Clergy Disciplinary Process
Clergy have, by their ordination vows, accepted additional responsibilities and accountabilities for doctrine, discipline, worship and obedience. This process of accountability, as set out in Title IV of the Constitution and Canons for the Government of The Episcopal Church ("Title IV"), seeks to promote justice, restitution, amendment of life, repentance, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation among all involved or affected by clergy misconduct.
Before July 1, 2011, clergy disciplinary matters were brought to the bishop or the Standing Committee. Since July 1, 2011 (under the revised Title IV canons) all matters are now reported to an Intake Officer (contact info below) who will create a written report. Following that, the matter could be resolved by pastoral care, mediation, an agreement with the bishop, an investigation, or any combination of these.
If it moves to an investigation, some of those matters could go to a more formal mediation and if necessary, a hearing. The resolution of the process could be anything that will move those affected to justice, restitution, amendment of life, repentance, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. This could include suspension or removal from ordained ministry.
The clergy disciplinary process is similar to that used in licensing other professions, such as doctors and lawyers.
For more information:
- Text of Title IV canons (PDF)
- Training Materials for Title IV (PDF)
- Letter from the bishops to the clergy of the diocese June 2011
Clergy standards of conduct
- Maintain confidentiality
- Safeguard property and funds of the church
- Conform to the canons of The Episcopal Church and the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer
- Abide by ordination vows
- Obtain consent of the bishop before engaging in secular employment
- Obtain consent of the bishop to be absent from the diocese for more than two years
Clergy should not:
- Engage in sexual misconduct (includes sexual behavior with: a member of the congregation; employee; volunteer; person in high school; person under 18 years of age; person legally incompetent; someone with whom the clergy has ever had a pastoral relationship)
- Hold or teach any doctrine contrary to that held by The Episcopal Church
- Commit criminal acts
- Engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation
- Habitually neglect public worship, Holy Communion
- Engage in any conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy
Contacting the Intake Officer
Anyone may contact a diocesan Intake Officer to report concerns about the behavior of a member of the clergy (priests, deacons, bishops). This initiates a process to hold clergy accountable for their behaviors. There are three official Intake Officers for the Diocese of Connecticut. All are screened, qualified, and trained. You may wish to choose a particular Intake Officer over the others for various reasons. You will receive a timely response if you need to leave a message.
Connecticut's Intake Officers are:
- Contact for Ms. Tokunbo Green firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell at 860-916-6032.
- Contact for Susan Jackson email@example.com or by phone at 203-832-3231.
- Contact for the Rev. Kevin Olds firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 908-419-7784.
What can you expect from an Intake Officer?
- You will be listened to with respect.
- You will be offered pastoral care and response.
- The Intake Officer will create a written report regarding your concerns.
- The Intake Officer will answer your questions about the process.
NOTE: Effective July 1, 2011 clergy are required to report to the Intake Officer anything that may constitute an offense and to cooperate with the clergy disciplinary process.
Tokunbo Green, Esq. is a life long Episcopalian and attends St. John’s, Bridgeport. She has served St. John’s and ECCT in many capacities over the years. Currently she serves as a Safe Church Training Facilitator, a Priest-in-Charge Consultant, and on the Faith and Order Commission (Constitutions and Canons). Tokunbo is an attorney in Bridgeport with a practice focusing on real estate transactions, simple estate planning, and immigration filings. She also works with VISIONS, Inc doing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training and Consultations. Tokunbo enjoys, puzzles, books, movies, and live theater. Tokunbo can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 860-916-6032.
Susan K. Jackson, Esq. is a long-term Episcopalian and active member of St. Barnabas, Greenwich, where she has served as senior and junior warden, clerk, and vestry member, as well as various worship positions. She is currently a third-year student at Yale Divinity School seeking a Masters in Divinity with a Berkeley Diploma which she expects to receive in 2021. Susan has also been an Education for Ministry mentor for over ten years. She practiced law for in various firms and corporations in Connecticut and New York City for many years, primarily as a transactional attorney but also supervised litigation. She is married with two grown daughters and two adorable granddaughters. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 203-832-3231.
The Rev. Kevin Olds originally hails from central upstate New York and is the rector of St. Timothy's on the Hill, Fairfield, and a priest-in-charge in the Missional Curacy program. Kevin arrived in ECCT in early 2017 with his wife, Jill, and two sons. Kevin's first career was in IT and, in addition to his other endeavors, he is currently pursuing a Doctor of Theology degree. In the rare moment when nothing else is vying for his attention, Kevin enjoys watching his favorite English football club, Shrewsbury Town F.C. Kevin can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 908-419-7784.
All ECCT intake officers bring sensitivity to concerns raised under Title IV proceedings.