I realize there are a several posts that deal with Freemasons and why Catholics should avoid the organization. My question: is it acceptable for KoC and Freemasons to publically assoicate? I don’t mean as individuals, we do enjoy some freedom of association, I mean as an organization like a co-sponsored event. IMHO, the public association, regardless of the reason, implies that the KoC are OK with Masonic doctrine. I’ve not been able to find in Canon law where the association, as desribed above, is prohibited, just where we will fall into grave sin if we join. Thanks.
If it is a grave sin to join such an organization (and it is) then wouldn’t it be at very least scandal to associate publicly with such an organization (I say yes)?
Pax Christi tecum.
It would certainly scandalize the faithful. They may as well co-sponsor a soup kitchen with the church of Satan.
I don’t get it.
I know this is off topic, but I’d be extremely grateful if someone could explain, in a sentence or two, what’s so dreadfully wrong with Freemasons. I’ve hardly heard of them, and don’t know any more about them than the little I understood from a brief (very brief) glance at a Wikipedia page. :o
Do a search. Freemasonry has been discussed many, many times.
Don’t be too hard on the association of Catholics with Masons. When our parish was formed, mass was said in the high school cafeteria, which was right across the road from our building site. The school board got into the politial correctness thing and kicked us out. The Shriners came to our rescue and rented us the Jamil Temple on Sunday mornings until our building was completed.
Mutual cooperation between a group which Catholics cannot join and Catholic themselves is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if a few KC councils organized a pro-life march, would it be prudent to turn away support from a like-minded but non-Catholic group?
– Mark L. Chance.
Wouldnt that be like mixing vinegar and oil?
I understand what you’re saying, but I’m being specific, not some generic non-Cahtolic org, specifically the Masons. I don’t see a problem with open association with Relay-For-Life or Habitat for Humanity, for example. But then RFL and HFH don’t have the reputation (deserved or not) that the Masons do.
Mutual cooperation between a group which Catholics cannot join and Catholic themselves is not necessarily a bad thing.
So, for example, if the K of C got together with Planned Parenthood and had a march against cancer, how would that be a good thing?
By appearing jointly with the Masons or Planned Parenthood, there is implicit validation of their standing in the community. Therein lies the scandal, because, “heck, if it’s okay to be seen as peers in a public setting, they can’t be all that bad.”
"For example, if a few KC councils organized a pro-life march, would it be prudent to turn away support from a like-minded but non-Catholic group?
There’s a big difference between non-Catholic, and anti-Catholic. Groups like the freemasons are virulently anti-Catholic by their own definition. It’s not the same as showing up at a pro-life march with some Quakers.
Jesus ate with tax collectors despite what people said and thought…
true, they were his target audience. there’s no conversion attempts in the scenario layed out in this thread. I guess another way to ask the question is: does the public association imply acceptance/approval of the partners foundations?
The Masons played an important role in helping debunk the infamous ‘bogus oath’ of the Knights of Columbus in the 1920’s.
[quote=tm30]Groups like the freemasons are virulently anti-Catholic by their own definition.
Can you give a link to an authentic Masonic website whose content would confirm such an allegation?
I have many masons in my family, none of whom is even MILDLY anti-Catholic. They may disagree with some Catholic beliefs, but in that respect they are hardly unique.
Jesus ate with tax collectors despite what people said and thought…
The tax collectors were invincibly ignorant at the time Jesus dined with them. They also did not have an organizational mission diametrically pointed against the body of Christ. Jesus didn’t even exempt Himself from paying the tax due to Caesar.
Jesus was quite clear about what to do with those who’ve heard the message and remain steadfast against Him:
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.
The tax collectors had not received the good news. The freemasons, as an organization, have heard the Gospel and not only rejected it, but intend to undermine and destroy it.
I guess the best way I could put it is conflict of interest. If our Religion tells us that we can not join them, or be part of such an organization it would be best to stay away. Even if it is for a good cause, would we still not be disobeying our Pope. Now for a Mason and a Catholic to do something good together on an individual basis, that would be different. I just think that the two organizations just have too many different beliefs and it would cause too much conflict.
