Frimurere fins i de fleste land i verden, og det har i mange år vært diskusjoner om medlemskap i frimurerlosjen kan forenes med kirkemedlemsskap. Protestantiske kirker (bl.a. Den norske kirke) har ofte ikke vært så strenge på dette området, men det har Den katolske kirke.
Det katolske nettstedet www.zenit.org har nylig svart på et spørsmål om frimurerne, og jeg siterer litt derfra: The Church’s position with respect to membership of Masonic lodges, even though canon law no longer explicitly mentions the Masons, has not substantially changed.
The new code (from 1983) states in Canon 1374: «A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty ..»
This text greatly simplified the former code which had specifically mentioned the Masons. This change led some Masons to think that the Church no longer banned Catholics from being Masons, since, among other things, in many countries membership at a lodge was merely social and had nothing to do with plotting against the Church.
In order to clarify the issue the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a declaration on Nov. 26, 1983 … signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that states:
«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 does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.
… 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.»
Det som er litt overraskende for meg her, er at hovedargumentet mot å være med i frimurerlosjen ikke er at losjene i mange land er svært negative til Kirken (det er de ikke i Norge), nei, det er et annet punkt som er viktigst. Det handler om at det fins uforenlige ting i frimurernes innvielsesrituale, ting som handler om selve sannhetsspørsmålet:
In its effort to bring together people of different provenances, Masonry requires that its members adhere to a minimal belief in a supreme architect of the universe and leave aside all other pretensions of truth, even revealed truth.
It is thus basically a relativistic doctrine, and no Catholic, nor indeed any convinced Christian, may ever adhere to a group that would require him, even as a mere intellectual exercise, to renounce the affirmation of such truths as Christ’s divinity and the Trinitarian nature of God.
Of course, for many people active in Masonic lodges, the conversations and activities are more social in nature and rarely veer toward the realm of philosophical speculation. A Catholic, however, cannot ignore the fundamental principles behind an organization, no matter how innocuous its activities appear to be.