Canons 1.01 and 1.02: Electronic Meetings of the Convention

Accepted and Updated by the Committee on Constitutions and Canons
September 24th, 2020


Canons 1.01 and 1.02

Resolved, that Canon I of the Canons of the Diocese of California be amended as follows (deletions in bold strikethrough text and insertions in bold italic text), and that these amendments take effect immediately upon adoption:

Sec. 1.01. Date Time and Place of Annual Convention.

The Annual Convention shall be held within the last 17 days of October of each year at the time and place fixed by the Bishop Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese.

Sec. 1.02. Public Emergency.

In the event of an emergency as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 9140 of the California Corporations Code or successor statute, the following shall apply:

(a) Notwithstanding Section 1.01, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese may fix the date of the Annual Convention for any date that is practicable under the circumstances.

(b) The Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese may call for any Annual or Special Convention to be conducted, in whole or in part, by electronic transmission or by electronic video screen transmission pursuant to rules of order providing the Clerical and Lay members a reasonable opportunity to participate in the  Convention and to vote on matters submitted to the Convention, including an opportunity to read or hear the proceedings of the Convention concurrently with those proceedings. The Secretary of the Convention shall maintain a record of any votes or other actions taken by means of electronic transmission or electronic video screen communication. Participation in the Convention through the use of electronic transmission or electronic video screen communication pursuant to this Canon constitutes presence in person at the Convention for all purposes.

(c) In the event the Ecclesiastical Authority is incapacitated as a result of the emergency, the powers of this Section may be exercised by the first Officer of the Convention in the order listed in Canon V who is not so incapacitated.


The existing Constitution & Canons of the Diocese, as well as Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, do not contemplate the necessity of holding a Convention by remote video or other electronic means when required by a public emergency. The proposed amendments would provide for any Convention to be held electronically when required as a result of a public emergency as defined by California Corporations Code section 9140(n) (which include a state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor or the President of the United States, a natural catastrophe, war, and an act of terrorism or other manmade disaster).

The term “Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese” is substituted for “Bishop” in Canon I because it automatically provides for a line of succession in the event there is no Bishop canonically authorized to act. 

Subdivision (b) is modeled on Section 9411(f) of the California Corporations Code.

Subdivision (c) provides a means of exercising the powers of this section in the unlikely circumstance that there is no Ecclesiastical Authority canonically authorized to act.



Christopher J. Hayes -

Submitted by

Christopher J. Hayes, Chancellor of the Diocese

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