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Article # 11
Grand Lodge, Minnesota recognises Grand Lodge of France

Author: Moderator    Posted on: Saturday, June 1, 2002
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Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognises Grand Lodge of France

Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognises Grand Lodge of France.

Grand Lodge of France had been recognised and several Grand Lodges were in amity prior to the II World War. During the time the Nazis had control of Europe all the Masonic bodies were closed. Subsequent to the end of the war, Freemasonry began to flourish in Europe. Later, some of the Grand Lodges withdrew recognition of the Grand Lodge Of France. Some Grand Lodges continued to be in amity. Grand Lodge of Minnesota has recognised Grand Lodge of France and the same has caused ripples. Grande Loge Nationale Francaise has decognised Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Grand Lodges of Michigan, New York, Kentucky and, Maine have suspended mutual visitations with Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Grand Lodge of Minnesota has published the following papers and we are with the permission of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota posting the same as an article in this web site. We thank the Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Minnesota for granting us the said permission

A white paper was presented to the Board of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota and the same is posted hereunder.

Masonic Recognition and The Grand Lodge of France

A Report to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

Abstract: The purpose of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in producing this position paper is to state in a brief and easy to read form, the most pertinent reasons why the Grand Lodge of Minnesota chose to and stands by its decision to recognize the Grand Lodge of France as a regular and recognizable grand lodge. With the exception of eyewitness verification, the foundation listed is concurrent with the time we achieved amity with the Grand Lodge of France on March 30, 2001. Because reliable researchers have assembled so much good and up to date data, the purpose of this paper will not be to restate everything in its entirety that prompted our convictions. Each statement herein is referenced to a resource that the reader can access to satisfy his need for greater detail, and in most cases for further resource links.

As the term grand lodge or grand lodges are frequently used, we ask the readers’ forbearance by shortening this to GL or GLs. Other frequently used terms will likewise be shortened once explained.

Recognition of The Grand Lodge of France

At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota on March 30, 2001, the standing committee on External Relations gave its annual report and recommended that two foreign grand lodges had applied in the usual manner to the GL of MN within that past year for recognition; the Grand Lodge of Morocco for first time recognition and the Grand Lodge of France for recognition and restoration of Masonic relations. The Committee had researched both, found that they met the requirements of the GL of MN, and recommended recognition; both passed the ballot nearly unanimously.[1]

Synopsis of the report

Of first and foremost importance, it must be emphasized that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is a sovereign, regular and independent grand lodge, and as such reserves its right to act in its own best interests and on the principles it considers important. The ability to recognize another grand lodge that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is satisfied as having met all questions of regularity is one of those rights, and to defend that action against boycott and politics is another. We expect no more or less respect in this situation than should be afforded one Mason to another, or one Masonic grand lodge to another.

This brief paper addresses the issues involved in the Grand Lodge of Minnesota’s (re-) recognition of the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF). Reading through it will acquaint the reader with the basic issues faced in determining the regularity of this or any Masonic grand lodge. Great vigilance was exercised in the search for Masonic ‘light’ - ‘truth’ and reliable information. Briefly, the procedure was as follows.

Standards of regularity, as outlined by reliable sources were reviewed and conformity of the applicant grand lodge was compared. Of the three standards, only two of them invited serious question – these were Territorial Exclusivity and adherence to the Ancient Landmarks.

§ As the GL of Minnesota and the GLdF had not formally severed relations that had existed since at least 1919, the issue of recognizing another grand lodge in a country was moot. However, the fact remains that the GLdF was the ‘senior’ GL in France and recognized by at least 23 US GLs before the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF), which came much later, sought recognition from these US GLs. That the GLNF had not sought permission from GLdF to be recognized by US GLs sets a precedent if one needed to be established. (See Appendix A for brief discussion of territorial inconsistencies)

§ Careful inspection of the Constitutions of the GLdF reveal that they meet each requirement as detailed by The Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America, a standard generally accepted by most grand lodges. Eyewitnesses from Minnesota and Prince Hall Masonry have confirmed conformity.

End of synopsis – please read on for more detailed report.

Recognition Standards of Grand Lodges

Although most grand lodges and advisory bodies have somewhat different standards, they all agree on several crucial points. The following are the Standards adopted for use by The Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America (or Conference of Grand Masters of North America - COGMNA). This commission was established in 1952 to provide information to constituent GLs as to whether or not it considers that the GL in question meets the requirements of regularity, but it has no authority to recommend or advise. The Commission consists of six members who each serve six years; one new member, usually a DGM, is elected each year. Their list of standards includes most of those generally considered important to regulating the Craft:[2]

I. Legitimacy of Origin

That the Grand Lodge requesting recognition has been lawfully formed by at least three just and duly constituted Lodges, or that it has been legally recognized by a Grand Lodge in fraternal relation with the Grand Lodge from whom recognition has been requested.

That such Grand Lodge must be "under the tongue of good repute" for an adequate number of years before such fraternal recognition is extended. An existence for such a period as satisfies the Grand Lodge whose recognition is sought, during which time the highest standards of the Craft have been practised [sic] by the applicant Grand Lodge, may cure what would otherwise be considered illegitimacy of origin.

II. Territorial Sovereignty

That it is an independent, self-governing organization, having Masonic authority within the governmental territory over which it assumes jurisdiction -- whether Country, Province, State or other political subdivision; or else shares such exclusive territorial jurisdiction with another Grand Lodge by mutual consent and/or treaty.

III. Ancient Landmarks (as listed in annual proceedings)

That it subscribes fundamentally, ritualistically and in all its relations to the Ancient Landmarks, Customs and Usages of the Craft. This requires adherence to the following.

1. Monotheism -- An unalterable and continuing belief in God.

2. The Volume of The Sacred Law -- an essential part of the furniture of the Lodge.

3. Prohibition of the discussion of Religion and Politics.

In addition to the standards on the Commission’s list, most grand lodges also insist:

§ That its membership is composed of men only.

