Rules of the Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem
Published 11 September 2020
The Order is an autonomous international Christian chivalric organization which traces its heritage to the original Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, founded in Jerusalem circa 1118 A.D. These Rules are intended to amplify the Statutes of the Order. In the case of contradiction of the Statutes by any rule, the language of the Statutes control.
The Order is not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of the Order shall inure to the benefit of any private member or individual. The Order shall not attempt to influence legislation and shall not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. The Order, fully integrated into its primitive spirit, based on ethical rules that govern its relations, aims today to defend the liberties acquired to promote the practice of Christian works of mercy, beneficence and charity, and to perpetuate the noble traditions of chivalry.
Section 1. Governance of the Order
Article 1. The Grand Master shall make all appointments and shall exercise supreme direction, administrative and executive control over the affairs of the Order, its establishments, its subordinate organizations, and its members. The Grand Master shall have the right to veto any recommendation, resolution, decision or proceeding of the Grand Magistral Council or of any subordinate organization of the Order.
Article 2. In the event of the death or permanent and total disability of the Grand Master, the Grand Chancellor shall assume the role of Regent of the Order and shall, within six months after the death or disability of the Grand Master, organize and conduct an election by the Grand Priors of a new Grand Master. The Regent shall under the direction of the Grand Magistral Council, conduct the day to day affairs of the Order until a new Grand Master is elected. Such authority may be exercised by the Regent for no longer than six months, and all actions taken by the Regent must be ratified by the Grand Magistral Council as soon as is practicable at a meeting or by mail or electronic polling of its members at any time.
Section II: Structure of the Order.
Article 1. GRAND MAGISTRAL COUNCIL. The Grand Magistral Council is the supreme Legislative Body of the Order, comprised of the Grand Master and the Grand Priors, with decisional vote, and the Grand Magistral Officers with consultative vote. Any Grand Magistral Officer who is also a serving Grand Prior may only vote once as an officer, however, his Grand Priory may also be represented by his designee who shall cast the vote of the Grand Priory. The Grand Magistral Council shall meet at least one time each year.
Article 2. GRAND CHAPTER. An annual meeting of the Grand Magisterial Council, known as the Grand Chapter, shall be held each year at such time and place as the Grand Master shall select. Special meetings of the Grand Magisterial Council may be called by the Grand Master or the Grand Chancellor. The person calling a special meeting may fix the time and place for holding the meeting. In extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Master, Grand Chapter meetings, or any other meetings required to be held in accordance with the Statutes, the law or by these Rules, may be held by electronic means in which members of the Grand Magistral Council are able to hear each other and participate in the meeting not in person but virtually.
Article 3. NOTICE. Written Notice of any meeting shall be given by the Grand Secretary General to each member of the Grand Magisterial Council at least three weeks in advance at the address shown in the Order’s records. If mailed, notice shall be deemed delivered ten days after it is deposited with a national mail service, postage prepaid, in a sealed addressed envelope. The attendance of a member of the Grand Magisterial Council at any meeting shall waive notice of such meeting, except where a member attends for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of business because the meeting is not lawfully called. The business to be transacted at, or the purpose of, any regular or special meeting need not be specified in the notice, or waiver of notice, of such meeting, unless specifically required by the Statutes. A meeting attended by all Grand Magisterial Councilors of the Order shall be a valid meeting without notice.
Article 4. VOTING. Votes taken on any matter brought before the Grand Magisterial Council shall be counted as follows: Grand Prior members of the Grand Magisterial Council shall be entitled to cast one vote for each matter brought before the Council and Grand Magisterial Officers shall be entitled to cast one vote each.
Article 5. MANNER OF ACTING. One third of the members of the Grand Magisterial Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, provided that if less than a majority of Grand Magisterial Councilors are present at any meeting, a majority of Grand Magisterial Councilors present may adjourn the meeting to another time or place without further notice. The act of a majority of Grand Magisterial Councilors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Grand Magisterial Council, unless the act of a greater number is required by the Statutes. A Grand Magisterial Councilor who is present at a meeting at which action on any matter is taken is conclusively presumed to have assented to the action taken unless the his dissent or abstention is entered in the minutes of the meeting, or unless he files a written dissent or abstention to such action with the Grand Secretary General before the adjournment thereof, or forwards such dissent or abstention by registered or certified mail to the Grand Secretary General after adjournment of the meeting. The right to dissent or abstain does not apply to a Grand Magisterial Councilor who voted in favor of such action.
