ASK FATHER: Grandparents were Masons. Is there demonic attachment now for generations?

From a reader…


Dear Fr Z – First, let me again express gratitude for your priesthood and the work you do. Your constant, faithful representation of the Faith and calm, stalwart encouragement are invaluable boons.

Second, I read this post from Dreher and have read other similar things in other places. My wife has (according to her grandparents) some high-degree Masons in her ancestry. She doesn’t exhibit any of these signs, though her family on that side is very troubled in many ways. How concerned should she/we be about demonic influence due to Masonic heritage?

Who might we talk to, since so few priests (at least nearby) seem to take such things seriously?

Since I don’t know where you are, I am not sure whom you should talk to locally.  However, I consulted a trusted exorcist about your question.

Our greatest concern should be ordinary, garden variety diabolical influence, namely, temptation.

Our own sins compromise our relationship with our Lord, not the sins of others.  Nor do extraordinary diabolical interventions such as infestations, oppressions, obsessions, and possessions.

That said, Free Masons take oaths that can incur curses unto the fourth generation.

The Devil respects and takes advantage of the natural authority structures God has given us through the family.  Just as there is the principle of redundancy in the order of grace (“grace flows downhill”), so does sin. This works in natural authority structures such as the family. It also works – especially – within supernatural authority structures (Holy Church, the papacy, episcopate, presbyterate).   The Devil is also a legalist.  If someone swears an oath, the Devil claims a right.  That claim has to be broken.

Hence, when a Mason makes such oaths, his direct line can be compromised, susceptible, exposed.

So what can one do?

After reaching age of reason and then our majority, each of us has increasing authority over ourselves.  This is especially the case after reaching our majority.  We can exercise that authority and renounce whatever Masonic baggage which was heaped on us by our forebears. Here’s a formula in PDF format that can be used.  It is long and comprehensive and leaves little doubt as to what is going on.  HERE

There is a similar formula in Fr Ripperger’s book Prayers of Deliverance for use by Laity. US HERE – UK HERE

My recommendation before doing anything along these lines, is to GO TO CONFESSION, make a good Communion, fast, pray to Mary and your Angel for protection.  We don’t fool around when dealing with the Enemy.

And leave anything having to do with Masonry alone.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. OssaSola says:

    Our family has a very troubled history and there were three brothers in the grandparent generation who were Masons. They were also Catholic. When one of them was being buried with a priest present, his fellow Masons arrived and disrupted the committal by forcibly removing the priest and finishing the burial themselves. So I guess they were all pretty serious. These were all prosperous, educated men. All of these brothers’ children were affected by alcoholism, suicide, or incest.

    Being third generation, and not a Mason or Eastern Star member, I recently did as Father has directed here. I go to confession and Mass regularly so brought my copy of Fr. Ripperger’s book to adoration and read through the whole section on my knees. I haven’t seen a difference in the oppression my own family has endured for the past 20 years (dating from the nanosecond we returned/entered the Church—Ha!) but didn’t want to leave that big stone unturned.

  2. Fr_Andrew says:

    I always remind people who come to me worried about things like this that while there is reason to be concerned, our worries must always be subjected to Prudence, and push us towards doing something which is proportional to the real problem we face (not the imaginary problem we’ve thought up).

    Often people create the very problems they are trying to avoid, and I fear, sometimes obsession about the devil and his influence, can cause one to allow obsession by the devil, through lack of prudent action.

    In my mind the Masons are like a spiritual Mafia. If your great uncle was a “manager” at the NY landfill, it might be something to worry about but it’s still pretty abstract if nothing has happened yet. Get a security system for the house, keep an eye out, be situationally-aware, and keep up your habits of frequent confession, but until there seem to be shady guys parked across from your house in a suspicious looking cleaners van, probably normal prudence suffices.

    Thus, with Masonic ancestry, keep on the lookout, keep up a good spiritual life, have the house blessed, use the Sacraments and Sacramentals, but don’t become obsessed and worried. Just normal prudent everyday stuff, unless something positive and probable suggests more.

