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RE: Division - Rosslyn & Research?
Thankyou for your question. It warrants an overview and a rough focus.
But in the end, each Catholic knows what is best.
As to the position of the Catholic church. Yes, it has made express
statements over time on masonry on a number of occasions.
Some Popes have been against joining lodges, and many Popes have reigned
between these being made.
Some Popes have repealed the previous prohibitions, to bring reconciliation.
A Pope is man unto himself and what is said at a particular time does not
necessarily reflect the views of Popes before or after them. Additionally,
this applies moreso towards Cardinals, who are many in the mix, and often
table blanket statements that do not affect the majority of Catholics; such
as joining Lodges. They are perceived as being strong, but in fact it is
always a low risk thing to do. Cardinals need to distinguish themselves
from the others in this way so that they may jockey for position for the
The the anti-masonic slant has been introduced for political reasons, not
based on issues of faith.
This is why it is an ever-so occasional topic that might raise its head a
few times in any given century.
The motive to do so, is to prevent we Catholics from considering other views
than that of the Church's when these prohibitions have been announced.
Naturally, this is a simplistic view of a complicated topic, but I hope it
illustrates that the prohibitions were personal in nature stemming from the
particular Pope concerned and his surrounding circumstances, and often
repealed by succeeding Popes, so one should not embrace the blanket
statements that Catholics are prohibited from joining masonry.
Certainly it is perceived that way. The Church is constituted by very human
men, that have to navigate the centuries in a slow steering ship (the
Church) in uncertain social and political times.
But my own priest, Bishop and Cardinal do not share these views of
Ratzinger and others will say one thing today, others will say the opposite
before and in years to come.
The important point is that the individual Cardinal is not the mind of the
Times change, so do individuals and their political and religous statements.
Cardinals can be found today who will argue the toss on masonic membership.
While they argue, I am limited by my own conscience and faith.
But in terms of central core faith issues; there is no conflict.
Glad to meet,
Sorry to part,
Glad to meet again.
Finally, there are theories (not established as fact) that Freemasonry
evolved or was influenced by the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar were arrested illegally by the French King in 1307.
They men were Roman Catholic; and accountable only to the Pope.
The Pope chose at a later time to disband the order under duress and
coercion from the French Crown.
Once disbanded they continued in a number of orders existing and new.
One must remember that Catholicism is expressed very differently in the
Phillipines, France, Italy, England, Australia, USA, Malta, Ireland,
One cannot really state what a person feels on issues like masonry which are
peripheral to issues of faith.
Same can be said for topics such as euthenasia, abortion, contraception,
homosexuality, the role of women in the church, the direction of the church,
social jsutice, etc.
All topical, but for each person to work out for themselves.
Chelsea Lodge 346 UGLV
From: Sinclair [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, 24 September 2001 4:07 AM
Subject: Re: Division - Rosslyn & Research?
I thought that Roman Catholic were prohibited from Freemasonry? Being
neither can you educate me?
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