Each petitioner for the degrees in Masonry must possess certain qualifications which are as follows.
1. He must be a believer in God and in immortality. A petitioner who is unable or unwilling to express a belief in the existence of God lacks an essential qualification for the degrees in Masonry. In every such case the fee shall be returned with the information that he cannot become a Mason in this Grand Jurisdiction. [63-6; 67-8; 73-6.5; 75-8.3; 78-2.2.C; (Preamble I)].
6. He must be not less than eighteen years of age at the time his petition is signed. The Grand Master may not waive the provisions of the law requiring an applicant for the degrees to be eighteen years of age at the time the petition is signed. (This subdivision amended, effective
10. He must not have been rejected by any regular lodge in this jurisdiction, or in any other jurisdiction recognized by this Grand Lodge, within six months immediately preceding the date of his petition. [42-16].
11. He must not be under sentence or judgment for violation of any law of the land involving moral turpitude. His right to citizenship must have been restored in the event it was lost by such conviction and sentence. [73-6.5; 75-8.3; 78-2.2.C; 86-2.28; 101-5.4.B].
13. He must not have received either an undesirable or dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States. If separation from the Armed Forces was under either of the proceeding classifications, satisfactory evidence must be submitted to verify the discharge has been changed by legal authority to at least a General Discharge.
If a petition for the degrees is presented to a lodge by a petitioner whose physical defects prevent him from conforming literally to the requirements of the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry with the use of any necessary artificial appliances and/or aids, the petition shall be forwarded within five days to the Grand Secretary for transmittal to the Grand Master, and if he approves the same, the lodge may then receive the petition.
A lodge may receive a petition from a qualified profane. However, if he moves his residence without the state, that lodge shall not receive a petition from him because he would not then be qualified to petition that lodge under Regulations 42-7.1, and 66-1.8. [42-5; 42-8.3; 42-8.5.E; 42-9; 65-3.2; 66-1.8; 68-12].(This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)
Belief in the existence of God is a fundamental tenet in Freemasonry. It is an indispensable prerequisite to eligibility to take the degrees. If the candidate practiced false pretense in obtaining admission to the lodge by deceptively announcing such faith, or if subsequent to his initiation his mind, for any cause, has undergone a change of religious belief to the extent of repudiating or renouncing faith in God, he ought to be expelled. Denying the main essential to a genuine Masonic life, he should be denied Masonic privileges. [66-1.1; 67-8; 86-2.2; Preamble I].
A man is eligible to petition for the degrees in Masonry as long as he is in possession of the required physical and intellectual faculties, of which the lodge must be the judge. One of illegitimate birth, or an alien, if otherwise qualified, is eligible. That "Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion" is one of the fundamental principles of the Craft, and if the petitioner is a good man and true, has faith in God, and is desirable material otherwise, the fact that he is a member of any faith that bars Masonic membership, does not prohibit his making petition for the degrees in Masonry. [42-17; 87-4].
The petition of one who was a member of a clandestine lodge may be received by a lodge, but the petitioner should not be balloted on to receive the degrees until it is first ascertained that he joined the clandestine lodge in the honest belief that it was a regular lodge of Masons and that he has recanted in writing, and is now sincere in his desire to become a regular Mason; nor shall he be balloted on until the Grand Master has authorized the lodge to act. [75-1.5; 87-2; Official Form 40].
Masters of lodges will be held strictly accountable for the observance of this chapter.