Papal ban of Freemasonry
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Part of a series on the|
|Part of a series on|
The Catholic Church is a longstanding critic of Freemasonry, the Magisterium of the Church first declaring that Catholics were unable to join the fraternity with the bull In eminenti apostolatus in 1738. Since then, eight Popes have made a total of 21 pronouncements on the incompatibility of Catholic teaching and Freemasonry, several of which forbade Catholics from enrolling in Freemasonry under penalty of excommunication, though since 1983 this sanction is no longer in effect. Although there was some confusion of the issue following the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the Church still prohibits membership in Freemasonry because it believes that the principles of Freemasonry and the teaching of the Church are irreconcilable. 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.
- 1 Current position of the Catholic Church
- 2 Freemasonry's position
- 3 History
- 3.1 In eminenti apostolatus
- 3.2 Reiteration of ban on membership by subsequent popes
- 3.3 Uncertainty following the Second Vatican Council
- 3.4 Declaration on Masonic Associations
- 3.5 Continued ban after the declaration
- 4 Catholic fraternal societies
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
Current position of the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church's most recent statement on Freemasonry is the 1983 CDF Declaration on Masonic associations. It remains the most current standing reference on the Church's policy on Freemasonry.[a] 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 1983 Code of Canon Law (1983 CIC), which did not explicitly list Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. 1983 CIC canon 1374 states in part: "A person 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, which explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication. The omission of Masonic orders 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.[b] 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."
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 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, himself Florentine, 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."[g]
Reiteration of ban on membership by subsequent popes
The ban from In eminenti apostolatus was reiterated and expanded upon by Benedict XIV (1751), Pius VII (1821), Leo XII (1826), Pius VIII (1829), Gregory XVI (1832), Pius IX (1846, 1849, 1864, 1865, 1869, 1873), and notably Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical Humanum genus (1884). 1917 CIC canon 2335 explicitly declared that joining "a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort" incurs automatic excommunication. 1917 CIC canon 1399 also prohibited books which describe "Masonic sects and other such societies" as "useful and not harmful to the Church and civil society."[h]
Uncertainty following the Second Vatican Council
Following the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, questions began to arise as to whether the Catholic Church was easing its stance towards Masonry. In 1974 Cardinal Franjo Šeper, prefect of the CDF, sent a private letter to some episcopal conferences that stated, in part, that the CDF:
ruled that Canon 2335 no longer automatically bars a Catholic from membership of masonic groups... And so, a Catholic who joins the Freemasons is excommunicated only if the policies and actions of the Freemasons in his area are known to be hostile to the Church.[i]
German Bishops' Conference
In 1980, after years of study, including dialogue with Freemasons, the DBK addressed this question, producing 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, 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, 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 and that German Protestant churches were also suspicious of Freemasonry.
The 1981 CDF Declaration concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons said that the leaked 1974 CDF private letter had "given rise to erroneous and tendentious interpretations." The 1981 CDF declaration also affirmed that the prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders had not changed and remained in effect.
Revised Code of Canon Law
The Catholic Church abrogated and replaced 1917 CIC in 1983 with a new code: 1983 CIC. Unlike the abrogated 1917 CIC canon 2335,[j] however, 1983 CIC canon 1374 does not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies 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 caused some Catholics and Freemasons, especially in America, to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons may have been lifted after all,[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]
Declaration on Masonic Associations
In 1983, Cardindal 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.
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."
In 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, legislated that Catholic members of masonic associations in the diocese, incur a declared latae sententiae censure of a one month interdict during which they are forbidden to receive holy communion; those who continue membership incur a declared 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 said that, according to the CDF (1985) reflection about the CDF (1983) declaration, Freemasonry fostered a "supraconfessional humanitarian" conception of the divine "that neutralizes or replaces the faith dimension of our relationship with God."
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, told the 2007 Freemasonry and the Catholic Church conference the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome that doctrine has not changed. 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.
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. He 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
- CDF (1983) reiterated CDF (1981a) which clarified the Church's doctrine that the historic prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders 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."
