George Conger—The Episcopal Church’s Dennis Canon – updated

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2007 I wrote an article for the Living Church magazine reporting on the controversies surrounding the passage of the Dennis Canon at the 1979 General Convention. In that article I reported that it could not be shown that the Dennis Canon had passed the convention, but the balance of probabilities made it more than likely that it did.

In the five years since I wrote that article I have done further research on this question, and in light of these researches I have revised my conclusions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC Polity & Canons

Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Very interesting that George Conger+ can not find any verification in TEC’s own records that the Dennis Canon was passed. Alas, it seems to be a given now that the Dennis Canon is part of TEC’s canons and many courts have upheld it in legal cases.  Fortunately, the South Carolina Supreme Court and the supreme courts of a few other states have not upheld the Dennis Canon.

June 27, 9:46 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

Although I hereby express no opinion as to the legal significance of my findings set forth above regarding the documentation relating to the Dennis Canon of the 1979 General Convention, I believe that the Dennis Canon was not properly adopted. In that regard, I affirm those findings: (1) that documentation relating to the Dennis Canon of the 1979 General Convention is missing from the archives and therefore that it cannot be verified that the canon was lawfully adopted by the Convention; (2) that no evidence exists in the archives that shows notice as required by Canon V.1 Section 5a was given to the wider church; (3) that no evidence exists in the archives that shows a motion to suspend the rules was offered to the House of Deputies under Rule VI.22 to permit the resolution to be considered out of time or that two-thirds of the deputies voted for such a suspension; and (4) that the facts laid out by me in the above statement are a correct account of what I found in my researches in the archives of the Episcopal Church.

So what.  TEC will ignore this as they ignore everything else that would get in the way of their agenda.

June 27, 9:47 am | [comment link]
3. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Is there really anything to keep General Convention from formally adopting the Dennis Canon retroactively?

June 27, 10:22 am | [comment link]
4. Undergroundpewster wrote:

If they try to do some retro-active fix, that would be an admission that it has been invalid all these years, and any TEc victories in property suits litigated during that time period could be appealed.

June 27, 11:08 am | [comment link]
5. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Well, I would think not if they worded it in a way of re-affirming the original canon. Of course, they don’t care one way or the other, so this is a moot point.

June 27, 11:18 am | [comment link]
6. Cennydd13 wrote:

To put it bluntly, the powers-that-be in TEC think they have the courts in their back pocket.

June 27, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
7. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Ah, what is truth?  Once asked and acted upon in the heat of the battle, one can never recover.  Just ask Pilate.  This, of course, constitutes biblical precedent for TEc in its own hermeneutic, which is the only one that counts for TEc.

June 27, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
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