Petition 81445

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General Conference Committee on Investigation (81445-JA-¶2703.1)

Delete ¶ 2703.1 and substitute as follows:
PROCEDURES FOR REFERRAL AND INVESTIGATION OF A JUDICIAL COMPLAINT
¶2703. Composition of the Committee on Investigation
  1.    When respondent is a bishop---In accordance with Methodist tradition, bishops as ordained elders shall be ‘perfectly subject’ to the General Conference.   There shall be a General Conference Committee on Investigation, hereafter Committee on Investigation, elected by the General Conference at its quadrennial meeting.  The Committee on Investigation shall consider any written complaint concerning the effectiveness, competence, or one or more of the offenses listed in ¶2702 brought against a bishop.  The committee shall consist of five clergy in full connection, one of whom shall be a bishop, four professing members and four alternate members, two of which shall be clergy in full connection and two of which shall be professing members.   Professing members shall have voice without vote.  Committee members shall be in good standing, should be deemed of moral character and should reflect racial, ethnic and gender diversity.
      
Nominations shall be received from the General Conference floor such that each of the jurisdictions and central conferences as a group shall be represented by at least one nominee, though each of the jurisdictions and central conferences as a group are not required to be represented by an elected member.  The names of all nominees and their conference identification shall be published by the Daily Christian Advocate at least forty-eight hours prior to the time of election, which shall be set by action of the General Conference at the session at which the nominations are made.   From these nominations the General Conference shall elect without discussion, by ballot and majority vote, the necessary number of ministerial and lay members.
  
The Chair of the General Conference Committee on Investigation shall alternate each quadrennium between lay and clergy with the bishop member being ineligible to serve as Chair. The committee shall elect a vice-chair and secretary.  

[NOTE:  This Petition is interrelated to Petitions 81444 and 81446.]

Rationale

The 1798 Methodist Episcopal Church established bishops to be ‘perfectly subject’ to the General Conference via a General Conference review body.  The current practice of a jurisdictional bishop handling the charge of a colleague bishop is a conflict of interest,unsound organizational principle, and detrimental to the superintendency.