Is A Reconciliation Between The Catholic Church And Freemasonry Possible?

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. I was prompted to contemplate a thawing in Catholic-Masonic relations upon reading this Associated Press article today titled Pope insists conscience, not rules, must lead faithful



    Here we read:


    Pope Francis said Friday that Catholics should look to their own consciences more than Vatican rules to negotiate the complexities of sex, marriage and family life, demanding the church shift its emphasis from doctrine to mercy in confronting some of the thorniest issues facing the faithful.”

    He said the church must no longer sit in judgment and “throw stones” at those who fail to live up to the Gospel’s ideals of marriage and family life.”

    “On thorny issues such as contraception, Francis stressed that a couple’s individual conscience — not dogmatic rules imposed on them across the board — must guide their decisions and the church’s pastoral practice.”

    “We have been called to form consciences, not replace to them,” he said.

    “He insisted the church’s aim is to reintegrate and welcome all its members. He called for a new language to help Catholic families cope with today’s problems. And he said pastors must take into account mitigating factors — fear, ignorance, habits and duress — in counseling Catholics who simply aren’t perfect.”

    “It can no longer simply be said that all those in any irregular situations are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace,” he wrote. Even those in an “objective situation of sin” can be in a state of grace, and can even be more pleasing to God by trying to improve, he said.

    Could it be that the many changes that Pope Francis has made to the Catholic Church pave the way for a reconsideration of its opposition to Freemasonry?

    Ever since 1738 the Catholic Church has prohibited membership in Freemasonry. For a complete overview of the historical rulings by the Church see The Catholic Church and Freemasonry


    Posted by Greg Stewart on Freemason Information.

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    Pope Francis


    Looking at a Pope who has not been in office for a great length of time, you can see some far reaching reforms and adjustments that have already been made. Would it be a fantasy to surmise that somewhere down the line this Pope might relax the ban against the Craft?

    The Atlantic in an article titled Will Pope Francis Break the Church? offers these observations on the pontiff.


    The Church is not yet in the grip of a revolution. The limits, theological and practical, on papal power are still present, and the man who was Jorge Bergoglio has not done anything that explicitly puts them to the test. But his moves and choices (and the media coverage thereof) have generated a revolutionary atmosphere around Catholicism. For the moment, at least, there is a sense that a new springtime has arrived for the Church’s progressives. And among some conservative Catholics, there is a feeling of uncertainty absent since the often-chaotic aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s and ’70s.”

    “That unease has coexisted with a tendency to deny that anything has really changed since the former cardinal and archbishop of Buenos Aires became pope. From the first unscripted shocker—his “Who am I to judge?” in response to a reporter’s question about gay priests—many conservative Catholics have argued that the press is seeing what it wants to see in the new pontiff.”

    “Francis is clearly a less systematic thinker than either of his predecessors, and especially than the academic-minded Benedict. Whereas the previous pope defended popular piety against liberal critiques, Francis embodies a certain style of populist Catholicism—one that’s suspicious of overly academic faith in any form. He seems to have an affinity for the kind of Catholic culture in which Mass attendance might be spotty but the local saint’s processions are packed—a style of faith that’s fervent and supernaturalist but not particularly doctrinal. He also remains a Jesuit-formed leader, and Jesuits have traditionally combined missionary zeal with a certain conscious flexibility about doctrinal details that might impede their proselytizing work.”

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    Emblem of the Papacy


    “But there are times when Francis himself seems to desire something more than just a change in emphasis. Even as he has officially reaffirmed Church teachings on sex and marriage, he has shown a persistent impatience—populist, Jesuit, or both—with the obstacles these teachings present to bringing some lapsed Catholics back to the Church. His frustration has emerged most clearly on the issue of divorce and remarriage: he has repeatedly shown what seems to be tacit support for the idea, long endorsed by Walter Kasper and other liberal cardinals, to allow Catholics in a second marriage to receive Communion even if their first marriage is still considered valid—that is, even if they are living in what the Church considers an adulterous relationship.”

