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Memorandum No. 941

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October 24 2002
In Re: Review of Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference Related to a Resolution Establishing a Process of Cabinet Review of Clergy Who Participate in or Allow Events to Be Held in Their Church Buildings That Promote Dialogue on Homosexuality.

Digest of Case

The bishop did not render a decision of law but made a parliamentary ruling. The annual conference was under the mistaken belief that a decision of law had been rendered. There is no disciplinary authority for the Judicial Council to assume jurisdiction to consider a parliamentary ruling by a presiding bishop.

Statement of Facts

At the June 2002 Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, “ Resolution No. 212: Reconciling Methodists of the IGRAC” was presented for approval and adoption. A clergy member of the conference requested a ruling from the chair on the legality of the resolution. The bishop ruled the resolution out of order. The ruling of the bishop was a parliamentary ruling and not a decision of law. The Discipline does not vest the Judicial Council with authority to review parliamentary rulings.

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