf `Catholics versus Masons'] , in J. Franklin, [http://connorcourt.com.au/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/62 Catholic Values and Australian Realities] (Connor Court, 2006), ch. 2] "French Masonry and above all the Grand Orient of France has displayed the most systematic activity as the dominating political element in the French 'Kulturkampf' since 1877." From [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] from the "Catholic Encyclopedia"]

The 1913 edition of the "Catholic Encyclopedia" went as far as to argue that some Masonic ceremonies are anti-Catholic."The Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just vengeance on these 'high criminals' for the murder of Molay 128 and 'as the apostle of truth and the rights of man' 129 to deliver mankind 'from the bondage of Despotism and the thralldom of spiritual Tyranny'." From the article [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] in the Catholic Encyclopedia] However, this claim does not appear in subsequent editions.

Current position of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church's most recent statement on Freemasonry was released in the 1983 document Quaesitum est, written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II. This document remains the most current standing reference on the Church's policy on Freemasonry. ["Quaesitum est" reinforced Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons which was written in 1981 from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Bishops Conference of the United States which clarified the Church's stance by stating that the historic prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders remained.] "Quaesitum est" states:

" "The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion...." "

Quaesitum est clarified the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which did not explicitly list Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. [Canon 1374 stated in part: 'A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.'] This contrasted with the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication. The omission of Masonic orders from the 1983 Canon Law prompted Catholics and Masons to question whether the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons was still active, especially after the perceived liberalization of the Church after Vatican II.

A number of Catholics became Freemasons assuming that the Church had softened its stance. ["From 1974 to 1981, and even beyond, an undetermined number of Catholic men joined the Lodge, and many presently maintain membership. Articles in the Catholic press ' told readers that under certain circumstances a Masonic membership was allowed. The general public, Catholic and non-Catholic, assumed the Church had softened its stand against membership in Freemasonry." from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] by William A Whalen.] Quaesitum est addressed this misinterpretation of the Code of Canon Law, clarifying that:

...the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden."

These "irreconcilable principles" include a "deistic God" ["The nature of the Masonic God is best seen in their favorite title for him: the Supreme Architect. The Masonic God is first of all a deistic God, who is found at the top of the ladder of Masonic wisdom", Jolicoeur and Knowles, pp. 14–15 cited in THE PASTORAL PROBLEM OF MASONIC MEMBERSHIP, sent out as a part of the [http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=5285 Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry] by Cardinal Bernard Law.] , naturalism [ [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=5285 LETTER OF APRIL 19 TO U.S. BISHOPS] by Cardinal Bernard Law] and religious indifferentism. ["The six-year study of Masonry by the German bishops and the study of American Masonry by Professor William Whalen (commissioned by the Pastoral Research and Practices Committee) confirm that the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice." [http://www.catholiculture.net/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=5285 Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry] by Cardinal Bernard Law.]

Freemasonry's position

Masonic bodies do not ban a Catholic from joining if he wishes to do so. [ [http://www.ugle.org.uk/masonry/freemasonry-and-religion.htm Freemasonry and Religion] from the webpage of the United Grand Lodge of England: "Freemasonry is open to men of all religious faiths."] [ [http://www.ugle.org.uk/masonry/YQA-religion.htm Freemasonry: Your Questions Answered] from the webpage of the United Grand Lodge of England: "Q Why will Freemasonry not accept Roman Catholics as members? A It does. The prime qualification for admission into Freemasonry has always been a belief in God. How that belief is expressed is entirely up to the individual. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. There are many Roman Catholic Freemasons."] There has never been a Masonic prohibition against Catholics joining the fraternity, and many Freemasons are Catholics. ["During the Pontificate of Paul VI (1963-1978) local and church authorities were allowed to decide if Freemasonry in their areas violated Canon 2335. Freemasonry never formally prohibited Catholics from joining, but centuries of name calling left bitter feelings on both sides. Nonetheless, with case-by-case approval by local Church authorities, many Catholics became Freemasons" S. Brent Morris, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry", Alpha/Penguin Books, ISBN 1-59257-490-4, p.207.]

The Grand Orient de France publicly campaigns for "laïcité" and a restriction on the Catholic Church's role in politics. ["Enfin, cette occasion permet de rappeler que la laïcité est le garant de la paix civile et morale et qu’à vouloir s’approprier certaines valeurs, les religions -et en particulier la religion catholique sous l’impulsion de sa hiérarchie actuelle- risquent fort, à terme, de rallumer des conflits et de provoquer des exclusions que l’on croyait rejetées aux oubliettes de l’Histoire." Transl. "Finally, it should be remembered that secularism guarentees civil peace and morality and to want to appropriate these religious values - and especially the Catholic religion under its current leadership - runs a strong long term risk of reigniting conflicts and provoking exclusions that we believed had been consigned to history.", [http://www.godf.org/comm_p_detail.asp?num=121 Rappel des valeurs de la laïcité] , Press Release from the Grand Orient de France, date 11 September 2007]

History of the Catholic ban

Original prohibition

In 1736 the Inquisition investigated a Masonic Lodge in Florence, Italy,From the biography of [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/crudeli_t/crudeli_t.html Tommaso Crudeli] on thewebsite of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon] which was condemned in June 1737. The Lodge had originally been founded in 1733 by the English Freemason the Charles Sackville, but accepted Italian members, such as the lodge's secretary Tommaso Crudeli. [page 51, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, by Jasper Ridley]

In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued Eminenti Apostolatus Specula, the first Papal prohibition on Freemasonry.

