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Issued to the Council of Bishops by Father Gavriel Branas on April 30, 623 K.C.

Letter of ProposalEdit

Father Gavriel Branas, once Archimandrite to the monastics of the Thondroril Monastary, now Prior to the Council of Bishops, and Prefect to the Congregation of the Church of the Holy Light of Lordaeron; unto the Council of Bishops, expressly to the Clerk of Council, Master Legate Erich Gottfried Manstein. Grace and peace of the Holy Light be upon you, my brother, mother, and fathers of the Church.

Your Most Venerable Graces, it has come to my attention that some members of the laity (and even a number of heathens) have, in recent years, begun a most egregious practice contrary to the traditions of the Mother Church. Whether this practice is done in ignorance or with full and willful knowledge of what they are doing, I know not. It has come to my heart however, that action on part of the Mothers and Fathers of the Church is required to prevent a most shameful heresy.

The practice which I have observed is that certain members of the laity and heathens will go about saying and doing most egregious things, claiming to have been granted authority to do thus by one (one, not all) of your graces. Many of these members if the laity and heathens work alone in their efforts, so I pray that you do not take me as saying that there is a coordinated plot to subdue the Mother Church. However,  with the increasing number of incidents, I fear that there shall come a time (and a time that has already begun) when there shall be an exaltation of some Bishops by the laity over other Bishops, who shall be mocked and scorned, and that demands of excommunication shall be made on their part. The result of all this shall be a schism in the Church of unprecedented proportions.

But I have faith in you, my brethren, that the communion and love that we all share one for another shall harmonize into reason that shal overcome the noise of discord and hatred that has begun to be sounded. My contribution to this harmonization shall be a simple proposal to your graces to carefully consider for adoption at the next meeting of the Council of Bishops; a series of denoucements and affirmations.

I would first propose a denouncement of the doctrine of Infallibility Episcopus. That is, that one or many Bishops (but not the whole of the Council) cannot speak or commit error. The denouncement of this doctrine will go far to ensure that no might say that anyone one Bishop's word is greater than the other.

I would also propose an affirmation of the dogma of Infallibility Oecumenicis. That is, that the whole of the Council of Bishop (not one or many of the Bishops) cannot speak or commit error. The affirmation of this dogma will go far to ensure that there is no question as to the authority of the Council of Bishops (as a whole, not in part or in multitude). An addendum: To complete this dogma, matters which are brought before the Council and voted upon must be voted on and ratified unanimously, not by a majority. However, should a ratification be stopped by a small number of votes, it ought to be considered for further discussion and the nay-saying Bishops questioned as to their reasons for nay-saying.

To ensure that my doctrine is sound, I shall provide a verbal illustration for your graces. I would ask your graces to imagine, as is often thought, that the Mother Church as a whole makes up the body of the Holy Light, with individual members and limbs. Each member and limb would be one of the many Synods of the Church, with a Bishop to guide it and keep it in communion with the rest of the members and limbs of the body. The Archbishop is, of course, the head of the body; the presiding Bishop, just as the Bishop is the presiding Priest of his Synod. When the body, with member, limbs, and head act in communion and in love, there is harmony and anything that the body as a whole does (as it is the body of the Holy Light itself) is infallible,  just as the Holy Light is. However, when one member or limb or even the head acts on its own without the rest of the body, there is discord and the body is no longer the body of the Holy Light (for within the Holy Light, there is no discord. Far beyond infallible, the Holy Light is impeccable. That is, the Holy Light cannot sin). Yes, brethren, even the head, the Pontiff and venerable Archbishop does not escape this reckoning. The actions of the traitor-heretic Jarl are my justification for stating thus.

It is for this reason, your graces, that I am so emphatic upon bringing into communion, members that are of like mind and heart; preserving and healing those members which have become sick (my own member, the Synod of Lordaeron is one of these), and finally with heavy heart, casting away those members which are deemed too sick to have communion in the Holy Light. They must be cast away from the body, lest the whole body become sick.

Again, I pray your graces would receive this message well and that you would carefully consider these matters.

Letter Episcopus, A ReplyEdit

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Cathedral of Holy Light

Prior Gavriel, my brother in ministry and my spiritual son,

Peace be upon you.

I would inquire simply upon the matters which are perceived as so grave to have the potential to splinter our beloved church and cause the Divine not to be well served (Light forbid). For, dependent on in what matter, it could very well be an issue which calls for the liberty of the local ordinary, who is the Light's representative in his jurisdiction. Otherwise, it could very well by a matter of the doctrine of the faith, which may call for the shining splendor of unity.

Regardless, it could be harmful to the church to cause an unwarranted perplexity in doctrine which may confuse the humble, confound the teaching authority of the church, reduce the will of the Light to a democracy, and weaken the moral authority of the Church by introducing new terms to describe the teachings of the Church.

It is sometimes said by wise men: in the matters of faith, unity; in the matters of doubtful things, liberty; in the matters of all things, caritas. I would press the truth in the words and inquire what specific matters which you propose might be left up to unity, and pray that in all things your responses will be crowned with charity.

