The Acts of Convention

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Full Legislative History

Resolution Number: 2006-A082
Title: Amend Canons in Title III [Ministry]
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That Canons III.5 through III.23 be deleted and be replaced by the following proposed Canons III.5 through III.13:

[Editor's Note: The final text of Resolution A082 has not been italicized because of its size and for ease of reading.]

CANON 5: Of General Provisions Respecting Ordination

Sec. 1 (a) The canonical authority assigned to the Bishop Diocesan by this Title may be exercised by a Bishop Coadjutor, when so empowered under Canon III.19, and at the request of the Bishop Diocesan, by a Bishop Suffragan, or by any other Bishop of a Church in full communion with this Church who was ordained in the historic succession, at the request of the ordinand's Bishop.

(b) The Council of Advice of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, and the board appointed by a Bishop having jurisdiction in an Area Mission in accordance with the provisions of Canon I.11.2(c), shall, for the purpose of this and other Canons of Title III, have the same powers as the Standing Committee of a Diocese.

(c) In case of a vacancy in the episcopate in a Diocese, the Ecclesiastical Authority may authorize and request the President of the House of Bishops of the Province to take order for an ordination.

Sec. 2 (a) No Nominee, Postulant, or Candidate for ordination shall sign any of the certificates required by this Title.

(b) Testimonials required of the Standing Committee by this Title must be signed by a majority of the whole Committee, at a meeting duly convened, except that testimonials may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original.

(c) Whenever the letter of support of a Vestry is required, the letter must be signed and dated by at least two-thirds of all of the members of the Vestry, at a meeting duly convened, and by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge of the Parish, and attested by the Clerk of the Vestry. Should there be no Rector or Priest-in-Charge, the letter shall be signed by a Priest of the Diocese acquainted with the nominee and the Parish, the reason for the substitution being stated in the attesting clause.

(d) If the congregation or other discernment community of which the nominee is a member is not a Parish, the letter of support required by Canon III.6 or Canon III.8 shall be signed and dated by the Member of the Clergy and the council of the congregation or other community of faith, and shall be attested by the secretary of the meeting at which the letter was approved. Should there be no Member of the Clergy, the letter shall be signed and dated by a Priest of the Diocese acquainted with the nominee and the congregation or other community of faith, the reason for the substitution being stated in the attesting clause.

(e) If the applicant is a member of a Religious Order or Christian Community recognized by Canon III.24, the letters of support referred to in Canon III.5 or Canon III.6 and any other requirements imposed on a congregation or Member of the Clergy may be given by the Superior or person in charge, and Chapter, or other comparable body of the Order or Community.

Sec. 3. An application for any dispensation permitted by this Title from any of the requirements for ordination must first be made to the Bishop, and if approved, referred to the Standing Committee for its advice and consent.

CANON 6: Of the Ordination of Deacons

Sec. 1. Selection

The Bishop, in consultation with the Commission, shall establish procedures to identify and to select persons with evident gifts and fitness for ordination to the Diaconate.

Sec. 2. Nomination

A confirmed adult communicant in good standing, may be nominated for ordination to the diaconate by the person's congregation or other community of faith.

(a) The Nomination shall be in writing and shall include a letter of support by the Nominee’s congregation or other community of faith committing the community to

(1) pledge to contribute financially to that preparation, and

(2) involve itself in the Nominee’s preparation for ordination to the Diaconate.

If it be a congregation, the letter shall be signed by two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body, and by the Member of the Clergy or leader exercising oversight.

(b) The Nominee, if in agreement with the nomination, shall accept the nomination in writing and shall provide the following to the Bishop:

(1) Full name and date of birth.

(2) The length of time resident in the Diocese.

(3) Evidence of Baptism and Confirmation.

(4) Whether an application has been made previously for Postulancy or the person has been nominated in any Diocese.

(5) A description of the process of discernment by which the Nominee has been identified for ordination to the Diaconate.

(6) The level of education attained and, if any, the degrees earned, and areas of specialization, together with copies of official transcripts.

Sec. 3. Postulancy

Postulancy is the time between nomination and candidacy and may initiate the formal preparation for ordination. Postulancy involves continued exploration of and decision about the Postulant’s call to the Diaconate.

(a) Before granting admission as a Postulant, the Bishop shall

(1) determine that the Nominee is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing, and

(2) confer in person with the Nominee,

(b) If the Bishop approves the Nominee proceeding into Postulancy, the Commission, or a committee of the Commission, shall meet with the Nominee to review the application and prepare an evaluation of the Nominee’s qualifications to pursue a program of preparation for ordination to the Diaconate. The Commission shall present its evaluation and recommendations to the Bishop.

(c) No Bishop shall consider accepting as a Postulant any person who has been refused admission as a Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate in any other Diocese, or who, having been admitted, has afterwards ceased to be a Candidate, until receipt of a letter from the Bishop of the Diocese refusing admission, or in which the person has been a Candidate, declaring the cause of refusal or of cessation.

(d) The Bishop may admit the nominee as a Postulant for ordination to the Diaconate. The Bishop shall record the Postulant’s name and date of admission in a Register kept for that purpose. The Bishop shall inform the Postulant, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the director of the Postulant’s program of preparation, of the fact and date of such admission.

(e) Each Postulant for ordination to the Diaconate shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Postulant’s academic, diaconal, human, spiritual, and practical development.

(f) Any Postulant may be removed as a Postulant at the sole discretion of the Bishop. The Bishop shall give written notice of the removal to the Postulant and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the director of the program of preparation.

Sec. 4. Candidacy

Candidacy is a time of education and formation, in preparation for ordination to the Diaconate, established by a formal commitment by the Candidate, the Bishop, the Commission, the Standing Committee and the congregation or other community of faith.

(a) A person desiring to be considered as a Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate shall apply to the Bishop. Such application shall include the following:

(1) the Postulant’s date of admission to Postulancy, and

(2) a letter of support by the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith.

If it be a congregation the letter shall be signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body and by the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(b) Upon compliance with these requirements, and receipt of a written statement from the Commission attesting to the continuing formation of the Postulant, and having received approval in writing of the Standing Committee who shall have interviewed the Postulant and who shall have had an opportunity to review the documentation relating to the application of the Postulant, the Bishop may admit the Postulant as a Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate. The Bishop shall record the Candidate’s name and date of admission in a Register kept for that purpose. The Bishop shall inform the Candidate, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the Dean of the seminary the Candidate may be attending or proposes to attend, or the director of the Candidate’s program of preparation, of the fact and date of such admission.

(c) A Candidate must remain in canonical relationship with the Diocese in which admission has been granted until ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon, except, for reasons acceptable to the Bishop, the Candidate may be transferred to another Diocese upon request, provided that the Bishop of the receiving Diocese is willing to accept the Candidate.

(d) Any Candidate may be removed as a Candidate, at the sole discretion of the Bishop. The Bishop shall give written notice of the removal to the Candidate and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the director of the program of preparation.

(e) If a Bishop has removed the Candidate’s name from the list of Candidates, except by transfer, or the Candidate’s application for ordination has been rejected, no other Bishop may ordain the person without readmission to Candidacy for a period of at least twelve months.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

(a) The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Diaconate in accordance with this Canon to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

(b) The Bishop may assign the Postulant or Candidate to any congregation of the diocese or other community of faith after consultation with the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(c) Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate's background, age, occupation, and ministry.

(d) Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for ordination.

(e) Wherever possible, formation for the Diaconate shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Diaconate, or others preparing for ministry.

(f) Before ordination each Candidate shall be prepared in and demonstrate basic competence in five general areas:

(1) Academic studies including, The Holy Scriptures, theology, and the tradition of the Church.

(2) Diakonia and the diaconate.

(3) Human awareness and understanding.

(4) Spiritual development and discipline.

(5) Practical training and experience.

(g) Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

(1) prevention of sexual misconduct.

(2) civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

(3) the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

(4) the Church’s teaching on racism.

(h) Each Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate's academic, diaconal, human, spiritual, and practical development.

(i) During Candidacy each Candidate's progress shall be evaluated from time to time, and there shall be a written report of the evaluation by those authorized by the Commission to be in charge of the evaluation program. Upon certification by those in charge of the Candidate's program of preparation that the Candidate has successfully completed preparation and is ready for ordination, a final written assessment of readiness for ordination to the Diaconate shall be prepared as determined by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission. This report shall include a recommendation from the Commission regarding the readiness of the Candidate for ordination. Records shall be kept of all evaluations, assessments, and the recommendation, and shall be made available to the Standing Committee.

(j) Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon, the following must be accomplished

(1) a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

(2) medical and psychological evaluation by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

(k) Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

Sec. 6. Ordination to the Diaconate

(a) A person may be ordained Deacon:

(1) after at least eighteen months from the time of written acceptance of nomination by the Nominee as provided in III.6.2(b)., and

(2) upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age.

(b) The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee:

(1) an application from the Candidate requesting ordination as a Deacon under this Canon.

(2) a letter of support from the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(3) written evidence of admission of the Candidate to Postulancy and Candidacy, giving the dates of admission.

(4) a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation showing the Candidate’s scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Candidate’s other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon.

(5) a certificate from the Commission giving a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon.

(c) On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, if a majority of all members consent, shall certify that the Canonical requirements for ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon have been met, that there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, and that they recommend ordination. The Standing Committee shall evidence such certification, by a testimonial, addressed to the Bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

To the Right Reverend ______, Bishop of ______ We, the Standing Committee of ________, having been duly convened at __________ at _________, do testify that A.B., desiring to be ordained to the Diaconate under Canon III.6 has presented to us the certificates as required by the Canons indicating A.B.’s preparedness for ordination to the Diaconate under Canon III.6; and we certify that all canonical requirements for ordination to the Diaconate under Canon III.6 have been met; and we find no sufficient objection to ordination. Therefore, we recommend A.B. for ordination. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this ____ day of _______, in the year of our Lord ________. (Signed) ___________

(d) The testimonial having been presented to the Bishop, and there being no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, the Bishop may ordain the Candidate to the Diaconate under this Canon; and at the time of ordination the Candidate shall subscribe publicly and make, in the presence of the Bishop, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

CANON 7: Of the Life and Work of Deacons

Sec. 1. Deacons serve directly under the authority of and are accountable to the Bishop, or in the absence of the Bishop, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.

Sec. 2. Deacons canonically resident in each Diocese constitute a Community of Deacons, which shall meet from time to time. The Bishop may appoint one or more of such Deacons as Archdeacon(s) to assist the Bishop in the formation, deployment, supervision, and support of the Deacons or those in preparation to be Deacons, and in the implementation of this Canon.

Sec. 3. The Bishop may establish a Council on Deacons to oversee, study, and promote the Diaconate.

Sec. 4. The Bishop, after consultation with the Deacon and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight, may assign a Deacon to one or more congregations, other communities of faith or non-parochial ministries. Deacons assigned to a congregation or other community of faith act under the authority of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight in all matters concerning the congregation.

