The Governance of The Episcopal Church: This information is another in an ongoing series discussing the governance of The Episcopal Church.
The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has notified the Diocese of New York that Bishop-Elect Andrew Dietsche has received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process.
As outlined under Canon III.11.4 (a), the Presiding Bishop confirmed the receipt of consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and has also reviewed the evidence of consents from a majority of standing committees of the Church sent to her by the diocesan standing committee.
In Canon III.11.4 (b), Standing Committees, in consenting to the ordination and consecration, attest they are "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."
Dietsche was elected Bishop Coadjutor on November 19. His ordination and consecration service is slated for March 10; Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will officiate.
While Bishop-Elect Dietsche has received the necessary majority of consents, consents will continue to be accepted up to and including the April 6 deadline date.
A recap of the process
Upon election, the successful candidate is a bishop-elect. Following some procedural matters including physical and psychological examinations, formal notices are then sent by the Presiding Bishop’s office to bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops only) with separate notices from the electing diocese to the standing committees of each of the dioceses in The Episcopal Church. These notices require their own actions and signatures.
In order for a bishop-elect to become a bishop, Canon III.11.4 (a) of The Episcopal Church mandates that a majority of diocesan bishops AND a majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination and consecration as bishop. These actions – done separately - must be completed within 120 days from the day notice of the election was sent to the proper parties.
If the bishop-elect receives a majority (at least 50% plus 1) of consents from the diocesan bishops as well as a majority from the standing committees, the bishop-elect is one step closer. Following a successful consent process, ordination and celebration are in order.
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