§ That lodge communications be opened to the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe

§ That women or any members of co-masonic organizations may not visit tiled communications

§ That it requires the presence of the Three Great Lights of Masonry in the lodges while at work, and that obligations are taken on the VSL

§ That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the Lodges under its control and have undisputed authority over the Craft of Symbolic Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to or divide such authority with any other power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.[3]

COGMNA Standards of Regularity As Applied to the Grand Lodge Of France

I. Legitimacy of Origin

The Grand Lodge of France was chartered by the Grand Lodge of England in 1728 in full accord with the latter’s requirements[4]. French Freemasonry, like that of England, underwent splits and mergers during the 18th & 19th centuries, but to our knowledge, no question has ever been raised about the GLdF’s legitimacy of origin.

II. Territorial Sovereignty

The GL of MN officially recognized the Grand Lodge of France at its January 21-22, 1919 Grand Communication. It is unclear if relations existed prior to WWI. Annual proceedings indicate that amity continued and representatives were appointed until the 1940 Grand Communication of the GL of MN, when there was no mention of any French GL and GM Nordby's address contains the ominous statement, ". . .in view of the banishment of Masonic Lodges in certain parts of Europe . . ." . All disciplines of Freemasonry were outlawed and virtually ceased to exist in areas controlled by the Axis powers until 1945-46.

From a review of all subsequent Annual Proceedings it appears that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota was not in communication with any French GL during the time of restoration of Freemasonry in post WWII France. In other words, the GL of MN had never officially severed relations with the Grand Lodge of France when French Freemasonry was devastated by the Germans in WWII, and it simply did not pick up relations at the conclusion of hostilities. This was apparently not uncommon as other US Grand Lodges seem to have behaved similarly[5].

Based on recommendation of the Commission for Information of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America[6], the GL of MN officially recognized the National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) in 1954, as did many other US jurisdictions. This was at a time when many US GLs also were simultaneously in amity with the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF)[7]. When action to discontinue relations with the GLdF was recommended by COGMNA in 1964-65, all US jurisdictions then in active amity with GLdF did so. There were, however, a few US GLs who had lost touch with GLdF in 1940-41 and had neither restored nor broken relations with them at the end of hostilities, and which took no action of any kind – Minnesota among them.

This is not to say that the GL of MN relies on this technicality to rationalize its position. The decision, based on careful research, to recommend recognition of GLdF would have been affirmative in any event. Nor does the GL of MN have any interest in choosing one grand lodge over another – it merely exerts its right, in this case, to recognize two legitimate GLs that happen to be in the same country. The recognition of only one GL in a country being the exception, not the rule in global Freemasonry (see Appendix B)

III. Conformity with Ancient Landmarks (see also Appendix C)

To address most of the issues involved with established conditions of regularity, it may be enlightening for the reader to compare the list of Ancient Landmarks set down by the COGMNA and other GLs with the exact wording of the “Declaration of Principles” as stated in the constitution of the Grand Lodge of France:

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES (December 5, 1955)[8]

I The Grand Lodge of France works to the Glory 0f The Grand Architect Of The Universe.[9]

II In conformity with the traditions of the Order, three Great Lights are placed on the altar of the Lodges: the Square, the Compass and a Volume of the Sacred Law.[10] Masons take their Obligations on these three Lights

III The Grand Lodge of France proclaims its unfailing loyalty and total devotion to our Country.

IV Neither the Grand Lodge of France nor its constituent Lodges shall meddle in matters of political or religious controversy[11].

V Concerning principles other than those defined above, the Grand Lodge of France refers to the Old Charges, especially with regard to the respect of the traditions of Freemasonry and to the scrupulous and strict practice of Ritual and Symbolism as means of access to the initiatic content of the Order.

One condition not specifically addressed in the “Principles” is that membership is composed of men only, and that is specified in Article I of the Constitution:

“It is an alliance of free men of good repute, of any race, nationality and creed.”

The reader will also note in V (above) that principles not specifically defined are covered in “The Old Charges”, which emphatically states that Freemasonry is an organization of men only. All of the Constitutions and referenced materials can be read and verified in French or English language on the Grand Lodge of France website at http://www.gldf.org

Additionally, strict adherence to the above listed landmarks has been verified by at least one member of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota who attended a number of lodge communications[12], and also by a large number of North American Prince Hall Affiliated Masons, including at least 3 Grand Masters. It should be noted that in 1952 the Grand Lodge of France declared unilateral recognition of all Prince Hall Affiliated Brethren, largely based on relations established with PHA lodges of black US servicemen stationed in post WWII France[13].

A lot of misinformation exists on this subject. There are allegations of irregularity (see Appendix D). How do you know if the information being distributed by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is accurate, when others are saying different things? The answer is this: The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has evidence to prove every statement in this paper. We would be delighted to provide detailed, precise citations to prove all our statements, and encourage everyone who hears anything different to ask for similar citations and proof of any contrary allegations they might hear.

Respectfully & Fraternally Submitted

MW Bro. The Honorable David Bouschor

MW Bro. Ralph Hultquist

MW Bro. Rodney Larson

Bro. Anthony Cicchese

Bro. Dexter Pehle

Bro. John Worlein, Chairman

End of Position Paper

Appendices & References Follow

Appendix A – A Brief Overview of Some Inconsistencies in Masonic Recognition[14]

The only rule that seemingly exists in international Masonic recognition is that there is no universal rule. If one Grand Lodge (US or international) could only be in amity with other Grand Lodges which recognized the exact same list of GLs, there virtually would be no recognition factor whatsoever. Every Grand Lodge in the world, and in the U.S., recognizes Grand Lodges that in turn recognize other Grand Lodges that are not recognized by the first one.

