The ruling was then deemed necessary by then Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Since January 1983, membership was in the Masonic lodge was not explicitly mentioned in the new Code of Canon Law, as it occurred in several countries, there was the assertion, including Austria, that Freemasons were no longer excommunicated. Catholics, therefore, asked Rome for clarification, and that took place with particular haste in November of the same year.
"The negative judgment of the Church on Masonic associations, therefore, remains unchanged because their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them continues to be prohibited. The faithful who belong to Masonic associations are therefore in the state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
This excommunication was reaffirmed and clarified:
"It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgement on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation of what is ruled from above."
La Croix wants a lifting of the excommunication for lodge brothers
Nevertheless, there are "wordly Catholics" who brush aside the excommunication or deny it flatly. "Some people have no qualms about openly showing their disapproval. Belonging to the Masonic Lodge is more important than obedience to the Church," said Corrispondenza Romana .
The most recent example is La Croix , the daily newspaper of the French Bishops' Conference . On January 25, it complained that there are many severe "exclusions" which are really "painful" that only include "Masons," "who profess the Catholic faith".
According to La Croix there are "judgments", like that justified by the CDF justified and "understood" for a time in which the lodges were avowedly been anticlerical. Today, however, that is, at least according to the newspaper of the French Bishops' Conference, no longer the case.
Instead of a justification for this assertion, La Croix introduces that omnipresent commitment to "dialogue" onto the field: "Is it really applicable in a context such as the present, that condemnation no longer benefits dialog?" In order to "liberate" the apron clad brothers from the self-imposed exile from church, the newspaper refers to the "Holy Year of Mercy", "Why not finally eliminate this charge from the category of 'serious sins' for the Year of Mercy?"
The daily paper of the French Episcopal Conference can think of no reason why the Masons should be excommunicated. To be precise, the newspaper makes no attempt to find a reason. It merely refers to a "past" that is no longer applicable now without explaining when to what and why it should be changed.
"The answer is quite simple. The accusation of grave sin can not be eliminated because Freemasonry has neither changed nor has ever done anything to change. Its goal is to be the destruction of organic and natural society. It supports positions and behaviors that are absolutely incompatible with the Catholic faith from an ethical and social point of view and those things about which they rather avowedly disagree, such as divorce, abortion, homosexuality, gender ideology, euthanasia and many others," said Corrispondenza Romana .
If the distance were reduced, it would be because the progressive part of the Church have come closer with their "holes" to the positions of the lodges, "if it is not result in a deadly embrace."
The outspoken condemnation on April 28, 1738 by Pope Clement XII. with the Bull In Eminenti has lost none of its validity. Most importantly, it leaves no room for doubt. "It would not be bad if those in the daily newspaper of the French bishops consider it and perhaps would read this excommunication on occasion," said Corrispondenza Romana .
Vienna cathedral minister Toni Faber and his Aproned Lodge Brothers
Among those who flout the current condemnation of Freemasonry, is Vienna's cathedral pastor, Msgr. Toni Faber. In 2010 he was with the former Grand Master of the Austrian Grand Lodge guest on the private television channel TW1.
When asked about the statement of the CDF and the excommunication upon entry into a lodge, Faber said: instead of Cardinal Ratzinger we are more obliged "thankfully, to Cardinal König". In Austria, "Thank God, it's always" been "that Masons who have asked the Cardinal König: 'Is it permissible for me as a sincere Catholic to belong in the Lodge,' have always received approval from him."
Faber gave the impression that the attitude to Freemasonry is merely personal judgment call. The "approval" that Cardinal König gave, according to Faber, however, was null and void because he had no responsibility to make the decision.
Faber's outspoken representation illustrates that ecclesiastical regulations are thwarted in the highest places. Faber was open in the broadcast about his personal contacts with "many" Freemasons, which he invariably called "convinced Catholics", only to boast about them, because he could be sure to be fear nothing from the supervising office.
The alleged harmlessness of the lodges by Toni Faber in 2010, and now of La Croix is so far that one might wonder why supposedly "upright" and "convinced Catholics" find it important to live in disobedience to their own Church, to belong to an allegedly so harmless a club.
The video broadcast with Cathedral Pastor Faber, first published on Youtube, since deleted, can still be seen on Gloria.tv in German.