My Mother's Potential Conversion: Stumbling Block 1


#1

As I explained in another thread (forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=97533),

my mother has become more open to the idea of converting to our Catholic faith (she was reared Southern Baptist, but came to a rather jaundiced view of them, though she goes to a Sunday school class in a mega church in the Dallas area). However, she has also started volunteering (one afternoon a week) at the metro area Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.

Now, to their credit, they do enormous good. Families of sick children are treated for free, they won’t even take insurance payments so as not to be constrained in treatment decisions. Great support for the families of these children as well.

The down side? It is a Masonic institution. Now, I’m not a Catholic that sees a Masonic conspiracy at every turn (every Mason I’ve ever met was an old man who wore wing tip shoes and his trousers with the waistband up under his armpit and I find the idea of them pulling off any kind of plot against God or His Church a little on the ludicrous side, but I admit you never know). The fact remains, membership in the Masons actually excommunicates a person. Now, I’m not worried about my mom joining up with the female version of the Masons (she’s not much of a joiner and if they had some kind of ceremony, she’d get the giggles so bad they’d kick her out), but what are the implications of her continuing to volunteer there, in the hospital?

Brought to mind is the disciples who complained to Jesus that one who was not of their company was casting out demons. Jesus told them, “He who is not against us is for us” (mind you, He also said in another part of the Gospels, “He who is not for us is against us.”). So what do you guys think I should tell my mom? Carry on doing the good work, even though it’s in a Masonic institution? Or shake the dust off her feet and get the bloody cheese crackers out of there?


#2

[quote=JKirkLVNV] So what do you guys think I should tell my mom? Carry on doing the good work, even though it’s in a Masonic institution? Or shake the dust off her feet …?
[/quote]

What good is helping the body when the soul is being killed?

If there is no other hospital within several hours’ drive, then perhaps there is no choice, until one starts their own hospital. But otherwise, why help give a good face to an evil organization? Don’t their charitable works merely serve to garner the good will of many and hold off the Church’s opposition to their perverse goal of using the natural to rule the supernatural?

If the Communist Party started a soup kitchen to help the homeless, would you join in the “good work”?

I would encourage her to seek an alternate charity, unless she has a mission to convert people in that place.

hurst


#3

[quote=JKirkLVNV]The fact remains, membership in the Masons actually excommunicates a person.
[/quote]

Membership in any secret society automatically excommunicates a person I am pretty sure. However, your mom can’t become a Mason since since only men can become masons, right? I see nothing wrong with working with the Masons in America, because in America the anti-Catholic attitude has pretty much dissipated in American Masonry. It’s a different situation in Latin America and Europe though. The KofC and the Masons regularily work on charitable goals together. If your mom loves charitable work, I’m sure that there’s a Catholic alternative in your area. You should contact your Archdiocese or local Catholic Charities.


#4

[quote=Semper Fi]Membership in any secret society automatically excommunicates a person I am pretty sure. However, your mom can’t become a Mason since since only men can become masons, right? **No, there’s a woman’s group, something like Northern Moon or Southern Star. I don’t know if a woman’s husband has to be a Mason for her to get in, but as I said, I’m not much worried about that. She isn’t a joiner and if they have secret rituals, she would have a very difficult time taking it seriously. **I see nothing wrong with working with the Masons in America, because in America the anti-Catholic attitude has pretty much dissipated in American Masonry. It’s a different situation in Latin America and Europe though. The KofC and the Masons regularily work on charitable goals together. Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s good to know, I guess. If your mom loves charitable work, I’m sure that there’s a Catholic alternative in your area. You should contact your Archdiocese or local Catholic Charities.
[/quote]

That is what I intend to rec. to her. Thanks for the responses!


#5

PS, you should be more optimistic. Calling this thread ‘stumbling block 1’ suggests you think there’s gonna be more stumbling blocks. Don’t think like that! It’ll all be smooth from here on, no more problems (-:


#6

[quote=Flopfoot]PS, you should be more optimistic. Calling this thread ‘stumbling block 1’ suggests you think there’s gonna be more stumbling blocks. Don’t think like that! It’ll all be smooth from here on, no more problems (-:
[/quote]

LOL!!! Tell me, how many Southern Baptists do you know? But thanks for the encouraging thought!