(a) Subject to the Bishop’s approval, deacons may have a letter of agreement setting forth mutual responsibilities in the assignment, and, if such a letter exists, it is subject to renegotiation with the Vestry/Bishop’s Committee after the resignation of the Rector or the Priest-in-Charge.

(b) Deacons shall report annually to the Bishop or the Bishop's designee on their life and work.

(c) Deacons may serve as administrators of congregations or other communities of faith, but no Deacon shall be in charge of a congregation or other community of faith.

(d) Deacons may accept chaplaincies in any hospital, prison, or other institution.

(e) Deacons may participate in the governance of the Church.

(f) For two years following ordination, new Deacons shall continue a process of formation authorized by the Bishop.

(g) The Bishop or the Bishop’s designee, in consultation with the Commission, shall assign each newly ordained Deacon a mentor Deacon where a suitable mentor Deacon is available. The mentor and Deacon shall meet regularly for at least one year to provide guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about diaconal ministry.

Sec. 5. The Bishop and Commission shall require and provide for the continuing education of Deacons and keep a record of such education.

Sec. 6 (a) A Deacon may not serve as Deacon for more than two months in any Diocese other than the Diocese in which the Deacon is canonically resident unless the Bishop of the other Diocese shall have granted a license to the Deacon to serve in that Diocese.

(b) (1) A Deacon desiring to become canonically resident within a Diocese shall request a testimonial from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Deacon is canonically resident to present to the receiving Diocese, which testimonial, if granted, shall be given by the Ecclesiastical Authority to the applicant, and a duplicate thereof may be sent to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese to which transfer is proposed. The testimonial shall be in the following words:

I hereby certify that A.B., who has signified to me the desire to be transferred to the Ecclesiastical Authority of __________, is a Deacon of __________ in good standing, and has not, so far as I know or believe, been justly liable to evil report for error in religion or for viciousness of life, for the last three years.

(Date) __________ (Signed) _______________

(2) Such testimonial shall be called Letters Dimissory. If the Ecclesiastical Authority accepts the Letters Dimissory, the canonical residence of the Deacon so transferred shall date from the acceptance of the Letters Dimissory, of which prompt notice shall be given both to the applicant and to the Ecclesiastical Authority from which it came.

(3) Letters Dimissory not presented within six months from the date of transmission to the applicant shall become void.

(4) A statement of the record of payments to The Church Pension Fund by or on behalf of the Deacon concerned shall accompany Letters Dimissory.

Sec. 7. On reaching the age of seventy-two years, a Deacon shall resign from all positions of active service in this Church, and the resignation shall be accepted. The Bishop may, with the consent of the Deacon, assign a resigned Deacon to any congregation, other community of faith or ministry in another setting, for a term not to exceed twelve months, and this term may be renewed.

Sec. 8. If any Deacon of this Church not subject to the provisions of Canon IV.8 shall declare, in writing, to the Bishop of the Diocese in which such Deacon is canonically resident, a renunciation of the ordained Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom, it shall be the duty of the Bishop to record the declaration and request so made. The Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is not subject to the provision of Canon IV.8 but is acting voluntarily and for causes, assigned or known, which do not affect the Deacon’s moral character, shall lay the matter before the clerical members of the Standing Committee, and with the advice and consent of a majority of such members the Bishop may pronounce that such renunciation is accepted, and that the Deacon is released from the obligations of the Ministerial office, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordination. The Bishop shall also declare in pronouncing and recording such action that it was for causes which do not affect the person’s moral character, and shall, if desired, give a certificate to this effect to the person so removed from the ordained Ministry.

Sec. 9. If a Deacon making the aforesaid declaration of renunciation of the ordained Ministry be under Presentment for any Offense, or shall have been placed on Trial for the same, the Ecclesiastical Authority to whom such declaration is made shall not consider or act upon such declaration until after the said Presentment shall have been dismissed or the said Trial shall have been concluded and the Deacon judged not to have committed an Offense.

Sec. 10. In the case of the renunciation of the ordained Ministry by a Deacon as provided in this Canon, a declaration of removal shall be pronounced by the Bishop in the presence of two or more Members of the Clergy, and shall be entered in the official records of the Diocese in which the Deacon being removed is canonically resident. The Bishop who pronounces the declaration of removal as provided in this Canon shall give notice thereof in writing to every Member of the Clergy, each Vestry, the Secretary of the Convention and the Standing Committee of the Diocese in which the Deacon was canonically resident; and to all Bishops of this Church, the Ecclesiastical Authority of each Diocese of this Church, the Presiding Bishop, the Recorder of Ordinations, the Secretary of the House of Bishops, the Secretary of the House of Deputies, The Church Pension Fund, and the Board for Church Deployment.

CANON 8: Of the Ordination of Priests

Sec. 1. Selection

The Bishop, in consultation with the Commission, shall establish procedures to identify and select persons with evident gifts and fitness for ordination to the Priesthood.

Sec. 2. Nomination

A confirmed adult communicant in good standing may be nominated for ordination to the priesthood by the person's congregation or other community of faith.

(a) The Nomination shall be in writing and shall include a letter of support by the Nominee’s congregation or other community of faith committing the community to

(1) pledge to contribute financially to that preparation, and

(2) involve itself in the Nominee’s preparation for ordination to the Priesthood. If it be a congregation, the letter shall be signed by two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body, and by the Member of the Clergy or leader exercising oversight.

(b) The Nominee, if agreeing, shall accept the nomination in writing, and shall provide the following to the Bishop:

(1) Full name and date of birth.

(2) The length of time resident in the Diocese.

(3) Evidence of Baptism and Confirmation.

(4) Whether an application has been made previously for Postulancy or the person has been nominated in any Diocese.

(5) A description of the process of discernment by which the Nominee has been identified for ordination to the Priesthood.

(6) The level of education attained and, if any, the degrees earned and areas of specialization, together with copies of official transcripts.

Sec. 3. Postulancy

Postulancy is the time between nomination and candidacy and may initiate the formal preparation for ordination. Postulancy involves continued exploration of and decision about the Postulant's call to the Priesthood.

(a) Before granting admission as a Postulant, the Bishop shall

(1) determine that the person is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing.

(2) confer in person with the Nominee.

(3) shall consult with the Nominee regarding financial resources which will be available for the support of the Postulant throughout preparation for ordination. During Postulancy and later Candidacy, the Bishop or someone appointed by the Bishop shall review periodically the financial condition and plans of the Postulant.

(b) If the Bishop approves proceeding, the Commission, or a committee of the Commission, shall meet with the Nominee to review the application and prepare an evaluation of the Nominee's qualifications to pursue a program of preparation for ordination to the Priesthood. The Commission shall present its evaluation and recommendations to the Bishop.

(c) No Bishop shall consider accepting as a Postulant any person who has been refused admission as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood in any other Diocese, or who, having been admitted, has afterwards ceased to be a Candidate, until receipt of a letter from the Bishop of the Diocese refusing admission, or in which the person has been a Candidate, declaring the cause of refusal or of cessation.

(d) The Bishop may admit the Nominee as a Postulant for ordination to the Priesthood. The Bishop shall record the Postulant's name and date of admission in a Register kept for that purpose. The Bishop shall inform the Postulant, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Postulant's congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the Dean of the seminary the Postulant may be attending or proposes to attend, or the director of Postulant's program of preparation, of the fact and date of such admission.

(e) Each Postulant for ordination to the Priesthood shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Postulant’s academic experience and personal and spiritual development.

(f) Any Postulant may be removed as a Postulant at the sole discretion of the Bishop. The Bishop shall give written notice of the removal to the Postulant and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the director of the program of preparation.

Sec. 4. Candidacy

Candidacy is a time of education and formation in preparation for ordination to the Priesthood, established by a formal commitment by the Candidate, the Bishop, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the congregation or other community of faith.

(a) A person desiring to be considered as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood shall apply to the Bishop. Such application shall include the following:

(1) the Postulant’s date of admission to Postulancy, and

(2) a letter of support by the Postulant’s congregation or other community of faith. If it be a congregation the letter shall be signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry or comparable body and by the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(b) Upon compliance with these requirements, and receipt of a statement from the Commission attesting to the continuing formation of the Postulant, and having received approval in writing of the Standing Committee who shall have interviewed the Postulant and who shall have had an opportunity to review the documentation relating to the application of the Postulant, the Bishop may admit the Postulant as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood. The Bishop shall record the Candidate’s name and date of admission in a Register kept for that purpose. The Bishop shall inform the Candidate, the Member of the Clergy or leader exercising oversight of the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the Dean of the seminary the Candidate may be attending or proposes to attend, or the director of the Candidate’s program of preparation, of the fact and date of such admission.

(c) A Candidate must remain in canonical relationship with the Diocese in which admission has been granted until ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon, except, for reasons acceptable to the Bishop, the Candidate may be transferred to another Diocese upon request, provided that the Bishop of the receiving Diocese is willing to accept the Candidate.

(d) Any Candidate may be removed as a Candidate at the sole discretion of the Bishop. The Bishop shall give written notice of the removal to the Candidate and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, the Commission, the Standing Committee, and the Dean of the seminary the Candidate may be attending or the director of the program of preparation.

(e) If a Bishop has removed the Candidate’s name from the list of Candidates, except by transfer, or the Candidate’s application for ordination has been rejected, no other Bishop may ordain the person without readmission to Candidacy for a period of at least twelve months.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

(a) The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Priesthood and to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

(b) If the Postulant or Candidate has not previously obtained a baccalaureate degree, the Commission, Bishop, and Postulant or Candidate shall design a program of such additional academic work as may be necessary to prepare the Postulant or Candidate to undertake a program of theological education.

(c) Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate’s background, age, occupation, and ministry.

(d) Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for the Priesthood.

(e) Whenever possible, formation for the Priesthood shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Priesthood, or others preparing for ministry.

(f) Formation shall include theological training, practical experience, emotional development, and spiritual formation.

(g) Subject areas for study during this program of preparation shall include:

(1) The Holy Scriptures.

(2) Church History, including the Ecumenical Movement.

(3) Christian Theology, including Missionary Theology and Missiology.

(4) Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

(5) Studies in contemporary society, including the historical and contemporary experience of racial and minority groups, and cross-cultural ministry skills. Cross-cultural ministry skills may include the ability to communicate in a contemporary language other than one’s first language.

(6) Liturgics and Church Music; Christian Worship and Music according to the contents and use of the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal, and authorized supplemental texts.

(7) Theory and practice of ministry, including leadership, and the ministries of evangelism and stewardship.

(h) Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

(1) prevention of sexual misconduct.

(2) civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

(3) the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

(4) the Church’s teaching on racism.

(i) Each Postulant or Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate’s academic experience and personal and spiritual development.

(j) The seminary or other formation program shall provide for, monitor, and report on the academic performance and personal qualifications of the Postulant or Candidate for ordination. These reports will be made upon request of the Bishop and Commission, but at least once per year.

(k) Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon under this Canon, the following must be accomplished

(1) a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

(2) medical and psychological evaluation by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

(l) Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

Sec. 6. Ordination to the Diaconate for those called to the Priesthood

(a) A Candidate must first be ordained Deacon before being ordained Priest.

