Home » bishop consents » Bishops-elect: The Consents Process (just for fun reading)

Bishops-elect: The Consents Process (just for fun reading)

ARTICLE II
Sec. 1. In every Diocese the Bishop or the Bishop Coadjutor shall be
chosen agreeably to rules prescribed by the Convention of that
Diocese
, provided that the retirement date of the Bishop Diocesan shall not be more than thirty-six months after the consecration of the Bishop Coadjutor. Bishops of Missionary Dioceses shall be chosen in accordance with the Canons of the General Convention.

Here is the rest of the Consent process as spelled out in Canon 11 (through section 8 – there is more to Canon 11). Read carefully and you will discover time frames, approvals, where consents are sent, and the role of the Presiding Bishop’s office, and the Standing Committee of the electing diocese.

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 Bishopelect
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 Bishopelect 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.

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