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October 05, 2008

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C. Wingate

The problem with this logic is, as usual, that it shoots down all Anglican legitimacy. All one needs to do is translate this to "see of Canterbury established by Roman Catholic Church". All corporate legitimacy of ECUSA dioceses traces back, through one route or another, to the bishops of the Anglican schism, and thence, through St. Augustine's throne, to Rome. Since the Anglican schism was corporately illegitimate, that's the end of that. Well, yes, they got away with it; but surely there has to be a better legal argument than that.

And anyway, the real issue isn't legitimacy, but 815's desire to keep the property in the first place. That's where the GM analogy really breaks down, because God and GM's stockholders do not really serve well as analogues to one another. GM does have stockholder votes, but last I checked, God's will in this is not uncontested. (And indeed, the argument is that 815 is engaged in a kind of gross mismanagement against the plainly revealed direction of God. YMMV.) There is no way that 815 or the HoB could possibly support a claim of being the sole reps for God, and really, they don't. The denomination could resolve this by working out a division; but partly out of the hubris of various parties trying to pretend that they aren't schismatic, partly out of this defective corporatist model of the church, and partly out of a desire to injure the conservative cause, they won't do it. Sure, 815 has legal traction due to the legal details, but only a partisan would mistake this for some sort of ecclesiological or moral justification.

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