Why Catholics can be Knights of Columbus But Not Freemasons (Edited Title)

Hi Folks!

To keep ponyman from hijacking another thread I thought I’d open this one. For openers here is a quote from the other thread, from ponyman:

[quote=ponyman]Would you consider the Wikipedia definition of the KofC to be correct? I quote it below:

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Roman Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus[1] and dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. There are more than 1.7 million members in 14,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Membership is limited to “practical Catholic” men aged 18 or older.[2]

Councils have been chartered in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, the Philippines, Guam, Saipan, Japan, Cuba, and most recently in Poland. The Knights’ official junior organization, the Columbian Squires, has over 5,000 Circles. All the Order’s ceremonials and business meetings are restricted to members though all other events are open to the public. A promise not to reveal any details of the ceremonials except to an equally qualified Knight is required to ensure their impact and meaning for new members; an additional clause subordinates the promise to that Knight’s civil and religious duties.

In the 2006 fraternal year the Order gave US$143.8 million directly to charity (1.1 Billion in charitable contributions in the last 10 years) and performed over 68 million man hours of voluntary service. For their support for the Church and local communities, as well as for their philanthropic efforts, the Order is often referred to as the “strong right arm of the Church”. The Order’s insurance program has more than $60 billion of life insurance policies in force and holds the highest insurance ratings given by A. M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association.

Is it true that meetings are not open to any person except the members?

Is it true that you take oaths?

Is it true that you have “secrets” which may not be revealed to anyone except another “Knight.”

Is there a promise which involves your civil and religious duties?

My, my, this sounds an awful lot like the Masonic Fraternity to me. How is it then that you can be so condemning of the Masons and not of yourselves since it appears that you do at least everything that the Masons do? How about telling us non-Knights all of your secrets and oaths so that you will not have secrets anymore and enlighten us?

It sounds to me like you are so bold to condemn others for the same things you are doing. Let’s talk about that log in your eye again. Maybe this is precisely what Christ was talking about.

Come on, let’s have the whole truth here, especially if you are going to condemn others for the same things you are doing.

Ponyman
[/quote]

God bless, folks!

There are major differences between the Mason and the KoC.

The primary one being that the “oath” you take during the KoC is permitted by the Catholic church. It is not a blood oath punishable by death or some other great catastrophy like those taken by the Masons. The only part secret about the KoC is the ceremonies, nothing else about the KoC is secret. The only reason the ceremonies are secret is to make it special for the people going through it.

I can’t answer the question about whether it is technically an oath, promise or vow since I am not on the ceremonies team and I haven’t seen the ceremony for a couple of years, but I know whatever you take is allowed within the church. The wording is very exact and nothing about it conflicts with Church teaching on oaths/vows/promises. I took my third degree with a VERY faithful priest and he said it was a great ceremony, very inspirational to Catholic men. By the way, a priest entering the KoC doesn’t have to participate in the ceremony itself due to the fact they have already made their vows/promises to the Church. They just watch.

Yup the Masons wear there undies on the outside of there trousers and the KofC can spin webs…:stuck_out_tongue:

It is NOT an oath. It is a pledge.

An oath is sworn before God while a pledge is a promise made on one’s honor.

A public oath binds us to Christ (which is the root meaning of sacramentum). By means of a public oath, we enter into marriage, lawyers promise to uphold the Constitution, a witness promises to tell the truth about serious matters before a court, etc.

In the Masonic oath, members swear to keep things secret that have not even been revealed to us, under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties.

The oaths are immoral because their subject matter is trivial (preserving secret pass words and handshakes). When you invoke God’s name in an oath, the subject matter must be grave; otherwise, the oath is trivial. This is basic moral theology. When you invoke God’s name to witness the trivialities of Freemasonry, you are using God’s name in vain. This amounts to blasphemy, which is a serious sin. This is a violation of the Second Commandment about taking the Lord’s name in vain.