To belabor this point, the following inconsistencies between US Grand Lodges are noted, but be aware that these are by no means all differences, only a small sampling:

Mexico has at least 26 Grand Lodges with no uniformity of recognition whatsoever; 23 of them are recognized by at least one US GL, but only one of them is recognized by all US GLs (York Grand Lodge – which claims all of Mexico as its jurisdiction). While four US GLs recognize 23 or more Mexican GLs, four other US GLs recognize only 4 or 5 of the Mexican GLs and Puebla Grand Lodge is recognized only by one (GL of Michigan).

We do not even agree on the grand lodges of our Canadian neighbors, of the 10 provincial Grand Lodges, US grand Lodges agree on recognition of only 9 of them. At this time, 28 US GLs believe that the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland & Labrador is recognizable, while 23 do not.

In the Caribbean, all US GLs agree on only one – the GL of Puerto Rico. Central and South American countries have multiple grand lodges, such as Brazil which has 29 Grand Lodges, 28 of them recognized to one extent or another by US GLs, and only two of these by all US jurisdictions. The GL of Vermont is alone in recognizing 27 of the 28. The ‘territories’ of these may overlap extensively and they may not necessarily be in accord with each other either. Central and South America GLs seem quite different from other jurisdictions in that territory is not as defined and disputed as it is in US, Canadian and European Grand Lodges’ jurisdictions.

Of the 31 European Grand Lodges that are recognized by any US GL, amazingly only 10 are recognized by all 51 US GLs.

Of 12 African GLs only one is recognized by all 51 US GLs – South Africa - and no US GL recognizes them all. The remaining 11 are all in amity with some US GLs, but this may be as few as only 2 or 3. The Grand lodge of Michigan has taken the chance and has recognized most African grand lodges, sometimes alone in that opinion.

In one of the most interesting examples of international Masonic recognition, you will find that every U.S. Grand Lodge recognizes the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), even though the UGLE recognizes “The Regular Grand Lodge of Italy”, a grand lodge that every U.S. Grand Lodge considers clandestine and irregular. Still, no one accuses the UGLE of being irregular for doing this.[15]

Conditions in a jurisdiction may change as well. A dozen US GLs recognized the GL of Morocco in 2000 & 2001, which had been recently formed by the requisite three lodges. At least one of these lodges has reportedly withdrawn to join another grand lodge being chartered in Morocco by a third party, thereby leaving only two very small lodges remaining in this GL. Nonetheless, this ‘Grand Lodge’ of Morocco will continue to be the only one to ‘officially’ exist in that country.

There are, of course, many, many more world wide grand lodges that are not recognized by any US jurisdiction – and a sizeable portion of these may be found ‘regular’ in practice (see Appendix D for discussion on regularity), but would never be recognized if a policy of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is applied.

In almost all Eastern European countries, there has been almost a ‘gold rush’ to charter new Grand Lodges, some of which had existing and very probably regular Grand Lodges or Grand Lodges in “exile”. Some Western Grand Lodges may even be seen to be in the Masonic charter “franchise” business. At the most recent meeting of the Conference of Grand Masters Commission on Recognition Information, almost all of the lodges which had been approved as “regular” had been chartered very recently by one Western European grand lodge.[1If the policy of exclusive jurisdiction is applied, these new ‘franchise’ grand lodges will be the only recognizable one in that region or country – older established grand lodges or “grand lodges in exile” will not even be considered on their merits or on precedent.

In summary (Doctrine in North America)

Exclusive jurisdiction seems to be a doctrine that has been developed and best applied in North America, where a small unit such as a state or province makes up the jurisdiction. The doctrine may even have served a useful purpose in the earliest stages of Masonic expansion, but in the 20th & 21st centuries has only contributed to discrimination, isolation and political dilemma. Some of this has only recently been addressed by the co-recognition of several Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges with their ‘mainstream’ counterpart grand lodges. This, of course, results in multiple grand lodges existing in the same jurisdiction – effectively negating the thrust of the doctrine.

The doctrine of exclusive jurisdiction may even have had a very adverse consequence on North American Grand Lodges over the last 50 or more years. Many Masons believe that in the wake of the meteoric increase of Masonic membership during the period 1940 to 1962, and subsequent ‘glide slope’ decline, that the distinction of fraternity and exercise of the qualities & tenets of The Craft have ceased to be fundamental in the philosophy of many grand lodges – that Masonic obligation & integrity have been replaced by mediocrity and that the pursuit of ‘light’ has been replaced by politics & personality.

The theory further broadens to speculate that isolation from diverse Masonic philosophy and the richness of international fraternalism has resulted in US Masonry operating “in a vacuum”. The richness and depth that attracted the great men of history to Masonry still exist in our time – often in Lodges we “cannot” visit - but the boundaries we erect may well prevent us from again discovering them.

Appendix B. The American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction

In 1969 in its report on Brazil the Commission on Information for Recognition stated:

"Perhaps it is well to face the fact right here that exclusive jurisdiction does not mean absolutely exclusive territorial jurisdiction. That more than one Grand Lodge may have jurisdiction within a political domain is not intrinsically repugnant to Freemasonry, for there are too many places on the globe where such a condition exists, and with complete harmony. Exclusive jurisdiction as an absolute condition applies only to the exclusive role of a Grand Lodge over its members and Lodges and does not share that authority with any other Masonic authority."

