Vatican Reinforces Doctrine, for a Change – Says Catholics Can’t Be Members of Freemasonry

So, when his chosen Doctrinal Chief comes to the public to reinforce a time-honored doctrinal point, it becomes news, unfortunately, for the novelty of it.

The Vatican has now confirmed a ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a centuries-old secretive society viewed as a threat by the Church, with an estimated global membership of up to six million.

Reuters reported:

“‘Active membership in Freemasonry by a member of the faithful is prohibited, because of the irreconcilability between Catholic doctrine and Freemasonry’, the Vatican’s doctrinal office said in a letter published by Vatican media on Wednesday.”

The Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith – formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition – issued its opinion in response to a bishop from the Philippines.

The clergyman was alarmed by the growing number of Freemasons in his country.

“The letter on Freemasons cited a 1983 declaration, signed by the late Pope Benedict XVI, at the time the Vatican’s doctrine chief, stating that Catholics ‘in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion’.

Masonic lodges are normally male-only societies, associated with arcane symbols and rituals. They have also sometimes been linked to conspiracy theories alleging undue influence on world affairs.”

Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, actor Peter Sellers, and authors Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle were some famous Freemasons from the past.

The document from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith was signed by the Prefect, Cardinal Victor Fernandéz, and approved by Pope Francis.

Vatican News reported:

“’After explaining with concern the situation in his diocese, due to the continuous increase in the number of members of Freemasonry, [Bishop Cortes] asked for suggestions on how to adequately deal with this reality from a pastoral point of view, while also taking into account the doctrinal implications of the situation.”

The document also reminded the faithful that these measures also apply to any clerics enrolled in Freemasonry.

“The dicastery suggests that the Philippine bishops undertake ‘a popular catechesis in all parishes on the reasons for the irreconcilability between the Catholic faith and Freemasonry’. The bishops of the Philippines are also asked to consider whether they should make a public pronouncement on this topic.”

St. Peters Basilica, Italy by Simone Savoldi is licensed under Unsplash

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