HYPERLINK "http://www.umc.org/decisions/64863/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAwIn0" http://www.umc.org/decisions/64863/eyJyZXN1bHRfcGFnZSI6IlwvZGVjaXNpb25zXC9zZWFyY2gtcmVzdWx0cyIsInNlYXJjaDpkZWNpc2lvbl9udW1iZXIiOiIxMzAwIn0
DUMPING A SUPERINTENDENT
A District Conference in the Middle Philippines Annual Conference voted to petition the Judicial Council to review the firing of their superintendent.
The facts of the case are very incomplete. For example, the bishop emailed the superintendent and told him he was no longer one. There is nothing in the record which says to what appointment he had been assigned in place of the appointment to the Cabinet. It also appears that the fired superintendent presided at the District Conference where the petition idea originated.
Questions were devised and forwarded to the Council but the Council could not take jurisdiction. For one thing, they said, no questions of law were asked on the record at the district conference nor of the bishop at the annual conference. Hence there was no access to the Council under ¶¶ 2609.6 or 2609.7. Nor, I might add, did the District Conference vote a request for a declaratory decision under ¶2610.2(i) –“any body authorized . . . by a central conference. . . ,” if that even applies.
The appointment of a superintendent is at the final discretion of a bishop so even if proper questions had been handled correctly, the Council would have called them moot. The challenge to the bishop’s actions should have been to the College of Bishops of the Philippines Central Conference in the form of a complaint and not to the Judicial Council, another way the petition was moot. Unless the Philippines is totally different from other Colleges of Bishops, and past rulings by the Council on matters coming from there indicate it is not, such a complaint would have fallen on deaf ears. Colleges of Bishops NEVER challenge a bishop for any Disciplinary violation except sexual misconduct (whether true or false).
There is a chance this case may be brought back to the Council in other ways. The Council will need far more information and a proper approach under ¶¶ 2609, 2610, or 2715 to deal with it.