Vatican City, 15 November, 2023 / 8:20 pm (ACI Africa).
The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a document on Wednesday reaffirming that Catholics are forbidden from becoming Freemasons.
The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández was written in response to a bishop from the Philippines who had expressed concern at the growing number of Catholics in his diocese who are taking part in Freemasonry and asked for suggestions for how to respond pastorally.
The dicastery’s response, dated Nov. 13, calls for “a coordinated strategy” involving all of the bishops in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to promote catechesis “in all parishes regarding the reasons for the irreconcilability between the Catholic faith and Freemasonry.”
The Freemasons are the largest worldwide oath-bound secret society. Freemasonry promotes ideas and rituals incompatible with the Catholic faith, including indifferentism, or the position that a person can be equally pleasing to God while remaining in any religion, and a deistic concept of a “Great Architect of the Universe.”
The Vatican document reaffirms that “those who are formally and knowingly enrolled in Masonic Lodges and have embraced Masonic principles” fall under the provisions of the Catholic Church’s 1983 “Declaration on Masonic Associations.”