3rd Joint Declaration by the Regular Orders in France
The Ordinal Jurisdictions :
Of the Grand Rectified Priory of France
Of the Grand French Chapter, Supreme Council of the Modern Rite for France
Of the Supreme Council for France of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
In conformity with their previous declarations the signing Ordinal Jurisdictions make a solemn appeal for dignity to all those involved in the current situation of the GLNF.
They remind in preface that they respect and will not transgress their duty to not interfere in the workings of the Obedience with whom they wish to maintain the conditions of collaboration and of traditional, regular and enriching labour for each of their respective members, in mutual respect and confidence.
Nonetheless, they have a duty towards the obligations of the Orders in their charge; that the practice in their Lodges and Chapters of the degrees following that of Master Mason and the dual social and masonic adherence of Brethren obliges them, with regard to the exceptional situation that regular Freemasonry is currently experiencing in France, to maintain the strictest vigilance in order to guarantee in all its purity the respect of the traditional and spiritual expression of the Rites over which they are solely responsible towards both the Brethren and the international Masonic community.
They remind the reader that the Grande Loge Nationale Française is an initiatory Obedience of which the GLNF association is merely the legal and administrative structure in the secular world.
That the presidency of the GLNF Association is a statutory non-elective function, conferred ex-officio upon the Grand Master of the GLNF.
That, therefore, and contrary to what is currently alleged, only the regularly elected Grand Master may be President of the GLNF Association, and that the resignation of the President is inconceivable without the resignation of the Grand Master.
That it is manifestly in this perspective that, by order of January 24th 2011, the Supreme Court of Paris designated a provisional administrator whose mission in particular is to convene the general assembly of the members of the association, in conformity with the court decision of December 7th 2010, without need to include on the agenda the revoking of the President as per article 2.3 of the by-laws.
For, in effect, that article states that :
“The candidate to the Grand Mastership is designated by the ex-officio members mentioned in Article 1.2 nominated by the Grand Master, and meeting together to vote by secret ballot. This designation is submitted to the Association for ratification during the appropriate General Assembly.”
That this means that now the legal administrator must, at the general assembly that we remind her is made up of exactly the same rightful delegated members as the Grand Lodge, proceed with the ratification of the designation of a new Grand Master, who will rightfully become the President of the association.
That, the resignation of the President of the association only being possible after the resignation of the Grand Master, the Most Respected Brother François Stifani could not pretend today, to still be Grand Master unless he is unaware of the fundamental principles of the Masonic Order, of a mason’s obligations, the clauses of the General Rules and the terms of the decisions of justice brought down by the State Courts.
That the Spiritual Power is attached to the corpus of each Rite and is only linked temporarily to the functions assigned to a Brother; under no circumstances is it passed personally to such or such person, no matter what titles, grades and qualities he holds within the Obedience.
That the persistent attitude of the Most Respected Brother François Stifani can only aggravate the historic crisis that the Obedience is experiencing, for the first time since its foundation by Edouard de Ribeaucourt in 1913 that presents an obstacle to a return to serenity and masonic labour, assuming therefore responsibility for allowing to continue and deteriorate the troubles that are agitating the Grande Loge Nationale Française, to the detriment of the pursuit by all the Brothers of the Obedience of the accomplishment of the traditional objectives of the Order of Freemasons, with the risk that the Obedience will cease to be regular and therefore lose its international recognition.
That for all the reasons presented above, the signing Jurisdictions declare that, in their opinion, the chair of Grand Master of the GLNF is vacant since the resignation of its Grand Master.
Consequently they call for the respect of the clauses of the By-Laws, while awaiting the designation by the Sovereign Grand Committee of a candidate to the Grand Mastership and of his ratification by the Grand Lodge, who will equally be designated as rightful President of the association in conformity with the terms of the by-laws , of the constitution of the masonic Order and of the court order of January 24th 2011.
Also, they call upon :
- Each brother in his conscience, and in particular the Respected Brethren and Most respected brethren, members of the Sovereign Grand Committee, to assume his responsibilities concerning the values of traditional Freemasonry and to guarantee the choice of a solution that will enable a return to the fundamental principles of the masonic Order, and the road of true labour respecting the rites and to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe.
- All Brothers to return to calm and serenity under the temporary protective management of the provisional administrator, who guarantees the legal and associative principles.
- All Brothers who as of now present themselves as future candidates to the Grand Mastership to show proof of reserve, humility, temperance and conscience. The simplest analysis of the crisis that the GLNF is experiencing shows the necessity for a return to the traditional intangible values of regular Freemasonry, accepted by the Brethren.
- That they will be most attentive to future projects that will allow a return to the fundamental principles and traditional values of the masonic Order and the spiritual development of the Brethren in their respective rites, taking into account the specificities of each Rite and its practice according to their use and true traditions ;
- That they invite all Brethren to oppose all projects putting at risk these fundamental values, and that in the case of deep discord they reserve the right to put in place the means of protection necessary to satisfy their Jurisdictional duty.
Paris, February 4th 2011
For the Grand Rectified Priory of France
Grand Prior – Grand Master
For the Supreme Council for France of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
Sovereign grand Commandor
For the French Grand Chapter