The Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith declared, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, on November 28th1983 that“The verdict of the Church with regard to freemasonry stays immutable and, therefore, it is forbidden for Catholics to become members”


A deeper study brought the Congregation to ratify that there is an incompatibility between the principles of freemasonry and those of the Church. Freemasonry has some philosophic ideas and moral conceptions which have no place within the big realities of the Christian faith as a God Creator and Father; the reality of sin; Jesus Christ, Son of revealing and saving God and the Church as the community of Salvation, etc.


From several sides, it is objected now that essential freemasonry would precisely be the fact of not impose to the members any binding philosophic and religious attitudes. Rather, Freemasonry wants to gather  people of good will, based on human and natural values which are understandable to everybody and accepted by all, beyond the limitations of the different religions and world conceptions. It wants to create a cohesion point among  all who believe in a Supreme Being and who desire to be inspired by those basic moral principles which can be re-assumed…It doesn’t want to drive anybody away from his or her religion, but to help to follow it in a more convincing way.


But just here lays the freemasonic ambush. While they verbally preach their intention  to gather men of good will around the project of building a society according to human values which can be accepted by everybody, with their rigid and centrally structured organization, with their own symbols and rites, with a leadership with the most dependent ranks of hierarchy, with a rigid discipline of secrecy, they introduce in fact in their followers an indoctrination based in rationalism, naturalism and relativism, radically incompatible with the principles of Christian faith and Christian life.


Although they assert that relativism is not assumed as dogma, in fact they give a world conception in which the different religious approaches that can be chosen by the members are at the same level, confronted and under a much wider mentality, typical of the freemasonic fraternity.


Due to its logics and to its substantial structure, freemasonry has the capacity to radically change the initiate’s mentality. Furthermore, it is a transformation that is made smoothly, without being noticed.


Let’s go back to the possibility of a dialogue between Catholics and freemasonry. One thing is a dialogue seen as a collaboration with all men of good will, independently of their departing principles, according to the lines of Vatican II Council, on condition that the Christian stays firmly attached to the Church.


And another completely different thing is to register as a mason, accepting the target of the dialogue they propose. In such a case, according to what is said, the intentions of dialogue wouldn’t have any sense, because registration as a mason would mean belonging  to two organizations, to two opposite and antithetic Churches. A Christian cannot be a member of the Church, a participant of the full Catholic unit and, at the same time, be a member of a freemasonry lodge, which requires him to look at the Church and at the Christian community with a freemasonic mentality.


Just considering all these features, the doctrine of the Congregation for the Faith statesthat it is still forbidden by the Catholic Church to register oneself into freemasonry and that Catholics who consciously do it, commit a serious sin and are not allowed to receive Communion.


The Church wants to warn parishioners about the high danger of a membership incompatible with the Catholic faith and wants to remind that only Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Only in him can Christians find the light and the strength to perform God’s project for Humanity by working for the true welfare of their brothers.


Thus, it is clear that the condemnation of freemasonry, which Popes declared many years ago, is still in force. In order to ratify such condemnation, let us quote the words of Lion XIII in the Encyclical Humanum genus:

“Nowadays, it seems as all those who favor the worse part vehemently conspire and fight together, guided and helped by the widely spread out and firmly constituted society called “Freemasonry”.

Without hiding their intentions, they bravely incite against God’s majesty, they openly and publicly plan the downfall of the Holy Church, with the aim to despoil Christian countries of the benefits brought by Jesus Christ, Our Saviour.


By lamenting such evils, We are impelled to constantly claim to God: We see Your enemies yell and those who hate You rising their heads. They formed bad advice against Your people and spoke against Your saints. Come, they said, and let us make them disappear from among the people.”


And in other paragraph, the Pope goes on: “As cunning as men may be in order to hide, as often as they use their habit of lying… it is impossible that the nature of the cause and the fruits of the sect of freemasonry do not appear in the results, which are destructive and bitter. Because from the before mentioned certain signs the main and last intention results: to destroy the foundations of religious and civil ordinances created by Christianity, by creating in this way a new one with foundations and laws extracted from the heart of naturalism (the mystification of nature, which can degrade man to a simple animal if he imitates without distinction the behavior of this kingdom)”


And we can read further: “there is enough on record  to state, as peculiar of masons, the purpose to vex Catholics as much as they can, with an implacable hatred, without any rest until they see all the religious institutions established by the Popes destroyed. If members are not forced to abjure the Catholic faith, it is not because the Masonic intention doesn’t want it, but because this way serves them better.


