Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memo to the House of Bishops

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this "just issued" memo to the House of Bishops regarding the March 2008 deposition of bishops Schofield and Cox.


To: House of Bishops
Re: Proper Use of Abandonment Procedures for Bishops

Subsequent to our meeting at Camp Allen, some Bishops of The Episcopal Church and some commentators have suggested that we may have failed to follow our own rules for giving consent to the deposition of a Bishop for abandoning the communion of this Church. A careful analysis and examination of the canon law, however, confirms that consent to deposition was procedurally appropriate, as the House’s Parliamentarian ruled and the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor has advised.

This memorandum is intended to provide the Members of the House with necessary legal background and the reasoning supporting that conclusion for the assurance of the Members as to past actions and in advance of their consideration of any additional such actions in the future.

The House of Bishops followed the proper canonical procedure for consenting to the depositions of John-David Schofield and William J. Cox from the Ministry of The Episcopal Church as provided in Canon IV.9 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church (2006) for the following reasons:

A. The intended meaning of Section 2 of Canon IV.9 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church (2006) is that the consent of a majority of the Bishops voting at a meeting of the House of Bishops constitutes valid consent for the deposition of a Bishop.

B. Precedent establishes that the House of Bishops acted appropriately in considering and acting upon the Presiding Bishop’s referral to it of the abandonment of communion certified to her by the Review Committee.

C. Procedural safeguards assure fairness and justice in the case of Bishops accused of having abandoned the Communion of this Church.

Read the rest here ... we now return to our regularly scheduled programing.

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