Article 6. SEATS OF THE ORDER.
a. The spiritual seat of the Order is Jerusalem. The administrative seat of the Order shall be the legal residence of the Master.
b. The legal seat of the Order shall be the Order’s country of legal registration.
Section III. Grand Magistral Officer duties
Article 1. Grand Magistral Officers. At the international level, the Grand Magistral Officers shall be the Grand Chancellor, Grand Secretary General, Grand Treasurer, Grand Marshal, Grand Almoner, Grand Chaplain General and such other officers appointed by the Grand Master. Grand Priories may select and name their own officer positions for their Grand Priory.
Article 2. Grand Chancellor. The Grand Master shall appoint a Grand Chancellor, who shall serve for a term of three years or at the Pleasure of the Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor shall be the chief operating officer of the Order and shall perform such functions as designated by the Grand Master. Subject to the direction of the Grand Master, the Grand Chancellor is the principal executive officer of the Order. Subject to the direction of the Grand Master, the Grand Chancellor is in charge of the business affairs of the Order; shall see that the resolutions and directives of the Grand Master and the Grand Magisterial Council are carried into effect; and, in general, shall discharge all duties incident to the office of Grand Chancellor. Except in those instances in which the authority to execute is expressly delegated to another officer or agent of the Order, or a different mode of execution is expressly prescribed by the Grand Master and Grand Magisterial Council, the Grand Chancellor may execute for the Order any contracts, deeds, mortgages, bonds, or other instrument which the Grand Magisterial Council has authorized, either with or without the seal of the Order, and either individually or attested to by the Grand Secretary General or any other officer, according to the requirements of the instrument. The Grand Chancellor may vote all securities which the Order is entitled to vote, except to the extent that a different officer or agent is authorized by the Grand Master. The Grand Chancellor shall perform the duties of the Grand Master in the absence or disability of the Grand Master.
Article 3. Grand Secretary General, who shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor upon ratification of the Grand Magistral Council and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Chancellor or until resignation. The Grand Secretary General shall provide personal correspondence and administrative support to the Grand Master, shall prepare and, where required, countersign correspondence and documents of the Order; shall have responsibility to record the minutes of the meetings of the Grand Magisterial Council; tally and report votes of the Grand Magisterial Council; and perform all the duties incident to the office of secretary and such other duties as may be assigned by the Grand Master or by the Grand Magisterial Council. The Grand Secretary General shall make arrangements for Grand Convents, and other meetings of the Grand Magisterial Council; see that notices are given in accordance with the Statutes; keep or provide for the holding of the records, archives and seal of the Order; keep a register of the addresses furnished to the Grand Secretary General by each Grand Prior; keep a register of Grand Cross and prepare and issue diplomas of rank and perform all duties incident to the office of Grand Secretary General and such other duties as may be assigned by the Grand Master the Grand Chancellor or by the Grand Magisterial Council.
Article 4. Grand Treasurer, who shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor upon ratification of the Grand Magistral Council and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Chancellor or earlier resignation, and who shall be responsible for all international financial matters of the Order. The Grand Treasurer shall be the principal accounting and financial officer of the Order and shall have charge of, and be responsible for, maintaining adequate books of account; have charge and custody of all funds and securities, and be responsible for the receipt and disbursement thereof according to the written direction of the Grand Magisterial Council; and perform all the duties incident to the office of treasurer and such other duties as may be assigned by the Grand Chancellor or by the Grand Magisterial Council. The Grand Treasurer shall submit a written report of receipts and expenditures to the Grand Magisterial Council at the General Convent of the Order and as often as requested by the Grand Magisterial Council.
Article 5. Grand Marshal, who shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor upon ratification of the Grand Magistral Council, and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Chancellor or earlier resignation, shall prescribe and regulate the arrangements for all ceremonies of the Order in accord with the wishes of the Grand Master.
