Since things are so quiet around here, I have time to stir up some trouble with this question from a reader:
Here's my question....At what time in history did Catholics decide to condemn Masonry or The Order of the Eastern Star? Are they the same? HELP!
I bought some religious items from an Estate Sale. The estate lot had a membership to the Fresno Chapter of The order of The Eastern Star. The membership holder was a Nun. I have her holy cards, letters she has written with her signature, friends memorial cards( including a few priests) and other devotional items.
I wasn't really surprised by her membership, however others looked at it has the devil walked into the room! How can a Nun be in the Eastern Star? Can Catholics be a Mason? I'm not armed with such knowledge can you help me?
When did the Church first warn about the Masons? 1738 AD. You can read all about it here. But if you are allergic to things that are dry as dust, scroll to the bottom, where you'll find what Pope Clement had to say back then.
The last time I discussed the Catholic Church's teachings about the Free Masons, some Free Masons hair went on fire. Be sure and read the comments section, unless you can't stand the smell of burning hair. It's like an exploded blow dryer in there. I'll let you wade through this. I'll have some coffee while you read.
So that's that.
The Order of the Eastern Star is a women's auxiliary group for the Masons. When it started way back when, you had to be related to a Mason to be eligible. You had to be a daughter, wife, widow, niece...something familial...to a Mason. The rules have relaxed (no doubt to increase dues revenue) to include women who have some sort of relationship with a Mason. I'm not sure how close the relationship has to be. Or how you would prove that relationship. Maybe you have to show your Facebook page.
I don't know what was going on with that nun. She shouldn't have been in the Order of the Eastern Star, the Church expressly forbids it. Maybe her poor misguided father was a Mason, and she was somehow 'gifted' with a membership and just stuck the membership certificate in a drawer where it stayed until she died. Let's hope that was the case.
I'm not inclined to behave as though Masons and their families are devils with horns, unless one is willing to judge that such notables as Clara Barton and that lady that wrote "The Little House on the Prairie" (both members of the Eastern Star) were Satan worshippers. But the Church has asked us not to be Masons.
So that's that. If it all makes you smolder, try this.