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This is Why Catholics Cannot Be Freemasons

T

he intent of this article is to highlight and elucidate upon the irreconcilable differences that the Roman Catholic Church has with Freemasonry.
Notice, from the outset, that I do not mention any irreconcilable difference that these two organizations or philosophies have with each other, or any irreconcilable difference that Freemasonry has with the Catholic Church or Catholicism in general, because there is not one. Freemasonry, in general, welcomes all monotheists into its ranks

As interesting as the subject is, this article will avoid delving into the historic and colorful disputes and plots that involve these two bodies. What I intend to do here is speak only in regards to the Catholic Canon Law and Freemasonry as it is practiced in the world today.

My qualifications to authoritatively address this issue comes from being a very active Freemason for over ten years, during which time I authored two books, wrote over one hundred articles, lectured on the subject of Freemasonry in numerous parts of the world, was editor-in-chief and editor of two well-read Masonic publications, Fellow of the Phylaxis Society, held many of the highest elected and appointed offices on the local and statewide level, and was one of the most decorated Prince Hall Freemasons in the world (View 2004-Masonic-Resume).

Though I converted to Catholicism and no longer hold membership in a Masonic Lodge, without apology I hold that the Freemasons who I had to opportunity to know and befriend over the years are some of the finest human beings that I have ever had the pleasure to know. When my life encountered great suffering, these were the men, from various races, religions, and professions, whose hands reached down to assist my family and me. Therefore, my analysis of the irreconcilable differences that Catholicism has with Freemasonry is not directed towards any of the men who call themselves Freemasons, but only towards particular aspects of their Masonic philosophy that inveighs against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Neither is this an expose into the rituals of Freemasonry. I am confident that I can explain why the Catholic Church holds such a strong stance against the Masonic order without side bending into matters that might prove to be more of a distraction than to provide a clear answer to the instant question.

THE HEART OF THE ISSUE

I know Catholics who are Freemasons and I know Catholics who do not believe that abortion is an intrinsically evil act. There may always be Catholics who do not believe or accept what the Church teaches. When I was received into the Church in 2006 as a convert I took a solemn oath to “believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims,” because it is revealed by God. Therefore, for me, it was never an option. It is obligatory; if I am to remain a Catholic, I must believe what the Church teaches, and there is great comfort in that for me. However, that obligation to believe comes with a responsibility to know and try to understand why the Church teaches what it does. I find that it is this brand of intellectual laziness that is to blame for Catholics being ignorant about what the Church teaches and a key reason for their fall into grave sin.

In the instant case, by specifically identifying all Masonic groups as ‘forbidden societies’, the 1917 Code of Canon Law (#2335) was a much better guide for Catholics, on this issue, than the 1983 Code of Canon Law (#1374), which forbids Catholics from joining any organization that acts against the Church.

Looking at these two Canons, side by side, we can see why some Catholics thought/think that Masonic membership was/is no longer banned by the Holy See:

    Canon #2335 (1917) – “Persons joining associations of the Masonic sect or any others of the same kind which plot against the Church and legitimate civil authorities contract excommunication simply reserved to the Apostolic See.”
    Canon #1374 (1983) – “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.”

In 1983 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith attempted to clarify the Church’s continued posture against Freemasonry in Declaration on Masonic Associations. This document, which was signed by Pope John Paul II, read:

“It 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.”This 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 categories.

“Therefore 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 enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

“It 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).

This document proves to be very helpful when it is read together with the 1983 Canon. In that Canon it states that “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty . . . “ In his 1983 letter Cardinal Ratzinger connected the general qualifier “an association which plots against the Church” with the specific Masonic qualifier “Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have . . .” That is, the Catholic Church forbids her sons and daughters from belonging to the Masonic order precisely because it believes that the Masonic order is an association whose ‘principles’ are a threat to her and a danger to her members.

Now that we know that is the ‘principles’ of Freemasonry that the Catholic Church believes are a threat, it is time for us to discuss the ‘principles’ of Freemasonry.

