Ephesse 1st’s latest administrative creation, the Grand Council has just published its 1st communiqué, following its 1st meeting.link
The ink was not yet dry and the criticisms were already being published.
The subject of this 1st Epistle to the Ephessians ? Regularity and International Recognition. The timing could hardly be worse, just after the quarterly meeting of Grand Lodge of the UGLE where the suspension of relations with the GLNF was confirmed. Or was the choice of subject deliberate ?
On his blog “La Lumière” journalist François Koch of L’Express publishes the analysis of the document bu a « High Dignitary of a European Regular Grand Lodge” (sic) link
“In reading this first communiqué from the GLNF Grand Council I am struck by the lack of knowledge of certain international principles and usages, and by the directive way things are presented.
Here are what I consider to be the four most significant examples :
1.“For a Grand Lodge to be recognised internationally it suffices that it be so by three other regular Grand Lodges.” THAT IS FALSE !
Certainly regularity and recognition must be distinguished.
But there are two requirements for regularity : regularity in the beginning and “functional” regularity.
For regularity in the beginning, it can be obtained in two ways :
The Grand Lodge is founded by at least three regular Lodges. That is, part of a regular Grand Lodge, with their warrant obtained regularly.
The Grand Lodge is consecrated by a regular Grand Lodge. Most often, in the beginning, it occurs by way of the creation of a District comprising at least three Lodges.
The functional regularity is equally as important and essential, for it is permanent. It is consecrated by the respecting of the landmarks (which concern management principles, the functioning of caucus, the respect of masonic principles, non-intervention in debates about society, etc…) Moreover, it is on this basis that the Grand Lodges have suspended their relations with the GLNF. And there are real risks that they will withdraw their recognition.
What’s more, it is surprising that the current management of the GLNF draws criticism concerning only the internal disharmony and fails to take into account that above all it is the increasing doubts about respecting the landmarks that have justified the suspensions of relations.
Concerning the recognition by three Grand Lodges, this principle is treated nowhere ! It is pure invention.
The only place where it is mentioned is at the European Grand Masters’ Conference, where this figure was decided upon (the subject of some debate). But is is only a criteria for admission to a conference, voluntarily without decisional powers and as such its functioning rules can be reviewed freely. The different concepts must not be mixed.
2.Is the suspension of relations with the GLNF temporary ?
It is truly surprising to see to what point the Grand Council dares – and with much nerve ! – to insist upon the “temporary” aspect of the suspension of rel ations. The surrealistic comments about a so-called non-confirmation by the UGLE on September 14th is an additional illustration. That shows a total incapacity to interpret (or was it wilful ?). In fact, these suspensions are “an ultimate stage – imminent ? before the definitive withdrawal of recognition”. Moreover, it is this same lack of vision that has led the current management of the GLNF to give no consideration to the suspension of relations by the group of neighbouring Grand Lodges (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg). Whereas that was a strong signal from the international community seeking to startle in order to avoid a cascade…..which has inevitably occurred (the England – Scotland – Ireland bloc, the key states of the USA, the Scandinavian bloc, etc…)
3.An unnatural behaviour concerning the UGLE
For those who know the UGLE (and for the management of an almost century old Obedience that should be the case !) it is amazing to read in the so widely distributed communiqué from the GLNF Grand Council comments or intentions of the UGLE , allusions to bilateral meetings,…
By its moral weight and its culture, this prestigious Obedience (UGLE, more than any other, is strongly attached to its duty of reserve and to the confidentiality of its bilateral exchanges. The way the GLNF management reacts is without doubt prejudicial to its credit. And that is added to the suspension of relations with the UGLE by the GLNF (on July 21st, back-dated to July 14th, 2011), which is certainly the greatest joke of all time ! But the letter to the Duke of Kent wasn’t fairly clumsy in the same vein…
The GLNF management has already used a similar technique (giving credit to comments or intentions) – and now well-known on the international scene ! – at the expense of Thomas Jackson (secretary of the International Conference of regular Grand Lodges) or, more recently to the African Grand Masters. Yet, each time, the truth comes out very quickly and the credibility of the GLNF is even more deeply besmirched.
4.The Higher Degree Plot theory
If it is exact that any initiative to create a new grand Lodge will have to respect –and it will be scrupulously verified – the rules and principles of total independence and non –interference (between the Higher Degrees and the Blus Lodges), at the risk of failing to obtain neither regularity, nor recognition, today the problem arises in other terms.
In fact, in each country, Higher Degrees and grand Lodge form, over and above their strict autonomy, a “life community, a community of regular masons”. Their destinies are partly linked, their values are often joint values. Now it is this “entire community that is in crisis, in total distress”. The acts of solidarity, of sharing, of relexion, of mobilisation between the majority of the GLNF Brethren (whether they only attend a Blue Lodge or also attend a Higher degree Lodge) are easily understandable on a humane basis. They are totally understood like those at an international level.”
LML readers should remember another "Grand Council" created in Italy in 1923. It was headed up by someone whose name also ended in "...ni". And we all know how he ended up !!!