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Memorandum No. 854

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April 22 1999
In Re: Review of the Amended Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy of the California-Pacific Annual Conference.

Digest of Case

The Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy of the California-Pacific Annual Conference as adopted at the Annual Conference in 1998 is not in violation of the 1996 Discipline and Judicial Council decisions.

Statement of Facts

In 1996 the California-Pacific Annual Conference adopted a Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy which was reviewed by the Judicial Council in Decision 803. The council ruled in that decision, that there were conflicts with the 1996 Discipline, caused in large part because there was no fully edited volume of the 1996 Discipline when the policy was adopted. The Annual Conference revised its policy in 1997 in compliance with Decision 803, and the Judicial Council ruled in Decision 824, that there were still corrections to be made, albeit mostly minor ones, and the council retained jurisdiction. Before the council now is a further revision of the policy done at the 1998 California-Pacific Annual Conference. The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶ 2613 of the 1996 Discipline. The current Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy is not in violation of the 1996 Discipline and Judicial Council decisions. It effectively uses the methods of simply referring to the appropriate paragraphs of the 1996 Discipline and to resources which are not part of the policy and are not incorporated by reference therein. These resources are available in various Annual Conference Journals and at the Conference Resource Center as the guidelines for its clergy members on various sexual ethics issues.

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