    I have had some faithful, become so obsessed about the diabolical influence that I think they may open themselves to influence by diabolical obsession. They create the problem they fear, much like the scrupulous soul furthers his own problems.

    On more than a few occasions, I have had people all of a sudden hear a sermon about the devil’s influences or “generational spirits” and begin praying all manner of deliverance prayers, using sacramentals superstitiously, “binding” devils, etc. and, in short, they get all weird, and clearly are being attacked by the devil. I had one who started leafleting the church with the “St Michael Exorcism for Laity” despite my clear warning not to do that because of the CDF’s warning. Later he came to me and said I was a devil and tried to “bind” the “devil” that was in me.

    The devil can get in through imprudence. I have seen it enough time to worry that many neglect normal prudent means like common prayers and devotions, use of Holy Water and sacramentals, and living a normal Catholic life and avoiding sin.

    If those vans show up, then we can talk about taking a different route to work, until then: Vade in pace, et Dominus tecum.

  3. Philmont237 says:

    My grandfather was at least a 14th degree Scottish Rite Freemason and he died long before I was born. I didn’t know this about ten years ago when I was only 22 and going through my very devoted Catholic grandmother’s stuff after she died and I found this really neat ring with the Latin on it. Surely this was Catholic! I put it on and looked up the inscription which is “Virtus junxit, mors non separabit.” It also had the Hebrew letter yod. Well, let’s just say that I took it off really quickly. We had a priest bless the ring before we took it to a Catholic jeweler to be melted down and destroyed.

    1.) I thank God that my grandfather covered and was baptized on his deathbed.
    2.) I recently prayed the long renunciation of freemasonry when I discovered it a few weeks ago. I don’t mess around with this satanic stuff.

  4. rhhenry says:

    My great-grandfather was a 33rd degree Mason, so I read this with interest.

    Fr. Z, your post and liked pdf left me with two questions that I hope you have the time to answer:

    1) Are the four generations counted inclusively or exclusively? Should I be concerned about an attachment that affects my children (great-grandfather = original / zero-th generation, grandfather = 1st, father = 2nd, me = 3rd, children = 4th)?

    2) Could you please explain the renunciation of Scout oaths mentioned in the pdf? What is contrary to Catholicism in the scout oath?

    Many thanks.

  5. adriennep says:

    This is chilling. The PDF from the Unmasking Freemasonry book has powerful prayers that I did not think applied to my family…until I saw Mormonism also rebuked. My great-great grandfather was supposedly a Mason, and his non-Mason son married a huge Mormon, who brought it into the family. Now my father the “black sheep” who rejected that has had tragedy and failure at many levels in his life. But not being raised Mormon allowed me to discover the true Catholic Church, although in middle age. I am perhaps the only Catholic in that family for centuries. I do genealogy, so it is disconcerting. Thanks, Father Z.

  6. mysticalrose says:

    I had no idea that Mormonism was a kind of freemasonry. Given the way it has multiplied, I find this particularly scary.

  7. supercooper says:

    I have to second rhhenry’s second question about the Boy Scouts. Setting aside their recent surrenders immorality, what was wrong with the Scout Oath for a boy growing up in the 1990’s or before?

  8. Taryn says:

    Thank you, thank you for sharing this question you received . I had no idea the Masonic involvement of an ancestor could have an adverse effect on his descendants. This post leaves me with a lot to think about.

  9. KateD says:

    I didn’t want to speak out of turn about “healing the family tree” and so did a search on the subject. People seeking to break bad ties may find what one Catholic priest had to say helpful:

    “ A proper funeral and requiem Mass ritually cuts the bonds between the dead person and the living. It frees the living from the negative bonds that may exist and allows the dead person to rest in peace. It also, if you like, allows the living person to exist in peace.”

