Comments On Masonry
This Statement was subsequently endorsed and confirmed, particularly
in regard to paragraph (7), by UNITED GRAND LODGE of ENGLAND on 7th
The only differences in the Statements issued by the Grand Lodges were
the name and details of the individual Grand Lodge appearing within
the text of the Statement. In this case, the version issued United
Grand Lodge of England is quoted.
1. From time to time the Uniteg Grand Lodge of England has deemed it
desirable to set forth in precise form the aims of Freemasonry as
consistently practised under its Jurisdiction since it come into being
as an organized body in 1717, and also to define the principles
governing its relations with those other Grand Lodges with which it is
in fraternal accord.
2. In view of representations which have been received, and of
statements recently issued which have distorted or obscured the true
objects of Freemasonry, it is once again considered necessary to
emphasize certain fundamental principles of the Order.
3. The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order
is a belief in a Supreme Being. This is essential and admits of no
4. The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred
Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every Candidate is required to
take his obligation on that book or on the Volume which is held by his
particular creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon
5. Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset, strictly
forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert
the peace and good order of society; he must pay due obedience to the
law of any state in which he resides or which may afford him
protection, and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the
Sovereign of his native land.
6. While English Freemasonry thus inculcates in each of its members
the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the individual
the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs. But
neither in any Lodge, nor at any time in his capacity as a Freemason,
is he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological or
7. The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any
opinion on questions of foreign or domestic policy either at home or
abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with any
action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its
unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the
relations between one government and another, or between political
parties, or questions as to rival theories of government.
8. The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist Bodies, styling
themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and
while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge of England refuses
absolutely to have any relations with such Bodies, or to regard them
9. The Grand Lodge of England is a Sovereign and independent Body
practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and only within
the limits defined in its Constitution as 'pure Antient Masonry'. It
does not recognize or admit the existence of any superior Masonic
authority, however styled.
10. On more than one occasion the Grand Lodge has refused, and will
continue to refuse, to participate in Conferences with so-called
International Associations claiming to represent Freemasonry, which
admit to membership Bodies failing to conform strictly to the
principles upon which the Grand Lodge of England is founded. The
Grand Lodge does not admit any such claim, nor can its views be
represented by any such Association.
11. There is no secret with regard to any of the basic principles of
Freemasonry, some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge
will always consider the recognition of those Grand Lodges which
profess and practise, and can show that they have consistently
professed and practised, those established and unaltered principles,
but in no circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to
any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be accepted and
practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety by those who desire to
be recognised as Freemasons by the United Grand Lodge of England.