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May – August 2012 consecrations, elections and consents in the Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church
Office of Public Affairs

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In the next four months – May 1 to August 31 - the Episcopal Church will witness the consecrations of four bishops, the elections of six bishops, and the canonical consent process for nine bishops-elect.

Consecrations

Four consecrations of bishops, with four pending a successful canonical consent process, are slated for May to August. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will officiate at the consecrations.

May 22: Diocese of Haiti; the Rev. Canon Ogé Beauvoir, Diocese of Haiti, elected Bishop Suffragan November 25

July 21:  Diocese of Western Louisiana; The Very Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, elected April 21

July 28: Diocese of Virginia Suffragan; The Rev. Canon Susan Ellyn Goff, elected April 21

August 4: Diocese of New Hampshire Coadjutor; election is scheduled for May 19.

Elections

During May to August, six bishop elections are scheduled:

May 19: Diocese of New Hampshire Coadjutor

June 2: Diocese of Atlanta  

June 2: Diocese of Rhode Island   

June 2: Diocese of Western Massachusetts

June 2: Diocese of Texas Suffragan

August 18: Diocese of Lexington

Canonical Consent Process

The canonical consent process is currently underway for one bishop-elect. The deadline is:

May 9: The Rev. Canon Ogé Beauvoir, Diocese of Haiti, elected Bishop Suffragan November 25

As per Article II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, which calls for the canonical consent process to be conducted at General Convention if an election takes place within 120 days before the meeting of General Convention; the canonical consent process for the following will be addressed at General Convention 2012 in July:

Diocese of Atlanta (election June 2)

Diocese of New Hampshire Coadjutor (election May 19)

Diocese of Pittsburgh - The Rev. Dorsey W. M. McConnell, elected April 21

Diocese of Rhode Island (election June 2)

Diocese of Texas Suffragan (election June 2)

Diocese of Western Louisiana - The Very Rev. Jacob W. Owensby elected April 21

Diocese of Western Massachusetts (election June 2)

Diocese of Virginia Suffragan  - The Rev. Canon Susan Ellyn Goff  elected April 21

A recap of the process                                 

Upon election, the successful candidate is a Bishop-Elect.  Following some procedural matters including examinations, formal notices are then sent to bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops only) with separate notices 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, under Cannon III.11.4, 6 of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops with jurisdiction AND the majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.  These actions are done separately.

However, in a General Convention year, as per Article II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, the canonical consent process will be addressed at General Convention if an election takes place within 120 days before the meeting of General Convention.

Once the Presiding Bishop receives the necessary consents, she shall “without delay” notify the electing diocese and the bishop-elect without waiting for the expiration of the 120-day period, and “shall,” upon acceptance of the election by the bishop-elect, “take order for the ordination.”

However, if the majority of the diocesan bishops do not consent, and/or the majority of the standing committees do not consent, the Presiding Bishop, in accordance with Canon III.11.5, is required to declare the election null and void. In those cases, a person elected by the diocese will not be ordained.