On behalf of the Grand Lodge of Austria, the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium, the Vereinigte Grosslogen von Deutschland, the Grand Lodge of Luxemburg, and the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland, their respective Grand Masters, convened today in Basel, solemnly declare:
1. Following their London declaration of 17 December 2011, the five Grand Lodges have taken the necessary procedural steps for a withdrawal of GLNF’s recognition, each Grand Lodge according to its general regulations, by-laws, and constitution. The Grand Lodges regret to have to make this withdrawal official and effective as of today.
2. Under the circumstances, they feel obliged to officially declare that their decision is based on the fact that under its present governance the GLNF has irretrievably slipped its moorings. In actual fact, GLNF’s ongoing crisis demonstrates an unforgivable neglect of Masonic principles and Landmarks while the composition of its electoral colleges and the voting procedure have definitely deprived its leadership of all legitimacy, Masonic or otherwise. The recent split-up in its very midst, far from solving GLNF’s problems, does only underline its state of decomposition.
It is with deep sadness that the five Grand Lodges have to acknowledge the demolition of an almost one-hundred-year-old Masonic heritage along with the courageous work of entire generations, and this by the fault of the present leaders of the GLNF for which history will hold them.
3. The five Grand Lodges affirm their conviction that in view of its great Masonic tradition France needs to retrieve its proper place in the universal chain of brotherhood through a bold reconstruction of its Masonic landscape avoiding all further fragmentation.
4. Among all the potential actors of this reconstruction process, the Grande Loge de France could play a major role, having already been greatly esteemed for some time by the five Grand Lodges not only because of the quality of its brethren and their ritual work but also for their vivid and well-known desire to become part of the universal chain of recognized freemasonry.
The five Grand Lodges believe therefore, that there is an historic chance for the Grand Loge de France to realize its aspiration assuming all the necessary choices involved are complied with, especially the need
· to continue to work in accordance with the fundamental principles of regular freemasonry;
· to sever unambiguously remaining links with irregular Obediences;
· to respect the international customs and traditions governing the relation between a Grand Lodge and a Supreme Council.
The five Grand Lodges seriously wish to support and to counsel the Grand Loge de France in this matter and declare their willingness to start negotiations with a view to its eventual recognition.
5. Notwithstanding this declaration, the five Grand Lodges reconfirm their determination not to abandon the very large number of present and former Brethren of the GLNF who wish to practice their traditional Masonry within an administrative framework safely embedded in internationally recognized Freemasonry. Their aspiration as well as the interest of all other brethren willing to become part of a reconstructed regular French Freemasonry shall at all times be near to the heart of the five Grand Lodges and their negotiating representatives.