All members of the Grand Lodge of Spain, regardless of nationality or ritual practised, must be concerned by what has happened during the last 12 months within our institution.
By W.Bro. Chris Langley Kirke, Past Master. Grand Lodge of Spain Matriculation number: 4356
The results of the last 2 Grand Conclaves, the decrees issued & the suspensions of officials by the Grand Master over the past year as well as his social media posts and the “official” publications released in the “Gran Oriente” news sheet of the Grand Lodge of Spain is of great concern to all members of the Grand Lodge of Spain.
The concern of the silent majority of Freemasons in Spain who are content to work hard for their brothers in their lodges is increased as the “Official Spin” on the present situation of the Grand Lodge of Spain by those that administer our institution is constantly being contrasted with the opinions of other Freemasons in the Grand Lodge of Spain who use blogs, web pages and social media, read throughout the Masonic world, to express their alternative point of view of what is the state of the Grand Lodge of Spain in this moment of time.
It is hard to decide who has the moral and legal “high ground” within this situation we have now arrived at within the Grand Lodge of Spain. A situation where the irregularity of our Grand Lodge and deep and nearly impossible to heal divisions amongst the membership are possibly only months away. What is becoming apparent is that there is an immediate necessity for an open debate amongst all the members of the Grand Lodge of Spain. A debate where a “road map” for the future of the Grand Lodge of Spain can be discussed calmly, logically and for the benefit of all the membership.
The recent call for an Extraordinary Grand Assembly is a sensible way forward for the Grand Master and all concerned Freemasons in Spain to meet and create a new way forward for the Grand Lodge of Spain and ensure that we ALL can work in peace, harmony and brotherly love.
It is obvious that there is a silent majority of Freemasons of all nationalities representing all the provinces of Spain that work hard for the sake of Freemasonry in Spain as a whole, but normally do not get involved in the “politics” of the Grand Lodge. However, the present situation means that this silent majority needs an Extraordinary Grand Assembly to be held now so that they can express their opinions and stop the split of the Grand Lodge of Spain into 2 highly polarised opposing camps which will benefit NO ONE. Neither the Grand Master nor the growing opposition to the way the Grand Master is conducting the affairs of our Grand Lodge.
This silent majority is concerned that the current constitution and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Spain are deficient and not sufficiently democratic or detailed. It seems that the constitution can possibly allow abuses of power and the concentration of power in a single person or small clique of persons who are not accountable to the rest of the membership. This is a very different situation from other Grand Lodges, such as the United Grand Lodge of England or the Grand Lodge of Scotland, where a Board of General Purposes is the governing and decision-making body of these Grand Lodges.
Within this large silent majority of Masons of all nationalities in Spain it is believed that there is a consensus that the Grand Lodge of Spain now needs a profound change to its constitution and regulations.
It is recognize that in the Grand Lodge of Spain the Grand Master has two functions within the structure of the Grand Lodge. First as the head of a Masonic obedience that practices rituals and is ceremonial. In this role, he is the Grand Master who conducts ceremonies from the East in the same way that any Worshipful Master directs his lodge at a meeting.
The second function of the Grand Master is as an administrative leader of a legal association with no profit motive. In this role, his function is similar to that of a president of a board of a charity or a president of a neighbourhood association living in the same community block. The Association must organize to comply with the legal system of Spain, while the Ritual and Ceremonial Grand Lodge is structured as usual and works the ritual of the Grand Lodge of Spain.
Within the legal Association, which is the Grand Lodge of Spain, there must be a division of powers and control between the legislative, executive, financial and judicial sections so that abuse of power or illegality cannot be committed. Also, that all the members that administer the association are accountable to all the rest of the members of the Legal Association which is the Grand Lodge of Spain.
However, the Grand Lodge of Spain is different from a charity organization or a neighbourhood association because the structure of the Legal Association of the Grand Lodge of Spain must be combined with the Ritual and Ceremonial structure. This creates the situation in which the Grand Master is the same person who represents both structures, but is endowed with different powers and functions depending on whether we are talking about the Association or the Ceremonial.
The Grand Master is the head of the ritual and ceremonial structure that must maintain the same structure of Active and Past Officers that has existed for decades within the constitution of the Grand Lodge of Spain.
The Grand Master will direct the ceremonies and rituals using the Ritual of the Grand Lodge of Spain, as is the case today.
The difference between the current organization of the Grand Lodge of Spain and the structure that this silent majority of Freemasons of all nationalities would most likely like to see created as soon as possible is that the Grand Master will also head a second, reduced list of Officers, which are included as part of the Ritual and Ceremonial structure, but is a list which will also be elected as a team to act as a “Management Team” with the function of administering the Legal Association of the Grand Lodge of Spain with the Grand Master as the “Leader of the Management Team”. The title awarded to this “Management Team” is not important, the important thing is the concept of electing a “Management Team” to lead the Association which is the Grand Lodge of Spain and NOT just onr person.
The “Management Team” will constitute what we have traditionally called the Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) of the Grand Lodge of Spain. These proposals make the Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) the Executive Body of the Grand Lodge of Spain and administers the Legal Association of the Grand Lodge of Spain.
Elections every 4 years should be held in the Grand Assembly and must decide between the various “Management Team / Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) Lists”, including a candidate for Grand Master as “Leader of the Management Team” and also “Grand Master” of the Ritual and Ceremonial, which are presented for possible choice. The Grand Assembly chooses the “Management Team /Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) List” that obtains the highest number of votes to administer the Grand Lodge of Spain for the next 4 years until the next regular election period.
For a Brother to be included as a member of any “Management Team /Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) List” submitted for a possible election, including the position of “Grand Master / Leader of the Management Team”, he must have been a current paid member of the Grand Lodge of Spain for a continuous period of 5 years and the Past Worshipful Master of a lodge under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Spain. For the “Grand Master / Team Leader” position, the candidate for the “Grand Master / Team Leader” position, as part of a “Management Team / Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) List” proposed for the election, must be a Spanish national.
The Grand Treasurer and Grand Speaker (Gran Orador) are excluded from any list of “Management Team”, as they are elected by the Grand Assembly separately with 2 years of difference from the elections for the “Management Team”. The Grand Treasurer and the Grand Speaker (Gran Orador), although elected in a different period of time, are members of the Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector) of the Grand Lodge of Spain with the same status as the members of the “Management Team” and participate in debates and votes held at the meetings of the Grand Governing Council (Gran Consejo Rector). This is exactly like the current situation of these 2 officers within the Grand Lodge Administration as it works to date. It is vital that this system remains in place with reference to the Grand Treasurer and the Grand Speaker (Gran Orador), since in this way they are independent of the “Management Team” while they are part of it, but they can guarantee that there are no abuses of power or corruption within the ” Management team “.
In conclusion, the concept of this new structure of the Grand Lodge of Spain is to make our Grand Lodge more democratic, responsible, efficient, profitable, legal under the laws of Spain and, most importantly, guarantee harmony and peace throughout the Grand Lodge of Spain.
It is something any true leader interested in the good of all the members of the Grand Lodge of Spain and interested in preserving the regularity of our Grand lodge and in stopping any more division would immediately call an Extraordinary Grand Assembly to debate.
This is the moment. It is now or never for the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge of Spain to show we are a Grand Lodge of worthy and well respected Freemasons who can have the confidence and recognition of all other Grand Lodges.
Most Worthy and Respectable Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Spain, Oscar de Alfonso Ortega, please call for an Extraordinary Grand Assembly now.
W.Bro. Chris Langley Kirke, Past Master.
Grand Lodge of Spain Matriculation number: 4356