    “The problem for Francis is that Kasper’s argument is not particularly persuasive. Describing Communion for the remarried as merely a pastoral change ignores its inevitable doctrinal implications. If people who are living as adulterers can receive Communion, if the Church can recognize their state of life as nonideal but somehow tolerable, then either the Church’s sacramental theology or its definition of sin has been effectively rewritten. And the ramifications of such a change are potentially sweeping. If ongoing adultery is forgivable, then why not other forms of loving, long-standing sexual commitment?”

    “This, then, is the place where Francis’s quest for balance could, through his own initiative, ultimately fall apart, bringing the very culture war he’s downplayed back to center stage. And it’s the place where his pontificate could become genuinely revolutionary. His other moves are changing the Church, but in gradual and reversible ways, leaving lines of conflict blurry and tensions bridgeable. But altering a teaching on sex and marriage that the Church has spent centuries insisting it simply cannot alter—a teaching on a question addressed directly (as, say, homosexuality is not) by Jesus himself—is a very different thing. It would suggest to the world, and to many Catholics, that Catholicism was formally capitulating to the sexual revolution. It would grant the Church’s progressives reasonable grounds for demanding room for further experiments. And it would make it impossible for many conservatives, lay and clerical, to avoid some kind of public opposition to the pope.

    Could this mean that Catholic Freemasons might be granted the right to receive communion and hold positions of lay leadership in the Church? Certainly Freemasonry does not seem to be on Pope Francis’ top ten list of changes yet to come. But if the mood, the emphasis away from doctrinal purity, persists then perhaps some sort of reconciliation can take place between the Church and Freemasonry. And if that comes to past we will be in a new day of peace and harmony.

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    Continue reading...
     
  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Fortunately he knows the history of Roman emperors and he eats with the troops (cardinals). Very wise!
     
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  3. NY.Light.II

    NY.Light.II Registered User

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    This pope is interesting to be sure, but much of the talk of "radical changes in the Vatican" is overblown. Take one recent example. The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, or the "Joy of Love", is a non-magisterial document meant to clarify the church's position on aspects of the family following the Synod of Bishops from the past two years. In it, the pope offers many flowery phrases that promote and call for a more compassionate and pastoral approach to ministering divorced Catholics, and those in "irregular" situations. Yet, one line over which much ink has not yet been spilt, is "In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers observed that, “as for proposals to place unions between homo- sexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”. (Section 251). This is just one example of how Francis' theology is muddy, and clarification from Rome is needed for Catholics on many issues.

    On the subject of this thread, this is an evolving issue as well. Most who are well read on the Catholic-Freemason history will be aware of Cardinal Ratzinger's 1980s letter clarifying the ban on Masonic membership remains in force. Less known is a letter from this year by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi calling for dialogue with Freemasons (I have linked it in another thread; a Google search will reveal the document). The problem with overturning the ban on freemasonry is that it would contradict the bull of Leo XIII; this nullification of magisterial teaching would compromise the ability of the papacy to make such pronouncements in the first place. If there is one principle that underpins the Petrine office, it is that of consistency. I doubt a formal reconciliation/lifting of the ban will occur under Francis, although it remains my fervent wish that it will one day be resolved.
     
  4. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I think the issue is: Can a man serve two masters?

    And a secondary issue is: Will a Mason that pays dues still contribute sufficiently to the costs of his church.

    The first issue seems to me to be is misinformed and the second seems somewhat materialistic. Still I expect the church takes them seriously.
     
  5. NY.Light.II

    NY.Light.II Registered User

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    Can a man serve two masters? Yes. The Catholic objection to masonry is not a two master issue, as are Church-State relations (God or Caesar? Jesus said both). It's an antiquated resistance to freethinking individuals and democratic structures, that is encouraged by baseless superstitions and vile rumor.

