Bill to facilitate electoral process for new See of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe comes before Synod
A Bill which seeks to provide procedures for the election of a bishop for the United Dioceses of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe in the event of the sees of Limerick and Killaloe and of Tuam, Killala and Achonry falling vacant simultaneously was presented at General Synod this evening (Thursday September 30).
This follows legislation in 2019 to provide for the union of the United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry with the United Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe under one bishop, and for related changes. However, the legislation did not consider a situation in which both sees would become vacant at the same time which is due to occur on 31st October 2021 as the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe have both signalled their intention to resign on the same date. It will be necessary to convene an episcopal electoral college for the new see, and this Bill provides for the electoral procedure provided for by General Synod in 2019 to be used where both sees become vacant at the same time.
In proposing the Bill on behalf of the Honorary Secretaries, Canon Gillian Wharton acknowledged the careful, considered and visionary work undertaken by the Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe and Bishop Patrick Rooke and Bishop Kenneth Kearon to prepare the way. “Those who served on the Commission on Episcopal Ministry, Structures and Boundaries are all too well aware of the work required to achieve what those two dioceses have achieved over the last number of years,” she said.
Canon Wharton explained that the Bill passed by General Synod 2019 and by both dioceses provided for the uniting of the dioceses under one bishop and when one of the bishop retired, the other would become bishop of the united dioceses in the new See of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe. It did not provide for a situation whereby both bishops would retire at the same time. Bill No 5, if passed, will allow the electoral procedure to take place and an electoral college be called.
The Bill was seconded by the Revd Malcolm Kingston.
Members of Synod agreed that the Bill proceed to the next stages. It will receive its third reading on Saturday morning.