Papal ban of Freemasonry
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The Catholic Church first prohibited Catholics from membership in Masonic organizations and other secret societies in 1738. Since then, at least eleven popes have made pronouncements about the incompatibility of Catholic doctrines and Freemasonry. From 1738 until 1983, Catholics who publicly associated with, or publicly supported, Masonic organizations were censured with automatic excommunication. Since 1983, the prohibition on membership exists in a different form. Although there was some confusion about membership following the 1965 Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), the Church continues to prohibit membership in Freemasonry because it concluded that Masonic principles and rituals are irreconcilable with Catholic doctrines. The current norm, the 1983 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's (CDF) Declaration on Masonic associations, states that "faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion" and membership in Masonic associations is prohibited. The most recent CDF document about the "incompatibility of Freemasonry with the Catholic faith" was issued in 1985.
- 1 History
- 1.1 In eminenti apostolatus
- 1.2 Quo graviora
- 1.3 Reiteration of ban on membership by subsequent popes
- 1.4 Humanum genus
- 1.5 1917 code of canon law
- 1.6 1983 code of canon law
- 2 Current position of the Church on Catholics joining the Fraternity
- 3 Freemasonry's position on Catholics joining the Fraternity
- 4 Catholic fraternal societies
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
In eminenti apostolatus
In 1736, the Inquisition investigated a Masonic lodge in Florence, Italy, which it condemned in June 1737. The lodge had originally been founded in 1733 by the English Freemason Charles Sackville, 2nd Duke of Dorset, but accepted Italian members, such as the lodge's secretary Tommaso Crudeli. Also in 1736, on 26 December, Andrew Michael Ramsay delivered an oration to a masonic meeting in Paris on the eve of the election of Charles Radclyffe as Grand Master of the French Freemasons. In March 1737 he sent an edited copy to the chief minister, Cardinal André-Hercule de Fleury, seeking his approval for its delivery to an assembly of Freemasons, and his approval of the craft in general. Fleury's response was to brand the Freemasons as traitors, and ban their assemblies. This ban, and the Italian investigation led, in 1738, to Pope Clement XII promulgating In eminenti apostolatus, the first canonical prohibition of Masonic associations.
Clement XII wrote that the reasons for prohibiting masonic associations are that members, "content with [a] form of natural virtue, are associated with one another" by oaths with "grave penalties" "to conceal in inviolable silence whatever they secretly do together." These associations have aroused suspicions that "to join these associations is precisely synonymous with incurring the taint of evil and infamy, for if they were not involved in evil doing, they would never be so very averse to the light [of publicity]." "The rumor [of these doings] has so grown that" several governments have suppressed them "as being opposed to the welfare of the kingdom." Clement XII wrote, that these kinds of associations are "not consistent with the provisions of either civil or canon law" since they harm both "the peace of the civil state" and "the spiritual salvation of souls."[b]
Pope Leo XII attempted to assess the extent and influence of anti-social organizations. Leo XII inserted and confirmed the texts of Clement XII (1738), Benedict XIV (1751), and Pius VII (1821), in his 1825 constitution Quo graviora "to condemn them in such a way that it would be impossible to claim exemption from the condemnation."
Reiteration of ban on membership by subsequent popes
The ban in In eminenti apostolatus was reiterated and expanded upon by Benedict XIV (1751), Pius VII (1821), Leo XII (1825), Pius VIII (1829), Gregory XVI (1832), Pius IX (1846, 1849, 1864, 1865, 1869, 1873).[c]
"The decisive impetus for the Catholic anti-Masonic movement" was Humanum genus, promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1884. Leo XIII wrote that his primary objection to Masonry was naturalism, his accusations were about pantheism, rationalism, and naturalism; but not about Satanism.[d] Leo XIII analysed continental Grand Orient type philosophical "principles and practices." While naturalism was present everywhere in other types of lodges, "the subversive, revolutionary activity characteristic of the Grand Orient lodges of the continent" was not. Leo XIII "emphasises that 'the ultimate and principle aim' of Masonry 'was to destroy to its very foundations any civil or religious order established throughout Christendom, and bring about in its place a new order founded on laws drawn out of the entrails of naturalism'."
