Q&A

How Does a Catholic Renounce Membership in the Freemasons?

How Does a Catholic Renounce Membership in the Freemasons?

Full Question

How does a Catholic renounce membership in the Freemasons?

Answer

The Catholic Church has long held that her faith is incompatible with masonic teachings and practices. So, the Church has had a history of imposing severe punishments on Catholics who join the freemasons. Canon Law prescribes a “just penalty” for mere members and interdict for those who hold office :

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“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”

Canon. 1374 

But these punishments do not happen automatically, they must be imposed by the legitimate authority (bishop). Therefore if someone has joined the Freemasons and has not received any punishment from their local bishop, they can simply formally renounce their membership and go to confession. But if they have received any imposed punishment from their bishop, they must do the above and also appeal to the authority who imposed the penalty to lift it. It is fine if the bishop is no longer in office, any bishop that has replaced him can lift the penalty.

How Does a Catholic Renounce Membership in the Freemasons?

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