Monday, September 29, 2008


One of our regular contributors and a bit of an expert on Canon/Constitutional Law (of the TEC variety) posted the following comment on the issue of inhibition/deposition:

"inhibition is in the hands of the bishop rather than the Ecclesiastical Authority. Absent a bishop being appointed as interim, there is no provision for inhibiting priests or deacons.

Moreover, since Pittsburgh has not provided by canon for a diocesan review committee under TEC Canon IV.3.1, the Standing Committee serves as the Diocesan Review Committee. It would hardly vote a presentment against one of its own members."

One of the changes I would like to see discussed and implemented in some form is the ability for the laity of a diocese to come forward and exercise the process of inhibition. For example, there is a memo out there called the Chapman Memo that has floated around for years. The memo (this time to reduce his notoriety I will NOT post the url) is a how to for the GAFCONites and the alphabet soup folks on how to de-associate a diocese from the Episcopal Church. It was written by a priest in the diocese of Pittsburgh. This priest also serves on the Standing Committee of the diocese that is following that memorandum to a T. If seems the Bishop can be deposed for his antics but the priest who wrote the directions cannot. It seems the bishop and every structure that he bishop has prohibits the laity from moving on this person in a manner that would excise the cancer from the diocese.

Now I understand that Mr. Duncan (Mr. has a nice ring to it doesn't it) is the head of the diocese but Mr. Chapman (wishful thinking) is the person that should be paying the price as well.

I propose that the general convention take this up and that it allow a full inhibition/deposition process against one of it's own bishops or priests or deacons with a full process supported by the staff and structure of the diocese. Since only clergy can depose clergy a built in safeguard would be a 60 day review period by the Presiding Bishop and in the case of a proposed deposition against a bishop the same 3 bishops with a final outing of the bishop by the HOB.

There you have it. What do you think?

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