Frequently Asked Questions

OFFICIAL INFORMATION FROM THE GRAND LODGE OF SPAIN

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is a philosophical, philanthropic and progressive institution on an international level with almost 300 years of antiquity whose maximum objective is to stimulate the moral and intellectual perfection of men and peoples seeking universal brotherhood; or more briefly, it is a formative school of men. It is a fraternity that unites its members with a bond of harmony, truth and brotherly love, working indefinitely towards the conquest of progress and freedom, which are dedicated to the study of the laws of nature in order to be useful to their fellows and who cooperate to the perfection of humanity.

We could define it as the organic institution of the most absolute morality, understood as one of the elements of the ideal of men. Its purpose is to combat ignorance, vice and inspire love for humanity. Its principles are the universal moral and natural law, dictated by reason and defined by science.

It proclaims as a fundamental principle the belief in the existence of the Great Architect of the Universe, the origin of all things, and in the immortality of the soul, but it admits no more difference between men than merit and demerit and does not reject anyone for its beliefs. u opinions.

Its purpose is to teach its members the values ​​of rectitude, personal responsibility, moral improvement of the person and, through this, improve the Humanity. This task is carried out through the rituals of each grade.

Fight constantly for the search for truth, the development of science, the conquest of freedom, from a peaceful and legal position, but standing firm against political despotism and religious fanaticism.

It must be borne in mind that Freemasonry is not a Club, nor is it a Charitable Organization (although it does beneficence) and, being an ideologically diverse Association, it does not propose a specific action on society, but does propose values ​​whose presence in the society intends to become a witness and a witness, without any exclusivity: values ​​of tolerance, freedom, peace, philanthropy, defense of human rights that will demand a lot from its members without any retribution.

How was Freemasonry founded? What is known about the antiquity of Masonry? Where are you from? When, how and where is it formed?

Unless we are wrong, none of these questions has been satisfactorily answered to date.

Some scholars of the Order attribute it Egyptian origin, going back to the first pharaonic empire, there are those who think to find the origin among the Knights of the Temple or even trace it back to the builders of Solomon’s temple, the Essenes or other Jewish sects, but these are only assumptions or arguable conjectures since they lack historical foundation. Most writers link the birth of Freemasonry to the medieval bricklayers’ corporations, the first of which were organized in Lombardy around the tenth century, and came to be very popular in the thirteenth century.

On the other hand, the same authors of these hypotheses recognize that they have not been able to penetrate the secret of Freemasonry due to lack of documents in the archives.

How can one then separate what is old from what is or can be modern? The truth is that nobody, for sure, will be able in many years, unless a miracle is operated and a new light emerges; answer the above questions and satisfy a yearning sense of all the Masons of the world.

The theory that enjoys a broader consensus among the historians of Freemasonry directly derives the speculative Freemasonry of operative Freemasonry. That is, the old guilds or guilds of artisans stonemasons (which is what “mason” means) that would progressively incorporate, for reasons that are not clear, people who did not practice or work the craft of stonemasonry. These would be the first speculative Freemasons. With the passage of time,

Therefore, we can say that Freemasonry was born from the crisis suffered by the builders of the Middle Ages before the succession of architectural styles. In those times the masons who were grouped in fairly compact fraternities and in the absence of income and contracts began to admit people

influential people who, in exchange for money, received the benefits that a fraternal society provided in those years (protection, freedom of expression and, above all, knowledge).

When these guilds began to evolve, to build large buildings and cathedrals, they became aware of the power that knowledge means and thus arises by transformation, the concept of freedom, because they achieved, although at that time the voice of the feudal lord or of the prince was the law that had to be obeyed blindly, to be able to discuss terms with those bosses causing the concept of freedom to be born, while the others were absolute vassals of those terrestrial powers.

The Lodges were possessing their own exclusive and secret technical techniques, which were communicated only to members or followers after a long and severe learning.

This union of masons, was divided, by their knowledge, in three grades that we still conserve today: Apprentices, Companions and Masters and we took from that time of the builders, the tools of the masonry as emblems of the masonic work with which the workers of then they perfected their knowledge.

These Lodges that, as we have said before, with the passage of time would have admitted people outside the construction, these, once disappeared the professional associations would have taken advantage of the old structure to form the new Freemasonry with members belonging to the elevated and educated classes , thus the speculative Freemasonry was born.

It happened in 1717 in England, that speculative Masonry was constituted as a liberal, philosophical and altruistic fraternity. Conducted by the hand of a group of Freemasons, detached from Freemasonry from its origins as a brotherhood of artisan stonemasons (operational Freemasonry). Four lodges are federated and create the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster, the lodges of London would begin to be mostly composed by speculative Freemasons. It would be at that stage when the leap towards Freemasonry that we know today would take place.