- "During the Pontificate of Paul VI (1963-1978) local and church authorities were allowed to decide if Freemasonry in their areas violated Canon 2335. Freemasonry never formally prohibited Catholics from joining, but centuries of name calling left bitter feelings on both sides. Nonetheless, with case-by-case approval by local Church authorities, many Catholics became Freemasons."
- Translation by unknown: "it should be remembered that secularism guarantees civil peace and morality and to want to appropriate these religious values – and especially the Catholic religion under its current leadership – runs a strong long term risk of reigniting conflicts and provoking exclusions that we believed had been consigned to history."
- 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." 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 reasons – 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.
- 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."
- CDF (1974) concluded that "Canon 2335 regards only those Catholics who join associations which plot against the Church."
- See commentaries on 1917 CIC canon 2335, which was in effect May 1918 to November 1983, in Bachofen (1922, pp. 339–346) and Woywod (1948, pp. 530–532).
- According to canon lawyer Edward N. Peters, the term just penalty "means that a penalty (e.g., restitution, 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."
- 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.
- Gruber 1910.
- 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.
- CDF 1983; see CDF 1985: "membership objectively constitutes a grave sin;" see Law 1985: "Those who knowingly embrace such principles are committing serious sin."
- CDF 1983.
- CIC 1983, c. 1374.
- Jolicoeur & Knowles 1978, pp. 14–15, quoted in Whalen (1985), in Law (1985).
- Law 1985.
- Gantley, Mark J. (2006-12-10). "Can someone be a practicing Catholic and a Freemason?". ewtn.com. Irondale, AL: Eternal Word Television Network. Archived from the original on 2016-07-09.
- UGLE 2002.
- Morris, S. Brent (2006). "Religious concerns about Freemasonry". The complete idiot's guide to Freemasonry. New York: Alpha Books. p. 207. ISBN 9781592574902.
- GOdF 2007.
- 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).
- Benimeli 2014, pp. 139–140.
- Leo XIII 1864.
- Bouscaren, Ellis & Korth 1963, c. 2335 at p. 924, quoted in freemasonry.bcy.ca (2001).
- Bouscaren, Ellis & Korth 1963, c. 1399, quoted in freemasonry.bcy.ca (2001).
- CDF 1966.
- CDF 1974.
- Madison, William G. (2010-01-14) [c. 2001]. "The miter and the trowel". web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry. Cambridge, MA: Gary L. Dryfoos. Archived from the original on 2011-01-27.
- Whalen 1985.
- Jenkins 1996, quoted in Gantley (2006a); DBK 1980, quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- Jenkins 1996, quoted in Gantley (2006a).
- CDF 1974; CDF 1981a.
- CDF 1981a.
- Peters 2005.
- Caridi 2008.
- McInvale, Reid (c. 1992) [presented 1992-06-13]. "Roman Catholic Church law regarding Freemasonry". Transactions (Waco, TX: Texas Lodge of Research A.F. & A.M.) 27. OCLC 10269407. Archived from the original on 1999-01-27 – via a personal website.
- Whalen 1985, quoted in Law (1985).
- CIC 1983, c. 1364.
- Caparros et al. 1993, c. 1374 at pp. 1070–1071.
- Green 2000, p. 1529.
- Whalen 1985, quoted in Law (1985); see Green 2000, p. 1529.
- Bruskewitz 1996; Besse 2007.
- McFeely 2006; Besse 2007.
- Anslow 2000.
- Anslow 2002.
- CDF 1985, quoted in Anslow (2002).
- Suchecki 2007.
- "Italian priest joins Masons". catholicculture.org. Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications. 2007-02-19. Archived from the original on 2011-05-01.
- Catholic World News 2007.
- "Regent restates Vatican's anti-Masonry position: says its philosophies are incompatible with church". zenit.org. New York: Innovative Media. Zenit News Agency. 2007-03-02. Archived from the original on 2007-03-06.
- Agence France-Presse 2013.
