Wednesday, May 04, 2016

GLNY Permits EAs and FCs in Meetings and Lowers Petitioning Age

A resolution was passed at the Grand Lodge of New York's 2016 annual communication this week now allowing Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts to sit in lodge meetings in that state.  The decision is left up to the discretion of the WM of each lodge, and the lodge must still open and close on the MM degree. But the EAs and FCs may be admitted to the meeting once that requirement is satisfied, and leave again prior to the close. 

To admit the EAs and FCs the rule requires that the lodge must first open on the MM, then open a lodge of EAs (or FCs) - which must then be closed again, prior to then closing on the MM. 

During the meeting, ritual, signs and other details of the MM degree may not be discussed or revealed with EAs and FCs present.

According to my records, New York now becomes the 27th U.S. grand lodge to permit this (along with the overwhelming majority of regular GLs around the world outside of the U.S.).

I was told of this legislation at the GLNY , but the actual wording of it is:
"RESOLVED, that any and all business and work be permitted in Lodges working in any of the three Degrees of Masonry and in the presence of such Entered Apprentices and/or Fellowcraft as the Worshipful Master in his discretion may admit within, so long as the same shall not reveal the secrets, esoteric materials, emblems and lessons of a higher Degree."
Additionally, the GLNY also lowered the age of petitioners to 18.

11 comments:

  1. The Grand Master also refused to let a vote be taken regarding the suspension of recognition of the Grand Lodges of Georgia and Tennessee.

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    Replies
    1. Grand Master Thomas did no such thing. He asked our Grand Lodge to make a choice and allow discussion. Grand Lodge made the choice to continue to recognize Tennessee because by condemning them we lose all hope of helping those who have been persecuted. The Grand Lodge of NY will be issuing a position statement that all good men are accepted no matter of sexual orientation.

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  2. There was no choice made by the Brothers present. There was discussion both for and against but there was no vote. This is not the forum to discuss the issue. I am just giving a report on what happened.

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  3. To clarify a bit on this resolution . . . Although we are still required to open and close every Communication on the third Degree, it has been common practice for quite some time (effectively time immemorial for some) for many Lodges to lower to the first Degree and admit Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts so that they could be present for business and programming. This is actually something that several Grand Masters going back quite some years have encouraged. But some Brothers always would argue that "you can only do business on the third degree," despite the fact that the Constitutions had no such requirement. So the Judge Advocate was asked to research the matter and offer a definitive opinion. Well, it turns out that there was a resolution in 1841 saying that everything except for Degree conferrals had to be done in a Master Mason Lodge, and this never seems to have been repealed. There were subsequent versions of the Constitutions issued that had "repeal clauses" saying that every prior regulation not contemplated in the new Constitutions was repealed, but I think the feeling was that this was hair-splitting and that it would be better to definitively set this issue to rest. Thus the resolution, which passed with an overwhelmingly positive vote.

    - slkinsey

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the clarification.

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    2. I can tell you that in Alabama it has been the policy to allow EAs and FCs to attend meetings for awhile. The way we handle it is IF an EA or FC shows up for the meeting then we open in that degree. If not then we open in the MM degree. They can only attend business meetings and/or degree work at their level or below. If we hold a vote then they cannot vote (they sit in a specific area so easy to tell). And if any MM brother has an problem with them being present for a particular issue then the WM will purge the lodge and move to a MM lodge. Of course, if we have anything to discuss that includes MM "secrets" then that would happen anyway.

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  4. I'm a MM from Goiás State, Brazil S.A. and will be moving tô Great Neck-NY on end of May. I would like to visit some lodge. If you can introduce me I will be gratefull. My email is cfk.1963@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Carlos,
      You should consult your Grand Secretary, who will officially contact the GL of New York and help you.

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  5. My southern brethren;
    I am a member of Union lodge #118 under the grand lodge of Canada in the province of Ontario.
    We have as long as I have been told allowed EA and FC in lodge for regular business and of course for the voting. I am however shocked but would be pleased if we followed your example of allowing a petition at the age of 18. Here you must still be of the mature age of 21. I would love for the age to be lowered thus allowing my sons both under 21 to join me in the craft.
    good luck my brothers
    s&f
    Bro. Sean Mills Union#118

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    1. Hi, Bro Sean
      Does the GLCPO allow a Lewis (a Freemason's son) to be accepted into the Craft as young as 18? Manitoba allows Lewises. If you haven't done so, I suggest that you check your GL Consituition. Fraternally,
      Chibu Uson
      Fil-Can Cabletow Lodge No 189
      Winnipeg, Manitoba

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  6. My dear southern brethren;
    I wish that we here in Canada would also lower the age to 18 for petitioning the craft. We have however been a little further ahead of you in regards to allowing EA and FC to sit in lodge as we are always required to open in the first and progress from there. All masonic business save the a degree work is done in the first. We have also been surprisingly liberal with regards to same sex couples and in fact I know of at least one lodge in my district that had a gay master in the east.
    good luck my brothers
    S&F
    Bro. Sean Mills Union lodge# 118 under the grand lodge of canada in the province of ontario

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