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Sandra Miesel explains why Catholics can't be Masons
Insight Scoop ^ | September 17, 2009

Posted on 09/20/2009 10:37:51 AM PDT by NYer

From a September 2006 article featured on the Our Sunday Visitor website:

No pope has ever been a Mason. The Catholic Church has warily monitored Freemasonry from the time it penetrated Europe. In 1738, Pope Clement XII condemned the Craft for its dependence on mere natural virtue while ignoring Christ's unique role as Savior. He also denounced the rash oaths it demanded of members to protect trivial Lodge secrets.

Catholics who joined the Masons were excommunicated, with reconciliation reserved to the pope. This decree had little effect, however, because it wasn't published in every land, nor was it always taken seriously where it was published. Eight subsequent popes would have to repeat the message, most forcefully Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Humanum Genus (On Freemasonry).

Denouncing the Lodge as "a deceitful and crafty enemy," Pope Leo declared, "Let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the Masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them." The 1917 Code of Canon Law included these stern prohibitions.

After the Second Vatican Council, however, the long hostility between Lodge and Church seemed to be easing. A reinterpretation of the anti-Masonic canons in 1974 led some Catholics to think that only Masonic groups actively plotting against the Church were forbidden to them.

Even so, some Freemasons had actually been plotting against the Vatican through its bank. In 1981, two of the pope's top financial advisers - known all along as Masons - were unmasked as members of a secret Lodge called Propaganda Due that was plotting a fascist takeover of Italy. Both men later died mysteriously. The Vatican lost $240,000 with the collapse of its bank.

Changing views

Rome's softer view of Masonry was abruptly reversed in 1981 just before the financial scandal broke. Although the current Code of Canon Law issued in 1983 fails to mention the Craft by name, in the same year the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith firmly reiterated the original ban:

"The Church's negative position on Masonic associations therefore remains unaltered since their principles have always been regarded as irreconcilable with the Church's doctrine."

Read the entire piece.

Sandra, by the way, has already finished reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol (I'm on page 30 and don't know if I have the strength to continue). I spoke to her yesterday shortly after she had reached the underwhelming conclusion of the novel, and she noted it was a sort of "love poem" to Masonry, with occasional swipes at Christianity. And today she wrote: "I finished THE LOST SYMBOL, which is a tad better than DA VINCI CODE despite being rah rah pro-Masonic propaganda.By no means is it a 'good' book, even for popcorn reading." She is working on a piece about the novel, the Masons, and other esoteric topics for Catholic World Report (so subscribe now!).

For a more detailed examination of the Masons, consider Christianity And American Freemasonry, by William J. Whalen:

What is it about Freemasonry that would cause churches to forbid or openly discourage seventy million Americans from membership? Why have eight popes condemned the Lodge? Why has the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Masonic order been strained for centuries? Christianity and American Freemasonry answers these and many other questions and describes why Christ ianity and Freemasonry are incompatible.

Today over two million American men belong to the Masonic order, the largest and oldest secret fraternal society. In earlier history the Freemasons boasted a prestigious membership, including fourteen American presidents and such founding fathers as Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, and Alexander Hamilton. This is the most complete reference book available on the subject. Chapters discuss the rituals and oaths, the Scottish and York rites, allied organizations such as the Shriners, and the historic antagonism of Christianity toward Masonry. It is thoroughly documented with facts from:

• the three most noted experts on Masonry in America
• Masonic ritual books, encyclopedias, and histories
• three former Masons, now active Catholics, who contributed firsthand knowledge of Masonic ritual and structure.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; davincicode; freemasonry; lostsymbol
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William Whalen is a nationally known expert on comparative religion, and an author of 15 books and numerous magazine articles.

1 posted on 09/20/2009 10:37:51 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 09/20/2009 10:38:29 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

Now if Freemasonry is a secret order, how would the Church know that you’re a Mason?


3 posted on 09/20/2009 10:43:30 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: NYer

4 posted on 09/20/2009 10:45:41 AM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: NYer

I don’t think any Christians should be Masons...and I know that will bring on the whole hootin’ pro Mason fringe! I’m not saying that one is not a Christian if one has joined the Masons, just saying a Christian should honestly reflect then get out!


