Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cavite Masons

by RmOlano

Clandestine according to Albert Mackey, means not legal such as group of Masons meeting in a Lodge without permission or authority from a Grand Lodge. The term also applies to a Lodge which continues to meet after their charter has been suspended, arrested or revoked by issuing Grand Lodge. By definition they are still Masons who for some reasons or another, were not recognized as such by declaring Grand Lodge therefore, illegal. In our Fraternity we follow an axiom, once a Mason, always a Mason. This why we use the term,”demit” not resign. A brother can be excused from his duties from the Order but still be subjected to the moral standards of the Craft. Demit does not cancel his Obligations nor be exempt from Summons from the Master of the Lodge. No one can be “unmade” a Mason unless expelled by his Lodge and the confirmed by the Grand Lodge.

Expulsion was defined and discussed in Lexicon of Freemasonry by WB Albert MacKey as “the highest Masonic penalty that can be imposed by a lodge, upon any delinquent members.” This action divests a member of all rights and privileges and treats him as “he has never been admitted.” A Lodge can suspend but can not impose expulsion. Only Grand Lodge can but only within its jurisdiction. Every Mason is subjected to different rules and regulation of different Lodges .e.g. amount of dues, meeting day, time, etc.. whereas all of us share the same standard of our Obligations. Expulsion is the equivalent of death penalty in Masonic jurisprudence. The seriousness of the charges should rise to the level where the immoral conduct of the accused is detrimental to the good order and discipline of the Fraternity. Being guilty of immoral conduct, “should be the only offense visited with expulsion” (MacKay, p140). An individual Lodge may convene Masonic Court to try its member. If found guilty after due process, the sentence of expulsion has no force until the Grand Lodge confirmed the decision.

Having the displeasure beating a dead horse or supposedly “moot and academic” issue, I just can’t resist posing an inquiry as to the disposition of the “rest of the story.” Last time I am aware of was that the breakaway were mostly consisted of Lodges from two Masonic Districts in Central Philippines. Edict No. 232 signed by GLP Grand Master was about “certain” members of Pilar Lodge were declared as “clandestine.” Now, how in the heck brothers from a Lodge in Cavite were singled out and that their names are to be expunged from the records of the GLP by the order of the GM? What happened to the other signers of Tacloban Manifesto and Declaration of Independence who according to the document were from Lodges of Masonic District RVIII-B (Leyte) and MD RVIII-A (Samar). Are they allowed to form their own Grand Lodge while our Cavite Brethren were declared “clandestine?” Where is the rest of the story or do we have to request that “privileged” information from those selected individual deemed worthy keeper of such responsibility?What kind of horrible act that some brothers from Pilar Lodge No. 15 had done to deserve such melodramatic judgment “…so that that no more remembrance may be had of them as Masons forever?” What have they done differently from Brethren from Leyte and Samar to warrant such extreme and bordering to theatrical declaration? Why are they so special to receive the wrath of the GM?

If the GLP expect that the members will jump just because they say so, maybe our esteemed Brethren in Manila should consider that they are dealing with grown men and not yes-men nor mindless machines. The breakaways raised serious issues; we have not heard a squat from GLP except this Edict to expel some brothers from Cavite for failing to display their loyalty to the authority. This is a very disappointing development; we expect better handling of recent issues from those who hold the “purple of our Fraternity.”Where are the meanings of the level, the plumb and the square or they are just objects to “fit the diadem of eastern potentate?” We should be asking ourselves where we as the Craft is heading, instead of second guessing a conviction of someone who stood up for his belief, “…for his inflexible fidelity to his trust,” knowing full well the consequence of his decision.

Our Cavite Brethren certainly commit certain act deemed inappropriate by those in power, it is my hope that due process were granted and the rest of the us might hear the unabridged ‘rest of the story.”Aside from wondering what happened to our Brethren from Samar and Leyte, does Pilar Lodge No. 15 recommended this expulsion to the GLP? I hope this is not a case of an ass pushing the cart. Maybe I should rephrase it to-- not a case of carabao pushing the sled. The first one does not sound correct. Either way you look at it— it is ass, I mean carabao backwards.


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