NO JURISDICTION BECAUSE THE REQUESTING GROUP HAD NO STANDING
This docket item was sent in by an activist group in the West Africa Central Conference. The Council does quite well telling about what happened and who brought the matter to them. It even cited the concerns of the Council of Bishops who challenged the African group’s request in support of the bishop that the group said was improperly elected.
Again calling this a “decision” instead of a memorandum despite ruling that it had no jurisdiction, the Judicial Council pointed out that the group raising the challenge had no standing to do so under the Discipline. They said there were irregularities that did not have “legal merit warranting a judicial (Note: “Judicial Council” is intended by the word “judicial”) decision.”
I wish they had said, “While these irregularities warrant legal attention, unfortunately, this is not the forum to handle that.” Someone needed to let the activist group know about attending the central conference meeting and raising their questions there. And they could have brought written complaints against the person in question so that the person’s annual conference could investigate and perhaps try the person involved. Occasionally, there are political factions that protect one of their own from such investigation and that faction might have included the bishop who would have received and dropped the complaints that may have been sent in. The Council of Bishops might want to be a little more discreet about how they approach the Judicial Council because they could have been triangulated into a bad situation and they really should avoid appearing to rule on a church law matter where potential complaints may be involved.
What is left for this activist group is to challenge any misconduct they see after the newly elected bishop in question commits a chargeable offense.
The Council provided some understanding of the situation by sharing the information that it did. Hopefully, this commentary supplements that for the consideration of the activists involved.