5 posted on 09/20/2009 10:47:02 AM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: NYer

Can someone post a short “Why Catholics Shouldn’t Be Masons” post? I have had and do have the opportunity to join. Many of our Founding Fathers were Masons. So why is it heretical? (And I’m not looking for “because Pope XXX said so,” rather the WHY as it relates to today.)


6 posted on 09/20/2009 10:47:23 AM PDT by piytar (Zero pimping propaganda on all SRM channels at once: Big Brother in 2009! NRA Lifetime Member)
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To: NYer

I don’t think someone who wants to comment on religion with any sort of authenticity wants to have any mention of the works of Dan Brown anywhere in his or her argument.


7 posted on 09/20/2009 10:48:29 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Chi-townChief
It's not like "secret secret" ~ they wear those big rings for example, and ride motorcycles and stuff.

One does imagine even the most obtuse bishop or cloistered deacon is going to figure it out eventually ~

8 posted on 09/20/2009 10:55:37 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: piytar

I too would like to know as I have several good friends who are 34th degree masons, are good conservative Christians, and good conservative Republicans. All are veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam (one has five combat tours in Vietnam). These are men I would love to have my children emulate. I do not understand what the problem is, and as I understand it, each bishop is allowed to decide for his diocese.


9 posted on 09/20/2009 10:58:17 AM PDT by Military family member (GO Colts!!)
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To: Chi-townChief

“Now if Freemasonry is a secret order, how would the Church know that you’re a Mason?”

They wouldn’t, but there is a spiritual dimension to living a lie.


10 posted on 09/20/2009 11:00:41 AM PDT by OpusatFR (Those embryos are little humans in progress. Using them for profit is slavery.)
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To: piytar

Masonry in the US has always been more of a social club than anything else. But the roots of Masonry are in anti-Catholicism, a secret society of the elect that in the minds of its founders, would know better than the boobs in the Catholic Church. However, a significant difference in the case of the US is the fact that our Masons were British, and the Catholic Church had ceased to be something worth attacking at least two centuries before the time of our Founding Fathers; therefore, while there’s a mild current of anti-Catholicism, it’s no worse than average modern Protestant anti-Catholicism.

But in traditionally Catholic places like Austria, Spain, Italy, etc., Freemasonry was an actively anti-Catholic force. It has its own deity, its own set of rituals and its own heirarchy. In Catholic countries, it was not content to maintain these quietly, but actively sought to influence the government and destroy the Church. It was very successful in Spain in the early 19th century, and had patchy success in other places over that century.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that there is a difference between British/US Freemasonry and the Continental European variety, although their roots are one and the same.


11 posted on 09/20/2009 11:01:42 AM PDT by livius
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To: mdmathis6

As a Mason, I listen to the opinions of others and try to understand so that I might apply their wisdom to my life in hopes of betterment. I do not see where the conflict between the Order and Religion as I hear the concerns of others. Masons do not seek to replace the Creator or even challenge the Creator for position. They do not counter the religious leanings of members, in fact they (in my Lodge) discourage religious discussion as it is their goal to include rather than draw lines.
The goal of Masonry is to make good men better and this is not dependent on their religious persuasions.


12 posted on 09/20/2009 11:02:52 AM PDT by Bowtie52
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To: Military family member
John Salza, a former 32nd degree mason, has discussed this on EWTN. I could not find an audio archive of the program, but here is his book.

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Catholics-Cannot-Be-Masons/dp/0895558815

13 posted on 09/20/2009 11:06:15 AM PDT by monkapotamus
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To: NYer

I’m not Catholic, but the book is very insightful. I’d say most members at lower levels are innocent, hardworking guys who like to bump elbows and have above-board spiritual beliefs. At that level, Masonry is like the ongoing sketch where Jackie Gleason and Art Carney wore coonskin hats, said mumbo-jumbo and supported the charity raffle. The issue arises beyond that, where the formerly-secret “upper” orders have a hidden power agenda and, according to some who have left the conclave, blood oaths to a “god” who is not God. Several Christian denominations, not just the Catholics, disavow Masonry. Some say that we are at a juncture in human history where the Shadow Masters are playing their trump card, using mass media (including novels, film, TV, cartoons, porn, anything needed), political manipulation, a false presidential “messiah”, economic extortion, invocations of racism, islamist-vs-zionist hate, resurgent Soviet-ism and all forms of international division and violence to control the Earth. There are no sidelines now. As they say, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing. Pray to God, tell the truth, and work for the good.