1917 code of canon law
Under 1917 CIC, which was in effect May 1918 to November 1983, Catholics associated with Masonry were: automatically, i.e. latae sententia, excommunicated, deprived of marriage in the Catholic Church, excluded from Catholic associations, deprived of Catholic funeral rites, invalidated from novitiate, invalidated reception of personal jus patronatus, with additional penalties against clergy, religious, and members of secular institutes.
Uncertainty following the Second Vatican Council
The Catholic Church began an evaluation of its understanding of Masonry during, (but not at,[f]) Vatican II.[g] Throughout the jubilee of 1966, Pope Paul VI granted every confessor the faculty to absolve censures and penalties of 1917 CIC canon 2335 incurred by penitents who completely separated themselves from Masonic association and promised to repair and prevent, as far as possible, any scandal and damage they caused.
After a four-year investigation in five Scandinavian Bishops' Conference (CES) countries, the CES decided in 1967 to apply the 1966 post-conciliar norms in De Episcoporum Muneribus, "which empowers bishops in special cases to dispense from certain injunctions of Canon Law."[further explanation needed][h] The CES permitted, within its jurisdiction, converts to Catholicism to retain their Swedish Rite membership, "but only with the specific permission of that person's bishop."
In early 1968, The Tablet reported that Vatican sources had "been quoted as saying that Catholics are now free to join the Masons in the United States, Britain and most other countries of the world. However, the European Grand Orient Lodge of Masons, established primarily in Italy and France, is still considered anti-Catholic or, at least, atheistic," and that "the CDF 'let it be known that Catholics joining the Freemasons are no longer automatically excommunicated. The Church's new attitude has been in effect for more than a year.' The Church's Code of Canon Law drawn up in 1918 and shortly to be reformed, provided for automatic excommunication of Catholics 'who enroll in the Masonic sect or in secret societies conspiring against the Church or the legitimate authorities.' Vatican sources added that this wording would be changed to modify the Church's position when the new Code of Canon Law was completed." These reports apparently caused consternation in the Vatican, and were quickly corrected. The Holy See publicly said that 1917 CIC canon 2335 was not abrogated, and denied it planned to "change profoundly" its historic prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic groups, although confidential sources said "a change in attitude in the future was considered possible."[i]
Informal dialogues between Catholic Church and Masonic representatives took place after Vatican II in Austria, Italy and Germany. In Austria, Freemason Karl Baresch, representative of the Grand Lodge of Austria, informally met Cardinal Franz König, president of the Secretariat for Non-Believers, at Vienna in 1968. Later, a commission of Catholic Church and Masonic representatives conducted a dialogue and produced the 1970 Lichtenau Declaration, an interpretative statement directed at Paul VI; Cardinal Franjo Šeper, prefect of the CDF; and other Catholic authorities. It "contained serious faults in philosophical-theological and, above all, historical terms," according to Professor Zbigniew Suchecki, and "was never officially recognized by" the Catholic Church.
In 1971, Bishop Daniel Pezeril, auxiliary bishop of Paris, accepted an invitation from the Grande Loge de France to lecture. This was the first official reception of a Catholic bishop after 1738.
