Monday, January 17, 2011

Organization of The Episcopal Church

Lesson from a retired professor of management:

The Episcopal Church is not a “national” church in any sense,
Either theological or administrative.
What is now called TEC is a confederation of dioceses
United only by a triennial convention.

At General Convention, canons (regulations) are promulgated
That are effective only by their acceptance in dioceses.
Dioceses are legal corporations within their secular jurisdictions.
TEC is incorporated solely as a missionary society in New York.

A Presiding Bishop is elected every nine years
To preside over general convention, and lead by example.
Said person is not an archbishop, and can only
Persuade diocesan bishops to follow the canons of the church.

Various dodges have been created over the years, to stop
Clergy from doing something not considered acceptable,
These ecclesiastical trials had no practical effect
On inhibiting the action of the defendants.

Nevertheless, the present Presiding Bishop has attempted
To remove clergy from the Anglican Communion, who
Have departed from TEC to serve in other Anglican churches.
These “depositions” were ignored by their recipients.

Very slowly, state courts are now revisiting the so-called
Neutral principles in adjudicating disputes in religious denominations.
A focus is on TEC in its insistence that diocesan bishops
Must seize the property of a departing congregation.

Ultimately, this may result in the Supreme Court
Having to decide whether
TEC is acting as a hierarchical church,
When it has no legal basis to do so.

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