Declaration of Fundamental Principles of the Order
- The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is essential and admits of no compromise.
- The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every candidate is required to take his Obligation on that Book or on the Volume which is held by his particular creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.
- Everyone who enters Freemasonry is at the outset strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert peace and good order of society; he must pay due obedience to the law of any State in which he resides or which may afford him protection, and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign / Head of State of his native land.
- While Irish Freemasonry thus inculcates in each of its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the individual the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs. But neither in any Lodge, nor at any time in his capacity as a Freemason, is he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological or political questions.
- The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy either at home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with any action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the relations between one government and another, or between political parties, or questions as to rival theories of government.
- The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist Bodies, styling themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and while that attitude exists, the Grand Lodge of Ireland refuses absolutely to have any relations with such Bodies or to regard them as Freemasons.
- This Grand Lodge is a Sovereign and independent Body practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and only with the limits defined in its Constitution as “pure Ancient Masonry”. It does not recognise or admit the existence of any superior Masonic authority, however styled.
- There is no secret with regard to any of the basic principles of Freemasonry, some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge will always consider the recognition of those Grand Lodges which profess, and practice and can show that they have consistently professed and practised those established and unaltered principles, but in no circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety by those who desire to be recognised as Freemasons by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
(Source: Grand Lodge of Ireland)