Inquiries in the Court of High Commission

Discussion in 'Court of High Commission' started by Lowly Layman, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    To all:

    I really must protest. This is a ridiculous exercise that would be silly if it were not so disturbing. This process reflects neither the biblical nor the historic Anglican method of correction.

    Nothing on this forum identifies Phoenix's credentials or qualifications to adjudicate this issue nor to unilaterally render a verdict and impose sentence. This is not Anglican; this is the stuff of tyrants. Christ calls on us to correct in love not with a Kangaroo Court.

    I respectfully request that you either reconsider this inquiry or deactivate my account. I refuse to be associated with a process that singles out posters for unpopular (though not necessarily unorthodox) views.
     
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  2. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    My credentials, are first of all, of one who as a part of the administrative team, implicitly embraces the Oath of Subscription. Were it to be shown that I do not hold that profession in good faith, then I can, and should, lose both the Anglican Badge and the Administrative privileges granted.

    I am tasked with ensuring the fidelity of subscription to the Oath. If anyone could make a profession of faith, without any check or confirmation, with whatever meaning imagined, and with any statements in perpetuity full accepted, then the Oath itself would become of no significance. That is indeed how historically it did lose its significance.

    The history of the Church has provided us mechanisms for the self-regulation within the Christian community. With St. Paul's teaching to make a rebuke, to give a warning, and finally to sever the person from the Community altogether, to the subscriptions and the Creeds in the early Church, to the Inquiries regarding heresy practiced in the long history of Anglicanism, including the trials held by Matthew Parker, John Whitgift and Richard Bancroft, down to the trials for heresy in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the 20th centuries.

    To quote from the Catechism of Alexander Nowell, http://www.anglican.net/works/alexa...r-the-institution-of-christian-religion-1572/
    Without discipline being duly used, there can be no company of Christian men and women assembled.

    It is our (joint administrative) belief that the way the Anglican Communion can return to the path of orthodoxy is to return to the practice and discipline of the Church as practiced for as long as the Church itself has existed.

    To further burnish the historical weight of Courts in Anglicanism, one need only to study the history of the Court of High Commission and its successors, from which this forum area takes its name. If there were no historic Anglican precedent, this section would never have been created. Because of the disappearance of those Courts in the last few decades, we have sought to revive this practice, with the eventual hope of this immemorial practice returning to the regular life of the visible Church as well.

    If further detail is required on the historic trials for heresy, the conditions and the principles involved, I refer you to the manuals and guidebooks on Ecclesiastical and Canon Law, such as,

    John Godolphin, Repertorium Canonicum, or, An Abridgment of the Ecclesiastical Laws of this Realm, Consistent with the Temporal (1678)
    https://archive.org/details/repertoriumcanon00godo

    John Ayliffe, Parergon Juris Canonici Anglicani: or, A commentary, by way of Supplement to the Canons and Constitutions of the Church of England (1726)
    -https://archive.org/details/a545105000ayliuoft

    Edmund Gibson, Codex Iuris Ecclesiastici Anglicani, or, Statutes, Constitutions, Canons, Rubricks and Articles, of Church of England, with a Commentary, Historical and Juridical (1713)
    -vol.1: https://archive.org/details/codexjuriseccles01chur
    -vol.2: https://archive.org/details/codexjuriseccles02chur
    -http://books.google.com/books?id=b3AKAQAAMAAJ

    Richard Burn, Ecclesiastical Law, in four volumes (1763)
    -the 1797 ed. enlarged by Dr. Simon Fraser
    -vol.1 (1797): https://books.google.com/books?id=BaJoSrhICusC
    -vol.2 (1797): https://books.google.com/books?id=6FBLYLYcbwAC
    -vol.3 (1797): https://books.google.com/books?id=OLQDAAAAQAAJ
    -vol.4: https://books.google.com/books?id=KQVAAAAAYAAJ;

    Sir Robert Phillimore, The Ecclesiastical Law of the Church of England, in two volumes (1873)
    -vol.1: https://books.google.com/books?id=Kyw4AAAAIAAJ
    -vol.2: https://books.google.com/books?id=Xiw0AQAAMAAJ

    And finally, as to it being a Kangaroo Court, avoiding that has been the very reason why the Inquiry was conducted in public. Would you have rather it were done in private, someone's credentials and faith rather tested in the shadows, away from squeamish eyes? Likely not.

