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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 40 : General Review and Control

Paragraph 1 :

40-1. It is the right and duty of every court above the Session to review, at least once a year, the records of the court next below, and if any lower court fails to present its records for this purpose, the higher court may require them to be produced immediately, or at any time fixed by this higher court.

[Historical Summary : The wording of this paragraph dates to the PCUS revision enacted in 1925. Prior versions, including PCUS 1879 and the PCUSA draft Revision of 1858 are closely similar. Subsequent revisions within the PCUSA tradition retained usage of the word "judicatory", while the PCUS tradition opted for the word "court".]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 14-1, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 152
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 14-1, Proposed text, p. 55
3. PCUS 1933, XIII-§261
4. PCUS 1925, XIII-§261

It is the right and duty of every court above the Session to review, at least once a year, the records of the court next below, and if any lower court fails to present its records for this purpose, the higher court may require them to be produced immediately, or at any time fixed by this higher court.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XIII-1-1

It is the duty of every court above a Church Session, at least once a year, to review the records of the proceedings of the courts next below. And if any lower court shall omit to send up its records for this purpose, the higher court may issue an order to produce them, either immediately, or at a particular time, as circumstances may require.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-1-1
It is the duty of every court above a Church-session, at least once a year, to review the records of the proceedings of the court next below. And if any lower court shall omit to produce them, either immediately, or at a particular time, as circumstances may require.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-1-1
It is the duty of every court above a church-session, at least once a year, to review the records of the proceedings of the court next below. And if any lower court shall omit to send up its records for this purpose, the higher may issue an order to produce them, either immediately, or at a particular time, as circumstances may require.

PCUSA 1858 draft, Revised Book of Discipline, VIII-1-1

It is the duty of every judicatory above a church session, at least once a year, to review the records of the proceedings of the judicatory next below. And if any lower judicatory shall omit to send up its records for this purpose, the higher may issue an order to produce them, either immediately, or at a particular time, as circumstances may require.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. ), on :
240.--I. It is the duty of every court above a Church Session, at least once a year, to review the records of the proceedings of the courts next below. And if any lower court shall omit to send up its records for this purpose, the higher court may issue an order to produce them, either immediately, or at a particular time, as circumstances may require.
The Assembly reviews the records of each of the Synods ; each Synod, the records of each of its Presbyteries ; and each Presbytery, the records of the Session of each of its churches.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]