A MEXICAN BISHOP has caused surprise among Catholics in that country, by saying to journalists in Rome that the Church should seek "avenues of understanding" with Freemasons.
Bishop Mendez Arceo of Cuernavaca said in an interview: "On both sides we must be nnoresgenerous and go forward to meet one another with understanding and with firm and steady determination to show faithfulness in the pursuit of dialogue.
"I have no doubt that accord on this point will come about in the not too distant future."
Although the country is predominantly Catholic, there are about 200,000 Freemasons, The movement was condemned in the eighteenth century by Pope Clement XII as it was then tied to a militant anti-Catholic movement.
A spokesman for the Mexico City archdiocese would not comment on the Bishop's statement. But Senor Eugene Frankel, the head of Mexico's Freemasons, said he was glad to see "mature thinking" among Catholics.
He added : "We must not put any impediments in the way of confraternity . . . I hope it will be understood eventually that we are fraternal groups who accept persons regardless of their religion."