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Canon 34 Of the Dissolution of the Pastoral Relation

Section 1.

Except as provided by Canon 33, a rector may not resign his parish without the consent of the parish, or its vestry, whichever may be authorized to act, nor may any rector canonically or lawfully elected and in charge of any parish be removed therefrom against his will except as herein provided.

Section 2.

If for any serious reason a rector or the body authorized to elect a rector, shall desire a dissolution of the pastoral relation, and the parties be not agreed respecting the dissolution, notice in writing may be given by either party to the Bishop of the diocese. The Bishop, in case the difference be not settled by his godly judgment, shall ask the advice and consent of the Council of Advice, and, proceeding with its aid and counsel, shall be the ultimate arbiter and judge. If the diocese be vacant, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall select a Bishop of an adjacent diocese to act as the Bishop and with like force and effect. The judgment shall be either that the pastoral relation shall cease and determine the time and specifics of the dissolution, or that said relation shall not be terminated; and such judgment shall be binding on both parties. In the event of failure or refusal of either party to comply with the terms of such judgment, the bishop may inflict such penalties as may be provided by the Constitution and Canons of the diocese; and in default of any such provisions, may:

  1. in the case of a rector, suspend such rector form the exercise of his priestly office until he shall comply with said judgment;
  2. in the case of the parish, recommend to Diocesan Convention that the union of the parish with the Diocese shall cease until they have complied with his judgment.

Section 3.

In the case of a regular and canonical dissolution of the connection between a rector and his parish, the Bishop shall direct the Secretary of the Convention to record the same.

Section 4.

This canon shall not apply in any diocese which has made or shall hereafter make provision by canon upon this subject, nor in contravention of any right of any rector, parish, congregation or vestry under the law of the civil authority.