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Annulation de la reconnaissance de la Grande Loge de France par la Grande Loge du Minnesota.


Mise à l'index par les Grandes Loges Régulières nord-américaines qui ne la reconnaissaient plus, La Grande Loge du Minnesota est contrainte d'annuler sa reconnaissance de La Grande Loge de France. Voici l'édit pris par son Grand Maître en date du 13 juillet.


Grand Lodge of Minnesota reverses itself

EDICT of the Grand Master

July 13, 2002

To all Grand Lodges of North America and the Nations of the World, and to the Masters, Officers and members of all Constituent Lodges of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A. M. of Minnesota :

Whereas  The Grand Lodge of Minnesota at its 148th Annual Communication extended fraternal recognition to the Grand Lodge of France, and ;

Whereas  The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has taken this action based upon our study and conviction of  the regularity of the Grand Lodge of France and in deference to the application of the rule of territorial exclusivity deemed by us to no longer be a relevant test of regularity, and ;

Whereas  Our actions have caused a number of sister jurisdictions to
suspend recognition with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in rigid conformity with the standards of the North American Conference of Grand Masters Committee on Information for Recognition, and ;

Whereas  This has made impossible the visitation of our members in these jurisdictions, and ;

Whereas  The Grand Lodge of Minnesota will host the North American
Conference of Grand Masters in February, 2003 for their annual meeting, and ;

Whereas Meaningful change and discussion of this issue is best done in dialogue and consensus in the forum of this North American fraternal
association ; now

Therefore  Be it resolved that is it is my order to forthwith suspend our
recognition of the Grand Lodge of France to the end that we may again enjoy the fraternal benefits of mutual recognition and visitation with all sister jurisdictions. Also, it is my intent to more properly discuss the standards and application of standards of regularity in this larger arena of discussion.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota wishes to re-establish greater trust in the decisions and processes  of the North American Conference of Grand Masters Committee on Information for Recognition. We also desire to promote the continued unity and amity of all North American jurisdictions. This action is therefore taken to encourage the process of meaningful dialogue and change.

Given under my hand this 13th day of July in the year 2002 at St. Paul,Minnesota

Signed : Rev.
Terry L. Tilton, Grand Master
Attest:  Douglas J. Campbell, Grand Secretary

An edict from the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Please assist the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in giving this document as broad a
distribution as possible.

Douglas Campbell

Douglas Campbell
Grand Secretary and Webmaster
Grand Lodge of Minnesota


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Réponse de la Grande Loge de France




RWBro. Morrow's text is a very interesting mixture of fact and fiction. Let's start with history :
It is true that the Grand Lodge of France was not "chartered" by the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster of 1717. There were no "charters" at the time... After all, who chartered the four lodges of the GL of 1717? Or the Grand Lodge of the Antients?

The GLdF was much more than "chartered". Its lodges, which a few years later got together as the Grand Lodge of France, were created by members and Past Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of 1717, refugees in France from the religious / political turmoil in England at the time.

The part about the "history" of Masonry in France is in general rather amusing, because it seems copied from the Grand Orient version of it. While documents are scarce and a number of hypotheses do exist, this one rather tendentiously says that the GL of France, the construction of which started in 1728, actually was the Grand Orient. In reality, the Grand Orient was born much later, in 1773, as a split from the Grand Lodge of France.

RWBro. Morrow also says: "These facts are readily obtainable from many histories of French Freemasonry, and are proved by original documents in the archives of French Freemasonry, housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris". Sounds impressive, no? But very far from the actual facts, however.

None of the statements in RWB Morrow's text are supported by documented evidence, only by the vague mentions of "facts... readily obtainable... and... proved by original documents". Making unsupported statements and expecting the other side to prove them wrong is one of the ploys often used by these gentlemen. They seem to believe that even trumped-up charges will help putting any opponents on the defensive.

We of the GLdF can tell a very different story, but truthfully in our case. We can provide an actual list of the documents proving our real history, they are all available in our archives.

As to the personal opinions of the many historians of French Masonry, we can quote a whole spectrum of those, stating practically anything. But that seems to be exactly what UGLE wants: to play a game of diplomatic chess in a public arena so as to further its political interests: it has not only sent this arrogant, supercilious and condescending letter to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, but has copied it to all Grand Lodges it has relations with.

