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Article # 15
White Paper of Grand Lodgeof Minnesota

Author: United Grand Lodge of England    Posted on: Friday, June 7, 2002
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· [ We have published in the article “ Grand Lodge of Minnesota recognizes the Grand Lodge of France” , the various papers released by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, including the White paper considered by the Board of the Grand lodge of Minnesota. United Grand Lodge of England after perusing the White paper has pointed out that there are some untrue statements in the White paper and the Grand Lodge of Minnesota should rectify the same. Copies of that letter were sent to the all the Regular Grand Lodges recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England. We are posting that letter dated May 28 th 2002, addressed to the Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Minnesota under this article]

“Dear Grand Secretary,

Through the Internet we have received a copy of the various papers on the Grand Lodge of France which have been issued to your Lodges.

In the "white paper", it is stated that "The Grand Lodge of France was chartered by the Grand Lodge of England in 1728 in full accord with the latter's requirements." That statement is completely untrue, and I call upon you, in accordance with your clearly stated understanding to rectify factual errors, to issue a correction forthwith.

The facts are that until its involvement in the formation of the National Grand Lodge of France in 1913, England neither chartered, nor authorised, nor was in any way involved in the organisation of, any Grand Lodge in France. That is provable from our archives, which go back to 1723.

There are other errors and omissions in what you have published: you claim, for example, that the Grand Lodge of France is the most senior body in France. It is not. The oldest Masonic body in France is the Grand Orient of France, whose history is as follows:

a/ On 24 December 1736, a group of self-constituted Lodges, owing allegiance to no Grand Lodge, formed a Grand Lodge of France. This Grand Lodge existed until it was closed by King Louis XV in 1768.

b/ On 9 November 1771, the 1736 Grand Lodge re-constituted itself as the National Grand Lodge of France.

c/ On 22 October 1773, the National Grand Lodge changed its name to the Grand Orient of France, which is still in existence today. Although irregular, it is technically the most senior Masonic body in France.

The origins of the Grand Lodge of France are as follows:

i/ Despite ,the ,existence,,of ,,the ,Grand ,Orient ,of,France, ,on August, 1804, ,,,, a Supreme Council-Scottish General Grand Lodge of the Ancient and Accepted Rite was set up in Paris. From 1804 to 1894 it functioned as both a Supreme Council and Grand Lodge, warranting many Craft Lodges.

ii/ On 7 November 1894, sixty lodges from this Supreme Council-Scottish General Grand Lodge broke away to form the present Grand Lodge of France, but did not gain effective independence from the Supreme Council until 1904.

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.

Additionally, one notes that in the various papers issued by you, great emphasis is placed on the sovereign nature of each Grand Lodge and the rights of each Grand Lodge to determine its own policy. Yet in the Question and Answer section, one of the questions states:

"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 be "regular" we shall suspend relations with the Grand Lodge National of France, if we do not see evidence of amity and concord between themselves and the Grand Lodge of France." Why have you taken this position ?

Although your Grand Master explained his reason for adopting this stance in his answer, the highly publicised announcement of such an ultimatum, so clearly biased in favour of the Grand Lodge of France, is both illogical and inconsistent with your own reiterated statements that each Grand Lodge is sovereign and in charge of its own decisions.

One fundamental issue not mentioned in any of your papers is the incursions by the Grand Lodge of France into territories where regular Grand Lodges exist. It is a long standing principle in international Masonic relations that in territories where a Grand Lodge exists, another Grand Lodge does not charter Lodges to meet there, except by special permission of the existing Grand Lodge. Despite the prior existence of the Grand Lodge of Spain, the Grand Lodge of France has chartered Lodges to meet in Spain. Even worse, despite the existence of the Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic, in January of this year the Grand Lodge of France set up a so-called Grand Lodge of the Czech Lands. In neither case was the existing Grand Lodge consulted.

As issue is considered of vital importance by all regular Grand Lodges, it cannot simply be ignored by you as if it did not exist. If indeed it was considered by your Board, your reasons for discounting it should be clearly explained.

It is clear that in the interest of truth and fairness, a correction to the factual errors and misinformation contained in your various papers should now be placed on your website, and circulated to all those who received the originals.

Yours sincerely and fraternally,

R.A.H Morrow, Grand Secretary”

Click Here To Post Your Comment

csarmiento3 wrote on Sunday, June 16, 2002:

Subject: De-recognition GL of Minessota

The GL of Florida has approved de-recognition of the GL of Minessota

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