    As to tithing, that depends on the means and will of the individual member. While important, if a cleric approached and stated "You can't be a mason! You won't give us your money then!", I would be tempted to self-excommunicate.
     
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  6. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

    Thus the church view may be that we the faithful serve God but we do not know that Masonry serves our God.

    Such questions are typically resolved without asking the God in question.
     
  7. NY.Light.II

    NY.Light.II Registered User

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    Mark 12:17

    Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. And they marvelled greatly at him.
     
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  8. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Oh yeah ! NT Quote smack down !!!!

    :)
     
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  9. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    See those two example right there is why i dont hold the bible as law. It is a rule and guide of my faith but not a hard fast rule. too much contradiction. Also it was written by rich men, then translated by rich men and the published and distributed by rich men. Trust me there are plenty of things that have been translated wrong on purpose or flat left out
     
  10. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I see no contradiction at all between these two quotes. Perhaps the contradiction is not found in the quotes themselves but in how one reacts to them.
     
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  11. Classical

    Classical Premium Member

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    Jesus never said to serve Caesar. Exegesis is key!
     
  12. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
    I'm a Christian but I have to say that you have made some good points here.
     
  13. JM-MWPHGLGA

    JM-MWPHGLGA Premium Member

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    I have too agree as well. I am a Christian man as well, but I have to say even the laws of the land are contradicting, cruel and many other words which were written by rich men, published and distributed by them as well also. But your statement alone can cause a deep conversation.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry Pro
     
  14. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I know very little about Catholicism....when i read da vinci code or angels and deamons which everone has the election of the pope....i read it while deployed....i went to a girl in my platoon that was a devout catholic akd i asked if that is actually how it was done, she confirmed it. Up to that point i always thought the Pope just was the Pope...i mean hes supposed to be the voice of God on Earth right? So when i found out he was "elected" it made me realise just how crooked the Catholic church is. If you think there isnt back room politican(read like pol-a-tic-an) going on ur sadly mistaken....why hasnt there been an american pope...or a catholic President(dont you dare say well what about JFK?) once again the election of the pope further supports my above arguement about rich men deciding whats put out in the christian religion.

    Sent from my LG-H811 using My Freemasonry Pro mobile app
     
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  15. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Jesus solved this for me..... " Render unto Caesar...."

    As a Catholic, there are other techniques.... but that's enough religion and politics before my first coffee..
     
  16. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    The College of Cardinals vote as to which of them will lead. They are all in Apostolic Succession of Saint Peter and therefore all qualified to one degree or another to fill the shoes.
    You're opinion is noted, JD, but please remember that you have Brethren that follow this religion, and govern yourself accordingly.
     
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  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Yeah, I agree. You can argue religion till the cows come home and nothing gets resloved. This is why this subject is off limits in lodge.
     
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  18. Bro.Joseph.Rossi.Pa.Mason

    Bro.Joseph.Rossi.Pa.Mason Registered User

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    I know several brothers who are also 4th degree knights of Columbus members. I also read that the black pope aka the Jesuit general from years back wore a Masonic ring. Look up ex Jesuit Rivera . The Jesuit order is interesting in itself.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry Pro
     
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  19. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Yes, I saw somethings about this on tv and read a long article dealing with the "Black Pope" and the Jesuits. It is very interesting.
     
  20. DwayneM

    DwayneM Registered User

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    THE POPE IS NOT CHANGING CHURCH TEACHING!
    When he says things like, "People must be led by their own conscience," he means that people must come to know the truth of the (unchanging) teaching of the church by forming their conscience to know it, not just have it knocked over their heads and be told to believe it. For instance, people must understand that marriage is only between one man and one woman because God ordered it that way and why. Only then will they abandon the absurd concept of same sex "marriage. "

    MOST OF THE THINGS HE IS MISQUOTED ON HERE HAVE TO DO WITH PASTORAL METHODS, NOT CHURCH TEACHING!
     

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