14 posted on 09/20/2009 11:08:28 AM PDT by UncleVanya
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To: Military family member
"I do not understand what the problem is, and as I understand it, each bishop is allowed to decide for his diocese."

http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur161.htm

"In order to clarify the issue the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a declaration on Nov. 26, 1983, shortly before the present Code of Canon Law came into effect. This declaration, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, states:

"It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church's decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

"This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

"Therefore the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

"It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L'Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).

"In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation."

The congregation's judgment, therefore, was not so much based on whether the Masons as such or any specific group of Masons effectively plot against the Church today. This does not deny that some Masonic groups have historically combated the Church nor that even today, in some countries or at certain levels, the lodge remains at the forefront of those who oppose the Church's freedom of action.

Rather, the Vatican congregation above all stressed the incompatibility of some Masonic principles with those of the Catholic Church.

This incompatibility resides in some aspects of Masonic ritual, but more importantly in elements regarding the question of truth.

In its effort to bring together people of different provenances, Masonry requires that its members adhere to a minimal belief in a supreme architect of the universe and leave aside all other pretensions of truth, even revealed truth.

It is thus basically a relativistic doctrine, and no Catholic, nor indeed any convinced Christian, may ever adhere to a group that would require him, even as a mere intellectual exercise, to renounce the affirmation of such truths as Christ's divinity and the Trinitarian nature of God.

Of course, for many people active in Masonic lodges, the conversations and activities are more social in nature and rarely veer toward the realm of philosophical speculation. A Catholic, however, cannot ignore the fundamental principles behind an organization, no matter how innocuous its activities appear to be."


15 posted on 09/20/2009 11:13:30 AM PDT by monkapotamus
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To: Military family member

34th degree? Thought 33rd was high as you can get.


16 posted on 09/20/2009 11:17:23 AM PDT by Mmogamer (<This space for lease>)
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To: livius

Thanks for the info. One thing stood out: The continental side had (has?) their own deity (God)? That would be a deal breaker for me, to say the least!


17 posted on 09/20/2009 11:35:48 AM PDT by piytar (Zero pimping propaganda on all SRM channels at once: Big Brother in 2009! NRA Lifetime Member)
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To: NYer
I don't know enough about the Masons to say if it is a “good” or “bad” organization.

I don't think I can give a “christian” reason for not joining.

For me, I avoid secret societies, secret oath's and secret allegiances.

If you want good fellowship and a chance to do good in your community and around the world, join the Rotary Club.

18 posted on 09/20/2009 11:38:13 AM PDT by lack-of-trust
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To: monkapotamus

“The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”

That is a deal-breaker for me. Thanks.


19 posted on 09/20/2009 11:40:04 AM PDT by piytar (Zero pimping propaganda on all SRM channels at once: Big Brother in 2009! NRA Lifetime Member)
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To: NYer
Most of what I know about the Masons comes from reading War and Peace (one of the main characters is initiated into a Russian Masonic lodge).

Apart from that, I once attended a Masonic funeral service, held at the parish hall of a Catholic church, for a man who had joined the Masons before converting to the Catholic faith. I didn't hear anything in the ritual that could be considered anti-Catholic or anti-Christian.

A long time ago I read something about groups that fostered anti-Catholicism in the US, and they had the Masons as one of them.

One Mason I do admire in particular is George Mason, who participated in the Constitutional Convention but refused to sign the final document because of its lack of a Bill of Rights.

20 posted on 09/20/2009 11:40:10 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: muawiyah

No rings or motorcycles? Count me out.

I was wondering if I could join the Mummers and wear the clown suits and play the banjo in parades.

The other option is joing the Shriners cause those little cars they drive in parades are pretty cool.