While some speculated about post-conciliar revision of canon law and how norms would be legislated and enforced, the canonical prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic groups remained in force in 1974.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) stated in 1974 that consultations with the world's bishops failed to produce consensus about the Catholic Church's relationship with Masonry. The CDF (1974) wrote that many bishops had asked it about how to weight and interpret 1917 CIC canon 2335. The divergent replies it gave reflected different situations in various countries. The CDF reiterated that 1917 CIC canons which establish a penalty are subject to strict interpretation, so canon 2335 applied only to Catholics who were members of Masonic associations that machinate against the Church. The CBCEW interpreted CDF 1974 as instructing bishops that 1917 CIC canon 2335 "no longer automatically bars a Catholic from membership of Masonic groups" since it is subject to strict interpretation, and that "a Catholic who joins the Freemasons is excommunicated only if the policy and actions of the Freemasons in his area are known to be hostile to the Church." So, the CBCEW defined norms within its jurisdiction, that Catholics, who believed that membership in Masonic associations "does not conflict" with their "deeper loyalty" to their incorporation in the Catholic Church, should "discuss the implications of such membership" with their parish priest. Likewise, Catholics in Masonic associations were "urged to seek reconciliation."
German Bishops' Conference
In 1980, after six years of dialogue with representatives of the United Grand Lodges of Germany and investigation of Masonic rituals,[discuss] the DBK produced a report on Freemasonry listing twelve conclusions.
Among the DBK's conclusions were that Freemasonry denies revelation, and objective truth. They also alleged that religious indifference is fundamental to Freemasonry, and that Freemasonry is Deist, and that it denies the possibility of divine revelation, so threatening the respect due to the Church's teaching office. The sacramental character of Masonic rituals was seen as signifying an individual transformation, offering an alternative path to perfection and having a total claim on the life of a member It concludes by stating that all lodges are forbidden to Catholics, including Catholic-friendly lodges.[j]
The 1981 CDF Declaration concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons said that the 1974 CDF reply had "given rise to erroneous and tendentious interpretations." The 1981 CDF declaration also affirmed that the prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic groups had not changed and remained in effect.
1983 code of canon law
The Catholic Church abrogated and replaced 1917 CIC with present 1983 CIC, which took effect in November 1983. 1917 CIC canon 2335 developed into 1983 CIC canon 1374. Unlike the abrogated 1917 CIC canon 2335, however, 1983 CIC canon 1374 does not name any groups it condemns; it states:
A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty;[k] one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.
This omission led some Catholics and Freemasons, especially in America, to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons might have changed,[l] and caused confusion in the church's hierarchy.[m] Many Catholics joined the fraternity, basing their membership on a permissive interpretation of Canon Law and justifying their membership by their belief that Freemasonry does not plot against the Church.[n]
The Catholic Church uses two parallel codes of canon law: the 1983 CIC in the Latin Church of the Catholic Church and the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (1990 CCEO) in the sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches of the Catholic Church. 1983 CIC canon 1374 and 1990 CCEO canon 1448 §2 are parallel canons.[o] 1983 CIC canon 1374 differentiates between being a member of a forbidden association and being an officer or promoter but 1990 CCEO canon 1448 §2 does not.
Declaration on Masonic Associations
In 1983, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the personal approval of Pope John Paul II, issued a Declaration on Masonic Associations, which reiterated the Church's objections to Freemasonry. The 1983 declaration states that "faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. ... the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic association(s) remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. CDF 1983 "stipulated that neither" CDF 1974 nor CDF 1981 "allowed an individual bishop or bishops' conferences to permit Catholics to belong to masonic lodges."
Continued ban after the declaration
A USCCB committee concluded in its 1985 Letter to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry that "the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice." "Those who knowingly embrace" masonic "principles are committing serious sin" and, according to Law's parenthetical commentary on Whalen, that offense might be punishable under canon 1364. According to that canon, an apostate, heretic, or schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication and clerics can be punished with additional expiatory penalties including dismissal from the clerical state. Caparros et al. elucidates that, in cases where "registration into an association entails apostasy, heresy, or schism" then the offense is punishable under canon 1364. Nevertheless, citing CDF (1983), Caparros et al. states that "those masonic associations that would not be covered by" canon 1374 have "principles [which] are still seen to be incompatible with the doctrine of the Church." Every delict in canon law is a sin. The "distinction between penal law and morality" is, according to the USCCB committee, that not all sins are violations in canon law – so in a case where a sin is not also a violation or delict in canon law, it is a fallacy to conclude that "it is permissible to commit it." "Referring specifically to the secrecy of masonic organisations," CDF 1985 "reiterated the ban on masonic membership" in CDF 1983. According to McInvale (1992), the CDF (1985) "argues that Masonry establishes a relativistic symbolic concept of morality unacceptable to Catholicism."