THE PRINCIPLES OF FREEMASONRY

To understand why the principles of Freemasonry are irreconcilable to the Catholic Church, we must begin with examining the principles of the latter. The focal principle of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ. It is through him, the God who became man for our sake, that we have true life. The opportunity for life in Christ Jesus is motivation for the Church to celebrate her sacraments. Sacraments are actions of the Church through which Christ continues to minister to his people.

[quote]”If Freemasonry were just offering an alternative path to salvation, it would rank among the other religions that Catholics cannot belong to.”[/quote] The principles of Freemasonry, broadly speaking, are just like those that you would expect to find in any ritual-based system; that is, to leave the initiate in a better/more enlightened place than her/she was found. Freemasonry attempts to make the initiate a better person by giving him/her (there are some sects of women Freemasons, though not recognized as legitimate by the mainstream Masonic groups) tools of operative masonry and teaching him/her how to apply their speculative meaning to their life. Here, Freemasonry sees itself as being a partner, rather than an enemy, to all monotheistic religions.

In comparing the two principles side by side, essentially, what we are talking about here is righteousness or holiness (though Freemasonry would not use the latter word). The question is, ‘How is that man finds himself righteous before God or holy?’ The Catholic Church teaches that it is the grace of God that makes men holy, and it is through Christ that we are sanctified and made right before God. In contrast, Freemasonry teaches that man, without the aid of grace from TGAOTU (the Grand Architect of the Universe, as god is syncretically called to in the lodge), can become a better person by applying the speculative meaning of the implements of operative masonry to his life.

Because Freemasonry offers its adherents a path to righteousness that excludes Jesus Christ, albeit, without the sacraments of the Church, it knows Freemasonry to offer an alternative/divergent path to salvation than the one that she is offering. Even though Freemasonry does not speak of salvation in its rituals the logical presumption is that if a life of applying the Masonic tools to one’s life does not lead to salvation, then the ultimate end is something much worse. Principles of self-determinism and self-justification are abundantly offered in the Masonic rituals, and, in that regard, it plots against the Church by diverting her children from those virtues and behaviors that have made saints of men and women for two thousand years for something that has not been proven to get anyone to Heaven.

I want to make the additional point here that though I am speaking in regards to Freemasonry in particular, for many of the same reasons why a Catholic cannot be a Freemason, they cannot be a Mormon, a Muslim, a member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, or even some college fraternities or sororities.

AN ATTRACTIVE SIEGE AGAINST THE CHURCH

If Freemasonry were just offering an alternative path to salvation, it would rank among the other religions that Catholics cannot belong to, but what makes the Masonic order a thorn in the side of Catholicism is the appealing nature that it has to all Christians. That is, it is an acceptable thing to tell a Catholic that they cannot be a Muslim, because Islam clearly and loudly posits that it teaches an alternative truth than the one offered by the Church of Christ. Freemasonry does not offer the Catholic Church that favor. On the contrary, it calls itself and ‘handmaid to religion’, it has a Protestant Bible on its altar and welcomes other monotheists sacred text on it, most Freemasons are middle-class Protestants, sacred Scripture is read during all the degrees of Freemasonry, allegorical references are made during the degrees that are pleasing to Christians, sometimes church hymns are even sung during the degrees, and the brotherhood that the Masonic order offers is very attractive to men who are tired of being at home with the wife and kids. Therefore, Freemasonry is not only offering an alternative truth to what the Catholic Church is offering, it is offering it in a way that is quite deceptive and attractive.

THE OFFERING OF ALTERNATIVE TRUTH

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, there is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ, God himself, who came and said that “I am the way, the life, and the truth” (Jn. 14:6). Any other way, truth, or life than Jesus Christ is a lie.

As a byproduct of the Age of Enlightenment, in 1717, through the Grand Lodge of England, Freemasonry re-positioned itself as the ‘Universal Brotherhood’ – that one organization that brings all men together, from every background, monotheistic religion, race, and creed, into harmony with each other. To achieve this goal, two things needed to be done; first, all discussion about politics and religion were banned from the lodge; second, God was given a new name that all Freemasons, regardless of their personal religion, could agree upon – he would be called ‘the Grand Architect of the Universe’ (GAOTU).

