Bishops Finish on Structure

By Zachary Guiliano

The House of Bishops settled structural proposals during its final session of the 78th General Convention.

The House concurred with the deputies in passing D008 (Amend Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution), which authorizes General Convention to sit, deliberate, and vote as a unicameral body in an ad-hoc manner. There was little discussion of the matter.

C031 (In Support of Diocesan Mergers) was also passed.

The House of Bishops finally came to an agreement with the House of Deputies regarding resolution D013 (Budget Process for the Episcopal Church). The two houses had been unable to agree on two provisions.

The first would grant a stipend to the president of the House of Deputies. Particularly, many of the bishops objected yesterday to the evolution of the office, as it has taken on more and more duties.

Bishop Steven Miller of Milwaukee, one of yesterday’s most vocal opponents of the resolution, spoke up again today. He thinks that there has been “the creation of a broad interpretation of Canon 1.1 that gives a kind of carte blanche” to the actions of the president, “none of which is in the Constitution and Canons.”

The revised version of Resolution D013 now calls for a task force to study the issue of providing a stipend.

The second contentious provision included a requirement for all dioceses to pay their assessments to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, or face penalties. One of the envisioned penalties including being blocked from receiving DFMS grants and loans.

Many bishops had spoken against this provision because they have had trouble paying their assessments.

The House concurred, however, with the deputies in passing the resolution.

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