The Shriners actually do a great job with Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Someone has a blog where they opine that “Government Motors is a Shirner Conspiracy.”

The Shriners were apparently an offshoot of the Masons/Illuminati.


21 posted on 09/20/2009 11:40:30 AM PDT by Frantzie (Do we want ACORN running America's healthcare?)
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To: livius

The U.S. has anti-Catholic forces present including the liberal American Catholic Church and stinking liberal anti-Catholic catholic universities like Notre Dame.


22 posted on 09/20/2009 11:41:51 AM PDT by Frantzie (Do we want ACORN running America's healthcare?)
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To: NYer

Pope Leo XIII im sure was a nice well-meaning man. But the fact remains, he was an Italian who became a Monarch. He openly disagreed with freedom of speech and thought and was ill equipped to understand the uniqueness on the USA.

Ill stick with Masons, Ethan Allen, Edmund Burke, John Claypoole, William Daws, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, John Paul Jones, Robert Livingston, Paul Revere, Colonel Benjamin Tupper, and George Washington.

The popes were upset that there was a movement they couldnt direct. Masons are built upon the idea that if a group of men believe in something higher than themselves, that its better to seek the common morality, instead of bickering over petty sectarian details.


23 posted on 09/20/2009 11:42:17 AM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: Mmogamer

York Rite or Scottish Rite?

:-)

Me? I’m just a York Rite. I’m not allowed to know the double dare, super secret, pinky swear stuff.

:-)

And I did go to chuch this morning.


24 posted on 09/20/2009 11:43:42 AM PDT by PeteB570 (I make my fight in the primaries)
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To: DesertRhino

Leo XIII wasn’t a monarch, unless you count his leadership of the Catholic Church. The last of the territory of the Papal States was taken by force by the Italian nationalist on this very day in 1870, during the papacy of Blessed Pius IX.


25 posted on 09/20/2009 11:45:26 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: NYer; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

26 posted on 09/20/2009 11:46:09 AM PDT by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: NYer

But it’s to be expected that the Catholic church, or any other, might not like the Masons. Masons are specifically dedicated to avoiding sectarian issues, and concentrating on improving relations between ALL men of faith. Even different faiths. The important thing to masons is that members acknowledge existence of God. This seems to be a good starting place for good men of all faiths to improve each other as men.


27 posted on 09/20/2009 11:47:44 AM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: livius

“there is a difference between British/US Freemasonry and the Continental European variety”

True,, very true. And i for one thank God that our founders were inspired by Masonic ideals. It served us well until the Socialists took over.

If the Catholic church wanted to do something good, they would do better to forbid members from being democrats rather than forbidding that they become masons, IMO.


28 posted on 09/20/2009 11:52:55 AM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: muawiyah

I always count on you, and again, you did not disappoint!


29 posted on 09/20/2009 11:55:46 AM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: Pyro7480

“unless you count his leadership of the Catholic Church”

Thats what i meant. Despite not claiming a state beyond the Vatican, it’s a monarchy in all but name. A human claiming to represent God, and direct the activities of other men, here on earth. That is straight from all european monarchies.

A guy just arriving from Mars would have a difficult time telling a pope from any other royal.


30 posted on 09/20/2009 12:02:40 PM PDT by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: DesertRhino
It served us well until the Socialists took over.

Well until that little issue that led to the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party.

Anti-Masonic Party

31 posted on 09/20/2009 12:11:50 PM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: mdmathis6
"...a Christian should honestly reflect then get out!:

Okay, I reflected. Now get out!

32 posted on 09/20/2009 12:13:56 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: Military family member

There are no “34th degree Masons”. 33 is as high as it goes, unless of course you are dealing with a paranoid, then there are all sorts of higher degree, sinister Masons.


33 posted on 09/20/2009 12:15:17 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: DesertRhino
If the Catholic church wanted to do something good, they would do better to forbid members from being democrats rather than forbidding that they become masons, IMO.

If they did that they had better put all of the churches in Boston up for sale.

Well for that matter they had better put out feelers to the Southern Baptist to see if they can send over a few thousand ministers to get ordained.

