Many people regard Freemasonry as little more than a social institution that has a charitable outlook. The secrecy and mysterious rites it practices only add to the interest and mystery that surrounds it. Officially, Freemasons around the world claim to be a non-sectarian secret fraternity who teach a lofty system of morality and basic religion “veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” The members are bound by oath never to reveal its modes of recognition and its ritualistic practices.
The Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England of 1813 contains the following statement: “It is declared and pronounced that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three Degrees, and no more, viz: Those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.”
Grand Lodge Masonry, according to popular knowledge, dates only from 1717 A.D. Around this time, Deists and Protestants began to form societies, forming themselves into lodges with a secret ritual which was greatly influenced by the Rosicrucians, (an esoteric cult that began in 1378) who brought them extravagant claims to an occult-based knowledge of the hidden secrets of nature.
Very early on, Freemasonry became heavily involved in politics and was violently anti-clerical and atheistic. In 1877, the “Grand Orient” of France deleted all references to God from their constitutions (under the excuse that atheists could now join them without compunction).
In 1738, Pope Clement XII condemned the Society of Freemasons and forbade Catholics to have anything to do with them under pain of excommunication. Fourteen different Popes throughout the years have issued declarations condemning Freemasonry. In 1884, Pope Leo XIII issued his great encyclical, “Humanum Genus,” declaring Freemasonry utterly incompatible with the Christian religion and forbidding Catholics to join it: “As Our predecessors have many times repeated, let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the Masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them.”
Freemasonry’s goal is to become the universal religion, to the exclusion of all others. It claims to be above all sects, upon which it looks tolerantly as merely partially true religions.
Dr. Albert Mackey writes in the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: “The principles of Freemasonry preceded the advent of Christianity. In its language, citizens of every nation may converse; at its altar, men of all religions may kneel; to its creed, disciples of every faith may subscribe.”
Masonry is a false religion and its rites are derived from ancient pagan religions. Rev. Gerald C. Treacy, S.J., in his “Discussion Club Outline on Freemasonry”, pp. 25-29, explains how Masonry was founded on Naturalism. (Naturalism teaches that human nature and reason are supreme and that there are no truths revealed by God that men are bound to believe.) Freemasonry thus denies the authority of the Catholic Church as God’s Voice upon earth and directs its hatred towards the Church.
Masonry favors the teaching of natural immorality and argues for an education for youth without any religious belief. It attempts to completely control the education of youth and mold it from its own godless pattern. In many places, Masonry has succeeded in placing the education of youth entirely in the hands of laymen, excluding the Church and banishing from moral teaching all mention of man’s duties to God.
Another reason for the condemnation of Freemasonry concerns the unlawful Oath its members are required to take, an Oath taken blindly and on pain of mutilation and death. It is a blasphemy to invoke the sacred name of God upon such a scandalously worded formula. Unnecessary oaths are not lawful in the sight of God, indeed, they are forbidden by the Catholic Church. Also, since Masonry is not affiliated with either Church or state, it has no authority to exact these oaths and still less to inflict the threatened physical punishments that they contain!
Freemasonry holds undue influence on today’s social, political and business life, against all demands of justice. It is a matter of common knowledge that men are urged to join the Masons as a means of “getting ahead.”
Wilmshurst, in his book, Masonic Initiation,” p. 197, states: “It is a well-known fact that commercial houses today find it advantageous for business purposes to insist upon their more important employees to be members of the Order.” High-ranking positions in any field, be it politics, the military, business, commerce, etc., require that a person be admitted into a Masonic order. If the applicant in question refuses to join a Masonic lodge, they are not accepted into whatever high-ranking position they aspire to.
A Masonic International Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium, in the year 1904. In their report, on page 132, it states: “To fight against the Papacy is a social necessity and constitutes the constant duty of Freemasonry.” And in 1913, the Grand Orient declared officially that its aim was to “crush Catholicism in France first, (where they have largely succeeded) and then elsewhere.” The Swiss Lodge echoed the same sentiments: “We have one irreconcilable enemy – the Pope and clericalism.”
In 1885, Pope Pius IX named Freemasonry “The Synagogue of Satan” and rightly so, because it has been involved in every conflict, war and disaster since its origin.
On December 8, 1892, Pope Leo XIII wrote: “Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are essentially incompatible, to such an extent that to become united with one means being divorced from the other. Let us, therefore, expose Freemasonry as the enemy of God, of the Church, and of our Motherland.”
More recently, on December 5, 1983, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith notified the hierarchy that “the Church’s negative judgment remains unchanged, the faithful who enroll in Masonic Associations are in a state of grave sin...” adding that local Ordinaries did not have the authority to abrogate this decision. Masonic lodges helped to mastermind the bloody French Revolution in order to overthrow the Catholic monarchy and the Catholic Church and install a Masonic republic. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded; the Catholic clergy were either murdered or forced to hide; a Masonic black Mass desecrated the high altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Masonic governments have ruled France for most of the past two centuries.
In 1917, Maximilian Kolbe watched in horror as the Freemasons, celebrating their bicentennial, marched through the streets of Rome carrying banners depicting Satan defeating St. Michael and declaring: “Satan will rule on Vatican Hill and the Pope will serve as his errand boy.” Martyr and saint, Fr. Kolbe worked tirelessly against Masonry because he knew how this enemy of the Church insidiously effects revolutionary social changes by promoting spiritual paralysis, moral compromise, secular humanism and the heresy of indifferentism.
In July, 1992, Mexico’s Masonic Grand Master Francisco Valle Guzman condemned the Catholic Church as “the most powerful and ruthless enemy of science, civilization, fraternity and love. And reconciliation between us is impossible.” He then added that Masonry’s “duty” is to be the “gravediggers” of the Catholic Church.
In May 1993, Cardinal Posadas Ocampo was gunned down in the Guadalajara Airport. Although circumstantial evidence points to a Masonic assassination, Mexico’s Masonic government continues to declare that the murder was an accident.
It is most important that each person become well educated on the subject of Freemasonry so as to be able to avoid its evil and to instruct others to do the same.
Clement XII 1738 – In Eminente: automatic excommunication of Catholic Masons
Benedict XIV 1751 – Providas: condemned Masonry for 5 reasons: secrecy, oaths, Indifferentism, anti-Catholic, immoral
Clement XIII 1766 – Christianae Republicae: Masonry duplicates Manichean and Gnostic heresies
Pius VI 1775 – Inscrutiabili Divinae Sapientiae: Masonry says man is subject to no authority
Pius VII 1821 – Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo: Masonry is counter-church
Leo XII 1825 – Quo Graviora: Masonry denies the divinity of Christ
Pius VIII 1829 – Traditae Humilitati Nostrae: Masonry's God is Satan; Bishops must oppose secret societies
Gregory XVI 1832 – Miari Vos: Masonic philosophy has penetrated the Church
Pius IX 1873 – Etsi Multa: American Masonry is as evil as European Masonry
Leo XIII 1884 – Humanum Genus: Masonic mask of deception must be torn away
Pius X 1911 – Iamdudum: condemns Masonic separation of Church and state
Benedict XV 1917 – Code of Canon Law reconfirms excommunication of Catholic Masons
Pius XII 1958 – Pastoral letter: Masonry is "mother root" of modern apostasy
John Paul II 1983 – Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Catholics prohibited from being Masons