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Supreme Authority

The supreme authority in Freemasonry is that dogmatic power from whose decisions there is no appeal. At the head of every Rite there is a supreme authority which controls and directs the acts of all subordinate bodies of the Rite. In the United States, and in the American Rite which is there practiced, it would, at the first glance, appear that the supreme authority is divided. That of Symbolic Lodges is vested in Grand Lodges, of Royal Arch Chapters in Grand Chapters, of Royal and Select Councils in Grand Councils, and of Commanderies of Knights Templar in the Grand Encampment. And so far as ritualistic questions and matters of internal arrangement are concerned, the supreme authority is so divided. But the supreme authority of Freemasonry in each State is actually vested in the Grand Lodge of that State.

It is universally recognized as Masonic Law that a Freemason expelled or suspended by the Grand Lodge, or by a Subordinate Lodge with the approval and confirmation of the Grand Lodge, thereby stands expelled or suspended from Royal Arch, from Cryptic, and from Templar Masonry. The same rules apply to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Nor can he be permitted to visit any of the Bodies in either of these divisions of the Rite so long as he remains under the ban of expulsion of the Grand Lodge. So the status or condition of every Freemason in the jurisdiction is controlled by the Grand Lodge, from whose action on that subject there is no appeal. The Masonic life and death of every member of the Craft, in every class of the Order, is in its hands, and thus the Grand Lodge becomes the real supreme authority of the jurisdiction.

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