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The new Grand Master of the GODF speaks about the future of the Republic

The new Grand Master of the GODF speaks about the future of the Republic.

The New Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France Advocates Openness and Republican Commitment.

On September 7, 2023, Guillaume Trichard, the new Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France (GODF), expressed his concern about the rise of the extreme right and his desire for openness to "show that Freemasonry is not secret."

At the age of 47, Trichard became the Grand Master of the GODF on August 25, taking the helm of the oldest French Masonic obedience, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year under the name "Grand Orient of France."

In an interview with Le Point magazine, Trichard sought to demystify some clichés about his obedience by emphasizing that "all social and professional classes are represented" within the GODF.

Currently, the GODF has 52,500 members and 1,392 lodges.

Trichard noted an increase in spontaneous applications from young people aged 20 to 30 in the past three years, attributing this "rebound" to the "policy of openness" aimed at showing that Freemasonry "is not secret."

As Grand Master, Trichard intends to continue promoting this openness and plans to organize "utopia masonica days" next spring, where lodges will be encouraged to open their doors and organize exhibitions, concerts, and debates.

These events aim to show that Freemasonry is committed to society.

Trichard expressed concern about the rise of populism in Europe, especially in view of the 2024 European elections and the commemoration of the Liberation.

He fears that "extreme right-wing parties, in a war-torn Europe, may once again win in some countries," and sees "risks for the 2026 municipal elections and the 2027 presidential elections" in France.

"Feminine lodges" - "The four pillars of our indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic seem to be in jeopardy," he said in front of a bust of Marianne in this temple whose vault bears the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."

After the Yellow Vest movement, "this social crisis that re-emerged with the large demonstrations against pension reform still exists," warned the former Unsa official.

In France, "we have the feeling that our Republic is threatened today, especially by the very likely risk of the extreme right coming to power," he added, seeing "risks for the 2026 municipal elections and the 2027 presidential elections."

"This trade union journey means that social justice is in my DNA. But it is also in the DNA of the Grand Orient of France for decades."

"A Republic, to be strong, needs strong public services. Masons will make proposals on access to healthcare, education, police, justice... until we have concretely addressed these issues that make the French feel forgotten by the Republic, merely wielding grand words will not stop the growth of the extreme right," he warned.

"We believe that the Republic needs to be repaired," said the leader, who gives the GODF the role of a "sentinel": "We are not a political party, not a trade union organization, but an organization that aims to convey a set of ideas in the public debate."

As the back-to-school season is marked by a debate on secularism, he says he is "obviously" in favor of banning the veil in schools but assures: "the important thing now is to support teachers" so that schools "remain places of religious and political neutrality."

Regarding the feminization of the obedience, initiated in 2010, Guillaume Trichard emphasizes the "freedom" given to lodges in this matter: "some are male, others are mixed, and maybe we will have female lodges."

The obedience has 6,147 "sisters," and three of them have just been elected to the Council of the Order.

"One can imagine that in a few years, a sister will be the Grand Master," Guillaume Trichard recalls, "we do not feminize titles."



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