Can a Catholic be a Mason?
I know that years ago, this was an all out NO. For some strange reason, many people today think that there is nothing wrong belonging to both. Truth of the matter is that the Church has never changed its stance. The Church is still insisting that a Catholic who joins the Masons, is no longer in good standings with the Catholic Church.
Essentially, Masonic lodges are organized to provide occasions for fellowship and benevolent social activities. But Freemasonry's religious tone has brought it into conflict with almost all of the main branches of Christianity. Fellowship and philanthropy are embedded in a quasi-religious structure with special initiation procedures, a complex hierarchical organization and elaborate rituals.
Freemasonry had, and often still has, a markedly anticlerical and anti-Christian bent. Pope Clement XII, in 1738 codemned Freemasonry and forbade Catholics to join. As did Benedict XIV, Pius VII, Pius IX, and Leo XIII. In 1917, even the Code of Canon Law had a proscription of Freemasonry. The 1983 Code does not mention them outright, but does have a provision for such a sanction in cases, to be identified locally, where an organization works against the Faith or the Church (Canon 1374). A note from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 1983 referred to Masonic membership as a "grave sin."
Fr. RayDECLARATION ON MASONIC ASSOCIATIONS Issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 26, 1983.