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#12656108 Aug 25, 2016 at 09:50 PM · Edited 5 years ago
Chief Shepherd
261 Posts
As many of you know, the Clergy and the Moon Guard Council of Bishops (MGCOB) are no longer affiliated with one another. As there have been several questions from guild members and others alike, the senior members of the guild have come together to provide this list of frequently-asked questions and answers.

Q1.What happened?

A1. After a period of extended disagreement, the MGCOB, led by Adamantt, conducted an OOC referendum on the existence of the IC post of Archbishop in their organisation, resulting in their OOC decision to abandon the post of Archbishop. However, our membership overwhelmingly disagreed with the conduct of the referendum, its conclusion, and its ramifications. Therefore, the Clergy chose to depart from the MGCOB organisation rather than remain in circumstances that would harm our membership's desires and expectations for role-play, and the character development in which our players have invested years.

Q2. What does this mean for the Clergy?

A2. Very little. The Clergy has always operated as a self-sustaining system that was not dependent on the MGCOB; rather, if anything, the MGCOB was dependent on us as the participants in its structure (attendents to MGCOB meetings will know that the MGCOB is by-and-large a fairly narrow organisational entity rather than an actual venue for RP). At most, this means that some traditional Clergy alliances will be tested, and that there will be many questions from people in the community about what happened.

Q3. Was their referendum permissible?

A3. It is the position of this guild and other experts (including both former Archbishops) that the in-character legality of the referendum was dubious at best. And, at the out-of-character level, Moorwhelp was the founder of the MGCOB organisation. However, over time it became increasingly clear that many people in the MGCOB were no longer willing to work with Moorwhelp as their Archepiscopal leader. For that reason, it makes more sense to part ways, rather than to continue in a situation made unresolveable by personal antipathies, which would have been to the benefit of nobody.

Q4. Are we still doing our normal weekly events?

A4. Yes, events will continue unhindered as usual. The only change in events is that the guild will not, by default, automatically participate in MGCOB events, such as the monthly MGCOB meeting in Northshire. Our other events and alliance events are not affected.

Q5. Have we blacklisted the Council of Bishops?

A5. Although the implications of this situation are very serious, it is the Clergy’s long-standing guild policy to avoid blacklisting as a guild. Individually, our members are free to make their own decisions regarding with whom they want to role-play.

Q6. Is Moorwhelp still the Bishop of Stormwind for the MGCOB?

A6. Such a decision is the MGCOB's to make. For our roleplay, their decision is not relevant. The Clergy's position is that our GM is the Bishop of Stormwind, the Archbishop of the Church, and the head of all orthodox Bishops. If the MGCOB desires to continue without the Archbishop, then they must be considered a separate organisation from ourselves (like, for example, the Orthodox Church of the North). Therefore, they may appoint such people to fill such positions are they desire in their own organisation. We shall do likewise in our own.

As a real-life analogue, consider that an Anglican church and a Catholic church might both have a person appointed "Bishop of London," without either claiming that the other is 'invalid'. In this example, although both bishops are of the same religion in the broad sense of 'Christianity', they are not the same religion in the more specific sense of 'a particular sect'. So, the decisions/appointments of the Catholic church are not binding upon the Anglican church, and vice versa. However, we would expect believers in both sects to have a majority of beliefs in common as compared to nonbelievers, and to offer each other mutual respect.

Q7. Are we retconning anything related to this situation?

A7. No. We are simply rejecting the Council’s legal authority to make the decision and to conduct it in the manner that they did. That rejection is both in-character and out.

However, we refute the MGCOB claims that Moorwhelp 'retired' and that he voluntarily handed over the badges of office. No action of this sort took place, and the IC claims made by the MGCOB in this matter constitute godmodding. Although we hope that they will retract these actions, we cannot compel them to do so. But, we will not honour or acknowledge RP which proceeds from a deliberate and nonconsensual OOC falsification of another player's actions, and we strongly encourage others to adopt a similar zero-tolerance policy towards godmodding.

Q8. How are we to address the MGCOB members when we are IC?

A8. Legally, unless the Archbishop chooses to remove Council members from the clerical state, the Bishops (even if they are in schism with the Archbishop) retain their titles. Practically speaking, even if the courtesy is not returned to you (and it probably will not be), courtesy costs nothing and demonstrates that at least we are willing to actually practise the virtues that we preach, even if others are not.

Q9. What does this mean for roleplay with MGCOB affiliated guilds/members (i.e. Lightwardens, Remnants of Lordaeron etc.)?

A9. This means that, more than likely, the foundation for our role-playing together as groups, which was the mutual membership in the MGCOB, is now extinct. However, as always, Clergy members are free to roleplay how (within propriety) and with whom they wish. The officership of the guild advises caution, however, in dealing with members of the MGCOB and affiliated organisations.

