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August 12, 1988     The Message
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August 12, 1988

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August 12, 1988 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Question Corner 13 Q&A By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN NC News Service Columnist Why does the Church frown on Masonic se,,00ieties? Q. I am a Mason, 32nd degree, Shriner and also a "Catholic." Married 48 years, three children and six grandchildren. I attend the Catholic Church regularly with my wife but feel incomplete as a Catholic because of my membership in this fraternity. During my ex- perience I have not seen anything anti-Catholic or against any religion. Why can I not receive Com- munion like other Catholic people? I would ap- preciate receiving the brochure you offer on the [Masons. --Louisiana A. You give no details about your membership in this order. Did you join as a young man and then become a Catholic later? Did you join while you were a Catholic, knowing about the prohibi- tion against such membership? Whatever the circumstances, enrollment in any Masonic society remains seriously prohibited by the Catholic Church. Your experience of the religious neutrality of Masonic groups is shared by the large majority of Masons in the United States. However, anyone familiar with the history of Europe and America during the past 200 years is aware that the character of Masonry changes drastically from one place or time to another. Political and social positions viciously an- tagonistic to the church and other religions have been and still are common to Masonry in some parts of Europe and Latin America. With a few notable exceptions, these have hardly been evident in the United States. It is worth noting that major objections of Christians (by no means only Catholics) against Freemasonry have been not only its sometimes anti-religious activities; many aspects of its beliefs and quasi-religious rituals seem contradictory to Christian doctrines. It was this in particular which inspired the strongest condemnation yet by American bishops of membership in Masonic organizations. A June 1985 report from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops calls Freemasonry "irrecon- cilable" not only with Catholicism but with all Christianity. The principles and basic rituals of Masonry, the report cited, "embody a naturalistic religion, active participation in which is incom- patible with Christian faith and practice. Those who knowingly embrace such principles are com- mitting a serious sin" by professing beliefs which are contrary to Christianity. The study also describes the "politically reac- tionary and racist" nature of most U.S. Masonry today. With the exception of one local lodge in New Jersey that admits blacks, the report in- dicated, "all women, men under 21 and blacks are barred from Masonic initiation in regular lodges." To my knowledge this is still true. In the United States, and probably most other English-speaking countries at least, few Freemason lodges, and even fewer individual Masons, would espouse the religious and social positions which so frequently have given Masonry a less than favorable reputation. Nevertheless, these are the reasons that Catholics and other Christian churches around the world forbid or discourage affiliation with Masonic societies. A free brochure explahTing Catholic teaching on cremation and other burial policies is available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. Copyright (c) 1988 by NC News Service 0 "Connor sla ted to speak a t Ministry Day IV Kevin O'Connor, co-author of "Handbook for Ministers of Care," is scheduled to present a focus session on the ministry of caring, at Ministry Day IV, 4October 15. Described in a brochure as a "day of renewal, revival and reaffirmation for all parish ministers,". Ministry Day IV will be held at the Robert Green Convention Center, Evansville. O'Connor has a master's degree in education from St. Xavier College, Chicago, and a master's in counseling psychology from the Alfred Adler Institute, Chicago. He has qv,, on the Drive A Little ..... Ides square J.erasp 482-1347 SaveALot Oronadol5.6 cu. n. * THOUSANDS SOLD * DEFROST DRAIN YOU HAUL COLD CONTROL AND LOCK UNDAY 12-4 Washington Catholic I 8un)n)er Soci00 Sunday, August 14, 1988 -., 6 - Saint Mary's School Grounds FREE ENTERTAINMENT The Marlin Family - 6-7 p.m. FORD LINCOLN $5,000 G IVE-AWAY United States Savings Bond Jasper Cabinet Curio Cabinet Gas Grill -- FAMILY STYLE DINNERS -- ALL YOU CAN EAT Fried Chicken & Roast Beef Serving from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. & 4:00-6:00 p.m. Adults $5.00 Ages 6-12 $2.50 Under 6 Free Also Homemade Ice Cream -- Hamburger Stand Air Conditioned Cafeteria OVER 30 HOMEMADE QUILTS GAMES -- COUNTRY STORE PLEASURE PARTY Over $6,000 In Prizes Starting at 1 p.m. Three $100 Games per hour. $10 Games between $100 Games $500 Game at 9.00 p.m. Rain or Shine (Everything Under Tents) For The Benefit of the Washington Catholic Schools i co-authored two books and maintains a private practice in counseling. In addition to the focus ses- sion planned by O'Connor, Ministry Day IV will have other sessions presented by Bishop Kenneth Untener of Saginaw, Mich.; Dolly Sokol, a liturgical consultant and faculty member of the Liturgical Institute of Chicago; John Gutting, assis- tant professor of pastoral studies at the Athenaeum of Ohio, and Father Charles Bowes, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church, Cincinnati; and Philip J. McBrien, Director of Religious Education, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Indianapolis. McBrien has worked in parishes in Connecticut and Idaho, in religious education A.RE YOU CONCERNED AB O UT THE I-UGH COST OF NURSING HOME CARE? Then find out how AEtna's Long Term Care Plan will help you protect your financial health! Call us today for full de- tails of this insurance plan. JAMES JETT & ASSOCIATES, INC. 514 S. Green River Road Evansville, IN 47715 473-4005 ,Era Ule Nut..= =1 KEVIN O'CONNOR and youth ministry; he has also worked in campus ministry and in a retreat center, according to information he provided to the Please patronize Message advertisers! organizers of Ministry Day IV. Bishop Untener, the keynote speaker, recently presented the first of a series of lectures, "Viewpoints from Bishops," at the University of San Diego. The bishop asked the group of San Diego Catholics to try to understand the Second Vatican Council by imagining how it will be viewed in 500 years, ac- cording to NC News. "Five hundred years from now, what would be looked upon as the single greatest change or shift achieved by Vatican II?" he asked. The bishop compared church changes with the shifting of the great tectonic plates beneath the surface of the earth. "They don't move fast, but when they do, they have great effects." I RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY li0000Ji i/ii !00iiiiiii!i!j00