In 1979 in its report on the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Wisconsin the Commission stated:

"3. The doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction should not be used to challenge the legitimacy of Masonic establishments which were in existence long before the doctrine obtained respectable sanction."[17]

In the 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777; Stewart W. Miner, Past Grand Master of Virginia described thirteen instances when American Grand Lodges ignored the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction. He made the following observations about the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction: "(a) that the Doctrine, as originally conceived, no longer exists; (b) that the historic application of the Doctrine, especially in the 19th Century, has been selective; (c) that inconsistent applications of the Doctrine have encouraged challenge, and (d) that when it has seemed prudent, American grand lodges have modified their interpretations of the Doctrine to satisfy challenges at hand. This process, I believe, is irreversible, and despite the attempts of a few grand lodges to stem the tide by punitive action, their efforts will fail, in the long run, and change will unquestionably prevail."[18]

In its definition of Exclusive Jurisdiction, the Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters states "It is a basic principle that a Grand Lodge must be autonomous and have sole and undisputed authority over its constituent lodges. This cannot be shared with any other Masonic council or power." This must be interpreted as saying that the American Doctrine can only be applied to those Grand Lodges that have chosen it as a ruling principle and that it cannot be applied to Grand Lodges in other parts of the world where custom and usage differs.

At the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America in 1961 Past Grand Master N. Dean Rowe of Vermont said, "We should yield to many of the customs and usages of the country where each [Grand Lodge] is located. We base our decisions on legitimacy rather than injecting our own theories of 'exclusive jurisdiction' into the picture, which we feel is of minor importance." [19]

The American Doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction is not an Ancient Landmark. It is a widely misunderstood, often ignored North American rule that repeatedly has been used to simply justify a position. Many U.S. Grand Lodges recognized both the GLdF and the GLNF for decades. However, when this policy became politically advantageous, several of these Grand Lodges suddenly reversed their position, using the same policy to insist that only one Grand Lodge could be recognized in a political subdivision. This policy was ignored when the GLNF was formed in 1913 in the territory occupied by the GLdF. Such inconsistencies certainly challenge the validity of such a rule.

Appendix C Elaboration of Regularity Issues Regarding Ancient Landmarks

Very much confusion (accidental and intentional) seems to exist regarding French Freemasonry. Henderson & Pope in Freemasonry Universal state, “France has possibly the most complex & diverse Masonic history of any country in the world”. Language and French political/religious history have undoubtedly had considerable impact on this, as likely has centuries-long adversity with neighbor England.

The most common accusations regarding irregularity that are leveled at the Grand Lodge of France are that they are atheists, have no bible on the altar, allow women to sit in tiled sessions and that another grand lodge is already recognized in France (the last issue of Exclusive Jurisdiction has already been discussed elsewhere in this paper). The other allegations are entirely a case of mistaken identity, and to adequately explain how that happened requires a brief discussion of French Masonry and history.

French Masonry consists of a number of Grand Lodges: men’s, women’s and co-Masonic. The three largest GLs are all male only, they are The National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) with 15-20,000 members, the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF) with 28,000 members, and the Grand Orient of France (GOF or GOdF) with 35-45,000 members [20].

All three came from the same source (the Grand Lodge of England) but took very different directions. Much like what resulted in the United Grand Lodges of England (UGLE), French Masonry also had splits and consolidations in the 18th & 19th centuries, but the biggest departure came in 1877 when the Grand Orient rewrote its constitution to allow “each man to exercise his own conscience” with regard to belief in a supreme being and whether the VSL would be on the altar of his lodge. In the context of the time and situation of a church/state, with church usually siding with the oppressor of private citizens, this may actually have been the correct Masonic response – many North American GLs continued to recognize GOF for many years after this event; even UGLE Lodges admitted GOF brethren conditionally. To this day, possibly 1/3 of GOF lodges require a belief in GAOTU and a Bible on their altars, even if their Grand Lodge doesn’t. To most world Masons, however, GOF is labeled an “atheist” GL and seemingly has no interest in associations with ‘regular’ Freemasonry inside or outside of France. Indeed, in recent years, GOF has begun to allow women masons from other obediences to visit tiled communications, although it does not confer degrees on women.

This GL is the source of much confusion. Get the initials straight: the Grand Orient of France (GOF) is sometimes confused with the other French GLs but is the only French GL of consequence to have abandoned the Old Charges and thus its regularity.

The Grand Lodge of France made no such changes to its constitutions. It reorganized in 1894 and continued to practice the Craft degrees as it had done previously. It does not permit women or men from mixed gender lodges to visit, it requires a belief in the GAOTU of all members, the Holy Bible (specifically) on the altar and obligations to be taken on that Bible. It is also alleged that these conditions are not enforced – they are. In one instance a lodge found with no Bible on its altar had its charter revoked.

Appendix D - 1

Regular, Irregular, Clandestine, and Recognized

First, there are questions about definitions. What is regular versus irregular? What does clandestine mean, and who does the recognizingp. 226] Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia [21]defines a regular lodge as one that has been legally constituted and conforms to the laws of "a recognized" grand lodge. Every grand lodge is recognized by some grand lodges, so does this mean every lodge that complies with the rules of any grand lodge is "regular?" Almost every attempt to find a clear definition of a "regular" lodge or grand lodge leads to such complexity that the word confuses rather than clarifies discussions.

"Regular" might mean a grand lodge follows the ancient landmarks of freemasonry, the ones said to be unchangeable. But what are those ancient landmarks? Every grand lodge has a different answer. Some list dozens of landmarks ( Kentucky has fifty-four, Nevada thirty-nine, Minnesota twenty-six, Connecticut nineteen), some list just a few (Vermont has seven), and some do not have any list but say that masons should observe the landmarks without saying what they are (sometimes adding that they are unchangeable, while at the same time considering and sometimes adopting changes in them). In some grand lodges it is simply unclear, even to Grand Secretaries, what the policy of that grand lodge is concerning the ancient landmarks.[22] If there is no agreement on what are the ancient landmarks of freemasonry, and if "regular" means grand lodges that follow the landmarks, there cannot be universal, or even close to universal agreement on what constitutes regular masonry.

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia defines "clandestine" as a body that does not hold a charter from a superior body having power to grant it, but makes it clear that this word is often misleading and certainly unclear. The Freemasons' Guide and Compendium says a clandestine lodge is one that has not been properly warranted or chartered by any grand lodge. Thus, a lodge could be regular in its workings, but clandestine because it was not chartered properly. Or, it could be irregular because in someone's eyes it does not follow "proper" masonic practices, although it is not clandestine because it was properly chartered by a grand lodge, even if it is a grand lodge that a particular other grand lodge does not recognize.

