Canon Three — Ministry
The Catholic Church has always relied upon various roles and offices of ordained and lay ministries. Each individual ministry has its own requirements and purpose. Jesus, in discussing ministry used the metaphor of “the body” with each member having its own sanctified purpose and function. The CCIA does not elevate people to ministry rolls without proper consideration or without a specific need. This is especially applicable to those inquiring into various Episcopal offices.
- Candidates for Ministry
a. Each candidate for holy orders or Episcopal office must actually work in or towards an actual diocese, parish office, or religious community.
b. In lieu of the above, candidates may submit a ministry action plan or other letter that outlines their ministry goals and objectives. This plan must be submitted along with all other documents required for consideration and approved by the bishop immediate to the situation.
- The Episcopal Office
All Bishops, including the Presiding Archbishop, shall labor together according to the spirit of local bylaws and Canons.
- The Presiding Archbishop
a. The Presiding Archbishop is appointed by the consensus of the College of Bishops. He serves for life, or until he retires.
b. Along with the College of Bishops, the Presiding Archbishop is primarily responsible for setting the vision for the CCIA, serving as a “servant of the servants of God” to the Archbishops, Diocesan Bishops, other clergy and laity of the CCIA.
c. The Presiding Archbishop may appoint Diocesan officers including Auxiliary and Coadjutor Bishops to assist him in the administration of his duties, but shall by no means diminish the pastoral responsibilities of his calling.
d.It is the prerogative of the Presiding Archbishop to appoint his successor.
e. In the event that the Presiding Archbishop passes without a successor, the Presiding Archbishop’s Coadjutor Bishop will assume the mantle of leadership until the time the Council of Bishops can nominate and elect a successor.
a. The duties of the Archbishop include:
i) The Archbishop shall be the first and foremost shepherd of the flock, maintaining the oversight of a parish, developing and initiating its vision and strategy, the said parish being recognized as the Cathedral of the Diocese.
ii) The setting of vision for the Archdiocese, serving as a “servant of the servants of God” to the Diocesan Bishops, other clergy and laity of the Archdiocese.
iii) The calling and oversight of meetings with the Bishops and other clergy of the Archdiocese for the purpose of spiritual nourishment, mutual edification and the implementation of the vision for the Archdiocese.
iv) Visiting the Dioceses of the Church for the purposes of:
(1) Holding pastoral consultations with the Bishops and, with their advice, with the Lay and Clerical leaders of the jurisdiction,
(2) Preaching the Word,
(3) Celebrating the Sacraments.
(v) The Archbishops shall have the authority to administer guidance and discipline over the bishops, in conformance with Holy Scriptures, apostolic tradition and these Canons of the CCIA
(vi) A major disciplinary action that would result in ordained clergy being removed from active ministry in the CCIA must be presented to the College of Bishops for ratification by two thirds (2/3) vote.
- Diocesan Bishops
a. The Diocesan Bishop shall be first and foremost shepherd of the flock, maintaining the oversight of a parish, developing and initiating its vision and strategy, the said parish being recognized as the Cathedral of the Diocese.
b. No one shall be consecrated Bishop unless he is a priest in the CCIA and is thirty years of age or older.
c. The clergy and laity of a diocese shall recommend to the College of Bishops their nominee for Bishop of the diocese in which the recommended Bishop shall serve.
d. Upon said recommendations, the recommended Bishop may be elected at a subsequent meeting of the College of Bishops, with the consecration following as determined by the College.
e. The Bishop may serve in his office for life, or until retirement.
f. A Bishop shall confine the exercise of such office to the Diocese in which elected, unless requested to perform episcopal acts in another Diocese by the Ecclesiastical Authority thereof, or unless authorized by the College of Bishops, or by his Archbishop, to act temporarily in case of need within any territories not yet organized into Dioceses of the Church.
- The duties of the office of Diocesan Bishop include:
a. The setting of vision for the Diocese, serving as a “father in the Lord” to the clergy and laity.
b. The calling and oversight of meeting with the Clergy of the Diocese, both publicly and privately, for their spiritual nourishment and mutual edification.
c. Serving in the College of Bishops.
d. Serving ex officio on all Parish Councils within the Diocese.
e. The ordination of priests and deacons.
d.The regular visitation of every parish in the Diocese for the purpose of:
i) The administration of the Sacraments,
ii) The preaching of the Word of God.
iii) The administration of the Diocese.
iv) The Bishop may appoint Diocesan officers to assist him in the administration of his duties, but shall by no means diminish the pastoral responsibilities of his calling.
