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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Women To Start New Masonic Lodge in Cuba

Hot on the heels of the Cuban Masonic conference last week comes this news today. The Gran Logia Femenina de Chile (Women's Grand Lodge of Chile) has agreed to help a group of Cuban women open the first feminine lodge in that country. According to a story on IPS News today, a delegation will be sent to Havana and Pinar del Rio to initiate several dozen women for the new lodge.

Citing feminine lodges in France, Belgium, Spain, the U.K., Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay, Digna Gisela Medina beleives that women Masons will be recognized by regular Grand Lodges "sooner than later." Medina is the head of the Working Committee on Women's Masonic lodges in Cuba. Former Grand Master of the Grand lodge of Cuba, José Manuel Collera, agrees, and says that the men only rule in Masonry is outmoded.

It should be noted that in 1999, the United Grand Lodge of England issued the following statement:

There exist in England and Wales at least two Grand Lodges solely for women. Except that these bodies admit women, they are, so far as can be ascertained, otherwise regular in their practice. There is also one which admits both men and women to membership. They are not recognised by this Grand Lodge and intervisitation may not take place. There are, however, discussions from time to time with the women's Grand Lodges on matters of mutual concern. Brethren are therefore free to explain to non-Masons, if asked, that Freemasonry is not confined to men(even though this Grand Lodge does not itself admit women). Further information about these bodies may be obtained by writing to the Grand Secretary.

American brethren who point to the Order of the Eastern Star as an alternative for women and fraternal membership should also note the UGLE's statement about the OES:

The Board is also aware that there exist other bodies not directly imitative of pure antient Masonry, but which by implication introduce Freemasonry, such as the Order of the Eastern Star. Membership of such bodies, attendance at their meetings, or participation in their ceremonies is incompatible with membership of this Grand Lodge.

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