The Catholic Church’s ban on Catholics joining Freemasonry remains, said a statement released by the Commission on the Doctrine of Faith of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
The statement dated February 20 and released on March 24, and quoted in a report by PressOne.ph, reiterates that nothing has changed in the Church’s teachings against Freemasonry and that Catholics are still forbidden to become Freemasons.
The commission’s statement states that “as early as 1954 up until the present” it has always maintained and defended the official Church position on “the unacceptability of Masonry, given its serious errors” both in its philosophical tenets and practices.
The statement was signed by Bishop Jose Rojas of Libmanan, chairman of the commission.
The commission recalled how, on two occasions, the CBCP acted on behalf of the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines (FAMP) to petition the Holy See to reconsider its proscription of Freemasonry in the Philippines.
The first was in 1967 when the CBCP received a request from the FAMP to ask the Holy See to repeal its official proscription of Freemasonry (in the Philippines), said the PressOne report.
A year later, the bishops organized a dialogue between Catholic experts and the Masons, where “the Masons pointed that they did not really hold communion with their masonic counterparts elsewhere in the world who were manifestly anti-Catholic” and that their constitution does not contain anything anti-Catholic and that they were fully committed to cooperate with the Catholic Church.
The Catholic experts arrived at the conclusion that Freemasons in the Philippines have no anti-Catholic stand and are more for fraternal and social purposes, working for mutual cooperation with the Church. The experts proposed that the bishops take a more favorable attitude towards the masons, and petition the Holy See to lift the excommunication of Filipino Catholics who had become members of FAMP.
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