Article 6. Grand Almoner, who shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor upon ratification of the Grand Magistral Council, and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Chancellor or earlier resignation, and shall be responsible for the charitable and humanitarian activities of the Order in accord with the wishes of the Grand Magistral Council.
Article 7 Grand Chaplain General, who shall be a senior Christian cleric, preferably of Bishopric rank, who shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor upon ratification of the Grand Magistral Council, and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Chancellor or earlier resignation, shall be the advisor to the Grand Master and the Grand Magistral Council in all matters of an ecclesiastical nature and shall determine the form of religious service and prayers to be used on such occasions as are not otherwise provided for in the Statutes or Rules.
Article 8. Grand Magistral Legates may be appointed by the Grand Master on a geographical or other basis to serve as intermediaries between the Grand Priories and the Grand Master. The duties of the Grand Magistral Legates are, to assist the Grand Priories under their responsibility to grow and prosper in the chivalrous purposes of the Order, to monitor compliance with agreed upon norms, especially regarding recruitment, training, contributions, rites and ceremonies, uniformity, humanitarian, chivalric, and religious activities, to verify compliance of the Grand Priories with these Rules and the Statutes and to report their findings and observations to the Master, thereby preserving the independence of the Grand Priories and maintaining the hierarchical structure of the Order. The fact that a priory is autonomous does not mean that it may not respect the authority of the Order, its Statutes, Rules and its hierarchy.
Article 9. The Grand Master may appoint other officers who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Master or until removal or resignation and shall be responsible for such matters as may be referred to them by the Grand Master. Each Grand Prior may appoint such officers and offices as they deem necessary for the functioning of their Grand Priory.
Section IV: Committees
Article 1. Standing committees of the Order are:
Commission on the Statutes of the Order
Commission on the History of the Order
standing committees shall perform the function delegated to them by the Grand Magisterial Council.
a. COMMISSION ON THE STATUTES OF THE ORDER. The commission shall be advisory to the Grand Magisterial Council on the organization and Statutes and Canons of the Order. The committee also shall be advisory to the Grand Magisterial Council on all legal matters and affairs of the Order.
b. COMMISSION ON THE HISTORY OF THE ORDER. The commission shall be advisory to the Grand Magisterial Council on all matters of ritual, heraldry and history of the Order; shall develop a uniform Ritual to be used in all investitures, promotions and ceremonies of the Order; shall research, collect and publish, as appropriate, historical papers on the Order; shall collect, catalogue and maintain, in coordination with the Grand Secretary General, the archives of the Order, and shall maintain an armorial library of all armigenerous members of the Order.
c. TREASURY COMMITTEE. The committee shall be advisory to the Grand Magisterial Council and to the Grand Treasurer on all financial affairs of the Order; shall recommend the selection of accountants and depositories; shall supervise the investments of the Order; and shall prepare an annual budget, which shall include the amount and timing of Oblations to the Order, to be presented to the Grand Magisterial Council for adoption at its Chapter General.
d. ALMS COMMITTEE. The committee shall be advisory to the Grand Magisterial Council in all charity affairs of the Order; shall select worthy charities and causes for the Order to support; shall, in coordination with the Treasury Committee prepare a budget for charitable donations of the Order; shall coordinate the charitable activities of the Grand Priors to reduce duplication of effort and maximize charitable benefits and shall publish annually a report of the charitable collections and disbursements of the Order. Each Grand Priory shall consolidate reports of the charitable activities of its membership units and forward the consolidated report to the Alms Committee each year.
e. OTHER COMMITTEES. Other committees, not exercising the authority of the Grand Magisterial Council, may be designated by resolution adopted by a majority of Grand Magisterial Councilors. Except as otherwise provided in such resolution, the Grand Chancellor shall appoint and remove committee members and chairmen whenever the best interests of the Order are served thereby.
Article 2. TERM OF OFFICE. Each committee member shall serve until the next Chapter General of the Grand Magisterial Council, and until a successor is appointed, unless the member is removed from, or ceases to qualify as, a member of the committee, or unless the committee is sooner dissolved.
Article 3. CHAIRMAN. One member of each committee shall be appointed by the Grand Chancellor as chairman of the committee.