There are no clear rules that allow anyone to decide which grand lodges are regular or irregular, or clandestine, and use of these words simply confuses reasonable discussions. Each grand lodge makes its own decisions about which grand lodges it will recognize, based on various considerations. The only useful terms are "grand lodges that are recognized by a particular grand lodge at a particular time" and those which are not

Appendix D – 2

Landmarks: [23] “What are landmarks?” is a question often asked, but never determinately answered. In ancient times, boundary stones were used as landmarks before title-deeds were known, the removal of which was strictly forbidden by law. With respect to the landmarks of Masonry, some restrict them to the O.B. signs, tokens and words. Others include the ceremonies of initiation, passing and raising; and the form dimensions and support; the ground, situation and covering; the ornaments, furniture and jewels of a lodge, or their characteristic symbols. Some think that the Order has no landmarks beyond its peculiar secrets. It is quite clear, however, that the order against removing or altering the landmarks was universally observed in all ages of the Craft.
Appendix EBIBLIOGRAPHY

Bede, Elbert. The Landmarks of Freemasonry. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1954.

Bessel, Paul M., “U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s”, HEREDOM, Vol. 5, 1996

Coil, Henry Wilson, et al. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia. Rev. ed. Revised by Allen E. Roberts. Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1996.

Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. Grand Lodge Recognition: A Symposium on the Conditions of Grand Lodge Recognition. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1956.

Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. "Reports of the Commission on Information for Recognition." Annual report.

Henderson, Kent & Pope, Tony, Freemasonry Universal – Volume 2 Williamstwon Victoria Australia, Global Masonic Publications 2000

Jaunaux, Bro. Laurent, “A Concise History of the French Regular Freemasonry” Harmonia Lodge No. 1282, Versailles, France, posted to Philalethes Society Email List

Kesteloot, Bro. Andre V. , “A Short Introduction to French Free‑Masonry.” Address given March 1996.

List of Lodges Masonic - 2001 Edition Bloomington IL, Pantagraph Printing & Stationery Co. 2001

Macoy, Robert, General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry (1873), Reprinted, Montana USA, Kessinger Publishing Co

Mackey, Albert G. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 3 vols. Rev. and enlrg. Revised by Robert I. Clegg, with supp. vol. by H.L. Haywood. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1946.

Masonic Service Association. Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry: As Adopted, Followed or Undecided by the Fifty Grand Lodges of the United States. 6th ed. Silver Spring, Md.: Masonic Service Association, Sept. 1983.

Miner, Stewart W., "The American Doctrine: A Concept Under Siege," 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777, pp. 11-25 (paper delivered at that lodge on March 28, 1992)

Parker, William E. "French Freemasonry, 1913, and the Future," The Philalethes, Jun. 1996, pp. 57-59, 67.

Worlein, John W., “A Visit to the Grand Lodge of France”, The Philalethes, April 2002, vol. LV, no. 2 pp. 28-29, 44-46

Websites:

Recognition of foreign jurisdictions - http://www.bessel.org/masrec

Grand Lodge of France – http://www.gldf.org

[1] Grand Lodge of Minnesota Proceedings - 2001

[2] Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America: A Symposium on the Conditions of Grand Lodge Recognition

[3] Example of well stated requirement used: Grand Lodge of Texas Code

[4] Henderson & Pope, Freemasonry Universal, p. 190. Also see Kesteloot, Andre V., A Short Introduction to French Free‑Masonry.

[5] Conversation with librarian of George Washington Masonic National Memorial, which maintains one of the largest and most complete collections of US GL annual proceedings

[6] Minnesota Proceedings 1954

[7] Bessel,, Paul M., U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s, chart Pp.12-13

[9] At the Grand Lodge of France, the Great Architect Of The Universe is seen as a Creator Principle.

[10] At the Grand Lodge of France, the Volume of the Sacred Law is the Holy Bible.

[11] See also in that regard, Art. 23 of the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of France. Art. 23 - It is strictly forbidden to provoke or start political or religious discussions in Lodge.

[12] Worlein, John, “A Visit to the Grand Lodge of France”, The Philalethes, April 2002, vol. LV, no. 2, p. 28

[13] Henderson & Pope, Freemasonry Universal Pp 191

[14] Source of data: List of Lodges Masonic – 2001 and http://www.bessel.org/masrec

[15] http://www.bessel.org/masrec/europe.htm & communications with the webmaster

[16] Agenda of The Commission for Information for Recognition, COGMNA, Milwaukee WI, February 17, 2002

[17] Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. "Reports of the Commission on Information for Recognition." 1979 Annual report.

[18] Stewart W. Miner, "The American Doctrine: A Concept Under Siege," 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777, pp. 11-25

[19] Transactions of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America 1961, pp. 43-44.

[20] A range of membership numbers is used because there is considerable controversy about exactly how many members actually belong in each of these bodies. Multiple memberships, dates used and several other factors are the cause of this confusion.

[21] Coil, Henry Wilson, et al. Coils Masonic Encyclopedia. Rev. Ed. By Allen Roberts 1996

[22] MSA, Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. Also see Elbert Bede, Landmarks of Freemasonry.

[23] Macoy, Robert, General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry (1873), Reprinted, Montaana USA, Kessinger Publishing Co

The Corporate Board of Trustees of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota considered the said white paper and passed the resolution recognising Grand Lodge of France. The Extract of the relevant minutes is given below.

