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College of Covadonga: The words of others

colegio invisible

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Dear Brother,

The Invisible College of Covadonga has published several articles of reflection focussed on Freemasonry since the group was formed on the 21st June 2018.

We are criticised for not declaring our identities. This criticism is wrong because those who criticised us do not understand the concept of the Invisible College, We are not a “blog” or a “What’s app group” or an “Internet platform”.  

The Invisible College is a serious attempt to study the Masonic system in Spain and the best format for its institutional structure, according to a strictly Masonic methodology. We use the methodology, that of the «invisible college», which comes from the seventeenth century and has provided so many services to Freemasonry over the centuries. This formula, which is not a secret, is linked to a conceptual Masonic and philosophical idea about the «initiates secret» as well as to science as indicated by our name and our coat of arms. It is also tradition to make use of a symbolic name. These are the instruments of the daily work that we carry out at our meetings. If after this explanation someone still wants to criticise or laugh at our work, we cannot do anything. However, the work that is done by the Invisible College is a lot and we are giving hope to Freemasonry in Spain. Especially as hope is what is needed most at this time within Regular Freemasonry within the Grand Lodge of Spain.

Unfortunately, we have to concentrate on the Grand Lodge of Spain because it is the entity that most needs care at the moment and is of most concern to us especially the regularity, structure, future and leadership. The Invisible College has contact with all the brothers in the different autonomous communities in which we are implanted and makes our reflexions and opinions about the Grand Lodge of Spain based on the interchange of opinions amongst all.

We are not a lodge, or a grand lodge in the making, nothing of the sort! We work outside of any obedience and within an idea of freedom and intellectual exchange about Freemasonry. We receive the opinions and information from all. We are following our first year of existence by publishing the words we have received from non-Spanish brothers who are not members of the Invisible College but who feel Spanish Masonry as their own and are concerned Brethren.

Please read these letters. Though they are strong, they are honest opinions. The Invisible College stresses that neither the English born brethren or the Spanish born Brethren are responsible for the situation of Spanish regular masonry and  the Grand Lodge of Spain.

We all are responsible, and must work together as regular Freemasons within the Grand Lodge of Spain to create a better future and stop our Grand Lodge from being in the hands of a person with many shortcomings as a Mason and not unanimously recognized as a brother.

Fraternal greetings from the Invisible College.

Letter 1:

Considérations sur l´étatactuel de la Grande Loge d Espagne

“Après quelque sanné espassées sur les colonnes d une loge, voici quelques remarques sur la crise que traverse l’obédience la plus importante d’Espagne :

Dans les années 80, la Franc Maçonnerie a étéré introduite en Espagne par la Grande Loge Nationale Française puis par la Grande Loge Unie d’Angleterre. La G.L.N.F a fourni des rituels et du matérielpour louverture de logestravaillantau R. E. A. A. 

Peu de Frères son trestés dans le pays pour expliquer les fondements du rite. Les Anglais de le urcôtéont montés des Loges dans la province de Valence puis en Andalousie avec une forte communauté de Frères vivant en Espagne toute l’année. Le rite Emulation s’est donc développé dans de meilleures conditions dans le pays.

Les loges travaillant au R. E. A. A. ont bien souvent un très faible niveau de ce fait. La formation de Seconds Surveillants a été dé faillante dès le début, ce qui a des répercusions jusqu’à aujourd’hui. On a parfois l´impression que les Frères viennent en loge pour flater leur ego, à la recherche de titres et de tabliers…

La G. L. E. a fourni depuis peu de nouveaux rituels de R. E. A. A., rédigés sans concertation avec les Loges. Des éléments du rite Emulation ont été introduits dans le R. E. A. A. cequ un maçon écossais ne peut accepter.

Le manque de transparence des comptes est flagrant tant au niveau régional que national. Les récentes augmentations ont également été decidées sans préavis. Tout se passe bien dans la mesure où les Frères ne demandent pas d´explications sur ces comptes ou sur les différentes augmentations.

De nombreux Frères espagnol sont le sentiment d appartenir à une province de la G. L. U. I. Le système démocratique n est pas respecté : ce sont les MM installés (titre qui normalement n´existe pas dans l´écossisme) qui ont le droit de vote. Ces MM installés sont proportionnellement plus nombreux dans les loges de rite Emulation qui sont généralement anglaises et acquises au Grand Maître actuel.

