Thursday, June 23, 2016

Masonic Associations

It has come to my attention that many Catholics who are otherwise faithful Catholics are unaware of the official position of the Catholic Church that not only are faithful Catholics not to associate (to become members) of any Masonic associations (including Shriners) but they are not to participate in Communion if they do join a masonic group.  The seriousness of this association is so severe that we are to avoid receiving the Eucharist as if they had performed a mortal sin.

Below is the entire document explaining the Church’s position on this situation written because of the many confusions on why the most recent Code of Canon law seemed to have changed its position from the previous years and centuries.

This document can be found at the Vatican website located at the address below or one can simply do a Google search with the terms “Masonic Associations Vatican” the first link should be the actual document in question,

This most recent and official declaration on this subject was written by Joseph Card. RATZINGER who later became Pope Benedict XVI and was ratified, ie accepted, by Saint Pope John Paul II.  Please pay particular attention to the highlighted areas.

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 enrol 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.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.
Joseph Card. RATZINGER

God Bless


  1. Thank you for this, Nathan. There is a gentleman at my parish (a convert) who still believes it is okay to be a Mason and a Catholic. I tried to explain the Church's position on Masonry but, unless I wanted to start a big fight in a public place in the Church, it didn't get far.

    There is also an ignorant Catholic woman at my parish who sees no difference between the Knights of Columbus and the Masons. As she said, "The both wear funny clothes and they both have secret meetings." She obviously needs to be educated on who the Knights are and what they do. I believe she probably made this statement because her husband (a Navy man who is away all the time) is a Mason and someone told her that he could not be a Mason and a good Catholic. But, that is just a guess on my part. I notice that a lot of times when (at least American)Catholics are told they cannot do something, they dig in their heals and try to justify why they should be able to do as they want.

    Anyway, I hope Catholics see this and take heed.

    1. You're welcome. This subject matter has been on my mind for quite some time now. I've told one Sunday Mass goer that he shouldn't be a Shriner after I saw him in a parade one day and he simply listened politely but completely ignored me since I saw him in that parade the very next year.

      Not long after this I struck up a conversation with a known Shriner and without prompting from me, he told me that he had just become a Knights of Columbus. Even after I told him that he shouldn't be a Shriner if you are Catholic, he told me that his priest said it was ok. I even showed him the exact document in this article but wasn't interested in reading it.

      Needless to say I was discouraged and now feel the need to share this document to any and all who will listen.

      Thank you for your comments and I too hope Catholics finally take heed. I also hope the Knights of Columbus in my local chapter takes heed as well since they are negligent when they recruited this Mason to become a Knight since their own pre-requisites to becoming a Knight one must be a Catholic in GOOD STANDING with the Church (which they wouldn't be if you're already a Mason).

      God Bless

    2. I enjoyed this blog very much and agree with it. I have had two people, good friends of mine at the time, invite me to the lodge. They basically made it out to be a good old boys club. When I told them what I knew of the Masons and how the church taught about them they were rather shocked I knew so much. They tried to make it out like it was just rituals of old and had no meaning behind them. I didn't back down on what I knew of them, we basically don't associate any longer haha.


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