34 posted on 09/20/2009 12:16:52 PM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: UncleVanya

Uncle Vanya, I think you better check the expiration dates on your meds.


35 posted on 09/20/2009 12:17:42 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: piytar; Military family member; NYer; SevenofNine
Former 32nd Degree Mason John Salza Interviewed


36 posted on 09/20/2009 12:17:50 PM PDT by monkapotamus
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To: monkapotamus
"The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."

Okay, thanks for the information. I will stay a Lutheran (LCMS) and a Mason.

Gee! And I was just thinking about converting to Catholicism!

37 posted on 09/20/2009 12:19:49 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: NYer

The Masonic Lodge is bad according to the Catholics, but the Knights of Columbus are peachy keen? We have more than a wee bit of hypocrisy going here dont we?


38 posted on 09/20/2009 12:20:04 PM PDT by Concho
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To: Concho

The Knights of Columbus started as mutual insurance company.


39 posted on 09/20/2009 12:29:47 PM PDT by AceMineral (Offically unapproved of since 1973)
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To: Concho

How so? The KofC do not take bloodthirsty oaths nor do they act as if God is an indifferent deity. Very different.


40 posted on 09/20/2009 12:31:11 PM PDT by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: piytar

FAQs on Freemasonry

The following are FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that I commonly receive regarding Freemasonry. My answers, while providing some general information about Masonry, only scratch the surface of why Freemasonry is incompatible with the Christian faith. By way of background, I was a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner, as well as a Blue lodge officer and Proficiency cardholder. A Proficiency card is a rare Masonic credential conferred upon those Masons who are considered experts in Masonic ritual.

I spent several years in Freemasonry before rediscovering the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. By God’s grace, I have written a book on the religious and moral teachings of Freemasonry and why these teachings are incompatible with Christianity. The book also discusses my personal struggles with Masonry and how I left the Lodge. My hope is that this book will serve as the most comprehensive resource in explaining why the teachings of the Lodge are irreconcilable with the Christian faith.

What is Freemasonry?
How does Freemasonry define itself?
What is the origin of Freemasonry?
What are Freemasonry’s teachings and practices?
How is Freemasonry organized?
Who speaks for Freemasonry?
What are the higher degrees in Freemasonry?
Who are the Shriners?
Why is Freemasonry incompatible with Christianity?
What is the Catholic Church’s position on Freemasonry?
How do Masons respond to anti-Masonry?
Home

What is Freemasonry?

There are many misunderstandings among the general public about the organization called Freemasonry (also known as “Masonry” or “the Lodge”). While much of the public thinks that Freemasonry is just a fraternity, Masonry has been judged by every Christian church that has studied it to be a religion that is incompatible with Christianity.

Freemasonry has a very formal religious system which includes a belief in God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body. Masonry also believes that man can achieve salvation by his good works, independent of God’s gift of grace. Notwithstanding its belief in God, resurrection of the body, and salvation by works, Masonry does not require its members to believe in Jesus Christ or His Church.

Freemasonry is also controversial because it keeps its religious and moral teachings secret behind the Lodge doors. To that end, Masonry requires its members to swear to God an oath that they will never reveal the teachings of the Lodge lest they be worthy of a gruesome death (for example, being worthy of having one’s throat cut across, heart plucked out, and body severed in two). While Masonry conditions its members to believe that Freemasonry is just a fraternity, it slowly draws its Christian members away from Jesus Christ by offering them a different plan of salvation through Masonic virtue and good works. By God’s grace, more and more men are leaving the Lodge each year and revealing the incompatibilities between Freemasonry and the Christian faith.

Top · Home

How does Freemasonry define itself?

While Masons claim that Freemasonry is just a fraternity, Masonry universally defines itself as “a regular system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.” Thus, its own definition reveals that it is more than a fraternity. Freemasonry defines itself as such because it teaches a system of morality through allegory and symbolism that, when faithfully practiced, leads all Masons to “the celestial lodge above,” irrespective of their individual religious beliefs. Freemasonry is far more than a social club.

