“And then the third issue that I would bring up is especially in Europe. The Masonic Order has done a lot to try to destroy the Catholic Church so that there would be a purely, secular society and that they want to have easy divorce laws, the abolition of camp rocio schools, as I already mentioned. They especially tried to promote cremation and suppression of religious Orders especially my own Order, the Society of Jesus. And, they also have, as I mentioned before, a separation of the Church and the State that was not part of our Constitution in the United States. I don’t know about your constitution. The only two constitutions I know of, that had separation of Church and State were the French Constitution and the Soviet Union’s Constitution. I don’t want to model a constitution on either one.
Now, these are some of the problems that we have as Catholics and we have to remember that the Church does not prohibit membership in groups. There’s nothing wrong with belonging to a group. A society that’s benevolent. We have lots of them inside the Church – St Vincent de Paul Society. How many of you worked for the St Vincent de Paul Society? Few of you here. Do you have any secret oaths? No! The only thing that you do is you help the poor. What a wonderful thing and there’s not enough hands went up for that, that’s a good thing to join. In the United States we have the Knights of Columbus. I’m a Knight of Columbus and we don’t have any secret oaths. The only thing that we do is we promise is that we won’t tell non-members what goes on in the initiation so they can experience it for themselves, not because it’s a secret. We want them to experience it firsthand without having, you know, the preparation. So, I didn’t know until I became a Knight but haven’t gone through the Knights I was very alert to this. Is this some sort of a secret oath? Not at all and we don’t take an oath, by the way. We just promise that we won’t reveal what happens in the initiation levels but there are no secret doctrines. As a matter of fact, the only doctrine of the Knights of Columbus are the doctrines of the Catholic Church. And you have down here Knights of the Southern Cross I believe. How many of you are Knights of the Southern Cross? Any members? And again, do you have any secret oaths? [member from the audience: no!] Absolutely not, see? And I suspect not enough hands went up for that either. This is one of the organisations in the United States, the Knights of Columbus, I’m sure it stands here, that the men in parishes work together to help build up the Church, to evangelize, to help the poor and a wide variety of other things. It’s a good thing to be part of these groups. But we don’t have any secret doctrines. We don’t have any blood oaths. You know, they give Knights of Columbus, swords, not us priests. I don’t know if they think they were extra clumsy, or what. But when I had gotten my fourth degrees at the Knights of Columbus, I just come in from hunting a wild game and maybe they thought that I’d been dangerous enough already so they didn’t want to give me another weapon.
But be that as it may, you know, the Knights of Columbus don’t have these secret oaths and you can join these groups but no Catholic, in good standing, may join the Masonic Lodge. That is forbidden. That is something that is a serious sin and means that a person who does so, may not, may not, receive the sacraments. So, that’s something that we have to keep very clear.”