Catholics

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 

King James Bible
. Psalms 34:13-14.

The Reasoning

One of the reasons we've hesitated putting a page on this site trying to explain the Catholic objection to Freemasonry is because, simply, we know that many will write and say, "That's not it: it's really (x)." The bottom line is that there have been many issues raised by the Catholic Church against Freemasonry somewhat continuously since 21 years after Freemasonry first assumed its current form in 1717.

Here are a few of the objections - and we've sure that someone can nit-pick a few more but this should serve to outline the general issues. The arguments are that Freemasonry

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supports public education

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supports the separation of church and state

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is a naturalistic religion

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allows men of different faiths to believe that they will achieve salvation

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has secrets (and those secrets are not ones that are 'confessed')

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plots against the Catholic Church

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engages in religious teachings or (alternatively) has a decidedly religious character

Much smoke - very little fire!

From reading the above, it would appear to many (those who might admit that the Church isn't ALWAYS 100% right on things - or can make the mistakes of the human beings who administer it), that the complaints are petty and reflect an issue of control more than anything else.

We'd have to agree.

From Freemasonry's very first years, it was very much an organization which welcomed freedom of thought - at a time when Europe was still coming out of the Middle Ages, marked by fiefdoms, petty bureaucratic control, and a Church which was in fear of losing its control as Protestantism began to spread. The political machinations in the earliest years of the 1700s in England where Freemasonry in its present form began were concerning enough to the Pope, whose predecessors had not that many years ago had been exiled in France and had been fighting pitched battles with various regimes, but when this new group of 'radical free-thinkers' appeared, it was more than could be borne - and they reacted with various Encyclicals and pronouncements on a reasonably regular basis.

All of Freemasonry is NOT the same

While tempted to use the phrase "Giving the Devil his due...", it should be said that Freemasonry in Italy - home of the Holy See - has, like much else in Italy, been beset with political machinations from its earliest days. Italy brought us the behavior of the Medici family and Freemasonry there was ultimately influenced in the same way. The P2 scandal is but one example. It is not without SOME justification, then, that the Pope would be to some extent 'spooked' and would react accordingly, particularly when fawning sycophants encourage and often elderly and out-of-touch leader to take up their piques.

Cherry-picking sources

Of course, one might say that the Catholic Church in the 20th century was stinging from being duped by the Taxil matter which they openly embraced. However, proponents of the above arguments today regularly trot out quotes by Pike (particularly that one about the 'outer portico' and how Masons don't understand <sigh>) as well as those written by Manley Hall written when he was barely 21 and some 30 years before he became a Mason. That notwithstanding, it seems to have always been something: if not this, then that. Frankly, it's a bit tiresome!

So can a Catholic become a Mason?

Freemasonry has no objection to this whatsoever.

Over the years, fervent Catholics have written to say that a statement such as the above is misleading since we are aware of the Church's ban on Masonic membership. That is their opinion and they are entitled to it. There are, however, Catholic Freemasons who see no contradiction whatsoever. Some of the most "religious intolerants" among the Catholic faith will proclaim - like bleating sheep, it seems - that there is no such thing as a "Catholic Freemason" but that, of course, flies in the face of reality - something that a very minute group of Catholics (and not only Catholics but those of ALL religions/faiths/beliefs) are quite adept at doing. Click here for some of this rabid ranting and narrow-minded pettiness - and see here for a fuller understanding of that tired old saw that Freemasons deny Jesus. (Oh, and we should mention - yet again - that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of its creator - and not "the Freemasons" as some would dearly love to believe!)

{Curiously, despite the rant we've linked to above, they've assiduously avoided addressing the issue raised here, i.e., the Catholic Church is hardly in a position to be condemning Freemasonry for whatever perceived evils it thinks are going on - particularly in light of the things that they themselves have been sweeping under the rug!}

The bottom line is that Freemasonry's requirements and rules do not prohibit a Catholic from becoming a Freemason. Period. And that's the way it is. Period. Full stop!

This is LEADERSHIP?

The Roman Catholic Church in early 2010 finds itself beset by sexual abuse scandals once again. It's unfortunate that a religious organization has found itself in this quandary but it's particularly disturbing when one realizes that while SO much of this recent activity has been occurring, church leadership has been more focused on the imagined evils of Freemasonry.

When Archbishop Cardinal Law was forced to resign his position as head of the Archdiocese of Boston in late 2002, it was only as a result of a series of lawsuits, depositions and disclosures that Law was not only aware of egregious sexual misconduct among his subordinates but apparently engaged in elaborate efforts to cover them up including, but not limited to, child rape. In fact, the Cardinal admitted in a deposition that he knew that the Rev. John Geoghan had raped at least seven boys in 1984 before he approved Geoghan's transfer to another parish where other boys were at risk. Further disclosures revealed that the Rev. Paul Shanley, who at one point was facing trial for 10 counts of child rape and 6 counts of indecent assault and battery, had been moved from ministry to ministry in what amounted to an attempt to protect him. Law himself lied to a West Coast bishop about Shanley's history and certified in writing that another rapist priest, the Rev. Redmond Raux, had "nothing in his background" to make him "unsuitable to work with children."

What was Cardinal Law doing at this time? Why he was concentrating on the apparently MORE egregious behavior of Freemasonry culminating in the April 19, 1985 letter to U. S. Bishops concerning Masonry.

As the days pass, more accusations seem to reach into the Vatican and there too, the activities of then Cardinal Ratzinger himself issuing guidance under the name of his predecessor, condemning Freemasonry while - as it might be said - Rome burned!

Why are these Catholic leaders so concerned?

There are approximately 406,000 Priests compared with some 2-3 million Masons. Care to compare the scandals?

Created April, 2010. Updated 5 August 2010 with links to some rabid Catholic ranting.

 

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