The Vatican document reaffirms that “those who are formally and knowingly enrolled in Masonic Lodges and have embraced Masonic principles” fall under the provisions of the Catholic Church’s 1983 “Declaration on Masonic Associations.”
The 1983 declaration, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declares that Catholics who enroll in Masonic associations “are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”
The new DDF document further clarifies that these measures “also apply to any clerics enrolled in Freemasonry.”
The dicastery invites bishops in the Philippines to consider making a public statement on the Church’s teaching on Freemasonry.
“Membership in Freemasonry is very significant in the Philippines; it involves not only those who are formally enrolled in Masonic Lodges but, more generally, a large number of sympathizers and associates who are personally convinced that there is no opposition between membership in the Catholic Church and in Masonic Lodges,” the DDF document says.
“On the doctrinal level, it should be remembered that active membership in Freemasonry by a member of the faithful is forbidden because of the irreconcilability between Catholic doctrine and Freemasonry,” it adds.
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