    My faith may be tested by any of you at any time. And if I do not succeed, then I will lose the Anglican Badge, and be (rightly and justly) removed from the Administrative team.

    Justice requires clarity. Besides, this is not an era in Church history for the squeamish to hold the upper hand.
     
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    @Lowly Layman It would be a pity if you chose to leave at this point.

    @Phoenix : I appreciate your zeal for doctrine and your championing of good order and discipline, but your overbearing legalistic bent is getting the better of you I think.

    Do you really think this is necessary?

    Perhaps you do not realize the accused in this 'court of inquiry', is actually a real Licensed Reader Emeritus in the real Church of England and I have a friend John, who is Diocesan Canon Theologian (Retd.), in the real Anglican diocese, wherein I still reside.

    I am quite willing to debate with you on the theological points upon which you have chosen to challenge my orthodoxy, but I think it only fair that you should know beforehand you are dealing with a person who regularly preached beside someone who really knew his stuff, and my theology generally met his approval.


    Insults removed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2018
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  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This to me feels like prosecution! But on the other hand I guess we do prosecute some people who cross socially-accepted norms in civil society... so I guess it’s a question of, we’re any boundaries crossed here?

    As long as the principle of the presumption of innocence is upheld, I guess I’m not opposed in principle
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Surely you mean persecution?

    (I would have put a smiley face to show I am joking, but I fear it might be considered 'insulting'.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Surely, 'holding the upper hand', is not a 'spiritual principle' to be aimed at by disciples of Christ Jesus. Should we not rather, emulate Christ? Phil.2:5-7; Heb.12:3-4.

    .
     
  7. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Because of your background in the legal profession, perhaps you are ideally suited to help us put this process on the right footing. There have not been many competent canon lawyers around for at least a few decades now, and in some ways we almost have to start from scratch. The Secular Culture (this goes without saying) equates any disciplinary procedures with Terror, the Inquisition, and ghastly Tortures; but the need for a corrective process that is put on a right footing has never been better. It is a shame Tiffy had to be the first one to get this process going. His answers (out for view in public) will indicate whether the Oath is held in good faith. At stake is not his membership in our community, but only the Anglican Badge, the possession of which follows strict requirements. For the time being we may have to proceed haphazardly with the Inquiry process as it is instituted currently. But we certainly want to restore the practice of canonical prosecution and defense as a long-term strategy, so that the Admins can just stay out of this altogether. That would be ideal. If you would like to help us structure a canonical procedure in accord with the Anglican historic process of ecclesiastical courts, we (and I) would be most grateful.
     
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  8. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Active Member Anglican

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    To be frank, this feels like role-playing more than anything, and I think that is the issue. If there is a perceived issue with someone having the Anglican badge, perhaps this would be something better handled in private with mods. Making a public spectacle out of it and giving it a name such as "Inquiry of the Court of High Commission", for a dispute on an internet forum, seems slightly out of place.
     
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  9. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    We learn through role play, don’t we? Though we are all sinful people, God nonetheless instructs us on means/ways for discipline. We hear about confronting a brother first privately, then with witnesses, and then bringing it before the whole church.

    Clearly the leaders/owners of this forum believe (quite rightly) that church discipline has failed miserably in our day, and the leaders/owners seem keen to figuring out how to provide redress. Now, at no expense to us, this forum has provided incredible value—and for this alone we should be charitable with this first (as far as I can tell) exercise in discipline. Yes, let’s provide feedback—perhaps it seems like a bit of larping, and/or perhaps it’s been unreasonably aggressive—but let’s not pretend as if discipline hasn’t been the unraveling of the church in our day, and as if we couldn’t do with working through an example.

    I think if we’ve followed the personal, two-three witnesses, whole church approach outlined in St. Matthew, then I’m happy to proceed with a public investigation (which presumably would be the final recourse).
     
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  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    @Classical Anglican
    I didn't expect The Spanish inquisition. Then again NOBODY expects The Spanish inquisition! :torch::worship:


    Disrespectful comments removed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2018
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  11. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    Just from comments in this thread alone:
    -to some this Inquiry process isn't serious enough; it isn't grounded in history.
    -and yet to others it is too serious for the matter at hand; it is too grounded in history to be deployed on just some internet site, as you seem to be implying.

    The safe way is to avoid feelings and impressions altogether. Substance, and not impressions, are what we should be after.

