The Judiciary and Freemasonry (Portugal)

In a recent presentation of a book about the system of Justice in Portugal the Procurator General, Cons. Pinto Monteiro respond to the question " can a magistrate be member of Freemasonry or Opus Dei?" " Are these organizations powers above the state founded on the rule of law?". Replying to these questions Mr. Pinto Monteiro answered that " in these issues is not enugh to be independent is required to be independent", adding also that " these organizations have an important historical role" and that " I know that are magistrates in Freemasonry and Opus Deis. I never was a member of them". In Diario de Notícias, here.

This statement require some comments. First of all Freemasonry and Opus Dei are respectable institutions in the Western world and have both target the amelioration of Men and society. They have been, for a longtime, in the foundations of the liberal society and both were outlawed in dictatorships. Secondly, the Judiciary are made by men, that are part of the society and presumably Men that rule by sense of justice and fairness. They apply the law, independently, as they are required and that is the oath they take when they begin their career. Being a member of fraternal association doesn't prevent no-one from making independent judgements and if in any specific case a situation of incompatibility emerge the procedural civil law allows him to step aside and petition to be substituted. This has become a long practice in our courts. To require every magistrate to be deprived from its liberty of choice regarding the participation in the betterment of society is to be deprived from being Men, common men and rule by the criteria of good and just men. The system doesn't go better and if anyone wants to abuse and mislead the system he will do it, whenever there is a prohibition, or not. For a longtime the larger football clubs, in Portugal, have judges in their judiciary organs and this situation never caused the exclusion of these members from the class of judges. The same applies here.
Thirdly Mr. Pinto Monteiro seems to have some bias regarding Freemasonry; by his words it seems that he read somewhere that freemasonry was important in history. Acknowledging that some of the members of the class belong to freemasonry, he remarks, cynically, that he never was a member of "this". Under the tone there is some despise about what this organization is and look to be. Mr. Monteiro is entitle to his opinion but is just an opinion. It doesn't prevail as an orientation to the courts, to the judiciary class and to the procedural process.
We have - thanks to God - in democracy what is called "the separation of powers". The only entity that is allowed to legislate in this area is the Parliament. Not the Judiciary. And trusting our democratic institutions we will be tempted to believe that a just and reasonable ruling is achieved between the requirements of independence and the freewill of men. This is the substance that democracies are made off.
There is no reason, whatsoever, for any member of the judiciary to be forbidden to become a member of Freemasonry, Opus Dei, Sporting, Benfica or Porto football clubs, or any associative entity, legally constituted under the laws of the land. Only in a surveilled world this type of fear may prevail. Mr. Monteiro seems to forget it in its statement.