Follow the Penguin !!!
This article is a translation from Myosotis Lutèce.
Following the initial presentation of the masonic and administrative structure of the GL-AMF to the A&ASR Brethren who met at Neuilly Bineau on March 24th and the French Rite brethren who met in Tours on the same day, much refinement and clarification has occurred. The final version will be presented for ratification to the assembled Brethren of all the Rites in Tours on April 28th. The presentation below will enable you to see more clearly how the new Grand Lodge will function, both masonically and administratively.
Please note : The Powerpoint screens are in French but easily understood for the non-French speaker.
of the Grande Loge de l’Alliance Maçonnique Française
The Grande Loge de l’Alliance Maçonnique Française (GL-AMF) groups the Lodges together in the different Rites, themselves grouped together in Rite Houses “Maison du Rite” (A&ASR, French Rite, Emulation, Rectified Scottish rite, York, Standard Scottish).
The Grand Lodge is responsible for the masonic activities and the civil administrative functions, respecting the statutes, Constitutions and By-laws.
Based upon the principle that each rite has its own specificity, the Lodges are grouped together in Houses whose co-ordination is ensured by the GL-AMF.
An underlying reason for this organisation is to avoid petty quarrels due to misunderstanding or diverging interpretation between Lodges or Brethren labouring under different Rites and to create a dynamic unique to each House as well as to the Grand Lodge in general.
In fact, a rotating system from one Rite to another for the Grand Master – President of the Grand Lodge has been foreseen. This will avoid one Rite in particular getting its hands on the management of the GL-AMF. Thus, functioning in total independence, without interference either direct or indirect from the ordinal Jurisdictions (Grand French Chapter, supreme Council for France…) this co-existence of several rites within the same Grand Lodge seems to be an enriching element for all the Brethren.
In addition, that will ease the progression of those Brethren with real ability and a taste for responsibility.
Organisational presentation of the GL-AMF
Two organisational plans co-exist in parallele : the civil administation (Association Law of 1901) and the masonic organisation (Grand Lodge).
The organisational layout takes into account all the Lodges of the GL-AMF Association and their representatives come together ot the National Congress level to deliberate on civil affairs.
The GL-AMF administration is given to the National Board whose activities is controlled (overseen) by a council of Surveillance as well as a National finance Control Commission.
The Lodge, a 1901 Law Assocuiation
Each Lodge is constituted as a 1901 law association and is managed by a President – Worshipful Master and a board of management. The Lodge association members elect two representatives who are the President – Worshipful Master and the Treasurer whose responsibilities are to represent and defend the Lodge’s civil interests at the National Congress.
Bearing in mind that the civil and masonic functions superimposent one upon the other the management board comprises a minimum of President-Worshipful Master and treasurer, both elected, the Deputy, Secretary and two members elected by the civil AGM of the Lodge.
The National Congress
It represents the general assembly of the Lodges where all the brethren may attend but only the elcted representatives vote (president-Worshipful Master and Treasurer).
The Nationakl Congress votes and approves Reports, Accounts and Budgets, elects the association Grand Treasurer and ratifies the president-grand Master. As well it elects the Surveillance Council members.
This body is created with a desire to control the decisions and acts of the association executive and represents a first counter-balance.
It comprises 36 members, elected by the National Council with a 3 year non-renewable mandate ; the allocation of places being according to the geographic density of Lodges on the national territory.
The National Board
It represents the association executive and comprises the president whose election is ratified by the national Congress, the grand Treasurer elected by the National Congress, the grand Secretary and 4 administrators who are elected by the Surveillance Council, a total of 7 members.
The National Finance Control Commission
This body represents a second counter-balance ? Its activity is essentially to ensure financial control and the respecting of the association’s budgetary engagements.
Comprised of 9 members called « controllers », they are nominated by the Surveillance Council and ratified by the Council of Elders*. The members must have recognised professional expertise in the civil world.
The Council of Elder sis the guardian of good masonic behaviour of the grand Lodge and the conformity of civil activities with regard for the masonic aspects of Grand Lodge.
The masonic organisation of the Grande Loge de l’Alliance Maçonnique Française
The creation of a Grand Lodge ex nihilo is an enormous undertakingand numerous brethren have banded together with courage, determination, often abnegation with a single aim of achieving what the brethren want.