(b) To be ordained Deacon under this Canon, a person must be at least twenty-four years of age.

(c) The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee:

(1) an application from the Candidate requesting ordination as a Deacon under this Canon.

(2) a letter of support from the Candidate’s congregation or other community of faith, signed and dated by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

(3) written evidence of admission of the Candidate to Postulancy and Candidacy, giving the date of admission.

(4) a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation showing the Candidate’s scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Candidate’s other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon.

(5) a certificate from the Commission giving a recommendation regarding ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon.

(d) On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, a majority of all members consenting, shall certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Diaconate under this Canon have been met and there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds and that they recommend ordination, by a testimonial addressed to the Bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

To the Right Reverend ______, Bishop of ___________ We, the Standing Committee of __________, having been duly convened at _________ at __________, do testify that A.B., desiring to be ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood under Canon III.8 has presented to us the certificates as required by the Canons indicating A.B.’s preparedness for ordination to the Diaconate under Canon III.8; and we certify that all canonical requirements for ordination to the Diaconate under Canon III.8 have been met; and we find no sufficient objection to ordination. Therefore, we recommend A.B. for ordination. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this _____ day of _____, in the year of our Lord _______. (Signed) ______________________

(e) The testimonial having been presented to the Bishop, and there being no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, the Bishop may ordain the Candidate to the Diaconate under this Canon; and at the time of ordination the Candidate shall subscribe publicly and make, in the presence of the Bishop, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

Sec. 7. Ordination to the Priesthood

(a) A person may be ordained Priest:

(1) after at least six months since ordination as a Deacon under this Canon, and eighteen months from the time of acceptance of nomination by the Nominee as provided in III.8.2(b), and

(2) upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age, and

(3) if the medical evaluation, psychological evaluation, and background check have taken place or been updated within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Priest.

(b) The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee:

(1) an application from the Deacon requesting ordination as a Priest, including the Deacon's dates of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy and ordination as a Deacon under this Canon,

(2) a letter of support from the Deacon's congregation or other community of faith, signed by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight,

(3) evidence of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy, including dates of admission, and ordination to the Diaconate,

(4) a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation, written at the completion of the program of preparation, showing the Deacon's scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Deacon's other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Priesthood, and

(5) a statement from the Commission attesting to the successful completion of the program of formation designed during Postulancy under Canon III.8.5, and proficiency in the required areas of study, and recommending the Deacon for ordination to the Priesthood.

(c) On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, a majority of all the members consenting, shall certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met and there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds and that they recommend ordination, by a testimonial addressed to the Bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

To the Right Reverend________, Bishop of_________ We, the Standing Committee of __________ , having been duly convened at ______________ , do testify that A.B., desiring to be ordained to the Priesthood, has presented to us the certificates as required by the Canons indicating A.B.'s preparedness for ordination to the Priesthood have been met; and we certify that all canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met, and we find no sufficient objection to ordination. Therefore, we recommend A.B. for ordination. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this _____ day of ______, in the year of our Lord _______. (Signed) _________________

(d) The testimonial having been presented to the Bishop, and there being no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, the Bishop may ordain the Deacon to the Priesthood; and at the time of ordination the Deacon shall subscribe publicly and make, in the presence of the Bishop, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

(e) No Deacon shall be ordained to the Priesthood until having been appointed to serve in a Parochial Cure within the jurisdiction of this Church, or as a Missionary under the Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, or as an officer of a Missionary Society recognized by the General Convention, or as a Chaplain of the Armed Services of the United States, or as a Chaplain in a recognized hospital or other welfare institution, or as a Chaplain or instructor in a school, college, or other seminary, or with other opportunity for the exercise of the office of Priest within the Church judged appropriate by the Bishop.

(f) A person ordained to the Diaconate under Canon III.6 who is subsequently called to the Priesthood shall fulfill the Postulancy and Candidacy requirements set forth in this Canon. Upon completion of these requirements, the Deacon may be ordained to the Priesthood.

CANON 9: Of the Life and Work of Priests

Sec. 1. The Bishop and Commission shall require and provide for the continuing education of Priests and keep a record of such education.

Sec. 2. Mentoring for Newly Ordained Priests

Each newly ordained Priest, whether employed or not, shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and new Priest shall meet regularly for at least a year to provide guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about priestly ministry.

Sec. 3. The Appointment of Priests

(a) Rectors.

(1) When a Parish is without a Rector, the Wardens or other officers shall promptly notify the Ecclesiastical Authority in writing. If the Parish shall for thirty days fail to provide services of public worship, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall make provision for such worship.

(2) No Parish may elect a Rector until the names of the proposed nominees have been forwarded to the Ecclesiastical Authority and a time, not exceeding sixty days, given to the Ecclesiastical Authority to communicate with the Vestry, nor until any such communication has been considered by the Vestry at a meeting duly called and held for that purpose.

(3) Written notice of the election of a Rector, signed by the Wardens, shall be forwarded to the Ecclesiastical Authority. If the Ecclesiastical Authority is satisfied that the person so elected is a duly qualified Priest and that such Priest has accepted the office to which elected, the notice shall be sent to the Secretary of the Convention, who shall record it. Race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by these Canons, shall not be a factor in the determination of the Ecclesiastical Authority as to whether such person is a duly qualified Priest. The recorded notice shall be sufficient evidence of the relationship between the Priest and the Parish.

(4) Rectors may have a letter of agreement with the Parish setting forth mutual responsibilities, subject to the Bishop's approval.

(b) Priests-in-Charge.

After consultation with the Vestry, the Bishop may appoint a Priest to serve as Priest-in-Charge of any congregation in which there is no Rector. In such congregations, the Priest-in-Charge shall exercise the duties of Rector outlined in Canon III.9.5 subject to the authority of the Bishop.

(c) Assistants.

A Priest serving as an assistant in a Parish, by whatever title designated, shall be selected by the Rector, and when required by the Canons of the Diocese, subject to the approval of the Vestry, and shall serve under the authority and direction of the Rector. Before the selection of an assistant the name of the Priest proposed for selection shall be made known to the Bishop and a time, not exceeding sixty days, given for the Bishop to communicate with the Rector and Vestry on the proposed selection. Upon resignation by the Rector, death of the Rector, or in the event of the dissolution of a pastoral relationship between the Rector and the Vestry, an assistant may continue in the service of the Parish if requested to do so by the Vestry under such conditions as the Bishop and Vestry shall determine. An assistant may continue to serve at the request of a new Rector. Assistants may have a letter of agreement with the Rector and the Vestry setting forth mutual responsibilities and containing a clearly articulated dissolution clause, subject to the Bishop's approval.

(d) Chaplains.

(1) A Priest may be given ecclesiastical endorsement for service as a Chaplain in the Armed Services of the United States of America or as a Chaplain for the Veterans' Administration, or in any Federal Correctional Institution, by the Office of the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces subject to the approval of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident.

(2) Any Priest serving on active duty with the Armed Services shall retain the Priest's canonical residence and shall be subject to the ecclesiastical supervision of the Bishop of the Diocese of which the Priest is canonically resident, even though the Priest's work as a Chaplain shall be subject to the general supervision of the Office of the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces, or such other Bishop as the Presiding Bishop may designate.

(3) Any Priest serving on a military installation or at a Veterans' Administration facility or Federal Correctional Institution shall not be subject to Canons III.9.3.(e)(1) or III.9.4.(a). When serving other than on a military installation or at a Veterans' Administration facility, or Federal Correctional Institution, a Chaplain shall be subject to these Sections.

(e) Employment of Priests in Other Settings.

(1) Any Priest who has left a position in this Church without having received a call to a new ecclesiastical position and who desires to continue the exercise of the office of Priest shall notify the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident and shall advise the Bishop that reasonable opportunities for the exercise of the office of Priest exist and that use will be made of such opportunities. After having determined that the person will have and use opportunities for the exercise of the office of Priest, the Bishop, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, may approve the Priest's continued exercise of the office on condition that the Priest report annually in writing, in a manner prescribed by the Bishop, as provided in Canon I.6.2.

(2)

(i) A Priest not in parochial employment moving to another jurisdiction shall report to the Bishop of that jurisdiction within sixty days of such move.

(ii) The Priest:

(a) May officiate or preach in that jurisdiction only under the terms of Canon III.9.5.(a).

(b) Shall provide notice of such move, in writing and within sixty days, to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident.

(c) Shall forward a copy of the report required by Canon I.6.2 to the Ecclesiastical Authority to whose jurisdiction the Priest has moved.

(iii) Upon receipt of the notice required by Canon III.9.3.(e)(3)(ii)(b), the Ecclesiastical Authority shall provide written notice thereof to the Ecclesiastical Authority into whose jurisdiction the person has moved.

(3) If the Priest fails to comply with the provisions of this Canon, the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident may proceed in accordance with Canon IV.11.

Sec. 4. Letters Dimissory

(a) A Priest desiring to become canonically resident within a Diocese shall present to the Ecclesiastical Authority a testimonial from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of current canonical residence, which testimonial shall be given by the Ecclesiastical Authority to the applicant, and a duplicate thereof may be sent to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese to which transfer is proposed. The testimonial shall be accompanied by a statement of the record of payments to The Church Pension Fund by or on behalf of the Priest concerned and may include a portfolio of training, continuing education and exercise of ministries. The testimonial shall be in the following form:

I hereby certify that A.B., who has signified to me the desire to be transferred to the Ecclesiastical Authority of _____________, is a Priest of _____________ in good standing, and has not, so far as I know or believe, been justly liable to evil report, for error in religion or for viciousness of life, for the last three years.

(Date) _____________(Signed)________________________

(b) Such a testimonial shall be called Letters Dimissory. If the Ecclesiastical Authority accepts the Letters Dimissory, the canonical residence of the Priest transferred shall date from such acceptance, and prompt notice of acceptance shall be given to the applicant and to the Ecclesiastical Authority issuing the Letters Dimissory.

(c) Letters Dimissory not presented within six months of their date of receipt by the applicant shall become void.

(d) If a Priest has been called to a Cure in a congregation in another Diocese, the Priest shall present Letters Dimissory. The Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese shall accept Letters Dimissory within three months of their receipt unless the Bishop or Standing Committee has received credible information concerning the character or behavior of the Priest concerned which would form grounds for canonical inquiry and presentment. In such a case, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall notify the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident and need not accept the Letters Dimissory unless and until the Priest shall be exculpated. The Ecclesiastical Authority shall not refuse to accept Letters Dimissory based on the applicant's race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age.

(e) A Priest shall not be in charge of any congregation in the Diocese to which the person moves until obtaining from the Ecclesiastical Authority of that Diocese a certificate in the following form:

I hereby certify that A.B. has been canonically transferred to my jurisdiction and is a Priest in good standing.

(Date) __________ (Signed) ___________________

(f) No person who has been refused ordination or reception as a Candidate in any Diocese, and is thereafter ordained in another Diocese, shall be transferred to the Diocese in which such refusal has occurred without the consent of its Ecclesiastical Authority.

