José Filardo, P.´. M.´.
Modern Rite is absolute minority in the Brazilian masonic landscape. The Rite exists most in the Grand Orient of Brazil where it represents 4% of the brethren, there are news of lodges in the COMAB, GOP and in the Grand Lodge of the State of São Paulo. Nationwide it represents less than 1% of the Brazilian Freemasons.
One of the problems (apart from the myriad of independent Obediences, some of which are scams) with Freemasonry in Brazil is that the higher hierarchical level of the organization is mummified, mainly that of the Grand Orient of Brazil. At the bottom of the pyramid things are not so bad. In smaller centers, the lodges – regardless of the rite – have some influence over society, the membership is recruited among the leaders, and some lodges even unite to address problems that are common to all brothers. However, in larger cities, the power of Freemasonry is annulled by the heterogenic membership in geographical terms and the decentralization of government.
Theoretically – in my wildest dreams – if GMs reclaimed the Modern Rite perspective of Freemasonry, maybe they could steer the organization into another track and recover the influence that Brazilian FM had in early times.
The fact is that Brazilian FM is dominated by the Scottish Rite, which puts emphasis on polishing the ashlar and finding illumination, rather than social intervention. The GOB’s GM belongs to an Adonhiramite Lodge, plays RPG with the Templars and does all he and his claque can, to eliminate the Modern Rite from the GOB (the Modern Rite is the official rite of the obedience).
What would be the solution for the Brazilian FM landscape?
First, a new Obedience should be founded (The Grand Orient of the Modern Rite) congregating the current lodges of the Modern Rite (about one hundred or so). Naturally, not all members of the Lodges would follow suit, because most they belong to the Rite, but really do not understand it – they were initiated there, though they would be better off in a lodge of the Scottish, Craft, York or other Rite.
Another problem would be the loss of the “regularity” – cherished by many, and the possible resistance to the initiation of women.
Second, the traditional (a member sponsors a candidate) recruitment method of the Brazilian FM should be changed to a proactive search for leaders in the social fabric and their integration in the FM; not only accept the requests of candidates (2B1ASK1).
This task could or should be undertaken by the Supreme Council of the Rite, after a candid discussion with the GMG about the manoeuvers to eliminate the Modern Rite from the constellation of Rites of the Grand Orient of Brazil.