From a Christian perspective, any organization that claims to be a system of morality (especially one whose moral teachings are secret and are said to lead Masons to eternal life) must be evaluated in light of Scripture and the teachings of the Church. If the moral teachings of an organization are not rooted in God’s Revelation in Jesus Christ, they present incompatibilities with the Christian faith. As applied to Masonry, these incompatibilities include a denial of God’s gift of grace in the process of justification and salvation which come to us exclusively through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Top · Home

What is the origin of Freemasonry?

The origins of Freemasonry are debated, even among Masons. Most Masons, however, agree that the birth of modern Freemasonry occurred in 1717 in England during the dawn of the Enlightenment period. During this period, there was an intellectual movement that spread throughout Europe called Rationalism, whereby human reason was exalted above God’s Revelation. This resulted in a religious subjectivism in which man could now decide what was true and what wasn’t true on matters of faith and morals. The Christian truths of the fall, original sin, and the necessity of redemption were abandoned. Ecclesiastical authority was also forsaken. God became a deistic “Grand Architect of the Universe” that was sought and worshiped in all religions. These elements have been preserved in modern Freemasonry.

Ironically, although almost every Protestant church has condemned Freemasonry, the movement of Rationalism actually brought about the Protestant Reformation. Luther and other Protestant “reformers” substituted private judgment for the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, and this has led to thousands of divisions within Christianity. But while Protestants have removed the teaching authority of the Church from their religion, Masons have removed Christ Himself.

Top · Home

What are Freemasonry’s teachings and practices?

Freemasonry is governed by certain fundamental and unalterable precepts that the organization calls “Landmarks.” Landmarks have been handed down from one Masonic generation to the next through secret rituals and oral tradition. While there is no consensus on all the Landmarks, most Masons agree that the Landmarks include a belief in God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body.

The Landmarks also include the conferral of the death and resurrection rite of the third degree (also called the Hiramic legend), the teaching of moral and religious truths through symbolism, the requirement for secrecy, the necessity for candidates to have full use of their mental faculties and limbs (no physically or mentally handicapped men can become Masons) and the requirement of swearing covenant oaths with self-curses as a condition for membership.

Freemasonry also reverences all religious writings and places these writings on par with God’s written Word found in the Bible. Thus, Masonry places all religious writings on its altar (Book of Mormon, the Vedas, Zend Avesta, the Sohar, the Kabalah, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads or any other religious writing). This is because, unlike Christianity, Freemasonry does not believe that the Bible is the revealed written Word of God. Instead, Freemasonry views all religions as equally plausible attempts to explain the truth about God which, in the end, cannot be known.

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How is Freemasonry organized?

Freemasonry is organized by lodges (also called Blue lodges) which come under the authority of a Grand Lodge and its Most Worshipful Grand Master. There are 51 Grand Lodges in the United States (one for each state and the district of Columbia). Each Grand Lodge is the governing authority for Freemasonry in a given jurisdiction, and all Blue lodges in that jurisdiction report to the respective Grand Lodge. There is, however, no single Grand Lodge or governing authority over the world’s Freemasonry. The principle officer of the Blue lodge is called the Worshipful Master. The Blue lodges, under the authority of its Grand Lodge, make men Masons through the conferral of ceremonial rituals called “degrees.”

There are three degrees in Freemasonry that are conferred by the Blue lodge - the Entered Apprentice (1st) degree, the Fellowcraft (2nd) degree, and the Master Mason (3rd) degree. A candidate is initiated an Entered Apprentice, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.

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Who speaks for Freemasonry?

Masonic ritual is the principle authority that speaks for Freemasonry. While there is no exact uniformity in Masonic ritual from state to state, the rituals are essentially the same. Masons thus boast of the universality of Freemasonry. Moreover, although Masonic ritual is not identical from state to state, every Grand Lodge in the United States recognizes each other as practicing valid Freemasonry. This means that Masons from one state can visit a lodge in another state and are generally allowed to participate in the ritual work.

When a Christian criticizes the teachings of Freemasonry using the rituals, the Mason often evasively responds by saying “No one speaks for Freemasonry.” Such a response is not genuine, and is really just an effort to avoid addressing the rituals. Any honest Mason would admit that his Grand Lodge’s ritual is the authority that speaks for Masonry in his jurisdiction, and it is from these rituals that we learn of Masonry’s teachings about God, resurrection, and eternal life, without any requirement to believe in Jesus Christ.

