Powers and Authority of the Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge is the supreme Masonic power and authority in the state of North Carolina. It is the only legitimate authority under which Masonic lodges can lawfully be congregated within its jurisdiction, and then only by virtue of a dispensation or a charter granted by it. It has all the attributes of sovereignty and government in matters Masonic, legislative executive, and judicial-limited only by provisions of its own Constitution and Regulations and by a careful adherence to the Ancient Landmarks. [4-1; 8-4; 8-5; 13-3.4; Chapter 4].
The sovereignty of the Grand Lodge touching upon all Masonic matters within, but not outside of, its territorial boundary is full and complete and any of its subordinate lodges has the right to receive the petition of any profane for the degrees or the application of any nonaffiliated Mason for affiliation who possess the physical, mental, moral, and residential qualifications that may be required by the Constitution, Regulations, and Laws of the Grand Lodge. No other grand lodge shall have or exercise any rights within the territorial jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge.
This Grand Lodge concedes the same rights and powers to all other grand lodges within their respective jurisdictions.
By virtue of its sovereign and undelegated authority, this Grand Lodge is the creator of its subordinate lodges and is the repository of final and unimpeachable Masonic authority within all of its jurisdiction and is therefore, the absolute, exclusive, and indisputable owner and controller of the whole system of creed and symbolism of the degrees of Entered Apprentice Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. From this exclusive proprietorship all authority possessed by subordinate lodges or individuals in this state to assemble or to act in the capacity of Masons and in the name of Masonry is derived. Whatever superstructure is erected upon Symbolic Masonry in North Carolina stands upon the foundation, the groundwork, laid by the Grand Lodge. [4-2; 38-2; 43-1.3].
Any organization, association, or person within this state professing to have any authority, powers or privileges in Ancient Craft or Symbolic Masonry not derived from the Grand Lodge is declared to be clandestine, and all masonic intercourse with or masonic recognition of them or any of them, is prohibited. [2-6.9; 87-1; 87-3].
The Grand Lodge has power to do whatsoever may be considered necessary to the well-being and perpetuity of Masonry, subject to the Landmarks and the provisions contained in its own Constitution and Laws, but particularly:
1. To grant dispensations and charters for holding lodges of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, with the right to confer therein the several degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason; and when deemed expedient and for good cause, it may arrest, suspend, annul, revoke, or amend such dispensations or charters or any preexisting dispensations or charters. [Chapters 38; 39; 40].
2. To exercise original and exclusive jurisdiction (1) over all subjects of Masonic legislation, interpretation, practice, and administration; (2) appellate, judicial, and administrative jurisdiction regarding decisions of the Grand Master, Masters, and Trial Commissions, and decisions and acts of lodges; (3) and when expedient, to exercise original judicial jurisdiction over its own officers and members, Masters, and Master Masons, Fellow Crafts, and Entered Apprentices within its jurisdiction. That is to say, the enactments and decisions of the Grand Lodge upon all matters, things, and questions Masonic shall be the supreme Masonic law of the jurisdiction. [8-4; 8-5].
3. To define the territorial jurisdiction of each lodge, to change the same from time to time, to settle all controversies that may arise between lodges, and to make final decision and determination of all matters of controversy or grievances which may be brought before it by appeal or otherwise. [Chapter 98].
4. To make and adopt general and special laws and regulations for the government of its officers and members, and of the several subordinate lodges, their officers and members, and to alter, amend, or repeal the same. [Chapter 44].
6. To reprimand, suspend, or expel any member from its own body for violation of its Constitution, Regulations or Laws, or for any unmasonic conduct; and it may reprimand, suspend, or expel any accused Mason upon appeal or restore one who has been suspended or expelled. [90-5; 90-7; 98-2.1; 98-10.5].
7. To consider and review the reports and doings of its officers, members of its committees, commissions, and boards, and of the several lodges under its jurisdiction and to take such action thereon as it may deem proper. [27-7.2].
8. To establish, maintain, and enforce a uniform mode of work and lectures. [Chapter 24].
9. To declare by ordinary resolution which bodies in this jurisdiction acting in the name of Masonry are legitimate; and the moment an independent rite or organization begins to operate in the name of Masonry and is built mediately or immediately upon the system of either or all of the three Symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, the Grand Lodge has the right to pronounce judgment upon its legitimacy and to authorize or interdict Masonic intercourse therewith. No recognition will be presumed because the Grand Lodge has not expressly taken affirmative action in recognition or non-recognition thereof. [2-5; 13-4.6; 13-4.7; 87-1; 87-3; 86-2.3.B; Chapter 6].
10. This Grand Lodge does not recognize as Masonic any body or organization merely because such body or organization is recognized by a body, rite, or organization which is recognized by the Grand Lodge. [Chapter 6].
11. Neither this Grand Lodge nor any of its subordinate lodges, nor any officer of either in his capacity as such officer, shall at any time act or serve as administrator, executor, guardian, trustee, or in any fiduciary capacity, except as expressly provided by the law of the Grand Lodge. [43-3.18; 60-5; Chapter 60].
12. The powers expressed in this section, whether general or special, shall not limit or control any power or function so expressed, but each clause shall be construed in furtherance, and not in limitation, of powers anciently or otherwise exercised.
The judicial powers of the Grand Lodge may be exercised by it, or may be delegated, such powers are both original and appellate, embracing all matters of controversy and discipline in matters Masonic. [Chapters 8; 90].
2. The rule that a penal statute, or one in derogation of the common law, is strictly construed does not apply to THE CODE or to the Trial Code, or to any of the provisions of either, but all such provisions must be construed according to the fair import of their terms to promote justice and effect their objects. [90-2; 94-11].