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Decision No. 745

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April 27 1995
In Re: Proper Procedures for Transfer of a Bishop Across JurisdictionalLines.

Digest of Case

The amendment of Par. 52.4 of the Constitution now requires approval by a majority vote of the members, present and voting, of the Jurisdictional Committees on Episcopacy of the jurisdictions which are involved, rather than a vote of the Jurisdictional Conferences. To the extent that Par. 612.2 and 612.3 of the 1992 Discipline are in conflict with that, they are void.

Statement of Facts

The 1992 General Conference of the United Methodist Church amended Par. 52 of the Constitution to state: All such transfers shall require the approval by a majority vote of the members, present and voting, of the Jurisdictional Committees on Episcopacy of the jurisdictions which are involved. After the above procedures have been followed, the transferring bishop shall become a member of the receiving College of Bishops and shall be subject to residential assignment by that Jurisdictional Conference. The amendment deleted the words "Conferences which are involved after consideration by the," which words were found after the words "of the jurisdictional," and added the words "of the jurisdictions which are involved" after the words "the jurisdictional committees on episcopacy." The amendment was ratified by the Annual Conferences in 1993. The Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy has raised the question as to whether this is in conflict with Par. 612.2 of the 1992 Discipline, which states: No bishop shall be transferred across jurisdictional lines unless that bishop has consented to such transfer and has served at least one quadrennium in or under assignment by the jurisdiction in which the bishop was elected and unless a concurrent transfer is effected into the jurisdiction from which the bishop is transferring or unless the Jurisdictional Conference which is receiving that bishop has voted to waive this right. Such a transfer shall not be concluded until the Committee on Episcopacy of each jurisdiction involved has approved the plan insofar as it affects its own jurisdiction, by majority vote of those present and voting, and the Jurisdictional Conferences, meeting concurrently, have also approved. The petition asked for a declaratory decision as to that apparent conflict. JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2616 of the 1992 Discipline. ANALYSIS The changing of the wording of Par. 52 substitutes the vote of the Jurisdictional Committees on Episcopacy on any matter of the transfer of a bishop rather than requiring a vote of the Jurisdictional Conferences.

Decision

The amendment of Par. 52.4 of the Constitution now requires approval by a majority vote of the members, present and voting, of the Jurisdictional Committees on Episcopacy of the jurisdictions which are involved, rather than a vote of the Jurisdictional Conferences. To the extent that Par. 612.2 and 612.3 of the 1992 Discipline are in conflict with that, they are void.

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