#7

The women’s membership of the Mason’s is called Eastern Star. (The young girls’ are Rainbow girls - I had thought of joining when in HS, but thought better of it. WHeew!). My grandmother was an ES. I think that either a Dh or some male family member must be a member before a woman can join. But that’s just my speculation from what little I know of the Masons. (My dad and one brother are 32 degree Masons, but they aren’t active. Thank goodness!)


#8

This is not endorsed by the Church. Are you sure they are masons?

There is a Catholic group that wears a costume similar to the masonic shriners, and does fundraising and charitable work. It is based on a city of muslims who converted to the faith centuries ago and were martyred, if I recall correctly.

This does pose the problem of making Catholics think that KofC works with masons now. In my hometown I heard about them having started to do actually work with masons, based on the misguided thinking that the masons had become “acceptable” at the time. But they soon found out it was not so, and so stopped collaborating.

hurst


#9

[quote=JKirkLVNV]As I explained in another thread (forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=97533),

my mother has become more open to the idea of converting to our Catholic faith (she was reared Southern Baptist, but came to a rather jaundiced view of them, though she goes to a Sunday school class in a mega church in the Dallas area). However, she has also started volunteering (one afternoon a week) at the metro area Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.

Now, to their credit, they do enormous good. Families of sick children are treated for free, they won’t even take insurance payments so as not to be constrained in treatment decisions. Great support for the families of these children as well.

The down side? It is a Masonic institution. Now, I’m not a Catholic that sees a Masonic conspiracy at every turn (every Mason I’ve ever met was an old man who wore wing tip shoes and his trousers with the waistband up under his armpit and I find the idea of them pulling off any kind of plot against God or His Church a little on the ludicrous side, but I admit you never know). The fact remains, membership in the Masons actually excommunicates a person. Now, I’m not worried about my mom joining up with the female version of the Masons (she’s not much of a joiner and if they had some kind of ceremony, she’d get the giggles so bad they’d kick her out), but what are the implications of her continuing to volunteer there, in the hospital?

Brought to mind is the disciples who complained to Jesus that one who was not of their company was casting out demons. Jesus told them, “He who is not against us is for us” (mind you, He also said in another part of the Gospels, “He who is not for us is against us.”). So what do you guys think I should tell my mom? Carry on doing the good work, even though it’s in a Masonic institution? Or shake the dust off her feet and get the bloody cheese crackers out of there?
[/quote]

I guess I have a bit of a different take on this. Scottish Rite Hospital does a tremendous amount of good in many areas…including diagnostics of children with learning disabilities and is considered second to none in that particular area. The fact that they are funded and founded by the Masons doesn’t mean that volunteering to do good work there somehow means one is somehow putting his/herself in harm’s way. Children who have been helped there aren’t prosletyzed, nor are their parents…or would I assume…any volunteers.

They help sick people, and do it in a very loving way. I know. They helped me with my youngest child who was learning disabled. If your mom on her journey is being blessed through the experience and doing good for others, what is there to fear? You’re going to tell her they’re evil? I wouldn’t think twice about volunteering in any non-Catholic health care institution be it Buddhist, Baptist, or Masonic if it is both doing the work of Christ (the Beatitudes) and not trying to convert anyone. Mother Teresa helped the sick because she was obedient to Christ’s commands. She didn’t force anyone to become Catholic. Neither do the Masons force anyone to their views at Scottish Rite. They just try to do the right thing.


#10

I agree with byHisGrace. I cannot for the life of me see any reason why volunteering at a children’s hospital could possibly be an impediment to becoming a Catholic when the group that sponsor’s it has no interest in anyone’s religious affiliation who volunteers.

My parish has a Lutheran maintenance man. Should he lose his job because he isn’t a Catholic? Should he find another job? No. The Catholic Church does not teach that we cannot have any associations with those outside our faith or only volunteer for Catholic organizations.

