The Dennis Canon – updated
By George Conger
posted June 27, 2012
In 2007 I wrote an article for the Living Church magazine reporting on the controversies surrounding the passage of the Dennis Canon at the 1979 General Convention. In that article I reported that it could not be shown that the Dennis Canon had passed the convention, but the balance of probabilities made it more than likely that it did.
In the five years since I wrote that article I have done further research on this question, and in light of these researches I have revised my conclusions.
As stated in the pleading below, I believe:
Although I hereby express no opinion as to the legal significance of my findings set forth above regarding the documentation relating to the Dennis Canon of the 1979 General Convention, I believe that the Dennis Canon was not properly adopted. In that regard, I affirm those findings: (1) that documentation relating to the Dennis Canon of the 1979 General Convention is missing from the archives and therefore that it cannot be verified that the canon was lawfully adopted by the Convention; (2) that no evidence exists in the archives that shows notice as required by Canon V.1 Section 5a was given to the wider church; (3) that no evidence exists in the archives that shows a motion to suspend the rules was offered to the House of Deputies under Rule VI.22 to permit the resolution to be considered out of time or that two-thirds of the deputies voted for such a suspension.In recent years I have been engaged as an expert witness in a number of court cases concerning the Episcopal Church’s property cases. I am not a canon law expert, but an expert in the Episcopal Church’s history and polity, which includes the history of Episcopal canon law, Episcopal church properties and how they were historically acquired and held, and on the evolution and growth of the Episcopal Church’s national structures in relation to its parishes and dioceses. the rest