If you want to argue that the subject matter of the oaths are serious, then you will have to still explain why Freemasonry requires oaths, when Jesus Christ never did. The Lord never required His disciples to swear trivial oaths promising to avoid sins such as fornication and adultery. The Scriptures warn against swearing such oaths. So if Jesus and the apostles warned against these oaths, then Freemasonry has no good reason to impose them.

Additionally, the promise that the KofC makes has an EXCLUSION in that it does not bind us in ANY way which might CONFLICT with our civil or religious duties.

The more SERIOUS oath taken by the masons has no such exclusion.

If you want to argue that the subject matter of the oaths are serious, then you will have to still explain why Freemasonry requires oaths, when Jesus Christ never did. The Lord never required His disciples to swear trivial oaths promising to avoid sins such as fornication and adultery. The Scriptures warn against swearing such oaths. So if Jesus and the apostles warned against these oaths, then Freemasonry has no good reason to impose them.

Jesus just says if you love me you will do as your told…
Not in them word exactly but somewhere along them lines…

Actually, this is what Jesus said in **Matthew 5:33-37 …

**"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Simple, one organization works within the Church in support of the Pope, bishops and priests. The other isn’t. Catholics are not the only Christian body who forbids its members from being Masons.

M

Howdy all,

I wanted to come over and see the new thread.

The title seems a little rude, but I’m always for good conversation among the brethren (and sistrern as well :slight_smile: ).

SirKnight,

I always enjoy our dialogues and was hoping we could discuss this one.

Why is a pledge not before God? I think everything we do is before God.

I see the issue of the oath as the most valid of the reasons for the Church’s stance against Freemasonry. CAF contributor Flameburns has made some really strong points about the oath in his previous post. All with merit and all good.

However I’m still not convinced that the Masonic oath is any different that which is found in a court of law. Furthermore, I don’t see the difference between a pledge and an oath (which by the above definition would be a pledge plus the request of God’s help or otherwise stated a pledge and a prayer).

There is nothing trivial nor trite about the subject matter of the Masonic oath.

The oath does not amount to blasphemy. Asking for the Lord’s help in a matter is in no way blasphemy or taking the Lord’s name in vain.

I see no more blasphemy in a Masonic oath than I do in praying–and we should pray and pray often.

There are a lot of things that Jesus never required us to do that are not wrong to do.

With all due respect, this is a false statement. From what I remember, the oath of Freemasonry grants the same exclusion. It also grants exclusion for family and career.

There are a lot of organizations that have prohibitted Freemasonry the below list is not exhaustive.

Religions against Freemasonry:
The Roman Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses

Organizations against Freemasonry:
The Nazis
Hungarian Communists
Soviet Union Communists
Spain’s Dictator Francisco Franco
Italy’s Dictator Benito Mussolini
All Muslim governments with the exception of Lebanon and Morocco

that a good start to the list ans although I know wikipedia is not completely accurate on all things i did get this list from there:

A number of Protestant denominations discourage their congregants from joining Masonic lodges, although this differs in intensity according to the denomination. Churches that, in some form or other, discourage membership of Freemasons include the following:

* Many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations have similar prohibitions for their communicants. In the U.S. the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which have a combined membership of 3 million, and all other major Lutheran denominations warn against lodge affiliation, but not all enforce the ban. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod bans membership outright. Among the other antilodge churches are the Church of the Brethren, Assemblies of God, Society of Friends (Quakers), Mennonites, Church of the Nazarene, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Brethren, Wesleyan and Free Methodist churches, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. General Booth condemned it for the Salvation Army. The National Christian Association was formed in 1874 to coordinate Protestant opposition to secret societies. On a worldwide basis the majority of Christians belong to denominations that absolutely forbid membership in a Masonic lodge or similar secret society. It must be admitted, however, that many of these Protestant condemnations have never been enforced and are dead letters today. Evangelical Lutheran Synod,[12] Church of the Nazarene,[13] Wesleyan Methodist church,[13] Mennonites,[13] The Southern Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board, [14][15] Lutheran Church in America (for clergy only),[16] Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,[17] Christian Reformed Church in America,[18] Church of the Brethren,[19] Assemblies of God,[20] Society of Friends (Quakers),[21] United Brethren,[22] Free Methodist church,[23] Seventh-day Adventist Church,[24] Salvation Army,[25] Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,[26] Orthodox Church in America,[26] Romanian Orthodox Church,[27]Orthodox Presbyterian Church,[28] Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly,[citation needed] Free Church of Scotland,[29] Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland,[30] Presbyterian Church in America,[31] Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland[32]

quite a few more than just the 2 you listed.

