We are sending this communication in our continuing commitment to keep the people of the Diocese honestly and transparently informed. We want to make clear that the request made on October 12 2016, by the Standing Committee to the Presiding Bishop for dissolution of the pastoral relationship between the Diocese and Dr. Douglas Hahn is only the first step in a process set forth in Canon III.12.12.
Below you will find a summary of the procedures set forth in that canon:
1. A Bishop or a two-thirds majority of the Standing Committee or Convention may give notice to the Presiding Bishop of the desire to dissolve the pastoral relationship.
2. Within 30 days of the notice, the Presiding Bishop may initiate mediation and reconciliation processes between the Bishop and the Standing Committee.
3. If mediation is not initiated or is unsuccessful in resolving the differences between the Diocese and the Bishop, the Presiding Bishop shall convene a committee of three, consisting of one priest and one lay person appointed by the President of the House of Deputies and one Bishop appointed by the Presiding Bishop, none of whom shall be members of or related to the Diocese.
4. The committee may interview the Bishop and Standing Committee and make other inquiries it deems appropriate.
5. The committee is charged with drafting a recommended resolution to be considered by the House of Bishops. Before the resolution is presented to the House of Bishops, the Bishop and the Standing Committee, each has the right to request a conference, which the parties may attend, be represented and fully present their position.
6. The recommended resolution presented to the House of Bishops shall become effective upon a two-thirds majority vote of the Bishops present and eligible to vote at the next regular or special meeting of the House of Bishops.
7. The judgment (resolution adopted by 2/3 majority in the House of Bishops) may include terms and conditions including financial settlements.
In order to address questions you may have, below are answers to some FAQs:
Q: What is the next step?
A: The Standing Committee has just learned that the Presiding Bishop will ask the parties to mediate.
Q: Who will select the mediator?
A: The mediator will be selected by the Presiding Bishop.
Q: Where and when will the mediation occur?
A: The mediation will take place in Lexington at a date agreed upon by the Standing Committee, Dr. Hahn, and the mediator.
Q: Under what circumstances would the mediation be successful?
A: The mediation would be successful if the Bishop and Standing Committee reach an agreement as to the dissolution or continuation of the pastoral relationship.
Q: What happens if no agreement is reached in the mediation?
A: The Presiding Bishop will convene the committee of three as stated in number 3 above.
Q: When is the next meeting of the House of Bishops?
A: The next regular meeting is scheduled for March 2017.
Q: Will Dr. Hahn return as our Bishop Diocesan, and if so when?
A: Until there is a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Bishops on the recommended resolution by the committee, we will not know whether or not he will return as our Bishop Diocesan. We do know that the earliest date he could return is March 9, 2017, one year from the date of his suspension.
If you have a question or concern about the process, please either speak with or e-mail a member of the Standing Committee directly, or submit it on-line to [email protected].
We ask for your continued prayers for everyone involved in this process.
The Standing Committee:
Mr. J.P. Brantley
Ms. Dale Chapman
The Rev. Peter D’Angio
Mr. David Johnson
The Rev. Paula Ott
The Rev. Matthew Young