You cannot be Catholic and Freemason at the same time – Catholic Bishop tells Afenyo-Markin

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Catholic Bishop Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu has noted that Catholics cannot join the Freemasons following reports of Effutu MP, Alexander Afenyo-Markin being a Freemason.

He added that in many instances, some Catholics join such fraternities because they are not aware of the church’s doctrines and rules regarding it.

In response to revelations by Hon. Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin that he is a Catholic and a member of the Freemasons, Bishop Osei-Bonsu stated that, according to Catholic rules, a member of the church cannot be a member of the Freemasons and enjoy the rights and privileges of the church.

Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu criticized the Effutu Member of Parliament (MP) for stating that Catholics are allowed to become Freemasons. Afenyo-Markin claimed that the organization’s ideals and values do not conflict with his Catholic background and upbringing.

According to Afenyo-Markin, who has openly admitted to being a Freemason, the organization educates its members about God and life concepts, which he believes aligns with his Catholic beliefs.

“I am a mason, and the Catholic Church has not sanctioned me. Freemasonry is a fraternal society that believes in God Almighty and follows certain principles that guide a man’s life, and it does not run counter to my beliefs as a Catholic. President Kufuor is a Mason and a Catholic,” he stated.

In an article in the Catholic Standard, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu reacted to the MP’s views, stating that they are unfortunate. According to the bishop, the Catholic Church has frowned upon Freemasonry since the fraternal society’s inception in 1717.

“In recent times, the Member of Parliament for Effutu in the Central Region, Hon. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, in a live radio interview, stated that he is a proud member of the Lodge, and his church, the Catholic Church, does not frown on its members joining the Brotherhood.

According to the Bishop, the Member of Parliament is to be punished with an interdict (cf. Canon 1347), that is:

a. He is not allowed to receive Holy Communion and other sacraments (cf. Canon 1332).

b. He is prohibited from acting as a sponsor in Baptism and Confirmation.

c. He is not to be admitted as a member of parish or diocesan structures.

d. He is to be denied funeral rites unless he shows some signs of repentance before death (Canon 1184 §1, no. 3).

e. Where funeral rites are allowed by the bishop, no Masonic service shall be allowed in the Church or cemetery immediately before or after the Church rites to avoid public scandal (cf. Canon 1184, §1, no. 3, and Canon 1374)

“It is unfortunate that the Honourable Member of Parliament does not know the teaching of his Church on this matter. Contrary to what Honourable Alexander Afenyo Markin believes, Freemasonry is not approved by the Catholic Church. Indeed, Catholics are forbidden to become Freemasons.

“The Catholic Church has opposed the Lodge nearly since the birth of modern Freemasonry in 1717. Since the founding of the Grand Lodge of England, eleven popes have explicitly condemned Freemasonry or Masonic principles,” excerpts from the bishops’ article read.

Read the article below:

EXCERPTS FROM CAN A CATHOLIC BE A FREEMASON BY MOST REV. JOSEPH OSEI-BONSU BISHOP OF KONONGO-MAMPONG

INTRODUCTION
Many people regard Freemasonry as a benevolent and charitable organization, somehow similar to the Rotary and Lions Clubs, the Knights of Marshall, the Knights of St. John Internationa,l or the Knights of Columbus. Undoubtedly, it is for this reason that some Catholics join this fraternity.

In recent times, the Member of Parliament for Effutu in the Central Region, Hon. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, in a live radio interview stated that he is a proud member of the Lodge, and his church, the Catholic Church, does not frown on its members joining the Brotherhood. He added, “I am a mason and I have not been sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Freemasonry is a fraternal society that believes in God Almighty and follows certain principles that guide a man’s life and it does not run counter with my beliefs as a Catholic” (https://newsghana.com.gh/is-afenyo-markin-a-true-catholic/Unfortunately,at the Honourable Member of Parliament does not know the teaching of his Church on this matter. Contrary to what Honourable Alexander Afenyo Markin believes, Freemasonry is not approved by the Catholic Church. Indeed, Catholics are forbidden to become Freemasons.

Catholics cannot join the Freemasons – FREEMASONRY AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH


The Catholic Church has opposed the Lodge nearly since the birth of modern
Freemasonry in 1717. Since the founding of the Grand Lodge of England, eleven
popes have explicitly condemned Freemasonry or Masonic principles. These popes are: Pope Clement XII (28 April 1738); Pope Benedict XIV (18 May 1751); Pius VII (13 September 1821); Pope Leo XII (13 March 1825); Pope Pius VIII (24 May 1829); Pope Gregory XVI (15 August 1832); Pius IX (between 1846 and 1873); Leo XIII (15 February 1882; 20 April 1884; 1887; 15 October 1890; 18 December 1892; 20 June 1894); Pope Pius IX (1907); Pope Pius X (1907); Pope Pius XI (1924).

A recent condemnation of Freemasonry is contained in the “Declaration on
Masonic Associations” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 26 November 1983, declared that Masonic principles are irreconcilable with the doctrine othe f Churh, and that Catholic membership in Freemasonry remains forbidden.

The Church’s position is that Freemasonry is a religion in its own right with its doctrines, which are not compatible with Christian beliefs. For this reason, one
cannot simultaneously be a Christian and be a Freemason. What it teaches about the following cannot be reconciled with Christian beliefs, i.e., God, Christ, the denial of the role of grace and Christ in salvation, morality, its attitude towards the Bible, eschatology, the masonic oaths and the notion of rebirth and enlightenment. For this reason, one cannot simultaneously be a Catholic and a Freemason, just as one cannot be a Catholic and be Muslim, a Hindu, a Shintoi,st or a practitioner of African Traditional Religion. One will have to choose between Catholicism and Freemasonry.

CONCLUSION
Let me conclude by drawing attention to the DECLARATION OF THE GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE ON SANCTIONS FOR CATHOLICS WHO JOIN MASONIC ASSOCIATIONS, issued on 7 May 2009. Among other things, it says:

1) Any Catholic who is a member of any Masonic Association and participates in its programs, promotes its views, or holds any office therein, and refuses to renounce such membership despite at least one warning (cf. Canon 1347) is to be punished with an interdict (cf. Canon 1347), that is:

a. He is not allowed to receive Holy Communion and other sacraments (cf. Canon 1332).

b. He is prohibited from acting as a sponsor in Baptism and Confirmation.

c. He is not to be admitted as a member of parish or diocesan structures.

d. He is to be denied funeral rits, unless he shows some signs of repentance before death (Canon 1184 §1, no. 3).

e. Where funeral rites are allowed by the bishop, no Masonic service shall be allowed in the Church or cemetery immediately before or after the Church rites to avoid public scandal (cf. Canon 1184, §1, no. 3, and Canon 1374)

Any Catholic who is a convinced member of a Masonic Association and notoriously adheres to the Masonic vision is already considered to have incurred automatic excommunication (cf. Canon 1364). This means that the censures described in Canon 1331 automatically take full effect on this person. According to Canon 1331 §1, an excommunicated person is forbidden:

  1. To have any ministerial participation in the celebration of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies whatsoever of public worship.
  2. II. To celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals and to receive the sacraments.
  3. III. To discharge any ecclesiastical offices, ministries, or functions whatsoever, or to place acts of governance.
  4. It is possible that some Catholics joined Freemasonry without knowing that it is forbidden to Catholics. Such people are advised to see their priests or their bishops who will assist them to renounce Freemasonry and avoid incurring the sanctions that will be imposed on them if they do not renounce Freemasonry.

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