The other important authority that explains the meaning of Masonry is the Masonic Bible. This Bible, which is typically the King James Version of the Old and New Testament, includes an extensive addendum of Masonic definitions and terminology. This book is generally given to Masons after they receive their third degree, and can be ordered from most Grand Lodges throughout the country. Other secondary authorities include writings by the friends of Masonry, such as Henry Wilson Coil, Albert Mackey, and Albert Pike, all of whom declare that Freemasonry is a religion and that this religion is not Christianity.

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What are the higher degrees in Freemasonry?

While there are many numerically higher degrees, the third degree (or Master Mason degree) is considered the highest degree in Freemasonry. This is because the Master Mason degree, in an extensive allegorical drama in which the candidate participates, teaches Masonry’s sublime belief in the resurrection of the body. This drama is also called the Hiramic legend or the legend of the third degree.

In the third degree, the candidate participates in a drama where he plays a biblical character named “Hiram Abif,” a stonemason who worked on King Solomon’s Temple. In the lodge drama, Hiram is accosted in the Temple by renegade Masons who are trying to extort from him the secret Masonic word. When Hiram refuses to divulge the secret Masonic word, the Masons kill him (the candidate is symbolically murdered by being hit over the head with a padded setting maul, knocked off his feet, and caught in a large sack by his Masonic brothers). The Masons then bury the body of Hiram Abif (the candidate is instructed to remain lying down and materials are spread over his body).

As the drama unfolds, Hiram’s body is later discovered by other Masons who work in King Solomon’s Temple. When he is discovered, King Solomon and the other Masons make a procession to the gravesite and then pray for Hiram’s salvation. After the prayer, King Solomon raises Hiram (the candidate) up by the Strong Grip of a Master Mason. The candidate is then told that he has been raised from a dead level to a living perpendicular in the Masonic faith of the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul.

After a Mason reaches the third degree, he may advance in his Masonic journey to either the Scottish Rite or the York Rite. The Scottish Rite confers the fourth through thirty-second (and honorary thirty-third) degree. The York Rite also confers advanced degrees and is known as Original or Ancient Craft Masonry. These bodies are not under the authority of the Grand Lodges but have friendly relationships with them. The purpose of these higher degrees is to amplify what the Mason learned in his Blue lodge. These degrees, like those of the Blue lodge, require oath-bound secrecy. When a man becomes either a thirty-second degree or York Rite Mason, he is eligible to join the Shriners.

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Who are the Shriners?

The Shriners are an organization of 32nd degree or York Rite Masons who are best known for their red fezzes, little motor cars and circus parades. The Shrine is also known for its hospitals and other philanthropic activities. Masons call the Shrine the “playground of Freemasonry.” Most of the public is unaware of the fact that all Shriners are Master Masons (but not all Masons are Shriners).

Like the previous Masonic degrees, candidates for the Shrine are initiated with a solemn religious ceremony at the local Mosque (the Islamic gathering place of the Shrine). All candidates, including Christians, must swear an oath to Allah on the Koran declaring that they would be worthy of having their eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-inch blade, their feet flayed, and forced to walk the hot sands of the sterile shores of the Red Sea, where the flaming sun shall strike them with a livid plague, rather than to violate their Shriner Masonic oath.

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Why is Freemasonry incompatible with Christianity?

Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God which, but for the truth of His existence, are unexplainable. Such a view makes all truths relative and holds that God can be equally pleased with truth and error. Because Christians believe that God has definitively revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and desires that all men come to the knowledge of this truth, indifferentism is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

Freemasonry’s teachings and practices also result in syncretism which is the blending of different religious beliefs into a unified whole. This is evidenced most especially by Masonry’s religious rituals which gather men of all faiths around a common altar, and place all religious writings along side the Bible on the Masonic altar. This is also demonstrated by the Lodge’s prayers and its unique names and symbols for God and heaven. Syncretism is the logical consequence of indifferentism.

