Dan Martins published a rather scathing report on the lack of proper canonical procedure in the election of coadjutor bishop for Virginia, siting the concerns of the diocese of San Joaquin that proper canonical procedure was not followed and therefore questioning the rejection of the various diocesan consents to the election of Mark Lawarence in South Carolina. The interesting refutation of this by EpiScope pointed out that the form used in Viriginia was the same as used in South Carolina and in many other elections in the past ten years. (EpiScope has since retracted that claim re South Carolina, but not in general - it appears it was not used in SC but was in many prior elections.) The whole thing, in spite of BabyBlue's commentary, and the Living Church's posting, is going down as a rather odd bit of Episcopal Church trivia.
Except for one thing: Dan Martins is right to point out the initial problem. If the Canons require a particular form, then why not use it? The fact that many dioceses, including South Carolina, did or did not use it is no reason to drop the question. It is every reason to drop the use of the question as a way to discredit the decision that the consents for Mark Lawrence were not proper.
I agree with Dan that if we want to be consistent we might actually try following the rubrics, the canons, the Constitution and living with the Creeds with sufficient integrity that we can say them with a clear conscience, and so forth. So, if the Canons stipulate a particular structure of a letter then let's use it. Meanwhile, let's get off the high horse of thinking we do better than others at actually doing what is required.
So let's cut Dan a break: His question is valid, even though the conclusion does not follow.
And maybe, lets play by the rules, or if we decide not to, agree that we have decided not to, and if necessary pay the consequences.