220th GA removes about 50 of the 300-plus authoritative interpretations

July 7, 2012

Pittsburgh

About 50 of the authoritative interpretations issued since Presbyterian reunion in 1983 will be removed following the vote near the end of the General Assembly session that ended in the early morning hours of July 7.

The authoritative interpretations were removed because they reference sections of the Book of Order that no longer exist after the current Form of Government went into effect last year.

Committee Moderator Barbara Ross of Western North Carolina Presbytery compared the removed interpretations to Wile E. Coyote of cartoon fame, “hanging with no support left in the Form of Government.”

Authoritative interpretations of the PC(USA) Book of Order are issued by either the General Assembly or its Permanent Judicial Commission. Each authoritative interpretation continues in effect unless and until the General Assembly or its PJC rescinds it, amends it or supersedes it with a new authoritative interpretation.

The Assembly accepted all recommendations of its Authoritative Interpretations Committee, which had acted on a report of the Special Committee on Existing Authoritative Interpretations created by the 219th General Assembly in 2010.

The committee had recommended around 250 authoritative interpretations to be retained and about 50 to be removed.

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