I seem to remember when you had gone through and looked at that. Do you happen to have a link to where you had posted that?
My in-depth treatment of the subject begins with this post:
At any rate, one of the things that had me thinking about this was the fact that in my seven years in the Church, episcopal visits have been few and far between (as in once, maybe twice). That seemed odd compared to when I was Episcopalian, when (as Keble noted) we could expect to see the bishop at least once a year, more if you counted diocesan retreats and conferences. That combined with the DOS being large enough it could probably be split in two and the recent discussion about Archbishop Job's ill health being tied to constantly traveling in the even larger Diocese of the Midwest and I started to wonder if we're stretching some of our bishops a little too far, both in terms of their own good and for their parishes.
I think we are - what you mention about travel and taxing our hierarchs is one of the places where administrative division (remember, we are unified in the One Cup and One Body of Christ) rears its ugly head. Why have 7 hierarchs in Chicago who all have to travel quite a bit to visit their parishes? The travel takes a toll on them physically, in addition to the more pragmatic issue of paying for all that travel in each diocese.
Thank you for the link, it predates my participation in the forum and it was most interesting.
It would be an interesting exercise to try to move from that framework to prepare a hypothetical model of actual administration under such a plan. A few topics jump out: 1. Legal: How would title to property be handled. There are several layers to consider as follows:
A. Current Diocesan Properties Including but not limited to:
i. Cathedrals and chancery buildings
ii. Diocesan Cemeteries
iii. Camps and educational facilities
v. Trust funds and endowments
B. The status of title and ownership of local Church properties
i. Local properties currently titled to existing Diocesan hierarchy
ii. The 'sticky wicket' of local properties which are congregationally held
or held in trust. Issues may include local charters or by-laws which
mandate or prohibit participation in jurisdiction or another.
iii. Halls, social clubs and associated properties which may be held by a
local congregation or held in trust or otherwise by a membership club
or a benevolent trust. 2. Handling Traditions : Retention and preservation of the integrity of local custom or heritage
i. This has to be addressed to prevent a local hierarch from mandating
practices which he may prefer but may not be the practice within an
existing congregation. I refer to traditions within the praxis of Orthodoxy
which certainly vary among all of the existing jurisdictions. Over the passage
of time this issue may be less and less important, but coming out of the
gate it will be a most difficult and troublesome problem. How can you limit
the authority of a local Bishop without infringing upon his canonical rights?
History tells us that congregations will not sit idly and accept radical, sudden
changes to the way things have been done. Many existing parishes were born
as a result of episcopal overreach and the memory of those actions has been
mythologized by generations of parishioners. This reality simply can not be
ignored or there will be more schism and more division, making us even more
fragmented than we are today. 3. Practical: Issues such as diocesan obligations of parishes, obligations to the Synod etc.. 4. Other issues
Perhaps, if we give some careful consideration to these practical issues, we might provide something of value that might reach the attention of our hierarchs.
Let's try to be civil and constructive. Good luck!