Friday, June 29, 2007

tec executive council fudges again

ok, so you've heard that that Executive Council has put 4 of the most conservative, Network dioceses on notice that they must renounce changes in their constitutions that distance them from certain decisions of General Convention. Here's the original June 14 write-up from ENS.

The Executive Council bases this decision on Article 5, section one of the Consitution, according to ENS. But here's the Constitution - read the section in question -- it applies specifically to new dioceses, not necessarily (as I read it) to existing dioceses or existing constitutions. The Constitution has in fact no provision about judging or altering existing diocesan constitutions if the diocese does something 815 doesn't like. This kind of provision is lacking for a very good reason - the framers of our Constitution, many of them the same people who framed the US Constitution, recognized that such a provision would amount to tyranny; indeed, it would be the very tyranny they had just fought a war of independence to escape. The analysis by Bp. Iker is correct: this is simply an opinion of the Executive Council, another attempt by the tolerant leaders of TEC to use exisiting canons as clubs to enforce acceptance of their heterodox policies. They're more interested in power and enforcing their agenda than in being traditionally Anglican or even being simply the Executive Council. It's a free-for-all power grab up there.

Bp. Iker brings up two other excellent points: 1, that the Executive Council has never been granted the authority of judicial review or the authority to change any diocese's constitution by fiat; and 2, that resolutions adopted by both the Council AND EVEN General Convention are non-binding to start with. Add to this the fact that they're misinterpreting the canon itself, and the conclusion is clear: "this resolution is nothing more than an opinion expressed by those individuals who issued the statement. It is itself “null and void" – unenforceable and of no effect. This action is another example of the heavy-handed tactics being used by those who do not have the right to interfere in the internal constitutional process of the dioceses."

Here's the most comprehensive ENS coverage of this, including the offending passages of the 4 constitutions in question.

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