In 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, legislated that Catholic members of masonic associations in the diocese, incur a latae sententiae censure of a one-month interdict during which they are forbidden to receive holy communion; those who continue membership incur a latae sententiae censure of excommunication. Those excommunications which were challenged through a process of canonical recourse were affirmed by a judgment of the Holy See in 2006.
In 2000, David Patterson, executive secretary of the Masonic Service Bureau of Los Angeles, asked Cardinal Roger Mahony "whether a practicing Catholic may join a Masonic Lodge." Father Thomas Anslow, Judicial Vicar of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, replied to Patterson that "the matter is too complex for a straightforward 'yes' or 'no' answer. But at least for Catholics in the United States, I believe the answer is probably yes." Because he was "unaware of any ideology or practice by the local lodges that challenges or subverts the doctrine and interests of the Catholic Church," Anslow wrote that his "qualified response" is "probably yes."  Anslow publicly retracted his 2000 letter in 2002, with the explanation that his analysis was faulty. He wrote that, according to the CDF (1985) reflection about the CDF (1983) declaration, "the system of symbols" used in Masonry can "foster a 'supraconfessional humanitarian'" conception of "the divine that neutralizes or replaces the faith dimension of our relationship with God."
In 2002, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines decreed that:
- a Catholic who is a "publicly known" Freemason – who "actively participates" or "promotes its views" or "holds any office" – and refuses to renounce his membership after being warned in accord with 1983 CIC canon 1347, "is to be punished with an interdict," in accord with 1983 CIC canon 1374, including: exclusion from receiving the sacraments; prohibition against acting as a sponsor in Baptism and Confirmation; prohibition against being a member of any parish or diocesan structure; and denial of Catholic funeral rites, unless some signs of repentance before death were shown, regardless, to avoid public scandal in a case where a bishop allows funeral rites, Masonic services are prohibited in the church and prohibited immediately before or after the Catholic funeral rites at the cemetery.
- a Catholic who is a Freemason, "notoriously adhering to the Masonic vision," is automatically excommunicated under canon 1364 and is automatically censured in accord with 1983 CIC canon 1331
- a Freemason is prohibited from acting a witness to marriage in the Catholic Church, and prohibited from being a member of any associations of the faithful
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, told the 2007 Freemasonry and the Catholic Church conference, at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome, that doctrine has not changed. Girotti, quoting the CDF 1983 declaration, reiterated that masonic philosophy is incompatible with Catholic faith. Likewise, reacting to the news of an 85-year-old Catholic priest, Rosario Francesco Esposito, becoming a member in a Masonic lodge, Girotti told Vatican Radio in May 2007 that the CDF 1983 declaration "remains in force today[update]." Girotti called on priests who had declared themselves to be Freemasons to be disciplined by their direct superiors.
Current position of the Church on Catholics joining the Fraternity
The Catholic Church's current norm on Masonic associations is the 1983 CDF Declaration on Masonic associations.[p] The 1983 CDF declaration states that Catholics "who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
The 1983 CDF declaration clarified the omission of association names in 1983 Code of Canon Law (1983 CIC) by stating that the "editorial criterion which was followed" did not mention association names since "they are contained in wider categories." 1983 CIC canon 1374 states that a Catholic "who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict." This contrasted with the 1917 Code of Canon Law (1917 CIC), which explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication. The omission of association names, like Masonic associations, from the 1983 CIC prompted Catholics and Masons to question whether the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons was still active, especially after the perceived liberalization of the Church after Vatican II.
A number of Catholics became Freemasons assuming that the Church had softened its stance.[q] The 1983 CDF declaration addressed this misinterpretation of the Code of Canon Law, clarifying that:
...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.