In May 1739 Tommaso Crudeli, who was a physician and freethinker, was taken into custody and questioned about his heretical beliefs and Masonic affiliation. It was reported in England at the time that he had been tortured, ["So while Grand Lodge in England contributed £21 to relieve Crudeli from distress, and English public opinion became indignant at the untrue reports that he had been tortured", page 53, The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, By Jasper Ridley, 2001, Arcade Publishing] a claim that is still repeated today. ["He was imprisoned and not released until April, 1741. His health was ruined as a result of the experience. He died on January 27, 1745." From the biography of [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/crudeli_t/crudeli_t.html Tommaso Crudeli] on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon] He was released in April 1741 and died in January 1745.

The Inquisition

Another case involved John Coustos, a Swiss Protestant living in England. He founded a Masonic Lodge in Lisbon and was arrested by the Portuguese Inquisition while traveling on business. After being questioned, he was sentenced to the galley.John Coustos: "The Sufferings of John Coustos for Freemasonry and for His Refusing to Turn Catholic in the Inquisition", Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1-4179-4187-1] Three other Portuguese Masons were put to death."Three members of the same lodge, Damaio de Andrade, Manoel de Revehot and Christopher Diego, were hanged on 8 March, 1743." [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/coustos_j/coustos_j.html John Coustos] from the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, citing Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coul. Richmond, Virginia : Macoy Publishing & Masonic Suppy Co., Inc., 1996. p. 56] Coustos was released in 1744 as a result of the intercession of King George II of England, and after his return to England, wrote a book detailing his experiences at the hands of the Inquisition.

In 1815 Francisco Xavier de Mier y Campillo, the Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition and Bishop of Almería, suppressed Freemasonry and denounced the lodges as “societies which lead to sedition, to independence, and to all errors and crimes.”William R. Denslow, Harry S Truman: "10,000 Famous Freemasons", ISBN 1-4179-7579-2: "In 1815, when Ferdinand VII reestablished the Inquisition in Spain and suppressed the Masonic lodges, Xavier denounced the lodges as "societies which lead to sedition, to independence, and to all errors and crimes." Many of the most distinguished persons of Spain were arrested and imprisoned in the dungeons of the Inquisition on the charge of being 'suspected of Freemasonry'.] He then instituted a purge during which Spaniards could be arrested on the charge of being "suspected of Freemasonry".

Freemasonry and Josephinism

Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790, was a proponent of enlightened absolutism. His ecclesiastical policies of measured toleration and national control of the church, known as Josephinism, were aimed at breaking any real control of the Austrian church by Rome."Austria, especially, violent measures were taken to assert the royal supremacy. Joseph II was influenced largely by the Gallican and liberal tendencies of his early teacherFs and advisers. He dreamed of making Austria a rich, powerful, and United Kingdom, and becoming himself its supreme and absolute ruler. During the reign of his mother, Maria Theresa, he was kept in check, but after her death in 1780, in conjunction with his prime minister, Kaunitz, he began to inaugurate his schemes of ecclesiastical reform." [http://catholicity.elcore.net/MacCaffrey/HCCRFR1_Chapter07b.html THE AGE OF ABSOLUTISM AND UNBELIEF (b) Febronianism and Josephism] in HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH From the Renaissance to the French Revolution by Rev. James MacCaffrey, S.J., 1914] ] There is no evidence that Joseph II was a Mason, but he was regarded as being favorably inclined towards freemasonry,"The Emperor Joseph II (1780-90) was favorably inclined to the Fraternity" [http://www.mastermason.com/wilmettepark/mozart.html BROTHER MOZART AND "THE MAGIC FLUTE"] by Newcomb Condee] ] most of his advisers were Freemasons ["Obviously, in the 18th century, most of the advisers to Maria Theresa and the court of Franz Joseph were Masons. Most of the laws and the things that have been done and have been good for our country were very strongly introduced by Masons." [http://www.masonicforum.ro/en/nr21/austria.html Talking to Most Worshipful Brother MICHAEL KRAUS, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Austria] , Masonic Forum] and the "1913 Catholic Encyclopedia" claimed that he had an alliance with Freemasonry."In Germany and Austria, Freemasonry during the eighteenth century was a powerful ally of the so-called party, of "Enlightenment" (Aufklaerung), and of Josephinism" from the article [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] in the Catholic Encyclopedia]

Freemasonry was banned in Austria-Hungary shortly after Joseph II's death in 1790,"Then came the French Revolution. The Freemasons were regarded with suspicion. The Austrian Lodges voluntarily closed in 1792 and those in Bohemia during the following year. Masonry in Hungary had a somewhat longer life, but by an Edict of 1795 all secret societies in the Austrian dominions were ordered to dissolve." From THE SUPPRESSION OF MASONRY IN AUSTRO-HUNGARY in [http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/the_builder_1929_march.htm March 1929 - Volume XV - Number 3] , The Builder Magazine] a state of affairs that continued until 1867 in Hungary and 1918 in Austria.

