Amendments to the Constitution & Canons - Results

  • C-1s: adopted as a substitute for C-1 adn C-2
  • C-3 - adopted on first reading

C-1s
Adopted as a substitute for C-1 and C-2

Amend Canon 27 in its entirety to read as follows:

CANON 27

Sec. 1.  Adoption of Title IV of the Canons of the General Convention.  Those provisions of Title IV of the Canons of the General Convention that are applicable to the Diocese are hereby incorporated as part of this Canon.  To the extent, if any, that any of the provisions of this Canon are inconsistent with provisions of Title IV, the provisions of Title IV shall govern.

Sec. 2.  Disciplinary Board.  The Disciplinary Board shall consist of eleven (11) persons, six (6) of whom are priests or deacons and five (5) of whom are lay persons. Members of the Standing Committee shall be eligible to serve as members of the Disciplinary Board.    

(a)    Priests or Deacons.  The priests or deacons who are members of the Disciplinary Board shall be canonically resident in this Diocese.

(b)    Lay Members.  The lay members of the Disciplinary Board shall be persons eligible under the Canons for election as Lay Delegates to Council.

(c)    Election of Members.  The members of the Disciplinary Board shall be nominated by the Standing Committee and elected by Council to serve for terms of three years. Member’s terms shall be staggered into three classes of two clerical and two lay members each, provided that one such class shall have only one lay member. A Disciplinary Board member who has served two complete three-year terms shall be ineligible to serve again until one year has elapsed.

(d)    Vacancies.  Vacancies on the Disciplinary Board shall be filled as follows:    

  • (i)    Upon the determination that a vacancy exists, the President of the Board shall notify the Bishop of the vacancy and request appointment of a replacement member.    
  • (ii)    The Bishop shall appoint a replacement Disciplinary Board member in consultation with the Standing Committee.    
  • (iii)    With respect to a vacancy created for any reason other than pursuant to a disqualification as provided in Section 3 below, the term of any person selected as a replacement Disciplinary Board member shall expire at the conclusion of the next regular meeting of Council, at which Annual Council a person of the same order as the person whose position was vacated shall be elected to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. With respect to a vacancy resulting from a challenge, the replacement Disciplinary Board member shall serve only for the proceeding for which the regularly elected Disciplinary Board member is not serving as a result of the challenge.

(e)    President.    Within sixty (60) days following the annual Council, the Disciplinary Board shall convene to elect a President to serve until the next Annual Council.

Sec. 3.  Preserving Impartiality.  In any proceeding under this Canon, if any member of a Conference Panel or Hearing Panel of the Disciplinary Board shall become aware of a conflict of interest or undue bias, that member shall immediately disqualify himself or herself and notify the President of the Disciplinary Board and request appointment of a replacement member of the Panel.  Respondent’s Counsel and the Church Attorney shall have the right to challenge any member of a Panel for conflict of interest or undue bias by motion to the Panel for disqualification of the challenged member.  The members of the Panel not the subject of the challenge shall promptly consider the motion and determine whether the challenged Panel member shall be disqualified from participating in that proceeding.

Sec. 4.  Intake Officers.  The Intake Officers shall be appointed from time to time by the Bishop after consultation with the Disciplinary Board.  The Bishop shall appoint at least two Intake Officers according to the needs of the Diocese, with at least one male and one female.  The Bishop shall publish the names and contact information of the Intake Officers throughout the Diocese.

Sec. 5  Investigator.  The Bishop shall appoint one or more Investigators as needed in consultation with the President of the Disciplinary Board.  Every Investigator shall be required to maintain confidentiality subject to Canon IV.11(5).

Sec. 6.  Church Attorney.  Within sixty (60) days following each annual Council, the Disciplinary Board shall appoint a Church Attorney, and one or more Assistant Church Attorneys, if deemed appropriate by the Disciplinary Board, who shall be duly licensed attorneys, and who will perform the functions as described in Canon IV.2. Attorneys appointed to serve as Church Attorney shall serve until their successors are appointed.  Persons selected to serve as Church Attorneys shall be persons eligible under the Canons for election as Lay Delegates to Council, but need not reside within the Diocese.  The Church Attorney may be removed by the Bishop, in consultation with the Standing Committee, for cause.  If none of the Church Attorney or Assistant Church Attorneys are able to act on a specific matter due to a conflict of interest, undue bias or unavailability, the Disciplinary Board shall appoint a duly licensed attorney who is eligible under the Canons for election as a Lay Delegate to Council to act as Church Attorney for such matter.

