Freemasonry, Society and Politics in debate
The Municipal Archive of Seia, a town located on the basement of Serra da Estrela [at the centre of Portugal], has gather several distinguished speakers to discuss the interrelations between three realities: freemasonry, society and politics. The event – the XI Historical Lectures of Seia – has taken place between, 16 and 17th November, in Seia and has brought together António Reis [Grand Master of GOL], Salvato Telles de Meneses, António Lopes [director of the Masonic Museum], António Arnault [past-Grand Master of GOL], Maria Belo [Founder of the GLF], Alfredo Caldeira [Mário Soares Foundation], Feliciana Ferreira [Grand Master of GLF], Mário Martim Guia [Grand Master of GLLP], António Ventura [Universidade Nova de Lisboa] and Frei Bento Domingues [Franciscan and Theologian]. Divided by different panels, the speakers went through interesting themes such as “The origins of Freemasonry”, “Freemasonry on the triumph of Liberalism”, “Freemasonry and Politics”, “Political effects of Female Freemasonry activities”, “Freemasonry before and after “Estado Novo”, “Freemasonry in the Grande Oriente Lusitano”, “Female Freemasonry”, “Regular Freemasonry” and “Freemasonry and the religious question”. The last lecture was made by António Arnault and devoted to the topic “Freemasonry and Human Rights”. The event that brought together the three top Masonic Obediences in Portugal is a benchmark in the dialogue that needs to be achieved between freemasons, whatever their allegiances and creeds. It is urgent to bring to light the contribution Freemasonry has made to Portuguese contemporary history, but also the role it has still to perform in free but somehow passive societies, like ours. A society where materialism, rough competition and blend consumism make the trends of collective and appraised success and where spiritualism, solidarity and brotherhood are turned into somehow outdated and old-fashioned notions. Conducting to the results we all assist, everyday.