The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America

Article X

The Diocesan Council

Section 1   Definition

The Diocesan Council, normally meeting under the presidency of the Diocesan Bishop, is the permanent executive body of the Diocesan Administration which exists for the purpose of implementing the decisions of the Diocesan Assembly and continues the work of the Assembly between its sessions.


Section 2  

Composition

The Diocesan Council shall consist of:

  1. The Diocesan Bishop, or Locum Tenens, ex officio;
  2. Auxiliary Bishop(s);
  3. The Diocesan Officers, ex officio;
  4. The Diocesan Representatives to the Metropolitan Council, ex officio; and
  5. Additional members as determined by the Diocesan Bylaws.

The Diocesan Bylaws may provide for the appointment of non-voting members to the Council. 

The Diocesan Bishop, or Locum Tenens, shall be the chairman of the Diocesan Council, but in his absence, an Auxiliary Bishop or a priest designated by the Diocesan Bishop, or Locum Tenens, may preside at a particular meeting of the Council. 

The Diocesan Council shall elect such other officers as may be needed to carry out its functions, as provided in the Diocesan Bylaws.


Section 3  

Periodicity

  1. The Diocesan Council convenes at least twice each calendar year. 
  2. Extraordinary sessions of the Diocesan Council may be convened by the Diocesan Bishop, the Locum Tenens, or at the written request of at least one-half of the voting membership of the Council.

Section 4  

Terms of Office and Vacancies in Office

Terms of office and the means of filling vacancies on the Diocesan Council shall be as provided in the Diocesan Bylaws.


Section 5  

Quorum and Voting

  1. The Diocesan Bishop, or Locum Tenens, or another presiding officer designated by him, plus one-half of the Voting Members of the Diocesan Council shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business. 
  2. Decisions of the Diocesan Council shall be by majority vote of the members present and voting unless otherwise provided in the Diocesan Bylaws.
  3. All decisions of the Diocesan Council shall become effective upon approval by the Diocesan Bishop, or Locum Tenens.

Section 6  

Competence

The following matters are within the competence of the Diocesan Council. The Diocesan Council shall:

  1. Consider and act on matters affecting the parishes and institutions of the Diocese in accordance with the directives of the Diocesan Bishop and the decisions of the Diocesan Assembly;
  2. Consider matters submitted by the Diocesan Bishop and make recommendations regarding his further action;
  3. Implement the decisions of the Diocesan Assembly;
  4. Cooperate in implementation on the diocesan and parochial levels of the decisions of the Holy Synod, the All-American Council, the Metropolitan Council, and other Church authorities;
  5. Oversee Diocesan Officers and administrative bodies as provided in the Diocesan Bylaws, and provide for the employment of such personnel as necessary for the efficient functioning of the Diocesan Administration;
  6. Allocate diocesan funds for the general benefit of the Diocese, including, as necessary, the allocation of diocesan funds to parishes or institutions of the Diocese;
  7. Supervise the collection of regular financial obligations fixed by the Diocesan Assembly, and initiate and oversee special fund-raising projects;
  8. Examine and verify the financial records and reports, including the reports of the Auditing Committee;
  9. Oversee the management of all diocesan investments and property, real and personal; and supervise and approve the acquisition, encumbrance and disposition of the same;
  10. Attend to legal matters affecting the interests and welfare of the Diocese;
  11. Advise the Diocesan Bishop on the establishment of parishes and deaneries;
  12. Render a final decision regarding the authenticity of the minutes of the Diocesan Assembly should a question arise concerning their accuracy;
  13. Provide for the establishment and maintenance of institutions or organizations of philanthropy and education within the Diocese;
  14. Oversee preparation for the Diocesan Assembly; and
  15. Maintain the religious, cultural, and historical patrimony of the Diocese, its parishes, and institutions.

Section 7  

The Diocesan Officers

The Diocesan Bishop shall appoint a Chancellor and a Treasurer, who shall perform such duties as assigned to them by the Diocesan Bishop, the Diocesan Assembly, and the Diocesan Council. The Diocesan Bishop shall appoint such other officers as may be provided for in the Diocesan Bylaws to ensure the efficient operation of the Diocesan Administration. 

The Diocesan Officers work under the direct supervision of the Bishop and report to the Diocesan Council of which they are ex officio members.

The Diocesan Officers shall implement the decisions of the Diocesan Council under the supervision of the Diocesan Bishop. 

The Diocesan Officers shall assure the proper maintenance of both the active and archival records of the Diocese and assist parishes and institutions of the Diocese in the proper maintenance of their own active and archival records.

When the office of the Diocesan Bishop is vacant, the Chancellor shall safeguard the particular patrimony of the Diocese until a new Diocesan Bishop is elected.


Section 8  

Auditing Committee

The Auditing Committee, consisting of three persons with relevant professional experience, shall be elected by the Diocesan Assembly. The Auditing Committee shall audit annually the accounts of the Diocesan Administration with respect to all diocesan funds and the funds of all diocesan institutions. The Auditing Committee shall report its findings to the Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Assembly. Members of the Auditing Committee may attend sessions of the Diocesan Council to make its report. Vacancies in the Auditing Committee shall be filled by the Diocesan Bishop in consultation with the Diocesan Council, pending the convening of the next Diocesan Assembly. Matters relating to terms of office, method of election, and further duties shall be as defined in the Diocesan Bylaws.