May the Light bless you, Prior. You are a true child of the Light.
Bishop Johannes

Address to the Bishop by the Father BranasEdit

Bishop Johannes Moorwhelp, my guiding spiritual father and ever ally in the good cause of the Holy Light.

Peace be with you.

Father, I apologize for my abrupt departure from our conversation earlier. I could not find it within my heart to express those things which were burdened upon me after the many intrusions we suffered whilst dialoging. I have resolved to send you this missive instead and, when next we meet, I would most humbly request to be administered the rite of confession by your grace.

Resuming from what I last remember us speaking of, Master Stormshend stated in his Encyclical to the Council that he:

“..wholeheartedly professes faith in the pagan religion of Gilneas, as well as belief in the Holy Light.”
Such a thing is nothing short of a statement of infidelity to the Holy Light of Creation
(I cite the conclusion of Summa Luxologica as my authority to say thus; bearing in mind that this was a text that you, yourself declared free of doctrinal error).

When Master Stormshend and I spoke the other day, as I had said, I was attempting to take the advice given to me by Bishop-Elect Tarso Valcari (whom I would name as a witness) in ‘getting to know Master Stormshend better’ so that I might see that he was not at all what I believed him to be given my encounter with him at Northshire Abbey on the night of Dame Seltara’s anointing (I would name Bishop-Emeritus Rennali Sunwhisper as a witness). Instead of having a pleasant conversation with him, he made the outrageous statement that all I sought to do was play a game of politics, attempting to make myself look better.

Father, I will confess that it is at this time that I am truly gladdened at the wisdom that was given to me by the fathers of the Church in taking a vow of non-violence against all things that have the capacity to reflect the glory of the Holy Light, for if I had not taken such a vow, I would assure you that I would have struck him.

Instead of doing this, I simply attempted to do the righteous thing in turning the other cheek and questioning him on what, exactly, the Elder Ways were. He responded that I ought to attend his seminary this coming Friday at Northshire. Unfortunately, I will be on my way back up to Lordaeron to administer the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Children on that Friday, but I would like to request that one of the Clergy go in my stead to write down all of what he teaches so that I might get a better understanding of this pagan way of life. In attempting to continue dialoging with him, he reminded obstinate that all I was doing what presenting a conciliatory face so that I might ruin him when the opportunity arose.

Father, this is a man who goes about your Synod claiming to be one of the laity while at the same time, holds the infidelic notion that he is perfectly entitled to go about saying that he may worship the Holy Light and his Elder Ways equally. I again urge you to review the conclusion of Summa Luxologica to see the truth of this. Addendum: It has always been the tradition of the Mother Church to venerate those walks of life which lead to righteousness, for all righteousness finds its origin in the Holy Light. But unto whom much is given, much shall be required and what shall we say to the Divine when we stand before the fearsome throne of judgment and stand accused of idolatry and infidelity?

But what does any of this have to do with my requests for the denouncement of Infallibility Episcopus, and the affirmation of Infallibility Oecumenicis? Father, again, there is a man going about in your synod claiming that he has authority (as if divinely given) to say and do as he pleases with his infidelic beliefs. He has already sneered at me for daring to defy him, again saying that you gave him this authority, and he has also sneered at Bishop-Emeritus Sunwhisper for similar reasons (I call her as a witness again). If there is a pagan in the synod that does this, what is to stop the laity from doing so? Have the laity not already done so before? If I remember correctly, it was the laity of yours and other synods that forced Bishop-Emeritus Sunwhisper to abdicate her position as Bishop of Quel’Thalas, on the grounds that you would support their crusade against Quel’Thalas, whilst she would not.

Father, I do not mean disrespect in any sense, far from it; this is a question that arises from the depths of my heart and has caused me much worry of late. I do not deny that you are the presiding ordinary of the Council of Bishops, but do you see yourself as having more authority than other Bishops of the Church? If it is not so, then I humbly ask your forgiveness for my short-sightedness and unbelief in your most holy intentions to lead the Mother Church until such a time as a new Archbishop may be elected. But father, if you do believe that you hold more authority than other Bishops, father, I beg you to reconsider; for not even the Blessed Patriarch, the ever faithful Archbishop Alonsus Faol thought himself to be above other Bishops of the Mother Church.

It is for this reason that I ask for the denouncement and affirmation of the doctrines I have previously stated, yes into Canon Law. I beg you that you do not turn a blind eye or deaf ears to what I have seen and heard. I also beg that you do not think me attempting to subvert your authority as an Ordinary of the Church. Far from it, I seek to make it so that none of the laity, nor the heathens might say that the will of the Light has erred; rather a mortal has erred but repented of his error and brought himself back into communion with the Light.

May the Light bless you, my father. These are troubling times for even now, the pagans seek to bring the Mother Church down onto the level of a mere system of government, rather than the true and only path to the Divine.

Fr. Gavriel Branas

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