Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States.
At the eight days session of the Convention
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States
, now in session at Columbia, S. C.
, Bishop Elliott
moved that the Convention
take up the Constitution
After which he presented the following resolutions:
Rev. Mr. Trapier
- 1. Resolved, That the Constitution prepared by the committee of nine appointed at Montgomery, with its amendments, as submitted to the Convention this morning by its engrossing officer, be now adopted as the proposed Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States.
- 2. Resolved, That this Constitution be printed, and sent to members by the Secretaries of other Diocesan Conventions within the Confederate States, with the request that it be laid before their respective Conventions for their consideration and ratification.
- 3. Resolved, That each Convention, when it shall have ratified this Constitution, is requested to send their clerical and lay deputies to the General Convention, to be held in Augusta, on the second Wednesday in November, 1862.
- 4. Resolved, That when the Conventions of all the Dioceses within the Confederate States shall have had an opportunity of acting upon this Constitution, if seven or more of them shall have adopted it, the presiding Bishop shall declare the union of their Dioceses to be complete, and the Constitution to be of force over said Dioceses so adopting it.
submitted the following resolutions:
That the Committee
on the Constitution
and Revised Canons be instructed to print with the journal of this body, in pamphlet, the said Constitutions and Canons, and to send to the Secretary
of each Diocesan Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church now in the Confederate States
, or which may be so before the first meeting of our General Council, two copies of the pamphlet for every clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church within his Diocese.
Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America.
This Church, retaining the name of Protestant Episcopal, shall be known as ‘"The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America
There shall be in this Church a General Council.
There may be also Provincial Councils and Diocesan Councils.
The General Council of this Church shall meet on the second Wednesday of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, at Augusta, Ga.
, and on the same day in every third year thereafter, in such place a shall be determined by the Council.
In case there shall be an epidemic disease, or other good cause to render it necessary to alter the place appointed for such meeting, the presiding Bishop
may designate another convenient place for the holding of such council; and special meeting may be called at other times in the manner hereafter to be determined.
The General Council shall consist of two Houses: the House of Bishops
, and the House of Deputies
of Bishops shall be composed of all Bishops of this Church, having jurisdiction within the Confederate States
, or the Territories
Each Diocese shall be entitled to an equal representation, clerical and lay, in the House of Deputies
Such representation shall consist of not more than three Clergymen and three Laymen, communicants in this Church, resident in the Diocese, and elected by the Council thereof.
Before they shall proceed to business, a majority of the Diocese, which shall have adopted this Constitution, shall be represented in the Council.
The representations from two Dioceses shall be sufficient to adjourn.
In all business of the Council, freedom of debate shall be allowed.
Each House shall have a right to originate acts; and, when any act shall have been passed in either House
, it shall be transmitted to the other House for its consideration.
No act shall have the operation of law, unless concurred in and authenticated by both Houses.
When any proposed act shall have passed the House of Bishops
, the House of Bishops
shall, when requested by the House of Deputies
, signify to it in writing their non-concurrence within three days after such request shall have been made.
In all questions, when required by the clerical or lay representation from any Diocese, each order shall have one vote, and the majority of suffrages by Diocesses shall be conclusive in each order: Provided
such majority comprehend a majority of the Dioceses represented in that order.
The concurrence of both orders shall be necessary in such case to constitute a vote of the House
If any Diocese should omit or decline to elect Clerical Deputies to the General Council, or should omit or decline to elect Lay Deputies, or if any of those of either order elected, should fail to attend, such Diocese shall, nevertheless, be considered as duly represented by such Deputy or Deputies as may attend, lay or clerical.
And if through the neglect of any Diocese, which shall have adopted this Constitution, no Deputy therefrom, either lay or clerical, should attend the General Confederate Council
, the Church
in such Diocese shall, nevertheless, be bound by the acts of such Council.
Whenever any of the Confederate States
shall contain more than one Diocese, said State may, with the consent of all the Dioceses thereof, constitute an Ecclesiastical Province, in which may be held, at least once in three years, a Provincial Council, which Council shall be made up all the Bishops having jurisdiction within the Province, and of such representatives, clerical and lay, from the Diocese within the Province, as may be determined upon by the Diocesan Council
If there be more than one Bishop
within the Province, the senior Bishops, by consecration, shall preside in the Provincial Council, and when there shall be three, or more than three Bishops, they shall form a separate house.
