En: Berlin Declaration

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Berlin Declaration

Source: Masonic Press Agency

Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland react after the "Berlin Declaration" Monday, 25 August 2014

London, United Kingdom. The Grand Lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland have reacted following the "Berlin Declaration". The three Grand Lodges issued what might be called the London Declaration, as an official response addressed to the Grand Lodge of Central Europe.

UGLE says that the only Grand Lodge that meets the standards of regularity is the French National Grand Lodge - GLNF. The leaders of the Grand Lodges argue that the GLNF matter and the Masonic Confederation of France matter are two different subjects and therefore should be treated differently. They also appeal to the ancient principles of Freemasonry and state that the only one who can decide whether to share or not jurisdiction, in this case, will be GLNF. Without GLNF, the member Grand Lodges of the Confederation and the Confederation would not be recognized.

The "Berlin Declaration" might produce convulsions and schism within the European Masonic Jurisdictions and elsewhere in the world

Source: Masonic Times

Thursday, 14 August 2014

It never ends, one might say looking at the French Masonic community and its Masonic Jurisdiction. As GLNF's recognition(s) finds its way back to Paris and Grand Master Servel strives in offering French Brethren a fresh start, something rather bizarre happens in Central Europe. Five Grand Lodges (meaning Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg) are trying to reshape not only French Freemasonry, but also the European one, by creating a dangerous precedent in Masonic jurisprudence.

Thus, after the Berlin Declaration the Grand Master and Grand Chancellor of the French National Grand Lodge issued a world-wide circular.

According to the Masonic Press Agency, Grand Master Servel asked his counterparts around the world how would they react when someone would try to impose a new "Masonic landscape" in their jurisdiction, showing his outrage regarding the way in which those five Grand Lodges in Central Europe are acting. GLNF's Grand Chancellor also announced his counterparts in other jurisdictions and draws attention regarding the dangerous precedent that could lead to the destabilization of various jurisdictions in the world, causing chaos, stating that the basic principles of Universal Freemasonry can not be negotiated.

A week after the world-wide letters of the two GLNF officials, the F. & Secretary-General of the Masonic Press Agency issued a what was called: internal brief analysis. This analysis in 9 points makes references to both documents: the Berlin Declaration and GLNF's world-wide circular, stating also its point of view and appealing to calm and Masonic discipline.

The first article states that the Basel Declaration actually offered to several GLNF factions the courage to break away from the central (Masonic) body and to form new Grand Lodges, which clearly indicates the emphasis of GLNF's disintegration.

The second article explains the basic concept of a Masonic Obedience (Grand Lodge/Grand Orient) and that of a Masonic Confederation composed of Grand Lodges and not Symbolic Lodges, the conclusion being a rhetorical question: how can we recognize a Masonic Confederation (composed of Grand Lodges) in which none of its members (the Grand Lodges) were individually recognized as regular? The article talks about the classic Masonic actors: Obediences (Sovereign and Independent Symbolic Masonic Powers with their own Masonic Grand Jurisdiction).

In the third article the Agency draws attention regarding the danger of a serious precedent in Masonic jurisprudence (...) which might produce convulsions and schism within the European Masonic Jurisdictions and elsewhere in the world.

In the sixth article there are references to the fact that it is hard for GLNF to recognize GLAMF and GLIF, two factions departed from GLNF (which are now Grand Lodges acting, together with the Grand Lodge of France, within the French Masonic Confederation), given the fact that after order was restored in GLNF those Brethren never wanted to join forces and to be part of the same Grand Lodge, namely GLNF.

In the 9th and final article the Agency agrees with GLNF's Grand Chancellor regarding the fact that: "the Basic Principles of Universal Freemasonry can not be negotiated".

Given this brief overview and analysis, the Agency considers that the risk of such serious precedent in Masonic jurisprudence will be a major one and will have a destabilizing role in the current order and customs inherited over time, risking that our Masonic customs to fall into disuse and thus to upset the internal affairs of each Masonic Jurisdiction. The Agency believes that Freemasonry should be characterized by unity and not division, by singularity at an organizational level and and plurality at an individual level; plurality representing the essence of the Masonic spirit, an essence in which diversity should be an integral and active part of the unity. This is how the Secretary-General ends the analysis and overview of the Masonic Press Agency on the current situation of French Freemasonry in relation with the Berlin Declaration and GLNF's world-wide circular.