Did the new code of canon law change on Freemasonry?


Just a reminder to Traditional Catholics that the new code of canon law does not mention Freemasonry but substituted it with “:any association which plots against the Church.”  This caused much confusion among Catholics, just as the same way the Vatican II Council was run. As a result the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made a correction in, 26 November 1983, Ten months later, see below. The problem is, who knows about the change made 10 months later?

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 (Jan.1983 canon 1374) 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).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.

Joseph Card. RATZINGER

+ Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Titular Archbishop of Lorium