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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus April 2006

The Twain Award

Does your lodge have an interest in Masonic Awareness? You bet it does! So do we at the Masonic Information Center. In fact, MIC feels strongly that those lodges which seriously support Masonic Awareness, both within the lodge and throughout the community, deserve to be recognized. Additionally, these lodges need an opportunity to share their views and accomplishments with other lodges across North America, and to build a network of Masons committed to a strong Masonic fraternity today and in the future.

Based upon this understanding, it is with great pride that the Masonic Information Center announces a new award – called the Twain Award – to honor lodge achievement in Masonic Awareness. Participation in the Twain Award competition is a journey enhanced through learning, doing, and networking.

The Twain Award offers another step in answering the Grand Masters’ call in 2004 for an MIC - initiated public awareness program. The first step was the report, It’s About Time! that can be used as a resource for Twain Award participants.

We heartily invite your lodge to participate in this important effort to broaden and strengthen our Masonic identity and to do so with energy and creativity.

Good luck and best wishes!

Website LInk to MSA/MIC

MSA receives many requests to link to our website. Please feel free to do so. We encourage lodges, Grand Lodges and other Masonic sites to link to

Freemasons for Dummies

For Dummies: Bestselling Book Series for Beginners is a series of books that has attracted nation-wide attention. The latest release is Freemasons for Dummies by Christopher Hodapp. Bro. Hodapp is an Indiana Mason who has written an extremely interesting and informative book about the Masonic fraternity. Well worth reading and will surely become a major source of information about our fraternity. Available in bookstores. (ISBN 0-7645-9796-5)

Relations with the Roman Catholic Church

The MIC receives many inquiries as to the relationship between Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church. The following statement was published in the Vatican Bulletin and remains in effect at the present time.

Sacred Congregation

For The Doctrine Of The Faith

Declaration On Masonic Associations

It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance is due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.

Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.

It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 (1981) pp. 240-241) (Published in English language edition of L’Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981. Editor’s note).

In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of the Sacred Congregation.

Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.

Joseph (Card.) Ratzinger, Prefect

Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P Titular Archbishop of Lorium, Secretary

(This statement was prepared while Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and prior to his elevation as the new Pope. However the statement does remain in effect and represents the official position of the Roman Catholic Church toward Freemasonry.)


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