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Canon 31 Of Presentments
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Section 1.
A priest or deacon shall be presented and tried according to the canons of the diocese in which he is canonically resident.

Section 2.
A bishop may be presented by any bishop of this Church exercising jurisdiction, or ten or more communicants of' this church in good standing, of whom at least two shall be priests: one priest and not fewer than six communicants shall belong to the diocese in which he has domicile. Such charges shall be in writing, signed and sworn to by all the accusers and shall be presented to the Presiding Bishop, if there be one, otherwise the Council of Bishops. The grounds of accusation must be set forth with reasonable certainty of time, place and circumstance.

Section 3.
Whenever a bishop shall have reason to believe that there are in circulation rumors, reports, or allegations affecting his personal or official character, he may demand in writing of the Presiding Bishop, if there be one, otherwise the Council of Bishops, that investigation of such rumors, reports and allegations be made.

Section 4.
The Presiding Bishop, if there be one, otherwise the Council of Bishops, upon receipt of such demand shall select a Board of Inquiry of five priests and five lay communicants, none of whom shall belong to the diocese of the accused, of whom eight shall form a quorum.

Section 5.
The Board of Inquiry shall investigate such rumors or reports as the case may be. In conducting the investigation, the Board shall hear the accusations and such proof as the accusers may produce, and shall determine whether, upon matters of law and fact, as presented to them, there is ground to put the accused to trial.

Section 6.
The testimony shall be recorded and transcribed and shall be preserved in the archives of the Council of Bishops. The proceedings of the Board shall be private.

Section 7.
If in the judgment of the majority of the whole Board of Inquiry there is sufficient ground to present the accused bishop for trial, it shall make a public declaration to that effect.

 


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