"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Monday, June 06, 2011

GLNF Meltdown: Grand Lodge of Ireland Rumored To Be Next

Word is trickling in that the Grand Lodge of Ireland may announce this week that it is withdrawing recognition of the Grande Loge Nationale de France (GLNF), in the wake of six other European GLs so far this year (Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium).

In addition, the United Grand Lodge of England meets this month, and the issue will undoubtedly be on the agenda. There are also suggestions that the Grand Lodge of Scotland is considering severing its "auld alliance" as well. Losing recognition of the Anglo GLs will be symbolically catastrophic to the GLNF, as it was UGLE that aided in its formation and growth after WWI, to the exclusion of the long-established and perfectly regular Grande Loge de France (GLdF).

No U.S. or Canadian GLs have yanked recognition of GLNF. Yet.

Meanwhile, GLNF Grand Master François Stifani continues to cling to his position as the obedience disintegrates around him. I can't put my finger on which simile best describes the spiraling mess. A scorched earth policy, as he continues to either expel or accept the resignation of waves of grand officers and representatives, along with hundreds of members (including the Grand Secretary and the ten member Council of Sages resigning, and 14 provincial GMs expelled in May)? Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, with a court appointed administrator up in the wheelhouse? Or just whistling through the graveyard, as the zombie army approaches?

The GLNF is supposed to hold its General Assembly at the end of June, and the Paris court has ordered a carefully monitored election, along with demanding a financial audit of all accounts. Sounds serious, but the internal officers in charge of the audit last week sent a letter to the administrator saying they just need a little more time, since they've only had six months or so...

And of course all of this continues to be gleefully played out in the French media, to the embarrassment of all French Masons.


  1. I have a biased perspective in this, coming from a Grand Orient obedience, but I see the UGLE reaction as key to what will ultimately happen with the recognition issue.

    In every country where the GO type of Masonry is dominant, the UGLE has established a mainstream obedience, in this case, the GLNF. (no territorial exclusivity for the UGLE, but it can be argued that they don't see the GO bodies as legitimate masonic bodies in those countries anyway).

    I am sure that the leaders at UGLE do not want to see their protege implode, so there will be resistance from some to suspend recognition. However, if that does come to pass, I expect the U.S. Grand Lodges to follow the UGLE's lead in the matter.

    It would be a real hassle for UGLE to have to clean-up the mess and reestablish another mainstream body in France.

    I can only imagine that the GOdF and the GLdF hope to benefit from this, both by the weakening of what is seen as the UGLE's ward, and by possibly picking-up some new members.

  2. Or, of course, the other kind of madness would be the disaffected GLNF brethren who have left keep making noise of forming their own new GL. Just what France needs is another GL. The GLdF should be proactive in welcoming them with open arms. I doubt the GOF will benefit much, with its recent changes allowing their lodges to accept women. GLdF is regular (always has been), and remains male-only, with no political dabblings.

  3. Very true Chris,

    The unwillingness of UGLE to not recognize the GLdF makes no sense at all.

    The GLdF has flirted in the past with the GOdF, I assume because of bitterness over the recognition issue, at least in part.

    An influx of GLNF members would serve to strengthen the GLdF's commitment to "regularity" I would think.

    P.S. How is your health situation? Any good news to report?

  4. Internal struggles from 10 years ago within the GLdF were from a pro-GOF group within the hierarchy, that resulted in the humiliating escapade at the Conference of GMs in Minnesota, when, after a year of upheaval in the US, the DGM of the GLdF showed up and contradicted everything their folks had been saying for years. He was expelled as soon as he got home, but the damage was done. It's been 10 years. Most US GL officers of any kind are mostly not around in power positions now. This could be GLdF's moment as an island of sanity.

    What am I thinking... France. Masonic politics. Never happen.

    As for my health, I'm done with Phase 1 of the chemotherapy. Surgery sometime this month, then another 9 weeks of chemo. Then we'll know. But so far, it's not growing or spreading, and prognosis is good.

    With my beard gone and just whips of hair on top, I look like Don Rickles. Seriously.

  5. I am glad to hear that you are doing well with the treatment. I am sure that the surgery will go well.

    Not glad to hear about the Don Rickles problem though. :-)

  6. I hate to say it, but that cartoon is classic.


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