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Masonic Recognition Issues

PHA Blanket Recognitions
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Prince Hall Masonry Recognition details

Blanket Recognitions

The information in this webpage was prepared by Paul M. Bessel,Executive Secretary of the Masonic Leadership Center. Please contact me with any additional information, or any comments orsuggestions. My email address is paulb'at'bessel.org 


It is reported that the following Grand Lodges have"blanket" recognition of all Prince Hall Grand Lodges that arerecognized by their corresponding "mainstream" Grand Lodge (with dateswhen this was reportedly done). I have not been able to check to verify this, except where noted below.

Illinois - 2002
Connecticut - 2002
Nebraska - 2002
Colorado - 2002
Washington - 2002
Idaho - 2003
Washington DC - May 12, 2004
Hawaii - April 29, 2005 (?)
Connecticut - October 2005
New Hampshire - May 20, 2006
Montana
Nevada - November 2008

The following Grand Lodges definitely have blanket recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges, as shown by the language in resolutions adopted by these Grand Lodges.

Arizona
Arizona 2001 Proceedings, Resolution 2001-06, page 62, with adoption on page 193:
 
"Resolved:  That it shall be the policy of this Grand Lodge to recognize and to offer to enter into fraternal relations with any and all Prince Hall Grand Lodges which: (1) are recognized by the M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arizona & Jurisdiction Inc; and (2) have concluded an agreement, treaty or compact of mutual recognition with the Grand Lodge(s) who are members of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America with whom they share territorial jurisdiction."
Connecticut The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, October 2005, adopted a resolution similar to the one shown below, the DC GL resolution on blanket recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges.
District of Columbia (Washington DC) The Grand Lodge of Washington DC unanimously adopted the resolution shown below, including its explanation, giving recognition to all Prince Hall Grand Lodges that were already recognized, or that will in the future be recognized, by the "mainstream" Grand Lodge in their jurisdiction. This occurred on May 12, 2004.
Hawaii A Past Grand Master of Hawaii reported that the Grand Lodge of Hawaii gave recognition to all Prince Hall Grand Lodges which have already been recognized by Grand Lodges with which the GL of Hawaii is in comity. This occurred on April 29, 2005. However, I have been informed by a very high authority in this Grand Lodge that this information was not accurate.
Kansas The Grand Master of Kansas specifically confirmed that Kansas has blanket recognition of all Prince Hall Grand Lodges that are recognized by their "mainstream" counterparts.
New Hampshire From an email from a reliable source: At its annual communication on 20 May 2006, the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire voted to automatically offer to grant recognition to any Prince Hall Grand Lodge that has been, or will be, recognized by a recognized Grand Lodge sharing the same geographical area.
New Jersey "The Committee on Fraternal Relations recommends that the most ancient and honorable society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of New Jersey grant fraternal recognition to the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodges in all states within the United States that are recognized by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New Jersey and have also been granted recognition by the Most Worshipful or Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in that jurisdiction that is recognized by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey."

This motion was adopted in by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in April 2004.

New York GL of NY earlier this month (May 2008) ratified "blanket" recognition to PHA GLs
in those mainstream GLs that recognize their PHA counterpart.
Nevada From an email from a reliable source:In November 2008 the Grand Lodge of Nevada extended blanket mutual recognition to all Prince Hall Grand Lodges which have mutual recognition with the “mainstream” Grand Lodges in their jurisdiction.Here is draft language, which may be the same as the final language:  “The [Legitimacy of Grand Lodge] Committee recommends that this Grand Lodge grant recognition for visitation purposes to those Prince Hall Grand Lodges which are recognized by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons Jurisdiction of Nevada, Inc., and which have entered into mutual recognition with Masonic Grand Lodge(s) with whom they share jurisdiction.”

 

The Washington DC Grand Lodge adopted a "blanket" Prince Hall recognition resolution at its Semi-Annual meeting on May 12, 2004, without a single "nay." At the Annual meeting on December 11, 2004, the resolution and its accompanying explanation by the Masonic Recognition Committee was described as follows:

Prince Hall Grand Lodges

At the Semi-Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge, in May 2004, our Grand Lodge’s voting delegates unanimously approved the recommendation of the Committee on Masonic Recognitions, that our Grand Lodge adopt the following motion concerning recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges:

Recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges

A. Our Grand Lodge hereby recognizes, and will in the future recognize without further Grand Lodge vote, each Prince Hall Grand Lodge that does not state that it does not want to be recognized by our Grand Lodge, and that is recognized, and continues to be recognized, by:

    1. The Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction which our Grand Lodge already recognizes — so long as that Grand Lodge does not object to our Grand Lodge recognizing this Prince Hall Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction;

    2. The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia — so long as the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia does not object to our recognizing this Prince Hall Grand Lodge in another jurisdiction;

B. This recognition by our Grand Lodge of a Prince Hall Grand Lodge in another jurisdiction will be effective on the same dates and to the same extent as the recognition by the Grand Lodge that our Grand Lodge already recognizes in that jurisdiction.

