The contribution from the Freemasonry of San Marino

Tuesday 5 April 2011

The contribution from the Freemasonry of San Marino

The Serenissima Gran Loggia della Repubblica di San Marino cannot feel stranger to the fervour of our Italian Brethren of Grande Oriente d’Italia as they are celebrating the hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of their motherland, a country so close and “embracing” that we will never feel as stranger.

On this occasion, I could extensively speak about the citizens of San Marino and how they felt united to the Italian patriots, offering them shelter and solidarity, support and encouragement in many difficult moments of their history. Garibaldi himself, just to make an extraordinarily fitting example, could find at least for some time, a safe home within our borders, we he was forced to escape because hunted by the papal troops and the Austrian garrisons.

It would be too easy to celebrate the civil virtues of this small and peaceful Republic, that never turned his head away when true help was needed by someone suffering. This happened again during World War II and during the anti-Semitic persecutions, within a historical context much more dangerous for our own neutrality.

We cannot forget, also, the natural prudence of our “Polis” that entered into modernity on tiptoe, with no clamors or particular upheavals; our “Polis” always rejected actions of conquest or territorial expansion, like the ones offered by Napoleon. Our “Polis” essentially followed a sense of measure that can be explained and defined by the expression used by Horace for his home: parva sed apta mihi. On the other hand, many historical and geographical reasons explain the inevitable dialectic established between the history of Italy and the history of San Marino; the great events of the Italian Risorgimento and the following republican history obviously had a great importance on our independent and autonomous character – we want to underline it.

For this reason, we feel directly affected by the issue of Civil Religion, evoked a few days ago during the Grand Lodge of Grande Oriente d’Italia, that is to say the complex set of rituals, values, principles and behaviours that substantiate and establish the democratic life of a truly modern society.

The dimensions of our small Republic do not decrease or reduce its importance; in the world where we live we can observe more clearly all phenomena and problems related to post-modernity or, if you prefer, this new phase in the history of the West which is sometimes referred to as fluid or liquid, due to its elusiveness. The small States, particularly in Europe, are a particular problem since they have been involved, even recently, in issues related to major legal and economic processes which have sometimes marked their image and role. Our life and our subsistence were erroneously identified with a kind of “economic and fiscal paradise” and that was very harmful to us. Such an assessment, with all its implications, reflects on the Masonic identity itself; in general, in the history of the Western world, the association between Freemasonry and the business world has been a very common topos and we must take this into account without too much pretense. One of the most important aims of the same constitution and installation of our Grand Lodge was to cover an area where others could try to root and operate in the name of Freemasonry; as we all are aware, the name of Freemasonry is not protected by copyrights, so that it could be misused for illicit purposes by anybody, thus generating an evident damage not only for the Brethren of the very near Italy, but also for the image of our Institution all over Europe and all over the world. Let me underline once more that we have constituted our Grand Lodge in accordance with the institutional regularity to protect the civil and moral character of its members.

For this reason, under our sovereignty and in cooperation with the Grande Oriente d’Italia, we are working to underline the historical and cultural importance granted by the millenary continuity of our small Republic, highlighting the civil and moral values kept under Mount Titano. Such values are the protection and preservation of peace, of democracy and of dialogue, such values have existed for centuries and were not discovered years or decades ago. Universal Freemasonry spiritually and practically defends these values and feels able to guarantee them.

In this frame, the public and transparent Masonic identity reiterates our choice of ethical identity and profession of values; in our Republic, we will always demonstrate and prove that Freemasons are “free men of good morals” and not latent fixers devoted to obscure plots and illegal operations on their own or in league with others.

A duly constituted and installed Grand Lodge, no matter how big or small, puts it in an international circuit and creates bonds of reciprocity and responsibility towards its own country and the countries of all other Brethren. Our task may seem small, but a reality like ours with all its complex and delicate implications requires a greater sense of responsibility and the obligation to follow a strict rectitude in moral and spiritual conduct.

All our efforts are directed, inside our institution, to cement the values of initiation of the Universal Freemasonry; at the same time, we communicate to the outside world that membership is a further guarantee for civil society that can take advantage of the constructive presence of an “ethic agency” made up of men chosen for their qualities and their profile and standing as defenders of constitutional values and laws.

The Civil Religion is a secular space of sociability, sharing, unity and universal brotherhood, closely linked to the very Masonic ideals; this is our true flag, waving every time that we, as individuals and of course even more as an institution operate for the common good of society and the State.
In this way, we believe we can contribute to a common process of expansion of the Masonic principles in Europe and in all countries where Freemasonry is present; together, we give life to a spiritual laboratory capable of forging and shaping new true builders of masterly works.

Bro.'. Italo Casali
Grand Master
Serenissima Gran Loggia della Repubblica di San Marino

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