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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus September 2013

 

Who Speaks For Freemasonry? Masons Should Know The Answer

When the Masonic Information Center (MIC) was created 20 years ago, one of the major problems it encountered with the news media and with the general public was the issue of "Masonic Authority."

That issue still exists, and all Masons – particularly Masonic leaders – should be aware of who can, and who cannot, speak for Freemasonry.
It is difficult for the general public to understand that Freemasonry is structured in such a way that its highest "Masonic Authority" rests within the Grand Lodge for each state, province, or jurisdiction.

Many Masonic writers express their opinions, and with the help of the Internet, those views may be widely distributed, and even treated as "Masonic Authority." Sometimes, when reading a column in the official publication of one of the national Masonic-related organizations, a perception might be created that these organizations – not Grand Lodges – are speaking for Freemasonry.

In both cases, they are only speaking for themselves, as individuals or organizations. Their opinions are not authoritative for all Freemasonry. In 2001, the Masonic Information Center (MIC) created the Statement on Masonic Authority, reprinted in the box on this page. It is brief and gives a clear explanation as to where ultimate "Masonic Authority" rests.

In March, 2001, the MIC sent this statement with an accompanying cover letter to all Grand Secretaries in North America.

As the MIC celebrates its two decades of service to the Craft, it continues to share such information with all Master Masons

 

Statement On Masonic Authority

There is no national or international Masonic authority. Freemasonry in North America is governed by independent legislative bodies known as Grand Lodges who exercise absolute Masonic authority within a state or province.

Writers may express their opinions about the Fraternity, but their statements are not authoritative. Only Grand Lodges can make authoritative statements, and these apply only to their members.

 

MSA Headquarters Have Moved To New Location In Burtonsville

The offices for the Masonic Service Association have moved to a new location, about 10 miles away from its long-time headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The new address is:

3905 National Drive, Suite 280
Burtonsville, MD 20866

The new office is modern, less costly, and will better meet the future needs of MSA as it serves our Fraternity in the 21st Century.

Please adjust your records with this new address. Also, we have a new email address: [email protected]

In addition, we have new telephone numbers: 301-476-4010 and 301-476-9440 (fax)

Richard H. Curtis, 1939-2013

Everyone involved with the Masonic Information Center (MIC) is saddened about the untimely death of Richard H. Curtis, of Massachusetts, on September 14, 2013.

Brother Dick was an original member of the MIC Steering Committee when the MIC was created in 1993. His advice, editing and writing skills, and hard-working dedication, helped lead its efforts for two decades.

A Past Master of his Lodge, 33rd Degree Mason, and retired editor of the Northern Light, the publication of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Brother Curtis was a close friend to all his associates at MIC. We will miss him.

 

George Washington Masonic Statue In National Cathedral

One of the most prominent public tributes to Freemasonry in the United States is the George Washington statue in the Washington (D.C.) National Cathedral, visited by more than 600,000 church attenders and tourists annually.

In splendid isolation in a "bay" in the southwest corner of the Cathedral is a 7-foot, 6-inch statue of Washington, carved of pure white Vermont marble.
Inscribed on the statue's octagonal pedestal are reminders of Washington's contributions: "First Citizen, Churchman, President, Statesman, Farmer, Soldier, Patriot, Freemason."
The statue was a gift in 1947 from the Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, which declared:

"It was fitting and indeed it was necessary that here, in this hallowed place, which is set upon a hill within the city that bears his name, there should be raised a monument to the Father of his Country. For while the whole American land is his monument, it is an inspiring duty to make visible his presence."

National Cathedral

 

George Washington Statue

Bathed by sunshine on a summer Sunday morning, the statue is a bold, public display of Freemasonry for the world to see. The Washington National Cathedral has a full schedule of worship services for its members and the public, while handling thousands of visitors touring the elegant facility

 

According to the book, Cornerstones of Freedom– A Masonic Tradition, by S. Brent  Morris, "Washington's lifelong love of Freemasonry is emphasized by three plaques cut into the stone  of the Cathedral's wall above and  behind the statue." (These plaques may be seen  in the picture.)

The plaques commemorate:

  • Washington's initiation in Freemasonry, using the Holy Bible, square and  compasses, and words, "Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4, 1752.)
  • Washington's election as Master of his lodge, using an exact replica of his Past Maser's jewel, and  the words, "Alexandria Lodge No. 22,
    1782."
  •  Two cornerstone layings, one for the U.S. Capitol in 1793  and  the other  for the Washington National Cathedral in 1907.

 

 

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