Near the time that the 1983 CDF declaration was released, bishops' conferences in Germany and America also released independent reports on the question of Freemasonry. The conclusions of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) in its 1980 report on Masonry and cited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in its 1985 letter included that "research on the ritual and on the Masonic mentality makes it clear that it is impossible to belong to the Catholic Church and to Freemasonry at the same time."
Some of the doctrines are incorporated into Catholic social teaching which are, in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, to appreciate democratic political systems which are accountable to the governed and to "reject all secret organizations that seek to influence or subvert the functioning of legitimate institutions."
According to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, DBK (1980) and CBCP (2010) "are significant texts as they address the theoretical and practical reasons for the irreconcilability of masonry and Catholicism as concepts of truth,[t] religion,[u] God, man and the world, spirituality, ethics, rituality and tolerance."
Freemasonry's position on Catholics joining the Fraternity
Masonic bodies do not ban Catholics from joining if they wish to do so. There has never been a Masonic prohibition against Catholics joining the fraternity, and many Freemasons are Catholics.
Catholic fraternal societies
Freemasonry was an important catalyst in the founding of the Knights of Columbus. One of the attractions of Freemasonry is that it provided a number of social services unavailable to non-members (and therefore, devout Catholics). Father Michael J. McGivney, a Catholic priest in New Haven, Connecticut wished to provide Catholic men with a Catholic fraternal organization, an alternative to Freemasonry, with the attractiveness of selected membership and secret initiation, but neither oath-bound nor secret. McGivney believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wished to found a society that would encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage.
- Anticlericalism and Freemasonry
- Christianity and Freemasonry
- Papal documents relating to Freemasonry
- The offense suspicion of heresy was a distinct offense from being suspected of the offense of heresy. The offense suspicion of heresy is not found in the 1983 CIC.
- Clement XII had "condemned and prohibited" a category of groups, whether or not they are called Freemasons. He instructed local ordinaries and inquisitors to investigate and punish transgressors "with suitable penalties as being gravely suspect of heresy."[a] In context, the condemnation and prohibition by Clement XII (1738) and Cardinal Giuseppe Firrao, secretary of state, in 1739 are, according to Benimeli (2014, pp. 139–140), "nothing more than further links in the long chain of measures adopted by European authorities throughout the eighteenth century." According to Benimeli, Clement XII and Benedict XIV only added a religious reason – of suspicion of heresy – to the civil reason – of subversive activity – enacted by 18th century Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic governments against masonic associations. Firrao decreed that masonic meetings were "a danger to public peace and order" within the Papal States and were also suspected of heresy.
- Four papal documents – of Clement XII (1738), Benedict XIV (1751), Pius VII (1821), and Leo XII (1825) – "comprise virtually all of the legislation" about condemned secret associations before the 1917 CIC. Later papal documents relating to Freemasonry restated these four documents and various Roman congregations interpreted the law contained in them. Of those four documents, only excerpts from Clement XII 1738 are included in DH (2012, nn. 2511–2513).
- Masons were not characterized "as self-consciously venerating the devil" by Catholic writers prior to Léo Taxil, the perpetrator of an anti-Masonic hoax.
- The Index of prohibited books was abolished in 1965 and that function of CDF was replaced with other norms. The "right and the duty to examine and also to prevent the publication of" works as well as the rebuke and admonition of authors was devolved to episcopal conferences and individual ordinaries. In 1966, the CDF notified that although the Index "no longer has the force of ecclesiastical law with the attached censure," it "remains morally binding, in light of the demands of natural law, in so far as it admonishes the conscience of Christians to be on guard for those writings that can endanger faith and morals." The Holy See reserved use of "its right and duty to issue reprimands about these writings, even publicly."
- Bishop Sergio Méndez Arceo, of Cuernavaca, Mexico, asked Vatican II to discuss secret societies and Masonic associations. Arceo and others proposed that not all Masonry machinated against the Catholic Church.
