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Okay, just how many dioceses did use the “short form”?

Thursday, July 26, 2007 • 6:09 am

Among other remarks about the Virginia consents issue, Jan Nunley, Deputy Director for Communication for the Episcopal church, stated this:

“The additional irony, of course, is that it turns out that South Carolina and Virginia both used that same abbreviated form. As have most dioceses, apparently, for the last ten or so years.*  So if Virginia has to conduct a do-over, so does South Carolina…and so do most Episcopal dioceses for the past decade or so, more than 90 possible elections in more than 80 dioceses, by my count.”

Setting aside the fact that South Carolina apparently did not use the “short form”, for which Ms. Nunley has issued a correction, all of us are now wondering just how many dioceses have used the short form.

Is it indeed “most Episcopal dioceses for the past decade or so”?

Not according to “jim” over at Midwest Conservative Journal who not only attempted to post his comment over at the Episcopal church’s blog, but also surfed over to Chris Johnson’s blog and posted it there as a “safekeeping backup”.  [Nice call, Jim! . . . “That’s a nice comment you got there, Jim.  Hate for anything to happen to it, know what I mean?”]

Here is the comment in full:

“Jan, thank you for correcting one of the inaccuracies in your original post. However you still have an incorrect and rather inflammatory projection of ” more than 90 possible elections in more than 80 dioceses, by my count” as the number of elections that would require the “do-over”. I asked you to provide evidence of widespread use of the defective form. You have not provided any proof to support your claim and you haven’t corrected your outrageous projection. A quick check would have shown only 11[4 in ‘07] out of roughly 40 elections since 11-2000 used or attempted to use a defective form. A lot of numbers between 11 and “more than 90”. Remember these are only elections consented to by Standing Committees not GC. The Canon you cite [III.22.3] does not exist in the current canons. In the 2003 canons that section dealt with a Bishop’s resignation procedure…not consent during a GC. The correct canon for consents during GC are III.11.3.(b,c,d). There is no required language for this type of consent. Your reference to Article II.sec. 2 of the Constitution only reference the requirement for consent…without the procedure or requiring specific language. Did you send your readers off on a wild goose chase into the canons in order to clarify or confuse? Anyone who has read the canons would know there are different rules & requirements for General Convention consent [resolution for consent] which require a ballot and the consent from Standing Committees which requires compliance with III.11.4.b. The words in Canon are important [as well as signatures, of course]. When a bishop-elect requires consents from Standing Committees [III.11.4.b] the words in the Canons are printed in double bold & inset. The canon is specific & states that evidence SHALL be a testimony IN THE FOLLOWING WORDS. There is no room for any other words, any other form. The PB did not have any “evidence” of consent from the Standing Committees in order to determine if the standing committees had consented [remember evidence of canonical consent is defined in III.11.4.b in specific words, with no leeway for presumed ‘intent’]. Jan, why is 815 putting out so much misinformation and so many inaccurate, inflammatory statements? I was hoping for truth & integrity. It is distressing to see the Deputy Director for Communications of TEC spin so wildly out of control to use untruth, exaggeration, condescension, and now canonical wild goose chases in an attempt to cover up verifiable actions of the Presiding Bishop, her staff, and various dioceses.”

13 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook


[1] Posted by Phil on 07-26-2007 at 06:42 AM • top



[2] Posted by DonaldH on 07-26-2007 at 06:53 AM • top


Go, Jim, go!

[3] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 07-26-2007 at 07:05 AM • top

Question:  if Jan Nunley is the deputy director for communications for TEC, what is the website - is that “official TEC” or is it her personal blog, or are these things mixing together these days?  Maybe it doesn’t matter, but there seems to me to be a difference between official responses in one’s paid position and one’s own thoughts on one’s own blog (I would give a little more leeway for exaggeration, etc. if writing on one’s own website).

[4] Posted by RealityCheck on 07-26-2007 at 08:56 AM • top

Er…well… the comments may have contained factual errors but the point she was trying to make is correct.

[5] Posted by texex on 07-26-2007 at 09:22 AM • top


Yeah, as long as she signed it, it doesn’t matter whether it is in error or not. smile

[6] Posted by James Manley on 07-26-2007 at 11:23 AM • top

I do think Jim’s post, in listing only

… untruth, exaggeration, condescension, and now canonical wild goose chases in an attempt to cover up verifiable actions …

does go too far in omitting at least one other possible explanation, to wit, incompetence. Of course, the Rev. Nunley might take just as much exception to that characterization as to those cited in Jim’s post. Nevertheless, it would seem that when making assumptions for the cause of a snafu (to borrow a military term), it would seem the Christian thing to do to include possible explanations which do not impute a motive to the responsible party.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[7] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 07-26-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

The following is from ENS, the ‘official’ TEC news service from March 2007:

Episcopal Church websites and blogs
Episcopal Life Online joins other web sites and blogs of the Episcopal Church:
- The Episcopal Church (;
- EpiScope (

The response from Jan Nunley is in the official TEC blog so this type of exaggeration is uncalled for and inappropriate.

[8] Posted by jim1 on 07-26-2007 at 11:48 AM • top

texex:  what, as you see it, WAS the point she was trying to make?  Factual errors, especially gross errors, can tend to discredit an argument.

[9] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 07-26-2007 at 11:51 AM • top

Martial Artist (USN Rtd):

I think FUBAR is even more apt.  And the commentatrix will not come down on us like a Command Sergeant Major.

From the lawyers perspective defending the faithful, this behavior allows them to go… Up 10 Fire for Effect:)



[10] Posted by Alasdair+ on 07-26-2007 at 12:14 PM • top

Will “jim” be offering any seminars in canon law?

[11] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-26-2007 at 02:05 PM • top

Good post, but a question: how does Jim know the number of elections using faulty forms?

[12] Posted by BillyD on 07-26-2007 at 02:18 PM • top

BillyD good question.  These are forms sent to each Standing Committee for each election needing consent.  Every Standing Committee that saves copies of their actions would have records as to which diocese used which form for consent.  A review of the historical records of a TEC diocese showed the information I shared.  As in every case of multi year record review there are opportunities for a miscount, errors & absence of forms, I won’t insist the number 11 is THE exact number for all elections since Nov 2000, but it’s darn close. The 4 done in ‘07 are verifiable.  One in ‘05, and 3 in ‘04 are pretty sure things.  The further back we go the less I can call absolutely accurate. If someone else has done the research & has different information, I would be happy to compare lists [and freely admit my errors].  Again, good question BillyD.

[13] Posted by jim1 on 07-26-2007 at 04:02 PM • top

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