Page 13 - MFM April 2012
P. 13

THE MONTANA FREEMASON

GMR 2012– 06 Continued
         4. Be read to the lodge at a stated meting and held over for at least one subsequent stated meeting before

      being voted upon;
         5. Be approved by a majority vote at a stated meeting; and
         6. Be retained with the minutes of the meeting in which the vote was taken and the action thereon

      summarized in the minutes.
D. If the application contains specific medical information as the basis for the sufficient cause, immediately
after the results of the vote are declared by the Worshipful Master, the Secretary shall redact all specific medical
information from the application. If the application is granted because of medical limitations the Secretary shall
only report in the minutes that the sufficient cause was because of medical reasons and may not record the
specific medical condition.

A. A brother may be excused from the requirements in section 39070 for medical reasons only. In no case is a
brother excused from section 39070 A.-1. In order to hold office a brother must meet and complete the
requirements of Section 27030 and 39070.

Grand Master’s Rational:
   Section 27030 states that “No one shall be eligible to office who is not in good standing and who has not

passed satisfactory examination for proficiency in all three degrees.”
   Section 39070 establishes minimum requirements for proficiencies, and
   Section 39071 allows all those proficiency requirements to be waived.
   This is so confusing, and the three sections are so antagonistic, that section 39071 needs to be struck from the

Code of Statutes in its present form and replaced with a medical exception only.
   Section 39071 permits a Lodge to skirt all of the proficiency requirements of Section 39070 for any reason,

as long as the Brother requests exemption, and the Lodge, by majority vote, approves. With section 39071 in its
present form, all of the privileges of Masonry are available with no effort on the Brothers’ part; and, since the
lodge can now excuse a Brother from all or part of the requirements of 39070, this also creates a conflict with
Section 27030 of the Code, which may allow that Brother who is now eligible to hold office.

   For this reason, our newly made Brothers -- unless handicapped by serious medical conditions which occur
while taking the degrees -- should all be aware of those things that are required and prohibited by Masonry. To
allow Brothers to progress through the degrees without demonstrating satisfactory proficiency in the proceeding
degree not only lessens the value that we place on our Obligations (and who and what we are Obliged to), but in
the long run it short changes the Brother and his Lodge.

   I, for one, do not want Brothers who have not returned satisfactory proficiencies sitting as officers. Why not?
The first section EA lecture asks, “What makes you a Mason?” The answer is, “My Obligation.”

   Our Obligations make us aware of those things that are required of, and prohibited by, all Masons. Listening
to the ritual once does not make a Mason; however, practicing, and contemplating the memorized ritual—
including our Obligations to God, others, and ourselves - does, and thus the requirements to do so.

   We should bear in mind that relaxing or eliminating the proficiency requirements has not led to an increase
in membership.

Committee on Jurisprudence Comments:
   This recommendation would amend Section 39071 to limit a lodge’s ability to waive the proficiency

requirements under Section 39070 to medical reasons only. It would also disallow the waiver of proficiency
requirements to hold office. This recommendation would change the code of statutes and would require an
affirmative vote of two thirds of the members present to pass.

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