I have the distinct pleasure to announce that our Governor, the Honorable George E. Pataki, has accepted my offer to join our fraternity and become a Master Mason.
On the cover of the next issue of the EMPIRE STATE MASON will feature him accepting my invitation at our meeting on June 6, 2002. Pictured also will be Brother Kurt Ott, Convention Chairman and Brother William Hetzler, both members of Schiller Lodge in the 9th Manhattan District. Brother William Hetzler is also the Assistant to the Governor for German Affairs and it was through his effort that the meeting was arranged and the Governor agreed to be a member of our beloved fraternity.
The Church has imposed the penalty of excommunication on Catholics who become Freemasons. The penalty of excommunication for joining the Masonic Lodge was explicit in the 1917 code of canon law (canon 2335), and it is implicit in the 1983 code (canon 1374).
Because the revised code of canon law is not explicit on this point, some drew the mistaken conclusion that the Church’s prohibition of Freemasonry had been dropped. As a result of this confusion, shortly before the 1983 code was promulgated, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement indicating that the penalty was still in force. This statement was dated November 26, 1983 and may be found in Origins 13/27 (Nov. 15, 1983), 450.