- Auxiliary and Coadjutor Bishops
a. Auxiliary Bishops shall be nominated by Diocesan Bishops and elected by the consensus of the College of Bishops. The Auxiliary Bishop serves at the direction of a Diocesan Bishop and shall not possess the right of succession.
b. The Diocesan Bishop with the affirmation of the clergy and laity nominates coadjutor Bishops. Coadjutor Bishops are in all ways like Auxiliary Bishops, except they shall possess the right of succession.
c. The duties of Auxiliary and Coadjutor Bishops include:
i) The setting of vision for the Mission.
ii) The calling and oversight of meetings with the Clergy of the Mission, both publicly and privately, for their spiritual nourishment and mutual edification.
iii) Serving in the College of Bishops
iv) The administration of the Mission.
a. The candidate for Priesthood shall be a communicant in good standing in the CCIA, having reached the age of 24 years, and having completed the preparatory requirements for priesthood during a period of postulancy. (See requirements for ordination).
b. Before ordination to the Priesthood, there shall be submitted to the Diocesan Bishop a letter of application from the Candidate and a letter of recommendation from the priest(s) giving pastoral oversight during postulancy. The Candidate shall be recommended to the Bishop by Priests within the Diocese who attest to the call of God on the Candidate’s life and abilities to respond to the call.
c. The ministry of the Priest shall include:
i) Pastoral oversight of a Parish and/or other ministries.
ii) Administration of the Sacraments.
iii) Teaching and preaching the Word of God.
iv) Serving the Diocese by working closely with the Bishop in unity with other Priests and Deacons.
v) Pastoral oversight of those preparing for the Deaconate.
vi) A priest may serve in his ministry for life, until retirement.
a. The Candidate for the Diaconate must be a communicant, at least 21 years of age, and in good standing in the CCIA, having completed the preparatory requirements for the Diaconate during a period of formation.
b. The vocation of deacon is more a triangle than a direct relationship among bishop, priest, and deacon. As the deacon related directly to the bishop of a territorial diocese in earlier church history, so does the deacon relate directly to the pastor — the “bishop” — of the territorial parish in the present. Hence, the diaconate is not solely a stage through which celibate candidates for priesthood pass. It is also a permanent vocation for married and celibate persons, and we as a Church contend, women.
c. Before ordination to the Deaconate, there shall be submitted to the Bishop a letter of application from the Candidate and a letter of recommendation from the priest(s) or deacon(s) giving pastoral oversight during a period of formation.
D. The ministry of the Deacon includes:
i) Caring for the sick, poor and needy.
ii) Assisting the Priest or Bishop in the administration of the Sacraments.
iii) Teaching and preaching the Word of God.
iv) Assisting in Parochial administration.
- Candidacy for Holy Orders
a. Upon receipt of application for Holy Orders, the Bishop and at least two priests shall interview the applicant. Upon the acceptance of the application for Holy Orders, the Bishop shall admit the applicant to Formation, working closely with the Candidate to the order of Priest to develop and monitor a program of preparation for Holy Orders. The Bishop or a Priest or a Deacon may work closely with a Candidate to the order of Deacon to develop and monitor a program of preparation for Holy Orders.
b. Preparation for Holy Orders shall include theological training, practical experience, and spiritual formation, with pastoral guidance provided throughout the period of preparation, including criminal background check.
c. If the Candidate does not hold a baccalaureate degree, but has shown such proficiency in an occupation or profession as gives promise of usefulness in Holy Orders, the Candidate shall be required to obtain a baccalaureate degree, or to read for Holy Orders and pass an examination on essential Catholic practicum.
- Receiving Clergy from Other Christian Bodies
a. Non-Apostolic Succession
i) If a person ordained or licensed by another Christian body not in apostolic succession of Bishops should apply to the CCIA for Holy Orders, a Bishop and at least two priests shall interview said clergy, giving consideration to his knowledge of Scripture, theology, Church history, liturgy and practical pastoral experience.
ii) The Candidate having fulfilled the requirements of Candidacy, the Bishop may ordain the Candidate to the office to which he is called.
b. Apostolic Succession:
i) If a person ordained in apostolic succession should apply to the CCIA for Incardination, a Bishop and at least two priests shall interview said clergy. If the Candidate has met the requirements for ordination, his orders shall be received.
ii) The candidate in apostolic succession must submit a letter of release or excardination from their previous jurisdiction. In rare instances, extraordinary exceptions may be made to this requirement at the discretion of the bishop immediate to the situation.
iii) If the candidate has met the requirements for incardination, he may be received as a Candidate.
- Minor Orders and Ministries
a. Minor orders and Ministries including Catechists, Lector, Acolyte, Eucharistic Ministers, and Pastoral Leaders may be appointed by the pastor, with guidelines for the training and selection of such persons being established by the Bishop.
b. The ordained ministry is called chiefly to equip and lead the Church. The whole people of God are a royal and priestly company who offer to God the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving through the stewardship of their time, energy, money, and spiritual gifts. In all its life and work the CCIA shall encourage the ministry of the whole Church of God.
- Presiding bodies of Ministry
a. The College of Bishops
i) The College of Bishops is comprised of all active Bishops of the CCIA.
ii) The College of Bishops shall have jurisdiction throughout the CCIA
iii) The College of Bishops shall meet at least annually. The College of Bishops shall be led over by the Presiding Archbishop.
b. The Parish Council
i) The Parish Council is comprised of the Pastor of the Parish, and additional members appointed by the Pastor, or as directed by the by-Laws of the Parish.
ii) The Parish Council shall have jurisdiction over the parish in accordance with the by-laws of the local parish.
iii) The Parish Council shall meet at least annually.
iv) The Parish Council shall be presided over by the Pastor.