The 5 Grand Lodges whose joint declaration from Basel started the avalanche of withdrawals of Recognition of the GLNF have met again, this time in Berlin last weekend. Their joint statement dated July 28th warns other Grand Lodges (and Ordinal Jurisdictions for that matter) against establishing French districts. Their reasoning is that such a move can only further fragment the French masonic landscape. In a clear warning to any foreign Grand Lodge which decides to open a French district, the 5 Grand Lodges have confirmed they “…would not hesitate to take all necessary measures”.
The 5 Grand Lodges intend starting “proper negotiations” with French Grand Lodges so that France can once again take its rightful place in “the world wide chain of brotherhood”. Clearly, they will not abandon the French Brethren and they want to see a rationalization of the “French bordel”.
The GLNF is no longer worthy of international Recognition and the situation has deteriorated to the point that only the most naïve (or personally ambitious) believe there is any hope that it will rise again.
The warning from the 5 grand Lodges will put paid to movements such as Phaleg and Antarès promoting districts attached to the German Grand Priory of the GL of Russia.
It is to be hoped that this latest declaration will encourage the numerous small Grand Lodges in France to try to settle their differences and form a common movement towards international Recognition. It will not come easily and it will take quite some years. Those which are already on the right track, I mention the GL-AMF in particular, will be closely observed by the international community. Their Regularity will have to be exemplary as the slightest error will be sanctioned. For the moment their record is faultless. And fvar from being a small Grand Lodge the numbers are already speaking out loud, almost 500 Lodges and almost 10000 Brethren in just over three months.
The GL-AMF website announces the consecration of the first Lodge created from scratch since the consecration of the GL-AMF in Tours on April 28th. The honour goes to “La Sainte Couronne” in the East of Chambéry in the French Alps. It is a French Rite Lodge, this Rite closely resembles the old Rite used by the “Moderns” in the 18th century.
Meanwhile, within the GLNF the manoeuvres continue in the lead up to the SGC meeting called by Miss Monique for September 6th. The eternal bridesmaid, Jean Murat, is rumoured to be reaching an agreement with Jean-Pierre Servel to run on a joint ticket, Murat for GM and Servel as his DGM. Together they might just have the numbers for September 6th. They have reached such an agreement in the past and it has lasted a few days at best. I don’t see what has changed things so dramatically that the deal will succeed any longer this time. Their programme is the simplest possible, a minimum of reforms (just enough to amuse the gallery), don’t rock the boat and give me the biggest blue apron. Brethren, did you join masonry for that ? Don’t forget that Big Moustache put Ephesse into the big blue apron and he’s also the one pulling Servel’s strings. How can Murat possibly believe he’ll have a quiet time on the Pisan 3rd floor ? Even if he manages to muzzle Servel, Balloo the Legal Bear and Stifani’s other lawyers have enough material up their sleeves to tie him in knots for at least 5 years.
And in the Stifani camp (don’t believe Ephesse has disappeared) things are afoot to push Jacquet the Riviera Pirate for GM, with Michel C…….e as “Pro Grand Master” (never mind that such a position doesn’t exist in the GLNF statutes !), with the support of Paris lawyer, Thibaut C…a, who also doubles as PGM of Paris Pisan (the so-called “excellence” Lodges), despite his having only 13 years in masonry. They too claim 50% of the SGC votes. Isn't it cool in the shade, away from thre burning sun of such overt ambitions ?
And both camps hope their semblance of respectability will convince Great Queen Street to withdraw its withdrawal of Recognition in late September or October. Nothing is further from the probable.