C. Our Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Recognitions will provide the office of the Grand Secretary with a list, and future updates, of Prince Hall Grand Lodges in other jurisdictions that meet the standards described in this resolution and which are thus recognized by our Grand Lodge. A copy of the list of recognized Prince Hall Grand Lodges, and future updates, will be distributed regularly by the Grand Secretary’s office to each Lodge in our jurisdiction.

D. The office of the Grand Secretary will contact each Prince Hall Grand Lodge in another jurisdiction that is on the list of Prince Hall Grand Lodges recognized by our Grand Lodge, and attempt to establish the exchange of Grand Representatives.

The explanation for this proposal in May 2004, as amended by later events, is important to remember:

When one of our sister U.S. Grand Lodges recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction, and that Prince Hall Grand Lodge is also recognized by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, our Grand Lodge will routinely approve a request for recognition by that Prince Hall Grand Lodge. However, doing this one at a time is time-consuming (nationwide, 2,295 separate recognitions would be needed), creates unnecessary paperwork, and is disrespectful to Grand Lodges we already recognize.

Since the local “mainstream” Grand Lodge (the one we already recognize in each jurisdiction) has already investigated the regularity of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in its jurisdiction and has recognized it, and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia has also investigated that Prince Hall Grand Lodge and recognized it, our Grand Lodge recognition of that Prince Hall Grand Lodge would be a sign of respect to those two Grand Lodges which we already recognize and respect.

It is becoming a common practice for Grand Lodges to recognize all Prince Hall Grand Lodges that are recognized by “mainstream” Grand Lodges in their jurisdictions. The Grand Lodge of New Jersey adopted this policy a couple of weeks ago, and the Grand Lodges of Nebraska and Kansas, among others, have had it in effect for several years, and they all report enthusiastic support for this policy and no adverse consequences.

No “mainstream” Grand Lodge has or will recognize a Prince Hall Grand Lodge that is not regular, nor would the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. However, in case either would in the future feel it necessary to withdraw recognition, or to object to our Grand Lodge recognizing or continue recognizing, a particular Prince Hall Grand Lodge for any reason, our recognition would terminate.

Since the Grand Lodge of DC adopted (by a unanimous vote) this proposal in May 2004 , it means that since, for example, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts now fully recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, our Grand Lodge now fully recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts so long as the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia do not object.

And in the future, if, for example, the Grand Lodge of Texas recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, our Grand Lodge will recognize the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas effective on the same date and to the same extent as the recognition by the Grand Lodge of Texas, so long as the Grand Lodge of Texas and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia did not object.

The following 28 Prince Hall Grand Lodges are recognized by the “mainstream” Grand Lodge in their jurisdiction, plus the DC Prince Hall Grand Lodge, as of November 2004, and thus are recognized by our Grand Lodge:

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
    (also covers Wyoming and Utah)
    (already recognized by our Grand Lodge)
Connecticut
    (already recognized by our Grand Lodge)
DC
    (already recognized by our Grand Lodge)
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
    (also covers South Dakota)
Maryland
    (recognition without intervisitation yet)
Massachusetts
    (also covers New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont)
Michigan
Minnesota
    (also covers North Dakota)
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Oklahoma
    (recognition without intervisitation yet)
Oregon
    (also covers Idaho and Montana)
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin

The following 13 Prince Hall Grand Lodges are recognized by the DC Prince Hall Grand Lodge but are not, as of November 2004, recognized by the “mainstream” Grand Lodge that our Grand Lodge already recognizes in their jurisdiction, so they would not be recognized by our Grand Lodge until they become recognized by that Grand Lodge in their jurisdiction and thus meet the standards of this resolution:

Alabama
Arkansas
Delaware
Florida
    (called the Union Grand Lodge)
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana Mississippi
    (called the Stringer Grand Lodge)
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia
 
Since this resolution was adopted by our Grand Lodge in May 2004, several Prince Hall Grand Lodges have contacted our Masonic Recognition Committee to express thanks for this action, and in some cases to inform us that their Grand Lodges have reciprocated (the Prince Hall Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania, Ohio Nebraska), or are in the process of reciprocating, to formally recognize our Grand Lodge, too.
 


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