Sec. 7.  Pastoral Response Coordinator.  The Bishop may appoint a Pastoral Response Coordinator, to serve at the will of the Bishop in coordinating the delivery of appropriate pastoral responses provided for in Canon IV.8. The Pastoral Response Coordinator may be an Intake Officer but shall not be a person serving in any other appointed or elected capacity under this Canon.

Sec. 8.  Advisors.  In each proceeding under this Canon, the Bishop shall appoint an Advisor for the Complainant and an Advisor for the Respondent.  Persons serving as Advisors shall hold no other appointed or elected position provided for under this Canon, and shall not include the Chancellor or Vice Chancellors of this Diocese or any person likely to be called as a witness in this proceeding or otherwise involved in the proceeding.

Sec. 9.  Clerk.   The Board shall appoint a Board Clerk to assist the Board with records management and administrative support.  The Clerk may be a member of the Board.

Sec. 10.  Lay Assessor.  The Disciplinary Board may appoint a duly licensed attorney for advice on matters of law, procedure and evidence affecting proceedings before the Conference and Hearing Panels.  The Lay Assessor need not reside in, or be a member, of the Diocese.

Sec. 11.  Costs and Expenses.  The reasonable costs and expenses of the Disciplinary Board, the Intake Officer, the Investigator, the Church Attorney, the Disciplinary Board Clerk, the Pastoral Response Coordinator and the Lay Assessor, if any, shall be the obligation of the Diocese of Virginia, subject to budgetary constraints as may be established by the Executive Board.

Sec. 12.  Records.      

(a)  Records of Active Proceedings.  Records of active proceedings before the Disciplinary Board, including the period of any pending appeal, shall be preserved and maintained in the custody of the Clerk.    

(b)  Permanent Records.  The Bishop shall make provision for the permanent storage of records of all proceedings under this Canon at the offices of the Diocese and the Archives of the Episcopal Church, as prescribed in Title IV of the Canons of the General Convention.

Sec. 13.   Transitional Provisions.  The amendments to this section adopted by the Council at its regular meeting in 2011 shall be effective July 1, 2011.   The provisions of this Canon in effect prior to the Council's regular meeting in 2011 shall remain in effect until July 1, 2011, and thereafter solely with regard to matters then pending before the Ecclesiastical Trial Court, until such matters are finally disposed.    At the 2011 regular meeting of Council, the Council shall elect an Ecclesiastical Trial Court pursuant to those provisions, and also shall elect members of the Disciplinary Board to be effective July 1, 2011.   The initial members of the Disciplinary Board shall be elected to terms expiring in equal number in 2012, 2013 and 2014, provided that only one Lay Person's term shall expire in 2012; succeeding members shall be elected to three-year terms.  The meeting of the Disciplinary Board to elect its initial President shall take place within sixty days of July 1, 2011.  The provisions of this amendment related to the election of a Disciplinary Board at the 216th Annual Council shall be effective as of the approval of this amendment by two-thirds of the members present.  

C-3
Adopted on first reading.

Amend Article III of our Diocesan Constitution be amended as follows:

Section 1

(a) The Council shall be composed of the Clerical order and the Lay order.

(b) The Clerical order shall consist of the Bishop or Bishops and all other ministers canonically resident in the Diocese of Virginia. No member of the Clerical order under ecclesiastical censure shall be entitled to a seat in the Council.

(c) The Lay order shall consist of two classes, namely:

  • (1) the Lay Delegates from the church and
  • (2) the Lay members ex officio.

(d) There shall be only one Lay Delegate from each church, to be chosen by its Vestry. But from every church having more than three hundred confirmed communicants in good standing reported to the Diocesan authorities in the last annual report, there shall be an additional Lay Delegate for each three hundred confirmed communicants in good standing, or major fraction thereof, above the first three hundred.

(e) The Lay members of the Standing Committee, the Lay members of the Executive Board, the Chancellor, the Presidents of the Regions, the President of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese, one Youth Delegate (not over 21 years of age) elected by each Regional Council on or before May 1, and two lay persons, not over 25 years of age at the time of election and participants in an Episcopal higher education ministry in the Diocese, to be elected by the Standing Committee on or before May 1 as Collegiate Delegates shall be members of Council ex officio.

(f) Each elected Delegate and ex officio member shall have one vote.

Section 2. The Lay Delegates shall serve for the regular meeting for which they are chosen, and, unless other delegates be chosen, for any special meeting held prior to the next regular meeting of the Council.

Section 3. All Lay members of the Council shall be adult confirmed communicants in good standing, as defined in the General Convention Canon I.17., of the Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of Virginia.