THE CHURCH OF ROME AND FREEMASONRY *
by Bro. Will Read
* Part of a paper pubblished by:
ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM
TRANSACTIONS OF QUATUOR CORONATI
LODGE N° 2076
Volume 104 for the Year 1991
The volume is available at:
The Secretery, Q.C.C.C. Ltd., 60 Great
Queen Street, London WC2B 5BA UK
Bearing in mind all the documents and statements to which one has referred,
and more particularly the absence of mention of Freemasonry in the 1983
codification of canon law, it would appear that the present position regarding
a Catholic and membership of the Craft can be set out thus:
The Catholic Church now recognizes that
there are two distinct divisions within Freemasonry:
Regular - those jurisdictions
which require from their members a belief in a Supreme Being and which
are not inimical to the Church of Rome or to civil authority.
Irregular - those jurisdictions
which require no profession of faith from their candidates, and which may
also be anti-Christian or anti-civil authority, or both.
It also recognizes that Freemasonry
under the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland is in the regular
A Catholic may join regular Freemasonry
but ought to consult his Bishop, through his parish priest, not for permission
to join but to ascertain the nature of the jurisdiction concerned.
A Catholic hitherto has been, or now is,
a member of a regular lodge, need no longer consider himself as excommunicate
and therefore has no need of absolution.
A Catholic who has in the past abandoned
his faith to become a regular freemason is urged to seek reconciliation
with his Church.
Nowhere, seemingly, has it been stated
that a Catholic who has been, is or may become a regular freemason is required
to reveal in the confessional either his membership or what occurs in a
freemasonic lodge ( on the grounds, presumably, that as a regular mason
his membership is not sinful and therefore calls for neither confession
nor absolution ).
Clerics, those bound by monastic
vows and members of secular institutions are still precluded from entering