EXCLUSIVE | Interview with Past Grand Master Eduardo Rétiz Licona (running for Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation)

Friday, 24 February 2012

APMR | MWPGM, first of all who is Eduardo Rétiz Licona, the man? What made him adhere to Freemasonry?

Eduardo Rétiz | I am your friend and Brother, a person that before entering the Order was very restless, very rebellious, very idealistic, a very intense human being who dedicated himself body and soul to all companies where he worked. At the invitation of a Brother Mason (with whom I still maintain good relations), who attended the Leadership Club whose president I was in 1987, I was allowed to enter the Order.

APMR | Now that we know the man can you tell us who is Eduardo, the Brother?

Eduardo Rétiz | A Freemason convinced that our Grand Institution is the place where you can know yourself better, where you can develop intellect, culture and nature/character in a fraternal space where you can be Brother with other people not for their titles nor their economic position, but for their work, for their constancy to their discipline; the place where I come to know the values of Loyalty and Respect for Hierarchy.

APMR | You have everything, a wonderful family, a successful professional life and then comes the question, why to waste your time in Freemasonry?

Eduardo Rétiz | I entered in Freemasonry shortly after I married and thanks to that, with what I learned in the Order I could maintain a great relationship with my wife and two daughters, those who accompanied me and supported me with determination in all my wife and two daughters, those who accompanied me and supported me with determination in all my activities.

MWPGM Eduardo Rétiz Licona with his family

In the professional field, even though I was very successful, from the moment I entered in our grand institution, I felt even better in all my activities given that I always put into practice in everyday life what I learn during the Masonic reunions; including the simple fact that by working and attending ceremonies fills me with a special energy and joy, which always makes me feel satisfied with our meetings.

APMR | The mandate that you had as Grand Master was highlighted by many public initiatives. You attended the first World Conference of Regular Grand Lodges. You attended numerous formal and informal meeting of IMC and COMACA. What’s your view on the evolution of the Order from an administrative point of view? We're talking about organizational policies.

Eduardo Rétiz | I think that a Freemason should be a man of his time, to join always the best cause and to be an actor of change and evolution both in society and in Freemasonry. You stressed that at the initiative of the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, precisely during its anniversary in 1995, began what is now the World Conference of Regular Grand Lodges, which is a forum where we live and feel Universal Freemasonry, this and that I worked on organizing of the XV Assembly of the IMC in 1991, have reinforced my view that our Order and our fraternity has no borders and that the only thing we need to do is to preserve the Masonic orthodoxy, to respect the concepts of regularity and recognition and to build bridges for a healthy coexistence between all Masonic Obediences in the world, taking into account that we do not know each other but still share the same work and information, thing that will strengthen even more our links. Regarding the organizational policies, I think there is a need for strategic alliances between the major blocs in Latin America (IMC) and North America, particularly the United States (U.S.) and Canada, continental Europe and England, where are the most great powers to recognize us and to strengthen our activities.

APMR | The previous question regarded the fact that you are running for Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation, the largest regional Masonic bloc in the world and the most active. Therefore we ask you: What vision do you have in terms of management regarding the inter-institutional and institutional affairs of the IMC with secular institutions of the Western Hemisphere?

Eduardo Rétiz | With the institutions and secular authorities is important to establish cordial, respectful and clear relations in which we support the western Masonic Powers; I think we should know and recognize each other, this being the fundamental joint work and exchange of successful experiences. Europe can teach us more about organization and Masonic rituals (several times I attended the anniversaries of the Grand Orient of Italy and I have always been surprised by their great capacity of organization and their relations with the Grand Lodges of Asia, Africa and Oriental Europe) and Latin America (IMC) can bring a contribution of solidarity and support that we have between our Grand Lodges and our countries that share the same problems; thus agreeing with each other, not only the countries and the continents would be better, but the whole world could enjoy the benefits of Freemasonry, the world must "have the same fears and same affinities".

APMR | Based on the previous question, can you tell us your view regarding Masonic affairs? What needs the IMC for the following years to keep up with the changes within the Masonic world?

Eduardo Rétiz | To continue to strengthen the bonds. Europe needs to look back to Latin America, we have already increased in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, etc., we are great powers and we have a lot to share, we must maintain all relationships to remain in the dynamic of "win-win", especially because our principles are universal and applied everywhere we must apply the famous phrase "What is above is below", in fact, Brazilian Freemasonry grew even more than the economics of its own country, this must be replicated worldwide.

