What's the problem with Freemasonry?

I work in the neighbourhood of the main church of Hamburg, St Michael’s Church (Lutheran) in Germany. Just a few days ago, they hosted the first Masonic ritual in a church ever (at least in Germany). I found some photographs of it on the Internet here. (The site itself is an SSPX site, but that does nothing to the topic at hand.)

Now, I asked my parish priest about this, and he said something like “Well, yes, didn’t you know? We have some Masons in our congregation too!” Now, I feel peculiar about the Masons. I don’t know why, it is really confusing: One part of me is interested in them from what I know about it (which is not much), but the other part is strictly against it. After all, there’s all sorts of conspiracy theories around involving them.

What is the problem with Masonry exactly?

Maybe this will hlep explain it:


They are a group which is founded on the principle of “hidden Knowledge” that can only be obtained by being a member. This is the same reason the Church condemned Gnosticism as heresy.

they are an evil group. their ultimate mission is to bring about the destruction of the Church, however i am sure many small town lodge members in rural USA do not realize this and are just joining for fun. however, if you are Catholic you must not deal with them. they killed many Catholics in the past. St Padre Pio got one to confess their mission in the confessional once because Padre could read peoples souls. the mason even admitted that this was their goal, however he later converted and left the masons. ik this all sounds crazy and superstitious but consider this; one of the rituals of the masons is to take a paper with the picture of the papal seal on it and to stab it repeatedly with a knife. now does that sound Church friendly? i know because my great grandfather was a mason (he was protestant obviously)

If that’s true, it’s really horrible. I can’t imagine people from my congregation doing that, they are really wonderful people! Honestly, why would they allow people to be in a church, even require it, and then perform such a ritual? Doesn’t make sense to me.

By the way: The gates of hell will not prevail!

Freemasonry is anti-Catholic in origin. Many/most Masons today, at least in the US where I am, are totally harmless. However, Catholics are bound to obey the teaching of the Church to avoid freemasonry.

When I was in formation with the Conventual Franciscans, one of the brothers in the province wrote a book on the Masons. They require men to be in the Church so that they can take it down from the inside. Not a good looking site, but this is the book.

This site is better.

Pope Leo XIII’s Humanum Genus and John Salza are good resources for this query.


Among other reasons why the Church does not allow freemasonry is the issue of authority to administer oaths on behalf of God.

The Catholic Church is the legitimate authority established by God on matters of faith and morals. The Church therefor, is exclusively authorized to administer oaths which pertain to matters of faith and morals on God’s behalf.

The civil and crimminal court system is a good example. The civil court system is the legitimate authority on matters of crimminal and civil law, and has exclusive authority to swear in witnesses under penalty of punishment if they violate that oath. We can’t just set up our own neighborhood court system and start swearing in witnesses. We don’t have authority to do so. Only the civil government has authority to do that.

Freemasonry attempts to administer oaths on behalf of God, oaths which pertain to matters of faith and morals, but they lack authority to do so, authority which has been granted by God himself exclusively to the Catholic Church.


I was talking to someone once who turned out to be a mason. We had mutual friends. He owned a pizza place and I love pizza… that’s how we got to talking.

Well, it turned out there was another mason there as well. They were openly hostile against the Catholic Church. (They did not know I was Catholic).

They were saying things like “you don’t need some church to tell you how to behave”, “I know what’s right and wrong”, and other similar things.

Needless to say, I didn’t talk to him much after that…

It’s interesting though that they themselves form a “church that tells you how to behave” by saying they know what is right and wrong.

I know a man who is a mason and his wife is too for the female version. They both claim that the Mason only requires its members to believe in a supreme being… They both say that speaking politics and religion at gatherings is strictly forbiden. I think now days there are so many people who claim to be Masons but they have no idea what a mason is. To many sub groups breaking away from the original. Just like so many sup groups of religions breaking away from the Church.

I’m a Mason, and there’s two forms of masonry:

American/British masonry: Funny old men who make silly handshakes and have a ritual that you can see (most libraries have the Masonic ritual). We also become shriners and put on silly hats, play golf, drink a little, and do good works. We have governance and oversight.

European Continental Masonry: Secretive quasi-independant societies who are hostile to authority and to churches.

