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Can Catholics also be Masons?

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The question repeatedly arises, and the answer is still no, a Vatican official reminded participants at a recent conference on Freemasonry.

The worldwide fraternal group certainly accomplishes impressive charitable works, as its 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children attest.

But Freemasonry’s core philosophy is incompatible with the Catholic faith, noted Bishop Gianfranco Girotti at a forum on the issue at Rome’s St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty, Zenit news reported.

Bishop Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, quoted the 1983 “Declaration on Masonic Associations,” signed by then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The text states that since the principles of Masonic associations “have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church,” membership in them, therefore, “remains forbidden.”

Masonry’s philosophy is based on relativism, explained Father Paul Robinson, judicial vicar of the Fall River diocesan tribunal.

The main discrepancy regards the question of truth, said Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University, in an earlier Zenit report.

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