Reiteration of ban on membership

The ban in "Eminenti" was reiterated by several later popes, notably Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical "Humanum Genus" (1884). The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication."Those who join a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort, which plot against the Church or against legitimate civil authority, incur ipso facto an excommunication simply reserved to the Holy See." Canon 2335, 1917 Code of Canon Law, quoted in [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/canon.html Canon Law regarding Freemasonry, 1917-1983] , excerpted from "Canon Law, A Text and Commentary", by T. Lincoln Bouscaren, S.J. and Adam C. Ellis, S.J., hosted on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, retrieved on 9 April] The 1917 Code of Canon Law also forbid books friendly to Freemasonry."Books which hold dueling, suicide or divorce licit, or which, treating of Masonic sects and other such societies, contend that they are useful and not harmful to the Church and civil society are forbidden", Section 8, Canon 1399, quoted in [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/canon.html Canon Law regarding Freemasonry, 1917-1983] , extracted from "Canon Law, A Text and Commentary", Fourth Revised Edition, Bouscaren, Ellisand, Korth, 1963. Hosted on the website for the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, extracted 9 April 2006.]

Post Vatican II

After Vatican II the Church appeared to some to be easing its stance towards Masonry. In 1974 Cardinal Seper, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed a document that stated, in part, that

"The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith... has ruled that Canon 2335 no longer automatically bars a Catholic from membership of masonic groups... And so, a Catholic who joins the Freemasons is excommunicated only if the policies and actions of the Freemasons in his area are known to be hostile to the Church ..." [ [http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/Essays/miter-trowel.html The Miter and The Trowel] by William G. Madison, [http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ A page about Freemasonry] ]
This advice led some Catholics to believe that the prohibition was no longer in force, [Cardinal Franjo Seper, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a letter dated July 19, 1974, to Cardinal John Krol, which concluded that "Canon 2335 regards only those Catholics who join associations which plot against the Church." from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] 1985 by William J Whalen, distributed by the American Bishop's Conference] and that the Church no longer had many of its traditional objections to Freemasonry. ["Cardinal Seper's letter made no reference to the traditional objections to Freemasonry, namely, its religious naturalism and its oaths. Nor did the letter suggest a methodology by which a bishop might conduct his investigation, in view of the fact that the members of the Lodge, like members of the Irish Republican Army, the Mafia and other secret organizations, were sworn to secrecy." from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] 1985 by William J. Whalen, distributed by the American Bishop's Conference.]

In 1983, the Church issued a new Code of Canon Law. Unlike its predecessor, Canon 1374 does not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. It states in part:

"A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict."

This omission caused some Catholics and Freemasons to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons may have been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalization of Vatican II,"Some brethren and some Catholics believe that since the Second Ecumenical Council, which was conducted from 1962 to 1965 and is informally known as "Vatican II", the attitude of the church has been to regard Freemasonry as an acceptable sphere for fraternal interaction." From [http://www.io.com/~janebm/churchlaw.html ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY] by Reid McInvale, Texas Lodge of Research.] and caused confusion in the Church hierarchy. ["Since many bishops stated in their reply to an earlier survey that confusion had been generated by a perceived change of approach by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" From Introduction to [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=5285 Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry] ] Many Catholics joined the fraternity, basing their membership on a permissive interpretation of Canon Law and justifying their membership by their belief that Freemasonry does not plot against the Church. ["In good faith many of these men had asked their pastors and/or bishops for permission to join the Lodge. Some converts were received into the Church during these years and were not asked to relinquish their Masonic affiliation." [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] , William Whalen, 1986.] It is claimed that Catholic Freemasons in America ignore the 1983 clarification from the Vatican, looking to the 1974 pronouncement."As a result many Catholics are basing their actions vis-a-vis Freemasonry on the 1974 pronouncement, ignoring the 1983 "clarification"." [http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/Essays/miter-trowel.html The Miter and The Trowel] by William G. Madison, [http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ A page about Freemasonry] ]

Ratzinger's reply

In the 1981 letter, Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons to the United States Bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith authored by the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), the matter was clarified, and the prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders remains.