Article 4. VACANCIES. Vacancies in the membership of any committee may be filled by appointments made in the same manner as in the case of the original appointments.
Article 5. QUORUM. Unless otherwise provided in the resolution designating a committee, a majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum and the act of a majority of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the committee.
Article 6. RULES. Each committee may adopt governing rules not inconsistent with these Statutes or with rules adopted by the Grand Magisterial Council.
Section V. Members of the Order
Article 1. Members of the Order are:
a. KNIGHTS. Christian gentlemen who uphold the principles of chivalry, who agree to obey the Statutes and Rules of the Order, and who agree to make and uphold the vows required by the Ritual of the Order, may be invited to be invested into the Order, and until invested into the Order, shall be known as Postulants. Once invested into the order, those persons shall be deemed Knights of the Order with all rights granted to members.
b. DAMES. Christian ladies who are of an elevated social rank, or who belong to families of Knights, may become members of the Order, and for demonstrated merit may be promoted to the same ranks as Knights with the exception that “Dame” shall replace “Knight” in the rank and the initial “D” shall replace the initial “K” in the POSTNOMIALS.
c. Grand Priories may title their members differently.
Article 2. Requirements and Process for admission to the Order:
a. Knights and dignitaries of the Order must demonstrate active participation in their church; practice works of mercy, beneficence and charity according to their means; exalt the great deeds of the ancient knights of the Temple and venerate the days of the martyrs of the Order; manifest by word and deed a chivalrous spirit; strictly observe the statutes, regulations, instructions of the Order and the decisions of the Master and his representatives; honor and respect the high dignitaries of the Order and practice fraternity and solidarity among all Templars, as represented by the Oath of the Order. A member shall be deemed in good standing only if he has paid all then due oblations.
b. To petition for admission to the Order, the applicant must be of the age of majority,
have the honor, virtues and mien of a true knight or dame, have read the Statutes and Rules of the Order and agree to comply with them.
c. Applicants must present two recent photographs and a curriculum vitae with full name, address, nationality, date and place of birth, name of parents, civil status, date and place of marriage, profession, any literary and scientific works, publications, honors, academic achievements, military and civilian awards and decorations, and a list of any other Orders to which they belong. Applicants must sign the attached Declaration of Templar Faith.
d. Membership numbers. When an individual is invested into the Order, he/she is issued a unique number by their Grand Prior which is reported to the Grand Secretary General and listed on a registry maintained by the Grand Secretary General. The number proves that the individual has been accepted/invested as a member of the Templar Order. Each Grand Priory will issue membership numbers to its knights and dames. The sequence of numbering will be up to the decision of each Grand Prior, but each number will begin with the initials OSMTJ followed by the internationally recognized two-digit country code for each nation, e.g. US for the United States, ES for Spain, GE for Georgia, etc., followed by the number issued by the Grand Priory. An individual knight or dame may only prove their membership in the Order by reference to their membership number – no number = no recognition as a member of OSMTJ.
e. These documents must be presented to the head of the Templar entity in which the prospective member resides. An individual accepted to become a Postulant in the Order must serve a year in that status “in order to determine if the Spirit comes from God”. Exceptions to the waiting period may be made by a Grand Prior, a Magistral Officer or a Grand Magistral Legate.
Article 3. RANKS AND PROMOTION. There are four ranks of members: Knights, Knights Commander, Knights Grand Officer and Knights Grand Cross. The Grand Master, Grand Chancellor or Grand Magisterial Council may promote any Knight to any rank for appropriate devotion and service to the Order, without respect to that member’s previous rank.
a. Knight (KTJ). A member shall be invested into the Order at the rank of Knight. Only an officer of the Order in the position of Prior or higher may invest a member as a Knight.
b. Knight Commander (KCTJ). Upon demonstrating appropriate service and devotion to the Order as provided in the Ritual, a Knight may be promoted to Knight Commander by a Prior, Grand Prior or Grand Magisterial Officer of the Order.
c. Knight Grand Officer (KGOTJ). Upon demonstrating appropriate service and devotion to the Order as provided in the Ritual, a Knight Commander may be promoted to Knight Grand Officer by a Grand Prior or Grand Magisterial Officer of the Order.
d. Knight Grand Cross (KGCTJ). Upon demonstrating appropriate service and devotion to the Order as provided in the Ritual, a Knight Grand Officer may be promoted, upon approval by the Grand Magisterial Council, to Knight Grand Cross by a Grand Magisterial Officer of the Order.
