VATICAN CITY, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Vatican has confirmed a ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a centuries-old secretive society that the Catholic Church has long viewed with hostility and has an estimated global membership of up to six million.
"Active membership in Freemasonry by a member of the faithful is prohibited, because of the irreconcilability between Catholic doctrine and Freemasonry," the Vatican's doctrinal office said in a letter published by Vatican media on Wednesday.
The department, known as the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith, issued its opinion, dated Nov. 13 and countersigned by Pope Francis, in response to a bishop from the Philippines alarmed by the growing number of Freemasons in his country.
The same office said last week that transgender people can be baptized, serve as godparents and act as witnesses at Catholic weddings…
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