Once established in England the Grand Lodge installed lodges or workshops throughout Europe, in France its first workshop called “Friendship and Fraternity” in 1721, the “Matritense” in Spain in 1728. They are also of English origin the German Masonic associations prior to 1738 who met at the Grand Lodge of the Three Balloons of Berlin in 1744 and a long etc.

This concept evolves from then on and in 1723, the year in which Anderson writes the Masonic Constitution, the idea of ​​freedom becomes the cornerstone of the Institution and it is opened to collect in its bosom all free men who want to join to the task of human redemption that encourages and propagates, regardless of the work activity or socioeconomic status of the aspirants, with the sole condition of being free thinkers and adhere to the principles of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity.

What are Masonic degrees?

In Freemasonry its members are divided into degrees or, to put it another way, different levels of progress and commitment, obligations and rights. Each degree is usually distinguished by a specific ritual, by signs of recognition and by a specific moral lesson of each.

How many degrees are there?

Ancient Masonry knows three degrees: the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason. However, with time, and due to the expansion by the European continent of Freemasonry during the eighteenth century, new degrees or new degree systems appeared.

How are those grades organized?

The Masonic organization that congregates Masonic teachers, in grades 4 to 33, is called the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

This organization is composed of the capitular degrees, which go from the 4th to the 18th; the philosophical ones that go of the 19º to the 30º and the administrative ones or of government, formed by the degrees 31º, 32º and 33º.

In the 4th degree, called Secret Master, we reflect on the Sanctus Sanctorum, the values ​​of humanity and how to increase levels of consciousness.

With the 18th grade, called Rosicrucian, the greatest spirituality of man can be achieved and from this center Love and Spirituality, advances to the 30th degree, called Knight Kadosch, where the philosophical masonry is completed.

As we have said, the 31st, 32nd and 33rd grades are administrative or government degrees.

What are the principles of Freemasonry?

Its principles are Freedom, Equality and Fraternity.

Freedom of the person and of the human groups, be they institutions, races or nations and in all its aspects, that is, freedom of thought and freedom of movement.

Equality of rights and obligations of individuals and human groups without distinction of religion, race, sex or nationality.

Fraternity among all men and among all peoples and nations, because all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignities.

And is there a more explicit statement of principles?

Yes, the Declaration of Principles approved at the time by a Masonic Assembly says:

“Freemasonry is an essentially philosophical, philanthropic and progressive institution. Its principles are: La Libertad, La Igualdad y La Fraternidad “

“The investigation of the truth, the perfection of the individual and the progress of humanity is proposed”

“He considers that morality is both a rational art, and an evolutionary phenomenon typical of collective life, which obeys natural laws. Recognizes the Great Architect of the Universe as a symbol of the supreme aspirations or concerns of men who long to capture the essence, the principle and the cause of all things.

For the clarification of the truth, no other limit is recognized than that of human reason. It demands from its followers the widest tolerance and therefore respects the political opinions and beliefs of all men. “

“Recognizes that all religious and political communions deserve equal respect and rejects any claim to grant situations of privilege to any of them in particular.”

“Masonry, an essentially human institution, works tirelessly for the achievement of its ends, seeking a more harmonious structuring of life on the basis of love and social justice”

“It comes acting, therefore, from the depths of time, as the straight spring that accelerates the evolution having in each stage of history a purpose determined according to the needs and aspirations of the environment. Spearhead of a yearning projected to the future, its efforts of the past have contributed to the progress enjoyed by the present. It aspires for the evolution and the organized effort of the society to the increasing perfection of the social institutions, transforming them into those that satisfy, within a regime of freedom, just desires of improvement “.

“Strive for all legal means within your reach, dignify man by training him, by a superior development of conscience, for the best and widest use of rights and freedoms.”

“It condemns intolerance, it abhors fanaticism and declares its repudiation by regimes of force and violence as contrary to reason and denigrating for the species. Recognizes in the fraternity the primordial condition of the human race, is substantively pacifist and considers war as a horrendous crime “.

“He considers that work is an essential duty of man and as such dignifies and honors him, without establishing distinctions or categories, but judges that rest is a right and strives because old age, disability, childhood and motherhood enjoy of the benefits of collective protection to which they are creditors “.

“The Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree and last of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Spain is sovereign and independent of any other body, but may enter into pacts and agreements with other regular Masonic bodies of the world and reserve for itself the exclusive right to legislate on the philosophism of all its jurisdiction within the uses, customs and ceremonies transmitted since ancient times “.

Can you talk about a Masonic moral?

The moral of Freemasonry is not directly linked to any philosophical system, nor to any religious creed. It is the common ground of universal precepts that teach man to be better and to love his fellow men.

Freemasonry seeks the solidarity of moral, intellectual, ethical and aesthetic values ​​to achieve the harmonic consistency of human behavior.

Are these moral principles unified in a Code?

Indeed, Masonry has its Moral Code, some of whose maxims we point out:

He loves all men as if they were your own brothers.

