The Vatican has issued a ban on Catholics joining the Freemasons — a centuries-old secret society with an estimated global membership of nearly 6M — citing the irreconcilability between Catholic doctrine and Freemasonry.
In a letter published on Wednesday, the Vatican's doctrinal office said that Catholics "in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."
Freemasonry teaches a "naturalistic and deistic religion" that deifies rationalism, and since Catholicism and Masonry are irreconcilable to one another, any Catholic who joins the secret society shouldn't receive Communion. The Pope must prohibit Catholics from becoming members of Masonic lodges to protect Catholic doctrine and belief.
Though considered one by the Catholic Church, Freemasonry is not a secret society. Moreover, it's not a religion, nor does it purport to be a substitute or replacement for Christianity. However, the Church continues to ban Freemasonry because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what Masonry is and what Masonry believes.