Category: In the news

Pope appoints Freemason to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

November 7, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Brother Vanderlei Salvador Bagnato, Professor of Physics at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Professor Bagnato, a Freemason, is a member of Estrela da Libertade Lodge #2877 of Sao Carlos, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Sao Paulo State, federated to the Grand Orient of Brazil.

Some in the Roman Catholic Church have long stated that no Catholic may hold membership in Freemasonry and the Church at the same time; that the Church and the fraternity are incompatible.

It’s true that since 1738 when the Papal Bull In Eminenti Apostolatus was issued Catholics were “sort of” forbidden from joining Freemasonry. It wasn’t until the 1917 Code of Canon Law was issued – which codefied Canon 2335 – that joining the fraternity was specifically forbidden. Canon 2335 states “Those who join a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort, which plot against the Church or against legitimate civil authority, incur ipso facto an excommunication simply reserved to the Holy See.”

In 1983 the Church revised the Code of Canon Law. Canon 2335 was replaced with the much-changed Canon 1374, which states “A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.”

Canon 1375 is the present legislation of the Church. No longer is Freemasonry explicitly mentioned in the Code of Canon Law.

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