Friday, November 09, 2007

Standard of Recognition


Few observations regarding The Commission on Information for Recognition (CIR) of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America (CGMMNA). The following was taken from their website.

“The Commission neither advises nor recommends that recognition be given to any Grand Lodges, but merely indicates whether or not it considers that a Grand Lodge in question satisfies the conditions of regularity.”

Aside from confusing the Independent Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands (IGLPI) with Tacloban's United Grand Lodge of the Philippines (UGLP), the CIR 2007 Report cited interesting development in Cyprus. In mid January 2006, the Grand Lodge of Greece (GLG) installed the officers of Grand Lodge of Cyprus which was formed from six Lodges warranted by GLG. Alluding to the CGMMNA's Standards of Recognition No. 2, “Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction, except by mutual consent and/or treaty,” the new Grand Lodge was found by the Commission as “generally meets the standards of recognition.” The issue was that United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has a District Grand Lodge, “has been present in Cyprus since 1888” and does not recognize the “Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction” over its warranted Lodges which apparently did not joined with the new Grand Lodge.

In 2006 CIR Report, in response to the letter from the Prince Hall Conference of Grand Masters, the Commission stated the following:

The issue of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction is one of the standards for recognition that has been strictly observed by this Conference. It is held that only one legitimate Grand Lodge will be recognized in a particular state or country, unless by treaty or mutual consent two Grand Lodges agree to share the same jurisdiction. This is the mechanism by which our Grand Lodges have established a fraternal relationship with Prince Hall Grand Lodges. The terms of such an agreement are usually negotiated and ratified by the two Grand Lodges in question and no change in that process is recommended.

Notwithstanding the identity issue whether its IGLPI or UGLP, the Commission found the recently formed Grand Lodge not meeting the standard while the Grand Lodge of Cyprus does, despite of the glaring violation of their “strictly observed” standard of recognition. The presence of another operating District Grand Lodge from another jurisdiction whether it may be from “Mother Grand Lodge of the World—UGLE” or some “lesser” known Grand Lodge/Orient shows the holes of this idea. Taking the Prince Hall Grand Lodges recognition issue, this Commission finds it agreeable to have two Grand Lodges within a state or country as long as both agree to share the jurisdiction. It is also the opinion of this Commission that a Grand Lodge can be established as “regular” even the there were no sharing agreement with existing Grand Lodge as in the case with Grand Lodge of Cyprus and UGLE. Likewise, it is the opinion of this confused writer that if it looks, walk and sounds like a duck, it must be a duck. It should not matter whatever is the color of the feather, white, black or brown.

It is noteworthy that the CGMMNA is distinct and separate from the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges which is obviously more international in scope than the North American version. The next conference is scheduled in May 2008 and to be hosted by the Grand Lodge of Washington DC. Let us see what will be their position regarding the notion of Brotherhood of Men under the Fatherhood of God.


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