- Vatican II reversed a thousand years of legal history of the Latin Church. The Vatican II dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium (LG ), and the Vatican II decree on the pastoral office of bishops, Christus Dominus (CD ), explain that the scope of a diocesan bishop's power is ordinary, proper, and immediate; and is limited and regulated "though the supreme authority of the Church" in the form of canon law or papal decree. Because of this, significant changes in practice were then legislated to implement Vatican II. The norms in Paul VI 1966b implemented concessions prescribed in CD, n. 8. See commentaries in McIntyre (2000, pp. 128, 130) and Renken (2000a, p. 503).
- The CES based their decision "on the claim that Scandinavian Masonry was fundamentally different from American and European Masonry," that it was Christian, and that Swedish Rite masonry was not anticlerical or atheistic. According to the CES secretary, Bishop John Willem Gran, of Oslo, the CES had not received any comments from the Holy See about their 1967 decision.[further explanation needed] Likewise, Gran (1968) contradicted misrepresentations of fact in a Tablet (1968d) paragraph, which Gran attributed to a widely repeated Le Monde article, and corrected that the CDF did not privately reply to a CES bishop that "it was 'possible but not advisable' for a Catholic to join."
- The confusion did not end there, for example, during the 20 years after Vatican II, the British press "regularly reported, with amazement," about a pending rapprochement which contrasted with a Catholic toughening after the 1981 Propaganda Due (P2) clandestine lodge scandal and revelations of its machination against the state.
- The DBK noted that German Protestant churchs were also suspicious of Freemasonry.
- See canon 1349, a just penalty is an indeterminate penalty which allows the exercise of discretion in imposition of penalties based on the circumstances of individual cases. According to canon lawyer Edward N. Peters, the term just penalty "means that a penalty (e.g., [...] interdict, excommunication) can be tailored to fit the crime." Canon lawyer Cathy Caridi wrote that CDF (1983) "provides a theological interpretation of canon 1374." Caridi commented that, according to CDF (1983), "a diocesan bishop or chancery official cannot grant permission in a particular case for a member of the diocese to become a Mason."
- "Some [Freemasons] and some Catholics believe," according to Reid McInvale, that since Vatican II "the attitude of the church has been to regard Freemasonry as an acceptable sphere for fraternal interaction."
- Bernard Law wrote that "many bishops" replied "to an earlier survey that confusion had been generated by a perceived change of approach by the" CDF.
- "In good faith many of these men had asked their pastors and/or bishops for permission to join the Lodge. Some converts were received into the Church during these years and were not asked to relinquish their Masonic affiliation."
- All censures in 1990 CCEO are imposed judicially or administratively; it does not include any automatic latae sententia censures.
- The CDF 1983 declaration is a simple declaration which must be interpreted in the context of other existing legislation. It reiterated CDF (1981a) which clarified the Church's doctrine that the historic prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic groups remained.
- According to Whalen (1985), from 1974 to after 1981, "an undetermined number of Catholic men joined the Lodge, and many presently maintain membership. Articles in the Catholic press ' told readers that under certain circumstances a Masonic membership was allowed. The general public, Catholic and non-Catholic, assumed the Church had softened its stand against membership in Freemasonry."
- "The nature of the Masonic God is best seen in their favorite title for him: the Supreme Architect. The Masonic God is first of all a deistic God, who is found at the top of the ladder of Masonic wisdom",
- According to Law (1985), DBK (1980) and Whalen (1985) "confirm that the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a naturalistic religion active participation in which is incompatible with Christian faith and practice."
- Masonry is opposed to the concept of supernatural truth.
- For example, Whalen (1985) wrote that "whatever constitutes 'that religion in which all men agree', it is not Christianity or revealed religion." Masonic studies is a field in the academic study of new religious movements. Speculative masonry does not fit categories in the church-sect-cult typology of religious movements. Masonry asserts that it is a fraternal organization and neither a religion nor a substitute for religion, others assert that it exhibits the features of a religion, some assert that it is a religion. In contrast, some assert that it is impossible to conclude "that Freemasonry is religious."
