what are the masons scottish rite?

My husband joined this and I am a bit skeptical. I have had grandparents in mason so I thought it was normal but I did not get a good feeling from it. Please let me know.

The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is one of the different systems of freemasonry, consisting of its own rituals, symbols and ideas of importance. It’s members are generally Caucasian, but other ethnicities can also be members.

It is my understanding that to be a Catholic one cannot be a Mason. Their ideas on the nature of God vary greatly from the Catholic teachings and as a young man I was always told that to join a “lodge” was an excommunicable offense. Tell your husband to look closely at the lodges teachings and the symbolism of their rituals. I think he will find that while there are certain similarities there are some major gaps between the teachings of the Church and Freemasonry

Is he a Catholic?. If so he MUST not join.
Does he care about his immortal soul? If so he MUST not join.

The answers are no and no. He’s not catholic.

Ok so tell him you feel uneasy about it. Very uneasy

Is he a Christian? Does he profess any religion? The point is that Freemasonry is really a religion of its own, it’s not just a men’s club. It has its own system of beliefs which are not compatible with any other religious system.

You answered the question “Does he care about his immortal soul?” with the answer “No”. Does that mean he is an atheist? If so, he might not realize that he is actually getting involved with a sort of religious cult. If he understood that he might not want to join.

That is disturbing that he does not care about his own soul. Do you care about his salvation, as a Catholic spouse?

:confused: She cared enough to post a question about it on here, mentioning she’s skeptical and asking for more information about it…

I am a former Freemason and I converted first to Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in 2001 and the The Catholic Church on Divine Mercy Sunday 2011.

In short, The Scottish Rite is a separate entity from Freemasonry, but in order to be in the Scottish Rite one must have already been made a Master Mason in a Masonic Lodge. There are similar orders where one must be a mason before joining, yet are separate than the Masonic order, the largest runner up to the Scottish Rite in America would be the York Rite. The opposite is true in the UK where the York Rite is larger than the Scottish Rite. Incidentally one must also be a member of either the York Rite or Scottish Rite before they will be allowed to join the Shriner’s. Only Christians may join the York Rite, as one must pronounce that Jesus Christ is lord in its final degree; however, in its first degree you are told that the real name of God is a grouping of certain syllables of the names for the gods Jehovah, Baal, and Osiris. There is no such objectionable teaching in The Scottish Rite, yet Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are allowed to join.

I have studied the origins of Freemasonry as well as Esoteric Freemasonry (the study of Freemasonry as what we would call occultism) , as before I became a Christian I got into the occult. I also studied its history in depth as I was a history major for my first degree at the university. In order to give you a complete answer I am going to have to touch on both these subjects and explain what Freemasonry is today, but first let me assure you no mason today, with few exceptions other than people who study such things, have any idea of Freemasonry’s past or its association with occultism. As a matter of fact such things are so obscured by both the fact that such time has elapsed and few things were written down and that the symbolism and rituals themselves have been changed so many times and very so much by region that it is difficult to separate what is real from what is a false allegation and pure fantasy. Not only has Freemasonry itself been the subject of prejudiced and bias and wild speculation, but the masons themselves have contributed to the fog of misinformation because many want to make themselves feel more important by spreading falsehood (often believed by themselves) on how important a role in history the organization played. For example many masons would have you believe the American Revolution was a Masonic undertaking, when in reality there were likely more British sympathizers and solders in Norther America than Revolutionaries. It is true many Revolutionaries meet each other in lodge and knew they could trust each other because of their oaths of secrecy, but the same was true of Loyalists and the were more Loyalists than Rebels; it is just that Britain was loosing too much money and manpower in the deal.

Freemasonry came to light in the early 1700’s when three lodges came together in England to form the Grand Lodge of England. Freemasonry had existed long before that as attested to in the records of that formation. They stated that they had existed since anyone could remember and no one knew how or why it came to be. Other lodges across England quickly stepped forward to join. There are all types of theories ranging from them being the descendants of the Knights Templar to having evolved from trade guilds of traveling stone masons (no records of any traveling stone mason ever existing have ever been found by the way) to occultist.The truth of the matter is none of that holds any water. The best conclusion is that it was a group of aristocrats that had existed for quite some time that wanted to get more power from The Crown. Since that had been accomplished with a truly functional parliament with powers independent of the King, it was no longer needed as a secretive group and became more of a hard drinking club for the rich. As more ideas of the British Enlightenment took hold more and more artisans, merchants, and philosophers were admitted.

