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Editing any Journal carries risk. The production process necessitates the submission of copy well in advance of the anticipated publication date. The task of second gussing development in the ecclesiastical world keeps one in a constant state of alertness. But even my crystal ball is not faultless. Thus I pen this editorial in the penumbral world which lies between the election of potential bishop for the See of Guildford and the confirmation of such election.
Questions of the mutual recognition, or not, of the ministry of different Churches have been high on the ecumenical agenda for many years. Roman Catholic sacramental theology, manifest inter alia in Canon Law, has a clear understanding of the validity or invalidity of sacraments, including holy orders. Validity is a strong word and implies that sacramental acts which are not valid are de facto ineffective.
The case of Connelly v Connelly on the face of it simply concerned a suit by a husband for the restitution of conjugal rights. It became interlocked, however, with wider and deeper issues in Victorian England at a time when the Roman Catholic hierarchy was restored in 1850 and there was an upsurge in anti-Catholic sentiment. Both litigants were extraordinary and led eventful lives, and the cause of canonisation of the wife (Cornelia Connelly) is in progress. In a broad context, this article examines in detail the litigation between the spouses first at the Court of Arches in 1849–1850, and then on appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1851. The litigation was inconclusive, and the case was eventually abandoned by the husband.
In a concluding article as co-patron of the Ecclesiastical Law Society,1 the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr David Hope offers a reflection on his personal experiences of the interplay between doctrine and discipline encountered during his period of office as Archbishop of York. He focuses on censures of deprivation and disqulification under section 55 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963; deposition appeals; summary revocation of clerical licences; and the Lambeth and Bishopthorpe Register.
Doctrinal discipline is a necessary concomitant of ministerial accountability and ecclesial integrity. When there is division in the Church the consequence of that division is expressed in articles or confessions of faith which, in the words of the Declaration of Assent, indicate how that Church ‘bears witness’ to the Christian Gospel and the faith once delivered to the saints.
This article explores the New Testament's critique of Old Testament law, a genus of positive law. It looks at the applicability of that critique to modern ecclesiastical law: The article identifies three common misconceptions about the view of the New Testament concerning Old Testament law, and then sets out what the New Testament does say about Old Testament law, principally from the writings of St Paul. The principles underlying the New Testament's critique are established. The critique is made not on natural law grounds but on pragmatic and utilitarian grounds. The grounds of the critique are (i) the efficacy of the law to achieve its true intent; and (ii) the extent to which human beings exaggerate the usefulness of Old Testament law.
The penitentiary in the United States of America originated as a religious institution. Its roots lie in the belief that inmates could reform if they were given an opportunity to engage in reflection, prayer, Bible-reading and work, thus establishing a new personal foundation for functioning as productive members of the larger society. Not surprisingly, given American's predilection for maintaining a secular civil society, this original foundation for the prison eventually fell from favour, and American penological theories became more sociological or psychological in nature. The fact remains, however, that society in the United States is broadly religious, and prisons continue to address the religious beliefs of inmates and how to accommodate those beliefs in a penological setting. This comment provides a case study on this topic, based on littigation concerning the provision of kosher food to Orthodox inmates in the prisons in Colorado.
The editorial of this Journal recently recorded that an English university had awarded degrees in Canon Law for the first time in nearly 500 years.1 That event sparked this short piece of research to discover the identity of the last graduates. To begin our short story, imagine, if you will, the scene on a summer's day in 1535.
The July group of sessions saw final approval being given to a group of items, including an Amending Canon, giving effect to the more contentious aspects of the Bridge Review of Synodical Government. In addition to making a number of technical changes to the Church Representation Rules relating to PCCs and deanery synods, the legislation will also alter the size and composition of the General Synod itself: among other changes, overall numbers will fall by 104 to 467 and the archdeacons' special constituency will be removed (their route to membership of the Synod being restricted to the diocesan clergy elections). There will also be reductions in the size of the special constituencies for deans and suffragan bishops.
This year's General Synod was held, for the first time ever, in Ireland's ecclesiastical capital, Armagh, at the recently constructed City Hotel and Conference Centre, which provided an excellent forum. The occasion was graced by the presence of the leaders of the other three main Churches in the province and by the preaching of the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Synod Eucharist in the recently renovated and refurbished Cathedral.
In the year 988 Prince Vladimir dramatically baptised his entire nation in the Dnepr River, thereby establishing a new state religion in what is now Ukraine. Fittingly, Kiev (or Kyiv to adopt the Ukrainian spelling) played host in May to a conference on ‘Religious Freedom: Transition and Globalisation’. Convened by the State Committee for Religious Affairs, the conference brought together academics from Western Europe and the USA with civil servants from the emergent democracies of the former USSR.