In consequence of this decision, from the outset, Freemasonry rejected The Truth (the person Jesus Christ) – it rejected the God who said, “You shall not other gods besides me . . . For I, YHWH, your God, am a jealous God” (Exo. 20:2-5). This Big Tent god, the father of every religion, the god of ‘Many Understandings’, who the Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson so eloquently invoked during his prayer to kickoff the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Week in Washington, D.C., is false – there is no such god! Repeatedly in sacred Scripture does the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Father of Jesus clearly distinguish Himself from the pantheon of false gods.

Freemasonry deigns to bring all men together by rejecting the very God who has promised to draw humanity into true unity with himself. Moreover, the lodge forbids the use of the name of the one person who has already made us all one in his Body and Blood – that is, the name of Christ Jesus. If God has already given us the means to true unity through his Church, then why would we join an organization that is opposed to its teachings and mission?

Even for the Masonic Order to hold that it is an organization that brings all men together is a principle that plots against the Catholic Church, which concertedly holds that it is the one gift/organization that Jesus Christ started himself, through his apostles, through which all men would be one with him. That is, Freemasonry offers itself as an organization through which all men can be one with each other, while the Catholic Church offers herself as an organization through which all men and women can be one with God. This is an irreconcilable conflict.

The principles of the Masonic order plots against the Church because it teaches an alternative truth, but because truth is not a thing, but rather a person – Christ Jesus (Cf. Jn. 14:6), essentially, Freemasonry teaches another Gospel (not that there is another) (Cf. Gal. 1:6), but this is what it does. Sacred Scripture is clear in saying that the word of God is truth (Cf. Jn. 17:6) and the truth is what sets us free (Cf. Jn. 8:31-32). This is the mission of the Church – to guide us along the path to dwell in truth and freedom, but Freemasonry acts against that, by perpetuating a system of alternative truths and self-determinism.

CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY – A MATCH NOT MADE IN HEAVEN

We all know that the Masonic order, Lions, Rotary Club, Girl Scouts, and etcetera, do good many things for many people, and we even know atheists who do many good deeds. Indeed, God does make allowance for our deficient labors by always conforming them to his glory. Yet the life of the Cross is not just about doing charity, rather we are called to share the love of Christ Jesus through that charity; that is, to love as Christ loved us. To love in this way is impossible to do through an organization that has been historically opposed to and constitutionally forbids its members from proclaiming the Gospel inside of the lodge.

The Holy Spirit cannot use us effectively when our bodies are voluntarily persisting in such an uncooperative state. That is, the commission to make disciples of all nations and to Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit can never be accomplished by the way of Freemasonry (Cf. Mt. 28:19). The great danger in all organizations outside of the Church is that not one of them did Christ Jesus promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against, as he promised to his Church (Cf. Mt. 16:17-18).

I am not saying that people who are affiliated with the Masonic order or organizations like it are all going to Hell! What I am saying is that the Canon Law of the Catholic Church is absolutely sound and correct and all Catholics should be obliged to follow it. Because Freemasonry and all organizations like it hinder our relationship with God more than they help it, these organizations can never positively help us get to Heaven. In contrast, the sacraments of the Catholic Church are all that are necessary for eternal life. In other words, if your goal in life is Heaven then there is no grace-filled value in belonging to organizations that do not proclaim Christ Jesus as The Truth.

As for myself, at the hour of judgment, I would much rather confess to God the Father that I obeyed the will of his Church, rather than that I obeyed the will of my flesh. I would much rather confess that I had cooperated with his Church, rather than that I had cooperated with organizations that plotted against his Church. Therefore, be vulnerable only to God and faithfully receive the sacraments of the Church.