- The organization was also intended to provide an alternative for Catholics to membership in a Masonic lodge History of the Knights, Somerville Council # 1432
- American Catholics found themselves unable to participate in the many fraternal organizations that offered insurance benefits because the Church had condemned so-called "secret societies." A New Haven, Conn., parish priest, Michael J. McGivney, organized the Knights of Columbus as an alternative to proscribed organizations., Many Fraternal Groups Grew From Masonic Seed (Part 2 -- 1860-1920), by Barbara Franco, The Northern Lights, November 1985
- Egan & Kennedy 1920, p. 52 quoted in Mackey, Albert G.; Hughan, William J.; Hawkins, Edward L., eds. (n.d.). "Knights of Columbus". An encyclopedia of freemasonry and its kindred sciences (Online phoenixmasonry.org ed. based on 1921 new and rev. print ed.). Phoenixmasonry.
- Christopher Kaufman, Faith and Fraternalism, Harper and Row, 1982, p.17.
- Anslow, Thomas C. (2000-09-11). "May Catholics become Freemasons?" (Letter to David Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Bureau of Los Angeles). Archived from the original on 2001-05-01 – via msana.com. Reply to Patterson's letter of inquiry directed to Cardinal Mahoney.
- Anslow, Thomas C. (2002-02-12). "[Retraction of letter dated 2000-09-11]" (Letter to David Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Bureau of Los Angeles). Archived from the original on 2006-02-11 – via archdiocese.la.
- Bachofen, Charles A. (1922). A commentary on the new code of the canon law 8. St. Louis, MO; London: B. Herder book. OCLC 608970346 – via HathiTrust Digital Library.
- Beal, John P; Coriden, James A; Green, Thomas J, eds. (2000). New commentary on the Code of Canon Law (study ed.). New York: Paulist Press. ISBN 0809105020.
- Benimeli, José A. Ferrer (2014). "Freemasonry and the Catholic Church". In Bogdan, Henrik; Snoek, Jan A. M. Handbook of freemasonry. Brill handbooks on contemporary religion 8. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004218338.
- Bouscaren, T. Lincoln; Ellis, Adam C.; Korth, Francis N. (1963). Canon law: a text and commentary (4th rev. ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Bruce. OCLC 716992.
- Bruskewitz, Fabian W. (March 22, 1996) [1996-03-19]. "Statement of Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicating certain groups". Southern Nebraska Register (Denver, CO: Catholic Press Society). Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln. ISSN 0744-6950. Archived from the original on 2012-09-12. Retrieved May 29, 2011 – via catholicculture.org.
- Caridi, Cathy (2008-09-25). "Can Catholics become Freemasons?". canonlawmadeeasy.com (blog). Rome: Cathy Caridi. Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Clement XII, Pope (1738-04-28). "In eminenti apostolatus specula". See "In eminenti". papalencyclicals.net. Translated by unknown. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1966-06-14). "Notification regarding the abolition of the Index of books". vatican.va. Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1981-02-17). "Declaratio de canonica disciplina quae sub pœna excommunicationis vetat ne catholici nomen dent sectae massonicae aliisque eiusdem generis associationibus". Acta Apostolicae Sedis (in Latin) (Vatican City, published 1981-04-03) 73 (3): 240–241 – via vatican.va.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1981-02-17). "Declaration concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons". vatican.va. Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Note that this English translation does not include CDF 1974 which is included in the Latin typical edition: CDF 1981b.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1983-11-26). "Declaration on Masonic associations". vatican.va. Archived from the original on 2001-03-14.
- [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] (1985-02-23). "Reflections one year after the declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: irreconcilability between Christian faith and Freemasonry". L'Osservatore Romano (Vatican City, published 1985-03-11). Archived from the original on 2007-05-05 – via vatican.va.
- Denzinger, Heinrich; Hünermann, Peter; et al., eds. (2012). Enchiridion symbolorum: a compendium of creeds, definitions and declarations of the Catholic Church (43rd ed.). San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0898707463.
