Welcome to the Hotel California

Steve Waring is reporting in The Living Church:

In other news, council approved a resolution declaring “null and void” attempts by a number of dioceses to revise their constitution to qualify their accession to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.

“Any amendment to a diocesan constitution that purports in any way to limit or lessen an unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church is null and void, and be it further resolved that the amendments passed to the constitutions of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin, which purport to limit or lessen the unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church are accordingly null and void and the constitutions of those dioceses shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed,” council stated in Resolution NAC-023.

After the resolution was approved, the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, Bishop of Lexington, said Episcopalians had all agreed to live by certain principles and rules and that council believed it would be “helpful to have an authoritative statement [on the matter] with respect to any litigation that might occur in the future.”

BB NOTE: ENS puts it this way: [Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Church dioceses that change their constitutions in an attempt to bypass the Church’s Constitution and Canons were warned by the Executive Council June 14 that their actions are “null and void.”

The Council passed Resolution NAC023, reminding dioceses that they are required to “accede” to the Constitution and Canons, and declaring that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” That declaration, the resolution said, means that their constitutions “shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed.”


LATER:Wonder how Virginia Episcopalians feel about this assertion of power. Remember, the first Virginia bishop was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury – and it’s my experience in Virginia that we’ve never forgotten that. After going to a myriad of Diocesan Councils, Regional Councils and Pre-Council meetings – it was clear that the point of a PB was to “pick out the music at their installation,” to paraphrase the current Diocesan Bishop. But that was before the dark times, before the Empire. One thing the orthodox and the progressives have had in common in Virginia is that we all supported the Virginia Plan which forbids mandatory taxing of the parishes, called “assessments.” We are not not a hierarchical church – the bishop in Virginia has no power to force the laity to support the bishop – the laity controls the purse and who controls the purse has the power – in Virginia, that’s the laity. And it hasn’t been that the Diocese hasn’t tried to overturn the Virginia Plan. But on that issue, the orthodox and the progressives were united. But that’s Virginia – not 815. Perhaps, though, things have changed.

We do wonder how long it’s going to take before the Executive Council finds the Virginia Plan “null and void”? And then what?