Re: On Masonry
(Dear Moderators - I'm not trying to bring my views or the modern era in this discussion, but rather I think for a good understanding of the topic it might pay to mention the modern policy and modern experience to provide some contrast.)
Originally Posted by hiplainsyank
On this topic there persists some confusion (and debate among Masons who also identify as Catholic) , but basically the Catholic Church has barred its members from becoming Masons since 1738. That has never changed, although in the last 40+ years there has been confusion by some, which is thought to come primarily from ‘softening of language’ from the Vatican on this matter to the point of becoming ambiguous to some. Further confusion comes from the Masonic point of view which doesn't have a problem with membership in the Catholic Church. In 1983, Pope John Paul II restated the Church’s position, saying, “[T]he Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains …[t]he faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.” – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Masonic Associations, Nov. 26, 1983.
From 1738 until 1983 being a Mason, while at the same time being Catholic, incurred the threat of excommunication – pretty serious stuff. I’ve read some pretty hot back and forth mudslinging from around the time of the French Revolution, so I question how openly a practicing Catholic would publically belong to the Masons 150 years ago. as mentioned previously, I was also aware of some versions of Methodism not being too friendly toward it as well. I think the lines were drawn pretty sharply, and I think there were harsh words for each side, although I’ve yet to see evidence for that in the 1860s.
Last edited by mtvernon; 02-12-2012 at 07:56 PM.
Reason: Explaining my mention of the modern era
Bvt. Cpl., 20th Maine Vol. Inf. Co. G., ACWA
Commander, 6th Military District, Sons of Veterans Reserve