- CBCP 2010, p. 9.
- Gruber 1910.
- Saunders, William (2005). "What are the Masons?". catholiceducation.org. Catholic Education Resource Center. Archived from the original on 2014-10-28. Reprint of "Catholics and Freemasonry". Arlington Catholic Herald. Arlington, VA: Diocese of Arlington. 2005-09-22. ISSN 0361-3712.
- Whalen, William J. (1996). "Papal condemnations of the Lodge". ewtn.com. Irondale, AL: Eternal Word Television Network. Archived from the original on 1999-11-05. From Whalen, William J. (1958). Christianity and American Freemasonry. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce. OCLC 630774062.
- Benimeli 2014, p. 150.
- CDF 1983; see CDF 1985: "membership objectively constitutes a grave sin;" see Law 1985: "Those who knowingly embrace such principles are committing serious sin." Which "implies in all cases an act of free will and being conscious of committing an intrinsically evil action."
- CDF 1985, cited in Levada (2011).
- Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, cited in Madison & Dryfoos (Timeline)
- Ridley, Jasper (2001). The Freemasons: A history of the world's most powerful secret society (1st U.S. ed.). New York: Arcade. pp. 51, 53. ISBN 9781559706018.
- "Tommaso Crudeli". freemasonry.bcy.ca. Vancouver: Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M. Archived from the original on 2003-07-07. From Cerza, Alphonse (1967). The truth is stranger than fiction. Washington, DC: Masonic Service Association. OCLC 2964387.
- Bernheim, Alain (2011). Ramsay et ses deux discours (in French). Paris: Télètes. pp. 17–19. ISBN 9782906031746.
- Carr's, The Freemason at Work, cited in Madison & Dryfoos (Timeline)
- Clement XII 1738, §1 (DH 2012, n. 2511).
- Clement XII 1738, §2 (DH 2012, n. 2512).
- Clement XII 1738, §4 (DH 2012, n. 2513).
- Peters 2015. See CIC 1917, n. 2315, translated in Peters (2001, p. 736); see commentaries in Bachofen (1922, pp. 284–287) and Woywod (1948b, n. 2159 at pp. 512–513).
- Peters 2015.
- Benimeli 2014, pp. 139–140.
- Quigley 1927, p. 16.
- Leo XII 1825; Quigley 1927, p. 16.
- Quigley 1926, p. 60, cited in Macdonald (1946, pp. 25–26).
- Luijk 2016, p. 237.
- Leo XIII 1884, nn. 10, 12–13, 17–21; Whalen 1985.
- Luijk 2016, p. 240.
- Macdonald 1946, p. 97.
- Leo XIII 1884, 10, quoted in Benimeli (2014, p. 143).
- CIC 1917, c. 2335, translated in Peters (2001, p. 740); see commentaries in Bachofen (1922, pp. 339–346), Benimeli (2014, pp. 143–144), and Woywod (1948b, pp. 530–532); developed into 1983 CIC canon 1374.
- Bouscaren, Ellis & Korth 1963, c. 2335 at p. 924, quoted in freemasonry.bcy.ca (2001).
- CIC 1917, c. 1065 §1, translated in Peters (2001, p. 367); see commentaries in Bachofen (1918, pp. 154–157) and Woywod (1948a, pp. 706–707); was developed into 1983 CIC canon 1071 §1 4°.
- CIC 1917, cc. 693 §1, 696 §2, translated in Peters (2001, pp. 262–263); see commentaries in Bachofen (1919, pp. 435, 437) and Woywod (1948a, pp. 345–347); parts of cc. 693 §1 and 696 §2 were developed into parts of 1983 CIC canons 308 and 316.
- CIC 1917, c. 1240 §1 1°, translated in Peters (2001, p. 421); see commentaries in Bachofen (1921, pp. 152–158) and Woywod (1948a, p. 52); was developed into 1983 CIC canon 1184.