Sec. 5. Rectors and Priests-in-Charge and Their Duties

(a)

(1) The Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall have full authority and responsibility for the conduct of the worship and the spiritual jurisdiction of the Parish, subject to the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, the Constitution and Canons of this Church, and the pastoral direction of the Bishop.

(2) For the purposes of the office and for the full and free discharge of all functions and duties pertaining thereto, the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall at all times be entitled to the use and control of the Church and Parish buildings together with all appurtenances and furniture, and to access to all records and registers maintained by or on behalf of the congregation.

(b)

(1) It shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge to ensure all persons in their charge receive Instruction in the Holy Scriptures; in the subjects contained in An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism; in the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church; and in the exercise of their ministry as baptized persons.

(2) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to ensure that all persons in their charge are instructed concerning Christian stewardship, including:

(i) reverence for the creation and the right use of God's gifts;

(ii) generous and consistent offering of time, talent, and treasure for the mission and ministry of the Church at home and abroad;

(iii) the biblical standard of the tithe for financial stewardship; and

(iv) the responsibility of all persons to make a will as prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer.

(3) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to ensure that persons be prepared for Baptism. Before baptizing infants or children, Rectors or Priests-in-Charge shall ensure that sponsors be prepared by instructing both the parents and the Godparents concerning the significance of Holy Baptism, the responsibilities of parents and Godparents for the Christian training of the baptized child, and how these obligations may properly be discharged.

(4) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to encourage and ensure the preparation of persons for Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, and to be ready to present them to the Bishop with a list of their names.

(5) On notice being received of the Bishop's intention to visit any congregation, the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall announce the fact to the congregation. At every visitation it shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge and the Wardens, Vestry or other officers, to exhibit to the Bishop the Parish Register and to give information as to the state of the congregation, spiritual and temporal, in such categories as the Bishop shall have previously requested in writing.

(6) The Alms and Contributions, not otherwise specifically designated, at the Administration of the Holy Communion on one Sunday in each calendar month, and other offerings for the poor, shall be deposited with the Rector or Priest-in-Charge or with such Church officer as the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall appoint to be applied to such pious and charitable uses as the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall determine. When a Parish is without a Rector or Priest-in-Charge, the Vestry shall designate a member of the Parish to fulfill this function.

(7) Whenever the House of Bishops shall publish a Pastoral Letter, it shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge to read it to the congregation on some occasion of public worship on a Lord's Day, or to cause copies of the same to be distributed to the members of the congregation, not later than thirty days after receipt.

(8) Whenever the House of Bishops shall adopt a Position Paper, and require communication of the content of the Paper to the membership of the Church, the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall so communicate the Paper in the manner set forth in the preceding section of this Canon.

(c)

(1) It shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge to record in the Parish Register all Baptisms, Confirmations (including the canonical equivalents in Canon I.17.1(d)), Marriages and Burials.

(2) The registry of each Baptism shall be signed by the officiating Member of the Clergy.

(3) The Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall record in the Parish Register all persons who have received Holy Baptism, all communicants, all persons who have received Confirmation (including the canonical equivalents in Canon I.17.1(d)), all persons who have died, and all persons who have been received or removed by letter of transfer. The Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall also designate in the Parish Register the names of (1) those persons whose domicile is unknown, (2) those persons whose domicile is known but are inactive, and (3) those families and persons who are active within the congregation. The Parish Register shall remain with the congregation at all times.

Sec. 6. Licenses

(a) No Priest shall preach, minister the Sacraments, or hold any public service, within the limits of any Diocese other than the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident for more than two months without a license from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest desires to so officiate. No Priest shall be denied such a license on account of the Priest's race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise provided in these Canons. Upon expiration or withdrawal of a license, a priest shall cease immediately to officiate.

(b) No Priest shall preach, read prayers in public worship, or perform any similar function, in a congregation without the consent of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge of that congregation, except as follows:

(1) In the absence or impairment of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, and if provision has not been made for the stated services of the congregation or other community of faith, a Warden may give such consent.

(2) If there be two or more congregations or Churches in one Cure, as provided by Canon I.13.3(b), consent may be given by the majority of the Priests-in-Charge of such congregations, or by the Bishop; Provided, that nothing in this Section shall prevent any Member of the Clergy of this Church from officiating, with the consent of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, in the Church or place of public worship used by the congregation of the consenting Rector or Priest-in-Charge, or in private for members of the congregation; or in the absence of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, with the consent of the Wardens or Trustees of the congregation; Provided further, that the license of the Ecclesiastical Authority provided in Canon III.9.5(a), if required, be obtained.

(3) This Canon shall not apply to any Church, Chapel, or Oratory, which is part of the premises of an incorporated institution created by legislative authority, Provided that such place of worship is designated and set apart for the convenience and use of such institution, and not as a place for public or parochial worship.

(c) No Rector or Priest-in-Charge of any congregation of this Church, or if there be none, no Wardens, Members of the Vestry, or Trustees of any congregation, shall permit any person to officiate in the congregation without sufficient evidence that such person is duly licensed and ordained and in good standing in this Church; Provided, nothing in these Canons shall prevent:

(1) The General Convention, by Canon or otherwise, from authorizing persons to officiate in congregations in accordance with such terms as it deems appropriate; or

(2) The Bishop of any Diocese from giving permission

(i) To a Member of the Clergy of this Church, to invite Clergy of another Church to assist in the Book of Common Prayer Offices of Holy Matrimony or of the Burial of the Dead, or to read Morning or Evening Prayer, in the manner specified in Canon III.9.5; or

(ii) To Clergy of any other Church to preach the Gospel, or in ecumenical settings to assist in the administration of the sacraments; or

(iii) To godly persons who are not Clergy of this Church to address the Church on special occasions.

(iv) To the Member of the Clergy or Priest-in-Charge of a congregation or if there be none, to the Wardens, to invite Clergy ordained in another Church in communion with this Church to officiate on an occasional basis, provided that such clergy are instructed to teach and act in a manner consistent with the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of this Church.

(d) If any Member of the Clergy or Priest-in-Charge, as a result of impairment or any other cause, shall neglect to perform regular services in the congregation, and refuse, without good cause, to consent to any other duly qualified Member of the Clergy to perform such services, the Wardens, Vestry, or Trustees of the congregation shall, upon providing evidence to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of such neglect or refusal and with the written consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority, have the authority to permit any duly qualified Member of the Clergy to officiate.

(e) Any Priest desiring to officiate temporarily outside the jurisdiction of this Church but in a Church in communion with this Church, shall obtain from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the person is canonically resident, a testimonial which shall set forth the person's official standing, and which may be in the following form:

I hereby certify that A.B., who has signified to me the desire to be permitted to officiate temporarily in churches not under the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church, yet in communion with this Church, is a Priest of __________ in good standing, and as such is entitled to the rights and privileges of that Order.

(Date) __________ (Signed) ___________________

Such testimonial shall be valid for one year and shall be returned to the Ecclesiastical Authority at the end of that period. The Ecclesiastical Authority giving such testimonial shall record its issuance, the name of the Priest to whom issued, its date and the date of its return.

Sec. 7. Resignation

On reaching the age of seventy-two years, a Priest shall resign from all positions of in this Church, and the resignation shall be accepted. Thereafter, the Priest may accept any position in this Church, including, with the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority, the position or positions from which resignation pursuant to this Section has occurred; Provided,

(a) tenure in the position shall be for a term of not more than twelve months, which term may be renewed from time to time,

(b) service in the position shall have the express approval of the Bishop of the Diocese in which the service is to be performed, acting in consultation with the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident.

(c) Anything in this Canon to the contrary notwithstanding, a Priest who has served in a non-stipendiary capacity in a position before resignation may, at the Bishop's request, serve in the same position for a term not to exceed twelve months thereafter, and this term may be renewed.

Sec. 8. Renunciation of the Ordained Ministry

If any Priest of this Church not subject to the provisions of Canon IV.8 shall declare, in writing, to the Bishop of the Diocese in which such Priest is canonically resident, a renunciation of the ordained Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom, it shall be the duty of the Bishop to record the declaration and request so made. The Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is not subject to the provision of Canon IV.8 but is acting voluntarily and for causes, assigned or known, which do not affect the Priest’s moral character, shall lay the matter before the clerical members of the Standing Committee, and with the advice and consent of a majority of such members the Bishop may pronounce that such renunciation is accepted, and that the Priest is released from the obligations of the Ministerial office, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordination. The Bishop shall also declare in pronouncing and recording such action that it was for causes which do not affect the person’s moral character, and shall, if desired, give a certificate to this effect to the person so removed from the ordained Ministry.

Sec. 9. A Priest who would be permitted under this Canon to renounce the exercise of ordained office, who desires to enter into other than ecclesiastical employment, may declare in writing to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident a desire to be released from the obligations of the office and a desire to be released from the exercise of the office of Priest. Upon receipt of such declaration, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall proceed in the same manner as if the declaration was one of renunciation of the ordained Priesthood under this Canon.

Sec. 10. If a Priest making the aforesaid declaration of renunciation of the ordained Ministry be under Presentment for any Offense, or shall have been placed on Trial for the same, the Ecclesiastical Authority to whom such declaration is made shall not consider or act upon such declaration until after the said Presentment shall have been dismissed or the said Trial shall have been concluded and the Priest judged not to have committed an Offense.

Sec. 11. In the case of the renunciation of the ordained Ministry by a Priest as provided in this Canon, a declaration of removal shall be pronounced by the Bishop in the presence of two or more Priests, and shall be entered in the official records of the Diocese in which the Priest being removed is canonically resident. The Bishop who pronounces the declaration of removal as provided in this Canon shall give notice thereof in writing to every Member of the Clergy, each Vestry, the Secretary of the Convention and the Standing Committee of the Diocese in which the Priest was canonically resident; and to all Bishops of this Church, the Ecclesiastical Authority of each Diocese of this Church, the Presiding Bishop, the Recorder of Ordinations, the Secretary of the House of Bishops, the Secretary of the House of Deputies, The Church Pension Fund, and the Board for Church Deployment.

Sec. 12. Reconciliation of Disagreements Affecting the Pastoral Relation

When the pastoral relationship in a parish between a Rector and the Vestry or Congregation is imperiled by disagreement or dissension, and the issues are deemed serious by a majority vote of the Vestry or the Rector, either party may petition the Ecclesiastical Authority, in writing, to intervene and assist the parties in their efforts to resolve the disagreement. The Ecclesiastical Authority shall initiate such proceedings as are deemed appropriate under the circumstances for that purpose by the Ecclesiastical Authority, which may include the appointment of a consultant. The parties to the disagreement, following the recommendations of the Ecclesiastical Authority, shall labor in good faith that the parties may be reconciled. Whenever the Standing Committee is the Ecclesiastical Authority, it shall request the Bishop of a neighboring Diocese to perform the duties of the Ecclesiastical Authority under this Canon.

