The Ecumenical Articles of Religion (Part 3)

In my previous post, I concluded that both lists from the original Resolution of Intent in the Journal of the 1970 General Conference of The United Methodist Church should be amended accordingly:

WHEREAS, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563)—and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX, XXXI, XXIV XXXII—was bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance in an ecumenical age that they should be reconsidered and reassessed. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgment (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven eight out of ten of these anti-Roman references XI, XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI in his enumeration. …

How well did subsequent petitioners and General Conferences deal with the above text?

The 1992 General Conference received petition 10654 with the same text from the original Resolution of Intent (pages 818-819 in the ADCA):

Whereas, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX, XXXI, XXIV, were bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance that they should be reconsidered and reassessed in the contemporary context. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgment (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven out of ten of these anti-Roman references XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI in his enumeration. …

Petition 10654 became Calendar Item 645 (page 295 of the DCA). The Independent Commissions Legislative Committee made no changes to the above text.

The 1996 General Conference received petition 21056 to make the following change to the above text (ADCA, page 265):

Whereas, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX, XXXI, XXIV XXXIV, were bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance that they should be reconsidered and reassessed in the contemporary context. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgment (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven out of ten of these anti-Roman references XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI in his enumeration. …

Article XXXIV in the original Thirty-Nine Articles is titled “Of the Traditions of the Church.” Wesley did retain this as Article XXII, “Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches.” Shouldn’t Article XXII be added to the list of references?

The Legislative Committee recommended concurrence with petition 21056 in Calendar Item 208 (DCA, page 142).

The 2000 General Conference received petition 30533 for the current resolution text (ADCA, page 1396):

Whereas, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563—and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX, XXI, XXI) was bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance in an ecumenical age that they should be reconsidered and reassessed. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgement (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven out of the ten of these antiRoman references (XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XIX, XX, XXI) in his enumeration. …

(DCA, page 1640 contains a correction for petition 30533 that does not modify the above text.)

Yes, the original petition added new errors: the list of ten Articles from the Thirty-Nine Articles lists Article XXI three times, and the list of seven antiRoman references changed XVIII to XVII.

Here is how the Legislative Committee converted the above text from petition 30533 into Calendar Item 1442 (DCA, page 2230):

Whereas, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563—and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX, XXI, XXI) was bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance in an ecumenical age that they should be reconsidered and reassessed. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgement (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven out of the ten of these antiRoman references (XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI) in his enumeration. …

The Legislative Committee corrected one of the errors in the original petition: it changed Article XVII back to Article XVIII. By merely striking the duplicates in the list of ten original Articles, the Committee did not consider that the list of ten original Articles now only contains eight Articles.

The 2008 General Conference Calendar Item 473 retained the above text. Here is how it appears on page 284 of the 2012 Book of Resolutions, 3144. Resolution of Intent: With a View to Unity:

WHEREAS, it is common knowledge that the context of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (1563–and specifically Articles XIV, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXX) was bitterly polemical, it is of prime importance in an ecumenical age that they should be reconsidered and reassessed. … John Wesley’s hasty abridgement (1784) of the original Thirty-Nine Articles (down to twenty-four) retained seven out of the ten of these anti-Roman references (XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI) in his enumeration. …

The 2012 Discipline cites this resolution in a footnote on page 66. Am I the only person who has (a) carefully read this resolution, and (b) noticed that it doesn’t contain a list of ten items?

I’ll conclude this series in the next post.

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