    He had stated concerns about the practice which he felt arose as a consequence of not properly and fully utilizing the rites the Church prescribes.

    rhhenry-One thing I didn’t like about the scout oath was that as the mother of the child making it, they would not allow me to preview it…there’s a red flag. I think I also wasn’t going to be permitted to go to the ceremony/ritual…. “tanks but no tanks…”

    Fr.Andrew- I’d say it’s more like having a genetic propensity for a disease (ie cancer or heart disease) rather than an uncle in the mafia. If one watches their environment and lives cleanly, they will likely avoid it….but because of the propensity for it, one has to be more vigilant than someone without that illness in the family history.

    Thank you to the questioner for the referenced article/blog. In it Nathan is quoted as having said, “Once you’ve seen reality through the eyes of spiritual warfare, you can’t go back. It’s everywhere.” Amen! Once the veil is pushed aside we see more clearly what lies behind it. They are no longer vague and blurred shapes one may ignore as if they didn’t exist.

  10. ChesterFrank says:

    Exorcisms for ancestors who were Masons certainly does make sense. I know that masons are hostile towards Catholicism and that there is much secrecy surrounding them. They are somewhat famous for both. One thing that I think of regarding this is all of the other secret societies that exist, and especially ones that are hostile towards Catholicism or other religions. Universities are full of secret societies, and many of their members are the ones that reach the highest ranks in society. They become leaders in government, corporations, and even religions. That is often accomplished through the influences of their secret societies. Skull and Bones is one of the first and most famous that comes to mind. One has to wonder how much the collapse of Christianity world wide was accomplished through networks of secret societies not nearly as visible as the masons. What type of exorcisms exist for those situations?

  11. CasaSanBruno says:

    ChesterFrank, Pope Leo XIII wrote Chapter 3 of Title XII of the Roman Ritual (also known as the Leonine Exorcism) precisely with Masonic infiltration of the Church in mind. This is an exorcism that is reserved (only to be prayed by priests with episcopal permission) and is quite effective for people who have Masonic baggage. Traditionally, this is what’s used.

  12. KateD says:

    Please forgive the double comment, but this issue of Catholics and Free Masonry deeply upsets me. My husband and I have lost good friends, including the friendship of our son’s godparents, over this topic.

    We keep handy multiple copies of John Salza’s book “Why Catholics Cannot Be Masons”, for Catholics we encounter who are contemplating membership. In Appendix A is a list of Papal Condemnations of Masonry. Everyone here understands the gravity of association with the cult, I mention it only because where a pope condemns something in an encyclical, there is also generally a section regarding penalties and remedies. Perhaps there is something there of use to someone seeking relief from the spiritual attachments associated with past membership of self or forefathers?

  13. The Cobbler says:

    If they ever update this stuff to cover the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, which held up a sexual predator as a moral and spiritual beacon, inflicted intellectual blindness by psychological abuse, and – at least back in the day – also had secret vows of obedience… give me a call.

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Boy Scout oath, at least in the US, traditionally ran as follows:

    “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

    The traditional Girl Scout oath was very similar.

    Joining a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, and taking the oath, is supposed to take place at a ceremony attended by family, friends, and anybody else who can be dragged in. Sheesh, I can’t even tell you how many of those Boy Scout things I had to attend as just a sister.

    The only “secret” thing that ever happened in Boy Scouts was the Order of the Arrow inductions, but parents were routinely furnished with copies of all the lore and secret stuff. (Little siblings, not so much!)

  15. rhhenry says:


    We may be talking about different things. I have in mind the Scout Oath that begins, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God . . .” It is publicly available, it is recited at the start of every Scout meeting, and there is no ritual associated with it. The organization may have “surrendered to immorality,” as supercooper put it above, but the oath itself seems pretty benign to me.

    Can anybody else help with this? Thanks.

  16. Matthew says:

    When I was a Scout all our meetings were at Catholic Churches, I would think someone would have objected to the oath.

    St. Stan’s troop 131

  17. Alice says:

    I just went to the Jubilee Resources website to see why they include Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. While I didn’t find the answer to my question, I did discover that Jubilee Resources is not a Catholic site and they also have a similar prayer for the “Release of Roman Catholics and Their Descendants.” I’m not going to lose sleep over my family’s involvement in Scouting just because some anti-Catholic guy with a website says I should.

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