Letter to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry

Letter to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry

The "Letter to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry" was a letter sent on April 19, 1985 by Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pastoral Research and Practices of the United States Catholic Conference. The letter was intended to answer confusion about the admissibility of Masonic membership. ["Since many bishops stated in their reply to an earlier survey that confusion had been generated by a perceived change of approach by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" From Introduction to [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=5285 Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry] ]

In 1974 a letter was written from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) ["Cardinal Franjo Seper, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a letter dated July 19, 1974, to Cardinal John Krol, which concluded that "Canon 2335 regards only those Catholics who join associations which plot against the Church." from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] , William Whalen] leading to some Catholics claiming that certain Masonic lodges were open to Catholics. ["From 1974 to 1981, and even beyond, an undetermined number of Catholic men joined the Lodge, and many of them retain their membership. Articles in the Catholic press ' told readers that under certain circumstances such membership was now allowed. The general public. Catholic and non-Catholic, got the impression that the Church had softened its stand against membership in Freemasonry." from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] ] . The confusion lasted after the publication of the CDF document "Quaesitum est" which reiterated the ban on joining any Masonic lodge. ["As late as October 1984, a nationally syndicated columnist for the Catholic press was assuring his readers that Catholics" from [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=1368 The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership] ]

The "Letter to U.S. Bishops" reiterated the Church's ban on all types of freemasonry, ["principles of Masonry are incompatible with Christian faith and practice whether or not a specific Masonic organization happens to be engaging in activity against the church." From Introduction to [http://www.catholicculture.org/library/view.cfm?id=5285 Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry] ] attaching reports analyzing the religious compatibility of Masonic and Catholic theologies. It is notable that it concentrated on the "naturalistic" beliefs of Freemasons rather than their anti-clerical activities.

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