FROM THE MINUTES
CORPORATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE
GRAND LODGE A F. & A.M. OF MINNESOTA

Meeting on Saturday, May 18, 2002 at St. Paul, Minnesota

A motion was made by R.W. Neil Neddermeyer, DGM and seconded by M.W. Roger Taylor, PGM, which read as follows:

Moved that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota will continue its recognition of the Grand Lodge of France based upon our understanding of the issues of territorial jurisdiction, belief in a Supreme Being, and the Volume of Sacred Law being as an article of furniture in their lodges. (Reference the "White Paper" - Masonic Recognition and the Grand Lodge of France - A Report to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.)

However, we formally request the Grand Lodge of France to furnish information regarding its policy of visitation by members of other Grand Lodges which do not require of its members a belief in a Supreme Being. We request such written information to be submitted to us by June 30, 2002. If the Grand Lodge of France does not provide written proof that it forbids visitation by Masons of Grand Lodges which do not require of its members a belief in a Supreme Being we shall suspend relations.

Likewise, notice is given that if the Grand Lodge of France is determined by us to continue to be "regular" then we encourage and pray that the GLNF and GLdF will seek treaty displaying amity and concord.

Motion passed unanimously.

M.W.Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Minnesota then addressed the following letter to all the Grand Jurisdictions in North America along with the Questions and Answers relating to this issue.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

TO: THE GRAND LODGES AND OTHER GRAND BODIES OF NORTH AMERICA

RE: Grand Lodge of Minnesota and Recognition of the Grand Lodge of France Most Worshipful Grand Master and Heads of Bodies;

Enclosed you will please find a series of documents that relate to reconsideration of the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota to recognize the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF) in April 2001. We have completed a "White Paper" to review our position on this matter and have enclosed it for your consideration. We have also enclosed a motion adopted at our May 18th, 2002 Corporate Board of Trustees meeting. For your convenience we have added a Q&A section to assist with interpretation of our actions.

It goes without saying that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota has been disturbed over the rush to judge our actions and force us into conformity with the perceived guidelines of "regularity" of other Grand Lodges or the North American Conference of Grand Mastersâ Committee on Information and Recognition. We believe that the accompanying documents justify our position for continuing recognition with the Grand Lodge of France or at a minimum will show the inconsistency of our detractors. If any material statements of error can be found in this white paper we will reconsider our actions.

Quite frankly we have been appalled at the lobbying, mis-information and dis-information that has surrounded this issue. We are even more appalled that sister Grand Lodges of North America would consider limited visitation with Minnesota knowing full-well our established regularity and our sovereign rights as a Grand Lodge; the same rights that they assert for themselves. We earnestly, sincerely and humbly appeal for all Masons of good-will and good-conscience to come back into amity with us and together seek after truth in love and true brotherhood.

For my part, I can assure you that this is my sincere desire and although we will not lobby others to come to the same conclusions that we have made, we do ask you to look at the facts and decide for yourself. Surely truth will ultimately prevail and in time we will reach consensus on these issues. It simply makes no sense to rip the fabric of Masonry apart and continue to do damage to our gentle Craft by suspension of visitation privileges or threats of suspension or non-recognition. Surely Masonry has far better things to do for good than this. For my part, I pledge that I stand ready to visit with my counterparts concerning any of these issues at any time. You need only ask.

Most sincerely yours in friendship and fraternal fellowship,
Rev. Terry L. Tilton, Grand Master
The Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota

Questions and Answers regarding Recognition of Masonic Grand Lodges

Q. What did the Grand Lodge of Minnesota do that has upset some other Grand Lodges?

A. In April 2001, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognized the Grand Lodge of France (GLF). In April 2002, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota did nothing further, leaving this recognition in place. Some other Grand Lodges are upset about this.

Q. Why are some other Grand Lodges upset about this?

A. Some Masons in some of these Grand Lodges have said that the GLF is "irregular," so the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should not have recognized the GLF. Some have said the Grand Lodge of Minnesota violated some universally recognized Masonic recognition principles. Some have said the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should have first asked the National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) whether the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should have recognized the GLF, before doing it. Some have said the Grand Lodge of Minnesota created unrest among Grand Lodges, and should have waited until other U.S. Grand Lodges agreed to do this, or else the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should not have done it.

Q. Are any of these statements valid?

A. No. Read on to find out why.

Q. If the GLF is irregular, why did the Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognize it?

A. Who says the GLF is irregular? The Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and many others, are convinced that the GLF is regular. Their lodges all have the Bible on their altars, just as ours do, and they begin their meetings with prayers and readings from the Bible. All their candidates are required to express a belief in a Supreme Being, just as ours are. They prohibit women in their lodges, just as we do. Their history goes back to the 1700s, just as ours does. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has checked these facts, and they are true facts.

Q. Did the Grand Lodge of Minnesota violate universal Masonic recognition principles when it recognized the GLF?

A. No. There are no universal Masonic principles concerning which Grand Lodges any Grand Lodge can recognize. The Conference of Grand Masters, and its Commission on Information for Recognition, have said over and over that each and every Grand Lodge is completely free to recognize any Grand Lodges it wishes. The Commission does not tell any Grand Lodge whom to recognize or not recognize, and they say this over and over. All they do is supply information, as their name implies. Each Grand Lodge decides what to do with that information, and additional information each one accumulates.

Q. But aren't there some Masonic recognition traditions that each Grand Lodge should follow?

A. No. Every Masonic official, including the Conference of Grand Masters and the Commission on Information for Recognition, agrees and says that each Grand Lodge is sovereign. This means that each Grand Lodge can set whatever rules it wishes for itself in deciding whom to recognize, and can recognize whichever Grand Lodges it wishes.

Q. Should the Grand Lodge of Minnesota have consulted with the GLNF before voting on whether to recognize the GLF?

A. No. Each Grand Lodge votes just about every year on recognition of additional Grand Lodges, and none is ever required by any Masonic rules or traditions to consult with anyone. Even as a matter of politeness, this would be impractical. In any case, members of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota did consult with representatives of the GLNF before voting on whether to recognize the GLF. On many occasions the GLNF representatives told the Grand Lodge of Minnesota representatives that no Grand Lodge should recognize the GLF, and gave reasons for that recommendation. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota listened politely to what the GLNF representatives said, and then investigated the facts for itself, and decided that the facts proved that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should recognize the GLF, in addition to the GLNF.

