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Catholic World News News Feature

Masonic lodge membership is gravely sinful, Vatican official says March 05, 2007

Catholics who become members of Masonic lodges are guilty of serious sin, a Vatican official has confirmed.

Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, told a Vatican Radio interviewer that membership in a Masonic lodge is not necessarily grounds for excommunication, but it is a grave matter.

Reacting to the story of Father Rosario Esposito, an Italian Paulist who recently announced his membership in a Masonic lodge, Bishop Girotti said that a 1983 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith remains in force today. That statement, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said: “The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”

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