Back in 2009, Gate City Lodge 2 in Atlanta, Georgia held an outstanding series of lectures on the overall topic of Religion and Culture, which explored a wide variety of religious topics throughout the year.
One of the presentations was "The Historical Relationship Between the Catholic Church and Freemasons: Why Roman Catholics are prohibited by the Church from becoming Freemasons," by Rev. Mr. John J. McManus, JD, JCL. McManus is an attorney, a Catholic Deacon, and a Canon Lawyer, which means he has, in his words, "a pontifical licentiate that allows me to practice as a lawyer in the Tribunals, or courts, of the Roman Catholic Church, and also to advise the Archbishop or others regarding canonical issues, or those issues related to the law of the Roman Catholic Church." So, it is his job to know the most current and definitive rules within the Church.
I received a message this week from someone searching for the most up to date information on the subject of Freemasonry and the current position of the Roman Catholic Church. This is a common question I get asked by lots of men, and I always refer them to this link.
McManus' presentation is lengthy and extremely detailed in its citing of Roman Catholic laws, rulings, papal pronouncements, and the most current official position of the Church on Catholicism and the Freemasons. He was not at Gate City Lodge to accuse, defame, defend, proselytize, or argue. He simply laid out the current information as it stands, along with the historical trail of laws and rulings that led to the Church's current position since Vatican II, and the subsequent statements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1983, led by then Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI.
The complete paper can be read on the Gate City Lodge 2 website HERE.