Now listening to: The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife"
Especially recommended: Track 9, 'The Crane Wife 1 & 2'
I just bought the Shins album, so I'm almost done obsessing over this one, but it's been in nearly constant playment for a good week and a half by now. Since Picaresque, they've decided to feed the bass player, which is always a decision I approve of. 'Cause when you are in the mood for a Joseph Conrad/George Macdonald collaboration arranged for the Everly Brothers, the Decemberists are still your very best option, and starving basslines can only harsh the otherwise blissful mellow.
I wrote a paper last year on the conciliarist debate over the extent of papal power in the 15th/16th century. One papal apologist, Thomas of Gaeta, argued that the only case where a council could lay claim to authority over and above that of the pope was in the case of papal heresy. Even in that case, the council would only have the power to 'separate' the erring member, to depose the pope; any further punishment was outside conciliar jurisdiction. This is tied to a particular biblical passage wherein Christ tells the apostles to accuse an errant brother to the church, and if he will not hear the church to withdraw from his company. This, says Mr. Of Gaeta, is the only scriptural passage with any weight to be applied to shifting the rock of the church that is Peter's line. The following is taken from a nifty little document you can find under the heading, 'United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 3' :
Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.
The permutations this particular constitutional component went through over the years are wholly beyond me, but I'd bet dollars to Top Pot that some part of this argument was honed on papal positioning. When you think about it, they're obviously and unavoidably related. Negotiations between an oligarchic body and a monarchic head played out in lots of european governments which coincided with, and inevitably drew from, the conciliarism/ultramontanism debate. I just want to draw attention to the scriptural origin of the caveat. The specifically structural nature of impeachment, the care to keep it away from punitive verdicts, makes alot of sense for purely secular reasons; it's, dare I say, an obvious safety valve. But/and it also meshes (the historical) church and (the historical) state inextricably. I just think that's good to keep in mind. (Unless we can all disregard the past. And that seems unlikely.)