Q10. What is the IC cause of this schism? Were there IC signs that this would happen?

A10. There were no in-character indications that this would happen as the decision of the MGCOB was based on a set of purely OOC circumstances. There was no IC vote, and nothing logically preceded this event in character. It was very out of context for the story of the MGCOB, which is the cause of their attempt to portray Moorwhelp as having resigned. Players who do not accept that attempt at godmodding will likely have characters who are puzzled and bewildered by the sudden and unceremonious schism between the Archbishop and his council.

Q11. Can MGCOB-affiliated members still attend Clergy events?

A11. As this was a move by a select few within the MGCOB community, most members of the community are indifferent to or even ignorant of what has transpired or why it has happened. Therefore characters with MGCOB affiliations are welcome to Clergy events, subject to the same expectations as every other player: roleplay in good faith and with mutual respect.

Q12. Can/Should Clergy members still attend MGCOB events?

A12. The Clergy officership advises caution to our members who might attend MGCOB events. The reason is not to discourage attendance at 'rival' events (we don’t regard the MGCOB as 'rivals'). Rather, it is possible that MGCOB members may regard your presence as threatening, and may use your presence as an excuse for public complaint, even if your conduct is unimpeacheable or silent.

Q13. Does the MGCOB hold authority over Clergy members?

A13. Every OOC tie has been broken by the actions of the MGCOB. On an IC level, the Clergy regards the MGCOB action as illegal and openly schismatic. Consequently,. the MCGOB has no authority over the Clergy--they are, effectively, in a different church (see A6 for more on this).

Q14. Conflict resolution: what should we do if MGCOB-affiliated members attempt to grief, troll, or otherwise impede our guild functions IC or OOC?

A14. Proceed like you would if any person from any outside organisation were to behave in this way: put the member on ignore and alert others in a mutual rp chat (not /say, /general, /trade, /emote...), just as you would with any other heckler.

Q15. What is under Moorwhelp’s hat?

A15. Another hat. It is green and pointy.

Q16. What will fill the void of the MGCOB in the Clergy’s role-playing system?

A16. We and our allies are creating a new organisation to pursue the kind of Archepiscopally-centered roleplay from which the MGCOB has chosen to separate itself, and to share the operations of the guild with others and grow the Church community. We believe that there are many people in the Light community who enjoy the authentically religious RP that we provide, and our organisation will continue in that direction.

Q17. Are we still using “/holylink”?

A17. Yes, we are still using the IC communication channel. The /holylink channel is used for sending events to the wider Light RP community--not just those in the MGCOB, or Clergy, or any particular organisation.

Q18. Is everyone still using the same lore resources?

A18. All of the lore resources used by the MGCOB were produced by Clergy players. Those players now form the independent group known as "The Congregation for Sacred Doctrine" (CSD). They allow all groups (Clergy, MGCOB, and everyone else) to use the most current version of their texts from the Moon Guard Wikia (citing sources appropriately). The Clergy is a CSD-approved guild: we only use texts which have been certified by the CSD.

In addition to using the texts provided by the Congregation of Sacred Doctine, the Clergy will continue to use the lore it has used since before the MGCOB was formed. As mentioned above, these lore resources are CSD-approved.

The MGCOB may govern itself differently,. and may choose to create from scratch its own documents, or choose not to use some or all of the lore resources that we currently employ. As such, Clergy members are advised to exercise caution when referred to texts by MGCOB members to ensure that those texts are consistent with the Clergy guild's IC and OOC positions.

Q19. Can I be both a member of the MGCOB organisation and the Clergy community?

A19. Yes, at your own discretion. Being subject to two groups with sometimes antithetical rules will be tricky, but if you do not break Clergy rules, it is your prerogative. As always, we advise caution and cannot guarantee that the MGCOB will treat you fairly about your Clergy membership. We also cannot guarantee that the MGCOB will consider your Clergy standing when they make IC moves, even although you may be accountable for the results of those actions.

We understand that this is a turbulent time for everyone involved. After having examined the situation carefully, the officership provides these answers which we hope will help you navigate this situation. And, as always, we promise a safe, interesting environment for roleplay which is unlike any other in its authenticity and depth. The separation of MGCOB and Clergy, while superficially unfortunate, allows us to return as a guild to what were the original intentions of both organisations--something that we could not do while affiliated with the MGCOB as currently constituted. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to roleplaying with you soon.

Further questions are welcome and answers will be added to the list.

His Holiness the Archbishop Alonsus Secundus
Bishop of Stormwind
Sovereign of the College of Canons
Servant of the Servants of Light

Contact by in-game mail @Moorwhelp.
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