After fifteen years, it closes the great mastery of Gustavo Raffi. The Grand Orient of Italy turns the page with the election of Stephen Bisi. Senese, a journalist, he is the new Grand Master of the Masonic Italian first communion. More than 800 lodges around the country, more than 20 thousand brothers masons. The parallel with the best-known national rottamatore would be spontaneous, if the individual concerned can hardly be offended. Other than revolutions: “With us there is a tradition,” said the Grand Master, weighing his words carefully. Aprons in Parliament? “For us there is no incompatibility with the policy – says Bisi – And if any party does not agree with his problems are.” No secret, but rather work in the Lodge are “strictly confidential in nature.” The successor of Raffi talk about everything, or almost. From the opening to the unexpected closure of women to the Catholic Church: “This Pope is a man of deep humanity.” Illuminating the path between squares and compasses to non-experts. Indeed, the profane.
Bisi, after the recent election, how should I contact? Venerable okay?
can I call the Grand Master, but not yet. I insedierò in early April, the Grand Lodge in Rimini.
She is the new Grand Master after about 15 years. Elected with over 40 percent of the vote.
46.2 percent, to be precise.
In any case, with enough support to avoid having to resort to the ballot. We are scrapping Masonic?
Absolutely not. With us there is no destruction, but the tradition. Who comes always takes account of what he did his predecessor. And what did Gustavo Raffi will remain forever in the history of Freemasonry. I’m talking about transparency. Look at how many books have been written in recent years, our archives were opened to scholars, Freemasons and beyond. I have repeated it several times also to all the brothers that I have met in recent weeks around Italy: scrapping does not rhyme with Freemasonry.
Last Sunday, 11,490 people voted brothers masters of the Communion of 16,059 claimants. Even in the Lodge have a problem of abstention?
would not say. Voted more than 70 percent of those eligible. A good investment, especially if you consider that they voted in a single day.
Citing, Freemasonry is “an initiatory Order whose members work for the moral and spiritual elevation of man and of the human family.” This sentence seems a bit ‘anachronistic. Because today you should feel the need to become a Freemason?
Maybe there needs to recover some spiritual values. I realize that it is difficult for a layman to believe, but when we go to the work of the Lodge, we enter into a house, put on an apron and gloves, three lights turn on, and speak one at a time. One speaks, the others listen. In a world where you have to shout in order to exist, it is a revolutionary thing. Where else going on? In my opinion, people need to spirituality, even today.
And they ask you?
There are many young people who knock on the doors of the Temple. Many of them approach it through our website. They are interested, ask to know us better. The signals are turned on territory occupied by the bussante, which is contacted by an experienced brother. The path is long, of course. But there are anachronisms. We sand the rough stone, then that is our spirit, and we offer the good of mankind.
But who is behind the apron? You can draw an identikit of the freemason?
There is a bit ‘of everything, and this is the most beautiful thing. Employers, employees, students … In the Lodge we are all equal. Coming from a family of Masonic traditions and who does not like me.
In Italy, the Big East has over 800 lodges, in a few years affiliates have more than doubled to 22 thousand. Are numbers from association of enthusiasts. There is too much ease in opening to the outside?
But look at that being a Freemason is often not positive. We are not always welcome in the world. I still remember that in 1993, after he lost his job, I signed a cooperation agreement for six months at the RAI headquarters in Florence. Colleagues did strike two days accusing me of being recommended. In Italy it is still difficult to be Masons. Sure, things are much improved. At the beginning of the eighties, at the end of the work of the Lodge, we had to be careful to get out on the street. Today, fortunately, is no longer so.But if the world has changed, it must be opened in recent years.
You say that “the work of the Lodge is strictly private, but not secret.” It’s a play on words?
The difference is substantial. There are meetings in the Lodge where they can participate only Masons. Like all other associations.
But the names of your affiliates are secret …
If it’s for this are not known in any other association. The vertices are public instead. It is not a trivial matter: programs and the names of the candidates in the three lists that were recently presented are open to all. There’s even a site where there are our phone numbers.
Criminal infiltration. In an article that appeared a few days ago Espresso it comes to relations between some of the Lodges and members of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta.
In Italy there is still a lot of racism. Every time you speak out the Calabria ‘Ndrangheta, every time you speak of Sicily comes out of the Mafia. I think it is offensive to some of our country. However I am not aware that the characters mentioned in that article are affiliated to the Grand Orient. If some of the Lodges were suspended, there will have been valid reasons. Going around the South of Italy, in recent weeks, I have met many brothers south. And I just felt a lot of passion, generosity and warmth.
We talk about passion, spiritual elevation. But among brothers masons there is also a kind of mutual aid? It is one of the aspects of Freemasonry that worries more outside …
There may be, as much as there is between people who belong to any other association.Surely the mutual aid is not the essence of Freemasonry. I will give you an example.Until a few years ago there was a brother, who became blind with age. When we gathered in the Lodge, twice a month, we had to pick it up at home. Here, the happiness of the man was our mutual aid. But even the most beautiful experience in my life as a Freemason.
I quote again. “The Masons have esteem, respect and consideration for women.However, being the heir of Freemasonry Freemasonry operational Tradition, not admitted into the Order. ” Difficult to argue that this measure is not strongly anti-historical.
The reason for this rule to be explained by an esoteric point of view. The woman represents the moon, complementary to the solar, masculine. Yet not everyone knows that, linked to the Big East, there are chapters of the Eastern Star. Women’s groups, linked to the Masons from family relationships, which have autonomous structures. Also they operate ritually, and are very active in the field of solidarity.
Do you think there should be no incompatibility between the work of Mason and politics?
There is no incompatibility. If a brother who grows and matures in the Lodge you want to engage in politics is nothing to prevent. The Mason works for the good of humanity, politics also. For us there is no contradiction. Then if some parties prohibit membership in the Masons, their problem.
For a politician Mason, however, there is a risk that the “solemn promise” would be in conflict with the interests of the state.
No risk. In fact in that formula we promise allegiance to the Constitution and the laws of the state.
In short, do not ask her to name names. But there will be several Masons even in Parliament.
I do not know.
The President of the Council Matteo Renzi like?
Every Mason has the right to like or dislike our prime minister. I respect him for the institution he represents.
You do not want just to unbalance …
On Renzi every Mason has the right to think as he wishes.
And Papa Francesco likes?
Even the Grand Master Gustavo Raffi greeted positively the first releases of the Pope. A man of deep humanity. I think that should be appreciated her openings.
The Pope opened the Church to the world and offers transparency. As you Masons.But there was a conflict?
What the Pope is a path that can be considered similar to ours. But we have nothing against the church, but rather it is the Church that we see as hostile. The world is changing. A great scholar of Freemasonry said: “Sooner or later, the door that divides, will be found a key to open it.”