Sec. 13. Dissolution of the Pastoral Relation

Except upon mandatory resignation by reason of age, a Rector may not resign as Rector of a parish without the consent of its Vestry, nor may any Rector canonically or lawfully elected and in charge of a Parish be removed therefrom by the Vestry against the Rector’s will, except as hereinafter provided.

Sec. 14. If for any urgent reason a Rector or Vestry desires a dissolution of the pastoral relation, and the parties cannot agree, either party may give notice in writing to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese. Whenever the Standing Committee is the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese, it shall request the Bishop of another Diocese to perform the duties of the Bishop under this Canon.

Sec. 15. Within sixty days of receipt of the written notice the Bishop, as chief pastor of the Diocese, shall mediate the differences between Rector and Vestry in every informal way which the Bishop deems proper and may appoint a committee of at least one Presbyter and one Lay Person, none of whom may be members of the Parish involved, to make a report to the Bishop.

Sec. 16. If the differences between the parties are not resolved after completion of the mediation, the Bishop shall proceed as follows:

(a) The Bishop shall give notice to the Rector and Vestry that a godly judgment will be rendered in the matter after consultation with the Standing Committee and that either party has the right within ten days to request in writing an opportunity to confer with the Standing Committee before it consults with the Bishop.

(b) If a timely request is made, the President of the Standing Committee shall set a date for the conference, which shall be held within thirty days.

(c) At the conference each party shall be entitled to representation and to present its position fully.

(d) Within thirty days after the conference or after the Bishop’s notice if no conference is requested, the Bishop shall confer with and receive the recommendation of the Standing Committee; thereafter the Bishop, as final arbiter and judge, shall render a godly judgment.

(e) Upon the request of either party the Bishop shall explain the reasons for the judgment. If the explanation is in writing, copies shall be delivered to both parties.

(f) If the pastoral relation is to be continued, the Bishop shall require the parties to agree on definitions of responsibility and accountability for the Rector and the Vestry.

(g) If the relation is to be dissolved:

(1) The Bishop shall direct the Secretary of the Convention to record the dissolution.

(2) The judgment shall include such terms and conditions including financial settlements as shall seem to the Bishop just and compassionate.

Sec. 17. In either event the Bishop shall offer appropriate supportive services to the Priest and the Parish.

Sec. 18. In the event of the failure or refusal of either party to comply with the terms of the judgment, the Bishop may impose such penalties as may be set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese; and in default of any provisions for such penalties therein, the Bishop may act as follows:

(a) In the case of a Rector, suspend the Rector from the exercise of the priestly office until the Priest shall comply with the judgment.

(b) In the case of a Vestry, invoke any available sanctions including recommending to the Convention of the Diocese that the Parish be placed under the supervision of the Bishop as a Mission until it has complied with the judgment.

Sec. 19. For cause, the Bishop may extend the time periods specified in this Canon, provided that all be done to expedite these proceedings. All parties shall be notified in writing of the length of any extension.

Sec. 20.

(a) Statements made during the course of proceedings under this Canon are not discoverable nor admissible in any proceedings under Title IV provided that this does not require the exclusion of evidence in any proceeding under the Canons which is otherwise discoverable and admissible.

(b) In the course of proceedings under this Canon, if a charge is made by the Vestry against the Rector that could give rise to a disciplinary proceeding under Canon IV.1, all proceedings under this Canon with respect to such charge shall be suspended until the charge has been resolved or withdrawn.

Sec. 21. Sections 13-20 of this Canon shall not apply in any Diocese which has made a provision on this subject in its Canons which is consistent with this Canon.

CANON 10: Of Reception of Clergy from other Churches

Sec. 1. Prior to reception or ordination, the following must be provided

(a) a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee, and

(b) medical and psychological evaluation by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral. If the medical examination, psychological examination, or background check have taken place more than thirty-six months prior to reception or ordination they must be updated.

(c) evidence of training regarding

(1) prevention of sexual misconduct.

(2) civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

(3) the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

(4) training regarding the Church’s teaching on racism.

(d) Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

(e) Prior to reception or ordination each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide the clergy person an opportunity for guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

Sec. 2. Clergy Ordained by Bishops of Churches in Communion with This Church

(a)

(1) A Member of the Clergy, ordained by a Bishop of another Church in communion with this Church, or by a Bishop consecrated for a foreign land by Bishops of this Church under Article III of the Constitution, shall, before being permitted to officiate in any Congregation of this Church, exhibit to the Member of the Clergy in charge, or, if there be no Member of the Clergy in charge, to the Vestry thereof, a certificate of recent date, signed by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese that the person’s letters of Holy Orders and other credentials are valid and authentic, and given by a Bishop in communion with this Church, and whose authority is acknowledged by this Church; and also that the person has exhibited to the Ecclesiastical Authority satisfactory evidence of (i) moral and godly character and of (ii) theological qualifications.

(2) Before being permitted to take charge of any Congregation, or being received into any Diocese of this Church as a Member of its Clergy, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall receive Letters Dimissory or equivalent credentials under the hand and seal of the Bishop with whose Diocese the person has been last connected, which letters or credentials shall be delivered within six months from the date thereof. Before receiving the Member of the Clergy the Bishop shall require a promise in writing to submit in all things to the Discipline of this Church, without recourse to any foreign jurisdiction, civil or ecclesiastical; and shall further require the person to subscribe and make in the Bishop’s presence, and in the presence of two or more Presbyters, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution. The Bishop and at least one Presbyter shall examine the person as to knowledge of the history of this Church, its worship and government. The Bishop also being satisfied of the person’s theological qualifications, may then receive the person into the Diocese as a Member of the Clergy of this Church.

(3) The provisions of this Section shall be fully applicable to all Members of the Clergy identified in of churches in the historic Episcopal succession and with whom it has entered into covenant agreements including:

(i) those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury,

(ii) the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht,

(iii) the Philippine Independent Church, and

(iv) the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar

(v) the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

(b) A Member of the Clergy who is a Deacon shall not be ordered Priest until having resided within the jurisdiction of this Church at least one year and all the requirements for ordination to the Priesthood as required by Canon III.8 have been satisfied.

(c) Following reception each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide the clergy person an opportunity for guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

Sec. 3. Clergy Ordained by Bishops in Churches in the Historic Succession but Not in Communion with This Church

(a) When a Priest or Deacon ordained in a Church by a Bishop in the Historic Succession but not in communion with this Church, the regularity of whose ordination is approved by the Presiding Bishop as permitted by I.16.3, desires to be received as a Member of the Clergy in this Church, the person shall apply in writing to a Bishop, attaching the following:

(1) Evidence that the person is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing in a Congregation of this Church.

(2) Evidence of previous Ministry and that all other credentials are valid and authentic.

(3) Evidence of moral and godly character; and that the person is free from any vows or other engagements inconsistent with the exercise of Holy Orders in this Church.

(4) Transcripts of all academic and theological studies.

(5) A certificate from at least two Presbyters of this Church stating that, from personal examination or from satisfactory evidence presented to them, they believe that the departure of the person from the Communion to which the person has belonged has not arisen from any circumstance unfavorable to moral or religious character, or on account of which it may not be expedient to admit the person to Holy Orders in this Church.

(6) Certificates in the forms provided in Canon III.8.6 and III.8.7 from the Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge and Vestry of a Parish of this Church.

(7) A statement of the reasons for seeking to enter Holy Orders in this Church.

(b) The provisions of Canon III.8.5(a) shall be applicable.

(c) If the person has exercised a ministry in the previous Church with good repute and success and if the person furnishes evidence of satisfactory theological training in the previous Church, then the applicant shall be examined by the Commission and show proficiency in the following subjects:

(1) Church History: the history of the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church.

(2) Doctrine: the Church’s teaching as set forth in the Creeds and in An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism.

(3) Liturgics: the principles and history of Anglican worship; the contents of the Book of Common Prayer.

(4) Practical Theology:

(i) The office and work of a Deacon and Priest in this Church.

(ii) The conduct of public worship.

(iii) The Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and of the Diocese in which the applicant is resident.

(iv) The use of voice in reading and speaking.

(5) The points of Doctrine, Discipline, Polity, and Worship in which the Church from which the applicant has come differ from this Church. This portion of the examinations shall be conducted, in part at least, by written questions and answers, and the replies kept on file for at least three years.

(d) The Commission may, with the consent of the Bishop, and with notice to the applicant, examine the latter in any other subject required by Canon III.6.3 or III.8.4.

(e) Prior to being examined pursuant to Sec. 3(c) of this Canon, the applicant shall have received certificates from the Bishop and from the Standing Committee that the applicant is acceptable as a Member of the Clergy of this Church, subject to the successful completion of the examination.

(f) Before the person may be ordained or received into Holy Orders in this Church, the Bishop shall require a promise in writing to submit in all things, to the Discipline of this Church without recourse to any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction or foreign civil jurisdiction, and shall further require the person to subscribe and make in the presence of the Bishop and two or more Presbyters the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

(g) Thereafter the Bishop, being satisfied of the person’s theological qualifications and successful completion of the examination specified in Sec.3(c) of this Canon and soundness in the faith, shall:

(1) Receive, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, the person into this Church in the Orders to which already ordained by a Bishop in the historic succession; or

(2) Confirm and make the person a Deacon and, no sooner than four months thereafter, ordain as Priest, if the person has not received such ordination; or

(3) Ordain as a Deacon and no sooner than six months thereafter, ordain the person a Priest conditionally (having baptized and confirmed the person conditionally if necessary) if ordained by a Bishop whose authority to convey such orders has not been recognized by this Church.

(h) In the case of an ordination under this Canon, the Bishop shall, at the time of such ordination, read this preface to the Service:

The Ecclesiastical Authority of this Diocese is satisfied that A.B. accepts the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of this Church and now desires to be ordained a Deacon (or ordained a Priest) in this Church. We are about to confer upon A.B. the grace and authority of Holy Orders as this Church has received them and requires them for the exercise of the ministry of a Deacon (or a Priest).

The certificates of ordination in such cases shall contain the words:

Acknowledging the ministry which A.B. has already received and hereby adding to that commission the grace and authority of Holy Orders as understood and required by this Church for the exercise of the ministry of a Deacon (or a Priest).

(i) In the case of a conditional ordination pursuant to this Canon, the Bishop shall at the time of such ordination, read this preface to the service:

The Ecclesiastical Authority of this Diocese has been satisfied that A.B., who has been ordained by a Bishop whose authority has not been recognized by this Church, accepts the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of this Church, and now desires conditional ordination. By this service of ordination, we propose to establish that A.B. is qualified to exercise the ministry of a Deacon (or a Priest).

(j) No one shall be ordained or received as a Deacon or Priest until age twenty-four.

(k) A Deacon received under this Canon, desiring to be ordained to the Priesthood must satisfy all the requirements for ordination as set forth in Canon III.8.

(l) No one shall be received or ordained under this Canon less than twelve months from the date of having become a confirmed communicant of this Church.

