“Since the founding of the Grand Lodge of England, eleven Popes have explicitly condemned Freemasonry or Masonic principles,” the says.
He mentions Popes Clement XII, Benedict XIV, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo, Pius IX, Pius X and Pius XI as those who rejected the society whose origin is traced to the local guilds of stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients.
The 74-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Konongo-Mampong Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration and subsequent installation in June 1995 says that a recent condemnation of the Freemason fraternity is contained in the Declaration on Masonic Associations issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 26 November 1983.
“Masonic principles are irreconcilable with the doctrine of Church, and that Catholic membership in Freemasonry is forbidden,” says Bishop Osei-Bonsu.
He explains the Church’s position is that freemasonry "is a religion in its own right with its doctrines, which are not Christian beliefs."
“For this reason, one cannot simultaneously be a Christian and be a Freemason,” says Bishop Osei-Bonsu.
He adds that what freemasonry teaches about God, Christ, the denial of the role of grace and Christ in salvation, morality, its attitude towards the Bible, eschatology, the masonic oaths and the notion of rebirth and enlightenment “cannot be reconciled with Christian beliefs.”
“For this reason, one cannot simultaneously be a Catholic and a Freemason, just as one cannot be a Catholic and be Muslim, a Hindu, a Shintoist or a practitioner of African Traditional Religion. One will have to make a choice between Catholicism and Freemasonry,” he says.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.
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