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Statutes


The current Statutes of the Order dated 1 March 2020 are in 'American-English' as below, and also in French and Spanish.  An 'English-English' version  is published on the next menu page.

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Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem



STATUTES

Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem

 An association organized and operating under the law of Switzerland

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Preamble

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. It is founded to support, in the modern world, many of the ideals embodied in the devotion and sacrifice of the knights of the original Order.  While sections of these Statutes are derived from the Primitive Rule of the Templars, the Statutes of 1705 and other extant historical documents of the earlier Order, the present day Order is self-governing, subject to no higher authority than obedience and devotion to Christian chivalric ideals and teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the promulgation and spread of those ideals and teachings throughout the world. The Order draws its power to govern from the consent of its member constituent bodies, its Christian strength from religious protectors, and its chivalric authority from royal patrons.

 

Article I.  Title of the Order

The title of this Organization in French is “Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem” abbreviated “OSMTJ”, which when used by its constituent bodies, may be followed by a translation of the title into the national language in use by that body, and hereinafter this Organization shall be called the “Order”.  The Order is an international cultural Christian and humanitarian organization, organized as an international association of national entities operating under Chapter 210 of federal civil code of Switzerland.

 

Article II.  Objects and Purpose of the Order

The Order is based on an ancient Christian brotherhood, and its objects and purposes shall be:

a. To provide an opportunity for the practice of ecumenical Christianity to support the precepts of Christian Chivalry and to investigate and emulate the historical ideals of the ancient Order.

b. To encourage and promote Christian humanitarian work and charity generally, and especially in support of oppressed Christian peoples in the Middle East.

c. To encourage all that makes for the spiritual and moral strengthening of humankind in accordance with the first great principle of the Order embodied in its motto:

“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.”

d. To form and administer establishments, councils, associations, centers or other subordinate bodies to facilitate the work of the Order in all regions.

e. To maintain contact and develop collaboration with kindred Orders and bodies.

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.

 

Article III.  The official languages of the Order are English, Spanish and French

 

Article IV.  The Grand Master

The Grand Master, elected by the Grand Magistral Council for a renewable term of ten years, shall be the head of the Order, shall represent the Order at diplomatic and international functions, and shall perform such other duties as may be appropriate to his office.

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.

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.  In the absence of such action by the Regent, the Grand Priors by majority vote shall continue the affairs of the Order until a new Grand Master is elected.  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.

 

Article V. Structure of the Order

1. The Order is composed of autonomous Grand Priories.  Only one Grand Priory may exist in any one nation or state.  Subject to the direction of the Grand Master, the Order is governed by its Grand Priors under the following structures,

2. The Grand Magistral Council which is the supreme Legislative Body of the Order is 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.

3. In the conduct of the international affairs of the Order, The Grand Magistral Council shall have the power, subject to the direction of the Grand Master, to make, amend, revoke or suspend (in whole or in part and either generally or in relation to any specified area) Rules for any purpose expressed in these Statutes or otherwise as it may deem necessary or expedient for the conduct, control or management of the international affairs of the Order and, when published in such manner as the Grand Magistral Council may direct, such Rules shall be binding on all organizations, or persons, to which they are applicable, except that the Grand Magistral Council shall not interfere in the internal affairs of any Grand Priory, Priory or other subordinate organization

4. To facilitate the conduct of the international affairs and work of the Order, the Grand Magistral Council may, in its discretion and subject to the direction of the Grand Master, delegate in such manner as its deems fit any of its powers and authority to any Grand Magistral Officer, or other officer of the Order as it may specify, provided always that the Grand Magistral Council shall not delegate the Grand Master’s authority to make Rules, or to approve recommendations for admission, suspension or expulsion of constituent bodies, members and establishments in the Order.

5. The Grand Magistral Council may appoint Committees of such membership and with such terms of reference as it may specify, or as prescribed by these Statutes or Rules.

 

Article VI.  The Grand Magistral Officers

1. 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.

