head office of Masons in Spain is calling on the Spanish bishops’
Committee on the Doctrine of the Faith to review the decree of
excommunication imposed on Catholics who practice Masonry, claiming it
does not contradict Christianity.
In a press release, the Spanish masons said that the Church is committing an “injustice” in their case, because the Masonic system to which they belong—the Rectified Scottish Rite (RSR)—is “totally Christian” and does not attack “Christianity or any Roman Catholic dogma.”
The masons said they have turned over the complete texts of the RSR to the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat “as sign of our good will and so that they can be calmly reviewed and studied by the person or persons designated by the Catholic Church.”
The masons said the press release was “the continuation of diverse contacts” that have been made with the Church in Spain. They added that they were determined to find a resolution to the matter.
The Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1983 states in canon 1374 that, a “person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”
Since the new code only implicitly mentions Masonry, then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, published a statement on November 26 of the same year in order to clear up any confusion and reaffirming the Church’s “negative judgment” regarding Masonry, “because their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the teaching of the Church.
Consequently, membership in such associations continues to be prohibited by the Church. The faithful who belong to Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and cannot present themselves to receive Holy Communion,” the statement noted.
Likewise it warned that local Church authorities do not have the competence to issue pronouncements about the nature Masonic associations that would imply a repealing of what the Church has already established in the declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of February 17, 1981.