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[HoB/D] Do loose canons mean Dennis de minimis?




There is a drumbeat going around the blogosphere (titusonenine, 
VirtueOnline) these days that the so-called "Dennis Canon" (I.6.4) was 
never properly passed by General Convention because it did not pass two 
successive Conventions, or passed one House but not the other (there  seem 
to be two competing versions of this rumor).

Here are the relevant citations:

Constitution: ARTICLE XII
No alteration or amendment of this Constitution shall be made unless the 
same shall be first proposed at one regular meeting of the General 
Convention and be sent to the Secretary of the Convention of every 
Diocese, to be made known to the Diocesan Convention at its next meeting, 
and be adopted by the General Convention at its next succeeding regular 
meeting by a majority of all Bishops, excluding retired Bishops not 
present, of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote in the House of 
Bishops, and by an affirmative vote by orders in the House of Deputies in 
accordance with Article I, Section 5, except that concurrence by the 
orders shall require the affirmative vote in each order by a majority of 
the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies. ... 
Each duly adopted alteration or amendment to this Constitution, unless 
otherwise expressly stated therein, shall take effect on the first day of 
January following the adjournment of the General Convention at which it 
is finally adopted.

Canons, Title V: GENERAL PROVISIONS
CANON 1: Of Enactment, Amendment, and Repeal
Sec. 1. No new Canon shall be enacted, or existing Canon be amended or 
repealed, except by concurrent Resolution of the two Houses of the 
General Convention. Such Resolution may be introduced first in either 
House, and shall be referred in each House to the Committee on Canons 
thereof, for consideration, report, and recommendation, before adoption 
by the House; Provided, that in either House the foregoing requirement of 
reference may be dispensed with by a three-fourths vote of the members 
present.
...
Sec. 6. All Canons enacted during the General Convention of 1943, and 
thereafter, and all amendments and repeals of Canons then or thereafter 
made, unless otherwise expressly ordered, shall take effect on the first 
day of January following the adjournment of the General Convention at 
which they were enacted or made.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here is the citation on the "Dennis Canon" from the online Archives. 
Please note that it is a CANONICAL, not a constitutional change:

Resolution Number: 1979-D024
Title: Amend Canons I.6 and II.7 [Of Church Property]
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred As Amended
Final Text:
Resolved, That Title I, Canon 6 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, be 
amended to add a Section 4 as follows:
Sec. 4. All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any 
Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the 
Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission on Congregation is located. 
The existence of this trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and 
authority of the Parish, Mission or Congregation otherwise existing over 
such property so long as the particular Parish, Mission or Congregation 
remains a part of, and subject to, this Church and its Constitution and 
Canons ; and be it further

Resolved, That Title I, Canon 6 be amended to add a Section 5 as follows:
Sec. 5. The several Dioceses may, at their election, further confirm the 
trust declared under the foregoing Section 4 by appropriate action, but 
no such action shall be necessary for the existence and validity of the 
trust ; and be it further

Resolved, That Title II, Canon 7 be amended to add a new Section 3 as 
follows:
Sec. 3. Any dedicated and consecrated Church or Chapel shall be subject 
to the trust declared with respect to real and personal property held by 
any Parish, Mission, or Congregation, as set forth in Section 4 of Title 
I, Canon 6 ; and be it further

Resolved, That this resolution shall be effective upon enactment
Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The 
Episcopal Church, Denver, 1979 (New York: General Convention, 1980), p. 
D-154.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
Author: Originating House: House of Bishops
Originating Committee: Committee on Canons

House of Bishops

Original Text of Resolution:
(D024)
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That Title I, Canon 6 of the 
Canons of the Episcopal Church, be amended to add a Section 4 as follows:
Sec. 4. All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any 
Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the 
Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission on Congregation is located. 
The existence of this trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and 
authority of the Parish, Mission or Congregation otherwise existing over 
such property so long as the particular Parish, Mission or Congregation 
remains a part of, and subject to, this Church and its Constitution and 
Canons; and be it further

Resolved, That Title I, Canon 6 be amended to add a Section 5 as follows:
Sec. 5. The several Dioceses may, at their election, further confirm the 
trust declared under the foregoing Section 4 by appropriate action, but 
no such action shall be necessary for the existence and validity of the 
trust; and be it further

Resolved, That Title II, Canon 7 be amended by adding a new Section 3, 
reading as follows:

Sec. 3. Any dedicated and consecrated Church or Chapel shall be subject 
to the trust declared with respect to real and personal property held by 
any Parish, Mission, or Congregation, as set forth in Section 4 of Title 
I, Canon 6.
The Bishop of Kentucky moved that the Resolution be amended to make the 
Resolution effective upon enactment.
The motion was seconded by the Bishop of Arizona.
Motion carried
Resolution adopted with amendment

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Messages # 75 & 76)

House of Deputies
The Committee on Canons presented its Report #32 on Resolution D-24, and 
recommended concurrence with House of Bishops Messages #75 and #76.
Motion carried
The House concurred
Resolution Concurred by Both Houses, September 19.

Notes: Resolution 1979-D024 was presented and considered in two parts in 
the originating House. The first two resolve clauses were adopted and 
sent to the House of Deputies as HB Message #76, and the third resolve 
clause was adopted separately and sent to the House of Deputies as HB 
Message #75.











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