As I said in Pt. I, Church disciplinary canons are necessary to protect God's people. We know all too well that clergy can perpetrate sexual abuse, embezzlement and other forms of misconduct against the faithful.
But what we have in the Title IV revisions is a much broader agenda for discipline. The revisers wanted to empower one order of clergy, the Bishops, to haul lay people into disciplinary hearings. This portion of the proposal caused a big outcry prior to the 2006 General Convention (GC), and it was tabled. Continued protest against the idea led to its removal from what will be presented this summer, but the revisers are clear that they want it in eventually. Page 769 of the Blue Book admits that the only reason the "lay discipline" language was removed is that the "time is not yet propitious" for its adoption.
Why is lay discipline so important? Is the media full of stories of lay people perpetrating sexual abuse and financial misconduct in The Episcopal Church? Of course not. Not that those things don't happen, but the greater reality is that lay people can protest and organize in ways that clergy can't.
Lay people can be the strongest dissenters in the structures of The Episcopal Church (TEC). They have tremendous power over money, both as voluntary donors and as voting members of parish, diocesan and national budget bodies. They don't have to worry, as do clergy, about a Bishop's control over their access to employment.
So, "lay discipline" is pretty much a means for Bishops to harass, discourage and pick off lay "ring leaders" when it comes to dissent. A church that was once (and still claims to be) "democratic" and collegial in leadership wants to be more top-down and arbitrary.
Disciplinary canons are justified to protect lay people from false shepherds. The effort to enable action against lay people, although off the table for the moment, shows that the real agenda is to get rid of lay dissenters and thereby buffer Bishops and bureaucrats from accountability for their actions.
But there are dissenting clergy as well, and the canons are trained on them...