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Decision No. 126

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April 26 1956
In Re: Request of the General Conference Commis- sion on the Structure of Methodism Overseas for a Declaratory Decision on the Question, "May a Central Conference Bishop Pre- side Over the General Conference?"

Digest of Case

A Central Conference Bishop may preside over the General Conference.

Statement of Facts

The Judicial Council has received a request from the General Conference Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas for a Declaratory Decision on the question, "May a Central Conference Bishop preside over the General Conference?" JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction to render such Declaratory Decision under the provisions of subsection (2) of Paragraph 914 of the 1952 Discipline. ANALYSIS In Paragraph 8, Article IV of the Constitution outlining the powers of the General Conference, number 11 reads as follows: "To select its Presiding Officers from the Bishops through a Committee, provided that the Bishops shall select from their own number the President of the opening session." Paragraph 36, Article III of the Constitution states in part: ". . . There shall be a Council of Bishops composed of all of the Bishops of all of the Jurisdictional and Central Conferences. . . ." Paragraph 555 of the 1952 Discipline reads in part as follows: "A Bishop elected by a Central Conference shall have the status, rights, and duties within his territory of a Bishop elected by or functioning in a Jurisdictional Conference. . . ." The Amendment to Paragraph 20 (2), announcement of the adoption of which was made in the General Conference session on Wednesday, April 25, 1956, gives Bishops of the Central Conferences the privileges of unlimited vote in the Council of Bishops. Since the Constitution does not limit the Bishops who may preside over the General Conference to those elected by the Jurisdictional Conferences and since Central Conference Bishops are members of the Council of Bishops with unlimited vote in the Council and since Bishops elected by the Central Conferences have the status, rights and duties within their territory that Bishops elected by Jurisdictional Conferences have, there is no legal hindrance to a Central Conference Bishop being selected to preside over the General Conference.

Decision

It is therefore the Decision of the Judicial Council that a Central Conference Bishop may preside over the General Conference if selected in accordance with the provisions of the Discipline.

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