Judicial Council Decisions Search
Decision No. 430
October 28 1977
In Re: A Ruling of Bishop Cannon in the Philippines Central Conference on Procedures adopted by the Conference for the Election of Bishops.
Digest of Case
The ruling of Bishop Cannon in the Philippines Central Conference that the procedures for election of bishops adopted by the conference on Friday, November 26, 1976, were contrary to the provisions for the election of bishops specified by the Discipline of The United Methodist Church is upheld.
Statement of Facts
Pursuant to Paragraph 2512 of the 1976 Discipline, Bishop William R. Cannon submitted to the Judicial Council a decision of law made by him in the 1976 session of the Philippines Central Conference. On Friday, November 26, 1976, the Committee on Episcopacy brought in a report recommending the following procedures: ". . . The elders who fail to receive at least 5% of the valid votes cast by the 8th ballot, or at least 10% of the valid votes cast by the 10th ballot shall be considered withdrawn, and every vote cast in their favor shall be considered null and void. Should there be an election in the meanwhile, then the balloting shall continue without any percentile condition starting with the ballot next following the ballot when an election was had, and every elder, including those previously withdrawn by operation of this rule, are again eligible. If there is still no election by the 12th ballot, then the elders who fail to receive 15% of the valid votes cast in the 12th ballot, or at least 25% of the votes cast by the 15th ballot, or at least 30% of the votes cast by the 18th ballot shall be considered withdrawn, unless they sooner withdraw and every vote in their favor shall be considered null and void. The 21st ballot shall be the last and final ballot, unless it is still possible to continue the balloting in which case the Committee on Episcopacy shall present a recommendation to handle the matter. Ballots containing the names of elders who have withdrawn or have been considered withdrawn shall be null and void." The report of the bishop's ruling is as follows: "After consultation, the Chair ruled that this action was contrary to the provisions for the election of bishops specified by the Discipline of The United Methodist Church. "(1) Paragraph 506,2 b, states: 'The Jurisdictional and Central Conferencesare authorized to fix the percentage votes necessary to elect a bishop. It is recommended that at least 60 percent of those present and voting be necessary to elect.' "(2) Paragraph 652,3, states: 'When a Central Conference shall have been authorized to elect bishops, such elections shall be conducted under the same general procedure as prevails in the Jurisdictional Conference for the election of bishops.' "(3) Judicial Decision 311 is cited for guidance in the footnote to this provision of Paragraph 652,3. The essence of that decision, as it bears on this particular issue, is the very last proviso, namely, 'provided this does not preclude the casting of votes for any qualified elder in the balloting for the episcopacy." JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Paragraph 2512 of the 1976 Discipline. ANALYSIS The decision of Bishop Cannon is supported by Paragraphs 506,2,b and 652,3 of the 1976 Discipline, and by Judicial Council Decision No. 311 which interprets Paragraph 652.
We uphold the ruling of Bishop William R. Cannon in the Philippines Central Conference to the effect that the procedures for the election of bishops adopted by the conference on Friday, November 26, 1976, were contrary to the Disciplinary provisions for such election. Gene E. Sease was absent.