Should Pelagius, a fourth century heretic, be reinstated and his positive contribution to Christian theology be acknowledged? This was the proposal in a resolution of Rev. Benno D. Pattison in a resolution submitted to the the 105th Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. I reported on the proposal prior to the vote, and a commenter on that original post was kind enough to inform us of the Council’s decision.
The measure to reinstate Pelagius was rejected, as reported in a summary of the actions taken at the Council meeting. I am glad to see that the members of the 105th Council did not adopt this resolution. They likely understand that it would bear virtually no real ecclesiastical weight. The teachings of Pelagius are widely regarded as error, and no declaration of a single diocese in a single denomination is going to have much effect on the position of the world Christian community. Indeed, the move would likely only further distance the Episcopal Church from worldwide historic Christianity.
It is worth noting that many ecclesial polities allow for any sort of legislative petitions or resolutions to be submitted for a vote by the ecclesial body. Unusual and eccentric items can easily come before the larger voting body; it would seem that this was one of those times. We can be grateful that the 105th Council exercised wisdom in rejecting this peculiar resolution.