The above words were issued by the then head of the CDF Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirming the centuries old ban on Catholics being involved in Freemasonry. A good in-depth article on the topic can be found here.
Masonry is highly political: it is a fraternity that exercises a strong ‘in group preference’ with a large international network seeking to advance its members, and therefore strengthen the organisation- there is little wonder why so many Freemasons in high ranking positions.
While other Christian groups ban or discourage their members from being Freemasons, The Anglican Communion and other Continuing Anglican groups do not- indeed many senior clergymen are heavily involved. When doing research for this article I found this discussion on a Freemasonry forum if any other Mason on the forum was an Anglican -which I found quite enlightening.
Considering the naturalism and relativism at the heart of Freemasonry, this might go a long way to explaining the sorry state of the western sections of the Anglican Communion were Christian tradition and scripture are constantly disregarded almost to the point were anything goes.
Even ‘Continuing Anglican’ Anglo-Catholic groups like the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) haboured Freemasons. I regularly met with the TAC priest in Auckland, New Zealand, who swore he and all but one of the members of his parish were greatly excited to enter into union with Rome. I Googled him online and found he was a member of a Masonic Lodge; when I brought it up with him he said he would leave so he could be an Ordinariate priest- he ended up not coming over. From what I have been told many TAC clergy that were all for unity with Rome, when presented a choice between being Catholic or being a Freemason chose the latter.
I am personally from an Anglican family heavily involved in Freeasonry , so my conversion to Catholicism might not have been the most well received- but I am glad I have been able to return to my Anglican heritage in an Ordinariate and be able to join a Catholic fraternal order. I am aware that there are many mainstream ‘Roman’ Catholics who are involved with Freemasonry; willfully ignoring Church teaching for material advantage and to them I would say:
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.