D041 Amend Canon IV.3: Of Accountability

Bishops are by canonical authority responsible for the oversight of all Title IV proceedings involving the clergy of their diocese or that of another diocese when jurisdiction has been transferred from one diocese to another (Canon IV.19.5).  This is a weighty responsibility, as is the careful and intentional adjudication of any matter subject to proceedings under this Title.  Title IV proceedings must be carefully managed so as to maintain compliance with the provisions of this Title.  When the adjudicating diocese does not comply with requirements of the canons, the Complainant, Respondent, and other injured parties suffer needlessly.  Presently, there is no method to hold accountable an adjudicating diocese when there is noncompliance with the canons.  Intake Officers, Investigators, Church Attorneys, Disciplinary Boards, and Panel members are in no position to alter the canons based on what they may consider to be a pastoral issue or approach.  In some circumstances a provision for pastoral response is available to the Bishop only.  When Intake Officers, Investigators, Church Attorneys, Disciplinary Boards, and Panel members step outside the expectation of the canons, a Title IV proceeding can become derailed and the Complainant, Respondent, and other injured parties become confused as to where they stand within the proceedings. There currently is no method to hold accountable lay persons as well as clergy assigned to specific roles subject to the provisions of this Title outside the oversight of their Bishop.  This amendment to the canon sets out some manner of accountability through Bishops for the proper execution of proceedings subject to the provisions of this Title.