There also are in the UGLE letter things which can, unfortunately, only be considered as falsehoods. The letter says: "In the third paragraph of the motion adopted on May 19th, 2002 by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Corporate Board you note that "if the Grand Lodge of France is determined by us to be "regular" we shall suspend relations with the Grand Lodge National of France if we do not see evidence of amenity and concord between themselves and the Grand Lodge of France." Why have you taken this position?"

What the GL of Minnesota actually says in the third paragraph of the motion adopted by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Corporate Board is: "if the Grand Lodge of France is determined by us to continue to be "regular" then we encourage and pray that the GLNF and the GldF will seek a treaty displaying amity and concord." Not really the same thing, is it?

Another outright bugaboo is the contention that the GloF has created a supra-national "United Grand Lodge of Europe" composed of spurious and irregular Grand Lodges. The very simple truth is, there is no United Grand Lodge of Europe. A number of European Grand Lodges, perfectly regular according to all the universally accepted criteria, not yet recognized by any USA Grand Lodges except for the GLdF but, at least for some of them, in amity with other regular and recognized Grand Lodges, have created the United Grand Lodges of Europe. Note the plural: "Lodges". And the very first Grand Lodge which was invited to join was the GLNF.

The United Grand Lodges of Europe are a loose organization, without a centralized hierarchy and with a yearly elected President and Secretary, exactly on the model of the Conference of GMs in North America, or of the World Conference of Grand Masters.

It meets yearly, each time in another member country. Its purpose is to further fraternal relations among regular (men only, the GAOTU, the VSL, regular origin, etc.), even if unrecognized, European and non-European Masons and Grand Lodges, and to exchange fellowship and information.

Another purpose was to counteract the growing influence of some organizations of European Grand Lodges gravitating around a kind of French Masonry which is certainly not ours, and to offer a haven for regular Masonic bodies that fear being coerced into it.

If North American Grand Lodges were not told untruths about the United Grand Lodges of Europe, they would have cheered at the initiative. Some who understood did cheer, by the way. It is hundred percent in the best interest of regular Masonry.

No sincere individual - or Grand Lodge - can see any reason for the United Grand Lodges of Europe being a pretext for de-recognition by anyone. If it is, that applies as well to the Conference of Grand Masters in North America, the World Conference of Grand Masters, or any similar organization.

Now, concerning the statements about "incursions by the GL of France into territories where regular Grand Lodges exist": That is extremely disingenuous too. The two regular Grand Lodges mentioned are recent GLs under the wing of UGLE and the GLNF. Regular Masonry, in amity with the Grand Lodge of France, existed in these two countries long before. It is the newcomers and complainers who should have asked for permission to exist from the older Masonry in their countries.

It is perfectly regular and acceptable for any Grand Lodge to create lodges of its own, and even to help create local Grand Lodges, in countries where it does not recognize the local Masonry. After all, the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grande Loge Nationale Française are the two worst "offenders" - and seem to have made a thriving business of it. They surely wouldn't, were it irregular.

They erected often jerry-built, false-front Grand Lodges, which fold up as soon as the GLNF gets the Conference of Grand Masters in North America to recognize them. The GLNF-created Grand Lodge of Morocco for instance, which many USA GLs recognized only last year at the instigation of the GLNF, has folded up, all its members having left for the old, long underground Grand Lodge of Morocco.

What is the difference between the Grand Lodge of France creating lodges in Spain and the UGLE creating a new, competing Grand Lodge in Italy? Or one in France, the GLNF itself? Or the latter creating a dozen in Africa and Eastern Europe?

The Grand Lodge of France, at least, was courteous in each and every case and first proposed amity to the local Grand Lodges, or at least the creation of one or more lodges working our Craft AASR, in the French language, under the authority of the local Grand Lodge. We only went ahead with lodge creation when refused or ignored by a Grand Lodge we did not recognize.

We would very much appreciate understanding why that is not considered a problem and why no one proposes the de-recognition of UGLE and the GLNF, for their very many incursions into the territories of other Grand Lodges.

June 15, 2002
Fraternally, Michaël L. Segall
Deputy Grand Secretary/Grand Chancellor, Foreign Relations,
Grand Lodge of France, Paris

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