This was followed by the 1983 document "Quaesitum est", issued by Pope John Paul II. To quote:

"The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion..." ["The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion..." Quaesitum est, 1983]
This is the authoritative interpretation of the Vatican's position on this subject.

The official Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" went further, claiming that Freemasonry acted as a rival to Catholicism because of the competing symbolic forms and the designation of Catholic non-Masons as outsiders. [The March 11, 1985 issue of L'Osservatore Romano carried an article titled "Irreconcilability Between Christian Faith and Freemasonry" as a comment on the November 26 1983 declaration. In part, the Vatican newspaper said a Christian "cannot cultivate relations of two types with God nor express his relation with the Creator through symbolic forms of two types. That would be something completely different from that collaboration, which to him is obvious, with all those who are committed to doing good, even if beginning from different principles. On the one hand, a Catholic Christian cannot at the same time share in the full communion of Christian brotherhood and, on the other, look upon his Christian brother, from the Masonic perspective, as an 'outsider.'",. [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] , William H Whalen, 1986]

German Bishops Conference

The 1980 German Bishops Conference produced a report on Freemasonry listing twelve points and allegations.From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ]

Among the allegations were that Freemasonry denies revelation ["1. The Masonic World View. The Masons promote a freedom from dogmatic adherence to any one set of revealed truths. Such a subjective relativism is in direct conflict with the revealed truths of Christianity." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] and objective truth. ["2. The Masonic Notion of Truth. The Masons deny the possibility of an objective truth, placing every truth instead in a relative context." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] They also alleged that religious indifference is fundamental to Freemasonry, ["3. The Masonic Notion of Religion. Again, the Masonic teaching holds a relative notion of religions as all concurrently seeking the truth of the Absolute." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] that Freemasonry is Deist, ["4. The Masonic Notion of God. The Masons hold a deistic notion of God which excludes any personal knowledge of the deity." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] and that it denies the possibility of divine revelation, ["5. The Masonic Notion of God and Revelation. The deistic notion of God precludes the possibility of God’s self-revelation to humankind." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] so threatening the respect due to the Church's teaching office. ["6. Masonic Toleration. The Masons promote a principle of toleration regarding ideas. That is, their relativism teaches them to be tolerant of ideas divergent or contrary to their own. Such a principle not only threatens the Catholic position of objective truth, but it also threatens the respect due to the Church’s teaching office." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] .] The sacramental character of Masonic rituals was seen as signifying an individual transformation, ["7. The Masonic Rituals. The rituals of the first three Masonic grades have a clear sacramental character about them, indicating that an actual transformation of some sort is undergone by those who participate in them." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] offering an alternative path to perfection ["8. The Perfection of Humankind. The Masonic rituals have as an end the perfection of mankind. But Masonry provides all that is necessary to achieve this perfection. Thus, the justification of a person through the work of Christ is not an essential or even necessary aspect of the struggle for perfection." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] and having a total claim on the life of a member ["9. The Spirituality of the Masons. The Masonic Order makes a total claim on the life of the member. True adherence to the Christian faith is thereby jeopardized by the primary loyalty due the Masonic Order." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] .] It concludes by stating that all lodges are forbidden to Catholics, ["10. The Diverse Divisions within the Masons. The Masons are comprised of lodges with varying degrees of adherence to Christian teaching. Atheistic lodges are clearly incompatible with Catholicism. But even those lodges comprised of Christian members seek merely to adapt Christianity to the overall Masonic world-view. This is unacceptable." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] including Catholic-friendly lodges ["11. The Masons and the Catholic Church. Even those Catholic-friendly lodges that would welcome the Church’s members as its own are not compatible with Catholic teaching, and so closed to Catholic members." From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] ] and that German Protestant churches were also suspicious of Freemasonry. ["12. The Masons and the Protestant Church. While a 1973 meeting of Protestant Churches determined that individual Protestants could decide whether to be members of both the Christian Church and the Freemasons, it included in its decision the caveat that those Christians must always take care not to lessen the necessity of grace in the justification of the person."" From "The Evolution of the Church's Prohibition Against Catholic Membership in Freemasonry" by Mgr Ronny Jenkins in "The Jurist", quoted in [http://www.ewtn.org/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=464290&language=en Free Masons] by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on [http://www.ewtn.org Eternal World Television Network] .]

Report of the American Bishops Conference

In the 1980s, the Bishops' Committee on Pastoral Research and Practices concluded that "the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion, active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice." This report, together with two others, was sent in a public letter by Cardinal Bernard Law.

