The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 1890 SYNODICAL BLUNDERING.
It is commonly remarked that clerics are, as a rule, very poor business men. There are exceptions, no doubt, but they but prove the existence of the rule referred to. And it is probably just as well that it is so, for it would indeed be a pity if the pulpit showed all the characteristics of the modern business world. Yet for all that it would be just as well if bishops, priests, and deacons would endeavor to acquire just enough knowledge of business rules to enable them to transact ecclesiastical business in a business-like way. That there is a lamentable deficiency lin this respect has been evidenced by the blunders which have been made in connection with theelection of Primate, and apparently also in that of a successor to Bishop Harper in the see of Oistchurch. After much anxiety and more trouble, resultant upon the tangle into which matters had got in respect to the former, the General Synod is at last convened, to take action de novo, and,, this time, let us hope to secure an election which cannot be questioned on any technical ground. But it would seem that it will also have to be called upon to pass a special statute enabling the consecration of Archdeacon Julius to the see of Christchurch, it having been found that the action of the Diocesan authority in connection with his election was open to at least "the suspicion of invalidity. The clerical side of Synod is not to. be held solely responsible for all this, inasmuch as the laity is therein also represented, some of the lay members being capable business men, and some of them learned also in civil law. The lay •"element must, therefore, take its share of the blame for the complications which have arisen through a want of proper care to conduct the business of the Synod with a clue regard to form and the requirements of ecclesiastical law. Probably in the past the lay members of Synod has considered thatthey might safely leave this the clerical element, but if so, recent experience should undeceive them on this point, and it will be just as well for some of them to sharply scrutinize all future proceedings with a view to guarding against the recurrence of similar difficulties in the future. In Legislative Assemblies, the mode of procedure in connection with ' the election of Speaker is laid down by Standing Order, and it occurs to us that it might be as well if Synod were ltd lay down certain definite rules of procedurein. connection with thedueelootion to such ecclesiastical appointments as it from time to time becomes its function to fill. Such rules should 1 be as concise and clear as possible, and it would then be easy to secure that the action taken should be such as t could not possibly bp taken exception to for want of form.