Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Church Law" Part VI (the last) - We're adequate! No, really, we are...

IV.19, which begins on p. 790 in the Blue Book, is just not very confident that the reconciliation/conflict resolution/submission process can stand up and salute in front of Lady Justice.

The Canon asserts that clergy in the process, at risk of losing their livelihoods, professional and community reputations among other things, cannot
  • - claim Constitutional protections
  • - go to the secular court for interpretation of TEC Constitution and Canons

In fact, IV.19.3 claims that no court has authority to review what TEC hath here wrought.

In addition,

  • - clergy can be charged with an offense in a diocese of which they are not resident (I suppose this is to keep people from getting away with something by moving away, but it also opens the question of blog readers in some other state alleging that my "Doctrine" is an "Offense" causing them "Injury." And if they do,
  • - I must, at my own expense, appear before the "Panel" called for in the "reconciliation" process.
  • - If I don't appear, the Panel can assume the truth of the allegation against me (IV.19.6).

Obviously, there are people in power in TEC who think that these revisions are all good. Two words: unintended consequences. Sometime, people they don't like are going to get hold of the process and use it on people they do like.

But I guess "balancing the books" is another fair definition of "reconciliation."


Undergroundpewster said...

There just may be a hit list of bloggers out there somewhere.

I wonder if someone tried to include Fox News on the hypothetical hit list.

Your earlier point about conflict resolution and reconciliation not being possible in a situation of unequal power is excellent. In such situations the lesser must capitulate to the greater power.

Anonymous said...

So where do we "leavers" sign up to charge with an offense those clergy who have driven us out of our church ?
And good luck enforcing this -- you can sue anybody for anything. You can't make a rule that says I can't sue you.

TLF+ said...

Anonymous - hey, remember, the statute of limitations is 10 years. Doesn't matter if you're a "leaver" if a clergy person committed and Offense and you are an Injured Party.

The trick is that a Bishop has to accept your allegation to get it into the process, heh heh.

Pewster - do have clergy you know take a look at this, and get in touch with GC Deputies. The outcry over the lay provisions got them taken out - clergy need to know what they are facing and make some noise.