.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 31 : The Parties in Cases of Process

Paragraph 6 :

31-6. When the offense is general, the case may be conducted either by any person appearing as prosecutor or by a prosecutor appointed by the court.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text remains virtually unchanged from that of PCA 1973 and all PCUS editions from 1933 and back to the 1876 draft. The one minor difference between the current text and the earlier editions is the removal of a comma after the first mention of the word "prosecutor".]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 5-6, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 147
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 5-6, Proposed text, p. 42
3. PCUS 1933, RoD, V-§187
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, V-§187
5. PCUS 1879, RoD, V-6
6. PCUS 1876 draft, Rules of Discipline, V-6

When the offence is general, the cause may be conducted either by any person appearing as prosecutor, or by a prosecutor appointed by the court.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, V-3
and
PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, V-3
General offences may be brought before a court, either by an individual or individuals, appearing as prosecutor or prosecutors, and undertaking to substantiate the charge, or by a prosecutor appointed by the court.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 189), on V-6:
166.--VI. When the offence is general, the cause may be conducted either by any person appearing as prosecutor, or by a prosecutor appointed by the court.
This is true also when the offence is personal, the previous paragraph not meaning that only the injured party could become voluntary prosecutor, but that he could not without previously complying with the conditions. This limitation applies only to the injured party.
"Any person" must be limited to "any member of the Church submitting to its authority" (267) ; for certainly no other could represent the Church and have all its rights in the case. But the appointed prosecutor must be a member of the particular church or of the court (162).



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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]