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[LCMS] CCM reaffirms its 8 opinions
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Fri, 16 Apr 2004 22:10:36 -0500
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April 16, 2004 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 39
CCM: Not necessary to withdraw 8 opinions
By Joe Isenhower Jr.
The Synods Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) March 22
reaffirmed its eight opinions that the Board of Directors last year said
are of no effect. The commission added that the resolutions by which
the Board made that declaration are directly contrary to the Synods
The commission met by phone March 22 and sent letters the next
day with those responses to the chairmen of the Board and of the Council
of Presidents. The Board and COP held a joint meeting Feb. 6-7, where
CCM Chairman Walter Tesch agreed to ask the commission to review the
Five of the opinions define limits to the Boards authority and
three have to do with ecclesiastical supervision in the Synod.
Last November, the Board of Directors passed two resolutions
taking issue with those opinions and saying that they are of no
Synod Bylaw 3.905 d says that opinions of the CCM are binding
unless overruled by a Synod convention.
At a meeting in February, the Board said it would withdraw the
two resolutions if the CCM would withdraw its eight opinions, so as to
allow the issues involved to be addressed by the 2004 synodical
Having reviewed the eight opinions, the commission says in its
March 22 response, the CCM remains of the opinion that these opinions
are correct, appropriate and consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws
of the Synod. Further, it is not necessary for these opinions to be
withdrawn in order to allow the issues involved to be addressed by the
2004 synodical convention.
The CCMs March response says that the Boards two November
resolutions are directly contrary to Bylaw 3.183 d 2 which states that
the Board of Directors shall have the right to call up for review,
criticism, modification or revocation any action or policy of a program
board, commission, or council, except opinions of the Commission on
If the CCM were to withdraw the questioned opinions, the
commissions response continues, the promised withdrawal action by the
Board of Directors would be an empty gesture since the withdrawal of the
opinions by the CCM makes those opinions a nullity and thereby of no
effect. Further, the Board of Directors could then claim to be
acting in accord with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod since the
constitution and bylaw limitations upon the activities of the Board of
Directors as determined in those opinions would no longer exist.
The commission says it cannot agree with the conclusions of
the Board of Directors in a detailed explanation of its concerns
regarding the eight opinions provided by the Board.
A common thread running through the comments of the Board of
Directors is its assertion of greater authority than conferred currently
by the Constitution and Bylaws, the commissions response says. It
advocates that its supervisory power over all the property and business
affairs of the Synod allows it to determine actions and authority which
the Constitution and Bylaws presently give to other officers, boards and
commissions. Further, the effect of the Boards greater assertion of
authority will necessarily be to influence doctrinal matters through its
control of finances. If the polity of the Synod is to be changed, such
change must come from the Synod in convention ... and not by fiat of an
officer or board.
If you have questions or comments about this LCMSNews release,
contact Joe Isenhower Jr. at email@example.com or (314) 996-1231,
or Paula Schlueter Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 996-1230.
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