    If this process appears too little grounded in history to some, the I hope to have provided a basis for why discipline is deeply rooted in Anglican identity and history. I'm happy to have a conversation where we delve into this further if necessary.

    If this process appears too much grounded in history, to you perhaps, then I plead with you about the spectacle of doctrinal chaos, and ask: is a bit more seriousness and earnestness both in the visible Church and in our online communities not called for? If not here, where? If not now, when? Tomorrow? If tomorrow, then why not today?
     
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  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Matt.18:15-17. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    But has the procedure you suggest been conducted in the manner stipulated in the scripture passage you cited. I would say not, for the following reasons.

    (1) I have trespassed against no one.

    (2) I have not been approached as a 'brother' but have been confronted as a heretic.

    (3) Though my 'case' is being held publicly, and others can witness my interrogation, 'authorities' alone have the power to 'decide sentence' and it is they who bring the charges.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2018
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  13. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    1. No one has approached you as a heretic, Tiffy. We stand firm by the presumption of innocence. Anyone may be brought up to the Inquiry. I have volunteered myself to be brought just as well.

    2. This case is being decided by the admin team, but I am more than happy to bring in legally-minded members in good standing (with an Anglican badge) in future cases, so that the person gets tried by his peers, as by rights he should. We simply made do with what we could at this juncture. It is what it is.

    3. The charge of trespass you are facing revolves around your violation of the Oath of Subscription. If you relinquish the Anglican Badge and all the terms and stipulations connected with it, then the Inquiry will be dropped and you may resume posting as before.

    4. You have been privately warned numerous times before. The fact that you hide this fact is not a good indication of your bona fides in the conduct of this process. Additionally, the Admin has made public comments to alert you to steer clear of seemingly heretical statements. You have chosen to persevere in your present course, despite private warnings, and public admonitions.

    5. There still remains the presumption of innocence in this and all future Inquiries. If the Inquiry fails to establish your violation of the Terms, then it will be withdrawn, as it by rights should. If the Inquiry succeeds in establishing your violation of the Terms, then your Anglican badge will be removed. Things are pretty simple.
     
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  14. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    Wow, I visit this site very infrequently now and probably won’t spend more time on it in future. I can’t claim to have read everything that had been written in this thread, but I have got the gist of it. Is this really what you all feel your you should be spending your time on? Even the term “Court of high commission” I find bizarre and slight disturbing.
     
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  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I find myself checking things here more. To each his or her own own, I guess. It is a peace of mind for me that here at least people are not trying to push lesbian bishops, and my newborn child will not be a victim of heretics now starting to push for transgender children.

    https://www.expressnews.com/news/lo...rish-school-embracing-transgender-6676604.php
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/episcopal-church-transgender-ordination_n_1660465.html

    Good luck with transgender heretic priests Christina. May Zhey and Xir be good companions for you. As for me, I wish they were prosecuted more, not less!
     
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  16. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I beg your pardon, Stalwart? What prompted you to say all that? I go to an Anglo Catholic Church, with a male priest. Why are you talking about transgender heretical priests? I was simply saying that the whole inquiry was leaving me feeling very uncomfortable and I really don’t think it is what we should all be spending our time on. Why are you attacking me? Where is the love in this forum? Have I tried to push “lesbian bishops”. Have I criticised any individuals? No, but you are getting personal with me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Gosh! You're a lot of topic Stalwart. I guess you two know each other, otherwise I don't understand at all where all that stuff from you at Christina comes from. Would an exorcism help, or just some 'Gaviscon stomach jollup' might ease the pain. :console:
    .
     
  18. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I don’t really know Stalwart. He has been contributing on this site longer and mor regularly than I have and I expect I have taken part in discussions that he has also taken part in, but I remember no similar animosity from him in the past. This makes me feel quite low and pulled down. I guess I should just stick with my Church, my priest and our congregation.
     
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  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry he offended you Christina. I have sent a private message. Rom.12:15. Internet trollspeak is no substitute for proper christian fellowship in a real live church, I agree.
     
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  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I feel like the Church is falling far short of disciplining those who would pull our faith down. I don’t know why you don’t see that. Here and on Twitter and on a few other places online I’m starting to see renewed efforts to push back, but far short of how much has to be done (in my opinion). Instead of clamoring for more muscular defense of the faith, your one post after many months is how “too much” is being done in the defense of the faith. I just don’t get it.
     
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