1. Scope of the Guidelines
The guidelines regulate the temporary help with episcopal functions in an Old Catholic church community that is recognised by the IBC as a diocese, has a functioning diocesan organisation ( for example, synod, episcopal administrator or leading senior priest) but for certain reasons and for a longer time has been without a consecrated bishop .
2.1. Before the appointment of a delegate, the Office of the IBC must consult with the elected representatives of the diocese concerned.
2.2.1. The IBC appoints a bishop as delegate for any of the above mentioned church communities by a simple majority.
2.2.2. This has to be on the understanding that the church of the bishop who has been designated delegate agrees with his appointment; this church accepts no responsibility for his (the delegate’s) fulfilling of his tasks.
2.3. The appointment is for a period of four years. Thereafter, in the light of 2.1. and 2.2, an extension of the commission is possible.
3.1. The delegate of the IBC is to be the permanent instance for the diocese concerned with reference to all ministry and functions that, in catholic order, are episcopal. He attends to his task in close co-operation with the elected representatives of the diocese as well as in compliance with the existing regulations of that church.
3.2. Accordingly, the delegate of the IBC offers episcopal help in the following cases:
- he ordains to the diaconate and the priesthood (presbyterate)
- he insures that the diocese he is placed in charge of is provided annually with the chrism and the other holy oils
3.3. Through exchange of information and pastoral visits he maintains the contact of the diocese concerned with the IBC.
3.4. He advises the representatives of the diocese concerned, wherever circumstances demand it, in questions of the theological and pastoral formation of candidates for church ministry, of the reception of priests into the clergy of the diocese and their dismissal from the clergy, of relationships to other churches and to the organs of state.
3.5. He sees to it that the diocese continues to comply with the spirit of the gospel and the fundamental principles of the Old Catholic Church.
The delegate can invoice the IBC for expenses. In this case, the IBC meets the travel costs, while the church community concerned meets accommodation costs as far as possible.
5. Reporting to the IBC
5.1. The delegate of the IBC produces a yearly written report for the attention of the IBC.
5.2. The report must contain, among other things, particulars about the following points:
- new developments or difficulties that have arisen
- numbers of congregations and their faithful, numbers of the clergy
- the financial situation
- the present state of development in building up diocesan structures
- the delegate’s work with the elected representatives of the church community
- upholding an Old Catholic identity
- ecumenical co-operation
Mödling/Vienna, 27. June 2002 For the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference (IBC)
(Dr Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht
(Fritz-René Müller, Bishop of the Old Catholic Church in Switzerland)
Utrechter Union der Altkatholischen Kirchen | site design: Sync. Creatieve Producties