Monday, April 20, 2009

Today in Masonic History: Humanum Genus

On April 20th, 1884, Pope Leo XIII issued the papal encyclical, Humanum Genus, denouncing Freemasonry and forbidding Catholics from becoming Freemasons. Here are some key quotes

Candidates are generally commanded to promise - nay, with a special oath, to swear - that they will never, to any person, at any time or in any way, make known the members, the passes, or the subjects discussed. Thus, with a fraudulent external appearance, and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manichees of old, strive, as far as possible, to conceal themselves, and to admit no witnesses but their own members. As a convenient manner of concealment, they assume the character of literary men and scholars associated for purposes of learning. They speak of their zeal for a more cultured refinement, and of their love for the poor; and they declare their one wish to be the amelioration of the condition of the masses, and to share with the largest possible number all the benefits of civil life. Were these purposes aimed at in real truth, they are by no means the whole of their object. Moreover, to be enrolled, it is necessary that the candidates promise and undertake to be thenceforward strictly obedient to their leaders and masters with the utmost submission and fidelity, and to be in readiness to do their bidding upon the slightest expression of their will; or, if disobedient, to submit to the direst penalties and death itself. As a fact, if any are judged to have betrayed the doings of the sect or to have resisted commands given, punishment is inflicted on them not infrequently, and with so much audacity and dexterity that the assassin very often escapes the detection and penalty of his crime.

A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor a bad tree produce good fruit...the Masonic sect produces fruits that are pernicious and of the bitterest savor.

I, myself, am not a Catholic nor do I know much about Canon Law concerning Freemasonry. I know many Catholic brothers that I know are good men. So here I stand, man standing on the outside of the glass, my only contact with the Catholic world coming from brothers and friends who are of that world and even some of them are Freemasons.

If you want to know more about the Catholic Church's evolving Canon Law on Masonic membership, click here.

3 comments:

Jose Ruah said...

Here the link to a document posted by the vatican and signed by Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19850223_declaration-masonic_articolo_en.html

It's one of the documents mentioned in the link you have inserted in your text, and complements the changes in the cannon law made by the Concilium Vaticano II.

This is the institutional position. The private position is totally different and for instance the vast majority of the Portuguese Masons are Roman Catholic.

Jose Ruah said...

Sorry the correct link is as follows:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19831126_declaration-masonic_en.html

the previous is an article on this declaration

Steve said...

All I can tell you is that I liked one of those Catholics so much I married her...

Good grief! We as a culture sure put a lot of effort into things with no rational or empirical basis. If you choose to believe a religion - any religion - you do so out of your own leap of faith. When starting from that footing, why would you question someone else's leap?

You would think that the notion of 'faith', in and of itself, would be enough of a preface to stop most discussions and arguments about religion.

..and speaking of deity, Congratulations, Nick!