Yeah but the quote i was thinking of but the kids were trying to get me off the pc lol
Was :- [John14:15]“If you love me, You will obey what i command”:slight_smile:

The JW’s dont want there people in anything full stop other than there cult…
Basicly because there top elders are mostly made up of secret organisation’s…
There founding chief treasury was Charlse taze russell and many members who are at the top was a 32nd degree mason,

Your version of the list is self serving. There are mainline Protestant denominations that discourage their faithful from joining the Masons. But no matter…the Church can stand alone for truth. Moreover, your attempt to discredit has nothing to do with my post. Mason’s are anti-Catholic at their core at a minimum. However, you are either ignorant or not honest. If the case is the latter you should take the “In Christ” off of your signature.

M
Council 11044
3rd Degree
Inside Guard

mlldrl,

I apologize for making you angry; it was not my intention. Please let me know of the other Christian faiths that prohibit Freemasonry. The above provided list was something that I have accumulated through research I have done on this subject. I invite any valid additions.

In your previous post (see above), you stated that the Catholic Church was not the only Christian faith that prohibited Freemasonry. Now you’re saying “discourage”–which one are we discussing? Prohibiting or discouraging?

Please elaborate.

I am a 32nd degree Mason, and I am a Catholic. There are many like me. There are many like me on CAF. Neither we nor Freemasonry is anti-Catholic.

Thank you for questioning my honesty, and thank you for questioning my intelligence. My honesty is something I very closely guard. In the profession that I have chosen, if I am not honest, I am nothing. While my intelligence is not at the level that I wish it were, I am diligently working to improve it on a daily basis.

Anyway, please feel free to question my honesty and intelligence all you want.

I’m sure that my level of intelligence does not hail in comparison to that of your–therefore I feel certain that you will wish to continue this dialogue.

I will begin following your orders when you walk on water.

Sincerely,

I highly recommend you read some of John Salza’s work, he used to be a high-ranking official in the Lodge, but left and became a KofC. He runs the website ScriptureCatholic.com, and has a special section for Freemasonry. Here’s one of them: scripturecatholic.com/freemasonfaq.html

Paladin D,

Thank you for your post.

From what I have heard John Salza holds out to be a “high-ranking official” in the lodge. I don’t remember what his rank was but I don’t believe it was any higher or lower than that of mine.

We’ve had a pretty good discussion going on another thread about this subject. The below adress will take you to a post referring to John Salza’s work.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=3659418#post3659418

His work has been referred to quite a few times. I haven’t seen anything that I would consider valid or substantial yet.

Again, thank you for your post.

To dallas:
The following is an excerpt from a question and answer column in the Catholic Herald:
Since the decree “In Eminenti” of Pope Clement XII in 1738, Catholics have been forbidden to join the Masons, and until 1983, under pain of excommunication. Scanning official documents, the Church has condemned Freemasonry and other secret societies at least 53 times since 1738, and has specifically repeated the condemnation of Freemasonry 21 times. (The Orthodox and several Protestant churches also ban membership in the Masons.) Confusion occurred in 1974 when a letter by Cardinal Franjo Seper, then Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was interpreted to mean that Catholics could join Masonic lodges that were not anti-Catholic, an interpretation widely advanced by the media; however, the same congregation declared this interpretation as erroneous in 1981.
On Nov. 26, 1983, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, the Sacred Congregation reiterated the ban on Catholics joining the Masons: “The Church’s negative position on Masonic association … remains unaltered, since their principles have always been regarded as irreconcilable with the Church’s doctrine. Hence, joining them remains prohibited by the Church. Catholics enrolled in Masonic associations are involved in serious sin and may not approach Holy Communion.” However, neither this declaration nor the 1983 Code of Canon Law imposed the penalty of excommunication on Catholics belonging to the Masons. While some Masonic lodges may provide great service to the community, when a Catholic understands this group’s history, religious pretense and anti-Catholic bias, one must question, “Why would a serious, practicing Catholic even consider joining?”

