July 14, 2013

Revised Pittsburgh Proposals

I indicated in a previous post, “Who Can Be President of the Pittsburgh Standing Committee?” that I would be submitting proposals to amend Article IX, Standing Committee, and Canon XXXII, Of Amendments, to the Committee on Constitution and Canons. I did that Friday.

What I submitted was informed by an e-mail discussion among current and former members of the Standing Committee plus a couple of other people (me, for instance). There was nearly universal agreement among people with Standing Committee experience that (1) it should be possible for a layperson to be president of the Standing Committee, and (2) there should be no restrictions on who can become an officer of the Standing Committee. Although I initially wanted to limit the ability of a Standing Committee member to hold the same office more than once during his or her four-year term, there are no such restrictions on other bodies (Diocesan Council, for example), so it seemed unfair to burden the Standing Committee in this way.

Unsurprisingly, the group had less to say about Canon XXXII, which deals with amending the Pittsburgh canons, but the response to my proposal has generally been positive.

My proposal to amend Article IX to allow for a lay president of the Standing Committee can be read here.

My proposal to amend Canon XXXII to clarify how canons are amended can be read here. It is unclear what will be needed to effect the proposed change, as the present Canon XXXII specifies (badly) the procedure for amending the canons. Will the procedure that we have been following be used, or will the diocese suddenly try to take Canon XXXII literally?

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