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
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.
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.
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.
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.