Related Links:

  • Dall’al to Dell’Apostolico Seggio Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Freemasonry in Italy
  • Reflections a Year After Declaration of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  • Humanum Genus Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Freemasonry (April 20, 1884)
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    This is Why Catholics Cannot Be Freemasons
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    This is Why Catholics Cannot Be Freemasons
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    Catholics cannot be Freemasons because, according to Canon Law, the principles of the Masonic order plots against the Church and offers and alternative truth.
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    • Laeticia Cle-Leur

      Terrific! Thanks David. I’ve been looking for some articles like this for a while, as a resource, when people ask me about the ‘Masons’ in Australia. So thanks again. Semper Fidelis, L.

      • You’re welcome Laeticia! Thanks for the note. Blessings and Shalom!

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    • janeisprolife

      Thank you David for this most thorough article that is easily understood. I was pleased to see your mention of the Girl Scouts. I have worked passionately for five years exposing the agenda of the GSUSA. Recently the USCCB gave them a nod to the disappointment of the many grass roots group who point to facts of the GS connect to abortion etc. FB Make the Girl Scouts Clean Again and for sites http://www.100questionsforthegirlscout.org is recommended. God Bless

      • Commodore Windsock

        Girl Scouts are insidious purveyors of narcotics, especially the thin mints and samosa.

      • From what I recall the USCCB left the decision up to the local parish about whether they want to have the girl scouts or not . . . Isn’t that odd? Either this group is harmful to our children or not. If they are, then there should be a blanket prohibition. If they are not, then there should be no prohibition. But the decision they made makes them seem just indifferent to the welfare of our youth.

      • Rhonda Oliver

        The Girl Scouts are not a religious organization and do not promote any religion. They are a wonderful secular organization that promotes and supports girls.

    • meugene

      David, you’ve done a wonderful job presenting the incompatibility, indeed, direct contradiction, of Freemasonry with Catholicism. You are to be applauded for doing the research and for being bold enough to “come out from among them” and to “touch not the unclean thing.”

      You wrote, “When I was received into the Church in 2006 as a convert I took a solemn oath to “believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims,” because it is revealed by God.”

      This is a key statement. Truth is not relative; it is absolute. It is not based on the creeds of men or experience, but upon the Word of God alone.

      You wrote, “Therefore, for me, it was never an option. It is obligatory; if I am to remain a Catholic, I must believe what the Church teaches, and there is great comfort in that for me.”

      This is true, and a hearty Amen, if the doctrines of Catholicism are indeed Scriptural.

      Even the 10th President of the Mormon Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, declared that “Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a Prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph was a deceiver who willfully attempted to mislead people, then he should be exposed, his claims should be reused, and his doctrines shown to be false.”

      Given your knowledge of Freemasonry, I’m sure you would agree that we could substitute “Freemasonry” for “Mormonism” in the above statement and agree with it. And if we are convinced that God’s Word alone is the gospel and no system of mankind, then we could also subject any Christian sect or denomination, or even Catholicism, to a similar test, could we not?

      As the Scriptures declare, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” “Search the Scriptures…daily…to see if these things be so.”

      With this in mind, since you have quoted Canons of the Holy See, please allow me to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, followed by quotations from the Word of God. Please read and consider the contradictions carefully. [The bracketed numbers refer to numbered paragraphs in the Catechism, for your reference.]

      1. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Justification is a transformation of the soul in which original sin is removed and sanctifying grace infused [1987-1995].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Justification is an act of God in which He declares a sinner to be righteous in His sight, having forgiven his sins and imputed to him God’s own righteousness (Rom:3:21-4:8).

      2. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Initial justification is by means of baptism [1262-1274].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Justification is by faith alone (Rom:3:28).

      3. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Adults must prepare for justification through faith and good works [1247-1249].

      The Bible Teaches:

      God justifies ungodly sinners who believe (Rom:4:5). Good works are the result of salvation, not the cause (Eph:2:8-10).

      4. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      The justified are in themselves beautiful and holy in God’s sight [1992, 1999-2000, 2024].

      The Bible Teaches:

      The justified are in Christ holy and blameless before God (Eph:1:1-14).

      5. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Justification is furthered by sacraments and good works [1212, 1392, 2010].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Justification is the imputation of the perfect righteousness of God (2 Cor:5:21). In Christ the believer has been made complete (Col:2:10).

      6. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Justification is lost through mortal sin [1033, 1855, 1874].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Justification cannot be lost. Those whom God justifies will be saved from the wrath of God (Rom:5:8, 9).

      7. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Catholics guilty of mortal sin are justified again through the sacrament of penance [980, 1446].

      The Bible Teaches:

      There is no second justification. Those whom God justifies He also will glorify (Rom:8:30).

      8. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is a lifelong process [161-162, 1254-1255].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is an instantaneous and secure act of God coinciding with justification (Romans:5:9).

      9. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments [183, 1129, 1815, 2002].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Salvation is attained by grace through faith apart from works (Eph:2:8, 9). Good works are the result, not the cause, of salvation (Eph:2:10).

      10. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Faith is belief in God and the firm acceptance of all that the Church proposes for belief [181-182, 1814].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Saving faith is the entrusting of oneself to Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom:10:8-17).

      11. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Sanctifying grace is a quality of the soul, a supernatural disposition that perfects the soul [1999-2000].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Grace is the undeserved favor of God (Eph:1:7, 8).

      12. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      The sacraments are necessary channels for the continual infusion of grace. They bestow grace in virtue of the rite performed [1127-1129].

      The Bible Teaches:

      The child of God is the constant object of the Father’s grace (Rom:5:1, 2).

      13. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Grace is merited by good works [2010, 2027].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Grace is a free gift (Rom:11:6).

      14. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Venial sins do not incur eternal punishment [1855, 1863].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Every sin is punishable by eternal death (Rom:6:23).

      15. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Serious sins must be confessed to a priest [1456-1457].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Sin is to be confessed directly to God (Ezra:10:11).

      16. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      The priest forgives sin as a judge [1442, 1461].

      The Bible Teaches:

      No one can forgive sin but God alone (Mark:2:7).

      17. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      When the guilt of sin is forgiven, temporal punishment remains [1472-1473].

      The Bible Teaches:

      When God forgives sin, He completely forgives (Col:2:13; Isaiah:43:25).

      18. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Acts of penance make satisfaction for the temporal punishment of sin [1434, 1459-1460].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Jesus made perfect satisfaction for all sins (1 John:2:1, 2).

      19. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Indulgences dispensed by the Church for acts of piety release sinners from temporal punishment [1471-1473].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Jesus releases believers from their sins by His blood (Rev:1:5).

      20. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Purgatory is necessary to atone for sin and cleanse the soul [1030-1031].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Purgatory does not exist. Jesus made purification for sins on the cross (Heb:1:3).

      21. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Poor souls suffering in purgatory can be helped by those alive on earth offering up prayers, good works, and the sacrifice of the Mass [1032, 1371, 1479].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Those who sleep in Christ need no help. To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor:5:8).

      22. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      No one can know if he will attain to eternal life [1036, 2005].

      The Bible Teaches:

      The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God (1 John:5:13).

      23. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      Eternal life is a merited reward [1821, 2010].

      The Bible Teaches:

      Eternal life is the free gift of God (Rom:6:23).

      24. The Catholic Church Teaches:

      The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation [846].

      The Bible Teaches:

      There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts:4:12).

      Examples could be multiplied, but I sincerely pray you will carefully consider this matter in the same logical way in which you examined Freemasonry, and came out of her; it is spiritual fornication. In like manner:

      “Catholicism isn’t any different from most other religions. Whether it
      is Islam, Hinduism, a mixture of Chinese religions, or one of the
      Christian sects such as Mormonism or the Jehovah Witnesses, most
      religions are basically the same. Like Roman Catholicism, they all
      teach: Live a good life here on earth and you have a pretty good chance
      of enjoying blessing in the next life.

