A week ago we were looking at a schism, François Stifani clinging to the Pisan bunker like a limpet, and the opposition, every day more unified, felt that the courts would rule in such a way that the only way out was to pack our bags and leave.
Well, it was not to be. The Court of Appeal decided :
GM = President = GM
By resigning as President of the GLNF on January 21st, 2011 François Stifani also handed in his blue apron, all the glittering golden baubles, the keys to the drinks cupboard and the executive washroom and the lift code to the 3rd floor.
The immediate consequences of the decision are :
all suspensions, exclusions, striking off the register of Brethren, Lodges, even whole Provinces since January 21st, 2011 are meaningless
all expenses incurred by François Stifani since that date are unjustified and will have to be covered by his personal means. (How much does it cost to hire 20 coachloads of riot police and a boxing stadium that seats more than 3000 people ?)
all National and Provincial Officers named since that date have no right to office
since the Statutes affirm that the departure of a Grand Master automatically renders vacant each and every national and provincial position, even those named before January 21st, 2011 have no legitimacy.
The AGM scheduled for February 4th will no doubt be postponed
Have no doubt, Ephesse will not go without a fight and Balloo the Legal Bear and Pardo will try to justify their fees (who’s paying them now ???) by producing specious arguments out of their hats.
Be that as it may, and it may take some time, the Justice of the French Republic has decided.
It is obvious François Stifani and his counsellors had not foreseen the consequences of Friday’s decision. Just prior to resigning as president Ephesse arranged for the resignation of his Deputy Grand Master. The Statutes state that in the absence of the grand master, the DGM takes over. We have a situation without precedent in masonic history worldwide, a Grand Lodge without a leader in sight.
Legally, the only representative of the GLNF is Miss Monique and without Ephesse and Henry the Beancounter to tell her how to fill in her day.
To every cloud there is a silver lining. The court decision leaves an enormous vacancy in the masonic aspect of the GLNF. The Opposition Pilot Committee representing the entire spectrum of the opposition tendencies has met and published its 2nd communiqué. link
A major decision opening the way to a new era for the GLNF has been taken. In the spirit of Article 19 of Andersen’s Constitutions, which is repeated in Article 15 of the Constitutions of the UGLE (which cover exceptional circumstances) it is the Brethren who must take the initiative to create a new management structure. Their representatives on the Opposition Pilot Committee have called upon Alain Juillet to form an Executive Transition Committee. The members of this new structure will be designated very shortly. And their plan of action will be determined by court decisions to be pronounced at the end of this week.
Nonetheless this committee will be ready to undertake the running of the GLNF (masonic aspects) uin agreement and consultation with the court administrator. Their priority task will be to prepare as quickly as possible a total overhaul and reform of all the texts governing the Obedience. The reforms will be inspired by the wishes expressed by all tendencies within the GLNF and will be representative of the sensibilities of all the Rites. When, and only when, these reforms are completed, new elections will be organised in conformity with the newly adopted Constitutions, Statutes and By-Laws.
A new day is dawning for the GLNF !