The Lodge’s practice of requiring its members to swear immoral oaths is also incompatible with Christianity. These oaths require a Christian to swear on the Holy Bible that he will uphold a code of moral conduct that prefers Masons over non-Masons, and to preserve secret passwords and handshakes. Such oaths are gravely immoral because their subject matter is trivial or does not give rise to the necessity of an oath. These oaths are also sworn under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of physical torture and death called self-curses (e.g., having my throat cut across, and my tongue torn out by its roots). These penalties show a lack of respect for God and amount to blasphemy which is a serious sin.

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/freemasonfaq.html#faq09


41 posted on 09/20/2009 12:33:26 PM PDT by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: Redleg Duke

I had a few of my family members in the Batavia Lodge at the time, they turned out all right. Many became Mormons, Joe Smith was a Mason in Up State NY and there a lot of Masonic principles in Mormon Practice.


42 posted on 09/20/2009 12:35:31 PM PDT by Little Bill (Carol Che-Porter is a MOONBAT.)
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To: narses
“..How so? The KofC do not take bloodthirsty oaths nor do they act as if God is an indifferent deity. Very different...”

And you say the Masons do that? I'm a Mason and I didn't do that and don't do it.

But the KofC do take bloodthirsty oaths and swear to the Pope, not God. I know it's true, somebody, can't remember who, told me.

Now the statement I made above was pretty silly wasn't it. About as silly as your’s.

43 posted on 09/20/2009 12:36:19 PM PDT by PeteB570 (I make my fight in the primaries)
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To: Redleg Duke

Thanks for your intelligent reply.


44 posted on 09/20/2009 12:38:37 PM PDT by UncleVanya
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To: piytar

Masons were essentially deists, rejected Christ, and believed in the “Divine Architect.” US Masons for some reason were able to reconcile this with US Protestantism (although European Protestants, to my knowledge, cannot reconcile Masonry with Protestantism).

I think it was probably because Protestantism in the US didn’t have any particular standard of orthodoxy, and people such as the founder of Christian Science could receive “private revelations” and start another church and still consider themselves Protestants. Therefore, Protestants really didn’t examine Masonry very closely, and since Masons in the US came from the Protestant population, this meant that they could reach a working agreement where their beliefs didn’t interfere with each other.


45 posted on 09/20/2009 12:39:17 PM PDT by livius
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To: narses

I am a Mason and I have never taken any “BLOODTHIRSTY OATHS”, neither have I been asked to treat God as an indifferent Deity.

I find it amazing that supposedly intelligent people take off on tangents of attack against churches and organizations when they have no clue about what they talk about. Yet in any given year, here in this forum, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Masons, and other groups are blasted as being cults and having devious intentions when most of those who are doing the blasting do not belong.

I would be willing to bet when you wreck your car and the EMICT comes to save your life that you do not ask him his religion or social affiliations before accepting his life saving abilities. Folks, if we dont get away from this “labeling” mentality and begin pulling together for the common cause—America—then the socialists and Obamites are going to use these divisions to slap us down into the huddled masses that they want us to be.


46 posted on 09/20/2009 12:43:01 PM PDT by Concho
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To: UncleVanya

I tried to match the level of your comment. So glad you appreciated it!


47 posted on 09/20/2009 1:03:52 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: Concho
I am a Mason and I have never taken any “BLOODTHIRSTY OATHS”, ...
Really? No oaths of significant harm should you violate them? Would answering this simple question violate any oath you have taken? What degree have you achieved?
...neither have I been asked to treat God as an indifferent Deity.
Really? Does not the Mason belief system admit ANY who believe in ANY higher power? How indifferent is that!
48 posted on 09/20/2009 1:04:08 PM PDT by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: PeteB570

See http://www.isaiah54.org/finney.htm - are you calling the author a liar?


49 posted on 09/20/2009 1:05:47 PM PDT by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: narses

Believe what you will.

I am a Mason and I was in church this morning.

I could be a better Mason and I could be a better Christian.

At least I admit it. Some on this board are perfect - at least they think so.


50 posted on 09/20/2009 1:27:51 PM PDT by PeteB570 (I make my fight in the primaries)
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