Article 4. TITLES AND POSTNOMIALS. A Knight of the Order of any rank shall be known as “Chevalier” or equivalent title in the language of the Grand Priory of which he is a member. Postnominal initials shall designate the Knights rank using the first initials of the Knight’s rank, followed by TJ, for Temple of Jerusalem, i.e. a Knight Grand Cross may use the Postnominal initials KGCTJ. Postnominal initials may be modified to conform to the language of the Grand Priory of which the Knight is a member. Knights of all ranks shall address one another as “brother” or the equivalent title in the language of the Grand Priory of which the Knight is a member. The signatures of knights may be preceded by the initial F. The signatures of commanders by a simple cross; the signatures of grand officers by a double cross and the signatures of grand crosses by a triple cross.
Article 5. INSIGNIA. The insignia of the Order are the patté cross, the breast star and the grand collar, as well as the ribbon of the Order in black or red and black moiré silk.
a. Knights wear the Templar cross surmounted by a crown suspended in saltire.
b. Commanders wear the cross of the Templars surmounted by a crown, suspended in saltire and the breast star to the left side of the chest.
c. Grand officers wear the same cross to the crown surmounted by a military trophy, suspended in saltire and the breast star to the left side of the chest.
d. Grand crosses wear the cross of the grand officers hanging from the right shoulder on a 101mm wide black moire ribbon, slipped into a sling and, tied with a rosette on the left hip and the breast star on the left side of the chest.
e. The mantle of the Order is in white cloth, with the red cross patté 260 mm long sewn on the left shoulder, the mantle lined in red, with or without a hood. Only Knights and Dames of the Order may wear the mantle. the rosette and the miniature of the cross, in addition to insignia corresponding to their rank.
Article 6. REMOVAL. Any Knight or Dame whose actions are contrary to the purposes of, or detrimental to the good order of, the Order may be excluded for cause from the Order by the Master or by an affirmative vote of a majority of members of the Grand Magisterial Council. An affirmative vote is sufficient to establish cause for removal. Membership shall, of itself, create no contractual rights for a member, and no member shall be entitled to a refund of any oblations upon removal.
Article 7. TRANSFER. A Knight may transfer membership between Grand Priories with the approval of both the receiving and losing Grand Prior, but membership in the Order itself shall not be assignable or transferrable.
Section VI – Entities of the Order
Article 1. GRAND PRIORS. The Grand Master shall appoint or approve the Grand Priory’s election of a Grand Prior as his representative to serve on the Grand Magisterial Council.
Article 2. GRAND PRIORIES. The Knights of the Order are organized into Grand Priories which shall follow the geographic boundaries of national states. Only one Grand Priory may be recognized by the Grand Magisterial Council as representing the Knights of a national state. Knights are normally members of the national Grand Priory in which they reside. Transfer of membership to another Grand Priory requires the consent of both the losing and gaining Grand Priors. A Grand Priory shall consist of a minimum of 40 members; a Priory shall consist of a minimum of 25 members, and a Commandery shall consist of a minimum of 10 members. Other organizational entities may be created by the Grand Master or recognized by the Grand Ministerial Council with lesser number of members.
Article 3. GRAND PRIORIAL RULES. Each Grand Priory may adopt such rules, not inconsistent with the Statutes and any other policies adopted by the Grand Magisterial Council from time to time, but consistent with its national laws, for the governance of its affairs and the conduct of its business. Grand Priorial Rules may establish offices and titles consistent with the national language and heritage of the Grand Priory, provided however, that ranks and titles of Knights shall be in accordance with these Statutes and these Rules.
Article 4. GRAND PRIORY SUBUNITS. Grand Priors may organize their Grand Priories into geographically based membership units, generally consisting of one or more states, provinces or cities, as appropriate, based on population and membership density.
