CANON 7: OF CONFIRMATION OF BISHOPS
Amended at Provincial Synod 2019
1. Si quis
Immediately after the election of a Bishop by the Elective Assembly, or the notification to the Dean or Senior Priest at that time in the Diocese, of the name of a Bishop elected by others in accordance with the foregoing rules, the said Dean or Senior Priest shall cause the following notice to be affixed to the principal door of the Cathedral (if there be no cathedral, in a church nominated by the Dean or Senior Priest) and shall forward a copy thereof to the Metropolitan and to the Registrar of the Province :
“Whereas A.B ……………………………………………………………in the
Diocese of …………………………………………………………………..and
Province of ………………………………………………………….has been
duly elected Bishop or a Bishop Suffragan of this Diocese, if anyone can show cause or just impediment why the said A.B. shall not be consecrated to that holy office and collated to this See (or be collated to this See) (or, in the case of a Bishop Suffragan, commissioned in terms of section 9 of Canon 10 Of Bishops Suffragan), or can offer any canonical objection to the election or form thereof, such person shall signify the same to me or to the Metropolitan, in writing, within fourteen days from this date.”
This notice shall be signed by the Dean or Senior Priest at that time in the Diocese.
The above notice shall also be proclaimed in the Cathedral of the Diocese (or if there is no cathedral, in a church nominated by the Dean or Senior Priest) during Divine Service on the two Sundays following.
2. Grounds of Objection
Valid objection may be made on the ground either that the See is not canonically vacant, or that the election was informal, or that the person elected is not of canonical age, or of competent learning, or of sound faith, or of good morals, or is otherwise canonically disqualified, or that the person elected is under such liabilities or contracts as not to be a free agent; provided always that no objection to the validity of the election on the ground of informality can be entertained, unless notice of such objection shall have been lodged with the Registrar of the Diocese within three days after the dissolution of the Elective Assembly.
3. Qualifications of Opposers
No person shall be competent to oppose unless such person is a Bishop of the Province, or a Communicant of the Church, of honest life and good repute, who presents to the Metropolitan sufficient certificates to that effect; and subscribes a declaration accepting the decision of the Court as final.
4. Summoning of Court
4 In the event of an objection in terms of section 2 of this Canon by a person competent in terms of section 3 of this Canon being received or notified to the Metropolitan by the Registrar of the Province and/or a Bishop, the Metropolitan shall summon the Bishops of the Province either personally or by their Commissaries to a Court of Confirmation. Such Court shall be held at a convenient place decided by the Metropolitan on a specified day and time, but not later than sixty days after the issue of a Citation to this effect.
5 Upon the day appointed, the Metropolitan as President, together with the Bishops or their Commissaries and aided by the Provincial Chancellor or some other person learned in law nominated by the Metropolitan, together with the Proctor of the vacant Diocese and the Registrar of the Province or his duly appointed Deputy, shall examine such objections in open Court and the sentence of the Court thereon shall be declared by the Metropolitan in terms of section 6 of this Canon. An objector, either personally or by a legal representative, shall only be entitled to take part in the proceedings by leave of the court.
6. Sentence of Court
No Sentence of the Court of Confirmation shall be issued unless and until a majority of the Bishops cited by the Metropolitan be present either personally or by their Commissaries, nor until a majority of the Bishops or their Commissaries then present agree to the Confirmation, provided that, if the Metropolitan be present, the Metropolitan’s consent shall be necessary, unless the Metropolitan’s judgement be in opposition to the unanimous judgement of the other members of the Court
7. Documents required
Within fourteen days from the date of the election of a Bishop by the Elective Assembly, or the notification to the Dean or Senior Priest as provided in section 1 of this Canon, the said Dean or Senior Priest shall obtain from the Bishop Elect the Bishop Elect’s consent in writing, together with the Bishop Elect’s:
(a) certificate or other proof of Baptism;
(b) Letters of Orders;
(c) Letters Commendatory or Dimissory from the Bishop of the Bishop Elect’s Diocese Or the Metropolitan of the Province.
8. Certificate to Registrar of the Province
(a) Forthwith upon the expiration of the period of fourteen days mentioned in section 1 of this Canon, the said Dean or Senior Priest shall certify to the Registrar of the Province whether there have been any objections to the election of the Bishop-Elect, and shall forward to the Registrar of the Province such certificate and any objections received and also the consent of the Bishop-Elect, together with the documents mentioned in section 7 of this Canon.
(b) Upon the receipt thereof by the Registrar of the Province, and if no objection has been lodged and the documents aforesaid are in order, the Registrar of the Province shall certify accordingly to the Metropolitan, and thereupon the Metropolitan shall notify the Bishops of the Province, who shall within twenty-one days of the date of the notification advise the Metropolitan in writing of their assent or objection to the said election.
Provided no valid objection has been received from a Communicant in response to the notice referred to in section 1, or from a Bishop in terms of section 8(b) of this Canon, the Metropolitan shall forthwith :
(a) confirm, and sign the Deed of Confirmation of, the Election of the Bishop;
(b) lodge the original Deed of Confirmation with the Registrar of the Province;
(c) forward a duplicate original of the Deed of Confirmation to the Dean or Senior Priest of the vacant See, who shall affix it to the principal door of the Cathedral (or if there is no cathedral then of a church in such See nominated by the Dean or Senior Priest) within seven days of its receipt, and it shall remain so affixed for a period of fourteen days. Thereafter the Dean or Senior Priest shall forward to the Registrar of the Province a certificate that the Deed of Confirmation has been so affixed and exhibited for the period hereinbefore stated.