I’d be more concerned about the misconceptions your mother has about the Catholic Church than her losing her soul to the Masons simply by volunteering at a hospital. In a word, I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. :wink:


#11

[quote=hurst]This is not endorsed by the Church. Are you sure they are masons?

There is a Catholic group that wears a costume similar to the masonic shriners, and does fundraising and charitable work. It is based on a city of muslims who converted to the faith centuries ago and were martyred, if I recall correctly.

This does pose the problem of making Catholics think that KofC works with masons now. In my hometown I heard about them having started to do actually work with masons, based on the misguided thinking that the masons had become “acceptable” at the time. But they soon found out it was not so, and so stopped collaborating.

hurst
[/quote]

My father was in the KofC(Grand Knight two years in a row, his picture is up in the KofC building and that’s how my daughter knew who he was and was very proud to point him out to others at friday fish fry) for…ever… and yes they had a Mason/ Knights picnic every summer. Now granted my father died over 20 years ago, but I do remember this very clearly.


#12

hurst,

locally, the KofC work with Masons and with other Protestant groups on charitable goals. And I do believe you are talking about the KofC which in the higher degrees do wear those ‘costumes’. They don’t work with them in converting or discussing religion, but just helping people. I wasn’t aware helping people wasn’t sanctioned by the church (did you see the March for Life where the majority of the clergy were Catholic priests and Bishops but also present were Rabbis, Baptist pastors and Orthodox bishops? I’m sure there were Masons in the crowd too). The KofC doesn’t do fundraisers with Masons, but my uncle is a 3rd degree KofC member and he will work with masons who run a food bank here and if they are out of something and if our food bank has something they will send it over before it spoils. stuff like that. would you point me to church documents such as canon law where working with people for charitable goals is not sanctioned?


#13

[quote=Della]I agree with byHisGrace. I cannot for the life of me see any reason why volunteering at a children’s hospital could possibly be an impediment to becoming a Catholic when the group that sponsor’s it has no interest in anyone’s religious affiliation who volunteers.

My parish has a Lutheran maintenance man. Should he lose his job because he isn’t a Catholic? Should he find another job? No. The Catholic Church does not teach that we cannot have any associations with those outside our faith or only volunteer for Catholic organizations.

I’d be more concerned about the misconceptions your mother has about the Catholic Church than her losing her soul to the Masons simply by volunteering at a hospital. In a word, I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. :wink:
[/quote]

No, no, no mountains. I just wanted to check. All in one week, it was like “hmmm, I might like to become Catholic” and “I’m volunteering in a Masonic hospital.”

Thanks for all the feedback.


#14

[quote=Semper Fi]Membership in any secret society automatically excommunicates a person I am pretty sure. However, your mom can’t become a Mason since since only men can become masons, right? I see nothing wrong with working with the Masons in America, because in America the anti-Catholic attitude has pretty much dissipated in American Masonry. It’s a different situation in Latin America and Europe though. The KofC and the Masons regularily work on charitable goals together. If your mom loves charitable work, I’m sure that there’s a Catholic alternative in your area. You should contact your Archdiocese or local Catholic Charities.
[/quote]

What constitutes the type of secret society one needs to be in to be excommunicated? Does a college fraternity count?


#15

[quote=maryj]My father was in the KofC(Grand Knight two years in a row, his picture is up in the KofC building and that’s how my daughter knew who he was and was very proud to point him out to others at friday fish fry) for…ever… and yes they had a Mason/ Knights picnic every summer. Now granted my father died over 20 years ago, but I do remember this very clearly.
[/quote]

That may very well be, and it is scandalous, really. But like I said, there was some confusion for a period of time regarding the situation with the masons, so I think some slack has to be given for those who didn’t know any better. But if it is still happening, then it should be stopped, because it has since been made clear that the excommunications are still in force.

hurst


#16

Quote; hurst
That may very well be, and it is scandalous, really. But like I said, there was some confusion for a period of time regarding the situation with the masons, so I think some slack has to be given for those who didn’t know any better. But if it is still happening, then it should be stopped, because it has since been made clear that the excommunications are still in force.

