The United Methodist Judicial Council has already answered that question.
That was the response of the denomination’s top court to a request for a declaratory decision about potential conflicts in the United Methodist Book of Discipline over language about the authority of General Conference and the authority of annual conferences. The request was made during the Feb. 24 afternoon session of General Conference.
In Memorandum 1376, the Judicial Council said “the question raised in this matter was answered in Judicial Council Decision 1321.”
Decision 1321 — a response from a request by General Conference 2016 — addressed the issue of “perceived or potential conflicts” involving provisions in the church’s constitution, legislative enactments of the General Conference and differences of interpretation expressed in Judicial Council decisions.
“Paragraphs 16 and 33 of the Constitution assign specific authority and responsibility to the General Conference and to the annual conferences in The United Methodist Church,” Decision 1321 concluded. “They are not in conflict. Paragraphs 304 and 2702 are legitimate legislative enactments of the General Conference. Decisions 542 and 544 of the Judicial Council are not in conflict.”
Bloom is the assistant news editor for United Methodist News Service and is based in New York.
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