Article 5. NATIONAL ENTITIES. A National Entity shall mean the Templar organization in an internationally recognized sovereign state which shall be recognized as a member of the Order. If a National Entity is smaller than a Grand Priory, more than one National Entity may be organized in a State until the number of Templar members in that State reach the required number to form a Grand Priory.
Section 6. New Entities in the Order
a. Preconditions of Acceptance.
The Order may accept a new entity that submits an application to the Grand Chancellor with:
- Copy of documents showing legal status of the entity under national law (Articles of Incorporation, or similar).
- Copy of By-laws, Statutes or similar documents that describe the workings of the entity.
- List of Officers, with home and email addresses and phone numbers.
- List of knights and dames showing rank within the Order.
- Copy of financial reports for the previous three years showing at least the source of funds received, the application of funds spent and ending balances on hand.
- Explanation of activities of the entity that support the Christian charitable purposes of the Order.
The Grand Chancellor shall review the application for completeness and then, after such inquiry as deemed appropriate, shall submit a recommendation to the Grand Magistral Council for decision by the Master:
b. Agreement in Applying for Membership.
An entity shall, by submitting an application for membership, agree to be bound by all the terms and conditions of the Statutes, Rules and Regulations, and shall provide sufficient evidence that the representative of the new member may also bind its knights and dames without any limitation, as if each knight or dame would have submitted the application, and from the date of acceptance of the member by the Grand Magistral Council the terms and conditions of the Statutes, Rules and Regulations shall govern the rights and obligations of the new member entity, intending to be legally bound.
c. Condition license for use of the Name and Insignia of the Order.
Any entity of the Order may use within its territory assigned by the Order any names, insignia, flags, letterheads, mantles, crosses (“licensed goods”) of the Order on a non-exclusive license granted by the Order. This license is non-divisible, not assignable and not sub-licensable by the entity. However, each member entity and its knights and dames have the right to use the licensed goods in accordance with the conditions herein which shall constitute an OSMTJ Trademark License. Agreement between the Order and each Member. After termination of membership of an entity or of any knight or dame for any reason, the Trademark License shall cease to exist. The entity agrees to enforce this Trademark License Agreement against its knights and dames, especially when they do not fulfil the payment of fees or when they take actions contrary to the good affairs of the Order. All member entities and knights and dames specifically agree that:
- The Order holds exclusive control on the collective membership mark (the mark) through its Magisterium, which is the governing body of the Order.
- The Order is an association of associations: Grand Priories and Priories and their respective commanderies that have been duly admitted by vote of the Magisterium to the Order, have subscribed to its Statutes and maintain the obligations of membership described in the Statutes, Rules and Bylaws. The Grand Chancellor maintains a roster of properly admitted entities.
- Permission to use is automatically withdrawn as soon as a member or entity is dissolved, withdraws membership in OSMTJ, is expelled or ceases in any way to be in good standing. Permission to use is also automatically withdrawn from a member or entity in the event of any breach of the Statutes or these Regulations.
Article 7. Termination of Membership. Any National Entity may terminate its membership effective at the end of the fiscal year of the Order following the date of receipt of the written termination notice by the Grand Magistral Council or Grand Secretary General. In case of termination the annual fees due at the time of termination and which will become due until the effective date of termination shall be paid by the terminating Member. All official functions of the terminating Member shall cease on the date of receipt of such termination notice by the Order. After the date or receipt of the termination notice the terminating Member and its knights and dames shall not use any of the insignia, names or mottos related to the Order.
Section VII. FINANCES.
Article 1. The Order is a cultural and humanitarian non-profit organization and not an association, a commercial company or club. The existence of the Order is not intended for the personal enrichment of any member of the Order. Any attempt at personal enrichment in the name of and under the white mantle of the Order, at the expense of other members of the Order will be considered as Simony and will entail exclusion from the Order.
Article 2. The annual fiscal year of the Order is from 1 January until 31 December. The financial resources of the Order come exclusively from:
- membership fees (oblations/contributions/donations) necessary to support the activities of the Order and Its charitable and humanitarian activities.