As an aside, the oath that I took as a Mason to “frequent a house of worship” helped turn me into an agnostic into a Christian. I’ll also point out that no Catholic needs to be a Mason: The Knights of Columbus mirrors the good attributes of Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is a Gnostic belief system. Gnosticism is a type of Babylonian Mystery religion, insiders having secret doctrines and rites, with the secrecy itself being the deal-killer before any other consideration. Babylonian Mystery Religions contravene what God has revealed about Himself and His will; and that includes God’s will that the Good News be freely taught. The village priest of Knock, Ireland, was due for a beating for preaching that Catholics could not join any secret society, even one fighting the British “Orange Men” Freemasons, when the tableaux-like apparition of St. John, St. Patrick and the Virgin Mary took place at the church short-circuited that threat. It is ours to say, “I have the pearl of great price and am eager to share it,” versus “I have a book, the Pearl of Great Price, or Doctrines & Covenants, or… and can only share it with insiders.” This is a type of censorship, a censorship of some great claimed goodness being withheld from the masses.

Cutesy handshakes? OK. But the fundament is inherently self-contradicting if not self-denigrating. If it’s so great, why not freely share it, bro? This denotes elitism, another contravention of God’s ways in the mystery of election. Election is the principle that says it is God Who decides who is or is not called; we have no assurance we are one of the elect short of crossing the threshhold of Heaven; and we work out our salvation in fear and trembling. The elitist obverse is to be born into a caste system where if part of the elite you get to beat Untouchables with a shoe, or work your way to the top in an upwardly-mobile caste system to become part of the self-defined elite.

Such Gnostic elitism is seen in the nominally “Catholic” group (twice condemned in their founder’s home country of Brazil) Tradition, Family & Property/TFP, that posits “the preferential option for the elite.” The elites for this group are both genetic, like Robert E. Lee, and scholastic, like the professorial founder. One may note God choses very unseemly people to be His elect, for example, forwarding a smelly :slight_smile: shepherd to be a prophet or king; or chosing a smelly :slight_smile: fisherman like Peter over the educated and urbane Judas Iscariot.

As to the German Lutheran church allowing Masonic rituals to be performed in their sanctuary, one may note that Luther’s sidekick, Melancthon, accused Luther of being a Gnostic and urged some greater degree of moderation. Melancthon himself was no Reformation slouch but softened, even Catholicized, what evolved into Lutheranism. Luther’s secret blessing of a bigamous marriage, citing the patriarchs did it, SOLA SCRIPTURA-wise shows he was secrecy-friendly. Elitism was certainly at play when his initial desire to convert Jews was rebuffed and turned into deadly disdain with persecution urged as voiced in his essay, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” popular with Hitler. Luther’s white rose (signifying a blameless life) with a cross seal was adopted by the Rosicrucians.

The Southern Baptist credo “Faith & Message” was revised to be less overt in accepting other revelation apart from the Bible, i.e., tenets of secret societies like the Knights of the Golden Circle or even the KKK. The anti-Catholic tenor of the Southern culture may be attributed to this core of Catholic-inimical secret societies, thought he Southern Baptists did duly apologize for the KKK thing. Blood oaths, to vow death rather than disclosure, are made before disclosures, an agreeing to sacrifice one’s self or allow one’s self to be killed rather than reveal what is actually unknown to the candidate at the time. A political parallel would be the vote for the Affordable Health Care Act without being able to read it first. That’s another tenet of Babylonian Mystery Religions, man sacrificed rather than accepting Christ’s salvific sacrifice to forgive sins, not declare one’s self blameless.

Apart from all that, the pass-through rate of Freemasonic charities in America anyway is generally low as their endeavors are quite pricey, like sponsoring circuses and so forth. Their hospitals are wonderful but St. Jude’s might be a better bang for the buck.

Freemasonry’s Colonel Albert Pike, whom I consider a war criminal in his torture of Union soldiers, is the only Confederate memorialized by a statue in Washington, D.C. I don’t know if that deserves a feh or a meh.

I would have another conversation with your priest about the parishioners who are Masons. A Catholic who joins the Freemasons incurs an automatic excommunication. If the priest is supportive of membership in that organization, that is deeply troubling, to say the least.

I am Anglican, which means there is no prohibition on being a Mason. Yet, I still find it troubling.

I would disagree, in a sense. The fact that you do not believe that the directives of the Bishop of Rome apply to you does not alter or diminish in any way the validity of his directive - or, in this case, of the conclusion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith endorsed by the Pope.

The Catholic Church has excellent reasons for excommunicating freemasons latae sententiae. While many of our brothers in Christ may not have such medicinal penalties for their benefit, they should still find out as much as possible why the Catholic Church teaches a certain teaching.

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