January 19, 2016

The Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politicks

So what have we? On the one hand we have a body, founded in 1789 and in continuous existence since, with duly elected members called and assembled, which by its constitutional authority and in keeping with its governing law has adopted a policy which concerns no entity other than itself.

On the other hand we have a group, first assembled in 1978, meeting sporadically since, this time 'round in an irregularly convened ad hoc session; with at least one voting member improperly credentialed; having no constitutional authority whatsoever; described as recently as 2004 in The Windsor Report (¶ 104) as having until then "refused to acknowledge anything more than a  consultative and advisory authority" for itself — now presuming an enhanced capacity to deem the imposition of consequences upon the aforementioned body over whom they have no authority, because of their policy change.

This must be what some people mean by "Godly order." Seems relatively ungodly to me, and far from orderly. If this were the political realm, I'd call the latter a junta and their action an attempted coup.

As it is, their advice must be taken simply for what it is worth, as we in that first body continue to preach and practice the Good News. (The One who started it all also got into trouble with a hastily gathered assembly...)

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

Addendusm: I was asked how much of a majority it takes to make such decisions. A very high standard is necessary when individual rights are being restrained or removed; the maxim "quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbetur" ("what concerns all must be approved by all") cited (though almost completely misunderstood) in The Windsor Report, essentially requires universal consent, or at the very least the consent of the ones "touched" by the decision. Since this is the nature of issues raised in the recent Primates' Meeting, it would seem that a reported less than unanimous decision falls short.



Anonymous said...

Thanks, Fr Tobias. I have updated, adding a link to this post from my not-dissimilar reflection Primates Do Not Suspend TEC. And I will post it on the Liturgy facebook page.



Unknown said...

Well put Fr Tobias - rather puts the entire load of bunkum into perspective.