Memorandum Number 394


April 03, 1974

Petition from the Africa Central Conference for a Reconsideration of a Decision of the Judicial Council Made in 1964-1968 Quadrennium Concerning Central Conference Term Bishops.


In the 1968 Journal of the Africa Central Conference, Report No. 2 of the Committee on the Ministry stated that during the 1964-1968 quadrennium the Judicial Council had ruled that a term bishop loses all his rights to title and prerogatives when his term ends.

In 1972 the Africa Central Conference adopted Report No. 3 of its Committee on the Ministry which included the following paragraph:

"Bishop's Pension Rights

"We view the ruling of the Judicial Council made during the 1964-1968 quadrennium as it is explained to us in the Journal of the Central Conference (Report No. 2 of the Committee on the Ministry, Par. I, p. 41) as grossly unfair to term bishops. We ask the ruling to be reviewed by the Judicial Council to the end that the persons who serve as term bishops upon retirement be given a pension from the episcopal retirement funds for those years which he worked as a term bishop."

This petition was forwarded to the Judicial Council by the Executive Committee of the Africa Central Conference.

It is evident that the 1968 report (No. 2) of the Africa Central Conference's Committee on the Ministry made an inaccurate interpretation of Judicial Council decisions as they referred to the pension rights of Central Conference term bishops. It is apparently Decision No. 236, clarified by Decision No. 259, to which the 1968 report makes reference. Paragraph 631.5 of the Discipline provides for a retirement allowance from the episcopal fund, upon retirement, for Central Conference term bishops based upon their years in episcopal office. Decision No. 236 and other Judicial Council decisions specifically call attention to this fact.

We have communicated with the Council on Finance and Administration and have confirmed the fact that such pensions are paid, or will be paid to Africa Central Conference term bishops at the time of retirement from the ministry.

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