As the group spread into The Continent it picked up the flavor of the Continent there which was more anti-Catholic and more Deistic in nature. Deism was indeed the flavor of the month there in philosophy of life. Deism is a believe in a non-triune God who man doesn’t know, yet this God created the Universe, set it in motion, and then walked away and doesn’t interfere with the natural law. In France, during the run up to the Revolution, because of despotic rule and poverty the population as a whole as well as Freemasonry took on a radical anti-upperclass outlook and because of The Church’s great wealth there it was just as much of a target as the Royals and later the Aristocracy would become. Truthfully though neither the Church, The Royalty, nor the Aristocracy did anything to help matters. You sow the wind and you reap the whirlwind.

In America at the time of The American Revolution society had taken on the Deistic outlook of England which had filtered over from The Continent and not so much as a hatred for the aristocracy as much as the Royalty. The American Revolutionaries wanted more power in the hands of the middle class and merchants and less in the hands of a very elite few people like Royalty. It was from this base that Freemasonry drew its members and Among Revolutionaries that was the outlook. They used the lodge as meeting places and discussed matters outside the lodges where they meet fellow travelers they trusted. Freemasonry at this time pretty much reached its zenith in America in both terms of influence and also many of the ceremonies and symbols were changed to reflect its Deistic outlook.

After the Revolutionary war ended Deism was still around but it was on the decline. Thomas Jefferson was considered to be the last great American Deist having written his own Deistic Bible, but truthfully it was on the wane then as more and more missionaries went into the field and won mass converts, especially missionaries from Scotland and Scottish people by way of Ireland. As Scots were zealous for Freemasonry they flooded it and more or less baptized it at the time with a mix of Baptists, Presbyterian, and other ideas and Freemasonry drew in a lot of hard core Protestants who more or less accepted the symbols and rituals and changed what they were uncomfortable with. At this time it became what it is today: a social club and a way to make contacts and maybe get ahead in life just a little bit.

At about the time of the civil war occultism started rearing its head in America. Early occultist, mediums, and students of the “ancient mysteries” were drawn to Freemasonry because of its symbols were Deistic and the vale of secrecy appeals to that type of person. Eventually enough of them were into it that they started meeting up with each other and started using Freemasonry as a recruiting ground. If someone showed interest in the occult they were taken into confidence, which they knew wouldn’t be violated because of the oaths, and were taken to other groups where it was studied seriously. Occultism was never openly discussed in lodge though. That would be something you would have to keep secret even from the membership at large. Now here is where the Scottish Rite comes in. It was formed at this time and the degrees were written by a former Confederate General by the name of Albert Pike. Pike was a true hard core occultist and some would say boarder-line Satanist. He wrote the degrees of the Scottish Rite in such a way as that they could be interpreted one way which seemed very innocent, but if you caught on that something more was there you could read his book, a very thick book which was given to all Southern Jurisdiction members of the Scottish Rite, “Morals and Dogmas of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite”. Now any mason will tell you no one mason speaks for masonry, and this is very, very true. You are free to interpret any ritual or sign or symbol any way you please, but Pike wrote the degrees of the Scottish Rite so he should know the intent of what he was trying to convey when he wrote them. On the other hand though most of the 32 degrees of the Scottish Rite have been rewritten since the time of Pike and most members wouldn’t even recognize the degrees he is describing in the book, nonetheless it’s an undeniable part of history.

Now shortly after the Civil War and certainly by the run up to the turn of the 20th century occultism went mainstream. So much so that formerly secret societies that used to use that Masonic order to recruit went public. Groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which I was once a member, announced their presence to the world and abandoned Freemasonry as a recruitment tool.

All this means is that today Freemasonry is a fraternity whose members do not know of its past or have any idea of the meaning of its symbols or rituals. They give no more thought to it than thinking about if the moon is made of green cheese. They go there because they like amateur theater, the politics of running a club, meeting drinking buddies (although drinking is no longer allowed at lodge itself because it got the reputation as a place to go get sauced up), and make business contacts.

