The Catholic Church has always condemned such groups. And this condemnation still stands: on November 1983, the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a “Declaration on Masonic Associations”, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and approved by Pope John Paul II, which stated that “the Church's negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged, since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church, and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin, and may not receive Communion.”
Pope Leo XIII wrote on April 20, 1884, a special encyclical letter Humanum genus, addressed to all the Bishops of the world, on the very subject of Freemasonry:
"There exists in the world a certain number of sects which although seemingly different one from another as to name, ritual, form and origin are, however, similar due to the analogy of their aim and chief principles. Indeed, they are identical to Freemasonry which is, for them all, the central point from which they proceed and toward which they converge." Further, in his letter to the Italian people dated December 8, 1892, Pope Leo XIII writes: "Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are essentially incompatible, to such an extent, that to become united with one means being divorced from the other. Let us, therefore, expose Freemasonry as the enemy of God, of the Church and of our Motherland. "