Esteem the good, love the weak, flee from the bad, but do not hate anyone.

Do not flatter your brother, because it is a betrayal, if your brother flatters you, he fears that he will corrupt you.

Always listen to the voice of your conscience.

Avoid the quarrels, foresee the insults, make sure that the reason is always on your side.

Do not be light in anger, because anger rests in the bosom of the fool.

The heart of the wise is where the virtue and the heart of fools are practiced, where vanity is celebrated.

If you have a child, rejoice, but tremble from the deposit entrusted to you. Make that until I’m ten years old I admire you, until I’m twenty I love you and even the death of respect. Up to ten years old his teacher, until twenty his father and until death his friend. Think about giving it good principles rather than beautiful ways, that you owe it to enlightened rectitude and not frivolous elegance. Make an honest man, before a skillful man.

Read and enjoy, see and imitate, reflect and work, always take care of the good of your brothers and work for yourself.

Be among the profane free without license, great without pride, humble without baseness and between brothers, firm without being tenacious, severe without being inflexible and submissive without being servile.

Speak moderately with the big ones, prudently with your equals, sincerely with your friends, sweetly with the little ones and eternally with the poor.

Fair and courageous you will defend the oppressed, you will protect the innocence, without paying attention to anything of the services that you lend.

Accurate appraiser of men and things, you will only attend to personal merit, whatever the rank, status and fortune may be.

Does Freemasonry have no dogmas?

Masonry has no dogmas, has principles and ideals, cultivates virtues, but always with the maximum amplitude of criteria. The dogma, as revealed truth or undeniable principle, is at the antipodes of Masonry that recognizes no other limit than the reason to access knowledge.

Is there a Masonic culture?

If by culture we understand an accumulation of knowledge harvested through the cultivation and exercise of the intellectual faculties, it is obvious that the intellectual work that is carried out in the Lodges, through time is making its members are interpenetrated in certain human values ​​that, although in part they already belonged to the cultural baggage of each individual upon entering the Institution, they have been reinforced, polished and extended with the mutual contribution of work in the Lodge, which is manifested in the unmistakable behavior of the Mason, both private and public. and in this sense, we can talk about Masonic culture.

And that culture, is it available to everyone?

The Masonic culture is available to any person of good and with concerns that enable it to integrate into a cultural movement in which the improvement of the individual is sought through the debate of philosophical or humanistic issues, etc., in this sense Freemasonry is not limited to geniuses or gifted people, freemasons are men of the street, workers in the most varied activities what characterizes us is our desire for moral, spiritual and intellectual improvement both individually and collectively.

Is there a way to learn in Freemasonry?

We learn through symbols and the veil of allegories, the lodge being the microcosm and the macrocosm. Man is the microcosm and participates in the macrocosm. Without macrocosm there is no man.

We tend to progress towards Unity, from a dual methodology, with concrete intelligence in the profane world, with abstract intelligence and through symbols and allegories in the levels of apprentice and companion, through the knowledge of silence or love, which we began to learn from start, watching carefully, knowing, but without drawing conclusions, or comparisons, typical of a dual system, but acting from the harmony with everything and everyone, acting with wisdom, we achieve mastery.

With a dual system of knowledge, which is usually developed at school or at the University, different morals are produced, depending on the cultures of the peoples.

Authentic freedom is not created, but subordinates, justifying the authority of the command, not the authority of knowledge with wisdom.

Authentic freedom is obtained when we know, I do not say we believe, I say we know what we really are and we do not know what we do not love.

What is the virtue of Freemasons?

Masons understand that virtue is the ability to do good in its broadest sense and the fulfillment of our duties to the family and society without selfishness or vanity. Masonry teaches to practice virtue as the supreme quality of morals and as a loyalty to the behavior towards the ideal, which must lead to sacrifice when necessary for the fulfillment of duty.
He considers virtue as an always perfectible realization, because he knows that man is not invulnerable to temptations and weaknesses, but the permanent effort of the spirit becomes an effective bulwark of virtue.
What is a lodge? It is the physical place where Freemasons meet. It is also called a temple or workshop. It usually consists of a rectangular piece decorated with elements alluding to the ritual or to the liturgy that is followed.
A Lodge is a stable assembly that, by mutual agreement, Freemasons establish for their Masonic work. The Lodge is the soul of Freemasonry. This is where the rituals are worked, where progress is being made in the Masonic journey and where bonds of fraternity between brothers are forged. A Lodge has for its operation a regulation and several positions, whose occupants are in charge and responsible for making it work in the different aspects related to these charges. So, you will have a president, some vice presidents, a treasurer, etc.

What are the typical activities of the lodges?

Each Lodge develops a work plan that is unique to it. The meetings are monthly or biweekly.

