The current national disciplinary canons were patterned on the military code of justice. And it was argued that the Church could do better than the military. Perhaps so. But it is my opinion that the new canons give far too much authority to the Bishop of a Diocese over his or her clergy, and they give unprecedented authority to the Presiding Bishop over the other Bishops of the Church ”“ and there is a tremendous loss of “due process” in their implementation.
If a Diocesan Bishop, or the Presiding Bishop, is a wise and caring person there may be no danger in these new canons. But I think there are few of us who might not be tempted to misuse the enhanced powers given to the Bishops and the Presiding Bishop to act against those with whom he or she disagrees.
I will tell you plainly: I do not want to have this enhanced authority given to me in my dealings with our clergy. Nor do I welcome this intrusion into the life of our sovereign Diocese of the unprecedented authority of the Presiding Bishop. (And I have told her so.) It is a radical revision of the polity of The Episcopal Church from its inception.