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Catholic Dictionary




The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), a cultic organization that claims to unlock the secret wisdom of the ages, banish fears, and lead its followers to self-mastery. Founded at New York City in 1915 by H. Spencer Lewis, an occultist. Original Rosicrucianism is traced to a small book, Fama Fraternitatis, published by the Lutheran theologian Johann Andrea (1586-1654), telling the story of a fictitious person, Christian Rosenkreutz, who at sixteen made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with an aged monk who died on the way. Rosenkreutz reputedly acquired a store of occult knowledge in Egypt, Morocco, and the Near East. Before he died he initiated eight men in his secrets. Ever since a variety of groups have claimed to be descendants of Rosenkreutz, besides the Lewis foundation. In one of its formal published statements, the Rosicrucians declared, "Because of its aggressiveness and growth, the Order Rosae Crucis of America, as well as in all other countries, has been condemned by the Pope as destructive to the principles of Roman Catholicism." The Holy Office in 1919 issued a statement forbidding Catholics to belong to theosophical societies such as the Rosicrucians.