New Page 1
[ 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,
we have received
a copy of
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,
clearly stated understanding to
rectify factual errors, to issue a correction forthwith.
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
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
The origins of the Grand Lodge of France are
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
ii/ On 7 November 1894, sixty lodges from
this Supreme Council-Scottish General Grand Lodge broke away to form
Grand Lodge of France, but did not gain effective independence from the
Supreme Council until 1904.
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
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
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
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.
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”