Message sent to the Belgium Obediences.
“Brothers of Lodge Sun Yat Sen in Macau (China) express their solidarity and fraternal spirit to the Brothers of La Grande Loge Regulière de la Belgique [Grand Orient of Belgium] and the Belgium people in this time of suffering and sorrow after the Brussels hideous attacks. We pray the protection of the Grand Architect of the Universe for the wounded and the families of those who died in this coward attack. In this time of horror and fear the Light of Freemasonry will shine stronger as our fight against tyranny, obscurity and hatred. Fraternal regards. The Worshipful Master, A.M.A.G.” [https://sunyatsenlodge.wordpress.com/]
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Kansas with the presence of the Grand Master. A joint session with Lodges of Prince Hall took also place. In the United States, Grand Lodges forbide for a long time the admission of black candidates. It was created, with the support of English Freemasons (during the Civil War) the system of Prince Hall, a paralel system of Freemasonry for black Masons. In the last decades a significant number of Lodges open the access for black candidates and some Grand Lodges recognize the Prince Hall lodges existing in their states. Thanks to Bro: Jeremy Walker for the picture and related information.
One of the singularities of the Iberian Freemasonries is that under the dictatorships of Franco in Spain (picture below) and Salazar in Portugal, lodges were dissolved, freemasons obliged to flee to the exile and some of them were imprisoned or killed. What happened to those Freemasons who were forced to live their countries (to exile) is an unfortunate gap in the history of Spain and Portugal. A gap that needs to be fulfilled. This accord between the GLS and the Spanish State is a major contribution to the story of liberal Freemasonry and to the Order of Freemasons in general.
“40.000 Legajos sobre masonería en exilio engrosan Centro Memoria Salamanca.
El contrato de comodato suscrito por el Ministerio de Cultura con la Gran Logia de España permitirá que el fondo documental “Lucio Martínez Gil: La Masonería en el exilio”, compuesto por unos 40.000 documentos originales, forme parte del Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica (CDMH). Lucio Martínez Gil, han explicado hoy fuentes del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deportes a través de un comunicado, fue gran maestro del Gran Oriente Español desde 1938 hasta 1955 y murió en el exilio mexicano en abril de 1957.
Durante el transcurso de la Guerra Civil se persiguió de manera sistemática a los hermanos masones, a quienes se aplicó a partir de 1940 la Ley de Represión de la Masonería y el Comunismo.
La Guerra y la posterior represión de la Dictadura de Franco obligaron a numerosos masones a exiliarse, fundamentalmente a Francia y México.”. In http://www.lavanguardia.com/…/40-000-legajos-sobre-masoneri…
The word equinox comes from the Latin Aequinoctium and means “equal night.” Equinox designates the time of year when the sun is located in the plane of the Ecuador. In that day – for an observer in the Earth Ecuador – the sun attains its zenith. The parallel of declination of the sun and the Ecuador match in the sky.
This happens twice a year: on the 20th or 21st March, which is the equinox of Spring and on the 22d or 23d September, that is the equinox of Autumn. During the equinox the change of the annual season takes place, oppositively, in each hemisphere of the Earth. The reason of this variation of dates comes from differences in the calendar. At that time, the solar center is in the same plane as the Earth Ecuador and days and nights have a similar extension. From a Masonic apprach, we can equate this time of the the year to a measuring point within a circle, the plumb line achieving the center point in its swing to the furthers reaches. Masonic tradition says that the plumb measure our vertical, but the earths rotarion demonstrates our diameter and the rotational motion around our axis. As the plumb traces its circumference the plumb also orients back through the center of the circumference, when reaching the furthest points of our radius.
Adaptation from http://freemasoninformation.com
The decision of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia to interdict the access of gay men to the lodges in its jurisdiction has launched an enormous bluster among Masonic Obediences in the States and Europe, with some Grand Lodges cutting masonic relations with Georgia and others (Grand Loge National Francaise) planning to do so. The debate is not new and needs to be confronted according to the values and doctrine that Freemasonry stands for, unequivocally. Freemasonry is an Order of men. It has been like this in the last 300 years. Possible reasons for that are that the primitive statutes of the Order that were written by clerics. A time when women have no public role. Since then, a lot of things have changed and women’s lodges become a reality, everywhere. Traditional Obediences acknowledge their existence but consider them ‘irregular’ and interdicted by the Landmarks.
Gay men have won in recent years rights, an equal condition to heterosexuals, recognized by modern states, in the United States and Europe. The European Convention of Human Rights expressively protects the right of minorities and insofar the rights of gays, lesbian and other sexual minorities. Several states recognize by law the marriage of homosexuals and a few of them even the adoption of children by gay couples. Other states still don’t recognize that type of partnerships. In terms of masonic uses and traditions and in accordance with most of masonic regulations, the double requisite for a profane to be admitted to the ranks of freemasonry is to be a free man of good report. If the condition of a ‘free man’ is intuitive as someone who is responsible for his acts and is self-determined the polemic question is if the condition of ‘good report’ can be applied to gay men.
The abstract concepts need to be interpreted according to the circumstances of time and society. What may be assessed of ‘good report’, one hundred years ago, is discharged as such, nowadays. The same applies to social attitudes that are considered “normal” today in comparison to the past. Homosexuality has been, slowly, considered in contemporary societies an acceptable form of behaviour. It has been accredited to the conception of life and society that every citizen (in a free society) has the right and independence to have. Anyone has the right to protect the intimacy of his life without any interference from public authorities. Insofar, it seems fair to extract from this reasoning that Masonic authorities should prevent themselves from interfering in the personal options of the members of the Craft. It is in the capacity of the Lodges to judge and assess if gay men can be considered acceptable to be admitted to their ranks. This is a decision that appears only entitled to them and not to an administrative upper level authority. In this sense, is both legitimate to have Lodges accepting this type of candidates and others rejecting them.
To take this issue, that has political and religious implications (and readings) to the level of relationships between Obediences seems to go too far and create a worrying precedent.
The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Andrew Lane, Jr.,, has issued a response to the positions of the GLs of California, the District of Columbia, and the regular Grand lodge of Belgium, who all withdrew amity with Georgia last week in response to their recently adopted rule that prohibited Masons from engaging in homosexual activity and from co-habitating without benefit of marriage. The Grand Loge Nationale Francaise is considering an equivalent measure according to the French press. The issue is the acceptance of gay men in Lodges.