GLNF Grand Master Francois Stifani
Drama continues in the Grande Loge Nationale Française. Wednesday, 38 Provincial Grand Masters, officers and other luminaries handed Monique Legrand, the court-appointed administrator for GLNF, a petition announcing their support of a major insurrection against GM François Stifani from April 2010. The 38 Masons who submitted the petition did so in the wake of action by Stifani on April 9th in which he dismissed 8 provincial Grand Masters who refused to acknowledge his authority.
Shortly after that message was released to the press, Stifani issued a letter in which he says he will "surrender his mandate", but then sets out his own directions for the June General Assembly, which Legrand is supposed to be in charge of.
In December, a Paris court required Grand Master Stifani and the GLNF to convene a General Assembly to hold a new vote for the position of Grand Master, and to answer to the membership for a series of allegations and complaints against his actions. It was alleged that Stifani was illegally elected to serve a second five year term, in violation of the GLNF's constitutions. The Board of Directors resigned in January, and Stifani later stepped down as president of the administrative side of the fraternity, but not as Grand Master (technically two separate positions). A hearing was held on April 5th, and the new date for the Assembly was set for June 27th. Meanwhile, Stifani continues to cling to his position, in spite of the very public and embarrassing unraveling of the grand lodge.
L'Express magazine's blog, La Lumiere by François Koch, is reporting every twist and turn in the ongoing saga.
The GLNF is the second largest Masonic obedience in France, with approximately 38,000 members, and is overwhelmingly recognized as the sole regular body in that country by the majority of grand lodges around the world.
See also Grande Loge Nationale Française Imploding: UGLE Weighs In from January.