 First of all, comply with a very old and didactic ritual that teaches us certain traditions. Then we express our opinions in a series of exhibitions that lend themselves to debate and in them are addressed, with the only limit of not doing neither partisanship nor proselytism, topics of general interest: political, religious, philosophical, scientific and finally we carry out typical activities of all organization: projects, improvements to the institution and infrastructure.

What is being a Mason?

A Mason or Freemason is a member of a fraternity that is nothing more than a group of men with common ideals, which is a mutual school, whose program is summarized in obeying the laws, living with honor, practicing justice, loving the like , to work tirelessly for the good of humanity and for its progressive and peaceful emancipation.

The Mason is a friend of men and a philanthropist par excellence; but his charity must be enlightened by wisdom and prudence; and although his generous desires extend to the whole humanity, he must lend himself to alleviate the most urgent and immediate needs, and above all he must give preference in his assistance to the brothers who are really suffering under the weight of undeserved misfortunes; always keeping absolute discretion of their acts of fraternity and cooperation.

What do Freemasons understand by fraternity?

Fraternity, as understood by the Freemasons, is the bond of peace and harmony that are established between them. In addition, fraternity implies the obligation of mutual help in case of need, with the clear limit of respect for legitimate laws and ethics.

Is it true that a freemason is obliged to always support and seek the social or labor promotion of other freemasons?

Never, if this means breaking the law or acting in a way that is in conflict with ethics.

Freemasonry is not interested in the personal success of its members as the world usually interprets it. In our days there are many more effective ways, than Freemasonry, to achieve economic success and personal power. It may be the case that a Mason, by his own human and professional worth, reaches socially relevant positions. However, those who seek to enter Masonry moved mainly by these objectives, are doomed to great disappointment. Freemasonry is not a platform to “scale” socially. Moreover, if the case were given of someone who, having entered the Lodges, acted in this way, it would be clearly indicated that he had made a mistake and, if he persisted in his insistence, he would be invited to retire.

Who are the Freemasons who now hold public office?

It is tradition and behavior of the Freemasons not to reveal the name of their Brothers and even less when it comes to Masons who occupy positions of transcendence. What Masonry does do is admit the Masonic condition of those who have publicly recognized it or who have already passed away and this only after years.

And in the past, who were they?

Argüelles, Count of Toreno, José Canga Argüelles, Francisco Martínez de la Rosa, Juan Alvarez Méndez (Mendizábal), Francisco de Paula (infant of Spain), Rafael de Riego, Ramón Mª Calatrava, General Evaristo San Miguel, Tomás Istúriz, Romero Alpuente, Méndez Vigo, Duke of San Lorenzo, Cipriano Portocarrero Palafox (Count of Teba), González de la Serna, General Prim, Ruiz Zorrilla, Manuel Becerra, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, Sanz del Río, Emilio Castelar, Nicolás Salmerón, Francisco Giner de los Ríos, Miguel Morayta, Luis Simarro, Augusto Barcia, Diego Martinez Barrio, Demófilo de Buen, General Miaja, etc.

Was Masonry persecuted?

It was persecuted for a long time, particularly by the parapeted powers behind the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, which did not understand that Freemasonry was engaged in the search for man’s freedom as the supreme goal and that it was not seeking any earthly power or replacing the Church

The following are the papal bulls through which the Church persecuted Freemasonry:

“In Eminenti Apostolatus Specula” of Clement XII of April 24, 1738. (On this encyclical Felipe V was based in 1740 to legislate against the freemasons, example that was imitated in the Royal Decree of July 2, 1751 and other successive measures of the Spanish authorities until the end of the Franco government that condemned the “crime of Masonry” with a minimum penalty of twelve years in prison);

“Providas Romanorum” by Benedict XIV of May 14, 1975. ”
“Ecclesiam a Jesu-Christo” by Pius VII of September 13, 1821 ”
“Quo Graviora” by Leo XII of May 13, 1825 ”
“Traditi Humilitati Nostrae” by Pius VIII of May 21, 1829.
“Mirari Vos” by Gregorio XVI of August 15, 1832.

“Qui Pluribus” by Pius IX of November 9, 1846
“Syllabus” of Pius IX of November 9, 1846
“Multiplicer Inter” by Pius IX of September 21, l865.
“Apostolicae Sedis” by Pius IX of October 12, 1869
“Etsi Multa” of the Pio of November 21, l873.
“Humanum Genus” of Leo XIII of April 20, l884, followed by a public instruction of the Holy Office “De Secta Massonum” of May 7, 1884, “Proeclara” of June 20, 1894, “Annum Igressi” of 18 March, 1902, not counting the official declaration made on March 19, l950, through the columns of the Osservatore Romano, in the sense that the condemnations of Freemasonry are maintained in all their integrity.

It is worth mentioning that through the bulls of January 30, 1816 of Pope Pius VII and those of September 24, 1824 and February 10, 1825 of Leo XII, the Church condemned the Liberation Movements of America, and indirectly to the Masonry.