Les récentes interventions de Oscar de Alfonso dans les média sont été très mal reçues par les Frères de l’obédience mais également par tous les autres Maçons du pays. L´image de l´Ordredans le monde profane estdé sastreuse. Un Grand Maître qui déclare dans la pres se qu´il se rend au Conclave “le couteau entre les dents”, ce n´est pas très maçonnique ! Pas plus que de déclarer voul o irradier les Frères qui visitent des loges “irrégulières” et en suite reconnaître à la télévision Manuel Valls comme Franc Maçon, initié au Grand Orient de France, obédience non reconnue par les “réguliers”.

Pour les Frères de rite Ecossais, l’urgence serait de redéfinir la notion d’initiation et de laisser de côté l’organisation caritative, principal souci des loges anglaises. Il faudrait une séparation réelle entre les rites au sein de l’obédience, ce quin esemble pas à l’ordre du jour.

Malheureusement, dans l´état actuel des choses, il y a peu d´espoir de réforme profonde. Le système de vote ne permettra pas de changement avant de nombre uses années. Il est probable que de nombreux Frères quitteront l´Obédience dans les mois à venir et la G. L. E. restera en crise pour une durée indéterminée…

Letter 2:

I became a Spanish Mason over 6 years ago. I would like to share my perspective on the GLE and the meaning of regularity.

First of all I would like to address the qualifications of a Grand Master. In my perspective a Grand Master should be a Mason beyond reproach, who refrains himself from expressing political and religious opinions, who in words (incl. social media) and actions clearly is on the square.

But mostly, a Brother, a gentleman of fidelity who unites and does not divide.  A man of tolerance and respect to others who question some of his judgements.

I am afraid to conclude my dear Brothers, that the current GM sadly does not fit my expectations and I am saddened to see many of my Spanish Brothers leave the GLE as they feel that they no longer can be part of Spanish ‘Regular’ Masonry.  It is sad that those who I know who have left are dear friends of mine, Brothers I regard with the highest respect for their strict morals, understanding of the ritual, examples of what true Masons should be. In my opinion those Brothers are TRUE and Regular Masons, and for me they always will be.

However, what baffles me most is that so many provinces are lead by English Masons who have no idea of the AASR Ritual and most intriguingly do not even speak Spanish.  A comment made by the WM of my Mother Lodge when he came on a visit to Spain: “this is outrageous, it is like you are a Masonic Colony of the English.”.  Indeed my sentiments. And in the words of an Indian Brother, “remember it is easy for the English to arrive in a foreign country, take over, and impose English customs and rules, but it takes a long time for them to leave.”

I do not have the answers. I will however call on all TRUE Spanish Masons not to resign but stay and work with your Dear Brothers to increase the membership of our Lodges and slowly, step by step bring awareness amongst the Spanish Fraternity that change is paramount to the survival of Regular Masonry in Spain. Every Brother who leaves gives a vote to the current regime.

Remember, the Temple took years to build and so will be the renewed GLE.

Letter 3:

My personal thoughts on GLE.

I try to have as little to do with GLE as possible because I am not happy with the way it is being used to further the cause of certain individuals who appear to be trying to build a world-wide empire, for which we are paying. Although it is giving Spanish masonry a broader base, I am not entirely sure that it is doing us the amount of good that we are led to. 

It may be fine to be able to say “we have XYZ Grand Lodges affiliated to the GLE” but my question would be “At what cost to us?” I am struggling to see what good it will eventually do for us other than make us a laughing stock. I have heard it said “Just invite the Grand Master of Spain to your country, treat him to the best hospitality and in return he will affiliation to the GLE. 

That, to me, is empire building. Does it make the affiliated Grand Lodges respectable or regular?

During the course of recent elections there are some Brethren who have been, in my opinion, treated abominably simply because they had opposed the incumbent who was seeking re-election. I have evidence to support my claim. This, for me, goes totally against my Masonic principles. I am aware that certain people have been barred or removed from office simply because they did not support the incumbent. This is not only morally wrong, but I believe to be Masonically wrong also.

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