IH asks: "A friend is being encouraged to join a group called Rosicrucians. Do you know anything about them and what information I can give to my friend."
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Rosicrucian brotherhood was founded in 1408 by a German nobleman, Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484). A former monk, Rosenkreuz was initiated into Arabian learning (aka magic) while travelling through the Holy Land. He began to believe that an antipapal Christianity, tinged with the occult-based theosophy, was the ideal form of religion.
Rosenkreuz (whose name means "rose cross") went on to form a brotherhood of men, called the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, who were interested in science, medicine and occultism. In 1866, it became a branch of Freemasonry and from there spread throughout the continent of Europe and the U.S.
In the pontifical document, "Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life," Rosicrucians are described as "Western occult groups involved in alchemy, astrology, theosophy and kabbalistic interpretations of Scripture. The Rosicrucian Fellowship contributed to the revival of astrology in the 20th century, and the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis (AMORC) linked success with presumed ability to materialize mental images of health, riches and happiness."
Overall, Rosicrucian theology is vague and undefined, says this report by Catholic Answers. "It has borrowed certain Christian concepts while rejecting others, viewing 'all things as complicitly and ideally in God' and tending toward a kind of pantheism. Here there are similarities (unsurprisingly) with the occultic religion of upper-level Freemasonry. Despite their name, the Rosicrucians are not a Christian denomination, nor even a quasi-Christian sect; a Catholic should have nothing to do with them."
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