Why has the Freemasons been persecuted?

Because Freemasonry fosters free thinking, freedom of worship, expression, etc., and many regimes in the world do not coincide with those ideas.
In Spain, to speak of freemasonry is often to speak of anti-freemasonry. Here, even when there was no Freemasonry, there was anti-Freemasonry, so the image that was captured is that given by the anti-Freemasonry, which started the persecution in 1738, with Fernando VII, who was as obsessively anti-Masonic as Franco and it lasted until after the death of the dictator.

Is Freemasonry a secret society?

No, but the label is that. And everything that sounds secret is criticizable. In many cases secret is confused with clandestinity and secrecy with discretion. Freemasons are not a secret society, but discreet. You can know their statutes, their regulations and their rites of initiation, they are in some books that can be acquired in any bookstore.
Freemasonry has been secret when belonging to it automatically entailed the risk of losing one’s life due to the vagaries of this or that dictatorship.
Freemasonry is a discrete society. That is, the work of Masonry is carried out fundamentally among its members, so its outward projection is not very noticeable. Its external work basically lies in the performance of its members, who apply the values ​​learned in the Lodges in the social and personal spheres.
Freemasonry has the same secrets, which have many other types of institutions such as banks, companies, political parties or football clubs, which does not make them secret societies. Fundamentally, the Masonic secret affects the modes of recognition between Freemasons and their rituals.

Why is it not publicly known who is a Mason?

There is nothing to be ashamed of. But the decision to make public their membership in Freemasonry or not, is a personal matter of each Mason. It is a private decision. There are Brothers who have publicly stated their condition, others will do so at any given time. And others possibly never will.

Our regulations prohibit the Mason from spreading the names of his Brothers (this is how we call each other) and he can only make his condition public when circumstances of transcendence for the common good so they impose it.

Is it atheist Freemasonry?

No, it is not. Freemasonry traditionally recognizes the existence of a superior regulatory principle of the universe that it knows as the Great Architect of the Universe. It is to the glory of this Great Architect of the Universe in whose name Freemasonry opens its works.

The figure of the Great Architect of the Universe is the SYMBOL of the supreme aspirations and concerns of men who long to capture the essence, the principle and the cause of all things. For the clarification of truth does not recognize any other limit than that of human reason in science.

Is Freemasonry anti-religious or anti-clerical?

Freemasonry is not an enemy of any religion, it does not have a position oriented for or against any particular religion or belief. In Freemasonry everyone has freedom of conscience, especially in the religious and respects the philosophical or spiritual thinking they profess. Masonry combats ignorance, ambition and fanaticism to which it attributes the lack of harmony and tolerance in the world in which we live. Therefore, it has advocated through its members, the non-interference of religion, whatever it may be, in the affairs of the State.

It is a different thing that some Freemasons have been anticlerical or, more frequently, determined promoters of secularism in their different countries, especially in those whose confessionality impeded religious tolerance and favored discrimination based on religious beliefs. The latter was the usual case in the Latin countries of Europe.

A priest can be a Mason?

The condition “sine qua non” to be a freemason, is to be free man and good manners. It is inherent to the condition of a free man, to be tolerant and not dogmatic, if the priest meets those conditions, of course he can be. In fact, among the members of the Freemasonry there have always been clerics of different religions, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Fisher of the Church of England, or the Patriarch Athenagoras of the Orthodox Church. Prelates who have cultivated these virtues and agreed with the libertarian ideals of Freemasonry have been freemasons and at one point in the nineteenth century 20% of the components of the Supreme Council belonged to the Church as were Juan Nicasio Gallego (canon of the Cathedral of Seville), Antonio de Larrazabal (Jesuit), Jaime Villanueva (Dominican), Diego Muñoz Torrero (Bishop of Guadix) and also internationally the same happened with the priest Hidalgo, defender of Mexican independence, Father Calvo founder of Freemasonry in Central America, Dr. Ramón Méndez, archbishop of Venezuela, Santiago Figueredo or Fray Cayetano Rodriguez, fighters for the independence of Argentina.

But, then, is not it true that there is an atheist French Freemasonry in front of an Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry that respects religion?

That supposed division is nothing more than a simplification, more or less interested, of reality. There are two European traditions of Freemasonry. The first of them embodied by the Regularity that is decidedly deistic in character. That is, it demands from its members the belief in a Higher Being.
However, since the last century, in the heart of Freemasonry, another trend has developed, in line with the air of secularism. They opted in some cases to open the Masonic works not “to the glory of the GADU”, as was traditional, but “for the progress of humanity” and in others the obligation to believe in a Supreme Being was simply suppressed, leaving this aspect to the dictation of the particular conscience of each freemason, who with this position break the principles of Freemasonry and for that reason it is known as Irregularity. In any case, the truth is that there is no such thing as the “Atea French Freemasonry”.

