According with Portuguese press (see Diario de Noticias) An tonio Reis, former MP of the Socialist Party was reelected at June 7, 2008, as Grand Master of the Grande Oriente Lusitano (GOL), the main irregular masonic obedience in Portugal. The Grand Master will be reinstalled in its quality as head of GOL in a cerimony planned to be take place in the 27th September in a hotel in Lisbon. The Grand Master decline to reveal what Obediences will be present go the cerimony of empowerment. Eugénio Monteiro and António Justino Ribeiro will be the deputy-Grand Masters of Antonio Reis. Till now, nothing special. Nevertheless, the GM of GOL take the occasion to invite Regular Masonary (and GLLP in particulary) to open its lodges to atheists and to women.
Being an enthusiastic advocate of pluralism and tolerance, Regular Freemasonry believe, therein, that the Royal Art needs to be accountable to three-hundred years of Masonic tradition and to the Landmarks that we swear to respect. In our oppinion, there is no moral or ethical superiority in being an atheist or a non-believer. This denial of a divine entity is deeply rooted in the French Revolution ideology that asserts that a man with no religion is more free, and respectful than another that follows a religion. For the sake of the argument we may add that if one looks, carefuly, to what atheism as bring - during the last 20th Century - to an important part of Europe, namely to the peoples subjected to the Soviet Empire, there is nothing the world shoud be proud about. Millions were persecuted, jailled or killed by the crime of cherishing a religion in the communist countries. It is a basic masonic principle that every Mason has the soveraign right to pursue the religion of its belief and not the one imposed (or rejected) by any type of majority. This principle has the reverse on NO religious discussions being allowed in Lodge. It is a mattter of reasoning that it will be hard for an initiate to apprehend the esoteric and symbolic sense of the if he keep is mind blind to the spirituality. Freemasonry laws only require Free Men of Good Report to believe in a Supreme Being as author of the Creation. No more than it, no less than it.
Secondly, speculative freemasonry is anchored in the traditions of the operative freemasons, those who build Temples and Cathedrals in the Middle Ages. In this ancient society there is a special role for women: to be companion of Men; their most trustful suporters. As Men need to pass through an Initiation process to be allowed to see the Light, and be reborn as Sons of Light, women achieve the same result when they give a child on birth, the most amazing human enterprise. So Traditional Fremasonry doesn't regard Women as inferior to Men as the above argument may induce. Freemasonry regards Women as different, but no less important for the progress of freemasonry. So the argument is fallacious.
Every Obedience - as any sort of Organization - has its own rules, to whom members are accountable for. Anyone who doesn't accept them is free to stand outside the door. But those who are inside the Brotherhood don't accept lessons of Masonic scholarship from those who, freely, dcide to put themselves outside the traditions of the Order . We are not freemasons by presumption but only by the recognition of our Brethren. This a basic creed.