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OF THE ORGANIZATION OF NEW PARISHES.
To entitle any new parish to be admitted into union with this Convention, it is required of those forming said parish to conform to the provisions of an act of the Legislature of Louisiana entitled “ An Act providing for the organization of certain corporations in this State,” and approved April 30th, 1847. And such parish applying for admission, besides producing a duly certified record of their compliance with said act, shall also produce evidence of their having adopted resolutions declaring their adherence to the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and also to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Louisiana.
OF PARISH MEETINGS.
The election of the Wardens, Vestrymen, and Parish Clerk shall be made at the annual parish meeting, to be held on Easter Monday; which officers shall continue in office till the next annual meeting, or till a new election takes place. In case of manifest expediency, a special meeting may be held for that purpose. All persons who own or hire a pew, or who, for one year previous to said meeting, shall have contributed to the support of the minister of the parish, and during that period have belonged to the same, shall be entitled to vote.
OF THE WARDENS AND VESTRY. It shall be the duty of the vestry to take charge of the property of the Church; to regulate its temporal concerns; to elect and call a minister, and provide for his maintenance; to keep order in the church during the celebration of divine worship, and in general to act as helpers to the minister in whatever is appropriate to laymen, for the furtherance of the gospel. It shall be the duty of the Wardens especially to provide the elements of the Lord's Supper; to col. lect the alms at the administration of the same; to keep and disburse such alms, in case the Church is destitute of a minister; to provide for the celebration of public worship and the instruction of the con. gregation by occasional clerical services, or by lay reading, as cir. cumstances may permit.
Before the meeting of every Convention of this Diocese, the Bishop, or if there be no bishop, the Standing Committee shall prepare or cause to be prepared a list of all the ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church, canonically resident in the Diocese and entitledto a seat, and such list shall be laid before the Convention immediately after it shall have been called to order on the first day of meeting, and the names of the clerical members called therefrom. The right of any clergyman of this Diocese to a seat in the Convention shall, if disputed, be determined according to the provisions of the Constitution, by the Convention itself, whether his name be inserted in the list aforesaid, or omitted.
OF THE CONVENTION FUND. It shall be the duty of every parish, to send annually to the Treasurer of the Convention, a sum equal to one per centum on the salary of its minister, at least ten dollars annually, and the sum so raised shall be appropriated by the Treasurer to pay for the publishing of the journals, and other contingent expenses of the Convention. Each parish shall be entitled to at least twenty copies of the journals. The Treasurer's annual report to the Convention shall contain a statement of the sums received, the parishes from which they were received, and the purposes for which they were expended. The Secretary shall have the journals published and ready for distribution within sixty days af. ter adjournment of the Convention; and the delegates from each parish are required to furnish the Secretary with written directions how and where to transmit their respective copies, and no parish shall be entitled to receive the journals unless the amount required by Canon shall have been paid.
OF PARISH REGISTERS AND PAROCHIAL REPORTS.
Every minister shall keep a register of baptisms, confirmations, Communicants, Marriages, and funerals within his cure, agreeably to the twenty-ninth Canon of the General Convention of 1832. The record shall specify the name and time of birth of the child baptized, with the names of parents and sponsors ; the names of the adults baptized; the names of the parties married and of the persons buried; and also the time when each rite was performed. The register shall be kept by the minister, in a book belonging to the Vestry: and in case of a vacancy, by the Senior Warden. It shall be the duty of the minister to present to the annual Convention a statement of the number of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals within his cure ; together with the number of communicants; distinguishing the additions, removals, and deaths since his last report. He may also include in the statement any other matters tending to throw light on the condition of the parish.
THE OFFENCES FOR WHICH A
CLERGYMAN SHALL BE
BROUGHT TO TRIAL.
Disorderly and immoral conduct, vicious and unseemly diversions, neglect of duty, disregard of the constitution and canons of the Gene. ral or State Convention, and disseminating or countenancing opinions which are contrary to the doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, are offences for which a clergyman may be brought to trial.
CANON VIII. In order to bring a clergyman to trial before an ecclesiastical court, a charge shall be made in the first place to the Standing Committee, in writing, under the proper signature of at least two persons, one of whom shall be a Presbyter in this diocese. And if the Standing Committee shall deem the offence charged as coming within the offences enumerated in the Canons of the Diocese of Louisiana or of the General Convention, they shall present the same to the Bishop in the following form:
To A. B., Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana :-The Standing Committee of this Diocese respectfully represent, that C. D. has been accused under the hand of E. F. and G. H., of-[here write the charge or charges.]— And the Committee are of opinion that there is sufficient ground for presenting the said C. D. for trial, agreeably to the Canons in such case made and provided. [Signed by the Standing Committee.]
Whereupon, the Bishop shall present to the accused, at least sixty days before the time of trial, the names of eight Presbyters resident
in the Diocese, any five of whom, selected at the discretion of the accused, shall constitute a court for the trial of the charge or charges. If, within reasonable time after the reception of the above names, the accused shall decline or neglect to make choice of members to constitute the court, the Bishop himself shall appoint from the number first presented, the five Presbyters who shall sit on the trial.
The Bishop shall determine the time and place of the meeting of the court, and forth with give notice to the Standing Committee, who shall act as prosecutors in the case. The Standing Committee, at least sixty days before the trial, shall furnish the accused with a copy of the presentment, notice of the time and place of trial, and a speci. fication of the facts on which they expect to maintain the charges. And the accused, at least thirty days before the trial, shall furnish the Standing Committee with a statement of the grounds of his defense on each specification.
At the fixed time for the trial, the members of the court shall choose a President of their own number, and a Secretary, either from their own number or otherwise, as they shall see fit; and they shall, before they proceed, adopt and declare the rules by which the trial shall be conducted—provided, however, that no layman shall advocate for either party on the trial ; though both parties may, at their option, employ or consult legal or other advisers.
If the accused shall neglect or refuse to appear, or to answer to the charges in the manner herein prescribed, the court shall order judgment to be rendered against him by default. But if he shall appear, the court shall proceed to a fair and imparttal hearing of the whole matter, and shall adjudge him guilty or not guilty, according to the evidence ; and if guilty, the sentence which in their opinion ought to be pronounced.
The Secretary shall keep a record of all the proceedings, containing a copy of the presentment, of the specifications of the notice of the accused, and of his answer, with a statement of all the evidence, both oral and written, and the final judgment of the Court ; and an attested copy of this record shall be forthwith delivered to the Bishop. If the judgment be not guilty, the Bishop shall give a certificate of acquital to the accused, embracing a copy of the presentment and spe. cifications, and the accused shall not be subjected to a second trial on the same facts. If the court judge him guilty, on one or more
points at issue, the Bishop may disapprove the judgment and order a new trial, stating his ground for such decision ; or, he may approve the judgment; and, in that case, he shall, within thirty days, proceed to such ecclesiastical censure as the case may in his opinion require ; whether it be admonition, suspension, or degradation from the ministry.
OF THE CONVENTIOX.
Every Convention shall be opened with prayers and a sermon, and the administration of the Lord's Supper; and the preacher shall be nominated by the Bishop, or in case of vacancy in that office, by the Standing Committee. There shall also be prayers every morning during the session of the Convention.