(m) Following reception or ordination each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

Sec. 4. Clergy Ordained in Churches Not in the Historic Succession

(a) If a person ordained or licensed by other than a Bishop in the Historic Succession to minister in a Church not in communion with this Church desires to be ordained,

(1) The person must first be a confirmed adult communicant in good standing in a Congregation of this Church;

(2) The Commission shall examine the applicant and report to the Bishop with respect to:

(i) Whether the applicant has served in the previous Church with diligence and good reputation and has stated the causes which have impelled the applicant to leave the body and seek ordination in this Church,

(ii) The nature and extent of the applicant’s education and theological training,

(iii) The preparations necessary for ordination to the Order(s) to which the applicant feels called;

(3) The provisions of Canon III.5, 6, and 8 shall be followed except that the minimum period of Candidacy need not apply, if the Bishop and the Standing Committee at the recommendation of the Commission judge the Candidate to be ready for ordination to the Diaconate earlier than twelve months; the applicant shall be examined by the Commission and show proficiency in the following subjects:

(i) Church History: the history of the Anglican Church and The Episcopal Church in the United States of America,

(ii) Doctrine: the Church’s teaching as set forth in the Creeds and in An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism;

(iii) Liturgics: the principles and history of Anglican worship; the contents of the Book of Common Prayer;

(iv) Practical Theology:

(a) The office and work of a Deacon and Priest in this Church,

(b) The conduct of public worship,

(c) The Constitution and Canons of the General Convention, and of the Diocese in which the applicant is resident,

(d) The use of voice in reading and speaking;

(v) The points of Doctrine, Discipline, Polity, and Worship in which the Church from which the applicant has come differs from this Church. This portion of the examinations shall be conducted, in part at least, by written questions and answers, and the replies kept on file for at least three years.

(4) If all the requirements of this Canon have been fulfilled, the Bishop may ordain the Candidate a Deacon, but may do so no sooner than twelve months after the Candidate became a confirmed communicant of this Church. No sooner than six months thereafter, the Candidate may be ordained a Priest at the Bishop’s discretion. At the time of such ordination the Bishop shall read this preface following the signing of the declaration of conformity:

The Ecclesiastical Authority of this Diocese is satisfied that A.B. accepts the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of this Church and now desires to be ordained a Deacon (or ordained a Priest) in this Church. We are about to confer upon A.B. the grace and authority of Holy Orders as this Church has received them and requires them for the exercise of the ministry of a Deacon (or a Priest).

In such cases, the ordination certificate shall contain the words:

Acknowledging the ministry which A.B. has already received and hereby adding to that commission the grace and authority of Holy Orders as understood and required by this Church for the exercise of the ministry of a Deacon (or a Priest).

(5) Following reception or ordination each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide the clergy person an opportunity for guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

CANON 11: Of the Ordination of Bishops

Sec. 1.

(a) Discernment of vocation to be a Bishop occurs through a process of election in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Convention of the Diocese and pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of this Church. With respect to the election of a Bishop Suffragan, the Diocese shall establish a nominating process either by Canon or by the adoption of rules and procedure for the election of the Bishop Suffragan at a regular or special Diocesan Convention with sufficient time preceding the election of the Bishop Suffragan.

(b) In lieu of electing a Bishop, the Convention of a Diocese may request that an election be made on its behalf by the House of Bishops of the Province of which the Diocese is a part, subject to confirmation by the Provincial Synod, or it may request that an election be made on its behalf by the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

(1) If either option in Sec. l(b) is chosen, a special Joint Nominating Committee shall be appointed unless the Diocesan Convention has otherwise provided for the nominating process. The Committee shall be composed of three persons from the Diocese, appointed by its Standing Committee, and three members of the electoral body, appointed by the President of that body. The Joint Nominating Committee shall elect its own officers and shall nominate three persons whose names it shall communicate to the Presiding Officer of the electoral body. The Presiding Officer shall communicate the names of the nominees to the electoral body at least three weeks before the election when the names shall be formally placed in nomination. Opportunity shall be given for nominations from the floor or by petition, in either case with provision for adequate background checks.

(2) If either option in Sec. l(b) is chosen, the evidence of the election shall be a certificate signed by the Presiding Officer of the electoral body and by its Secretary, with a testimonial signed by a constitutional majority of the body, in the form required in Canon III.11.3, which shall be sent to the Standing Committee of the Diocese on whose behalf the election was held. The Standing Committee shall thereupon proceed as set forth in Canon III.11.3 or 4.

(c) The Secretary of the body electing a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan, shall inform the Presiding Bishop promptly of the name of the person elected. It shall be the duty of the Bishop-elect to notify the Presiding Bishop of acceptance or declination of the election, at the same time as the Bishop-elect notifies the electing Diocese.

(d) No Diocese shall elect a Bishop within thirty days before a meeting of the General Convention.

Sec. 2. It shall be lawful, within six months prior to the effective date of the resignation of a Diocesan Bishop, for the Bishop, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, to call a special meeting of the Convention of the Diocese to elect a successor; Provided, that if the Convention is to meet in regular session meanwhile, it may hold the election during the regular session. The proceedings incident to reparation for the ordination of the successor shall be as provided in this Canon; but the Presiding Bishop shall not take order for the ordination to be on any date prior to that upon which the resignation is to become effective.

Sec. 3.

(a) When a Diocese desires the ordination of a Bishop-elect, if the date of the election occurs within one hundred twenty days before a meeting of the General Convention, the Standing Committee of the Diocese shall, by its President, or by some person or persons specially appointed, forward to the Secretary of the House of Deputies evidence of the election of the Bishop-elect by the Convention of the Diocese, together with evidence that the Bishop-elect has been duly ordered Deacon and Priest, evidence of acceptance of election, and a testimonial signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention, and a summary of biographical information relating to the Bishop-elect; in the following words:

We, whose names are hereunder written, fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.

(Date) __________ (Signed) _______________

The Secretary of the Convention shall certify upon this testimonial that it has been signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention.

(b) The Standing Committee shall also forward to the Secretary of the General Convention, with the testimonial and other documents, certificates from a licensed medical doctor and licensed psychiatrist, appointed by the Ecclesiastical Authority with the approval of the Presiding Bishop, that they have thoroughly examined the Bishop-elect as to that person’s medical, psychological and psychiatric condition and have not discovered any reason why the person would not be fit to undertake the work for which the person has been chosen. Forms and procedures agreed to by the Presiding Bishop and The Church Pension Fund shall be used for this purpose.

(c) The Secretary of the House of Deputies shall present the testimonials to the House, and if the House consents to the ordination of the Bishop-elect, notice of its consent, certified by the President and the Secretary of the House, together with the testimonials, shall be sent to the House of Bishops.

(d) If a majority of the Bishops of this Church exercising jurisdiction consent to the ordination, the Presiding Bishop shall, without delay, notify the Standing Committee of the Diocese electing and the Bishop-elect of the consent.

Sec. 4.

(a) If the date of the election of a Bishop occurs more than one hundred and twenty days before the meeting of the General Convention, The Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop has been elected shall by its President, or by some person or persons specially appointed, immediately send to the Presiding Bishop and to the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses a certificate of the election by the Secretary of Convention of the Diocese, bearing a statement that evidence of the Bishop-elect’s having been duly ordered Deacon and Priest as to the Bishop-elect’s medical, psychological and psychiatric examination required in Sec. 3(b) of this Canon have been received and that a testimonial signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention must also be delivered in the following form:

We, whose names are hereunder written, fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.

(Date) __________ (Signed) _______________

The Presiding Bishop, without delay, shall notify every Bishop of this Church exercising jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop’s receipt of the certificates mentioned in this Section and request a statement of consent or withholding of consent. Each Standing Committee, in not more than one hundred and twenty days after the sending by the electing body of the certificate of the election, shall respond by sending the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected either the testimonial of consent in the form set out in paragraph (b) of this Section or written notice of its refusal to give consent. If a majority of the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses consents to the ordination of the Bishop-elect, the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected shall then forward the evidence of the consent, with the other necessary documents described in Sec. 3(a) of this Canon, to the Presiding Bishop. If the Presiding Bishop receives sufficient statements to indicate a majority of those Bishops consents to the ordination, the Presiding Bishop shall, without delay, notify the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected and the Bishop-elect of the consent.

(b) Evidence of the consent of each Standing Committee shall be a testimonial in the following words, signed by a majority of all the members of the Committee:

We, being a majority of all the members of the Standing Committee of ______________, and having been duly convened at ______________, fully sensible how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Order. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this _____ day of _________in the year of our Lord _________.

(Signed) _______________

Sec. 5. In case a majority of all the Standing Committees of the Dioceses do not consent to the ordination of the Bishop-elect within one hundred and twenty days from the date of the notification of the election by the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop was elected, or in case a majority of all the Bishops exercising jurisdiction do not consent within one hundred and twenty days from the date of notification to them by the Presiding Bishop of the election, the Presiding Bishop shall declare the election null and void and shall give notice to the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop was elected and to the Bishop-elect. The Convention of the Diocese may then proceed to a new election.

Sec. 6. Upon receipt of the consents and assurance of the acceptance of the election by the Bishop-elect, the Presiding Bishop shall take order for the ordination of the Bishop-elect either by the Presiding Bishop or the President of the House of Bishops of the Province of which the Diocese for which the Bishop was elected is part, and two other Bishops of this Church, or by any three Bishops to whom the Presiding Bishop may communicate the testimonials.

Sec. 7. In all particulars the service at the ordination of a Bishop shall be under the direction of the Bishop presiding at the ordination.

Sec. 8. No person shall be ordained Bishop unless the person shall at the time, and in the presence of the ordaining Bishops and congregation, subscribe to and make the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

Sec. 9.

(a) Within ten days after the election of a Bishop Diocesan, a Bishop Coadjutor, or a Bishop Suffragan by a Diocesan Convention, delegates constituting no less than 10% of the number of delegates casting votes on the final ballot may file with the Secretary of the Convention written objections to the election process, setting forth in detail all alleged irregularities. Within ten days after receipt thereof, the Secretary of the Convention shall forward copies of the same to the Bishop Diocesan, the Chancellor and Standing Committee of the Diocese, and to the Presiding Bishop, who shall request the Court of Review of the Province in which the Diocese is located to investigate the complaint. The Court of Review may invite response by the Bishop Diocesan, the Chancellor, the Standing Committee and any other persons within the Diocese for which the Bishop was elected. Within thirty days after receipt of the request, the Court of Review shall send a written report of its findings to the Presiding Bishop, a copy of which report the Presiding Bishop, within fifteen days, shall cause to be sent to the Bishop Diocesan, the Chancellor, the Standing Committee and the Secretary of the Convention of the electing Diocese. The Secretary shall send a copy of the report to each of the delegates who filed objection to the election process.

(b) If the election has taken place within one hundred and twenty days before a meeting of the General Convention, the report shall be sent with the evidence of election and testimonials as provided in Section 3(a) of this Canon.

