I am in awe of the diversity of areas of law that the Council has to cover in its work. From trials to legality of emergency work to handling of mission funds overseas to reorganization of annual conference structures to sorting out jurisdiction and on and on….
I am also in awe of the diversity of conferences overseas that are jumping in and presenting questions.
The role of teacher to the Church continues in the Council’s work. One of these days, their careful work will finally be realized and integrated into more and more of the life of the Church.
A number of these decisions lent themselves to offering me a chance to provide some suggested ways of dealing with the issues, steps I hope will be taken by advocates in some cases, by bishops and conferences in others, and the Judicial council itself in at least one (JCD 1249).
When he was nominated for the Judicial Council some years a go, a friend asked me what I thought. I said it is one of the few positions in the denomination that can tell a bishop he or she is wrong. He decided to accept election to the Council rather than to the go on to seek episcopacy. I think he was a good member during his tenure. But I have to confess I may have misled him, not because my observation was untrue but because some bishops are deaf to anyone trying to reign them in.
Power is very intoxicating and some are terribly addicted. Too many times, those working with such power-addicts are too much like alcoholics’ spouses and without realizing it, become complicit in their addiction.
Can the Council avoid being co-dependent with bishops or even fall into addiction itself? Anyone dealing with power has to be concerned about both.