September-December consecrations, elections, consents

Information on church governance

Posted Aug 20, 2012

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] In the next four months, Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, the Episcopal Church will witness the consecrations of six bishops and the election of one bishop.

Six consecrations of bishops are slated for September to December. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will officiate at the ordination services.

October 6: Diocese of Texas Suffragan: The Rev. Jeff W. Fisher, elected June 2

October 13: Diocese of Atlanta: The Very Rev. Robert C. Wright, elected June 2

October 20: Diocese of Pittsburgh: The Rev. Dorsey W. M. McConnell, elected April 21

November 17: Diocese of Rhode Island: The Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, elected on June 2

December 1: Diocese of Western Massachusetts: The Rev. Dr. Douglas John Fisher, elected June 2

December 15: Diocese of Lexington: The Very Rev. Douglas Hahn elected August 18; pending a successful canonical consent process

During September to December, one bishop election is scheduled:

November 10: Diocese of Eau Claire

Canonical Consent Process
There is no canonical consent process currently underway. However, the canonical consent process is expected to commence in September for the successful candidate in the Diocese of Lexington election on August 18.

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.

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.