The Masonic clergy 'forbids' joining Freemasonry

It remains "forbidden" for Catholics to be Freemasons, writes Tucho Fernández in a document signed by Francis on November 13.

He was responding to a question from Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes, Philippines, who had asked how to deal with a “continuous rise in the number of the faithful enrolled in Freemasonry.”

Tucho repeats Ratzinger’s 1983 declaration that active membership in Freemasonry by a Catholic is prohibited, because of the irreconcilability between Catholic doctrine and Freemasonry.

Therefore, “those who are formally and knowingly members of Masonic lodges and who have embraced Masonic principles fall under the provisions [excommunication] of the above-mentioned declaration. These measures also apply to any clerics enrolled in Freemasonry.”

Asked about the “pastoral” level, Tucho proposes that the bishops should teach the reasons for the irreconcilability between the Faith and Freemasonry (“conduct catechesis”).

However, we will hardly ever hear of people in Dumaguete or elsewhere being "excommunicated" for belonging to Freemasonry.