The Masonic Organisation
In drawing up the masonic organisation the GL-AMF took into consideration the successive contributions from the Brethren, the work undertaken by FMR, then the >ULRF and finally the Rite Houses
The entire architecture of the masonic organisation of the GL-AMF is based upon the masonic prerogatives of the Lodge in contrast with the civil non-masonic administrative elements.
The most original element of this masonic organisation within the GL-AMF is the introduction of the Rite House concept. All the Lodges labouring under one Rite are grouped together within the Rite House
To date, six Rite Houses co-exist within the GL-AMF and they concern the following Rites : French, A&ASR, Emulation, Rectified Scottish, York and Standard Scottish.
For an easier understanding, the following description takes into account the masonic organisation of a Rite House. The presentation is the same for each Rite.
The masonic organisation of the Lodge within the GL-AMF has no specific elements other than that it adheres to the general rules of the grand Lodge for its masonic activities.
Nonetheless, the level of Lodge representation and their impact upon decisions have been reinforced insofar as each Lodge elects its Worshipful Master and a Deputy who are then Lodge Delegates.
Their role is not only to represent and defend the Lodge interests at Rite House level but also, taking into account the elective system, they can influence the choices and act on the decision making bodies of the Grand Lodge and the House within which their Lodge is grouped.
Since the Lodges must be grouped into the house of their Rite, the Lodge’s inscription occurs by way of a request for approval by the Rite House who then provides a patent. Armed with this patent the Lodge contracts a Convention with the Grande Loge de l’Alliance Maçonnique Française which delivers a Warrant.
The Rite House
Each Rite House groups together all the Lodges of a single Rite and develops its activity in total independence of the Jurisdictions. This does not exclude cordial relations and collaboration between the Rite House and the Ordinal Jurisdiction of the same Rite. The Rite House functioning is based upon that of the grand Lodge with decisional bodies, and controls being specific to the Rites practiced by the Lodges.
All the Lodge Delegates form the Lodge Delegates’ Convent for each rite House. Each Rite has its own Convent which means today the six Rite Houses will have six Convents.
The Convent elects an Assistant Grand Master and 2 General Deputies from within the Lodge Delegates.
The number of Assistant grand Masters and Deputies is a function of the number of Rite Houses within the GL-AMF. Today there are six Houses. So, following 6 different Convents the procedure will result in the election of 6 Assistant Grand Masters and 12 General Deputies.
What’s more, the grand Lodge has introduced a specific element for access to the Post of Grand Master, a process where the Convent plays a most important role.
We have seen that the post of Grand Master is filled in turn by a representative of each Rite House which means a strong input by the convent whose turn it is to designate its candidate.
When a rite House must prposer a Brother to be grand master, its Convent chooses by election a Grand Master candidate who has fulfilled the functions of Assistant Grand Master. It is this candidate who is then ratified by the civil assembly of the GL-AMF, the National Congress.
The Masonic authorities of the Rite House
Each House is managed by an Assistant Grand Master who is in charge of the respect of the Rite, its traditions, usages and customs and its specificities. He is assisted in his functions by :
the two elected General Deputies
a Rite College whose members are appointed by the Assistant grand Master from within the worshipful Masters and whose tasks resemble those of the officiers within a Lodge. These Officiers assist the Assistant Grand Master directly during his term of office.
a Rite Council of 9 members designated by the Assistant Grand Master from within the Worshipful Masters and who are recognised for having a proven experience of the Rite.
Grand Experts or “Inspectors” for the rite, appointed by the Assistant Grand Master and covering a specific geographic zone. Their role is to assist the Lodges and to ensure the respect of the rituals.
As well, the Assistant Grand Master and the two general Deputies participate in the Grand Lodge Council.
The Grand Lodge Council
This is one of the regulatory bodies for the masonic activities of the Grand Lodge.
Chaired by the Grand Master, it comprises all the Assistant Grand Masters and the general Deputies (18 members coming from the Rite Houses), the deputy Grand Master, the grand Chancellor and the grand Orator (3 members coming from the College of National Officers), a total of 22.
Its role, in additiion to assisting and advising the Grand Master, is to co-ordinate the life of the Rite Houses and to influence the grand Lodge’s internal and external relations.
As well, the Grand Lodge Council designates the members of the Justice Chamber and one third (3/9) of the members of the Council of Elders.