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In Eminenti Apostolatus

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In eminenti apostolatus specula was a Papal Bull issued by Pope Clement XII on 28 April 1738, banning Catholics from becoming Freemasons.

He noted that membership of Masonic Lodges, "spreading far and wide and daily growing in strength" was open to men of any religion or sect, who were sworn to secrecy. The logic at the heart of the Bull is expressed as follows:

'But it is in the nature of crime to betray itself and to show itself by its attendant clamor. Thus these aforesaid Societies or Conventicles have caused in the minds of the faithful the greatest suspicion, and all prudent and upright men have passed the same judgment on them as being depraved and perverted. For if they were not doing evil they would not have so great a hatred of the light."

The Bull goes on to note that the growing rumor had caused several governments which considered it a threat to their own security to cause such associations to be "prudently eliminated". An expressed danger was the private rules that bound members, "that they do not hold by either civil or canonical sanctions."

As a result, all Catholic participation in Masonry was prohibited, and bishops were to proceed against it "as well as inquisitors for heresy...calling upon the aid of the secular arm," as it was under suspicion of heresy, partly because of its already notorious secrecy.

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External links

sl:Eminenti Apostolatus Specula

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