The Conference of Grand Masters of North America is going on this week in Atlanta, and there are major issues in the Masonic world that the GMs will be discussing: the situation with the Shrine in Michigan and Alabama, the Grande Loge Nationale Française with its embattled GM François Stifani, and the Grand Encampment's Rectified Rite, just for starters.
The first news to leak out is from the Commission on Information for Recognition, chaired by William Holsinger, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California. According to the LML in English website, the Commission found that the Grande Loge Nationale Française has engaged in irregular behavior worthy of losing its recognition. It is VERY important to understand that this does NOT mean, as the LML website states, that the North American Grand Lodges have yanked recognition of the GLNF. The Commission cannot do that, and neither can the Conference. Only individual GLs can pull their recognition (as the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia did, to a certain extent, last week, joining 32 other worldwide GLs that have derecognized or severely limited their relations with the French GL). The Commission only reports on the regularity of other GLs and issues an opinion that North American GLs are free to follow or ignore. Nevertheless, if the rumor is true, this is very bad news for Stifani and the GLNF.
A new obedience is forming from the hundreds of lodges Stifani has either suspended or who have refused to pay their Grand Lodge assessments. The Union des Loges Régulières Françaises (ULRF) is forming the Grande Loge Unie de France (United Grand Lodge of France) that will either strike out on its own, or will merge back with the GLNF once Stifani is gone and the troubles are settled (if that is possible).
For the long version of what has been transpiring in France, read the ULRF's version here.
In the meantime, no word has leaked out yet in reference to the Shrine and the RER. More as it becomes available. The final Report on Recognition will be read later this week.