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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michigan Mason Expelled to Shrine's Satisfaction

At the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Michigan F&AM on June 2nd, the assembled GL voted to expel Brother Craig Hatch following his guilty plea on felony charges. According to a June 4th letter from the Imperial Potentate of the Shrine, Michael Severe, this satisfies the Shrine's requirement of expelling Hatch officially and not just by the Grand Master's edict.

The GL also voted to grant the new Grand Master the power to negotiate with the Shrine to again recognize the Shrine in Michigan. Time will tell if he actually does this, or if the Shrine remains off limits for Michigan Masons.

For background on this story, see GL of Michigan Withdraws Recognition of Shrine


  1. what lead the GL of MI to stop recognizing the Shrine? What happens if a Michigan Mason joins the Shrine?

  2. What makes the Shrine, a subordinate body to ANY lodge, believe they are in any position to make demands of a Grand Lodge? I have no idea about any of the facts in this case, but I remember that the Third degree is the HIGHEST degree ANY MASON can attain. I think far too often, our brethren forget, or lose sight of that fact!

  3. If the GL doesn't recognize the Shrine could they still operate?

  4. Actually PGM Kaiser of the Grand Lodge of Michigan set forth an edict which basically said that a guilty plea entered in a court of law(usually linked to a plea agreement)would carry the same weight as being found guilty by a judge or jury. In other words the GM could act on the brother being charged before the brother was sentenced (provided he pleads guilty)because sentencing is often delayed in today's world of court proceedings.

    The Grand Lodge of Michigan by voting to accept PGM Kaiser's edict made it Michigan Masonic Law.
    So, by approving the edict the expulsion of the former brother in question stood, also the former brother did not make a proper appeal before the deadline.

    The current MWGM Dean Barr was given the authority to pursue normal relations with Shrine International. Everyone's hope is that normal fraternal relations with the Shrine will be restored.

    With the current situation Shriners may still function, the only restriction is that there shall be no Masonic discourse and Michigan Masons may not attend tiled Shrine meetings. It's been difficult to operate but it has operated.

    "Freemasonry notwithstanding, has still survived."

  5. With the matter that lead to the Grand Lodges withdrawl of Shrine recognition now concluded, what possible reason is there for the Grand Master to not imeadiatly restore recognition and end this growing disharmony? What does "pursue normal relations" mean? What further action must the Shrine take?


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