      “Biblical Christianity stands apart. It teaches that “no one is good
      except God alone” (Mark 10:18), that “all our righteous deeds are like a
      filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6). True Christianity teaches that sinners
      can be accepted by God through the righteous work of another (Romans
      3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). It proclaims a Savior who paid our penalty
      for us with His own life (Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 2:24). It tells of God’s
      offer of eternal life to anyone who repents and believes (Mark 1:15;
      John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who accept this free gift of God can
      know that they are going to heaven, because their acceptance before God
      is in Christ, not themselves. The Lord assured His disciples, saying,
      “rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 10:29). He said,
      “I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one
      shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me,
      is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the
      Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). The Holy Spirit also participates in
      guaranteeing the future of the redeemed. At the moment of salvation the
      Spirit comes to dwell in each believer “as a pledge of our inheritance,
      with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of
      His glory” (Ephesians 1:14).

      “Rash presumption is what Rome calls this. And right it would be if
      salvation were dependent, even in part, upon our own righteous deeds.
      Believing the promises of Scripture, however, is not presumption but
      faith in God.”

      http://www.reachingcatholics.org

      See also: “Thirty-five years ago I was delivered from the bondage of Roman Catholicism….”

      http://www.thebereancall.org/content/roman-catholics-neighborhood-mission-field

      • Meugene, thank you so much for the time and effort to reply. I do appreciate it. Are you in sales? When I was, I learned that using the prospects ‘own words’ was one of the strongest ways to close a deal.

        A few things.
        1. You seem to make a presumption that I wasn’t a Protestant for a number of years or that my conversion had to do with something other than reason and logic . . . Let me put your mind to rest that I fully considered Protestant theology at every point it is in contention with Catholicism and found Catholicism to be more sound, logical, consistent with Scripture, and grounded in Apostolic teaching and the teaching of the early Fathers of the Church. You can read and listen to my conversion stories here (http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/category/catholic-thelogy/conversion-story/).

        2. There is a presumption you seem to make that Catholics don’t agree with the Bible. If you recall, the Catholic Church is the Church whose founders wrote the New Testament. It is the Church that preserved, protected and later canonized the Scriptures. Let me put your mind to rest that we agree 100% of what’s in the Bible, including our seven more books. What we don’t always agree with is other people’s interpretation of ‘our book’.

        3. I would respond point by point to your effort on comparing what the Bible teaches about justification to what the Catholic Church teaches, but the problem is that your effort and theology is much outdated here. In 1999 Catholics and Lutherans resolved their differences on the doctrine of ‘justification’. For the most part it was just a ‘definition of term’ issue. I implore you to catch up by reading it here (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html)

        4. I will say this though in regards to your point about it being sola-fides – faith alone. If you do actually believe that, then you also reject the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. These three are dependent on each other. You can’t just have one. Faith NEEDS hope and love to operate. This is what James was talking about when he said that faith without works is dead, because it is hope and love that compel us to give ourselves away. Lest we give ourselves away for the sake of Christ (grace propelled work), our faith is dead.

        5. EITHER OR POINTS: You brought of Mormonism and how it stands or falls on the altogether veracity of Joseph Smith. I’ve contended since the beginning of my conversion that Catholicism either stands or falls on it’s teaching on the Holy Eucharist. If the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is true then there is no reason to be anything other than a faithful Catholic, If it is not true, then all faithful Catholics are offending God severely. For, this is the one teaching that distinguished the Catholicism from every other religion in the world. (TAG: Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist: http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/tag/sacrament-of-holy-eucharist/)

        Again, thank you for your effort, and I hope you read the joint declaration. It’s certain to clear up your outdated issues.

    • Bill Green

      I too was a Freemason prior to being called to the Church. While I was never asked to do or say anything that ever seemed wrong, I have no regrets about breaking my ties with them to join the Universal Church.

    • Chris

      Very nice article David! I really appreciate hearing these “differences” from a former Mason who has found Christ’s Bride! May God Bless your work!!

      • Thank you Chris. Blessings and Shalom to you and yours.

    • John Francis

      Honestly I don’t see any difference between the Freemasons and the catholic church going by their current activities and doctrines (I’m not protestant).

      • Explain please.