Anslow Affair

On September 15 2000 Rev. Thomas Anslow, Judicial Vicar of the Los Angeles Archdiocese wrote a letter to David Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Bureau of Los Angeles. In reply to the question "whether a practicing Catholic may join a Masonic Lodge" he said that "at least for Catholics in the United States, I believe the answer is probably yes". [http://msana.com/text/focusspr01t.htm MAY CATHOLICS BECOME FREEMASONS?] ] This letter was later publicly retracted with the explanation that the analysis was faulty. [http://www.archdiocese.la/about/faq/index.html May a Roman Catholic join a Masonic lodge?] ] He said that Freemasonry fostered a "supraconfessional humanitarian" conception of God replacing faith and revelation."The key point in the argument is that the system of symbols common to Freemasons around the world (centering on the Architect of the Universe and given added weight by the rule of secrecy) tends to foster a 'supraconfessional humanitarian' way of conceiving the divine that neutralizes or replaces the faith dimension of our relationship with God. Even though given lodges may abstain from endorsing any particular position, including one that considers religious faith to be a matter of indifference (i.e., nothing more than a matter of personal preference), the contemporary world's social atmosphere of moral and religious relativism creates a climate in which a merely humanitarian symbol system works to undermine the religious faith by which we receive God's revelation." [http://www.archdiocese.la/about/faq/index.html May a Roman Catholic join a Masonic lodge?] ]

Esposito Affair

On March 1 2007 Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary made a statement that membership in Masonic organisations "remains forbidden" to Catholics, and called on priests who had declared themselves to be Freemasons to be disciplined by their direct superiors. [ [http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=103884 Regent Restates Vatican's Anti-Masonry Position] , Zenit News Agency, 2007-03-02] It was in reaction to the declaration that the 85 year old priest Rosario Francesco Esposito‎ had declared himself a freemason. [ [http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=49344 Italian priest joins Masons] - Catholic World News]

Catholic fraternal societies

Freemasonry was an important catalyst in the founding of the Knights of Columbus. ["The organization was also intended to provide an alternative for Catholics to membership in a Masonic lodge" [http://www.catholic-church.org/somervillekoc1432/membership.htm History of the Knights] , Somerville Council # 1432] One of the attractions of Freemasonry is that it provided a number of social services unavailable to non-members (and therefore, devout Catholics). ["American Catholics found themselves unable to participate in the many fraternal organizations that offered insurance benefits because the Church had condemned so-called "secret societies." A New Haven, Conn., parish priest, Michael J. McGivney, organized the Knights of Columbus as an alternative to proscribed organizations.", [http://www.linshaw.ca/omtp/vol4no12.html Many Fraternal Groups Grew From Masonic Seed (Part 2 -- 1860-1920)] , by Barbara Franco, The Northern Lights, November 1985] Father Michael J. McGivney, a Catholic priest in New Haven, Connecticut wished to provide Catholic men with an alternative to Freemasonry. ["In the official history entitled The Knights of Columbus in Peace and War, by Maurice Francis Egan and John B. Kennedy (New Haven; Conn; 1920) it is stated that Michael Joseph McGivney, an assistant in St. Mary's Church, New Haven, "sometimes had the painful experience of seeing young Catholics enter fraternal societies either frowned upon or actually forbidden by the Church. " From [http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/mackeys_encyclopedia/k.htm ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES (K)] by ALBERT C. MACKEY, hosted on [http://www.phoenixmasonry.org Phoenixmasonry, Inc] ] He believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wished to found a society that would encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage. [Christopher Kaufman, "Faith and Fraternalism", Harper and Row, 1982, p.17.]

Separation of church and state

Freemasons are seen by the Church'It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place." Paragraph 22, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13HUMAN.HTM Humanum Genus] ] as prominent advocates of a total separation of religion and the state."Freemasonry Does Not Support any particular political position. It has long stood for separation of Church and State, and has been a champion of Free Public Education." From a [http://www.arkmason.com/didknow.htm speech given by Bill Jones] Grand Master of Arkansas, 1996] Such strict separation of church and state was seen by the Church as a veiled attack on its place in public life,Pope Leo XIII [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM ETSI NOS (On Conditions in Italy)] , Item 2] manifesting a religious indifferentism which did not accept any religion as true or revealed."If the Bloc has been established, this is owing to Freemasonry and to the discipline learned in the lodges. The measures we have now to urge are the separation of Church and State and a law concerning instruction. Let us put our trust in the word of our Bro. Combes" from quoted as footnote 158 in the article [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] in the "Catholic Encyclopedia".]