What is the relationship with the Church?

Freemasonry is still something forbidden for an outdated Church, full of ignorance and prejudice. But the worst thing is that there are other churches that are approaching the Catholic, like some section of the Anglican, despite its great tradition of bishops and clergy freemasons, or the Methodist. There has been a great campaign, based precisely on secrecy, to try to discredit Freemasonry. It has come to prohibit being masons to magistrates, judges or police …

However, we have a good relationship with the progressive sectors of the Church, although historically the Church persecuted excommunicated the freemasons through the papal bulls, today we would have no problem in initiating these relations at Institutional level, in the As long as there is a formal commitment to fight for the freedom of man through the exercise of Human Rights, ensuring pluralism and not placing another limit on the knowledge of truth than reason itself.

Is Freemasonry a religion?

No, Freemasonry is not in any sense a religion or a substitute for it. Freemasonry does not pretend to change the religion of the one who knocks at the doors of his Lodges. In Freemasonry no religion is inculcated or devotion to anyone is required. The only requirement is to believe in a god, whatever it may be. That is why there are Christian Masons, Jews, Mohammedans, Brahmins or Buddhists.

The members must really be free men and of good habits, free of thought and, ready for learning, tolerant and respecting all opinions sincerely professed, that is, exempt from fanaticism, selfishness and superstitions, that is why there are no distinctions of race , of religious beliefs, of political inclinations.

Freemasonry does not have a system of dogmas that must be believed, nor its rituals are sacraments that grant power or virtue to those who pass through them, nor does it offer a way of salvation.

Is Masonry a Sect?

First we would have to define what a sect is, given the current abuse that is being made of this term. If the term “sect” is used in the original and neutral sense of a dissident subgroup within a religion, Freemasonry is certainly not a sect, since it is not part of any religion, nor is it itself a religion, as stated above. .

If the term “sect” is used in the pejorative sense of a religious group, with a strong charismatic leadership, which subjects and regulates all aspects of the life of its members, labeling Masonry as a “sect” is an exercise in intentional cynicism or of guilty ignorance. Freemasonry is not a religious group or a religion. Nor does it have a charismatic, democratic leadership and, of course, neither subjects nor regulates aspects of the lives of its members, except through generic ethical principles such as tolerance, honesty … principles that, others, are shared by democratic societies.

Qualifying Freemasonry as a sect, as some ultramontane religious organizations do, is nothing more than an act of propaganda intoxication that gives us the moral height of whoever does it.

A sectarian attitude is just the opposite of what is pursued in Freemasonry.

A sect is a coercive group where, on the basis of religious or philosophical pretexts, the freedom of the individual, the freedom of opinion, of meeting, expression and action at the individual and social level is limited.

Freemasonry promotes the absolute freedom of the individual and absolute freedom of conscience. Therefore it would be in the opposite orbit of the interests of any sect.
Another proof that Freemasonry is not a sect is that it does not proselytize, it does not look for adepts.

Does Masonry have anything to do with occultism or Satanism?

Not at all. Freemasonry has nothing to do with Satanism, although some seem at this point bent on believing the farce organized in the last century (and later confessed) by Leo Taxil.
Regarding the occult, Masonry has nothing to do with it. Furthermore, as has already been said, Masonry is no religion and occultism or esotericism are almost always religious forms.

So Freemasonry is not an initiation society?

If we understand by initiation society a society in which to enter it is necessary to go through a certain ritual, that there are also steps of progress that its members are going through, and that it has a certain teaching, then it is an initiation society.
If an initiation society is understood as a society that preserves or has a “hidden wisdom”, then decidedly not. Freemasonry does not preserve any “hidden wisdom” or any special power.

Why do you say it is philosophical?

Because it guides man towards the rational investigation of the laws of nature, invites the effort of thought that goes from the symbolic geometric representation to metaphysical abstraction, seeks in philosophical reflection the penetration of the spiritual sense of the movement of history, contemplates in each historical time the new doctrinal inspirations and assimilates from each philosophical system what may mean a contribution to the heritage of abstract truth, beyond time and space.

And why is it philanthropic?

Because he practices altruism, he desires the welfare of all human beings and is not inspired by the pursuit of personal profits of any kind. Their efforts and resources are dedicated to the progress and happiness of the human species, without distinction of nationality, race, sex or religion, for which it tends to the elevation of the spirits and the tranquility of the consciences.

And progressive?

It is progressive because it teaches and practices human solidarity and absolute freedom of thought. Freemasonry aims to search for the truth discarding fanaticism, approaching without prejudice all the new contributions of human invention, study universal morality and cultivate the sciences and the arts without putting any obstacle in the investigation of the truth.

Why do they wear aprons and bands?

Because it is a very old fraternity and preserves its traditions that date back to the Middle Ages, besides that each color or figure has a special meaning in ceremonies or meetings.
Is there anything that prohibits eating, drinking, celebrating or doing?

