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


Friday, November 16, 2018

XVI World Conference Of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges

The XVI World Conference Of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges is going on this week in Panama City, Panama through tomorrow.

Most U.S. Masons rarely hear about these annual conferences, even if they happen in this country, and it's unusual to see follow-up reports afterwards to find out how their break out sessions and discussions went. It's a shame really, because they traditionally attempt to discuss items that go far beyond just the usual hand-wringing about membership losses, chasing Millennials or whatever the demographic de jour happens to be, or coming up with a new charity to promote. 

The role of Freemasonry and the Freemason individually in society
The challenges and changes in the global environment in which we live in, make instability the norm rather than the exception. Armed conflicts, violation of fundamental rights, deficiencies in basic issues such as health, food and education, present scenarios for which the Mason is generally not prepared to understand, much less play a role in solving them.
In this context, it is absolutely relevant that freemasons understand what their participation in the issues and problems facing society should be, to be discussed in order to form an opinion and to positively influence a way to their solution within their capacity for action.
Citizen training is increasingly complex and needs a redefinition of education in civic values to achieve a more democratic society with greater social cohesion.
Masonic education contributes to forming people who live in society with respect, tolerance, participation and freedom.
How to integrate ethical and moral values and the exercise of them to enable life in society, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, for a democratic coexistence and mutual respect...

It's a shame that Masons as a rule don't discuss topics at this level in our lodge meetings, instead of arguing over who didn't clean up the kitchen last week or paying the toilet repair bill.  Maybe your next Stated Meeting might be a good place to shift the discussion to something more elevated.


  1. RW Glen Cook, PGM of Utah reported the following from today on the Masonic World Wide facebook page:

    Friday Morning session:
    Bolivia: Addressed a charter of human rights and has held congresses every two years on the subject, and Freemasonry’s role, including the promotion of open government. 2019 will be the year of human duties (deberes) for that GL. They have a duty to instruct brethren on those duties. Noted are duties to observe the law of nature. This was not discussed in detail, with only the caption listed.

    PHA Texas. Outlined participation of individual PHA members in obtaining education and rights for African Americans.

    Grand Orient Italy: Spoke of “masonphobia” in Italy. He noted the seizure of the records by police in Calabria of records of the four main obediences. There is draft legislation to declare membership and even prohibit public employees from membership. As in Spain they asked for support. [I note that at the informal conference in Spain, the GLs declined to be politically involved].

    Israel (location of the 2020 Conference): Why did I fail in my journey into Freemasonry? Why did I fail to instill the principles of Freemasonry? He noted that despite living in an area of prophets, blood is still spilled. However, his lodge has many of many faiths. Why is this not being transmitted to others? In the past, Freemasons would have been found in government. He went through the role of Freemasons in historic France and the New World, including “irregular” feminine masons in WWII. He also described leadership in the US and Cuba.
    He exhorted Freemasons to be active in society. He specifically noted our principles of equality includes various classes which he listed. Freemasonry must go forth as a political party.

    Panamá: Human Rights, as adopted by France and UN. Freemasonry in practically all of its conference meetings discusses human rights and adopts a proposal on it. The UN has defined and approved a wide range of rights. They have expanded those rights [I note President Carter signed the covenant in 1977, but the US Senate has not ratified]. He listed various rights recognized. Human rights go hand in hand with universal morality. He discussed the use of fake news by politicians. He noted millions who use Facebook. We should search for truth. We should verify information. The ability of the media to manipulate society is immense. The government can engage in censorship. We must engage in critical thinking. Intelligence services have lead us into war, noting specifically Iraq. He then discussed a SA totalitarian regime. Large pharmaceutical corporations give rumors of epidemics to boost their sales. Our youth have lost the art of thinking freely.

    A commentator responded that we don’t apply those principles in our lodges. We promise this to young people, they don’t find it, and they return to their computers. Valle de Mexico further claimed Mexico has the most cultural history in the world. He mentioned immigration. He was asked about women during the conference. His response: Freemasons seek perfection. Women are perfect. Therefore, women do not need to seek Freemasonry. [I considered awarding a special citation for chauvinism, but refrained. ]

  2. Glen Cook's notes from Thursday:

    A decision was made as to which Grand Lodge of Mali would be seated. It was the Grand Lodge recognized by the Home grand lodges and recommended the CGMNA that was seated. The contenders were admitted as observers.

    As some may recollect, recognition of the Grand Lodge of Albania was previously withdrawn by many grand lodges. They declined to send in a list of their current recognitions. If attending, they will be admitted as observers.

    Similarly, the Grand Lodge of Kazakhstan failed to send in a list of recognitions, and were seated as observers.

    Thos. Jackson, PGSec of PA, and PExecSec of the Conference, pointed out that the purpose of Freemasonry is not to change the world; not to change society, but to change men. We are elitist in the sense that we take in good men.

    Geo. Seghers of the Geo. Washington Memorial discussed the life of Geo. Washington and the purpose of the Memorial. A presentation was made to set up an international Masonic exhibit.

    More comments later:

    My friend Razvan Buzatu, explained Romania has 14,000 members. They have instituted masonic education, directed to moving young Freemasons closer to the ideals of Freemasonry, and they thentake these ideals into society. They have also put together a program to teach university students how to use ideals learned in University in society.

    The give seven awards €10,000 to scientists that is televised.

    Israel: [Volume of Sacred Law] They use OT, NT, Koran. Lodges meet in nine languages. Sixty years. The 2020 World Conference will be there.

  3. A J Pearce PM 5440 EC. Glad to have found this forum keep it up

  4. I agree with Thomas Jackson, because everything else spoken of goes directly into politics & religion. Supporting a political document passed by the United Nations is a political activity, which justifies the government sanctioned antimasonry such as what was mentioned in Italy. The Israeli calling for freemasonry to become a political party is as blatant as it can be. It seems many of these jurisdictions aren't about self improvement, but about political lobbying & social justice activism, yet they wonder why their local governments are suspicious if not hostile to them. It seems like liberation theology, cultural marxism, & positivism are the main ideologies of these jurisdictions.

  5. Chris, just to clarify that in Italy the seizure of Gran Lodge records by police involved also Sicilian Freemasons (2300) and the Sicilian Parliament did pass legislation to declare membership if elected to a government office. Just today 2 members of two separate parties have challenged that legislation and will appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court.

  6. How can I get a copy of the WCRMGL Regulations and criteria to a GL be able to join the conference?


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