Freemasonry was accused of promoting state supported secular education and the prohibition of education by the Church. "the position of the religious authorities as to the education of the young utterly ignored" Pope Leo XIII [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM ETSI NOS (On Conditions in Italy)] , Item 2] [ [http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1368] In a 1978 article in the Review of Religious Research, two (non-Catholic) scholars examined "Fraternal Associations and Civil Religion: Scottish-rite Freemasonry." Among many observations the authors noted: "In their support of civil religion, the Masons are militantly "anti-particularistic," to use Sidney Mead's term. They vigorously denounce parochial schools for challenging the public school system and, implicitly, the unifying civil religion. Sectarian religion has positive values, but it is relegated to the sphere of private morality and private faith." (Pamela M. Jolicoeur and Louis L. Knowles, Vol. 20, No. 1, Fall 1978, pp. 13-14). from [http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] by William J Whalen] In Italy, Freemasonry has been accused of promoting civil marriage"marriages contracted in despite of the laws and without the rites of the Church" Pope Leo XIII [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM ETSI NOS (On Conditions in Italy)] , Item 2] and supporting cremation. ["Consider the support Garibaldi gave to the movement to spread, in Italy, the idea and the practice of cremation: a movement that was directly promoted by the masonic lodges and that had many prominent figures of Freemasonry among its most important leaders." From [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/garibaldi_g/garibaldi.html Giuseppe Garibaldi Massone] translated by the Grand Lodge of British Columbia] Freemasonry was also accused of being the motivating force behind the forfeiture of Italian church property"Religious houses suppressed, the goods of the Church confiscated" Pope Leo XIII [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM ETSI NOS (On Conditions in Italy)] , Item 2] and ending Papal temporal authority in the Papal States."For, despoiled of his Civil Princedom, he has of necessity fallen into the hands of another Power." Pope Leo XIII [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM ETSI NOS (On Conditions in Italy)] , Item 2]

The Vatican criticized Freemasonry in this area in 2004. ["Contrarily, a certain cultural hostility is being spread against religions, especially Christianity and Catholicism in particular, notably through the means of social communication, and is promoted by Masonic sources active in different organizations." Introduction, Section 3, note 2. [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/cultr/documents/rc_pc_cultr_doc_20040313_where-is-your-god_en.html#i3 Where is Your God?] , Responding to the Challenge of Unbelief and Religious Indifference Today, CONCLUDING Document OF THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY, Pontifical Council for Culture.]

The Relationship between Catholicism and Continental Freemasonry

Continental Freemasonry, the branch of Freemasonry that has been concentrated in traditionally Catholic countries, has been seen by Catholic critics as an outlet for anti-Catholic disaffection, and many particularly anti-clerical regimes in traditionally Catholic countries were perceived as having a strong Masonic element, ["In France, in 1877, and in Portugal in 1910, Freemasons took control of the government for a time and enacted laws to restrict the activities of the Church, particularly in education. In Latin America, the Freemasons have expressed anti-Church and anti-clerical sentiment." [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=1243 Catholics and the Freemason 'Religion'] , Fr William Saunders, Arlington Catholic Herald] even being compared by a Catholic spokesman, William Whalen, to the Ku Klux Klan. ["An estimated 30,000 Masons belong to five hundred lodges within three jurisdictions in Italy. Everyone knows that the Grand Orient Lodges of Europe and Latin America have been anti-clerical from the start. For the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to advise Catholics against joining these Grand Orient Lodges would be like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People advising blacks against applying for membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Those who say that the Church really directs her condemnation against the Grand Orient Lodges must assume that the Vatican does not know that Freemasonry is English in origin and overwhelmingly English-speaking in membership." [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] ]

According to Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston the American Grand Lodges, which are aligned to the United Grand Lodge of England are viewed as far less anti-catholic and mainly as a social and business group."...In the historical view, Freemasonry in Europe and Latin America has opposed the Catholic Church and has been virulent in its anti-clerical attitude. To a great extent, however, this mentality is not typical of Freemasonry in the United States... There is a concern that certain Freemasonry groups display all the elements of a religion, but forbid the mention of Jesus Christ within the lodge. This, too, is not exemplified in masonic groups in the United States but is found in other parts of the world. Most Masons in this country join for social and business reasons. In general, there has been no conflict between Freemasonry and the Catholic Church in this country. Both organizations have existed in harmony in the United States....", 10 June 1991, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Houston-Galveston archdiocese, in a letter to Reid McInvale, quoted in [http://www.io.com/~janebm/churchlaw.html ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY] by Reid McInvale, Texas Lodge of Research]

The Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, which is attached to the United Grand Lodge of England, claim that the Continental Freemasons' anticlericalism is a "deviation" from proper Freemasonry. [ [http://glrb.org/Efaq.htm#15. 15. Are Freemasons anticlerical?] , Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium]

France

Catholic authors have often seen Freemasonry in France as being particularly hostile to Catholicism ["The Grand Lodge of France was among the most violently anticlerical of the world" [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?recnum=7828 Interview with ZBIGNIEW SUCHECKI] by Wlodzimierz Redzioch, Catholic Culture] and the American Freemason Christopher Hodapp complained that the attitude of French Freemasonry towards Rome was a major reason why there was disunion between English speaking and French speaking Freemasonry, [Christopher Hodapp, [http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2008/01/french-president-to-meet-with-grand.html Freemasons For Dummies] ] as long ago as 1918 this split has been emphasised by American commentators. ["So far does this militant atheism of "Latin Freemasonry" in France go," [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9A04E6D6133BEE3ABC4C51DFB4668383609EDE&oref=slogin Caillaux's Secret Power Through French Masonry; Ex-Premier Long Immune from Attack Because of His Connection with Atheistic Order Wholly Different from English and American Fraternal Societies] (PDF), The New York Times Magazine, Charles Johnston, Feb 24, 1918]