Q. Wait a minute. Isn't there a rule that only one Grand Lodge can be recognized in any state or country?

A. No. Each Grand Lodge decides for itself whether it will recognize one or many Grand Lodges in any state or country. Many U.S. Grand Lodges said that they chose to recognize only one Grand Lodge in each territory, but that is up to each one to follow or not. Several U.S. Grand Lodges have stated they no longer use this rule, and even those that say they follow this rule often do not really follow it. One clear example is that 35 U.S. Grand Lodges recognize Prince Hall Grand Lodges in the same states as "mainstream" Grand Lodges. And specifically dealing with France, many Grand Lodges have recognized both the GLF and the GLNF simultaneously, often for many years. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota is following a practice that many other U.S. Grand Lodges have already done in the past and present.

Q. Didn't the Grand Lodge of Minnesota create unrest among U.S. Grand Lodges?

A. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota did NOT create any unrest among U.S. Grand Lodges. It simply took an action it felt was right for it. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota did not and does not ask any other Grand Lodge to follow its lead on this or anything else. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota will not bring GLF members into any other Grand Lodge's jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has not and will not interfere with any other Grand Lodge in any way.

Q. Why didn't the Grand Lodge of Minnesota wait to consult with other Grand Lodges before voting on whether to recognize the GLF?

A. Once again, every Grand Lodge and every Masonic group says that each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent, and can and should make its own decisions without having to follow others, or even consult with others. In any case, the Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters did give its opinion to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, saying it felt the GLF did not deserve to be recognized. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota politely listened to this advice, and then did its own investigation, obtained additional facts, and determined for itself that the GLF deserved to be recognized by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Everyone agrees that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota had every right to do this, as a sovereign Grand Lodge.

Q. What would happen if every Grand Lodge recognized different Grand Lodges? Wouldn't there be chaos?

A. Every Grand Lodge in the world, including all in the United States, already recognizes a different set of Grand Lodges, and no one complains about chaos. For example, the Grand Lodge of Michigan currently recognized the Grand Lodge of Mali, even though only 3 other U.S. Grand Lodges recognize that Grand Lodge Đ 47 do not. The Grand Lodge of New York recognizes the Grand Lodge of Poland, even though only 7 other U.S. Grand Lodges do Đ 43 do not. The Grand Lodge of Maine recognized the Grand Lodge of Haiti, even though 30 of the U.S. Grand Lodges, a majority, do not. This happens all the time, and there is no chaos.

Q. Has any other Grand Lodge ever recognized the GLF, or does the Grand Lodge of Minnesota think it knows more than every other Grand Lodge?

A. Many U.S. Grand Lodges have recognized the GLF, and/or permitted their members to visit lodges under the GLF, including the Grand Lodges of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. That's 23 U.S. Grand Lodges. They later derecognized the GLF, but the Grand Lodge of Minnesota decided that the reasons for derecognition, in the case of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, were not valid. So the Grand Lodge of Minnesota decided to rerecognize the GLF, without affecting any other Grand Lodge in any way.

Q. Doesn't the GLF recognize the Grand Orient of France (GOF), which is irregular? Isn't that enough reason for the Grand Lodge of Minnesota not to recognize the GLF?

A. No. The GLF does not recognize the GOF, any more than the GLNF recognizes the GOF. Both the GLF and the GLNF have signed agreements allowing some type of communications with the GOF, such as exchanging lists of rejected candidates. Neither the GLF nor the GLNF has recognized the GOF, and neither intends to. In any case, every Grand Lodge in the world, and in the U.S., recognizes Grand Lodges that in turn recognize other Grand Lodges that are not recognized by the first one. For example, every U.S. Grand Lodge recognizes the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), even though the UGLE recognizes a Grand Lodge in Italy that every U.S. Grand Lodge considers clandestine and irregular. Still, no one accuses the UGLE of being irregular for doing this. And remember, the GLF has not even been accused of recognizing the GOF, while the UGLE fully recognizes the Grand Lodge in Italy that every U.S. Grand Lodge does not recognize.

Q. If all this is true, why is anyone upset with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota?

A. We don't know, and we wish those who are upset would stop. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has not done anything improper or wrong. It has exercised the right, recognized by everyone, to recognize whichever Grand Lodges it wishes, just as every other Grand Lodge does. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has not asked any other Grand Lodge to follow its lead, or change in any way, or accept anything the Grand Lodge of Minnesota has done. All the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is asking is for other Grand Lodges not to try to force the Grand Lodge of Minnesota to change its policy, just as the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is not asking any other Grand Lodge to change any of their policies.

Q. So, is there any reason for any Grand Lodge to suspend Masonic relations with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota?

A. No. Everyone agrees that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota meets all the standards of Masonic regularity as set by any Grand Lodge. Nothing has changed in the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. What Freemasonry needs is unity and brotherly love. Instead of anyone attacking the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, anyone who wishes can present any evidence they have that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota may have made a mistake. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota will be happy to review any such evidence. In the meantime, everyone can and should go on with Freemasonry just as they did before, without suspending Masonic relations with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.

Q. How can someone know if the information being distributed by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is accurate, when others are saying different things?

A. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has evidence to prove every statement in this paper. We would be delighted to provide detailed, precise citations to prove all our statements, and encourage everyone who hears anything different to ask for similar citations and proof of any contrary allegations you might hear.

Additional Questions and Answers in light of the actions the Grand Lodge of Minnesota on May 18, 2002
as prepared by the Rev. Terry L. Tilton, Grand Master

Q. What is the effective meaning of the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Corporate Board on Saturday, May 18, 2002?

A. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota believes that its recognition of the Grand Lodge of France in April 2001 was well-considered and well-reasoned on the basis of the "White Paper" titled "Masonic Recognition and the Grand Lodge of France- A Report to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota" received on May 18, 2002. We challenge anyone to find falsehood in any material statement made in that paper and to present us with written evidence that can collaborate that claim. If such evidence is given and proven we will reconsider this issue. Until that time we consider this issue closed on the basis of the charges investigated to date.

Q. The second paragraph of your motion asks for written evidence of the policy of the Grand Lodge of France concerning the charge of visitation by Masons who do not believe in a Supreme Deity from other Grand Lodges. Why are you requesting this?

A. Although this charge has not been previously cited against the Grand Lodge of France because of our recognition, we are aware that it is an issue with the North American Conference of Grand Masters - Committee on Information for Recognition. Previously we did not order this issue to be included in the "White Paper" received on May 18th. However, after further consideration we believe that now is the time to determine this issue as well.

Upon receipt of written evidence as to the policy or position of the Grand Lodge of France given us by June 30, 2002, we (The Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota) will issue an addendum to our "White Paper". If this issue is not addressed to our satisfaction we will suspend recognition with the Grand Lodge of France.

Q. In the third paragraph of the motion adopted on May 18th, 2002 by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Corporate Board you note that "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 treaty displaying amity and concord." Why have you said this?

A. It is our belief that personalities, politics and orchestrated campaigns of dis-information have consumed too much of our time and have not promoted the good of Freemasonry. If two Grand Lodges are deemed "regular" and have the same territorial jurisdiction they should be able to work together. We want these two parties to work together and we want to make that statement as firmly as we can.

Q. Does the Grand Lodge of Minnesota lobby for or promote their position?

A. No, beyond asserting the right of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota as a sovereign jurisdiction to work for its own best interests and the best interests of Masonry as a whole, we will not advocate to others our position on these issues. Each Grand Lodge must make its own decisions based upon the facts. We have only endeavored to be intellectually honest and diligent in our pursuit of truth as we can find it. We would expect no more or no less from others.

We sincerely regret that a few other Grand Lodge jurisdictions have chosen to cease visitation with us over this issue. We did not cause that action, they did! We will not compromise our integrity or suspend our search for the truth. And we sincerely appeal to them to rescind their action and allow everyone time to work through these issues.

Although we realize that this issues of recognition and regularity are complex and the history of their application is without uniformity, we endeavor to keep fraternal relations with all the Grand Lodges that we consider regular and will not (except in the case noted in the previous question) break off relations with any Grand Lodge that we have historically given

M.W.Grand Master G.L of Minnesota had addressed the following letter to all the Constituent Lodges and other Grand Officers.

TO: THE CONSTITUENT LODGES OF MINNESOTA

RE: Grand Lodge of Minnesota and Recognition of the Grand Lodge of France

Worshipful Master and Brothers;

Enclosed you will please find a series of documents that relate to reconsideration of the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota to recognize the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF) in April 2001. We have completed a "White Paper" to review our position on this matter and have enclosed it for your consideration. We have also enclosed a motion adopted at our May 18th, 2002 Corporate Board of Trustees meeting. For your convenience we have also added a Q&A section to assist with interpretation of our actions.

We are sending this information to you for distribution through your lodge as we now can sadly report that four Grand Lodges in North America have decided to suspend visitation with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota and with Minnesota Masons. This means in effect that Minnesota Masons cannot visit the Masonic lodges in these jurisdictions and they cannot visit in our lodges. Those jurisdictions which have suspended visitation with us are: Michigan, New York, Maine and Kentucky.

I want to hasten to add that this situation is fluid and there may be other jurisdictions who will also take this action in response to our recognition of the Grand Lodge of France. We have seriously reconsidered our action of the April 2001 Grand Lodge Session and at this time have determined that it was proper and well-considered.

It would be foolish for me to tell you that the issues of "regularity" and "recognition" are easy to understand. But the accompanying documents are our best evidence of what the facts are in this case.

I would remind you that we have not broken our relationship or limited visiting privileges with any of these four Grand Lodges and from our stand point you are free to visit in these jurisdictions. However, if you are refused admittance, I humbly request that you withdraw quietly. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota does not wish to aggravate or cause further alienation over this issue.

If you ask me, as Grand Master, what will the future hold? I do not know. Time will only tell if our actions were right and proper. In the meantime we expect that other Grand Lodges may extend recognition to the Grand Lodge of France in the near future and it will take the spotlight off the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.

The enclosed documents have been distributed to every Grand Lodge in North America and we have sincerely appealed to each one to let time and patience win out the truth. We have asked that those Grand Lodge jurisdictions who have limited their visitation with us to consider rescinding their action and again participating with us in full recognition and full amenity.

We promise to keep you appraised of developments on this issue and will put up a special web-page at our electronic address: mn-mason.org to assist you in understanding what is happening.

As I am able, I will attempt to answer any questions you might have and assist any of the our Constituent Lodge members, or those members of our appendant or concordant bodies. Again, I cannot tell you how saddened I am to have to report this news to you. Please keep us in your prayers as the officers of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota endeavor to act with integrity and forthrightness under the all-seeing eye of the Great Architect of the Universe.

Sincerely and fraternally yours,

Terry L. Tilton, Grand Master, The Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Minnesota

CC: All Elected and Appointed Grand Lodge Officers

[The papers listed above explain the views and the stand taken by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. The issues involved are very crucial and important for the growth and stablity of this great Fraternity. Books, which are almost authorities have been cited in the Bibliography of the White paper, besides very many useful and relevant materials.. All of them have to be carefully studied for a proper understanding of the issues. A dispassionate analysis is necessary. We request your serious consideration and please forward your views and valuable opinions to comments@masonicpaedia.org
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