The first has to do with a report last month that the Grand Orients of France and Belgium were opening a bureau in Brussels to influence European Union policies on religion:
To All Grand Lodges in amity
Prague, 23rd February 2010
Subject : European Masonic Bureau in Brussels
Dear Sir and Very Worshipful Brother,
Following recent reports in the European Press, published in the Czech Republic, according to which "the Masons" are hoping to open a bureau in Brussels to "to lobby against the rising influence of religious organisations in the EU institutions," our Most Worshipful Grand Master, Brother Hynek Beran, accepted last week an invitation for an interview by Czech Television during which he was able to clarify the position of our Grand Lodge on this matter.
The 10 minute interview which was broadcast live on Friday 19th February 2010 is available at http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ivysilani/210411058060219-pred-polednem-zpravodajsky-blok/ Attached herewith is a copy of the English version of the Press Release which our Grand Lodge has issued in order to dissociate ourselves entirely in the eyes of the Czech public from a politically motivated initiative, which in our view has no place in Freemasonry.
Freemasonry was revived after the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, and is currently enjoying an excellent reputation in the Czech Republic, it being generally considered as a highly respectable organisation based on impeccable moral integrity. It is useful to know in this context that pre World War II Czechoslovakia was the only country in Europe whose President was a Freemason and that during both the Nazi occupation and the Soviet era the Masonic Order was suppressed and Freemasons persecuted.
This TV interview therefore was very important for us to preserve the good image of Freemasonry and to dissociate our Grand Lodge in the public opinion from Grand Orient Freemasonry. Public reaction to the interview, shows approval by the Czech viewers of our Grand Lodge’s attitude to refuse as a matter of principle to get involved in any political and religious issues.
Grand Secretary for External Relations
The second message comes in the wake of the pronouncement by the Grand Master of Arkansas prohibiting mainstream Freemasons from purchasing state-issued Freemason license plates because they benefit a Prince Hall charity. The GL of Arkansas does not recognize its Prince Hall counterpart:
This may be an insignificant gesture, from a small and distant Grand Lodge
in central Europe, but considering the unfortunate racial discrimination
which still seems to prevail at the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, the Grand
Lodge of The Czech Republic is not willing to establish fraternal relations
with it, but will gladly do so with the MWPHGL of Arkansas.
The GL of the Czech Republic is currently in amity with about 200 Grand
Lodges worldwide including those Prince Hall Grand Lodges which have
responded positively to our invitations to establish fraternal relations
Jacques Huyghebaert, MPS life
& GS for External Relations
Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic