Title: Vatican Calls for Coordinated Effort in Combatting Growing Masonic Membership in the Philippines
In a call for action against the rising membership in Masonic Lodges in the Philippines, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), together with Pope Francis, has urged the country’s bishops to devise a strategic plan. The DDF’s recent note emphasizes the presence of a significant number of sympathizers and associates who believe that being part of both the Catholic Church and Freemasonry is compatible.
To tackle this issue, the DDF has proposed a two-pronged approach for the bishops. Firstly, they are encouraged to openly reiterate that Freemasonry is not in harmony with Catholicism and is strictly prohibited under canon law. Secondly, the bishops are urged to implement a nationwide catechesis program to educate the public on the Church’s teachings against Freemasonry.
The Vatican’s response to this growing challenge does not provide any accommodation for Catholics who have already joined Masonic lodges. This is in contrast to an earlier statement from the Philippine bishops’ conference doctrinal commission, which had adopted a more lenient stance.
In 1983, the CDF issued a declaration declaring that Catholics who willingly enroll in Masonic Lodges and embrace Masonic principles are committing a grave sin and subsequently are not permitted to receive Holy Communion.
Originating as trade guilds in Medieval England and Scotland, Freemasonry has transformed into a society for alchemists, pseudo-philosophers, and religious non-conformists over the centuries. Pope Clement XII officially banned Freemasonry in 1738, citing religious indifference as a threat to the Church, and actively promoting secularism.
Although Freemasonry claims not to be a religion, its rituals contain religious undertones and symbolism, including elements that are against the Catholic faith in higher degrees of initiation.
The Church condemns Freemasonry for subverting its teachings and promoting a different worldview that undermines its authority. Hence, the DDF’s call for a coordinated effort among bishops in the Philippines aims to combat the growing membership of Masonic Lodges and strengthen the Catholic faith by upholding its principles and teachings.
By implementing a nationwide catechesis program and publicly reiterating the Church’s stance on Freemasonry’s incompatibility, the bishops hope to educate the public and reinforce Catholic teachings on this matter.
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