From the Wise Master (November 2017)

posted Nov 10, 2017, 9:33 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Nov 10, 2017, 9:34 AM ]


I’m going to share with you some exotic, for some, history:

Freemasonry in Romania.

Freemasonry has a long history in Romania, going back as far as 1734.  That is only 17 years after the constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England and two years before the birth of the Scottish Rite.  Many key moments in Romanian history, including the country's unification and independence were strongly influenced by Masons.  The National Grand Lodge of Romania was founded in September 1880.  One year later, in 1881, the Supreme Council of Romania was created.  For the next half century, Freemasonry was the driving force behind Romania's rapid progress.  Those were years of great achievement and change. Romania emerged as a modern nation with a democratic government, a booming economy, and a rich cultural life.

Those hopeful times abruptly ended with the beginning of World War II.  But the worst was still to come.  It arrived with the Soviet tanks that imposed a communist regime in Bucharest, thus marking the beginning of a nightmare that would last for 50 years.  Romanian Freemasons paid a heavy price.  They were persecuted, arrested, tried, sent to jails, or forced into labor camps.  In 1948, Freemasonry was outlawed by the communist regime.  At that time, more than 1,500 Brethren were registered by the Romanian Grand Lodge.  No more than a few hundred were still alive in 1964 to benefit from a general amnesty, and by 1989 only 10 Masons living in Romania survived the communist regime.  There were, of course, a few Romanian Brethren living abroad.

After almost half a century of ruthless dictatorship, a miracle occurred. Communism collapsed and so did the dictator Ceausescu's regime.  It was a rebirth for the whole nation and a time of great need.  And so it was, of course, time for Freemasonry to step in again.  The Grand Orient of Italy and the Grand Lodge of California reconstituted the first Romanian Lodge in 1990 with the assistance of the Grand Lodges of France and Austria.  Three years later, the National Grand Lodge of Romania was reopened, and S.G.C. Kleinknecht and his Supreme Council initiated the first Master Masons into the Scottish Rite.  In October 1993, the same Mother Council of the World re-consecrated, in Washington, D.C., the Supreme Council of Romania, Portugal, and Poland.  Romanian Brethren were grateful then, and they remain so to this day.  In particular, they are pleased that Ill. Kleinknecht and his distinguished delegation were able to attend and help celebrate the 10th anniversary in post-communist Romania.  This celebration has closed a difficult chapter and has opened a new one in which genuine Brotherhood and Unity in Europe and the world must and shall triumph.

And in May 14 to 17, 20014 the National Grand Lodge of Romania has organized and hosted the 13th session of The World Conference of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges: 106 Grand Lodges were represented, 76 Grand Masters and 32 Grand Secretaries as well as an impressive number of Deputy Grand Masters, Pro Grand Masters and Grant Officers were in attendance, making the 13th session of The World Conference the largest gathering of representatives in history.


Ion Vasilescu

Wise Master