Tuesday, March 14, 2006

United Grand Lodge of America publishes standards for amity with other Grand Lodges

The Constitutional Committee of the United Grand Lodge of America of Accepted Free-Masons today published the standards and conditions — the provisos — which a Grand Lodge must meet if they wish to establish amity with the United Grand Lodge of America.

Amity is defined as "peaceful relations; a state of friendship and cordiality."
Each lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of America determines the Masonic status of visiting brethren from other jurisdictions based on personal and Masonic merit. If their Grand Lodge is in amity with the United Grand Lodge of America this process is greatly simplified for the visiting brethren.

Grand Lodges that wish to establish an amicable relationship with the United Grand Lodge of America must meet the following standards:
  • Be in compliance with the Ancient Charges as specified in Bro. James Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723

  • Have a democratic form of Masonic government where all Grand Officers are elected to office either by all of the brethren or the elected representatives of the brethren

  • Have a form of Masonic government where any Master Mason can run for any office in the Grand Lodge

  • Allows any voting member of the Grand Lodge to submit new legislation on the floor of any meeting of the Grand Lodge

  • Allows any Mason under its jurisdiction access to its financial records and those of its charities

  • Conducts independent annual audits of its finances through companies that are in no way connected with Freemasonry

  • Publishes its financial records at each meeting of the Grand Lodge

  • Provides copies of its Masonic Code and/or Constitutions to every Mason under its jurisdiction

  • Provides due process in all matters of Masonic jurisprudence

  • Provides a means for the accused to compel witnesses to testify in his trial

  • Does not convene or have the power to convene special courts for the purpose of trying Masons

  • The Junior Wardens of its individual lodges are the presiding judicial authority in all Masonic trials

  • By Masonic law all trials under its jurisdiction are held in the lodge of the accused

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  1. On Three Pillars, Jeff Peace (Antonius 99), who is not a member of the UGLA, but is on the sublime council of the RRCG and who was answering questions about UGLA on the site, stated:

    In a nutshell here is what the UGLA is all about.

    1. The brotherhood of man under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity.

    (Every organization should be able to clearly state its mission.)

    2. Give the Lodges the power to make the changes they need to at the local level to meet the needs of their members.

    3. Get out of the silly recognition business and try to unite American Free-Masons in a way where they can work together productively in an enviorment free from fear.

    (If the Masons fear retribution from the Grand Lodge then they will not feel empowered to act responsibly and fix problems at the local level.)

    4. Keep the money at the lodge level and don't hoard it at the Grand Lodge level. The lodges need remodeling and upkeep. Modern Masonry can't afford a top heavy organization. link

    I see that #3 is going the way of the dodo.


  2. Brother Scott,

    When I first read the article about "amity" I had the exact same reaction that you did. I thought to myself, now that sounds just like the "recognition game," and I thought the UGLA was beyond that.

    Then I read it again (and again), and thought about it for a while.

    The first paragraph still says that it is up to individual lodges to determine whether a visitor is a Mason or not, using whatever methods that the lodge chooses to use. So far, so good....

    The enumerated list, I think, is not about recognition. Instead, it seems to be a declaration, of sorts, that a Grand Lodge should live up to the standards enumerated, and that if they don't, then relations between them and the UGLA might be strained.

    Would you agree that the standards listed should be ones that any Grand Lodge should adhere to? The list seems to be a reaction to the stories the UGLA has been hearing from brothers around the country who feel they have been mistreated by their Grand or Blue Lodges. Perhaps the UGLA committee has written the amity article is response to what they've heard from these brothers. See this link about Masonic corruption.

    Again, I agree with you that it does sound somewhat like a "recognition" process, but I don't think it really is. And even if it is — at least they're giving guidelines on how to be "recognized," something that many states' Grand Lodges haven't made very clear.

    Thanks for your comment!

    —Widow's Son

  3. It’s pretty clear to me that the UGLA is far more sophisticated than was the RRCG. First, it restores the rights of the individual lodges then it begins defining terms such as ‘clandestine,’ ‘irregular,’ and ‘fraud.’ Now it chooses to redefine ‘recognition’ as ‘Amity.’

    (Amity: friendship, especially, between nations. Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

    This is nothing more than a continuation of their mission – the brotherhood of man, etc.

    If I interpret this correctly then they are saying that Grand Lodges can work together in amity (friendship, brotherly love) but that it is the responsibility of each individual Mason to determine the Masonic merit of another. The proviso not only raises the bar for ethical practices and standards within global Freemasonry but points the way to a more loving and caring brotherhood of man.

    When I first heard about the UGLA I was very skeptical but in the last two months they have made it clear to all, who are willing to listen, that they are the legitimate Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in America.

    Bill (UK)

  4. When I first heard about the UGLA I was very skeptical but in the last two months they have made it clear to all, who are willing to listen, that they are the legitimate Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in America.

    If you mean legitmate to mean "being exactly as purposed", then you may be correct. However, if you mean "accordand with law" or "conforming to recognized principles", then you're mistaken.

    They have picked and chosen which principles they will uphold, and which legal forms they will be in accordance with. I understand their reasoning: they have no other recourse.

    Doesn't mean that it's legitimate. Because of the way they've set themselves up, they must gain legitimacy from the people. And they've realized this, thus their 'redefinition' of recognition as 'amity'. Either way you look at it, to be a Freemason you must be Accepted as such. Time will tell if they are accepted or not.

    I'm looking into grand lodge procedures at this point, and we'll see if the WI GL will extend 'amity' to them.

  5. anytime you segregate men wanting fraternal relations, it is unmasonic.
    it's like the church saying there is only way to salvation. how someone claims to have that right is beyond me. equality

  6. The UGLA has adopted a more reasonable and open policy than the other GL's. Their lodges are empowered to decide Masonic status, thus effectively allowing Masons to decide who are Masons. Their concept of amity only attempts to simplify this process.

    I am of the personal opinion that the UGLA would be better off rejecting amity with any GL that participates in the recognition process.

    I applaud their laudable efforts towards allowing all Masons to meet on the same level.

  7. You people are all renegades. The grand master of georgia is a good man. He gave those radicals a chance to come back and forget all this crap. He practically begged them but they refused to cooperate. These so called masons want to destroy masonry in georgia and raise the dues to 1000 dollars and not allow any smoked pork in lodges. This is evil and unchristian.

  8. I'm sorry, Brother, but claiming that not allowing smoked pork is un-Christian says much more about your character than theirs.


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