February 2004 Report


Applying the Standards to the requests of several Grand Lodges during our deliberations, we now share the following information.

Bulgaria

Some confusion still exists within the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Bulgaria. The Grand Lodge practices Regular Masonry, and meets the standards of Recognition; however two sets of Brethren claim to be the legitimate Officers of this Grand Lodge. The latest information is that a large majority of the members have agreed to come together and recognition Bro. Boris Sarendev as the Grand Master. To date, the other Grand Master, Bro. Roumen Raltchev, has not accepted this and continues to send correspondence to our Grand Lodges, this perpetuating the confusion.

To the best of our knowledge, a majority of the Regular Grand Lodges in Europe consider M∴W∴ Bro Saredev the legitimate Grand Master. The Grand Secretary is: Nikola Belopitov, and the address of the Grand Lodge is

11 Karegi Street
1142 Sofia
Bulgaria

It is sincerely hoped that all members of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Bulgaria will make a determined effort this year to resolve their differences and end this confusion.

Estonia

The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Estonia submitted documentation for the Commission to consider concerning its Regularity. This Grand Lodge was consecrated on May 18, 1999, by the Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of Finland, and consisted of four warranted Lodges formerly on the register of the Grand Lodge of Finland. The Grand Lodge of Estonia now has six subordinate Lodges and Research Lodge on its register. The Grand Lodge adopted the”Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition” accepted by the United Grand Lodge of England, and adopted the Ritual Book and Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Finland. The Grand Master is Arbe Kaasik and the Grand Secretary is Jaak Ratassepp. The address of the Grand Lodge is:

Box 3992
10509 Tallin
Esotinia

The Commission is of the opinion that the Grand Lodge of Estonia meets the standards for Regularity and Recognition.

Confederation of Mexican Grand Lodges

An extensive study was undertaken this year to understand the situation and relationships with the Mexican Grand Lodges. One source estimated there are or were some 130 Grand Lodges in Mexico. Of these, there appear to be only 30 state Grand Lodges and the York Grand Lodge that are considered to be practicing Regular Masonry and observing accepted and expected relationships among each other and with foreign Grand Lodges. Those state Grand Lodges are members of the “Confederacion de Grandes Logias Regulares de los Estados Unidoes Mexicanos”, and include the following:

In November 2002, the Confederation adopted a protocol for membership, which is a set of eight fundamental standards and requirements that a Grand Lodge must meet to be a member of the organization. The current members all meet those standards, which includes the Standards adopted by this Conference of Grand Masters for Recognition. Detailed information about each of these Grand Lodges is included in an Appendix of this report.

Valle De Mexico

The Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico has been the center of much controversy in North American Masonry. Most notably, this Grand Lodge has been accused of establishing lodges in the Mexican state of Baja California and in the state of Texas. Conversely, the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico maintains that some of the state Grand Lodges in Mexico where charted in territories where Valle de Mexico had established Lodges, and it was done without their permission. As a result of these problems, the member Grand Lodges of the Confederation of Mexican Grand Lodges and the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico have terminated Masonic Relations with each other. Recently, the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico issued a decree withdrawing the charter of the Grand Lodge Baja California, issued in 1933, and is proceeding to establish a District Grand Lodge there. Valle de Mexico also withdrew Recognition from the Grand Lodge of California because of its Recognition of the Grand Lodge Baja California. Although the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico shows evidence of being Regular in its basic practice of Masonry, it appears from the recent data presented to this Commission that they have apparently violated the Standards of Recognition concerning exclusive territorial jurisdiction except by mutual consent. It is obvious that contentions exist within the family of Mexican Masonry; however it is not the intention, nor does this Commission have the authority to interfere in these problems. Such matters can and must be resolved by Mexican Masons themselves. There are indications that this will occur.

San Marino

The”Serenissima Gran Loggia di San Marino” was constituted on March 13, 2003 and consecrated on April 6, 2003, in San Marino, by the Grand Oriente d'Italiaand the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. It consists of three warranted Lodges formerly on the register of the Grand Oriente d'Italia. The Grand Lodge adopted the Ritual and the Book of Constitutions of its parent Grand Lodge, as well as the”Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition”. The Grand Master is M∴W∴ Bro. Federico Micheloni, and the Grand Secretary is Manuel Micheloni. The address of the Grand Lodge is:

Strada Cangiola
21-47890
San Marino

The Commission is of the opinion that this Grand Lodge meets the Standards of Recognition.

