Manifesto of the Congress of Lausanne (1875)
For too long, and especially in these days, Freemasonry has been the subject of the most offensive attacks.
When the Congress, after careful consideration of the old constitutions of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, keeping with a religious respect the wise provisions that protect and perpetuate, delivers Masonry vain to penetrate barriers and wants more of the breath of freedom that animates our time when on an immovable basis, it punishes an intimate alliance between the Masons around the world, the Convent can not be separated without reply in a striking manifestation encourages poor calumny and anathema to energetic.
Above all, men who, to introduce himself to Freemasonry, want to know its principles, it proclaims the following statement, which is its official program and whose expressions were arrested by the Convent.
Declaration of Principles
- Freemasonry proclaims, as it proclaimed from its origin, the existence of a creative principle, under the name of Grand Architect of the Universe.
- It does not limit the search for truth, and that is to ensure this freedom its requires tolerance from all.
- Freemasonry is open to people of every nationality, every race, every creed.
- It prohibits any political and religious discussions in lodges, it welcomes any profane, whatever are his opinions in politics and religion, it does not have to worry about, assuming he is free and of good morals.
- Freemasonry aims to fight against ignorance in all its forms, it is a mutual school which program is as follows: obey the laws of our country, live by the honor, do justice, love thy neighbor, work tirelessly to human happiness and continue its peaceful and gradual emancipation.
This is what Freemasonry adopt and wants to pass to those who have the desire to belong to the Masonic family.
But alongside this policy statement, the Congress needs to proclaim the doctrines on which Masonry lays; it wants everyone to know.
To raise the man in his own eyes, to make him worthy of his mission on earth, Masonry establishes the principle that the Supreme Creator has given to man, as most precious good, freedom; freedom, heritage of all mankind, ray from above that no power has the right to extinguish or amortize and which is the source of feelings of honor and dignity.
Since preparing the first grade until the highest rank of Scottish Masonry, the first condition, without which nothing is given to the aspirant, it is a reputation for honor and probity unchallenged.
Men for whom religion is the supreme consolation of, Masonry says: Grow your religion without hindrance, follow the dictates of your conscience, Freemasonry is not a religion, it is not a cult, so it wants secular education, its doctrine is entirely in this beautiful Prescription: Love thy neighbor.
To those who fear so justly political dissent, Masonry says: I proscribe of my meetings any political discussion or debate; be for your homeland a faithful and devoted servant, you have no account to make us. The love of country also fits so well with the practice of all virtues!
Freemasonry has been accused of immorality! Our morality is the purest morality, the holiest; it has for basis the first of virtues: humanity. The true Mason does good, he extends his care to the poor, whoever they are, to the extent of his own situation. he only can push back with disgust and contempt immorality.
This is the foundation on which lays Freemasonry and ensure all members of this family’s most intimate union, regardless of the distance between the various countries they inhabit, it’s them all , brotherly love. And who can better attest to this truth than the meeting of our congress?
Unknown to each other, coming from diverse countries, we had hardly exchanged the first words of welcome, already the most intimate union existed between us; hands were fraternally shaken and it is within the most touching harmony that our most important resolutions were taken to a unanimous consent.
Freemasons of all countries, citizens of all countries, these are the precepts, these are the laws of Freemasonry, these are its mysteries. Against it the efforts of calumny remain powerless, and its insults remain unheeded; peacefully marching from victory to victory, Freemasonry extends every day its moral and civilizing action.