Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Church discipline is based in theory upon divine discipline And is, therefore, an act of caring love (Heb. 12:5-12 and Mt. 18:11-14).

  • Discipline is always remedial in intent, for both the church and the individual (1 Cor. 5:5-7).
  • It is possible to argue for a distinction between public and private areas
  • Private offences should be dealt with privately initially (Mt. 18:15-17), but public offences can be dealt with corporately from the beginning if the church is endangered. Of course,
    public offences can also be dealt with privately. Representatives from the Elders or Lay Deacons should represent the fellowship in the case of public offences.
  • Failure to practice church discipline at all is a direct violation of God’s will (1 Cor. 5:2). At the same time, considerable latitude is allowable in the interest of the believer
  • Failure to discipline victoriously and righteously results in a build-up of frustration and anger within. Such a build-up of anger can result in destructive outbursts when self-control
    is lost.
  • According to Robert’s Rules of Order, discipline could include censure, fine, suspension, or expulsion.


Canon Law 5 The Discipline 3: Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Ordinary (officer)
An ordinary (from Latin ordinarius) is an officer of the chaplaincy authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws. Such officers are found in hierarchically organized Churches of Western Christianity which have an ecclesiastical legal system. In our organization Synod bishops working in the region are ordinaries, working under the House of Bishops.

This pattern of governance dates back to the earliest centuries of Christianity, as witnessed by the writings of Ignatius of Antioch (CE. 100)

Ordinary power
In canon law 20161231, the power to govern the chaplaincy is divided into the power to make laws (The Symposium Synod), enforce the laws (The Synod of the House of Bishops), and to judge based on the law.

A person exercises power to govern either because the person holds an office to which the law grants governing power or because someone with governing power has delegated it to the person. Ordinary power is the former, while the latter is delegated power. The office with ordinary power could possess the governing power itself (proper ordinary power) or instead it could have the ordinary power of agency, the inherent power to exercise someone else’s power (vicarious ordinary power).

The law vesting ordinary power could either be ecclesiastical law, i.e., the positive enactments that the Chaplaincy has established for itself, or divine law, i.e., the laws which the Chaplaincy believes were given to it by God. As an example of divinely instituted ordinaries, we believe when Jesus established the Church He also established the episcopate and the Primacy of James, endowing the offices with the power to govern the Chaplaincy. Thus, in the Chaplaincy, the office of the successor of James and the office of bishop possess their ordinary power even in the absence of positive enactments from the Chaplaincy.

Many officers possess ordinary power but, due to their lack of ordinary executive power, are not called ordinaries. The best example of this phenomenon is the office of justice minister or justice lay minister.

The judicial minister only has authority through his office to exercise the local bishop’s power to judge cases. Though the minister has minister ordinary judicial power, he is not ordinary because he lacks ordinary executive power. He has authority through his office to exercise the local bishop’s executive power. He is, therefore, an ordinary because of this ministerial ordinary executive power.

The Archbishop is ordinary for the whole EMMI Chaplaincy.


The Regional Bishop have ordinary power of governance for the whole territory of their respective autonomous particular Chaplaincies. He holds uncontested authority within the boundaries of his own region no other bishop may perform any sacerdotal functions without the ruling bishop’s express invitation. The violation of this rule is called “trespassing”, literally “jumping in”, and is un-canonical. Ultimately, all bishops in the Chaplaincy are equal, regardless of any title they may enjoy. The role of the bishop in the Regional Chaplaincy is both hierarchical and sacramental.

The bishop in each Chaplaincy presides in the place of God Let no one do any of the things which concern the Chaplaincy without the bishop

Wherever the bishop appears, just as wherever Christ is, there is the Chaplaincy the bishop’s primary and distinctive task to celebrate the Eucharist

Chaplaincy has a Connexion polity; the local minister or minister-pastor functions as the “hands” of the bishop and must receive from the bishop a mention before he is permitted to
celebrate any of the Sacraments)within the chaplaincies.

In each particular community gathered around its bishop; and at every local celebration of the Eucharist, it is the whole Christ who is present, not just a part of Him. Therefore, each local chaplaincy, as it celebrates the Eucharist, it is the Chaplaincy in its fullness.

A bishop’s authority comes from his election and consecration. He is, however, subject to the Sacred Canons of the Chaplaincy, and answers to the Synod of the House of Bishops to which he belongs.

In case a bishop is overruled by his regional bishop, he retains the right of appeal to his ecclesiastical superior and his synod.

The bishops handed on their office and authority to their successors through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Therefore, when a minister is ordained as a bishop, he receives the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders The fullness of the office and authority entrusted to the apostles: The Constitution on the Chaplaincy of EMMI says: “In the person of the bishops, then, to whom the minister render assistance, Christ, Supreme Head, is present to the faithful”.

Our Chaplaincy possesses a line of apostolic succession, meaning that the office and authority granted by Christ to the apostles the first bishops, was transmitted to their successor bishops, and onto succeeding bishops through the ages to this present time.

In the regional territory, the bishop will be assisted by one or more auxiliaries. An auxiliary bishop is appointed by the Archbishop at the request of the Ordinary to assist him in the governance of the chaplaincies and take his place if he is absent or impeded. The auxiliary bishop works in harmony with the Ordinary.

An adjudicator is someone who presides, judges, and arbitrates during a formal dispute.

They have numerous purposes, including preliminary legal judgments, to determine applicant eligibility. An adjudicator makes an initial decision to keep a case from going to court.

The adjudicator’s decision does have legal weight for rendered a decision. Although a case can be appealed, the adjudicator’s decision is frequently accepted for keeping many time-consuming cases out of the court system

A coadjutor bishop is like an auxiliary bishop except that he has the right of succession. When the Ordinary resigns from office or dies, the coadjutor succeeds him

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