Does your denomination allow its members to be Freemasons? Do they forbid it? Do they simply have no official policy about it?
What are your denomination's reasons for its stance?
I'm pretty sure the Roman Catholic Church explicitly forbids memerbship in Freemasonry and that other groups, like the Knights of Columbus, were created to give Catholics an opportunity to participate in Catholicism-compliant fraternal organizations.
Actually the Knights of Columbus were originally formed as a fraternal organization providing life insurance and an organized venue for charitable works. All of which inititially involved those ignorant Papist Micks in New England. I've read that the founders had a lot of trouble convincing the local Bishop to allow it, given the extant Church teaching on secret societies.
I must be thinking of another Catholic-friendly fraternal organization in that case. Lions maybe? Rotary? I forget but I could have sworn that I had read somewhere that the rise in Catholic-friendly fraternal organizations was a direct response to the popularity of organizations like the Freemasons.
Catholics are allowed to join the Freemasons,,today. If I remember correctly, it was changed in the mid 70s'. Prior to that, Catholics were forbidden from joining the Freemasons. Higher clergy are still not allowed to join.
The Knights of Columbus were started in the 1880s' in New England because the huge popularity of Freemasonry in the United States at the time was costing the Catholic church significant membership. Catholic men were changing churches in order to join Freemasonry in significant numbers at the time, so that Catholic church in New England from a quasi-masonic organization in an effort to combat the talent drain.
Freemasonry has never disallowed Catholics from joining.
Really Denny? You should have said "I think you are all incorrect." Instead you are talking out your ass.
On Nov. 26, 1983, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, the Sacred Congregation (whose prefect was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI) reiterated the ban on Catholics joining the Masons: "The Church's negative position on Masonic association ... remain unaltered, since their principles have always been regarded as irreconcilable with the Church's doctrine. Hence, joining them remains prohibited by the Church. Catholics enrolled in Masonic associations are involved in serious sin and may not approach holy Communion."
Speaking of talking out of your ass ....
Your reference is specific to what is called "The Grand Orient of France" lodge system. It is NOT recognized as legitimate Freemasonry, because they allow atheists (which is absolutely bizarre, if you are familiar with Masonic teachings).
Freemasonry is no longer forbidden by the Catholic church, and excommunication for masonic membership is NOT canon law.
Are you just skipping over the lines in your own quotes that do not corroborate your argument, Lucius?