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Catholicism and Freemasonry

July 19, AD2014 64 Comments

Way back in 1738, Pope Clement XII wrote an encyclical, In Eminenti, banning Catholics from joining the Freemasons.  Catholics are still forbidden from joining the Freemasons. Let’s take a look at why Pope Clement’s prohibition on Catholics becoming Freemasons still stands today, some 276 years later.


For some historical background, the modern Freemasons were founded in 1717, in London.  They claim that their heritage includes goes all the way back to the Egyptian pyramid makers and the Crusaders.   There have been, and are, many fine men who have become Freemasons. For instance, George Washington, Davy Crockett, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman were all known Freemasons.   As most Freemasons, they were pillars of their communities and huge successes in politics. But joining a Grand Lodge entails more than being a mover and a shaker at city hall, in Washington, or in business.  The Freemasons will accept people from any religion, and will never dictate to them what religion they should be. Masonic Lodges therefore become “evangelism-free zones” for Christians. Let’s see what it takes to join the Freemasons.

The Oath

Catholics are forbidden from swearing frivolous oaths on the Bible. The initiation oath of the Freemasons includes swearing to God on the Bible (if the novice is Christian) that you wish to be disemboweled if you dare to reveal their secrets, or fail to live your life according to the Masonic teachings.  This oath is administered to the novice while he is stripped down to his underwear, wearing a hoodwink (blindfold), and with a rope around his neck, all the while kneeling before someone called “The “Worshipful Master.” So here we violate two scriptures:

James 5:12: But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.*

Matthew 5:33-37:   “Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’  But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”

This oath is taken in front of the place of sacrifice in the Masonic lodge known as an altar, with the novice’s hand on the Bible (if he is Christian). The oath goes something like this:

“I am worthy “Of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out and with my body buried in the sands of the sea” “Of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out and placed on the highest pinnacle of the temple” “Of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven” and, “Of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-inch blade, my feet flayed, and forced to walk the hot sands of the sterile shores of the Red Sea.”

Now that’s a pretty gruesome oath to ask God to carry out, to say the least.  It should be noted here that the word “oath” is English for the Latin word “sacrament.”

Salvation without Christ

There are other problems with Freemasonry which are anti-Catholic as well.   The first one is indifferentism, the belief that all religions are equal.  As a result of this, Freemasons worship and bow down to something called “the grand architect of the universe “(never Jesus or Yahweh or the Holy Spirit). Jesus suffered mightily to reveal His Name and Truth to us, and to use some other made-up name and some other way to salvation is quite insulting, I believe. Freemasonry tells you after taking your oath that you have come out of the darkness into the “light.” The light of Freemasonry is all of the hidden knowledge (Gnosticism, anyone?) that they promise to let you in on later as you advance in their 32 degrees.  For Christians, the Light of the World is Jesus Christ, not arcane mumbo-jumbo that twists one’s mind away from the revealed truths of sacred scripture.  The Freemasons came along at the same time as the period in history known as “The Enlightenment,” and they embody a lot of the same kind of thinking in their belief system – “Rationalism and science good, Catholicism bad.”


The Freemasons borrow from all religions it seems – they have Temples (Judaism), lots of symbols (Catholicism), the crescent moon/scimitar on their fez (Islam), and the All Seeing Eye (Deism).  This blending together of all different religions is the second problem with Freemasonry, syncretism. Syncretism is defined as the deliberate blending of different beliefs or practices, without regard to their compatibility with Christian truth.

The Masonic Way to Heaven

By teaching all of this mish-mash, Freemasonry says that:

“If you imitate the good man in his virtuous and amiable conduct, in his unfeigned piety to God; in his inflexible fidelity to his trust; that you may welcome the grim tyrant Death, and receive him as a kind messenger sent from the Supreme Grand Master, to translate you from this imperfect to that all-perfect, glorious and celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides.”

All of this sure sounds like an alternate religion to Catholicism, based on good works and being a good citizen. Those two things are good, for sure, but Freemasonry has no Jesus Christ, no baptism, no Eucharist.  In spite of lacking these Catholic essentials for salvation, heaven (the glorious and celestial Lodge above) awaits you if you are a good Freemason.

Masonic Resurrection Ceremony

A huge problem with Freemasonry, over and above what has already been discussed, is the legend of Hiram Abif, a supposed Egyptian stonemason who helped build Solomon’s Temple.  The initiate learns about old Hiram, while wearing the hoodwink, when he is attaining the third degree of Freemasonry. The initiate and others play act a scene where the initiate becomes Hiram Abif, who knows all of the Masonic “secrets,” and refuses to disclose them to three ruffians known as Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum. As a result of keeping the secrets, these three hoodlums then proceed to bonk Hiram on his head with a padded mallet, killing him.  They catch his lifeless body in a sack, and go and bury him.  The Worshipful Master, who is playing the part of King Solomon, then asks his staff where Hiram is. They go to find him, discovering that he is dead. King Solomon goes to the grave, cries out in horror, and then prays for Hiram’s everlasting salvation.  Hiram then comes back to life, and is raised up from the dead by the Worshipful Master’s masonic grip.  So, we see here that Masons believe in the resurrection of the dead, without Jesus Christ. This ceremony mocks Jesus in the worst way.  Every Catholic should be repulsed by this.

Behind Closed Doors

However, secrets (that can’t even be discussed during the Sacrament of Confession), syncretism, indifferentism, a promise of heaven with no Jesus, and a Savior-mocking resurrection ceremony aren’t the only problems with Freemasonry.  In most towns in America, Freemasons from the fields of politics, business, journalism, law, real estate, medicine, etc., meet monthly or more behind closed doors in their windowless lodges and temples. What exactly is being discussed secretly behind those locks?  Everyone inside is sworn to secrecy.  Does money change hands between businessmen and politicians to get the right vote?  Does privileged information about where the new highway is going in get passed on from the politicians to the real estate people?  Is there a hidden agenda going to be promoted in the newspapers to prepare the unknowing masses for something new coming up, like acceptance of homosexuality and / or abortion?  Those of us who are not Freemasons will likely never know.


Don’t ever try arguing any of this with a Freemason, as they have been trained in the art of denial and obfuscation to defend themselves.   “We are religious, but not a religion,” they will say.  Huh?  When you quote what a former freemason said, like in this article, they will say, “No one person speaks for Freemasonry.”  Then you should say, “Then neither do you,” and walk away.

For the record, in 1983, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed up by Cardinal Ratzinger, said the following:

“The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”

So, if you are a Catholic and a Freemason, you need to decide exactly which way you prefer trying to attain heaven – The true way in the Catholic Church, or the false way in Freemasonry. You can’t do both.

For additional information, check out the source book for this article, “Why Catholics Cannot be Masons.”

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About the Author:

Retired engineer from Texas, because the cowboy thing on the ranch growing up didn't work out. Actually rode the Vomit Comet at NASA in Houston once, being totally weightless for 20 minutes! Married with two kids and Vinnie the Wonder Dog. I love the Church and what it stands for. Without the sacraments, I am nothing.

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