Anglican Church in Corea:
Being Documents, original and translated, issued by Authority during the Episcopate of the First Bishop of the Church of England in Corea between 1889 and 1905
by C. J. Corfe, Bishop
To the clergy placed in charge of parishes or mission stations where there were native Christians has been entrusted the power of dealing with the ordinary cases of discipline.--such power having been conveyed by the License issued to them by the Bishop.
Except in the case of those clergy who have previously had the care of souls in England an addition has been appended to the License, authorizing the Priest in charge of the Station to receive Confessions. The ordinary discipline of the Church has therefore, proceeded on the lines of the Church of England as indicated by the Book of Common Prayer in the Exhortation before Communion and in the Visitation of the Sick. The Diocese, however being without Synod, and therefore without the power of framing Canons of Discipline to meet the special needs of the Church--a church, it should be added, which is bound neither by Acts of Uniformity nor by the English Law--it has been necessary for the Bishop to provide tentatively for the Discipline practised by the Primitive Church whose restoration is so much desired by the Church of England in the Commination Service. And this he has done in two ways.
(1). By suspension of notorious offenders from Communion until they have made public confession of their sin in Church in the presence of the congregation of the faithful, before the Nicene Creed--that is to say after the Catechumens have been dismissed. Although such cases have been reported to the Bishop, the dealing with them has, of course, come within the ordinary power of the Parish Priest.
(2) In the case of impenitent sinners the Bishop has issued a formal document (a translation, in substance, is appended) the effect of which is to forbid the offender not merely the Sacraments but access to the Church, especially during the time of Divine Worship. It will be seen that this document is designed chiefly for those whose failure (for whatever inexcusable cause) to attend the Church's Services at the appointed times has become a scandal and therefore a source of injury to the other members of the Church, as constituting a breach of unity. This action is as much for the protection of the body of the Faithful as for the benefit of the offending member who, so far from being deprived of the ministration of the clergy and laity (except in Church), is held up to all the faithful as an object of unceasing and earnest prayer and expostulation. Should such an offender shew signs of repentance there is nothing to bar the way of his return, after Confession made before the body against which he has offended. This discipline has been exercised in almost every case on those who, through conscious sin or indifference have lapsed into heathenism and have given up the practice of consorting with Christians either in or out of Church. Excommunications as such, whether major or minor, being the acts of a fully organized Church, have never been pronounced by the Bishop on his sole authority.
The Form by which a Christian is forbidden to enter within any of the Churches of the Diocese.
Whereas A. B. has absented himself without cause from the Sacraments and the public worship of the Church; and, moreover, persists in refusing to repent; the said A. B., by the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese, here given is forbidden henceforth to enter the Church or to take any part in the public worship of the Church until he signifies his sincere desire to repent and confess his fault publicly before the faithful.
The faithful are entreated to pray for him earnestly; and such as are known to the said A. B. are asked to use all means to persuade him to return into the way of righteousness.
(Date and signature of the Bishop.)