No Jurisdiction, same as JCM 1347
The California Pacific Annual Conference tried the same tactic as the Denmark Annual Conference. A request for a declaratory decision needs to relate to something specific before or pending before this annual conference, which was not shown in this case either. But the Council rejected Cal-Pac’s attempt for an additional reason.
The Council clarified something that has not always been clear: how many votes are needed to pass on to the Judicial Council a request for a declaratory decision. The minutes referred to “one fifth” of the members present as the required vote but the Council pointed out that without a specific level of vote identified, the number would be one more than half of the members present and voting.
The minutes did not include the number of votes involved so it had no way of knowing that the vote was actually sufficient.
By refusing jurisdiction, the Council indicates it does not resolve theological issues nor determine if our theological standards have been illegally changed. If someone can somehow get into a situation on which a conference must act that involves a theological issue, then the Council might be able to take jurisdiction. But what could that situation be?
Because of the narrowing of jurisdiction by the Council’s understanding of Church law, it appears the legality of a phrase like “is incompatible with Christian teaching” is up to the General Conference through legislative action. Or do we leave that to the bishops too?