It was claimed that Napoleon I had encouraged the resurrection of Freemasonry after the French Revolution as a counterweight against the Catholic Church. [Page 152, "The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society", by Jasper Ridley, 2002]

In 1877 the Grand Orient de France allowed atheists to join, and split from the United Grand Lodge of England, forming what became known as Latin Freemasonry.For example, the [http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/Essays/miter-trowel.html The Miter and the Trowel] says "the Latin Grand Lodges" and "the Latin version of Freemasonry" and "unique to Latin Masonry".] Catholic sources, quoting Masonic documents from both the United Grand Lodge of England and the "Grand Orient of France",The Freemason's Chronicle, 1889, I, 81 sq and Bulletin du Grand Orient de France 1890, 500 sq - cited as footnotes 157 and 158 [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] from the "Catholic Encyclopedia".] saw Freemasonry as the primary force of French anti-clericalism from 1877 onwards."French Masonry and above all the Grand Orient of France has displayed the most systematic activity as the dominating political element in the French "Kulturkampf" since 1877." From [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] from the "Catholic Encyclopedia".] During the Affaire Des Fiches (1904-1905) it was discovered that army promotions were partly determined by the Grand Orient of France's card index on public officials, detailing which were Catholic and who attended Mass. [Larkin, Church and State after the Dreyfus Affair, pp. 138-41: `Freemasonry in France’, Austral Light 6, 1905, pp. 164-72, 241-50.] French Masonic publications called for religious orders to be expelled from France."The Republic must rid itself of the religious congregations, sweeping them off by a vigorous stroke. The system of half measures is everywhere dangerous; the adversary must be crushed with a single blow" Massé in the Compte rendu du Grand Orient de France, 1903, cited in Nourrisson, "Les Jacobins", 266-271 and then [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm Masonry (Freemasonry)] in the Catholic Encyclopedia]

Italy

In the Papal constitution Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo (1821) Pope Pius VII linked the anticlerical Italian secret society, the Carbonari to Freemasonry."It also links Freemasonry with the Society of the Carbonari, known as the "Charcoal Burners", who at that time were active in Italy and were believed to be a revolutionary group." [http://www.bessel.org/cathtlor.htm ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LAW REGARDING FREEMASONRY] by REID McINVALE, Texas Lodge of Research]

In the period between Italian unification (1870) and the Lateran Treaties (1929) there was a cold war between the Papacy and the Kingdom of Italy (see Prisoner in the Vatican). The Papal Encyclical Etsi Nos, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy)] , promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1882] complained about the way in which post-unification Italy denigrated the role of the church,"If ever these perils were menacing in Italy they are surely so now, at a time when the condition of the Civil State itself disastrously imperils the freedom of religion." Paragraph 1, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy)] ] which the Vatican blamed primarily on Freemasonry."It is even reported that this year it is about to receive the deputies and leaders of the sect which is most embittered against Catholicism, who have appointed this city as the place for their solemn meeting. The reasons which have determined their choice of such a meeting place are no secret; they desire by this outrageous provocation to glut the hatred which they nourish against the Church, and to bring their incendiary torches within reach of the Roman Pontificate by attacking it in its very seat." Paragraph 3, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13ITL.HTM Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy)] .]

The hostility to Freemasonry shaped much of the Catholic church's strategy in regard to the newly established Italian state. For example, in the encyclical Custodi di quella fede Leo XIII warned against Catholics becoming involved with liberal groups"Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God." Para 15, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13MS3.HTM Custodi di Quella Fede] ] and asked Catholics to become more involved in forms of Catholic Action away from the "Masonic" state. ["Masonry has confiscated the inheritance of public charity; fill the void, then, with the treasure of private relief." Para 18, [http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13MS3.HTM Custodi di Quella Fede] ]

In 2007 Italian politicians in the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and Forza Italia accused “radical and Masonic” groups of being behind a threatened investigation by the European Commission of whether or not the tax-exempt status of the Church’s hospitals, schools, and other social service organizations should be withdrawn. [ [http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=10274 Politicians say Masons behind investigation of the Church in Italy] , Catholic News Agency, August 31, 2007]

Mexico

The Mexican Revolution was seen by the leadership of the Catholic Church to be both masonically inspired and anti-clerical with Cardinal William Henry O'Connell in 1914 claiming that there was a Masonic conspiracy to spread atheism and anarchy. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F0CE1DB1738E633A25755C1A9679D946596D6CF CALLS IT MASONIC CONSPIRACY; Cardinal O'Connell Assails Leaders of Mexican Revolution] , November 16, 1914, New York Times] [page 206, The Mexican Revolution, Alan Knight, ISBN 0803277717]