2. The Grand Magistral Council shall elect, for a similar term as the Grand Chancellor, the following officers, in order of precedence, who shall perform the listed duties.

a. 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, shall be responsible for all international administrative matters of the Order.

b. 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.

c. 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 Magistral Council.

d. 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.

e. Grand Referendary, 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 responsible to deal with any disputes that arise between Grand Magistral Officers, the Magisterium, or Grand Magistral Council and constituent bodies or members of the Order, or members of the public.

f. Grand Chaplain General, who shall be a Christian cleric of Bishopric rank, and 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 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.

3. Special Non-voting Officers.

a. Royal Patrons shall be members of ruling or former ruling royal houses who consent to be Royal Patrons of the Order.  The Royal Patrons have honorary duties to advise the Order on affairs of heraldry.

b. Religious Protectors shall be senior Christian religious leaders who consent to provide religious protection and guidance to the Order.

4. The Grand Master may appoint other international 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.

5. After the end of their term of office, each Grand Magistral Officer shall be entitled to retain their title of office followed by the word “emeritus.”

 

Article VII.  The Magisterium

The Grand Master, Grand Chancellor, Grand Treasurer, and the Grand Secretary General shall be the Magisterium, which as the executive committee of the Order, governs between meetings of the Magisterial Council.  The Magisterium meets in person or by electronic means, at the call of the Grand Master and shall consider matters referred to it by the Grand Master, shall make recommendations for action to, and shall implement the decisions of, the Grand Magistral Council.

 

Article VIII.  Establishments of the Order

The constituent establishments of the Order are autonomous Grand Priories and Priories and those Templar organizations that have agreed to maintain the obligations of membership described in the Statutes and Rules.  Each Templar group wishing to become a member of the Order may petition the Grand Master for membership in the Order, and upon acceptance by the Grand Master and upon the recommendation of the Grand Magistral Council, and by its agreement to maintain the obligations of membership described in the Statutes and Rules, shall become a constituent member of the Order.

 

Article IX.  Grades of the Order

1. The Order recognizes the following Grades:

Grade I         Knights and Dames Grand Croix of the Temple (GCTJ/DGCTJ)

Grade II       Knights and Dames Grand Officer of the Temple (GOTJ/DOTJ)

Grade III      Knights and Dames Commander of the Temple (KCTJ/DCTJ)

Grade IV       Knights and Dames of the Temple (KTJ/DTJ)

2. The post-nominals adopted for each Grade may properly be used by those to whom they apply to indicate their grade in the Order in the context of any occasion or matter connected with their participation in the work of the Order, or for inclusion in any publication of a biographical nature but admission, attachment, or promotion to any Grade in the Order, or the privileges derived therefrom of wearing the insignia appertaining or belonging thereto, shall not confer any rank, style, title, dignity, appellation or social precedence whatsoever.

 

Article X.  Promotions in the Order

Promotion in the Order to Grade I (Grand Croix) shall be conferred only by the Grand Master, a Grand Prior or by the Grand Magistral Council.

 

Article XI.  Foundation, Donations and Oblations

The Order is devoted to works of charity and humanitarian action, and it is a fundamental rule that those who belong to the Order shall contribute to the extent of their capability to its charitable and humanitarian works such donations and oblations as shall be from time to time established by the Grand Magistral Council.  On dissolution of the Order, any amounts remaining, after the payment of debts, will be disposed of by the Grand Magistral Council for such similar Christian charitable causes as it selects.

 

Article XII.  Interpretation and Amendment

1. In these Statutes, 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.

2. If at any time the Grand Magistral Council, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it, shall ordain that any office or body constituted by or under these Statutes shall have its name changed, any reference to such office or body in these Statutes or in Rules made hereunder shall be read and construed as a reference to such office or body by such new name.

3. If any question arises as to the interpretation of these Statutes, the matter shall be referred to the Grand Master, whose decision shall be final.

 

Adopted by vote of the Grand Magistral Council effective 1 March, 2020.


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