        • John Francis

          I seek the true essence of the Gospel of which the Church is to be the clear conveyor. However it is irrefutable that not any of the churches today Catholic or non Catholic fulfills the role. It is true that all of them are so entangled with sophisticated rhetoric that they have all drifted far away from the simplicity of the Gospel Truth even to such an extent that they forget the very purpose of the Gospel and as a result cannot even believe it. I doubt whether anyone can even pull out a Gospel verse defining what Salvation is.

          My explanation can be found in the link http://www.emperoremmanuel.com/page.php?slug=temp_eight_content&cid=88

          Just to be clear, the link does not represent a protestant faction and neither do I.

    • drrabbit

      Thank you. In depth article. (And welcome home!)

    • John Francis

      1. Satan is the arch-deceiver. If satan were to introduce apostasy in the Church so that everybody could perceive it, he would not have been able to deceive and lead people to eternal damnation. So he, in a subtle and cunning manner, brought in an apostasy which by all means have the appearance of true faith and devotion but in fact lacked the true ‘spirit’ of faith and devotion. The Holy Spirit has prophesied that this would happen in the End Times (2 Tim. 3/1-5, Acts. 20/28-30). Then satan procured for it the official sanction of the church. This is what happened in the Catholic Church through the Second Vatical Council. Only if a person has Wisdom and knows the Word of God, can he see through this deception of satan. The people of God who now give inordinate weightage to intellectual knowledge, are unwilling to accept the Word of God as it is written (2 Cor. 4/4, 2 Thes. 2/9-12). Those who do not have Wisdom are not able to understand the true meaning of the Word of God. So the apostasy in Churches is not discernable at a glance.

      2. To indoctrinate the churches with apostasy, satan took a long period of time and ‘prepared’ these churches for it. In order to do it, satan sneaked his emmissaries into the high echelons of these Churches over a period of time and they made the situation conducive by adulterating and diluting the principles of faith. The Holy Mother had warned about the freemasons infiltrating the Church and working for satan.

      3. The scholars, deluded by the philosphies of this world (Col. 2/8-9), gave an air of elightenement and greatness to apostasy. Tapping on the flesh’s incessant desire to break from the Commandments of God, satan called this apostasy ‘free thinking’ and ‘liberating’ reformation. So this apostasy got acceptance and a place of honour among the young generation and the so called intellegencia.

      The results are obvious…the church that was supposed to be the salt of the earth has lost its saltiness and hence the decadence and rot we see all around…even within the churches…

      – See more at: http://www.emperoremmanuel.com/page.php?slug=temp_eight_content&cid=88#

      • Katherine Anne McMillan

        WOW! Deo Gratias!!! God has raised you up for a time such as this.

    • Philomena

      Hello, I have been praying for a friend of mine who has joined the Masons, although was brought up Catholic. I am praying, fasting (probably not enough), and have had Mass said for him, but so far he just seems to be getting in deeper. Do you have any advice on how I could direct my prayer to be more effective, or my conversations with him? Thank you.

      • Hey Philomena. Ask him to consider this article, and if he still wants to choose Freemasonry over the Catholic Church, then you know you are dealing with a friend who has found some basic need that he hasn’t been able to get satisfied elsewhere. Usually it’s appreciation and those other things that make us feel good and give us self esteem.

        So pray for him to find what he’s found in the Lodge in the Church. It took Saint Monica awhile. It may take you your whole life. Once Freemasonry sucks you in, it usually take some sort of loss to get you out.

        • Philomena

          Thank you so much. I have just finished a novena to St Monica for him. His defenses are very much up if I mention anything Catholic, possibly because he was very devout at one point in his life. But I will pray for an opening to show him this and thank you again for your response. 🙂

    • Michael S Clifford

      The #1 reason for the Church condemning the Freemasonry is because King Herod Agrippa founded it as the Mysterious Force with the sole purpose of destroying the Church. Protestants resurrected it as the Freemasonry with that sole purpose and what you talked about along with their goals of destroying the family, destroying independent living, spreading socialism, and establishing the New World Order are the tactics they use. The Illuminati are the leaders of the Freemasons. Freemasonry was never anything but a plot to destroy the Church. That’s why the Code of Canon Law ipso facto excommunicates all Freemasons.

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