We are living moments of increasing internal tension in the Grand Lodge of Spain and moving towards its own deconstruction.
Of the three Past Grand Masters, two are no longer members of the GLE and only one remains, the three are in total disagreement with the forms and the background of the present Grand Master and one of the permanent candidates for Grand Master has published a letter indicating that either the present Grand Master has changed or has deceived him in his good faith.
The Invisible Collage ‘Group of Covadonga’, is the successor to the universal title of the “Group of Montserrat”, it is not an instrument of power by anyone, but a space of positive reflection working in harmony and dialogue searching for a vocational Spanish Freemasonry. This document cannot be linked to any movement within the GLE.
Two are the fundamental problems that you must see and hear. The first is the real problem, by maintaining in political terms, controlled by the latter, propitiating ignorance with the good faith of most of the British Brothers. The first is to be solved, among all, British and Spanish, with respect to the second problem, bridges will be tended at the time when the first problem is solved and thus change the dynamics of communication towards a real and frank integration and understanding between the Foreign and Spanish element of the GLE, to which all the Brothers are open, both the British and the Spaniards, as those of other Grand Lodges of origin.
Firstly, its current leadership.
What is strongly questioned in the GLE, is its ability to understand the Real Art of Freemasonry, to understand the way in which personal behaviours in public and private, the use of social networks, and the expense of the economic resources of the GLE are to be carried out.
Between the lodges and Freemasons, the policy and expenses of the GLE at a national and international level, what is the purpose of the international position enjoyed by a minority, if our own installations and Temples are of low average quality in general… And that is if we do not go and use a hotel for our meetings.
The first four years of the present Grand Master went unnoticed due to the exhaustion and hard tensions by the previous administration compared to the current one. It was about letting do and seize the fatigue. He certainly counted in the early days with the incorporation of valuable Brethren from the Group of Montserrat. But in his second term, and in his third term, there has been a surprising shift towards positions, declarations, behaviours, manifestations, which have merited reproach and which affect the regularity or irregularity, and related to qualified policy behaviours.
The last jolt was been a video with statements about Venezuela that could surely not be, or individually, what is expected of a Grand Master, other statements, for example, in the national newspaper “El País” nor seem to confirm that we are in front of isolated episodes. The image of regular Masonry that was intended to be cleaned, has been distorted again and without other Grand Lodges participating in this same image.
Secondly, the English factor.
Because of its mismanagement, it is becoming a real ‘tumour’ that affects the essence of the future of regular Freemasonry in Spain.
Many British Brothers are behaving, within the GLE, by the information they receive or by the treatment given to them, like a bag of votes controlled or led by the Grand Master through British Grand Provincial Officers, towards the Configuration of a ‘Grand Lodge of Fact’, within the GLE, which looks, not towards the whole of the organization but towards its own organization.
The goals of many English Brethren, not all of them, but enough for the current dynamic, are based on their own needs. This has led to an unhealthy dynamic, consented by the Grand Master in his own interest of power, which is leading to the breakdown of unity, to slowly generating a schism: The Spanish element in the provinces where there is no coexistence with English Brothers, such as Castilla (the entire Cantabrian coast, plus the two Castillas, less Madrid, La Rioja, Navarra, Extremadura and Aragon), or Cataluña, and the British element in the tourist areas such as the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Murcia and Valencia, with the sole exception of Andalucia, and thanks to the personal integration of its English Provincial Grand Master.
This has led to the reluctance of each of the other territories in where they coexist, both the Spanish element and the British element. British lodges exclusively, lodges in which they work in English, automatic literal interpretations, translations of documents into English, difficulties when not impossibility of linguistic communication, little permeability in relation to the Spanish society and with Spanish masonry.
What appears in general with some exceptions, is an English masonry by English and for the English, grouped around the British rites and the collateral bodies like the Royal Arch, Mark, Secret Monitor, Knights Templar or KTP. In the P.G.L. of Valencia around 16% of Grand Officers are Spanish, the remaining 84% are not. Assimilating the English form of masonry to the idiosyncrasy of Spanish society has not worked, and the collateral bodies in many cases have not been accepted by Spanish Freemasons with sufficient empathy for their own consolidation.
On the other hand, Freemasonry that seeks a Spanish vocation, within the GLE, cannot work, by the existing blockage and the disappointment due to the contradictions between values and the institutional organization.
With a large flow of members entering and exiting, it does not create an element of stability, other obediences, considered ten years ago, as a minority, and when not regarded with superiority, have been working in a line very in tune with the Masonic principles and is not ruled out that achieve the leadership of Freemasonry in our country within a period of fifteen years, if the GLE does not find a solution to its degenerative factors.
Obviously the English element will decline, with age, Brexit issue, lack of membership, the Spanish element, due to the policy of the current direction of the GLE does not have the attractive capacity enough to get to configure a mass of quality either in the GLE nor in society. Regular Freemasonry in Spain is at a crossroads and has not consolidated the return from exile of the G.O.E.
The Grand Master has to make peace, manage the foreign element and particularly the British according to the general interests of all of the GLE, make an immediate public manifestation of irrevocable resignation to a fourth term and take a step back.
A new generation of leaders has to prepare for a change that the GM has not achieved, and will neither achieve with the existing tension. It is his maximum responsibility, either by action or by omission or worse, by omissive action and it is up to him to take the necessary measures, and these are neither internal repression nor personal phobias nor the maintenance of a situation of interest.
The Grand Assembly of the GLE is to be taking place in Valencia, a province where the majority of Grand Officers are English, taken from Cataluña, by the contrary, it will not remove or add anything to the situation.
This must end for the good of everyone, now.