ROME – Just days after a prominent cardinal called for a “permanent dialogue” with Freemasons, suggesting that “an evolution in mutual understanding” has taken place over the last half-century, a top theological advisor to Pope Francis has reiterated the fundamental incompatibility between masonry and Catholicism.

Bishop Antonio Staglianò, President of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, also confirmed a November 2023 Vatican ruling that Catholics who join Masonic lodges are in a state of “grave sin” and may not receive communion

Within Freemasonry, plots of occult power develop which are in contradiction with Christian action,” Staglianò told Vatican Media. “In short, when we talk about irreconcilability, we are referring to profound contradictions.”

The comments came in the wake of a Feb. 16 conference in Milan that brought together leaders of Italy’s major Masonic lodges and senior Catholic officials, including Archbishop Mario Delpini of Milan.

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