Dignitaires Grand Orient de France (GODF)

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Grand Orient of France (GODF) : A Pillar of Liberal Freemasonry

Introduction

Founded in 1728 under the name of Grand Lodge of France, the Grand Orient of France (GODF) changed its name in 1773. It’s is the oldest and largest Masonic obedience in France. It represents a liberal and non-dogmatic current of Freemasonry, distinguished by its progressive approach and openness to societal issues. The GODF plays a major historical and contemporary role in the French Masonic and cultural landscape.

History

Origins

The history of the GODF begins in the 18th century, a time of profound social and intellectual transformations in Europe. Initially aligned with the principles of English Freemasonry, the GODF quickly developed its own identity, in line with the Enlightenment and the French spirit of criticism.

Evolution and Influence

Over the centuries, the GODF has been a leading actor in intellectual debates and social movements in France. Its commitment to secularism, education, and human rights has left an indelible mark on French society, notably through its role in the French Revolution, the secularization of the state in the 19th century, and the struggles for civil rights in the 20th century.

Distinctive Characteristics

Principles and Values

The GODF is characterized by its rejection of dogma and its openness to the diversity of beliefs and convictions. It promotes absolute freedom of conscience, equality among members regardless of their origin, religion, or political opinion, and fraternity as a fundamental social bond.

Organization and Functioning

Structured in autonomous lodges but federated within the obedience, the GODF places great importance on internal democracy. Its decisions are made collectively, reflecting the will of its members. It is open to men and women, and regularly organizes public debates on societal issues.

Recognition and International Relations

Unique Positioning

The GODF occupies a unique position in the global Masonic landscape. Its liberal approach and rejection of strict regularity as defined by some other grand lodges sometimes place it on the margins of traditional obediences. However, it maintains fraternal relations with many liberal Masonic obediences worldwide.

International Engagement

The GODF is actively engaged in international cooperation actions, particularly in the fields of human rights, peace, and sustainable development. It is a member of several international Masonic organizations, where it works to promote its universal values.

Conclusion

The Grand Orient of France is more than just a Masonic obedience; it is an institution at the heart of French history and society. With its open and progressive approach, it continues to attract members committed to social and intellectual progress. Its history, marked by the defense of the values of freedom, equality, and fraternity, makes it a vibrant force in global Freemasonry, carrying a message of openness and tolerance."