In Lehre und Wehre vol. 11 p. 375, Walther reported the following:
Freemasonry. In the allocution held in the Consistory of Sept. 25, the present Pope condemned the Freemasons and all similar secret societies as “criminal sects opposed to the state and the church” and forbade all his own to join them under penalty of excommunication; he also reconfirmed the condemnation decrees of earlier assemblies in this regard. W[alther].
On the following page, Walther adds the following comments:
The Pope and the Mighty of the Earth. After Mr. Oertel’s Catholic Church Newspaper of Oct. 26 reported the Pope’s allocution concerning the Freemasons, it concludes: “Where could a Protestant preacher, consistorial council or bishop stand up against the mighty of this earth as the Pope does?” This is a very vainglorious. Luther, for example, stood up against the great ones of the earth, although he was a defenseless private citizen, quite differently from the Pope, who relies on his worldly power.–When the Church Newspaper adds: “Even against the Freemasons no Protestant or gospel preacher with a white tie dares to say anything. They have second thoughts.”–this is admittedly half true, for unfortunately in this point the so-called Protestant preachers, even those Lutheran preachers who want to be faithfully Lutheran, are mostly silent, and this disloyalty and fear of men will one day be very costly for them. We think here especially of those in the General Synod (e.g. in Philadelphia), from whom one should expect something better. W[alther].