[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs — Press Release] In the next four months – May 1 to August 31 – the Episcopal Church will witness the consecration of two bishops, the elections of two bishops, and the canonical consent process underway for two bishops-elect.
Two consecrations of a bishop are slated for May to August. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will officiate at the ordination service.
June 15: Diocese of North Carolina Suffragan consecration – The Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple was elected January 25 (pending completion of successful canonical consent process.
July 20: Diocese of Southwest Virginia consecration – The Rev. Mark Bourlakas was elected March 9 (pending completion of successful canonical consent process).
During May to August, two bishop elections are scheduled:
May 4: Diocese of New Jersey
May 18: Diocese of Western Michigan
Canonical Consent Process
The canonical consent process is currently underway for two bishops-elect. The deadlines are:
July 9: The Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple elected as bishop suffragan of the Dioceses of North Carolina January 25.
August 10: The Rev. Mark Bourlakas elected as Bishop Diocesan of Southwestern Virginia March 9.
A recap of the process
Upon election, the successful candidate is a Bishop-Elect. Following some procedural matters including examinations, formal notices are then sent to bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops only) with separate notices to the standing committees of each of the dioceses in the Episcopal Church. These notices require their own actions and signatures.
In order for a Bishop-Elect to become a bishop, under Cannon III.11.4, 6 of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops with jurisdiction AND the majority of diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election. These actions are done separately.
Once the Presiding Bishop receives the necessary consents, she shall “without delay” notify the electing diocese and the bishop-elect without waiting for the expiration of the 120-day period, and “shall,” upon acceptance of the election by the bishop-elect, “take order for the ordination.”
However, if the majority of the Diocesan bishops do not consent, and/or the majority of the standing committees do not consent, the Presiding Bishop, in accordance with Canon III.11.5, is required to declare the election null and void. In those cases, a person elected by the diocese will not be ordained.