I actually owe Freemasonry for the fact that I am a Christian. I was an atheist who lied about that to get in when I was in my very early 20’s. Masonry will not allow atheists to join. When I got in I was surrounded by good Christian men, mostly protestants but a few Catholics, who I saw in them something I wanted-a moral compass and a relationship with God. I was actually sitting in Scottish Rite one day when I said to myself, “You know, it would do me good to go to church somewhere”. “I don’t need to believe in a named God in the sky, but I can’t go on living my life in a moral sewer like this.” That’s where my journey all began. I went a few times to Quaker meetings and soon realized I wanted to hear about Jesus again, like I did at the Baptist church I went to as a little kid, but I didn’t want to go to a fundamentalist church like that because, well I hate to say this but, they were very simple and ignorant. I started going to an Assemblies of God mega-church in town and believed in the gospel and asked to be baptized, although I never joined as the charismatic/pentecostal movement isn’t me. I then read the Book of Concord which is the book all orthodox Lutherans must accept and I agreed with it, especially its anti-Catholic and faith alone polemics and began to attend and joined a church of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). Unfortunately, I took the writings of Martin Luther at face value especially when he said “Let your sin be strong but your faith be stronger. Sin boldly!” Sin boldly I did expecting my faith alone to get me to heaven and I was back in the sewer. Also of sad note Lutherans don’t allow masonic membership either so they told me to quit and I did. I left a lot of good Christian friends behind, but I am the type of guy who tries his best to obey his church.

About that time I started watching Mother Angelica and she started working on me. First I saw her love and that kept me watching. Then I started learning Catholics didn’t believe what I was taught as a kid, like that they worship Mary, Saints have power of their own, it’s all about Marry, the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon that rides the Beast in Revelation. Since the Lutherans had got me in the habit of liturgical worship, instead of low church free form style of let it go with the flow, and I believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist I soon was right at home. Mary was the only stumbling block for me, but I decided to make up my mind to accept the Church’s teaching and I force feed myself until it became second nature.

Now I am one of the most Traditional/Conservative/EWTN type Catholics you would ever want to meet without getting into heretics and schismatics like the SSPX crowd, but I wish the Church would change its mind on Freemasonry. Yes its past is shady, but no it isn’t sinister today and by far its members are Christians. By far a higher percentage of masons practice their faith than does the general population. I left a lot of God Christian friends behind, many of whom are dying off now because of their age (masonry is a dying club as are nearly all social clubs), but I won’t violate Church authority to go back. I just wish they would change their minds so I could.

Your post has been very informative and thank you for your witness. I can see why you’d want to go back to freemasonry, but the church can’t accept it. Even though they no longer engage in occult practice and worship and many members don’t even know about them, these elements are there in the fabric of the society. And when unholy things are present that which is holy must never be tarnished by it. So a society that in the past combined God’s holy name with Baal and Osiris can never be ok, even if a number of (naive) Christians are a part of it today. Please pray for the grace to be freed from this desire to be a freemason again. You are a new Catholic. It takes a while to really understand why the church demands certain things of us. You are obedient to its teachings and I admire you for that. This attitude will lead you to holiness.

