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Renounce Masonic Membership

I am writing this “Corner” from Northern Wisconsin, where I have just enjoyed a reunion of families gathered from
my deceased wife’s “Davis” family, as well as the “O’Shaughnessy” family, some 55 members strong. I am about to embark on
my drive back to Florida and will not arrive until late Sunday evening. However…due to a recent occurrence, I feel it is important
to convey this, my third reminder and warning, regarding the serious ramifications of Freemasonry membership for
anyone espousing membership in the Roman Catholic Church.

We recently receive the very sad news relating the death of a parishioner, along with a concurrent request to arrange for
a funeral Mass here at Mary, Queen of Heaven. Plans for this proceeded until it was learned, in the obituary, that the deceased
was, up until the time of his death, the Master of the local Scottish Masonic Lodge. Back on Sunday, March 18, 2018…I addressed
the gravity and serious consequences that accrue for any Catholic accepting membership in Freemasonry. Also, stressed
was the dire need for Catholics who may have been unaware that Masonic membership for Catholics is a grave sin…(or who
had been deceived into thinking that such membership is compatible with Catholicism)…to renounce his Masonic Membership.
If one refuses to renounce, and retains his membership, several canonical penalties are incurred, including ex-communication
and denial of several Sacraments, including a Funeral Mass.

I once again plead with all Catholic Masonic members, and friends of known members as well, to take heed of this
counsel and renounce your membership. This wise Biblical warning certainly applies…“What good does it do a man, to gain
the whole world…and suffer the loss of his soul?” I am including below, the crux of that March 18 “Pastor’s Corner”, which
delineates the serious repercussions of maintaining membership in a Freemason Lodge. Please feel free to get in touch with me
if you would like to discuss this subject further, as I ardently desire to erase all the prevailing confusion and Masonic Lodge misinformation that has been impeding the salvation of souls.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has formally declared that Catholics who enroll in Masonic associations
are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. This “Declaration” (which I can provide a copy of for
any who desire it), has affirmed nearly 300 years of papal pronouncements against Freemasonry on the grounds that the teachings
of the Lodge are contrary to Catholic faith and morals.

The Church’s declaration on Freemasonry exposes Catholic Masons to a number of penalties under canon law. For example,
a Catholic who is aware that the Church authoritatively judges membership in Freemasonry to be gravely sinful, must
not approach Holy Communion (canon 916). The Church imposes the duty upon all grave sinners not to make a sacrilegious
communion. Such a Catholic Mason who is aware of the grave sin, must receive absolution in a sacramental confession before
being able to receive communion again… unless there is a grave reason, and no opportunity, to confess (canon 916). This confession,
in order to be valid, also requires the Catholic Mason to renounce his Masonic membership.

Further, because membership in Freemasonry is an external or public condition, the Catholic Mason can be refused
Holy Communion by the pastors of the Church for obstinately persevering in his Masonic membership (canon 915). Such a
Catholic Mason would also be forbidden from receiving the Anointing of the Sick (canon1007), as well as Ecclesiastical Funeral
rites, if public scandal were to result (canon 1184, §1, °3).

Canon 1364 imposes an automatic excommunication upon apostates, heretics, or schismatics. This canon could also
apply to Catholic Masons. If… for example… a Catholic Mason embraced the theological teachings of Freemasonry that the
Church has condemned (indifferentism, syncretism), he would be in heresy by virtue of his belief in these teachings. Further, if
a Catholic Mason knew the Church opposes membership in Freemasonry, and yet adamantly and persistently refused to submit
to the pope’s authority in precluding his membership in the Lodge, he may also find himself in schism. Catholic Masons could
also be subject to canon 1374 which imposes an “interdict” or “just penalty” upon those who join associations that plot against
the Church.

For these canonical penalties to apply, the Catholic Mason would have to act in a gravely imputable way (to act
‘imputably’, the Catholic would have to be aware of the Church’s teaching on Freemasonry and, after being warned about it,
choose to disregard it). I have now encountered, a fair number of Catholic Masons, who do act in a gravely imputable way in
regard to their Masonic membership. In these cases, the canonical penalties, including excommunication, apply. The Church’s
penalties are not meant to alienate the person on whom the penalty is levied. Instead, the penalties are meant to communicate to
the person the gravity of his conduct, encourage his repentance and reconciliation with the Church, and bring him back into the
one fold of Christ. After all, the mission of the Church…and it’s Canon Law… is the salvation of souls.

So, Masonry membership is a serious faith matter, not to be shrugged-off. There are many misunderstandings among
the general public about the Freemasonry (known also as “Masonry” or “the Lodge”). While much of the public thinks that Freemasonry
is just a fraternity, the Church has declared that it is certainly not. Masonry has been judged by every Christian church
that has studied it, to be a religion that is incompatible with Christianity. Freemasonry has a very formal religious system which
includes a belief in God as the “Grand Architect of the Universe”, the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body.
However, Masonry also believes that man can achieve salvation by his good works, independent of God’s gift of grace, and it
does not require its members to believe in Jesus Christ or His Church.

Hopefully this will help alleviate the wide-spread confusion and misunderstanding surrounding Masonry Membership.
Please share this information with those Catholics you know who are unaware of the seriousness of maintaining membership.
And please note that I can provide the Church Documents making this declaration.

Yours in Jesus Christ, Our Savior,