Says Its Philosophies Are Incompatible With Church
ROME, 2 MARCH 2007 (ZENIT)
The Church has not changed its ruling on
Catholic membership in the Masons, said the regent of the Apostolic
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti made this statement Thursday at a conference
on the topic of Freemasonry held at the St. Bonaventure Pontifical
The bishop presided over the congress held in cooperation with the
Socio-Religious Research and Information Group of Italy. Officials of
Masonic associations and grand masters also took part in the meeting.
Bishop Girotti reminded his listeners that the Church has always
criticized the concepts and philosophy of Freemasonry, considering them
incompatible with the Catholic faith.
He mentioned the last official reference document, "Declaration on
Masonic Associations," which was signed by the then prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
on Nov. 26, 1983.
The text states that since the principles of Masonic associations "have
always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church,"
membership in them, therefore, "remains forbidden."
"The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave
sin and may not receive holy Communion," adds the declaration signed by
Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Benedict XVI.
Father Zbigniew Suchecki, an expert in the subject, quoted number 1374
of the Code of Canon Law, which reads: "Whoever is inscribed in an
association that plots against the Church must be punished with a just
penalty; whoever promotes or directs that association, must be banned."
"Masonry's attempts to express divine truths are based on relativism and
do not agree with the principles of the Christian faith," said the
Bishop Girotti made reference to the statements of some priests who have
declared publicly their membership in Masonry and called for the
intervention of "their direct superiors," not excluding the possibility
that "measures of a canonical character might come from the Holy See."