- CIC 1917, c. 542 1°, translated in Peters (2001, pp. 210–211); see commentaries in Bachofen (1919, pp. 205–214) and Woywod (1948a, p. 243); was incorporated into 1983 CIC canon 597 §1.
- CIC 1917, c. 1453, translated in Peters (2001, p. 488); see commentaries in Bachofen (1921, p. 527) and Woywod (1948b, pp. 177–178); was not developed into a 1983 CIC canon.
- CIC 1917, cc. 501 §2, 2336, translated in Peters (2001, pp. 195, 740–741); see commentaries in Bachofen (1918, pp. 103, 110–111, 346–347) and Woywod (1948b, pp. 501, 532); c. 501 §2 was developed into 1983 CIC canon 596.
- CIC 1917, c. 1399 8°, translated in Peters (2001, p. 471); see commentaries in Bachofen (1921, pp. 467, 473–474) and Woywod (1948b, p. 151); was not developed into a 1983 CIC canon.
- Bouscaren, Ellis & Korth 1963, c. 1399 §8, quoted in freemasonry.bcy.ca (2001).
- CDF 1966.
- Tablet 1968a.
- Benimeli 2014, p. 144.
- Calderwood 2013, p. 133.
- McIntyre 2000, p. 127.
- Vatican II LG, n. 27 (DH 2012, n. 4152); Vatican II CD, n. 8; McIntyre 2000, p. 127; Renken 2000b, pp. 519–520.
- Paul VI 1966c, n. 6.
- Paul VI 1965; Paul VI 1966a; Tablet 1968a.
- Gran 1968; Tablet 1968c.
- Paul VI 1966b, cited in Gran (1968).
- Gran 1968.
- Tablet (1968d), quoted in Gran (1968).
- Tablet 1968c.
- Tablet 1968b.
- Tablet 1968a; Tablet 1968b.
- Tablet 1968a, quoted in Tablet (1968b).
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- Suchecki 2007.
- Tablet 1971; Benimeli 2014.
- Tablet 1971.
- Tablet 1973.
- CDF 1974.
- Tablet 1974.
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- CDF 1974; Whalen 1985.
- DBK 1980.
- DBK 1980, n. 1, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a); see CBCP (2010, n. 37 at p. 19).
- DBK 1980, n. 2, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 3, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 4 as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 5 as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 6, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 7, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a); see CBCP (2010, n. 45 at p. 23).
- DBK 1980, n. 8, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 9, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 10, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 11, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- DBK 1980, n. 12, as translated in Jenkins (1996), quoted in Gantley (2006a); see CBCP (2010, n. 47 at p. 24).
- CDF 1974; CDF 1981a.
- CDF 1981a.
- Peters 2001, p. 740.
- CIC 1983, c. 1349.
- Green 2000b, p. 1563–1564.
- Peters 2005.
- Caridi 2008.
- CIC 1983, c. 1374.
- McInvale 1992.
- Law 1985.
- Whalen 1985.
- Green 2000c, p. 1583.
- CCEO 1990, c. 1402, cited in Faris (2000, p. 41).
- Faris 2000, p. 41.
- CDF 1983.
- Tablet 1985.
- Whalen 1985, quoted in Law (1985).
- CIC 1983, c. 1364.
- Caparros et al. 1993, c. 1374 at pp. 1070–1071.
- Green 2000a, p. 1529.
- Whalen 1985, quoted in Law (1985); see Green (2000a, p. 1529).
- Bruskewitz 1996; Besse 2007.
- McFeely 2006; Besse 2007.
- Anslow 2000.
- Anslow 2002.
- CDF 1985, quoted in Anslow (2002).
- CIC 1983, c. 1347.
- CIC 1983, c. 1332.
- CBCP 2002, n. 1.
- CIC 1983, c. 1184.
- CBCP 2002, n. 2.
- CIC 1983, c. 1331.
- CBCP 2002, n. 3.
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