The Catholic World News is reporting that once again the Vatican wants the world to know that Catholics are not supposed to be Freemasons. They've been hammering this theme for a while now. [Previous Burning Taper article]
I wonder if after the sting they felt while The Da Vinci Code was in the news last year, the Church is trying to position itself ahead of time as against Masonry, before Dan Brown's new book The Solomon Key is published. The novel, expected this year, reportedly prominently features the Masonic fraternity.
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, told a Vatican Radio interviewer that membership in a Masonic lodge is not necessarily grounds for excommunication, but it is a grave matter.
The bishop was responding to a question about Father Rosario Esposito, an Italian Paulist who recently announced his membership in a Masonic lodge. Bishop Girotti reminded listeners that a 1983 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly "The Holy Inquisition") remains in force today. That statement, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current pope, said: "The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
Image: Pope Benedict XVI
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