The Grand Orient of Catalonia
THE FREEMASONRY HISTORIA
Freemasonry today is based on the realization of philosophical, philanthropic and human solidarity works. Its direct origin is the fraternities of cathedral builders (stonecutters, masons, architects ...) the ramifications of those that extended throughout the Middle Ages throughout Western Europe.
To go beyond the secrets of their art, these builders practiced ancient rituals whose origin cannot be fixed exactly, but it can be affirmed that the Masons (masons) have formed cofradias of trades since ancient times.
To learn the profession and practice it (make it operational), the freemasons had to travel from city to city, which finally allowed them to free themselves from all feudal authority, both civil and ecclesiastical. They formed, thus, the "free trade", to clear the stately charges.
The influence of these "Freemasons" was very important between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. It declined throughout the fifteenth century on the european continent, but remained in England, in Scotland and in Ireland.
In these three countries the evolution of Operational Freemasonry to Symbolic or Speculative Freemasonry took place, which was done in stages.
As the great cathedral construction works disappeared, the operative masons workshops were integrating in their brotherhood "Accepted Masons", people of moral and intellectual prestige who participated in their discussions and enriched them with their contributions.
The foundations of modern Freemasonry are located around 1600, in Scotland, where quarry workshops met.
In 1693 the Scottish guard of James II Stuard, monarch exiled in France, installed near Paris the first Lodge of Masons accepted from the European continent. From then on, the so-called "Scottish" boxes will spread throughout the Kingdom of France and will result, by gradual evolution throughout the 18th century, in the Scottish Rite (which paradoxically was always unknown in Scotland).
In 1717, four Obediences of London joined together to form the first federation of speculative boxes, which was called London's Grand Lodge.
In 1723 Pastor Anderson wrote the Constitutions of the Freemasons, a document with the principles by which this speculative Freemasonry should be governed. Subsequent reforms have slowly modified the conditions of entry to the rhythm of the evolution of mentalities, largely driven by the Masons' own action.
JT Desaguliers, scientist and co-editor of the so-called Anderson Constitutions
In 1773 the Grand Orient of France was constituted by the federation of 400 obediences of the kingdom.
In 1789 the French Revolution begins with the meeting of the General States of France; the 655 deputies, 477 were freemasons. The Masons had a decisive influence on the intellectual construction of the foundations of the Republic with the incorporation of the three democratic principles of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity (materialized, for example, in the proclamation of the Rights of Man and the Citizen). However, during the period of the Jacobin Terror, the Grand Orient of France was forced to suspend its activities (1793).
In 1801 the Constitution of the Supreme Council of the United States of America, which is traditionally considered as the definitive establishment of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (A.·.A.·.S.·.R.·.) and its 33 degree system, takes place in Charleston (South Carolina). In 1804 the Supreme Council of France will be created in Paris and then Supreme Councils of A.·.A.·.S.·.R.·. will be created to other countries in Europe and America.
In fact, throughout the 19th century, Freemasonry spread throughout the world and the influence of Freemasons was decisive. It is clear that our Brothers contributed to the adoption of social laws, social security systems, paid vacations, the 40-hour work week, the prohibition of children's work, the compulsory lay school ...
Today, the Grand Lodge of England and the obedience of english influence continue to apply to the letter those original Constitutions of Anderson. Many other Obediences consider, however, that the tradition itself has not been and should never be an obstacle to the continuous updating of Freemasonry, which allows the Order to continue responding to the problems and demands of the society of each moment.
BRIEF HISTORY OF CATALAN MANSONRY
While the first masonic organization of the catalan countries was formed in Menorca in the middle of the 18th century, Freemasonry did not take root until the 19th century. But then he took a big push and generously contributed to the democratic and patriotic revolution. Great names of the intellectuality and politics of the left and of the nascent labor unionism were Freemasons. That is why it is not surprising that the first fully national masonic organization that was constituted in the Principality of Catalonia collected the patriotic ideals and objectives that animated the catalan federal republican movement.
On August 23, 1886, in fact, the Great Constituent Assembly of the Catalan-Balearic Regional Symbolic Grand Lodge was held in Barcelona, chaired by the Serene Grand Master Rossend Arús, writer and founder of the public library that bears his name, specialized in philosophical and social issues in general and also masonic. The first title of the Constitution approved by that assembly deals with "Freemasonry and its principles" with a chapter dedicated to the "General Principles of Freemasonry" and another to the "individuals of the Great Regional Catalan Lodge."