The Mexican government's anticlerical stance after the Mexican Revolution coincided with a succession of presidents who were "Masons and strongly anticlerical"."After the defeat and exile of the dictator in the 1910 revolution, a succession of Presidents who were Masons and strongly anticlerical ruled the country under the 1917 Constitution that maintained substantially the same liberal principles of 1857." From [http://www.yorkrite.com/gcmx/os1999.html MEXICAN MASONRY- POLITICS & RELIGION] by Oscar J. Salinas E., Past Senior Grand Warden - York Grand Lodge of Mexico (as hosted on the web page of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Mexico)] Even recent President Vicente Fox stated, "After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic Freemasons who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of popular indigenous President Benito Juarez of the 1880s. But the military dictators of the 1920s were a more savage lot than Juarez." [Fox, Vicente and Rob Allyn [http://books.google.com/books?id=bLDDf9vi-esC&dq Revolution of Hope] p. 17, Viking, 2007]

President Plutarco Elías Calles, a Freemason [Denslow, William R. [http://books.google.com/books?id=dmPato81X9sC&pg=PA171&dq=plutarco+calles+freemason&sig=NsSB9-6KQUn50HmpBT8eh9nx3No 10,000 Famous Freemasons] p. 171 (2004 Kessinger Publishing)ISBN 1417975784] sought to vigorously enforce the secularising provisions of the constitution and enacted additional anti-Catholic legislation known as the Calles Law, which enacted a number of anti-clerical provisions, for example fining priests for wearing clerical dress. [Tuck, Jim [http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/history/jtuck/jtcristero1.html THE CRISTERO REBELLION - PART 1] Mexico Connect 1996] Many Catholics rebelled against the oppression in the conflict which is known as the Cristero War. On May 28, 1926, Calles was awarded a medal of merit from the head of Mexico's Scottish rite for his actions against the Catholics. [ [http://www.storialibera.it/epoca_contemporanea/messico_1926-1929/articolo.php?id=508 The Cristeros: 20th century Mexico's Catholic uprising, from The Angelus, January 2002 , Volume XXV, Number 1] by Olivier LELIBRE, The Angelus]

In August 2007 Pedro Marquez of the Grand Lodge of the Valley of Mexico, in discussing a call by the Church to lift the ban in the Mexican constitution against Catholic schools and newspapars, stated "The Catholic hierarchy wants to dictate a political policy and that is a very grave error, as our society is no longer in the era of Christianity and priests are no longer viceroys of New Spain," and that "There is a tendency in the Church to meddle in the social and political affairs of Mexico, but the priests should return to their Churches". [ [http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=10087 Mexican masons lament decline of influence and launch new attack on the Church] , Catholic News Agency, August 9 2007]

Spain

Freemasonry was banned in Spain in the Eighteenth Century due to the Papal ban. It became the focus of liberal and anticlerical feeling. ["In Spain, more than in any other country in the world, Freemasonry really was the revolutionary conspiracy which the anti-masonic writers and propagandists of the Catholic Church described.", page 196, "The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society", by Jasper Ridley, ISBN 1559706015] During the Spanish Civil War the church named Masonic support of the Republic as one of the reasons it backed the Nationalists. [ [http://www.gle.org/ingles/i_historia.php Brief History of the Spanish Masonry] Gran Logia de Espana]

In 2004, the president of Spain's "Union of Catholic Professional Fraternities" blamed the anti-clerical measures of the Socialist government on a "tremendous crusade by Masonry against the Church"."The president of the Union of Catholic Professional Fraternities, Luis Labiano, said this week a “tremendous crusade by Masonry against the Church” exists in Spain." [http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=2055 Spanish Catholic organization blames Masons for “tremendous crusade” against Church] , September 27, 2004, [http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/ Catholic News Agency] .]

Portugal

By the 1830s Freemasonry was seen as a driving force in the anti-clericalism of Portugal's liberals. ["By the 1830s the Masons had become, by and large, the principal promoters of anticlericalism." [http://libro.uca.edu/payne2/payne22.htm Chapter 22 Portugal under the Nineteenth-Century Constitutional Monarchy] , Stanley G. Payne, A History of Spain and Portugal, Vol. 2]

The Grande Oriente Lusitano supported the Radical Republicans of Afonso Costa who pursued a strongly anti-clerical programme. [ [http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/arnaldoGeng.html Breve historial da Maçonaria em Portugal] ] Catholic sources attributed the apparent obstruction of Artur Santos, the mayor of Ourem, to the Fatima apparitions in 1917 to his Masonic membership."At twenty-six he joined the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge at Leiria." [http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr07/cr07pg12.asp OPPOSITION TO FATIMA (Part I)] , The Fatima Crusader, Issue 7 Page 12, Spring 1981]

See also

* Anti-Masonry
* Christianity and Freemasonry
* Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons
* Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry
* Papal Documents relating to Freemasonry

Notes and references


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