Zurich. The international Church leader, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, has announced a change with respect to the ordination and retirement of Bishops. Following a lengthy discussion, the District Apostle Meeting, which is presently convening in Berlin, passed a resolution stating that, as of 1 January 2015, the Chief Apostle will, as a rule, delegate the ordination and retirement of all Bishops to the responsible District Apostle.
Up until now it has been a firmly established tradition for the incumbent Chief Apostle to perform this act in person. The historical background to this practice is interesting: up until the early 1940s, the District Apostles always performed these ordinations. Chief Apostle Bischoff wrote a letter to the District Apostles to the effect that he would provide them with special instructions whenever they had to ordain a Bishop. It was not until the tenure of Chief Apostle Walter Schmidt that the Church leader began to ordain the Bishops or discharge them into retirement.
A change to the previous tradition
In consultation with the District Apostles from around the world, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider changed this practice, citing the following reasons: first of all, the District Apostles know their Bishops much better than he does. Beyond that, he had also heard that the majority of Bishops would prefer to be retired by their own District Apostle in their own working area. Since divine services with the Chief Apostle are frequently transmitted by satellite, the brothers to be ordained will hardly be known to the bulk of the members in the connected congregations.
So it was that the District Apostle Meeting in Berlin passed a resolution that, as of 1 January 2015, the Chief Apostle will, as a rule, delegate the ordination and retirements of all Bishops to the responsible District Apostle.
In the year 2013, a total of 32 Bishops were ordained around the world.
17 October 2014