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Something lost in translation?

by
25 October 2013

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Your answers

Is there any theological or missional rationale for moving a diocesan bishop from one diocese to another?

A bishop's relationship to his diocese came to be compared to a marriage - an analogy frequently used to forbid the translation (movement) of a bishop from one see to another, as by Canon 15 of the Council of Nicaea (325). The questioner may recall the old saying that "a bishop is wedded to his diocese," whereby it was unthinkable and officially uncanonical to move or be moved. That strict rule was not maintained, and translation of bishops - not always for the best reasons - became common from the Middle Ages into modern times.

Despite obvious abuses in the past, there are positive reasons, both theological and missional, that support a judicious movement of bishops across dioceses. There was always a serious flaw in the ancient insistence on permanent stability in one see: it overlooked the essential relationship of a bishop's office to the Church at large. This is a theological factor that serves the mission of the whole Church.

Ever changing missional patterns and the need to respond to fresh opportunities in other regions must allow sufficient scope and freedom to move bishops to places where a particular gift of leadership, be it intellectual, pastoral, or administrative, can most effectively be used for the benefit of the Church's life.

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor Monmouthshire

 

Among professional lay people outside Academe and the laboratory, including politicians, lawyers, and bankers, it is customary to eschew the use of doctoral titles. Ministers of religion, however, seem happy to use them. Very few are doctors of divinity, although a limited number havea lower doctorate in religious studies. What is the reason for the difference in usage? [Answers, 11 October]

In Crockford's Clerical Directory, there is advice on addressing the clergy. Regarding academics, the advice is that, when a cleric holds more than one title, the ecclesiastical one is normally used. Thus, when both Canon and Professor, in a formal listing or on an envelope use "The Reverend Canon A. B. Smith", but in informal usage either "Canon Smith" or "Professor Smith", according to context - but not both together. Similarly for Canon and Doctor when both titles are held.

Harry Marsh (Lay canon)
Great Baddow, Chelmsford

 

Your questions

Our parish was established by an Act of Parliament in Victorian times. Why was it necessary for an Act of Parliament to be passed for the parish to come into being?
G. P.

 

Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.

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