On May 19th, a former governor of Quezon province in the Philippines, Rafael "Raffy" Puchero Nantes, was killed with five others, when the helicopter they were traveling in developed rotor problems and crashed into a neighborhood in Lucena City.
Nantes was buried on May 22 in a private cemetery in Lucban town, Quezon. He was denied a Catholic burial service by Filipino Bishop Emilio Marquez because, according to newspaper accounts, he was a "born-again Christian and a Mason who did not repent."
From CathNewsAsia.com "Freemason politician denied Catholic burial" on May 25th:
Bishop Marquez said Nantes’ sister, a Catholic, asked him to reconsider his decision, but accepted it after he explained Church law.
“I explained to her that canon 1184 applies to his being a known born-again Christian, and the Philippine bishops’ protocol on Masonry, which does not allow for a Church burial,” Bishop Marquez said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on March 14, 1990, declared Church funeral rites will be denied to any Catholic who belonged to any Masonic association, unless there was some sign of repentance before death.
According to the CBCPWorld website:
The CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference on the Philippines) on March 14, 1990 issued its own guidelines in pursuance of the above directive. "Any Catholic who is publicly known as Mason, i.e. whose membership in any Masonic association can be proven in the external forum:
(a) may not receive Holy Communion
(b) may not be allowed to act as sponsor in Baptism, Confirmation, and weddings;
(c) may not be admitted as members of religious organizations;
(d) Church funeral rites may be denied unless some signs of repentance before death has been shown;
(e) where Church funeral rites were allowed by the Ordinary, no Masonic services shall be allowed in the church or cemetery immediately before or after the Church rites in order to avoid any public scandal."
Yet, the November 1983 Declaration on Masonic Associations (Quaesitum est), while maintaining that it is "forbidden" for Roman Catholics to become Freemasons, merely says, "The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion." Baptism, Confirmation, weddings and funerals are not mentioned. It seems the Filipino bishops are making up their own rules. Quaesitum est was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the modern-day office of the Inquisition, and penned by then-prefect of the congregation, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
The 1917 code of Canon Law forbade Catholics, under the penalty of excommunication, to enroll in Masonic or other similar associations.
Can 2335: Affiliation With Masonic or Similar Societies. Those who join a Masonic sect or other societies of the same sort, which plot against the Church or against legitimate civil authority, incur ipso facto an excommunication simply reserved to the Holy See.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law superseded the 1917 Code, but when it was passed, the specific mention of Freemasonry was eliminated, instead referring to organizations that "plot against the Church."
Can. 1374. A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.
Modern, mainstream English-derived Freemasonry in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and elsewhere does not plot against the Church. While there have been vocal anti-Catholic Masons who have railed against the Church, there is no anti-Catholic plotting by any US Grand Lodge. The Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction went through an unfortunate period when its leadership took regular swipes at the Church in print, largely over the issue of public versus private elementary schools. But that has not taken place since the early 1960s. The irregular Grande Oriente de France takes public stances on the Church with great frequency. But regular, recognized Freemasonry the world over does not. A Mason's religious beliefs are his own.
Meanwhile, Brother Nantes' brethren mourn his untimely loss and extend comfort and prayers to his family.
For a reasoned article exploring both sides of the story, see Clash of the dogmas by Johanna D. Poblete in BusinessWorld Weekender.