Oh, believe me I would never go back to a York Rite meeting. When that was revealed as the password for the Royal Arch degree of York Rite I never went back again and was so freaked out I only pretended to say the word, but didn’t and I never completed the degrees of the York Rite, but neither the degrees of the York Rite or the Scottish Rite or the Shrine for that matter are a part of Freemasonry. These are clubs that were invented for members of Masonry to join. It would be like saying all K of C members are Catholic, but not all Catholics are K of C. The K of C is a club for Catholic men just as the York and Scottish Rites are clubs for Masons, but just as the K of C has no input on the decisions of the Vatican neither does the York or Scottish Rites have any authority over the Masonic Lodges. As far as things that happened in the past we could say the same thing about the Church. There were men who abused their positions in the Church and used it for their own gain, purposes, and agendas whether it be the crusades, political power, or the mass assumption of wealth as in pre-revolutionary France. Many people wonder why the people in France turned on religion in general and the Church in particular. It is no big mystery really at all. The Church had amassed huge tracts of land which was not taxed and helped keep a despot in power just as the Orthodox did with the Tsars in Russia. The when people started starving and being crushed by a despotic state, just as happened in Russia the Church supported the despot, well what do you expect to happen? Masons are sworn to “Not counsel disloyalty or rebellion”, and also not to admit atheists, but in France they did because that was the mood at the time. It was an abuse and was also the reason the French Grand Lodge was not recognized as a legitimate body until recent memory. The Church doesn’t have a past of perfection either, but do you throw the baby out with the bath water? Freemasonry was never intended to be a Deistic organization, a revolutionary organization, or an occult organization, but people used it for that at the times they did because that was what was reflective of what was going on in society as a whole. We have seen the same thing in the Church more or less. When politics were corrupt the a lot of the Church was heavily involved in politics. When sexual morals went out the window for a time in the 1500’s so did the morals of many religious in the Church. When society went through the sexual revolution of the 1960-1970’s and we saw homosexuality come out of the woodwork we had a homosexual sex scandal. I don’t see the validity of your argument in that regard.

Thank you for your comment about following Church teachings. While that may be the only one I have found I disagree with I manage to live up to it. I wish I could say I manage to live up to all the others that I even agree with. :blush: I certainly don’t want to rack up even more time in Purgatory. :crossrc: That reminds me I better get to confession tomorrow and get to work on those indulgences.

The only point worth making is that the church is the bride of Christ. It is through the church that God reaches us. It is both human and divine, and the human part unfortunately includes sin. Freemasonry is just a human organisation, nothing more than that. What I find problematic is comparing the two and justifying freemasonry through sinful actions of some Christians. However, your heart is obviously in the right place and you sound like a great asset to the church. God bless.

Thank you and you know those are very good points. I never thought about it that way. Keep up keeping us on the right path Brother, or is it Sister? Either way thank you. :thumbsup: You know maybe since I just want friends I should look into the K of C. I see a lot of guys my age or within 15 years of it on TV when ever they do stuff. I am 36 now and believe me there is no one in that age range in my old lodge, unless they got a new influx of youngsters since I left, but I doubt it since it seems like from the late baby boomers on down no one is interested in clubs or civic organizations.

Catholics that join the Masons incur into excommunication.

Also, anti-catholic activities are still active in many places, like Spain and South America.

Some info about the prohibition:

ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/BACAFM.htm

Blessings!

:slight_smile:

Thanks so much for the explanations.

Lily,

I hope by my explanation of what Freemasonry was, was not, and is now that you don’t think I am giving the green light for your husband to get involved in the Masons. Well, he is already a mason if he is going into the Scottish Rite, but he needs to quit. The Church says it’s a no-no, therefore it’s a no-no. I might like it someway different, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to step outside the Church’s decisions. Vatican II, that counsel ill informed people use as every excuse for saying they have a right to decent and do what ever they want, actually say I must give my assent to anything the Pope or Church Magisterium says. I might ask for something to be different, but I would never say violate the Church’s teachings or say the Church was wrong. I will be praying your Hubby comes into the fullness of truth which is the Church and that he follow Her teachings.

God bless,
Bill

He’s not Catholic. My Dad was a mason and I think Scottish Rite and also both parents were in Eastern Star. There is nothing satanic about any of them. My fater went to church every Sunday, was a Deacon in the church. My Mom too went to Church every Sunday. Both were raised in Church.
Perhaps at one time there were issues, but my Dad and all his masonic friends were church people and all attended church with their wives. Not a single one of them were evil. Nope.

I was a rainbow girl when I was a teen, believe me, it focused on God, not Satan. I was lucky enough to be able to attend all kinds of wonderful congregations with my Rainbow friends, it’s what we did, we attended a LOT of church. Our choir (I was in the national choir) sang almost all religious songs.

So I wouldn’t get crazy about someone becoming a Mason or a Scottish Rite, as long as they are not Catholic

Really where do Masons say they are a religion… because I have only heard that OTHER people call them a religion. Its like taking what a Baptist says Catholics believe as authoritative. I do not think it is honest to define and interpret what some group say they are,

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.