(c) If the election has taken place more than one hundred and twenty days before the meeting of the General Convention, the report of the Court of Review shall be sent to the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses, with the Certificate of the Secretary of the electing Convention relating to consent to ordain. Likewise, the Presiding Bishop shall include the report in the communication to the Bishops exercising jurisdiction.

Sec. 10. Other Bishops

(a) Bishops Coadjutor

(1) If a Diocese discerns a need for another Bishop in order to provide for orderly transition, the diocese may elect a Bishop Coadjutor who shall have the right of succession. The consent of a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and of the several Standing Committees must be obtained. The election will be in accordance with this Canon.

(2) Before an election of a Bishop Coadjutor, the Bishop Diocesan shall read, or cause to be read, to the Convention the Bishop’s written consent to the election. The consent shall state the duties to be assigned to the Bishop Coadjutor when ordained. The consent shall form part of the proceedings of the Convention. The duties assigned by the Diocesan Bishop to the Bishop Coadjutor may be enlarged by mutual consent.

(3) In the case of the inability of the Bishop Diocesan to issue the required consent, the Standing Committee of the Diocese may request the Convention to act without the consent. The request shall be accompanied by a certificate by at least two licensed medical doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists as to the inability of the Diocesan Bishop to issue the written consent.

(4)When a Diocese desires the ordination of a Bishop Coadjutor, the Standing Committee shall forward to the Presiding Bishop, in addition to the evidence and testimonials required by Canon III.10, a certificate of the Presiding Officer and Secretary of the Convention that every requirement of this Section has been complied with.

(5) There shall be only one Bishop Coadjutor in any Diocese.

(b) Bishops Suffragan

(1) If a Diocese discerns a need for another Bishop due to the extent of diocesan work, the Diocese may elect a Bishop Suffragan in accordance with this Canon.

(2) Before the election of a Bishop Suffragan in a Diocese, the consent of a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and of the several Standing Committees must be obtained.

(3)

(i) A Bishop Suffragan shall act as an assistant to and under the direction of the Bishop Diocesan.

(ii) Before the election of a Bishop Suffragan in a Diocese, the Bishop Diocesan shall submit a consent with a description of the role and the duties of the Bishop Suffragan to the Convention of the Diocese.

(4)The tenure of office of a Bishop Suffragan shall not be determined by the tenure of office of the Bishop Diocesan.

(5) No Bishop Suffragan, while acting as such, shall be Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge of a Parish or Congregation.

(c) Missionary Bishops

(1) The election of a person to be a Bishop in a Missionary Diocese shall be held in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Constitution and Canons of this Church.

(2) The Convention of a Missionary Diocese may, in lieu of electing a Bishop, request that such election be made on its behalf by the Synod of the Province, or the House of Bishops of the Province subject to confirmation of the Provincial Council, or the Regional Council of Churches in communion with this Church of which the Diocese is a member. A Certificate of the Election, signed by the presiding officer and the Secretary of the Synod or Provincial House of Bishops, or Regional Council, and a testimonial in the form required in Canon III.11signed by a constitutional majority of the Synod, Provincial House of Bishops or Regional council, shall be transmitted by its presiding officer to the Standing Committee of the Missionary Diocese on whose behalf such election was made. The Standing Committee shall thereupon proceed as set forth in Canon III.11, the above Certification of Election and Testimonial serving in lieu of evidence of election and testimonial therein required.

(3) The Convention of a Missionary Diocese may, in lieu of electing a Bishop, request that such election may be made on its behalf by the House of Bishops. Such choice shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses. The medical certificate as required in Canon III.11shall also be required of Missionary Bishops-elect.

(i) When the House of Bishops is to elect a Bishop for a Missionary Diocese within a given Province, the President of the Province may convene the Synod of the Province prior to the meeting of the House of Bishops at which a Bishop for such Missionary Diocese is to be elected. The Synod of the Province may thereupon nominate not exceeding three persons to the House of Bishops for that office. It shall be the duty of the President of the Province to transmit such nominations, if any be made, to the Presiding Officer of the House of Bishops, communicate the same to the Bishops, along with other nominations that have been made, in accordance with the Rules of Order of the House. Each Province containing a Missionary Diocese shall, by Ordinance, provide the manner of convening the Synod and making such nomination.

(ii) The evidence of such choice shall be a certificate signed by the Bishop presiding in the House of Bishops and by its Secretary, with a testimonial, or certified copy thereof, signed by a majority of the Bishops of the House, in the form required in Canon III.11, which shall be sent to the Presiding Officer of the House of Deputies, or the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses.

(iii) When the Presiding Bishop shall have received a certificate signed by the Presidents and Secretaries of a majority of the Standing Committees, that the election has been approved, and shall have received notice of the acceptance by the Bishop-elect of the election, the Presiding Bishop shall take order for the consecration of the said Bishop-elect either by the Presiding Bishop and two other Bishops of this Church, or by three Bishops of this Church to whom the Presiding Bishop may communicate the certificates and testimonial.

(4) When a Diocese, entitled to the choice of a Bishop, shall elect as its Bishop Diocesan, or as its Bishop Coadjutor, or as a Bishop Suffragan; a Missionary Bishop of this Church, if such election shall have taken place within one hundred and twenty days before a meeting of the General Convention, evidence thereof shall be laid before each House of the General Convention, and the concurrence of each House, and its express consent, shall be necessary to the validity of said election, and shall complete the same, so that the Bishop thus elected shall be thereafter the Bishop of the Diocese which has elected such Bishop.

(5) If the election of the Missionary Bishop has taken place more than one hundred and twenty days before a meeting of the General Convention, the report shall be sent with the evidence of election and testimonials as provided in Section 3(a) of this Canon.

(6) If the election of the Missionary Bishop has taken place more than one hundred twenty days before a meeting of the General Convention, the Standing Committee of the Diocese electing shall give duly certified evidence of the election to every Bishop of this Church having jurisdiction, and to the Standing Committee of every Diocese. On receiving notice of the concurrence of a majority of such Bishops and of the Standing Committees in the election, and their express consent thereto, the Standing Committee of the Diocese electing shall transmit notice thereof to the Ecclesiastical Authority of every Diocese within the United States. This notice shall state what Bishops and which Standing Committees have consented to the election. On receiving this notice the Presiding Bishop shall certify to the Secretary of the House of Bishops the altered status and style of the Bishop so elected.

(6) The Standing Committee of such Diocese shall transmit to every Congregation thereof, to be publicly read therein, a notice of the election thus completed, and also cause public notice thereof to be given in such other way as they may think proper.

(7) In the event of a vacancy in the episcopate of a Missionary Diocese, on account of death, resignation, or other cause, the Standing Committee shall become the Ecclesiastical Authority thereof until the vacancy is filled.

CANON 12: Of the Life and Work of a Bishop

Sec. 1. Formation

Following election and continuing for three years following ordination, new Bishops shall pursue the process of formation authorized by the House of Bishops. This process of formation shall provide a mentor for each newly ordained Bishop.

Sec. 2. Continuing Education

The House of Bishops shall require and provide for the continuing education of Bishops and shall keep a record of such education.

Sec. 3. Duties

(a) Each Bishop Diocesan shall visit the Congregations within the Diocese at least once in three years. Interim visits may be delegated to another Bishop of this Church.

(1) At every such visitation the visiting Bishop shall preside at the Holy Eucharist and at the Initiatory Rites, as required, preach the Word, examine the records of the Congregation required by Canon III.9, and examine the life and ministry of the Clergy and Congregation according to Canon III.9.

(2) If no visitation has occurred in a congregation for three years, the Bishop Diocesan or the Member of the Clergy in charge and Vestry or comparable body may apply to the Presiding Bishop to appoint five Bishops Diocesan who live nearest to the Diocese in which such Congregation is situated as a Council of Conciliation. The Council shall determine all matters of difference between the parties, and each party shall conform to the decision of the Council. Provided, that, in case of any subsequent trial of either party for failure to conform to the decision, any right of the Accused under the Constitutions and Canons of this Church or the Diocese holding the trial may be pleaded and established as a sufficient defense, notwithstanding the former decision; and Provided, further, that, in any case, the Bishop may at any time apply for such Council of Conciliation.

(b) The Bishop Diocesan may deliver, from time to time, a Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese and a Pastoral Letter to the people of the Diocese on points of doctrine, discipline, or worship. The Bishop may require the Clergy to read the Pastoral Letter to their Congregations.

(c) Each Bishop shall keep a record of all official acts, which record shall be the property of the Diocese and shall be transmitted to the Bishop’s successor.

(d) At each Annual Meeting of the Diocesan Convention the Bishop Diocesan shall make a report of the State of the Diocese since the last Annual Meeting of the Convention; including the names of the Congregations visited; the number of persons confirmed and received; the names of those who have been admitted as Postulants and Candidates for Holy Orders, of those ordained, and of those suspended or deposed from Holy Orders; the changes by death, removal, or otherwise, which have taken place among the Clergy; and other matters the Bishop desires to present to the Convention; which statement shall be inserted in the Journal.

(e) No Bishop shall perform episcopal acts or officiate by preaching, ministering the Sacraments, or holding any public service in a Diocese other than that in which the Bishop is canonically resident, without permission or a license to perform occasional public services from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Bishop desires to officiate or perform episcopal acts.

Sec. 4. Residency

(a) Each Bishop serving in a Diocese shall reside in that Diocese.

(b) The Bishop Diocesan shall not be absent from the Diocese for a period of more than three consecutive months without the consent of the Convention or the Standing Committee of the Diocese.

(c) A Bishop Diocesan, whenever leaving the Diocese for six consecutive months, shall authorize in writing, under hand and seal, the Bishop Coadjutor, the Bishop Suffragan if the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese so provide, or, should there be none, the Standing Committee of the Diocese, to act as the Ecclesiastical Authority thereof during the absence. The Bishop Coadjutor, or the Bishop Suffragan if the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese so provide, or, should there be none, the Standing Committee may at any time become the Ecclesiastical Authority upon the written request of the Bishop and continue to act as such until the request is revoked by the Bishop Diocesan in writing.

Sec. 5. Assistant Bishops

(a) When a Diocese, in the opinion of its Bishop, requires additional episcopal services, the Bishop may, with the consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, ask the Convention of the Diocese to approve the creation of the position of Assistant Bishop and to authorize the Bishop to appoint a Bishop for the position, with the consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, and under such conditions as the Bishop may determine.

(b) An Assistant Bishop may be appointed from among the following:

(1) Bishops Diocesan, Bishops Coadjutor, or Bishops Suffragan, who under the Constitution and Canons of this Church would be eligible for election in that Diocese; Provided, that at the time of accepting any such appointment a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor or Bishop Suffragan shall resign that office;

(2) Bishops of this Church who, having resigned their previous responsibilities, are qualified to perform episcopal acts in this Church; and

(3) Bishops of a Church in communion with this Church, in good standing therein, if they:

(i) have previously resigned their former responsibilities;

(ii) have received approval, by a competent authority within the Church of their ordination of their appointment to the position of Assistant Bishop;

(iii) have exhibited satisfactory evidence of moral and godly character and having met theological requirements;

(iv) have promised in a writing submitted to the Bishop making the appointment to submit in all things to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of this Church; and thorough examination covering their medical,

(v) have submitted to and satisfactorily passed a psychological and psychiatric condition by recognized and licensed professionals appointed by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese with the approval of the Presiding Bishop. The forms for medical, psychological and psychiatric reports prepared by The Church Pension Fund shall be used for these purposes.

