From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[ENS] Resigned bishops may lose voting rights
"Mika Larson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:26:18 -0400
August 5, 2003
Resigned bishops may lose voting rights
by Richelle Thompson
[ENS] The House of Bishops took the first step Tuesday to remove the
voting rights of resigned bishops.
Resolution B005 proposes a constitutional change that gives seat and
voice to all bishops - but vote only to bishops with jurisdiction,
coadjutors, suffragans, assistants and every bishop holding an office
created by General Convention. A constitutional change requires two
readings at General Convention before it becomes part of church law. The
earliest this resolution could take effect is Jan. 1, 2007.
Bishop Gordon Charlton, retired bishop of Texas, proposed an amendment
to allow retired bishops to vote on house resolutions as well as those
dealing with the "faith and order" of the church.
"I always considered I was called to this office for the rest of my
life, which includes being involved in the governance of the church,"
said Bishop David Reed, retired bishop of Kentucky. "The amendment gives
us the opportunity to continue our ministry."
But other bishops struck down the amendment, countering that ministry
can continue even without a vote.
Governing of the house "ought to reside with those who have
responsibility and accountability," said Bishop William Smalley of
Kansas, who said his retirement is 149 days away. "I'll be happy to come
back, but not if I have a voice on the matter."
Some bishops referenced a study of resigned bishops, which found that 70
of 102 responders favored the resolution.
In the roll call vote, 126 bishops supported the resolution, with 31
opposing it; there were six abstentions.
In other business, the issue of direct ordination still remains a
sticking point for some bishops - despite a consensus in the house to
keep the transitional diaconate.
During what should have been simple housekeeping of rejecting two
resolutions about direct ordination - which the bishops directed the
ministry committee to do - some bishops took the floor in favor of
"We'd like to have the option in Southwestern Virginia," said the
diocese's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Neff Powell. "I believe ministry begins
with baptism, and I think dual ordination track confuses the issue."
Ultimately the bishops rejected the resolutions, although they seemed to
agree with a suggestion by Bishop John Croneberger of Newark that the
bishops need to have an in-depth discussion about direct ordination.
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