From a reader:
I am aware that as Catholics, we may not join masonic organizations.
My question regards the Elks and the Rotary club? Do they fall under the same prohibition or is membership in these two organizations permissible for Catholics?
As far as I know, there are no explicit universal prohibition against joining the Elks or the Rotary Club. There may be particular laws in a diocese which prohibits joining, so check with your friendly pastor or the local diocesan chancery. But I haven’t heard of any particular laws like that.
Can. 1374, by the way, calls for the punishment of someone who “joins an association which plots against the Church” and for an interdict for someone who “promotes or takes office in such an association.” So, this is a serious matter. Don’t even think of being a Mason. If you are one GET OUT.
That said, it does not seem that Elks or Rotary members plot against the Church.
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are saying, “What about the Democrat Party?!?”
You knew that some smarticus pantsicus would get that one in, right? As far as I know there is no censure incurred by voting for a democrat or registering as a democrat. But, given the abortion plank in their political platform, I don’t know why one would. Perhaps one might question their…. But, no. I digress.
Thus, if a Catholic gentleman is interested in joining a civic-minded club, would it not be best to join a Catholic club? I recommend the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of St. Peter Claver, the Catholic Order of Forresters, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.
Or perhaps even start one up?
How about the Loyal Catholic Order of Liturgical Watchdogs?
How about The Faithful Sippers and Oenophiles?