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Mike Martin

UGLE Recognition Withdrawn from GL of Albania

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At Quarterly Communications on Wednesday Grand Lodge resolved to temporarily suspend relations, as below

The Grand Lodge of Albania

The Grand Lodge of Albania was formed in 2011 and recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England in 2013. In 2014 the Grand Master of Albania consecrated a Lodge in Kosovo, an action regarded by other Grand Lodges in the area as unwarranted and an invasion of territory within the Masonic sphere of the Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia.

At a meeting of European Grand Masters in Belgrade in June 2015, an agreement was drawn up and signed by the Grand Master of Albania that, inter alia, the Lodge in Kosovo would be withdrawn to Albania and he would enter into discussions with the Grand Master of Serbia as to the future development of Freemasonry in Kosovo. Since the signing of that agreement Albania has consecrated a further two Lodges in Kosovo.

The Board considered that it would be in the best interests of the Grand Lodge for it to suspend relations with the Grand Lodge of Albania while further enquiries are made into the situation and consideration is given to any necessary further action.

A Resolution to this effect was approved.

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19 minutes ago, Omar31 said:

Is exclusive territory an ancient landmark?

That depends on who is asking, who they are asking, when they are asking, and how they asked.  It is something that has been enforced, ignored, agreed to, and agreed not to in various situations.  

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40 minutes ago, Omar31 said:

Is exclusive territory an ancient landmark?

When the idea of the "Ancient Landmarks" came about there were no Grand Lodges and Freemasonry only existed within the British Isles! So that's a pretty redundant point.

However recognition of foreign Grand Lodges is about a lot more than landmarks and you can see what is involved here: https://masonic-forum.com/index.php?/topic/690-basic-principles-for-grand-lodge-recognition-ugle/

 

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That's not the full story - the lodges have been recalled but have since declared that they're planning on breaking away and creating a new Grand Lodge. Albania have been suspended pending further enquiries. 

(I was at the QC being invested as PAGDC when the additional info was announced) 

Edited by Sontaran

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On 16/03/2018 at 10:31 AM, Omar31 said:

Is exclusive territory an ancient landmark?

Forget about 'landmarks'; that would not apply in this kind of situation.  As to territorial exclusivity - it's complicated!  For just one example, look at South Africa.  Basically, you can say that if toes would be trodden on, then exclusivity is likely to be applied.

A 'landmark', can be regarded as an element in the form or essence on the Society of such importance that freemasonry would no longer be freemasonry if it were removed.  (ref.: Harry Carr, The Freemason at Work)

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In Australia, such a exclusivity principle applied in the commercial sphere is called "third line forcing" and is illegal.

For example if I can only buy a car if I agree only to have it serviced at the dealer, that would be illegal.  This seems to me to be parallel to permitting initiation only if the candidate agrees to be subject to a particular Grand Lodge.

If such a clause is illegal commercially, I am not sure that it can be morally binding.

 

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11 hours ago, Omar31 said:

In Australia, such a exclusivity principle applied in the commercial sphere is called "third line forcing" and is illegal.

For example if I can only buy a car if I agree only to have it serviced at the dealer, that would be illegal.  This seems to me to be parallel to permitting initiation only if the candidate agrees to be subject to a particular Grand Lodge.

If such a clause is illegal commercially, I am not sure that it can be morally binding.

 

What are you going on about?

There is nothing in our rules that says someone can't get Initiated wherever they want. What our criteria for recognition do show is that we will only extend recognition to grand lodges that meet the criteria.

I think you need to take the time to read things more carefully before replying! 

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Locally to be initiated the candidate not only has to swear to keep the secrets but also to agree always acknowledge that lodge as his mother lodge and abide by its rules and swear to abide by the rules the GL to which the lodge belongs.

In my view, pledging allegiance to the Great Architect should be sufficient.

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2 hours ago, Omar31 said:

Locally to be initiated the candidate not only has to swear to keep the secrets but also to agree always acknowledge that lodge as his mother lodge and abide by its rules and swear to abide by the rules the GL to which the lodge belongs.

In my view, pledging allegiance to the Great Architect should be sufficient.

I admit to knowing very little detail about specific administrative matters in Australian freemasonry but I will say that no matter where you are, the lodge into which a brother is initiated is his mother lodge, even if he were later to move to another lodge, even under another Grand Lodge's jurisdiction.  This is just the same as being born in a particular country makes you a native of that country - nothing can change that.

As far as allegiances are concerned, yes, you agree to abide by the rules laid down by the Grand Lodge under which your lodge is warranted.  If, simultaneously, you were to belong to lodges under different jurisdictions, then you abide by the rules of the Grand Lodge in whose territory you are at that moment attending a lodge.  If territorial jurisdictions overlap, then one can see a problem - I said it was complicated!  I could see that since the overlapping Grand Lodges would have agreed to allow the overlap, then one can logically suppose that when you are attending a lodge (whether or not you are a member of it), you would be governed by the rules of the Grand Lodge under which that lodge is meeting.  We are here talking about Grand Lodges which recognise each other.

Of course, if you are in any doubt, you could always ask the secretary of the provinces and/or districts concerned.

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> no matter where you are, the lodge into which a brother is initiated is his mother lodge, even if he were later to move to another lodge

I have done just that, and the new lodge insisted upon initiating me and having me swear that I would always acknowledge that new lodge as my mother lodge even though they knew I had already sworn that for a previous lodge.

 

 

 

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That sounds suspiciously like someone who joined a irregular lodge and later joins a regular lodge (having resigned from the former) - that's the only condition that springs to mind. 

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45 minutes ago, Omar31 said:

> no matter where you are, the lodge into which a brother is initiated is his mother lodge, even if he were later to move to another lodge

I have done just that, and the new lodge insisted upon initiating me and having me swear that I would always acknowledge that new lodge as my mother lodge even though they knew I had already sworn that for a previous lodge.

 

 

 

There are three situations that I can think of which might bring this about:

  1. If you have joined a lodge that is under a different but recognised Grand Lodge from the one under which you were initiated.  However, in that case you shouldn't have to forswear your original initiatory lodge, as that initiation would still be valid.
  2. If you originally were initiated in a lodge under a Grand Lodge that is not recognised by the one you have just joined, or is in some way irregular.
  3. If you have just joined an irregular lodge under an unrecognised constitution - sort of the reverse of 2. above.

May I suggest that you ask exactly why you have been asked to forswear your original initiation?  It would seem that something odd is going on.  It might just be that someone in your new lodge doesn't know the rules - it happens!

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The ritual was applied regardless of known previous swearings.  Perhaps the current GL does not accept that the GAOTU supervises orders that the GL does not recognize.

At that stage I noticed that the initiation only occurs if secondary commitments are made, to the initiating lodge and to the relevant GL.   Thus a candidate who wishes to become a Freemason must swear allegiance to the GL regardless of whether it is racist, corrupt or without the genuine secrets.

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Omar31 said:

The ritual was applied regardless of known previous swearings.  Perhaps the current GL does not accept that the GAOTU supervises orders that the GL does not recognize.

At that stage I noticed that the initiation only occurs if secondary commitments are made, to the initiating lodge and to the relevant GL.   Thus a candidate who wishes to become a Freemason must swear allegiance to the GL regardless of whether it is racist, corrupt or without the genuine secrets.

It is much better to not speculate and deal with facts, so I'll ask what everyone is wondering.

What is the Grand Lodge that your new Lodge is under? What was the former?

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