APMR | You are talking about strengthening relations with the Grand Orient of Italy, UGLE etc. What makes you think of this need?

Eduardo Rétiz | They are Masonic Powers that have offered a lot to the world, we must honour those who have sown the seed of brotherhood without any petty interest and we should be proud and we should honour our ancestors, those older Brothers already in the Eternal Lodge and yet those who still give light to mankind (Adam Smith, W. Churchill, G. Garibaldi, Victor Hugo, I. Newton, R. Kipling etc.), most of them belonging to those Great Powers.

APMR | The fact that we are conservatives or liberals today do not matter when it comes to the social dimension of things. What would be the role of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation in the development of Latin American society?

Eduardo Retiz | In terms of social, political and cultural freedoms Latin America still has deficit, therefore IMC has implemented and funded the Latin American Seminars on Secularism and the Grand Lodges have implemented the ILEC's (Secular Institutes of Contemporary Studies) and the Secular Action Centres in almost all countries in the area because we have to work harder on these issues and we do it with a great impact in countries where they exist and function for the welfare of Latin American society.

APMR | What would be the role of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation regarding the climate change issues and sustainable development?

Eduardo Rétiz | To continue to realize that the world in which we live we have borrowed from the new generation and that we must preserve our natural resources, using better our resources for the benefit of humanity and with a by having a world benefiting from our work.

APMR | As a possible future IMC Executive Secretary, what you think about the need of communication?

Eduardo Rétiz | Communication, currently, is like sap for trees, like blood for body, since through it is created the conductor wire for transmitting knowledge, ideas and information. I want to stress that it is as important as the work done by you in this area, making millions of Brothers to have the opportunity to strengthen their links via your Masonic Press Agency of Romania (taking this advantage to recognize your work worthy of praise), a tool that I shall use if I will hold the position of Executive Secretary of the IMC.

APMR | Eduardo Rétiz Licona if you currently be the Executive Secretary of the IMC, what public stand would you take on ACTA y SOPA?

Eduardo Rétiz | Those are quite complex issues that involve a greater control over the electronic communication channels, over Intellectual Property rights, but however, I believe that it should not thrive, at least not in our Latin American region which in particular still has a too large information gap, very few are those who have Internet access and who can afford to purchase documents, books, movies, original CDs because there is still a low income (the average cost is that of 3 euros for a 8 hours session); only by having access to these materials in an informal (pirated) way and even though we are facing an ethical dilemma, not having access to such goods is to increase this gap; large additional revenue goes to the Corporate official market, while in the case of the informal market the revenues goes to families in charge of marketing the products, is a subject that should be reviewed continuously.

APMR | Since the IMC signed with toe OAS the agreement of 2008 there were no public debates about education initiatives across the continent. The project of the Masonic Academy proposed by the IMC means the implementation of that agreement?

Eduardo Rétiz | We are talking about different topics, because the agreement with OSA was directed towards education in terms of having a secular education (by stimulating free and public schools in all countries on the continent) but without the economic support from the OAS is hard work; regarding the Masonic Academy, it is directed to a homogenization of the Masonic Instruction to be disseminated via all IMC’s affiliated Grand Lodges but even though is a good proposal is a very limited one and must be enriched.

APMR | If you are elected Executive Secretary of the IMC, which will be the first decision to be taken by you?

Eduardo Rétiz | My first big task would be to start working at a Grand Commission for Regularity, to establish alliances with major Powers of World Freemasonry, to have international mechanisms of recognition and coexistence, which could come together to create an "Annual IMC Bulletin," which could record the relationships between all the Grand Lodges that are part of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation and fees up to date with their main features, linking all Symbolic Lodges, composing it to be a navigation and certainty guide for all Brethren travelling, visiting Lodges, where there will be no slightest doubt about the regularity of the Grand Lodges within the Confederation.

APMR | MWPGM and beloved Brother thank you for granting us this interview.

Eduardo Rétiz | It is my personal pleasure and proud to be considered for this interview by an agency so serious and important as that which you represent, one that has a high reputation internationally speaking and is a pioneer of the worldwide Masonic communication and which allowed me to express my views on topics of interest for all members of our beloved Fraternity.

APMR’s Secretariat General thanks
Most Worshipful Grand Master
Eduardo Rétiz Licona
for the interview


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