But Freemasonry goes farther and attacks Catholicism openly. The “Voice” (Chicago), for instance, in an article which begins: “There is nothing in the Catholic religion which is adverse to Masonry”, continues,for the truth is, that masonry embodies that religion in which all men agree. This is as true as that all veritable religion, wherever found, is in substance the same. Neither is it in the power of any man or body of men to make it otherwise. Doctrines and forms of observance conformable to piety, imposed by spiritual overseers, may be as various as the courses of wind; and like the latter may war with each other upon the face of the whole earth, but they are not religion. Bigotry and zeal, the assumptions of the priestcraft, with all its countless inventions to magnify and impress the world . . . are ever the mainsprings of strife, hatred and revenge, which defame and banish religion and its inseparable virtues, and work unspeakable mischief, wherever mankind are found upon the earth. Popery and priestcraft are so allied, that they may be called the same; the truth being, that the former is nothing more nor less than a special case of the latter, being a particular form of a vicious principle, which itself is but the offspring of the conceit of self-sufficiency and the lust of dominion. Nothing which can be named, is more repugnant to the spirit of masonry, nothing to be more carefully guarded against, and this has been always well understood by all skillful masters, and it must in truth be said, that such is the wisdom of the lessons, i.e. of masonic instruction in Lodges, etc. In similar discussions, containing in almost every word a hidden or open attack on Christianity, the truly Masonic magazines and books of all countries abound. Past Grand Deacon J.C. Parkinson, an illustrious English Mason, frankly avows: “The two systems of Romanism and Freemasonry are not only incompatible, but they are radically opposed to each other”  and American Masons say: “We won’t make a man a Freemason, until we know that he isn’t a Catholic.” 
But let’s hear what the pope has to say:
Clement XII accurately indicates the principal reasons why Masonic associations from the Catholic, Christian, moral, political, and social points of view, should be condemned. These reasons are:
*]The inscrutable secrecy and fallacious ever-changing disguise of the Masonic association and of its “work”, by which “men of this sort break as thieves into the house and like foxes endeavour to root up the vineyard”, “perverting the hearts of the simple”, ruining their spiritual and temporal welfare.
*]The oaths of secrecy and of fidelity to Masonry and Masonic work, which cannot be justified in their scope, their object, or their form, and cannot, therefore, induce any obligation. The oaths are condemnable, because the scope and object of Masonry are “wicked” and condemnable, and the candidate in most cases is ignorant of the import or extent of the obligation which he takes upon himself. Moreover the ritualistic and doctrinal “secrets” which are the principal object of the obligation, according to the highest Masonic authorities, are either trifles or no longer exist.  In either case the oath is a condemnable abuse. Even the Masonic modes of recognition, which are represented as the principal and only essential “secret” of Masonry, are published in many printed books. Hence the real “secrets” of Masonry, if such there be, could only be political or anti-religious conspiracies like the plots of the Grand Lodges in Latin countries. But such secrets, condemned, at least theoretically, by Anglo-American Masons themselves, would render the oath or obligation only the more immoral and therefore null and void. Thus in every respect the Masonic oaths are not only sacrilegious but also an abuse contrary to public order which requires that solemn oaths and obligations as the principal means to maintain veracity and faithfulness in the State and in human society, should not be vilified or caricatured. In Masonry the oath is further degraded by its form which includes the most atrocious penalties, for the “violation of obligations” which do not even exist; a “violation” which, in truth may be and in many cases is an imperative duty.
*]The danger which such societies involve for the security and “tranquility of the State” and for “the spiritual health of souls”, and consequently their incompatibility with civil and canonical law. For even admitting that some Masonic associations pursued for themselves no purposes contrary to religion and to public order, they would be nevertheless contrary to public order, because by their very existence as secret societies based on the Masonic principles, they encourage and promote the foundation of other really dangerous secret societies and render difficult, if not impossible, efficacious action of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities against them[/LIST]
In view of these several reasons Catholics since 1738 are, under penalty of excommunication, incurred ipso facto, and reserved to the pope, strictly forbidden to enter or promote in any way Masonic societies. The law now in force  pronounces excommunication upon “those who enter Masonic or Carbonarian or other sects of the same kind, which, openly or secretly, plot against the Church or lawful authority and those who in any way favour these sects or do not denounce their leaders and principal members.”
