CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in
regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not
mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.
Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to
an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other
associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider
the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains
unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable
with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains
forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of
grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a
judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation
from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of
this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L’Osservatore
Romano, 9 March 1981).
an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff
John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which
had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.
from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26
Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P.