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Catholic World News News Feature

Italian priest joins Masons February 19, 2007

An Italian Paulist priest has become a member of the Masons, joining the group in a ceremony attended by about 40 people at the Masonic headquarters at Piazza del Gesu in Rome.

Father Rosario Francesco Esposito dismissed the Church ban on membership in the Masonic lodge, saying that it is “a thing of the past.”

The move by the 85-year-old Father Esposito is particularly interesting because he, along with Father Giovanni Caprile, SJ, was once commissioned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to study the Church’s teaching on masonry. In 1983 the prefect of the Congregation, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, made a public announcement that the teaching of the Church had not changed, and the ban on Masonic membership remained in place.

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