Statement of Principles
Issued by: Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction; Shriners International
The Southern Jurisdiction and Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, along with Shriners International, were founded as appendant bodies of symbolic Masonic Lodges. These Lodges are chartered and governed by their applicable Grand Lodge. Each of our members are and must remain, members in good standing in a Lodge existing within a recognized Grand Lodge. Our organizations believe that Masonic principles as identified through Grand Lodges are foundational, not merely optional, principles upon which we build to provide further light.
As appendant bodies of the Grand Lodge system, our organizations operate in a manner consistent with the basic principles of Freemasonry. Inherent in these principles is that our members should be seen as good men, continually striving to improve themselves, their character, and their actions, so that we can collectively extend a positive and benevolent influence on the world at large.
We believe the Masonic principles that guide our members’ lives have been proven, over centuries, to improve their character and perspectives. As Masons or Masonic organizations, our failure to meet the exceptionally high standards of conduct expected of us is almost always the result of our failure to understand or apply the Masonic principles we have been taught. When we fail to meet the standards of conduct required of Masons, our response is to correct and remedy that failure, not to lower our standards.
We recognize that all humans are fallible and at times, the actions of a member may fall below the high expectations of our Fraternity. We further recognize that, in those cases, Lodges, Grand Lodges, and our own organizations may, of necessity, be required to investigate, and, within established practices, take appropriate disciplinary actions against individual Brothers. We support these actions, in the longstanding belief that such efforts will result in an improvement both within the individual and within our Fraternity at large.
Our interest in adhering to Masonic principles relates not only to improving our members but also specifically to continuing to enjoy an outstanding reputation for integrity and service within our communities.
So Stated and Decreed by the Undersigned in April 2022
James D. Cole, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, S.J.Peter J. Samiec, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, N.M.J.William S. “Bill” Bailey, 33°, Imperial Potentate, Shriners International