Masons versus Catholics

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It is unclear why Freemasonry and Catholicism do not get along, although there may be some who will post on social media why they think it is, the real reason is lost in time.

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Pope Clement XII issued the first papal bull against Freemasonry stating "For which reason the temporal and spiritual communities are enjoined, in the name of holy obedience, neither to enter the society of Freemasons, to disseminate its principles, to defend it, nor to admit nor conceal it within their houses or places, or elsewhere, under the pain of excommunication ipso facto, for all acting in contradiction to this, and from which the pope only can absolve the dying.

A cardinal-nephew of Clement XII wrote in a letter that it had nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with the fact that a lodge in Florence was corrupt.

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It is has been claimed that prior to condemning Freemasonry, Clement XII petitioned the lodge for membership, there is no evidence of this ever happening. Despite the fact that Pope Clement XII was the one who officially created the papal bull, there were previous statements from the Catholic church stating it's dislike for Freemasonry. As early as the 's there are statements being made by clergy referring to Freemasonry as Judeo-Freemasonry, more than likely trying to tie Judaism with Freemasonry as there was an anti-semitic sentiment in Europe at that time.

Again this doesn't tell us the why, merely that Freemasonry is, in the eyes of the church, not good. In more modern times it is has been stated that a Freemason has secrets that he cannot tell his priest, which violates the Confessional. From a historical perspective it is unclear when private confession became a sacrament. It is first mentioned in the council of Trent in At that time they state that "private confession has always been a part of the Catholic church.

This would coincide with some of the anti-masonic rhetoric that would have been occurring in the 's. It has also been said that the papal bull was about secret societies as a whole.

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The fact is that Freemasonry is not a secret society, it is a society with secrets, just like the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic sponsored fraternal organization. Regardless of the reason for the papal bull, this has become a source for hate between the two organizations.

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Protestants enjoyed the great advantages of the Masonic order, in supplying mutual support in times of trouble, and also in creating invaluable networks in business, law and government. Feeling themselves excluded, the growing immigrant population mainly Catholics created their own pseudo-Masonic counterparts, most successfully the Knights of Columbus, which dates from Its founder was Henry F.

The real reason Catholics can’t be Freemasons

Bowers, a Freemason, who structured the movement on Masonic lines, with regalia, oaths and initiations. And at this stage, the KKK was at least as heavily devoted to anti-Catholic and anti-immigration causes as to anti-Black racism. This political alignment created some outcomes that look distinctly odd today.

Masons favored strict secularization in the public schools, as a bulwark against Catholic incursions. They also fought hard against foreign interventionism while Catholics were pushing for armed U. In the U. Philip Jenkins is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and serves as co-director for the program on historical studies of religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion ISR. A longer version of this article first appeared on The Anxious Bench, where he blogs regularly, and is used with permission.

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Cancel at any time to avoid future billing. By clicking the "Continue" button, you agree to the ChurchMilitant. You also agree that your subscription will automatically renew monthly, quarterly or annually based upon your subscription option selection above at the current full price on the date of each renewal, until you cancel. You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today! The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

Freemasonry & The Catholic Church: A Brief Introduction - OnePeterFive

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