Nothing. The only thing recommended is to be done in moderation, without excess.

How does Freemasonry act in politics?

We are facing another topic. Freemasonry has no political objectives, nor political action.

This does not mean that its members can not have a political position and, in fact, among the Freemasons there have been many politicians, whose ideologies have represented a broad spectrum, ranging from conservative positions to leftist positions, with which it is not possible to think in a guiding hand that was behind them.

Our purposes are not political although sometimes the lodges have had to manifest in some political issue. However, although in the meetings it is forbidden to do any kind of political propaganda (propaganda, promotion), the Mason must not be on the sidelines of the great political problems of the peoples and of the whole world and above all of matters that affect us. as an organization or as a society. For example, issues related to freedom of expression, assembly, etc.
As you can see, Freemasonry is not a political association nor can it confuse its activity with that of any political party. The Mason keeps outside the Lodge, as an individual, all his freedom as a citizen and can devote the energy of his enthusiasm to the service of his ideals.
Freemasons, as such, do not break into public life as an institution, but when our joint action is necessary to temper the spirits and set the path of progress within the fraternity and human coexistence, promoting peace, solidarity and equality among all human beings, promoting democracy, respect for the Law, legitimate authority, and proclaiming the principles that should govern human and social behavior.
Is there a world Masonic government?

Although Freemasonry is established in more than 150 countries, throughout the world and has more than ten million members, respected everywhere by governments and organizations given its high moral and ethical training, it does not have a “World Masonic Government”. Many Masonic Orders establish international relations between different obediences in the form of diplomatic relations between powers or nations to regulate assemblies or congresses, exchange news or coordinate actions of common interest for all members.

Who do the Freemasons depend on?

Institutionally, every member must belong to a Lodge that is usually composed of 30 or 50 members and is totally independent in the sphere of its competence, limited only by the powers that the Lodges voluntarily assigned to the Grand Lodge through the Statutes, Constitution and General Regulations, for the purposes of a more effective national organization.

When the oath is given in Freemasonry, it is very explicit that there is nothing against religion, against politics, against the country, or against the State.
How does it fit what is said about Freemasonry with P2?

Propaganda Due was a Masonic Lodge regularly constituted within the sphere of the Grand Lodge of Italy. At some point, in the 1960s, the authorities of the Grand Lodge warned of some behaviors diverted from the Masonic trail, warning the Lodge to return to its regular Masonic cause.

 Before the disobedience of the Lodge, it was separated from the Masonic structure, discovering after a few years the success of this decision, since the activities of that group chaired by Licio Gelli had nothing to do with masonic activities its object were dubious operations financial institutions, to such an extent that it established close ties with Vatican authorities who were involved.
The explanation given by the Grand Orient of Italy is the one that I quote below: “In the Grande Oriente d’Italia there has always been, since the time of Garibaldi, a Lodge composed of important people who preferred not to give an account of their belonging to the Institution, especially to avoid the problem of the “postulants”. For this reason the Lodge has been called “covered Lodge”. From the year 1960 this Lodge (“Propaganda 2”, better known as “P2”), led by a Tuscan Mason, Licio Gelli, suffered a degeneration of an essentially monetary type, business was done in which a minority of its members participated . A scandal was born that, because of the notoriety of some of the people involved, grew a lot when a journalistic campaign of extraordinary virulence was unleashed. Accusations of embezzlement went to “coup”. The Supreme Court of Justice of Rome on April 16, 1994, declared the accusation of political conspiracy to be unfounded and acquitted Gelli. The case was deflated but left such scars in the Grande Oriente d’Italia that, after this bitter experience, an ordination has been created that prohibits the “covered” Lodges.

Do Freemasons practice Charity?

Individually, each mason contributes with money or work to non-profit institutions whose purpose is the common good, such as schools, libraries, NGOs, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Institutionally, both the Grand Lodge of Spain and the Supreme Council of the 33rd grade also do so with Institutions with which we have agreements. In England, France, USA o South America there are Hospitals, Residences of the third age, Residences for Orphans, Schools, Libraries, Universities, Summer Camps, etc. that belong to Freemasonry.

Why can only men be freemasons?

Not necessarily, although that is the official tradition. Although the vast majority of the lodges are made up of men, there are some eminently feminine lodges for many years in the international arena.
So, are there women in Freemasonry?

The answer is yes. What does not mean that there is consensus on that issue. At present, many institutions still do not admit the presence of women.

Freemasonry is scattered all over the world and in each place it adopts the customs and tendencies of the environment that are compatible with its principles. Thus, male Masonry is widespread everywhere, which does not prevent women from practicing female and / or mixed Masonry in some countries. The reason that explains the majority existence of male Masonry is in the historical fact of respect for one of the founding documents of speculative Freemasonry, the “Constitutions of Anderson”, in which it is explicitly stated that women should not be admitted to it. .

