A167 Amend Canon III.12.5

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That Canon III.12.5 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 5. Assistant Bishops

(a) When a Diocese, in the opinion of its Bishop Diocesan, requires additional episcopal services, the Bishop Diocesan may, with the consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, ask the Convention of the Diocese to approve the creation of the position of Assistant Bishop and to authorize the Bishop to appoint a Bishop for the position call for an election for the position. If the Convention approves the creation of the position, the Bishop Diocesan may, with the consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese under such conditions as the Bishop may determine call for the election for the position, to be held pursuant to the process set forth in Canon III.11. A Diocese shall not have more than three Assistant Bishops serving the Diocese.

(b) An Assistant Bishop may be appointed elected from among the following:

(1) Duly ordered Priests of this Church, or Bishops Diocesan, Bishops Coadjutor, or Bishops Suffragan, who under the Constitution and Canons of this Church would be eligible for election in that Diocese; provided that at the time of accepting any such appointment upon election a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor or Bishop Suffragan shall resign that office;

(2) Bishops of this Church whose tenure as an Assistant Bishop of a Diocese has ended or who, having resigned their previous responsibilities other than those who have attained the age of seventy-two, are qualified to perform episcopal acts in this Church; and

[(3) (b) Persons who are Bishops of other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, in good standing therein, may be nominated for election as Assistant Bishop if they: Bishops of a Church in communion with this Church, in good standing therein, if they:

(i) have previously resigned their former responsibilities;

(ii) have received approval, by a competent authority within the Church of their ordination of their appointment to the position of Assistant Bishop as a Bishop of that Church;

(iii) have exhibited satisfactory evidence of moral and godly character and having met theological requirements;

(iv) have promised in a writing submitted to the Bishop Diocesan making the appointment to submit in all things to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of this Church;

(v) have submitted to and satisfactorily passed a thorough examination covering their medical, psychological and psychiatric condition by recognized and licensed professionals appointed by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese with the approval of the Presiding Bishop. The forms for medical, psychological and psychiatric reports prepared by The Church Pension Fund shall be used for these purposes.

(vi) have undergone background screening and, if feasible, background checks as provided in Canon III.11x [per Section IV.C.4 of this Report].

(vii) have been examined by the Bishop Diocesan and at least one other Bishop as to knowledge of this Church, its worship and governance:

(1) Church History: the history of the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church.

(2) Doctrine: the Church’s teaching as set forth in the Creeds and in An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism.

(3) Liturgics: the principles and history of Anglican worship; the contents of the Book of Common Prayer.

(4) Practical Theology:

(i) The office and work of a Deacon and Priest in this Church.

(ii) The conduct of public worship.

(iii) The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and of the Diocese in which the applicant is resident.

(iv) The use of voice in reading and speaking.

(5) The points of Doctrine, Discipline, Polity, and Worship in which the Church from which the applicant has come differ from this Church. This portion of the examinations shall be conducted, in part at least, by written questions and answers, and the replies kept on file for at least three years.

(i) have received the following training:

(1) prevention of sexual misconduct.

(2) civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

(3) the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

(4) training regarding the Church’s teaching on racism.

(ii) have served in The Episcopal Church for a period of two years, received the consent of a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and a majority of the Standing Committees, and been received into The Episcopal Church as a Bishop.

A Bishop of another Province of the Anglican Communion does not become a Bishop of this Church solely by virtue of being elected an Assistant Bishop of a Diocese.

(4) Before the appointment of a Bishop who is not otherwise a member of the House of Bishops a Bishop of this Church as an Assistant Bishop under the provisions of Secs. 5(b)(2) or 5(b)(3) of this Canon, the consent of a majority of the Standing Committees of the Dioceses and the consent of the House of Bishops or, if the appointment is to be made more than three months prior to a meeting of the House of Bishops, the consent of a majority of Bishops exercising jurisdiction must be obtained within sixty days of receipt of notice from the Standing Committee of the Diocese seeking the appointment of the Assistant Bishop. [Task Force note: Covered in Canon III.11.1 amendments]

(c) Before an Assistant Bishop so appointed begins service in this position, the Bishop of the Diocese shall give certified evidence of the appointment to the Secretary of the House of Bishops and shall transmit notice of the appointment to the Presiding Bishop and to the Ecclesiastical Authority of every Diocese. [Task Force note: covered in III.11]

(d) An Assistant Bishop shall serve at the discretion, and under the control and direction of, the Bishop Diocesan.

(e) No person may serve as an Assistant Bishop of a Diocese beyond the termination of the jurisdiction of the appointing Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese or after attaining the age of seventy-two years.


These amendments provide for the election of Assistant Bishops instead of having them be appointed by the Bishop Diocesan. They also clarify the requirements for bishops who members of Provinces of the Anglican Communion. The requirements are parallel to the requirements for priests from churches in communion with The Episcopal Church.

View Current Version