The action of the Church is summed up in the papal pronouncements against Freemasonry since 1738, the most important of which are:
*]Clement XII, Constitution “In Eminenti”, 28 April, 1738;
*]Benedict XIV, “Providas”, 18 May, 1751;
*]Pius VII, “Ecclesiam”, 13 September, 1821;
*]Leo XII, “Quo graviora”, 13 March, 1825;
*]Pius VIII, Encyclical “Traditi”, 21 May, 1829;
*]Gregory XVI, “Mirari”, 15 August, 1832;
*]Pius IX, Encyclical “Qui pluribus”, 9 November, 1846;
*]Pius IX, Allocution “Quibus quantisque malis”, 20 April, 1849;
*]Pius IX, Encyclical “Quanta cura”, 8 December, 1864;
*]Pius IX, Allocution “Multiplices inter”, 25 September, 1865;
*]Pius IX, Constitution “Apostolicæ Sedis”, 12 October, 1869;
*]Pius IX, Encyclical “Etsi multa”, 21 November, 1873;
*]Leo XIII, Encyclical “Humanum genus”, 20 April, 1884;
*]Leo XIII, “Præclara”, 20 June, 1894;
*]Leo XIII, “Annum ingressi”, 18 March, 1902 (against Italian Freemasonry);
*]Leo XIII, Encyclical “Etsí nos”, 15 February, 1882;
*]Leo XIII, “Ab Apostolici”, 15 October, 1890.[/LIST]
I hope this sums up the reasons why it would not be appropriate for the Knights of Columbus to be associating with or appearing in concert with Freemasons…
good gravy, thats more than enough for me. Thank you for the research!
I think that, as a matter of common courtesy, if you start a post by quoting me, you should respond to the matter quoted, which in this instance you have not done. Here is what I said again:
[quote=beeliner]The Masons played an important role in helping debunk the infamous ‘bogus oath’ of the Knights of Columbus in the 1920’s.
Can you give a link to an authentic Masonic website whose content would confirm [that masons are ‘virulantly anti-Catholic’]? I have many masons in my family, none of whom is even MILDLY anti-Catholic. They may disagree with some Catholic beliefs, but in that respect they are hardly unique.
That and nothing more.
I do not deny that Masons, in their literature, often mis-characterize Catholic teaching with regard to themselves and other secret societies. Your excerpt from The Voice is a perfect example. It is NOT, however, an attack on Catholicism per se as you claim, only a misrepresentation. Furthermore, in spite of quotes to the contrary, there is nothing in Masonry that prevents it from accepting ANY male believer - only atheists are excluded on the basis of belief.
[quote=tm30]The freemasons, as an organization, have heard the Gospel and not only rejected it, but intend to undermine and destroy it.
Since the York Rite of Freemasonry is exclusively Christian, please explain how York Rite masons reject and attempt to undermine and destroy the gospel. Please be specific.
Incidentally, the following US presidents were Masons. Every single one of them was also a professing Christian:
Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, both Johnsons, Garfield, McKinley, both Roosevelts, Taft, Harding, Truman, Ford. Hope I didn’t forget any.
Here is an interesting article on the K of C from a masonic web page:
Anybody see any ‘virulant hatred of Catholicism’ there?
The site DOES go seriously astray once by stating:
There are many Masons who are also involved members of the KofC
That is obviously nonsense, but apart from that one assertion, I find nothing on the page offensive to me as a Catholic.
If anyone can give a link to an authorized Masonic website that slanders Catholicism in the manner of the Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists or other similarly-biased sects, I would like to know about it, because that has not been my experience.
That there exist individual lodges that would blackball a known Catholic from membership I do not doubt. Of course, since no observant Catholic would apply for membership, it is a rather moot point.
That certain masonic beliefs are incompatible with Catholic doctrine is, I hope, not in dispute here…