- German Bishops' Conference (1980-05-12). "Zur Frage der Mitgliedschaft von Katholiken in der Freimaurerei" [To the question of the membership of Catholics in Freemasonry]. Archiv für katholische Kirchenrecht (in German) (Mainz: Kirchheim) 149. ISSN 0003-9160.
- "Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons". ewtn.com. Irondale, AL: Eternal Word Television Network. Archived from the original on 1999-11-28. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a work now in the public domain: Egan, Maurice F.; Kennedy, John B. (1920). The Knights of Columbus in peace and war 1. New Haven: Knights of Columbus. p. 52. OCLC 656613674.
- Gantley, Mark J. (2006-03-19). "Free Masons". ewtn.com. Irondale, AL: Eternal Word Television Network. Archived from the original on 2016-07-09.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gruber, Hermann (1910). "Masonry (Freemasonry)". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia 9. New York: Robert Appleton. pp. 771–788.
- Jenkins, Ronny E. (1996). "Evolution of the Church's prohibition against Catholic membership in Freemasonry, The". The Jurist (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press) 56: 735–755. ISSN 2326-6236.
- Jolicoeur, Pamela M.; Knowles, Louis L. (Autumn 1978). "Fraternal associations and civil religion: Scottish Rite Freemasonry". Review of Religious Research (New York: Religious Research Association) 20 (1): 3–22. ISSN 0034-673X. JSTOR 3509938.
- Law, Bernard (1985-04-19). "Concerning Masonry" (Letter to U.S. Bishops). Archived from the original on 2016-07-09 – via catholicculture.org.
- Leo XIII, Pope (1864-04-20). "Humanum genus". vatican.va. Archived from the original on 2014-12-14.
- Madison, Bill; Dryfoos, Gary L. (2004-06-22) [c. 1995]. "Timeline of relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Freemasons". web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry. Cambridge, MA: Gary L. Dryfoos. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24.
- McFeely, Tom (2006-12-19). "Vatican backs 'Call to Action' excommunications". National Catholic Register. Includes contribution by Catholic News Service (Circle Media). ISSN 0027-8920. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18.
- Peters, Edward N. (2005-12-28). "Fake priests". canonlaw.info (blog). s.l.: Edward Peters. Archived from the original on 2006-02-07. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Suchecki, Zbigniew (August–September 2007). Is Freemasonry incompatible with the Catholic faith?. Inside the Vatican. Interview with Redzioch, Wlodzimierz (New Hope, KY: Urbi et Orbi Communications). pp. 44–45. ISSN 1068-8579. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2016-07-10 – via catholicculture.org.
- Whalen, William A. (1985-06-27). The pastoral problem of masonic membership (Report commissioned by the Pastoral Research and Practices Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). CNS Documentary Service. Archived from the original on 2016-07-09 – via catholicculture.org.
- Woywod, Stanislaus (1948) [©1943]. Smith, Callistus, ed. A practical commentary on the Code of canon law 2 (Rev. and enl. ed.). New York: J. F. Wagner. OCLC 746242376.
- "Rappel des valeurs de la laïcité" [Reminder of the values of secularism]. godf.org (Press release) (in French). Paris: Grand Orient de France. 2007-11-09. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14.
- "Freemasonry: your questions answered". ugle.org.uk. London: United Grand Lodge of England. 2002. Archived from the original on 2004-01-28.
- "Canon Law regarding Freemasonry, 1917–1983". freemasonry.bcy.ca. Vancouver: Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M. 2001-03-16. Archived from the original on 2002-01-05. Retrieved 2006-04-09.
- "Masonic lodge membership is gravely sinful, Vatican official says". catholicculture.org. Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications. Catholic World News. 2007-03-05. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10.
- "French priest defrocked after refusing to forsake Freemasonry". france24.com (Paris: France 24). Agence France-Presse. 2013-05-25. Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- Condon, Edward F. (2015). Heresy by association: the canonical prohibition of Freemasonry in history and in the current law (J.C.D. thesis). Washington, DC: Catholic University of America. Archived from the original on 2016-07-10. Retrieved 2016-07-10.