- contributions, donations and bequests
- fees for meetings of the Order and sale of Templar insignia, capes and/or decorations
Article 3. Grand Priors organize membership fees and donations in their national territory, guided by its experience, traditions and capabilities. in accordance with Templar ethics, in customarily accepted amounts. National Grand Priors are obliged to provide annual membership dues from their countries for the costs of administration of the Order. The amount of the fee is set by the Grand Magisterial Council. The collected funds for the administration of the Order for the current year are to be transferred to the Grand Treasurer of the Order, every year no later than December 27th (day of St. John the Evangelist). Each year by the 18th of March, the Grand Treasurer will prepare a financial report (in writing, with attachments of statements and financial documents) about income and expenses for the prior year. The Finance report of the Magistracy of the Order will be delivered to all Grand Priories that make a financial transfer to the Magisterial Council.
Article 4. If any Grand Priory, or other National Entity of the Order, fails to pay its fees within ninety days after invoiced by the Grand Treasurer, the vote and membership of such entity shall be automatically suspended. If an entity fails to pay its obligations for three consecutive years or fails to file a yearly status report with all required annexes, it will be automatically excluded from the Order. An entity has been excluded or suspended may petition for readmission to the Order as if it were a new member.
Section VIII. Interpretation and Amendment.
Article 1. In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, words denoting the masculine include the feminine, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular, all as appropriate to the context.
Article 2. If at any part of these Rules shall be by appropriate authority to be declared invalid, the remainder of the Rules shall remain in full force and effect.
Article 3. If any question arises as to the interpretation of these Rules, the matter shall be referred to the Grand Master, whose decision shall be final.
DECLARATION OF TEMPLAR FAITH
We, the Templar Knights and Dames of the Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem (OSMTJ), armed with the heredity, traditions, principles and teachings of the Order that flourished in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, have come here intentionally and of our own free will, to profess our Christian faith that has endured through centuries of repressions and martyrdoms;
Acting in accordance with the Commandments of Christ, fully conscious of the Christian heritage handed down to us from a remote past through the sacrifices of many human beings, often rendered obscure by torture, lies and derision and by contemptible silence and betrayal, a heritage that we accept with full understanding of its consequences and the responsibility that it entails, professing our belief in the divinity and godhood of our Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledging the holy trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Believing in the common identity and value of every human being, and in their justness and creative powers, their capacity to suffer and repent their failings in their search for good and in the eminent goodness of our being;
Trusting in the eternal striving for perfection and in the ability to force back evil, to be just, sensitive and impartial with the tenacity of a determined mind gauged by an attitude committed to speak out and act with intellectual honesty in a spirit of solidarity and moral Christian discipline, in both our private and public lives;
Being convinced that the act of recognizing oneself with the common identify of humans, in the discipline of actual practice and lifestyle, in the ability to practice ecumenism, in solidarity with all other humans irrespective of race, culture, language or social-economic status, which constitutes the foundation of a genuine human society that is both just and well-ordered;
Being certain of the ability to answer and challenge posed to the society of the modern world by means of constant battle against repeated barbarisms stemming from the lack of culture, intolerance, racism, hate and arrogance of power, fought with to improve the spiritual and material life of all persons, and especially the weak and suffering;
THEREFORE, We commit ourselves within the framework of the Christian principles of the Templar moral code laid down by the Rule of St. Bernard, and the values that we have won through history, that we will defend the construction of a system within which those principles may fully materialize, thus contributing to:
- The creation of a tie forged in solidarity and mutual assistance among humans,
- The training and advancement of humans and their ethical and intellectual gifts,
- The improvement of the Christian spiritual and moral life of the social groups of which we are a part and the institutions that govern them,
- The support of the needy through welfare, charity and humanitarian works,
- The practice of appropriate Christian behavior based on the Christian Bible and the expression of a new spiritual and moral elite in our society,
- The promotion of ideal universal, material and Christian spiritual values that confer equality to all persons in their duties and rights, beyond the restriction of frontiers, habits, lifestyles and concepts, under all skies in every land,
In consideration of the foregoing, I pledge to uphold the chivalrous traditions and Christian ideas of the Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem and to do my best to provide a voice for the oppressed, strength to the weak and afflicted, and largesse to the poor; I will bear only true witness to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I will serve them and the Order to the best of my ability, So help me God.