Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Watch This Space

In a previous post concerning the history and interpretation of the section of the Abandonment Canon that deals with deposition of the abandoning Bishop (Canon IV.9.2), I closed with this challenge: "For all the bytes out on the Web that have been devoted to this subject, I have yet to see a convincing textual argument that would justify the Presiding Bishop's (and her Chancellor's) misreading of the Canon. Now, who's next?"

Well, it appears that no less formidable a canon lawyer than the Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls of the Diocese of Lexington has thrown down the gauntlet.  Much of what he says in his interpretation of the language of Canon IV.9.2 tracks the same defective argument I analyzed in my previous post, and so has already been refuted. But he goes further, and attempts to draw wholly new conclusions out of the simple change in subject that I pointed out had occurred between the 1874 and the 1904 versions of the Canon. He also brings in new contextual and historical arguments, all of which require a more detailed and thoughtful treatment that will be worthy of such a presenter. Let me just say at this point that I welcome his challenge---it is exactly what I have been asking for from the Presiding Bishop and her colleagues. 

Thus, as they say on the billboards, "Watch This Space." In the meantime, I would refer you to the consummate lay person's refutation already posted by the inimitable Christopher Johnson.

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