(4) Before the appointment of a Bishop who is not otherwise a member of the House of Bishops as an Assistant Bishop under the provisions of Secs. 4(b)(2) or 4(b)(3) of this Canon, the consent of the House of Bishops or, if the appointment is to be made more than three months prior to a meeting of the House of Bishops, the consent of a majority of Bishops exercising jurisdiction must be obtained.

(c) Before an Assistant Bishop so appointed begins service in this position, the Bishop of the Diocese shall give certified evidence of the appointment to the Secretary of the House of Bishops and shall transmit notice of the appointment to the Presiding Bishop and to the Ecclesiastical Authority of every Diocese.

(d) An Assistant Bishop shall serve at the discretion, and under the control and direction of, the Bishop Diocesan.

(e) No person may serve as an Assistant Bishop beyond the termination of the jurisdiction of the appointing Bishop or after attaining the age of seventy-two years.

Sec. 6. Missionary Bishops

(a) Any Bishop or Bishops elected and consecrated as a Missionary Bishop shall be entitled to a seat, voice and vote in the House of Bishops, and shall be eligible for election to the office of Bishop or Bishop Coadjutor or Bishop Suffragan in any organized Diocese within the United States; Provided, that such Bishop shall not be so eligible within five years from the date of consecration, except to the office of Bishop of Diocese formed in whole or in part out of such Missionary Diocese.

(b) In the case of the permanent impairment of the Bishop of a Missionary Diocese, where the said Bishop shall not have submitted a resignation of jurisdiction, the Presiding Bishop shall, upon certification of the said permanent impairment by at least three reputable physicians, declare the jurisdiction vacant.

(c) When the Bishop of a Missionary Diocese is unable, by reason of age or other permanent cause of impairment, fully to discharge the duties of office, a Bishop Coadjutor may be elected by the said Diocese, subject to the provisions of Canon III.11.

Sec. 7. Renunciation of the Ordained Ministry

(a) If any Bishop of this Church not subject to the provisions of Canon IV.8 shall declare, in writing, to the Presiding Bishop a renunciation of the ordained Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom, it shall be the duty of the Presiding Bishop to record the declaration and request so made. The Presiding Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is not subject to the provisions of Canon IV.8 but is acting voluntarily and for causes, assigned or known, which do not affect the person’s moral character, shall lay the matter before the Advisory Council to the Presiding Bishop, and with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the Advisory Council the Presiding Bishop may pronounce that such renunciation is accepted, and that the Bishop is released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordinations. The Presiding Bishop shall also declare in pronouncing and recording such action that it was for causes which do not affect the person’s moral character, and shall, if desired, give a certificate to this effect to the person so removed.

(b) If a Bishop making the aforesaid declaration of the renunciation of the ordained Ministry be under Presentment for any canonical Offense, or shall have been placed on Trial for the same, the Presiding Bishop shall not consider or act upon such declaration until after the Presentment shall have been dismissed or the said Trial shall have been concluded and the Bishop judged not to have committed an Offense.

(c) In the case of such renunciation by a Bishop as provided in this Canon, a declaration of removal shall be pronounced by the Presiding Bishop in the presence of two or more Bishops, and shall be entered in the official records of the House of Bishops and of the Diocese in which the Bishop being removed is canonically resident. The Presiding Bishop shall give notice thereof in writing to the Secretary of the Convention and the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Standing Committee of the Diocese in which the Bishop was canonically resident, to all Bishops of this Church, the Ecclesiastical Authority of each Diocese of this Church, the Recorder, the Secretary of the House of Bishops, the Secretary of the General Convention, The Church Pension Fund, and the Church Deployment Board.

Sec. 8. The Resignation or Incapacity of Bishops

(a) Each Bishop, upon attaining the age of seventy-two years, shall resign as required by Article II, Sec. 9 of the Constitution. The resignation shall be sent to the Presiding Bishop, who shall immediately communicate it to every Bishop of this Church exercising jurisdiction and shall declare the resignation accepted, effective at a designated date not later than three months from the date the resignation was tendered.

(b) The Presiding Bishop shall communicate to the resigning Bishop the acceptance of the resignation effective as of the date fixed. In the case of a Bishop Diocesan or Bishop Coadjutor, the Presiding Bishop shall certify the resignation to the Standing Committee of the Diocese concerned, and in the case of other Bishops, to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese concerned. The Presiding Bishop shall also order the Secretary of the House of Bishops to record the resignation, effective as of the date fixed, to be incorporated in the Journal of the House.

(c) If any Bishop, for any reason, fails to resign upon attaining the age of seventy-two years, as provided in Sec.6 of this Canon, the Presiding Bishop shall certify that fact to the House of Bishops. The House of Bishops shall then declare the Bishop’s position terminated, effective at a date not later than three months from the date of declaration; and shall order the Presiding Bishop’s certificate and its own declaration and action to be recorded in its Journal. The Presiding Bishop shall then pronounce the position terminated, effective as of the date fixed, and shall communicate the fact to the Bishop Diocesan and Standing Committee of each Diocese.

(d) Any Bishop who desires to resign shall send the resignation with the reasons therefore in writing to the Presiding Bishop at least thirty days before the date set for a meeting of the House of Bishops. The Presiding Bishop shall notify without delay every Bishop of this Church, and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of the Bishop desiring to resign, in order that the Standing Committee may be heard on behalf of the Diocese, either in person or by correspondence, upon the subject. The House during its session shall accept or refuse the resignation by a majority of those present.

(e) If a resignation has been tendered more than three months before a meeting of the House of Bishops, the Presiding Bishop shall communicate it, together with any statement from the Standing Committee of the Diocese concerned, to every Bishop of this Church. If a majority of the Bishops consents to the resignation, the Presiding Bishop, without delay, shall notify the resigning Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese concerned of the acceptance of the resignation, effective as of the date fixed. The Presiding Bishop shall also order the Secretary of the House of Bishops to record the resignation, effective as of the date fixed, to be incorporated in the Journal of the House.

(f) At each meeting of the General Convention, the Presiding Bishop shall communicate to the House of Deputies, when in session, a list of the resignations which have been accepted since the preceding meeting of the General Convention.

(g) A resigned Bishop shall be subject in all matters to the Constitution and Canons of this Church and to the authority of the General Convention.

(h) A resigned Bishop may only perform any episcopal act at the request of or with the permission of the Bishop Diocesan within that Bishop’s Diocese. A resigned Bishop may, by vote of the Convention of any Diocese and with the consent of the Bishop of that Diocese, be given an honorary seat in the Convention, with voice but without vote, or be given an honorary seat in the Cathedral of any Diocese, by and subject to the authority competent to grant such seat. The resigned Bishop shall report all official acts to the Bishop Diocesan and to the Diocese in which the acts are performed. These provisions shall also be applicable to a resigned Bishop of another Church in communion with this Church, subject to the approval of competent authority within the other Church, where such approval may be required.

(i) A resigned Bishop may, at the discretion of the Bishop of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop resides, and upon presentation of Letters Dimissory from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop has had canonical residence most recently, be enrolled among the Clergy of the new Diocese, and become subject to its Constitution and Canons including being given a seat and vote in the Diocesan Convention, in accordance with its canonical provisions for qualification of clergy members.

(j) When a resigned Bishop accepts a pastoral charge or other ministerial post within a Diocese, the Bishop Diocesan shall process the Letters Dimissory, and the resigned Bishop shall be enrolled among the Clergy of the Diocese and be given seat and vote in the Diocesan Convention in accordance with the canonical provisions of the Diocese for qualification of clergy members, and subject to the provisions of paragraph (o) of this section.

(k) A resigned Bishop may, with the approval of the Bishop of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop resides, accept a pastoral charge in that Diocese, and, subject to the Diocese’s canonical provisions for the filling of vacancies, may accept election as the Rector of a Parish therein.

(l) A resigned Bishop may, with the approval of the Bishop of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop resides, accept any position created under the authority of the Diocesan Convention, including that of Assistant Bishop and may, at the same time, occupy a pastoral charge.

(m) A resigned Bishop over the age of seventy-two may accept an appointment by a Bishop Diocesan for a term not to exceed twelve months, and this term may be renewed.

(n) Enrollment among the Clergy of, or acceptance of any position within, a Diocese shall not deprive a resigned Bishop of the seat and vote in the House of Bishops to which the Bishop may be entitled under Article I, Sec. 2 of the Constitution.

(o) The provisions of this section shall be applicable to a resigned Bishop who continues to reside within the limits of the resigned Bishop’s former Diocese, except that the resigned Bishop shall not have the right to vote in the Diocesan Convention, unless the Canons of the Diocese specifically so provide.

(p) When it is certified to the Presiding Bishop, by at least two licensed medical doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists, who have examined the case, that a Bishop Diocesan is incapable of authorizing the Bishop Coadjutor, if there is one, or a Bishop Suffragan, if there is one, or the Standing Committee to act as the Ecclesiastical Authority, then, upon the advice of five Bishops of neighboring Dioceses selected by the Presiding Bishop, the Presiding Bishop shall declare the Bishop Coadjutor, or a Bishop Suffragan, if the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese so provide, or the Standing Committee to be the Ecclesiastical Authority for all purposes set forth in these Canons and to retain such canonical authority until the Presiding Bishop, acting upon a like certificate, declares the Bishop Diocesan competent to resume official duties.

(q) If it is certified to the Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese by two licensed medical doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists, selected by the Ecclesiastical Authority, that the Bishop Coadjutor in the Diocese is permanently unable, by reason of medical, psychological or psychiatric condition, to carry out the duties of Bishop Coadjutor, the Ecclesiastical Authority, upon the advice of three Bishops of three neighboring Dioceses, may declare that the right of succession of the Bishop Coadjutor is terminated and a new Bishop Coadjutor may then be elected as provided in Canon III.11.

CANON 13: Of Dioceses without Bishops

Sec. 1. A Diocese without a Bishop may, by an act of its Convention, and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop, be placed under the provisional charge and authority of a Bishop of another Diocese or of a resigned Bishop, who shall by that act be authorized to exercise all the duties and offices of the Bishop of the Diocese until a Bishop is elected and ordained for that Diocese or until the act of the Convention is revoked.

Sec. 2. Any Bishop may, on the invitation of the Convention or of the Standing Committee of any Diocese where there is no Bishop, visit and exercise episcopal offices in that Diocese or any part of it. This invitation may include a letter of agreement, shall be for a stated period and may be revoked at any time.

Sec. 3. A Diocese, while under the provisional charge of a Bishop, shall not invite any other Bishop to visit and exercise episcopal acts or authority without the consent of the Bishop in charge.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Columbus, 2006 (New York: General Convention, 2007), pp. 583-630.