Information and Guidance for Bishops
The Patriarch of the Church will exercise the authority of ordination of Bishops except in those locations where responsibility is has been assumed by national or state Matriarchs/Patriarchs or synods.
Ordination as a Bishop
As far as the Apathetic Agnostic Church is concerned, ordination as a Bishop is for life. As in basic ordination, there is no process to revoke an ordination. However, a Bishop may be declared to be no longer in communion with the Church in the event of:
Functions of Bishops
Bishops have the same functions as Clergy. They are expected to take a more active role in introducing others to the teachings of the Church, and in addition to those ceremonies which may be conducted by clergy, they may ordain others into the church at the basic level.
Further, bishops should be prepared to provide guidance, on request, to ordained clergy in their area.
Bishops are also authorized to formally seek recognition of the Church in their State / Province where there is no Patriarch actively seeking such recognition, if recognition is required to perform ceremonies such as marriage.
If the See in which their Diocese is located has a Synod, then Bishops are ex-officio members of that body.
Ordination of Others
Bishops may ordain others online in a process similar to the one used at the main site. Such a process should not be fully automated, and the Bishop should be personally involved in the approval of ordination documentation prior to issue. A similar process can be used through regular mail.
Alternatively a Bishop may chose to conduct ordinations in person. In this case, Bishops may design their own Ceremony of Ordination. (Examples)
The Ceremony should confirm that the ordainee understands the Articles of Faith; and confirm the willingness of the ordainee to pass the teachings of the Church on to others.
It is suggested the ceremony conclude with: "By the powers vested in me by the Elders of the Apathetic Agnostic Church, I, [your name], Bishop of [Diocese] hereby ordain you, [ordainee's name], as a [minister, rabbi, priest, etc.] in the Church. Go forth and preach the word of Agnosticism.'
Bishops may model the ordination certificate on the one you initially received from the Church. (A document format may be requested from the Patriarch of the Church.) Substitute your name and position where applicable as approving authority. Also, provide a real address for yourself on the certificate so that you can confirm the validity of the ordination to others as necessary.
Bishops must keep records of ordinations in order to confirm validity of ordinations when necessary
Bishops have a personal responsibility to confirm validity of ordinations which remains even if they subsequently leave the Church. In this case, another active Bishop may be found to assume this responsibility the Bishop's concluding responsibilities would be to advise all those ordained of the new contact information, and to turn records over to the replacement.
Bishops should advise those they ordain of the web addresses for this Clergy Resource Site and the Apathetic Agnostic Church home page..
The Patriarch of the Church would appreciate a brief report of each Bishop's activities in support of the church e-mailed to him quarterly, but no less than annually. Periodically confirmation that a Bishop is out there promoting the Church would make it much less likely that the position be declared vacant.
Regardless of this request for periodic reports, there is no direct supervisory relationship. The Patriarch of the Church is available for support in an advisory capacity only. Bishops, once ordained, are independent agents responsible for their own activities. And while Bishops are expected to be available in an advisory capacity for clergy in their respective dioceses, it is suggested that they not assume a direct supervisory role.
Application to be a Bishop
If you wish to apply to be a bishop, please be aware of the following requirements.
If you wish to apply, then send a message to the Patriarch of the Church via the contact form specifying how you have met the all the above requirements (except the $150.00.) If your application is considered satisfactory, then you will be advised that you have preliminary approval. Your financial donation will then be required to complete the process. You will have the option of receiving original signed documentation by mail, or standard emailed jpeg documentation.
Advancement to Matriarch / Patriarch
Details are on the duties of Patriarchs and Matriarchs page, but in brief, there will be no new elections for the time being.