Masonic general principles proclaimed by the first Constituent Assembly of Catalan Freemasonry were, one by one, all human and democratic rights: to life, to personal dignity, to the free emission and dissemination of thought, to the free expression of conscience and worship, freedom of education, free instruction, freedom of work, choice of domicile, inviolability of the latter, inviolability of correspondence and all other forms of communication, property, to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and demonstration, to the participation of the people in government through universal suffrage, separation between church and civil society, etc. In addition, the abolition of the titles of nobility were also proclaimed as general principles, the abolition of the death penalty and life imprisonment, and, finally, the right of all natural and legal entities, municipalities, regions, nations, etc. to govern themselves for their inner life, under their own laws, and their free and spontaneous federative union until they form a large intercontinental group, that is, worldwide.
The particular principles that should inspire the Catalan-Balearic Grand Lodge, "respecting the laws of the country and prescribing the broadest tolerance", were "to get Catalonia to form a sovereign and autonomous State, without other limitations than those derived from the contract signed and the one with the other Iberian regions", "establish in Catalonia institutions that guarantee the inviolability of human law, in all the manifestations expressed in the first title", "work so that Catalonia has its own powers, all elective, removable, responsible and separate conveniently from each other", "promote and support everything that may lead Catalonia to the proclamation and assurance of its expressed autonomy", and ensure that in the other hispanic countries large boxes are constituted that "proclaim, sustain and defend" the same principles.
This statement was obviously the expression in the masonic world of the patriotic ideals of the progressive generation that had led the Revolution of 1868-1873, ideals that, once the federal republican party was reorganized in 1881, had been codified in the Draft Constitution of the Catalan State, of 1883, a fundamental text in the history of the political thought of the Renaixença, summary of seventy years of struggle of the catalans for democracy, social progress and national freedom.
The Symbolic Grand Lodge of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands was recognized as sovereign obedience by the Grand National Orient of Spain through the Treaty-Agreement of mutual recognition and friendship, signed on July 17, 1887. By this treaty, in effect, "The Grand Orient National of Spain", Supreme Council for Scottish Freemasonry of the spanish nation and its possessions, recognizes the Catalan-Balearic Regional Symbolic Grand Lodge as the sole sovereign and legitimate authority of symbolic Freemasonry within the jurisdictional boundaries that comprise the territory of the provinces from Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Girona and the Balearic Islands" and both obediences committed themselves to exchange guarantor friendly representatives. So, in 1887 catalan Freemasonry was fully recognized as a family of Universal Freemasonry in the territory of the Principality of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and, with it, the particular principles on which it wanted to be based were also universally recognized, in addition to the universals that unite all freemasons.
The Catalan Balearic Symbolic Grand Lodge had an outstanding participation, directly or indirectly, in the freethinking, feminist and republican movement of the Principality of Catalonia for almost fifty years. However, his life would be strongly conditioned by his conflicting relations with the Spanish Grand Orient, especially since the Geneva Congress of 1902 and the subsequent creation of the International Bureau of Relations Maçonniques, through which the Spanish Grand Orient GOE imposed a total international isolation. Despite the attempt to overcome this situation with the new mutual recognition pact signed in 1914 between the two powers, it was repeatedly breached by the GOE and in 1923 the Catalan Balearic Symbolic Grand Lodge decided to extend its jurisdiction to the entire scope of the Spanish State, with the forced change of name in Spanish Grand Lodge. In 1929 the Themis Lodge was created, under the auspices of the GLE in order to be the embryo of a new Obedience Independent of Catalan Freemasonry. This project culminated with the constitution of the Catalan Independent Grand Orient in 1936, which was fiercely fought by spanish Freemasonry and was quickly engulfed by the maelstrom of the fascist uprising and the ensuing war.
Logo of te Respected Lodge Avant nro.11 of the symbolic Gran Lodge of Catalonia ante Balearic Islands
The national defeat and military occupation of 1939 also attacked freemasonry. This was declared the main enemy of the new spanish fascist regime. The Brothers were relentlessly persecuted and, those who could not hide or exile, were sentenced to death in summary trials. In these judicial drills, the accusations of "Mason" mixed with the accusations of "red" and "separatist." Once again, in Catalonia, the masonic ideals, those of social progress and those of national freedom were united; now, unfortunately, by the executioners' sentences and the bloodshed of our martyrs. In these circumstances, the subsistence of any masonic organization was impossible and it was necessary to bring down columns until the last of the lodges.
The dictator Franco died in 1975, the dissolution of the spanish fascist regime begins. In 1976, the Catalonia Lodge was established in Barcelona, the first after the occupation and the loss of freedoms. Subsequently, the name changed to Perseverance, which was federated in the Grand Orient of Catalonia, the first symbolic power of strictly catalan Obedience, which was established in 1989. In 1997, the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of Catalonia (Grand Council of the A.·.A.·.S.·.R.·.) was established and In 2000, the Supreme Council and the Grand Orient of Catalonia signed a Mutual Recognition Treaty and Constitutional Pact, by which the Scottish Rite Freemasonry remained firmly established in the Catalan lands.