Armed with two years of experience in the ex-GLNF struggle, the Brethren who have written the Statutes and By-Laws of the Grande Loge de l’Alliance Maçonnique Française want the position of Grand Master to assume its rightful place and at the same time introduce a number of controls and countrer-balances.
These counter-balances are based upon a clear separation between the executive, legislative and judicial stuctures, And also on the election and appointment methods, thereby avoiding nepotism or oligarchy at the top and at other administrative and masonic levels of the Grand Lodge.
Outside his role of President and concomitantly with it, the grand Master heads up the masonic organisation of the GL-AMF. As President – Grand Master he ensures both the civil and masonic functioning of the Grand Lodge.
With a rotating system at the President – Grand master level no one Rite can get a stranglehold on the management of the grand Lodge.
While encouraging dialogue between Brethren of different Rites the system facilitates the promotion of those Brethren with true ability and a taste for responsability.
The Grand Master electoral process
The Grand Master electoral process must respect two distinct times, a masonic election within a Convent (Rite House) and a civil ratification at the National Congress (association).
Thus, the Rite house whose turn it is to designate a candidate for Grand master must hold the election during a Rite Convent, assembling the Lodge Delegates (Worshipful Master and Deputy) to elect the chosen Brother. He must already have fulfilled the function of Assistant Grand Master.
Selected at Rite House Convent level the candidate for future grand Master must follow the process of ratification, by secret ballot at the National Congress (civil), comprising the Lodge delegates (President – Worshipful Master and Treasurer).
The Grand Master is elected for a two year non-renewable term and hands over his post at the end of this period to a new grand Master coming from another rite.
The installation of the elected and ratified Grand Master occurs during a formal meeting of the Grand Lodge.
The Responsabilities ans Missions of the Grand Master
The Grand Master manages and chaire the GL-AMF, co-ordinates the work of the Rite Houses and works in the interests of the Grand Lodge, by being a “guarantor of harmony’
The Grand Master is aided in his missions
the National Bureau (civil body) comprising 7 members, the president – grand master, the grand Secretary, four administrators and the grand Treasurer elected by the national Congress. The composition of the National Bureau is ratified by the Council of Surveillance, itself elected by the national Congress.
a College of National Officers (masonic body) that he appoints directly or proposes for ratification by the Council of the grand Lodge and whose composition is a copy of that of a Lodge.
The position of Deputy Grand Master, Senior and Junior Grand Warden, grand Orator, Grand Chancellor, Grand Almoner, Grand Master of Ceremonies, Grand Deacon, grand Tyler and Grand Flagbearer are appointed by the current Grand Master.
The position of Grand Secretary is proposed by the grand Master and ratified by the Council of Surveillance (civil body).
The post of Grand Treasurer is also proposed by the Grand Master but is ratified by the National Congress (civil body).
The Grand Lodge Council
The Grand Master chairs the Grand Lodge Council whose responsibility it is to run and control the masonic activities of the Grand Lodge.
It is comprised of the Deputy Grand Master, the Grand Orator, the Grand Chancellor, the Grand Secretary and the Grand Treasurer as well as the Assistant Grand Masters and General Deputies (Rite Houses).
The Grand Lodge Council is particularly in charge of the grand Lodge « foreign policy » (recognition and links with international Grand Lodges), of the approval of new Rites and the creation of the Rite Houses coming from such new Rites.
The Grand College
In charge of the ritual part of a Grand Lodge Meeting, the Grand College comprises the College of National Officers, completed by the Assistant Grand Masters (Rite Houses) and, as Deputy Grand Officers, by the Grand Secretaries and Grand Treasurers (Secretaries and Treasurers of the Rite Houses).
Procedure for the destitution of the Grand Master
There is no reason that such a situation should arise ?! We all know that a well-chosen Grand Master, regularly elected and ratified, cannot drag a grand Lodge down a misguided path. NO !!!... And yet, the dramatic history of the GLNF has incited those who prepared the GL-AMF Statutes to envisage such an hypothesis.
So, in the case of grave failings in his charge, it has been foreseen that the grand master can be destituted by the national congress (civil functioning) according to a procedure brought about by the Council of the Elders.
This procedure occurs if :
An Action Committee, composed of at least 1/3 of the Lodges seizes the Council of the Elders which, after study and a favourable reply to the request, calls the national Congress for an exceptional meeting under a month.
Within the Grand Lodge Council, if at least 2/3 of the members request the destitution according to the previous procedure (Council of Elders and National Congress).
The National Congress brings together the Delegates (Worshipful Masters and Treasurers) in an extraordinary session and can pronounce after a 2/3 majority vote the immediate destitution of the curreznt grand Master. This decision is without appeal. The same day the National Congress designates the new Grand Master.
Overall, following the presentation of the attributes of Grand Master and the various controls put in place at different levels (both masonic and civil) of the organisation it is clear that the GL-AMF has equipped itself with the means to avoid the major pitfalls attached to nepotism and oligarchy.