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Memorandum No. 457

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April 26 1979
In Re: untitled

Digest of Case

The Norway Annual Conference in session June 30, 1978 passed by unanimous vote a request for a Declaratory Decision from the Judicial Council as to the constitutionality of the changes in wording of The General Rules occurring in the 1976 Discipline. The 1968 Discipline contained in The General Rules (under the section "The Nature, Design, and General Rules of Our United Societies" section 2, Par. 95, p. 50) the following words: "First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced, such as: . . . . . . . Drunkenness, buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, unless in cases of extreme necessity." The 1976 Discipline omits certain words and changes others so that the section now reads: (Par. 68, p. 69) "Drunkenness: drinking spirituous liquors, unless in cases of necessity". The words "buying or selling" and "extreme" are omitted in the newer Discipline. The Norway Annual Conference alleges that such changes constitute a violation of Article V of the Restrictive Rules (Par. 19): "The General Conference shall not revoke or change The General Rules of our United Societies". The Judicial Council does not have sufficient information at this time to enable it to make a decision. Jurisdiction is therefore retained and action deferred so that the necessary documents may be obtained

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