Then there is that the rites would be incompatible, a male rite is not ideally appropriate for women, therefore there must be a rite of initiation for them.

What differentiates a Grand Lodge from a Grand Orient?

A Grand Lodge or Grand Orient is no more than a federation of Lodges that, at their head, have the same charges as a Lodge and, like it, is governed by a regulation, generally known as “Constitutions”. Differences between both formulas are practically administrative.

And what is “Regular Masonry”?

The so-called “Regular Masonry” is the mainstream of Freemasonry, which follows the model of Anglo-Saxon masonry, which is why it is often referred to as “Anglo-Saxon masonry”:

(a) It requires from its members the belief in a Higher Being. Without demanding from its members or future members certain religious beliefs, since it considers that the Mason’s conscience is free and that it is not his responsibility to interfere in it.
(b) Women are not allowed.
(c) Of the topics discussed in the Lodge, those that have to do with politics or religion are strictly excluded.
(d) Has a vocation for intervention for social improvement.

What relations do regular and irregular masonry have with each other?

No relations of any kind are maintained, since the Grand Lodges or Supreme “Regular” Councils consider that the “irregular” Freemasons have breached the principles of Freemasonry.

A totally different thing is the relationship that is maintained in the personal sphere. The Fraternity, in the end, can sometimes more than the attitudes of Masonic organizations.

What is the situation in the Spanish State in this regard?

Faced with this theory of Masonic power and the collusion that some journalists exploit, the situation is very different. First of all, you can not talk about Masonry in the singular. At this time, in Spain there are several different Freemasons with a common denominator -the ideology-, there is a regular Freemasonry recognized by more than 1000 Grand Lodges among which are England, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, all South America and Australia ; another that is more in relation with France and Belgium; one exclusively masculine, another exclusively feminine and a mixed one; some more ritualistic freemasonry and others that project more towards the outside in the socio-political.

There is the Grand Lodge of Spain, founded in 1992 that integrated within it the Great Spanish United East and the Grand Spanish East and a Supreme Council of the 33rd degree, founded in 1811, both Institutions belong to the regularity and are currently the Organizations more numerous that work in the Spanish State, with about 2000 affiliates.

There is also a Female Grand Lodge, which does not admit to starting men, with lodges in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities in Spain.

There is also the Spanish Symbolic Grand Lodge, mixed obedience.

There is also the International Mixed Masonic Order “Human Right” (DH), which is the oldest mixed Masonic organization.

And we also find some lodges individually affiliated with the Grand Orient of France or the Grand Lodge of France.

It is difficult to establish the number of members that has “irregular” Freemasonry, although I do not think that they exceed 500. In any case it is much smaller than that of regular Masonry.

Why is Freemasonry still little known and so few?

There are lodges, which are striving to “come out of the closet”: make themselves known, show that they do not have horns or tails. It was relatively easy to start from scratch, once Franco died. But instead of a single, strong masonry, with clear ideas, small groups emerged that sometimes interfere even within the same obedience. And that does not facilitate the work.

But the fact is that we are not so few, in Spain until the end of the Republic, Spanish Masonry had more than 15,000 members, and worldwide regular masonry to which the Grand Lodge of Spain and the Supreme Council of the grade 33 has more than 4,000,000 members.

What are the values ​​that Freemasonry teaches?

Freemasonry teaches and encourages:

(1) The fraternal love that leads to consider with tolerance and respect the opinions of others, no matter how misguided they may seem.
(2) The truth as the foundation of the relations between the Freemasons and in human relationships.
(3) The solidarity among the Freemasons that leads to help the brothers who are in disgrace.

All these values ​​that Freemasonry teaches and promotes underlie and sustain the relationship between the Freemasons, but at the same time teach them the value of living their relationship with the rest of humanity considering it in light of the principle of the Brotherhood of all men and women.

What is needed to enter Freemasonry?

First of all a sincere desire to help others, to learn from others and to grow as a person, anyone with a desire to be formed and to be useful to their society in a line of search for greater fraternity, tolerance, pacifism, rights of man … But this carries with it an internal, ritual, symbolic component.

Most freemasons are prohibited from proselytizing. There are other access systems. We are not political parties or conventional associations: you have to go through a rite of initiation. It is not an inscription, a fee and your card; It is a process of improvement, a kind of school.
That is one of the reasons for the slow growth because we do not look for the candidates. Each of our members has come from his own free and spontaneous will, after having inquired as it can be presented by one of our members (although it is not indispensable) or having been invited by someone else; then he makes his request to be incorporated if he meets the established conditions that are: to be a person who has reached his majority of age according to the laws of the country, tolerant, not dogmatic, tenacious, rationalist, of a recognized ethical behavior and with a great interest to progress intellectually and / or spiritually in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Does it cost a lot to belong to Freemasonry?

No. We could say that it is within the reach of anyone.