So what about those documents of legal advice and counsel that some critics have dubbed “The Louisville Papers”? These two documents, which have been circulating since 2001, are actually titled, “Processes for use by presbyteries in responding to congregations seeking to withdraw” and “Church Property Disputes: A Resource for Those Representing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyteries and True Churches in the Civil Courts.”
Over several weeks’ time, The Outlook featured an extended interview with Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick in which we asked him to explain the intentions and meaning of these documents. We also have re-published the polity reflection his office prepared that urges presbyteries to approach disaffected congregations pastorally, not judicially.
After the interview, letters to the editor spurred us to ask follow up questions that led to our publication of an explanation by the two authors of the papers, Eric Graninger and Mark Tammen.
In response to several requests, we have acquired a copy of the two documents themselves, and we provide them below as a resource for interested readers.
–Jack Haberer, Outlook editor