The Panel of Reference weighs in again

(Update: See Marhsall’s posting. He’s given this much more thought than anybody else I have come across.)

This time on cases involving parishes in Florida. I have just given it a very quick read. Have a look.

This would seem to be the nub of it: “As an integral part of this recommendation, we are commending what we are calling a “good neighbour” episcopal ministry. It represents a development of the plan for delegated episcopal pastoral oversight. The “neighbour” bishop would have an oversight extended to him or her from the diocesan bishop, which would include effective and necessary sharing of decisions with regard to clergy appointments for the parish and ordination process. As neighbour, the bishop would live in reasonable geographical proximity. Most important of all, the spirit of this ministry would be neighbourly.”

You should note to, however, that the Panel, which thank goodness has no authority in U. S. Courts puts forward a a controversial reading of the Preamble of our Constitution.

At paragraph 26 it writes: The constitutional documents of the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada require those Churches to be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Church “throughout the world”, and loyal to the historic Anglican formularies.

But what the constituion actually says is: The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America… is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.

That’s a statement of fact, not a legal requirement. The Panel needs to be set straight on this, if only to keep it from making further boneheaded readings of our documents and then attempting to force those interpetations upon us.

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