Miscellaneous Information

1. A communication was recently received from the Secretary of the Interamerican Masonic Conference (CMI) that they have suspended Recognition of the Grand Lodge of Ecuador due to anti-masonic behavior of it's Grand Master. At the last meeting of CMI, two men asked to be accepted as the new representative of the Grand Lodge of Ecuador. One was the previous Grand Master and the other a new one claming to be Regularly elected as Grand Master. The CMI gave them time to resolve the situation, and since that wasn't done, Recognition of the Grand Lodge of Ecuador is suspended until an agreement is reached.

2. The Grand Lodge of Latvia was constituted in Riga, Latvia on March 8, 2003, by the United Grand Lodge of Germany. The address of this Grand lodge is: J. Alunana iela 6-8b, LV-Riga 1010, Latvia. No requests have been received from this Grand Lodge.

3. The National Grand Lodge of Romania held elections in October 2003, and M∴W∴ Bro. Eugen Ovidiu Chirovici was elected Grand Master, replacing Bro. Gheorghe Comanescu. The new Grand Master insists that peace and harmony will now reign without the previous problems.

4. The Grand Lodge of Russia continues to grow, with 21 Lodges now at work. M∴W∴ Dmitry Denisov is the Grand Master, and Bro. Vladimir Nikitin is the Grand Secretary. Members of the breakaway group calling themselves the Regular Grand Lodge of Russia continue to make allegations of questionable practices of the GLOR; however all European Regular Grand Lodges Recognize the Grand Lodge of Russia as being the Regular Grand Lodge.

5. A group of Masons in Sao Paulo, Brazil have formed a new Grand Lodge called Grande Loja do Brasil GLOB. This Grand Lodge is considered a Clandestine Grand Lodge, and is in no way connected with the Regular Grand Loja Maconica do Estado Sao Paulo.

6. It should be noted that the Grand Lodge of Congo is nor part of the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as the Belgian Congo. The Grand Lodge of Congo is located in Congo, whose capital is Brazzeville.

7. The Commission has determined that the creation of a website would be beneficial to the member Grand Lodges of this Conference, as well as Grand Lodges throughout the world who use our services. This will allow the Commission to communicate information concerning regularity and recognition during the year in a timely manner. The cost to establish the domain name and maintain the site will be minimal and within our budget. The Commission looks forward to this opportunity to more efficiently serve our Grand Lodges. The website is www.recognitioncommission.org.

8. My Brethren, I want to read to you some excerpts from an article that is being posted on the website hosted by the Grand Lodge of Texas, titled What Every Mason Should Know About Regular Masonry . Over the past decade, there have been increasing attempts by members of irregular Masonic bodies to contact Regular Freemasons and have informal communications with us. Many of these irregular organizations originated in Europe, and have spread rapidly to the East coast of the U.S. and Canada. This is due in large part to the increased availability of information about Freemasonry, and the use of internet bulletin boards and list servers. At the same time, some regular Masons in this country consider it fashionable or cosmopolitan to fraternize with these irregular Masons on the internet, and to invite them to informal Masonic social where ladies and non-Masons are invited, and where traditional Masonic customs are often abused. On occasion, they have been invited to attend meetings of appendant or a affiliated bodies and research organizations, and have even been admitted to membership in some of them. These practices can be very embarrassing and damaging to Regular Masonry, particularly when unsuspecting eligible candidates join one of these bodies without being aware they are an irregular organization. When the find they are not welcome in their hometown Lodge, vaying degrees of animosity against our fraternity will likely result from those who might have otherwise become Regular Masons and members of our Lodges. Our fraternity is being stolen by these irregular Masons. The day may not be too distant when these organizations will want to level cornerstones and gain the same stature and recognition as our own Grand Lodges. We should not, under any circumstances, grant them acknowledgement of legitimacy. To take the position that they are merely a different type of Freemasonry is not only misguided, it is factually wrong. When encountering these individuals, either in person, or on the internet, we should remember our obligation that is a violation to have communication with them.




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