Monday, June 16, 2008

A Midrash on the Previous Post

Apropos of the draft proposed revisions to the Title IV canons, a friend raised the question to me privately: If, at this time, no canons exist for the discipline, including the removal from office for cause, of lay volunteers--a reality effectively acknowledged in the presentation made to Executive Council two days ago--then from where did the Presiding Bishop derive her authority to remove from office the elected members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin?

Good question.

My reply was along these lines: Those who hold political power will tend to interpret, or ignore, canons in such a way as will help them consolidate their power. Call this Martins' First Law of Ecclesiastical Polity (with apologies to Richard Hooker). There may be more.

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