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


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

GL New York's Jurisprudence Committee Weighs In

by Christopher Hodapp

The Grand Lodge of New York's Jurisprudence Committee has weighed in on the permissibility of Grand Master William Sardone's rescheduling of their annual meeting for 2021 due to statewide pandemic restrictions on large group meetings. 

Click the image above to enlarge.

Because the state of New York is permitting only small groups to assemble at this time, GM Sardone's announcement over the weekend detailed a plan to open their Annual Communication on May 3rd and officially receive all committee reports without action. The GM will then call the meeting from labor to refreshment until the state permits larger group meetings, hopefully later in the year. Whenever that occurs, the meeting will then be called up from refreshment back to labor for votes to approve reports and elect officers. Jurisprudence approves of his decision.

This is not dissimilar to the way many jurisdictions permit lodges to open a Lodge of Sorrow at the beginning of each year for the purpose of conducting funeral services for fallen Masons. A Lodge of Sorrow is opened and called to refreshment, and remains in that suspended circumstance for the entire year, instead of requiring a lodge to meet, open, go to a funeral home, conduct a service, go back to the lodge, and close. Then the minutes of that Lodge of Sorrow at the end of the year list all of the deceased brethren who passed away while it remained open.

Their committee did address the constitutionality of electronic Zoom-style technology being used for a tyled grand lodge session:
"There is much interest in implementing teleconferencing technology for our Annual Communication. The Jurisprudence Committee supports the adoption of such technology recognizing that this kind of application is a particularly useful tool. However, there is no provision in the current Constitutions permitting its use in a Tiled Grand Lodge Annual Communication. The Grand Master has charged Right Worshipful Richard J. Kessler, Deputy grand Master, to come up with proposed changes to amend the Constitutions permitting its use in emergency situations."

For lots of Masons, this is all sort of like watching sausage being made. But it comes on the heels of the situation in South Carolina over virtual meetings, as well as being an example for other grand lodges as 2021 unfolds with continuing pandemic restrictions imposed by state and local governments.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you W.B,I have been reading and following you articles for years. I appreciate the accuracy of your posts, and I have learned a great deal about what is happening out side of my own jurisdiction. Thanks again and stay safe to stay healthy.


Comments will not appear immediately, so be patient. I am forced to laboriously screen every post because I am constantly bombarded with spam. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not expect to see your comment appear.