First, because that is the way to easily delude simple and unwary folk and still attract more people and, on the other hand, because, if they open their arms to anybody and anyone of any religion, they reinforce in practice the big error of our time: religious apathy and the equality of all cults; the correct behavior in order to ruin every religion, specially the Catholic religion, which, being the only true one, cannot be equated to the rest but with great offence.”


And further: “Their main dogmas differ so much and so clearly from reason, that nothing can be more wicked. Wishing to abolish Religion and the Church, which was founded and steadily conserved by God Himself and, after eighteen centuries, bringing back pagan habits and doctrines is blatant stupidity and audacious impiousness”.


And later on, we can read: “In such a wild and senseless purpose it seems as one could recognize the same implacable hatred and  the same thirst of revenge in which Satan burns against Jesus Christ” Then, the behavior and the methods of freemasonry are described:


“…They look skillfully for subterfuges; using the mask of literate and learned persons, which get together for scientific purposes, they continuously speak about their firm purpose pro civilization, about their love for the lowest common people, assuring that their only wish is to improve the nation’s conditions and to announce to the maximum of people the advantages of civil society. Yet, even if such goals were true, they hide something else…


Furthermore, the members must give their word and assurance about their absolute and blind obedience to their leaders and teachers, about being ready to obey them at the most minimal sign or indication and about accepting the hardest punishments, including death, in case no to do so.


And certainly, once they have sentenced that some of their members have betrayed the secret or have disobeyed some orders, it is not rare to kill them with such boldness and skill that very often the murder evades the inquiries of the police and avoids just punishment”.


The Pope says that the errors and abominations defended by masons corrupt youth with an impious training; they want to destroy family and to degrade woman and man with civil marriage and divorce; they separate the State from the Church, making the former atheistic and leading it to anarchy.


The Pope says that masons, with the “firm purpose to put in practice the theories of naturalists”, deny divine revelation and the redemption of man, reject grace and the Sacraments, eradicating in this way every vestige of supernatural virtue; they eliminate every certitude and stability for truth which is known by natural light of reason as are God’s existence, the spirituality of the soul, natural law, man’s aim, so that all natural virtues become groundless, and they affirm the principles and norms of justice only on nature corrupted by guilt, which is the same as to legitimate and set free all vices and bad passions”[43].



And the Pope goes on: “That is why we see the public offer of so many incitements to man’s desires: newspapers and magazines without any moderation or shame; dramatic works which are licentious in the highest degree; subjects for the arts extracted from what is called  realism; ingenious inventions for enjoyment and finesses of life; searching, in sum, for all kinds of sensual flattery, so that virtue drowsily closes its eyes.


In all that, they act wickedly; but those who remove all hope to heavenly goods and dastardly put all happiness in perishable ones, as they would fix it on earth, are very consequent with themselves “.

And a little later, Pope Lion XIII says: “Another firm purpose of freemasons is to destroy the main foundations of what is just and honest and become auxiliaries of those who, imitating the animals, would want that all that pleases were licit”.


Finally, the Pope says that“it is not licit to join them (freemasons), nor help them in any way”.He recommends to his bishops:“We state that the first thing you have to do is  to rip the mask off the masons, in order that people can know them as they are”.


In recent timesis quite interesting a book of a former freemason, converted to Catholicism, a French ex-mason, Maurice Caillet, who published in last years a book “I was a freemason” in which he denounces the wrong behavior and wrong doctrine of freemasonry such  as he lived it from inside. It is quite nice the prayer to Saint Spirit he puts in the end of his book in favor of his former partners of the secret society, assuming that there are some them of good will or bona fide, which are in this society ignoring that they are but instruments of bad spirits, asking for their conversion.

[42]Extracted from the magazine “Ciudad Nueva”, Nº 345, July of 1998, Pg. 3

[43]Quoted in Pg 12 of “La Iglesia y la Masonería” (“Church and Freemasonry”), Madrid, 1903. The quotes of the Encyclical  of Lion XIII “Humanum genus” are also from this book.