Wherever such Council shall legislate, its acts shall be of force within all the Dioceses embraced within the Province.
There shall be held annually in each Diocese a Diocesan Council, to be composed of the Bishop
or Bishops of the Diocese, and of a lay and clerical representation from each parish of the Diocese.
This Council shall legislate for only Diocesan purposes.
The Bishoper Bishops in each Diocese shall be chosen by the Council of the Diocese, agreeable to such rules as it may prescribe, and every Bishop
of this Church shall confine the exercise of his Episcopal office to his proper Diocese, unless requested to perform any act of that office by the Ecclesiastical
authority of any other Diocese.
A new Diocese formed in any of the Confederate States
, or any Territory thereof, not now represented, may, at any time, here after, be admitted to union with, and representation in, the General Council of this Church on acceding to this Constitution: Provided,
there were at the time of organization, and at the time of making application for admission, at least six officiating Presbyteries within such Diocese, regularly settled in a parish or church.
A new Diocese may be formed within the limits of any existing Diocese, with the consent of its Council and Bishop
or Bishops thereof; or, if there be no Bishop
, of the ecclesiastical authority thereof; and a new Diocese may be formed within the limits of two or more Dioceses with the like consent: Provided,
that no such new Diocese shall be formed which shall contain less than ten self-supporting parishes, or less than ten Presbyters, who have been for at least one year canonically resident within the bounds of such new Diocese, regularly settled in a parish or congregation, and qualified to vote for a Bishop; nor shall such new Diocese be formed, if thereby any existing Diocese should be so reduced as to contain less than fifteen self-supporting parishes, or less than fifteen self-supporting parishes, or less than fifteen Presbyters, who have been resident therein, and settled, and qualified, as above mentioned: Provided,
that no city shall form thus one Diocese.
In case a diocese shall be divided into two or more Dioceses, the Diocesan of the Diocese so divided may elect the Diocese over which he will preside, and shall become the Diocesan thereof.
And the Assistant Bishop
, if there be one, may elect the Diocese to which he will be attached, and if it be not the one elected by the Bishop
, shall be its Diocesan thereof.
The mode of trying Bishops shall be provided by the Confederate Council
The court appointed for that purpose shall be composed of Bishops only.
In every Diocese, the mode of trying Presbyters and Deacons shall be prescribed by the Council of the Diocese embraced.
None but a Bishop shall pronounce sentence of admonition, suspension, or degradation from the ministry, on any clergyman, whether Bishop
, Presbyter, or Deacon
No person shall be admitted to Holy Orders, until he shall have been examined by the Bishop
and by two Presbyters, and shall have exhibited such testimonials and other requisites as the Canous in that Case provided may direct.
Nor shall any person be ordained either Deacon
or Priest, until he shall have subscribed the following declaration, viz:
"I do believe the Holy Scriptures
of the Old
and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to and I do
No person ordained by a foreign Bishop
shall be permitted to officiate as a minister of this Church, until he shall have complied with the Canon or Canous in such case provided and have also subscribed to the aforesaid Declaration.
A Book of Common Prayer, Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church
, Articles of Religion, and a form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, when established by the General Council, shall be used in those Dioceses which shall have adopted this Constitution.
No alteration or addition shall be made in the Book
of Common Prayer or other offices of the Church
, or Articles of Religion, unless the same shall be proposed in one General Council, and by a resolution thereof, made known to the Council of every Diocese, approved by a majority of the Dioceses in Convention, and adopted at the subsequent General Council.
Bishops for foreign countries may, on due application therefrom, be consecrated, with the approbation of a majority of the Bishops of this Church, signified in writing to the Presiding Bishop
; he thereupon taking order for the same, and they being satisfied that the person designated for the office has been duly chosen, and is properly qualified.
The Order for Consecration shall be conformed, as nearly as may be in the judgment of the Bishops, to the one used in this Church.
Such Bishops, so consecrated, shall not be eligible to the office of Diocesan, or Assistant Bishop
, in any Diocese in the Confederate States
, nor be entitled to a seat in the House of Bishops
, nor exercise any authority in the said States.
Any alteration in this Constitution shall be originated in the General Council.
When adopted in one General Council by a majority of the House of Bishops
, and by a majority of the House of Deputies
, said deputies voting by Provinces and orders, such alteration shall be made known to the several Diocesan Councils, and, if agreed to by two-thirds of them, and ratified in the ensuing General Council, the same shall be a part of the Constitution