If you are a practicing Catholic and want to join a fraternal organization,please consider the Knights of Columbus.

How do you reconcile that with the Church’s OFFICIAL position that Catholics can not be masons? One can be a mason or a Catholic but not both.

When I was young and the excuse that I used was that others were also doing it, my Mother would ask if I saw others jumping off the roof, would I follow?

I ask a similar question … If you see others on the pathway to hell, will you follow? This is not a casual question. The church’s position on this is very clear. Catholics who are masons do so under penalty of mortal sins.

What does the church teach about those in a state of mortal sin? If one dies with even one unrepentant mortal sin on one’s soul, one is damned to hell for all eternity.

And, according to scripture, the church has the authority to do this because Jesus promised that whatever they bind on earth WILL BE bound in heaven and whatever they loosen on earth WILL BE loosen in heaven.

None of that matters. What matters is that you (and others) are in violation of church teaching.

As Vern explained in the other thread … the church requires us to attend Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation. If we fail to do so, we have committed a mortal sin which we need to repent of in order to be forgiven. If we refuse to repent, we remain in a state of mortal sin.

The church teaches that we are forbidden to be a members of the masons, if we are, we are in a state of mortal sin.

I will post this again as i guess you missed it the list includes those that discourage to out right ban membership in the masons:

From Wikiepedia:

A number of Protestant denominations discourage their congregants from joining Masonic lodges, although this differs in intensity according to the denomination. Churches that, in some form or other, discourage membership of Freemasons include the following:

  • Many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations have similar prohibitions for their communicants. In the U.S. the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which have a combined membership of 3 million, and all other major Lutheran denominations warn against lodge affiliation, but not all enforce the ban. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod bans membership outright. Among the other antilodge churches are the Church of the Brethren, Assemblies of God, Society of Friends (Quakers), Mennonites, Church of the Nazarene, Jehovah’s Witnesses, United Brethren, Wesleyan and Free Methodist churches, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. General Booth condemned it for the Salvation Army. The National Christian Association was formed in 1874 to coordinate Protestant opposition to secret societies. On a worldwide basis the majority of Christians belong to denominations that absolutely forbid membership in a Masonic lodge or similar secret society. It must be admitted, however, that many of these Protestant condemnations have never been enforced and are dead letters today. Evangelical Lutheran Synod,[12] Church of the Nazarene,[13] Wesleyan Methodist church,[13] Mennonites,[13] The Southern Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board, [14][15] Lutheran Church in America (for clergy only),[16] Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,[17] Christian Reformed Church in America,[18] Church of the Brethren,[19] Assemblies of God,[20] Society of Friends (Quakers),[21] United Brethren,[22] Free Methodist church,[23] Seventh-day Adventist Church,[24] Salvation Army,[25] Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,[26] Orthodox Church in America,[26] Romanian Orthodox Church,[27]Orthodox Presbyterian Church,[28] Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly,[citation needed] Free Church of Scotland,[29] Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland,[30] Presbyterian Church in America,[31] Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland[32]

Also It has been forbidden by I know at least the by Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI for Catholic to belong to the masons.

You appear to be ignorant as to the meaning of the word ignorant.

I did not question your intelligence. If I had called you stupid then I would be questioning your intelligence. Now since you say that you weren’t aware of those other Christian bodies you must be ignorant. Someone else posted a long list with other Christian bodies who discourage/prohibit (use whatever word you want to use) their faithful from joining the Masons so if you read that list you’ll no longer be ignorant on the subject. However, none of that matters really because if you are a Catholic the Church says you may not join. So if you really are a Catholic and really are a Mason then you are disobedient.

M
KofC 3rd Degree

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.