The National Grand Lodge of Azerbaijan was chartered and constituted on December 8, 2008, by the Grand Lodges of the District of Columbia and the Grand Lodge of Russia in the City of Baku, Azerbaijan. This Grand Lodge was formed from a Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 2002, a Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Turkey in 2003, and a Lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of Russia in 2003. A fourth Lodge was chartered in 2007. The constitution and bylaws are patterned after those of the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise and of the United Grand Lodge of England. It is the opinion of the Commission that the National Grand Lodge of Azerbaijan meets the standards for recognition.
It was reported last year that a serious split existed in the Grand Lodge of Baja California. Two sets of Grand Lodge officers were claiming to be the legitimate officials of this Grand Lodge, and it was clear that more work had to be done to resolve this problem. At this time, it appeared the situation had not materially changed. One group of Lodges using the name of Gran Logia de Estado Baja California has as its Grand Master, Hector Pablo Meixueiro Corral; and another group using the same name has as its Grand Master, Franco Magdaleno-Sato. At the request of the Commission, both Grand Masters agreed to come together with several brethren appointed to act as mediators at the close of the meeting. Brothers Thomas Jackson of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Jean Claude Tardivat of the Grande Loge National Francaise (GLNF), and Alan Englefield of the United Grand Lodge of England agreed to serve in that role. We are pleased to report that within a matter of hours, an agreement on terms for unification had been reached and signed by the two Grand Masters. This agreement reached is patterned after the one established for Paraguay, and is subject to ratification by their respective Grand Lodges. We commend these brethren for their willingness to resolve their differences and work for Masonic unity in Baja California.
Little progress has been made in unifying Freemasonry in Bulgaria, as it continues to function under two Grand Lodge structures, namely the United Grand Lodge of Bulgaria (UGLB) and the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Bulgaria (GLAFAMB). Last year, the Commission again strongly encouraged the two Grand Lodges to actively meet and work toward the resolution of their differences. The services of several impartial mediators were offered to facilitate the process. These attempts have not been. The UGLB offered to relax the requirements of the “regularization procedure”, but later rescinded the offer. Most members of the GLAFAMB are unwilling to be subjected to the requirements of the procedure as defined. Several options have been offered by the GLAFAMB, but none are seriously being considered. The UGLB states they believe the GLAFAMB is irregular and they therefore cannot communicate with them. After five years of unsuccessfully urging the two organizations to actively pursue avenues of unification, the Commission will not receive any additional presentations from either Grand Lodge until there is substantive evidence of progress in resolving their differences.
The Grand Lodge of Moldova submitted a request to the Commission for formal recognition of their Grand Lodge. The Commission does not and cannot grant formal recognition to any Grand Lodge; it only makes a determination as to whether a Grand Lodge meets the standards for recognition, as established by this Conference. In 2003, the Commission determined that the Grand Lodge of Moldova did not meet the standards for recognition because they were not constituted by a Grand Lodge that met the standards. The Regular Grand Lodge of Italy constituted the Grand Lodge of Moldova in 1999, and the Commission had previously determined that the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy did not have legitimacy of origin as defined by our standards. In addition, there is no evidence that the constituent Lodges from which formed the Grand Lodge of Moldova was formed had legitimate origins. Even though this Grand Lodge may now practice regular Masonry, and is recognized by a number regular Grand Lodges in the world, the Commission has no authority to deviate from the standards established by this Conference. It is therefore the opinion of the Commission that the Grand Lodge of Moldova does not meet the standards for recognition.
It was reported last year that a split had developed in the Grand Lodge of Paraguay, in which two Grand Masters, Nemecio Lichi and Ignacio Mendosa claimed to be the legal authority for the Grand Lodge. Attempts by various parties during the year to resolve the problem had proved futile. At a meeting at this Conference, prior to the Commission meeting, representatives from a number of jurisdictions met with these Grand Masters and members of their delegations. Among those attending this meeting were Tom Jackson, Executive Secretary of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges; Jean Claude Tardivat of the GLNF; Alan Englefield of the United Grand Lodge of England; Diego Delora of the Grand Lodge of Spain, and Tullion Colacioppio of the Grand Orient of Brazil. At the conclusion of the meeting, an agreement titled, California Agreement on the Future of Paraguayan Freemasonry, was signed by those present. The document contains five points on which they were in full agreement, in order to bring unity to Freemasonry in Paraguay.