Freemasonry in Portugal (after 25th April 1974)

(...) Democracy was re-established on 25th April 1974 as a result of the coup d’État that took place on that day, under the military command of the Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA) directing the revolution. The revolution, swiftly called Carnation Revolution because of the flower decorating the barrels of the insurgent soldiers’ rifles, had the unanimous backing of the international community and Portugal's traditional allies. The widespread acclamation the rebellion received from the population simplified the resumption of the civil and political liberties suppressed by the dictatorship.
It was not surprising that the revolution contributed to the elimination of all legal and political restrictions that restrained Masonic activity. The premises and documents confiscated by the secret police were returned to the Grémio Lusitano, the ordinary association that supported the Order.
The MFA program allowed the full restoration of all civil liberties, freedoms of expression, meeting, and press as counterweights of political power (and government).
Portuguese freemasonry initially was centred on the Grande Oriente Lusitano, with its palace in Grémio Lusitano Street. Since November 1984, in conjunction with the Grande Loja de Portugal formed by masons, originally from the lodges Aljubarrota, Bocage, Estrela d’Alva, Fernando Pessoa, and Futuro e Tolerância, all now under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente.
Meanwhile, a group of masons dissatisfied with the irregular ritualistic conditions that the Grande Orient persisted in following, took initiatives to remedy the situation and tried to restore the Obedience in the roots of regularity, but the attempt failed. Schisms occurred during the 1980s, which led to the creation of the Grand Lodge of Portugal in 1985 and later the creation of the Portuguese District of the Grand National Lodge of France (DP-GLNF) .

In 1991 this District became the Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal (GLRP), under the leadership of Fernando Teixeira as its first Grand Master . This new Obedience incorporated prestigious freemasons like Antero da Palma Carlos the first Prime Minister after the Revolution, Fernando Teixeira the first Grand Master, José Manuel Moreira, José Carlos Nogueira the past-Sovereign Grand Commander of the 33º of the SAAR, Pisani Burnay, Alvaro de Athayde, Luís Nandin de Carvalho the second Grand Master, José Manuel Anes the past-Grand Master, Nuno Nazareth Fernandes and José Moreno the Superior Priest of the Royal Arch to name a few.
The Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal achieved great expansion and growth, during the first ten years of its operation. It was recognised by Universal Freemasonry as a regular jurisdiction and has representatives close to the Grand Lodges of Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Mexico, the different Grand Lodges of the states of United States of America and the United Grand Lodge of England (1992). This warm welcome among the main branches of Regular freemasonry made it possible for the Second World Masonic Conference to be held in Estoril, in September 1996, with representatives from 20 countries and an enormous coverage by the press.

The Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal has gathered an increasing influence within Portuguese society among the liberal professions, intellectuals, public servants, entrepreneurs and academics, with about 900 members during the 1990s. In civil society the new Obedience is considered to closely reflect the Catholic, liberal and conservative environment. Luis Nandin de Carvalho replaced the founder, Dr. Fernando Teixeira, after his decease in 1997.
A minority of freemasons contested the election of the new Grand Master, led by José Braga Gonçalves. The WorshipfulMaster of Lodge General Gomes Freire de Andrade promoted a schism in the Grand Lodge between 1997 and 1998, alleging that the Grand Master had violated his Masonic vows . The purpose of the schism was to enable insiders to take over the power of regular Portuguese freemasonry and put it at the service of hidden or illegal purposes. The new dissidents, some 400 masons, adopted the original name of the Grand Lodge, took Casa do Sino - the headquarters of the Grand Lodge - by force and confiscated all the archives. This “coup d’État” forced the remaining group of masons who continued to support Luis Nandin de Carvalho, to change its common name to Grande Loja Legal de Portugal – Grande Loja Regular de Portugal, known in universal freemasonry as the Grand Lodge of Portugal - Legal . All of the ceremonial bodies of Regular freemasonry, that is the High Degrees (or side degrees), rejected the call of the dissidents and joined the GLLP in its new phase of activity.

On 11th December 2000 José Manuel Anes succeeded Luís Nandin de Carvalho as Grand Master and was installed on 24th March 2001. José Manuel Anes was the Grand Prior of the Grande Prioriado Independente da Lusitânea, a system of High Degrees of the Rectified Scottish rite of Christian and Gnostic observance.

If the Website of the Grand Legal Lodge of Portugal (www.gllp.com) is visited, it will be seen that 50 lodges are operating with an estimated membership of 900 freemasons, compared with 1100 members under the Grande Oriente Lusitano.
According with the available data, in broad terms, there are now seven Masonic Obediences operating in Portugal. They are: GLRP (Legal) with 900 members; GLRP (Casa do Sino) 100 members; Grande Loja Nacional Portuguesa (an offshoot from GLRP) 50 members; Casa Real dos Pedreiros Livres da Lusitânea (also an offshoot from GLRP) 50 members; Grande Oriente Lusitano 1100 members; Grande Loja Feminina de Portugal (Feminine freemasonry) 300 members and Direito Humano (mixed freemasonry) 200 members.

Beyond the Grand Lodges that reputedly represent the first three degrees of regular and irregular freemasonry in Portugal, there are bodies representing the High Degrees of freemasonry and practising the rites according to their several systems. First among these we should mention the Supreme Council for Portugal of the General Inspectors of the 33º of the SAAR (Scottish rite); there also is the Independent Grand Priory of Lusitanea (Rectified Scottish Christian freemasonry) and the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch (Cryptic and Templar masonry). Recently, a Rosecrucian Association of Freemasons of Portugal was formed following the rituals of the international Rosicrucian Societies. (...)

Quoted from an article "A Shortened History of Freemasonry in Portugal" by A.M.G. available at Pietre Stones site.