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Religion and freemasonry

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Religion and freemasonry

Postby Bruce Everiss » Wed 22 Jul 2009 11:48 am

- Catholics:
Freemasons have been excommunicated from the Catholic Church by 8 Popes: In 1738 by Clement XII "In Eminenti", the first of 20 bulls against Freemasonry. Pius IX issued 6 bulls attacking Masonry. Leo XIII, in 1884, in "Humanum Genus", and endorsed the view that the Freemasons' "real supreme aim" is "to persecute Christianity with untamed hatred, and they will never rest until they see cast to the ground all religious institutions established by the Pope"... and the last one, John Paul II in 1983... you can not be a Catholic and a Mason!
If you want to be a Mason, you are automatically out of the Catholic Church, excommunicated!... these are the words issued by Cardinal Ratzinger, approved and ordered by John Paul II in Nov. 1983: "The Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. Catholics who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. Local Ecclesiastical authorities do not have the faculty to pronounce a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which may include a diminution of the above-mentioned judgment".

- Baptist leaders, have referred to it as "an ungodly brotherhood of satanic darkness"; "there is an inherent incompatibility between Masonry and the Christian faith"; "there is a great danger that the Christian Mason may find himself compromising his allegiance to Jesus" (The Baptist Union of Scotland, 1965).

- Lutherans, say "Masonry amounts to idolatry" (Missouri Synod, 1959).

- Presbyterians: "Masonry is a religious institution and as such is definitely anti-Christian (General Assembly, Rochester, 1942).

- The Church of England: "A number of very fundamental reasons to question the compatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity (General Synod, London, 1987... and several members of the committee were Masons!).

- Russian Orthodox Church: "Any Orthodox who joins Masonry losses all the right and privileges of his membership in the Church (Acker, "Strange Altars", pag.60).

- Methodists: "There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself comprising his Christian beliefs. Methodists should not become Masons (General Assembly, London, 1985).
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Bruce Everiss
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Re: Religion and freemasonry

Postby Kaleb » Thu 22 Dec 2011 10:43 am

Properly speaking, Freemasonry only has three degrees of initiation: entered apprentice, fellow craft, and master mason. These are modeled on the levels of membership within medieval stone mason guides, from which Freemasonry probably derives. Degrees past the third degree are conferred by other organizations, such as the Scottish Rite, in which degrees range from four to thirty-three.

Secret Societies

Freemasons keep some of their activities closed to non-members, and that policy has led many to label them a "secret society," which in turn opens up Freemasonry (as well as related Co-Masonic organizations such as the Shriners and the Order of the Eastern Star) to a variety of conspiracy theories.
In truth, however, there are a great many organizations that keep at least some aspects of their activities secret, whether they are concerned with the privacy of members, trade secrets, or numerous other reasons. One might even say something as innocuous as a family gathering is closed to non-members, yet no one is generally suspicious of them. People have a right to privacy. Others do not have an inherent right to know everything their neighbors are doing.

Freemasonry as an organization does recognize the existence of Supreme Being, and new members are required to swear that they hold such a belief. Beyond that, however, Freemasonry has no religious requirements, nor does it teach specific religious beliefs. In fact, neither politics nor religion are to be discussed within a Masonic lodge, which makes defining Freemasonry as a religion to be rather absurd. Freemasonry is no more religious than the Boy Scouts, which requires members to believe in some sort of higher power.
Ironically, the affirmation of belief in a supreme being may have originally been added not to control the beliefs of members but to refute the accusation of Freemasons being atheists.

Various anti-Masonic writers have made a variety of claims over the years as to supposed religious beliefs being taught within Freemasonry, generally only at the very highest levels. Where they get this information is usually rather vague and often not mentioned at all. The fact that such accusations are only leveled at the highest degrees of Freemasonry makes it impossible for the average reader to contest such claims, which is a common hallmark of a conspiracy theory.
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