on the Northern Michigan Episcopate
Bishop Paul V. Marshall
April 5, 2009
The Church, as it ponders scripture, tradition, in the light to the best reason it can muster, is itself the judge of the Church's latitude in doctrine and practice. It defines that latitude from time to time, seeking to welcome the broadest possible expression of the basics of the faith. Core doctrines are maintained most notably by unambiguous reference in liturgy and catechism.
Thus when Bishop Righter was tried for allegedly violating the Church's doctrine in accepting certain persons for ordination, the court was able to say that while the question was a theological question, it was not a matter of core doctrine and was not addressed in our central documents. Unpublished documents from the right wing opine that they subsequently think they would have more likely gotten a conviction if they had charged Righter with violating the discipline (operating rules) rather than the doctrine of the Church.