Memorandum Number 1342


April 28, 2017

IN RE: Petition for Declaratory Decision from the General Conference concerning if Judicial Council Decision 1318 applies to Petition No. 60805 in regard to complaints against bishops.


On May 16, 2016, at the Wednesday Evening Proceedings of the 2016 General Conference, a delegate from the New England Conference made a motion to refer Petition No. 60805, Calendar Item 452, found in the DCA on page 2215 and in the ADCA on page 1154, to the Judicial Council.

In speaking to the motion the delegate stated that earlier that afternoon the Judicial Council had issued Decision 1318, in which it declared three petitions from the Judicial Administration Committee unconstitutional. The three petitions referred to mandatory penalties that would be imposed during the just resolution phase, should a pastor confess to an offense.  Petition No. 60805 is an identical petition that deals with the same question in relation to an offense committed by a bishop. Though identical to the three petitions declared unconstitutional by the Judicial Council, Petition No. 60805 was not included with the three submitted to the Judicial Council. The motion was approved by a vote of 675 yes and 116 no. The votes to refer were more than one-fifth of the delegates thereby meeting the requirement for referral in The Book of Discipline, 2012 ¶ 2609.1. 

The Proposed legislation in petition no. 60805 was not adopted by General Conference and the 2016 General Conference has concluded. We, therefore, take no action. 

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