Hurst, you are wrong on this. there absolutly nothing wrong with Catholics working with the Masons on charitable programs. I’m a 4th. degree KofC and serveral years ago I was a policeman in West Texas & the chief was a mason (in a big way). Long story short, the KofC worked great together on many charity functions. Religion was never an obstical.


#17

[quote=Semper Fi]hurst,

locally, the KofC work with Masons and with other Protestant groups on charitable goals.

[/quote]

It is a misunderstanding about ecumensim. Masons do not fit. Suppose the local abortion clinic was out to help battered women find lodging? Should we join them? Should we join wiccans to promote environmental cleanliness? Should we join PP / March of Dimes to prevent birth defects?

These examples may seem extreme, but that is precisely my point about the Masons. They are that bad for society.

Working with Protestants has been given limited sanction by the Church in our times for the purpose of Christian unity. But there is no unity with the works of darkness, and the Masonic organizations are of those (though members themselves likely do not know this at first).

No, I it is different. I asked. It is called the Order of Alhambra . They look like shriners with round box caps with tassles. The KofC wear black hats with feathers.

When there is a danger to the Faith or souls etc., it doesn’t.

I was there. There were no mason representatives on stage, nor did I encounter any. But the KofC was big.

[quote=Semper Fi]The KofC doesn’t do fundraisers with Masons, but my uncle is a 3rd degree KofC member and he will work with masons who run a food bank here and if they are out of something and if our food bank has something they will send it over before it spoils. stuff like that.

[/quote]

I think they are imprudent to collaborate with the masons at all. They should find another group. It is one thing to be working with Protestants who are our separated brethren, but quite another to be dealing with a known enemy of Christianity.

Not just any people here, but a group pursuing the establishment of naturalism in all things.

How about these:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? …

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

And from Humanum Genus

  1. … Thus, with a fraudulent external appearance, and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manichees of old, strive, as far as possible, to conceal themselves, and to admit no witnesses but their own members. As a convenient manner of concealment, they assume the character of literary men and scholars associated for purposes of learning. They speak of their zeal for a more cultured refinement, and of their love for the poor; and they declare their one wish to be the amelioration of the condition of the masses, and to share with the largest possible number all the benefits of civil life. Were these purposes aimed at in real truth, they are by no means the whole of their object.
  2. … For, from what We have above most clearly shown, that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view - namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism
  3. It may seem to some that Freemasons demand nothing that is openly contrary to religion and morality; but, as the whole principle and object of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful.

HUMANUM GENUS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON FREEMASONRY
vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_18840420_humanum-genus_en.html

hurst


#18

Thanks for your input, but if you realized the situation, then perhaps you would think differently. Working with the Masons is giving them support in the eyes of the unwary, and undermining the work of the KofC in supporting the Church. My previous post elaborates on this somewhat.

Unfortunately, even clergy are uneducated on this danger and seem to ignore it.

hurst


#19

That is another point. They want religion to be irrelevant in the service to the poor, etc. This was one the the Pope warned about, related to their promotion of Naturalism. See the Encyclical I linked to in the earlier post.

But who realizes these things?

hurst


#20

[quote=hurst]That is another point. They want religion to be irrelevant in the service to the poor, etc. This was one the the Pope warned about, related to their promotion of Naturalism. See the Encyclical I linked to in the earlier post.

But who realizes these things?

hurst
[/quote]

Not to get on your bad side or anything, but you don’t think that you might be a little too wary of certain groups? I can see avoiding things that disrupt faith or encourage immorality, but avoiding any group that isn’t officially sanctioned by the church seems a bit much.

Seems a bit too conspiracy-ish to really amount to anything. I highly doubt there is some grand plot by all the wiccans, protestants, masons, and every other seperate group to overthrow Catholicism. Try not to be so paranoid.

While I know you’ve never expressed that directly, it feels from your posts that you think of these groups as subverting the one True Church and secretly wanting to destroy it. Until I see some grave action taken by them, I won’t refuse to help or serve in any organization that helps people. It seems counterproductive and selfish to say that only Catholic help is good help.


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