Granted there is not much in Canons and Rules of the House to feed on, but in the middle of the night the odd thought arises. This particular though relates to Bishops who absent themselves from meetings of the House of Bishops, a matter of increasing interest as a sign of broken communion. I admire grit, but hell, we ordain and pay these people to stay in connection, and thus in communion. So I wrote this to the House of Bishops / House of Deputires list:
I note the rules of order for the HoD, XV, 58, "unless a member have leave from the President or be unable to attend, no member shall be absent himself from the service of the House." As far as my eyes can take me at this hour I see no similar rule of Order in the House of Bishops.
Given the lamentable behavior of Bishops who have excused themselves from all or parts of meetings of the House of Bishops between Conventions on grounds having neither to do with disability or leave, I wonder if the House of Bishops should make a similar rule, particularly concerning General Convention, in which it is stated that "unless a member have leave from the President or be unable to attend, no member shall be absent himself from the service of the House."
The index of the Canons do not list as a "duty" of a bishop attendance at or engagement with the House of Bishops. This in itself is peculiar. Perhaps a change in the canons is needed? The silence in the rules of the junior house, if indeed there is no such rule, could be a source of confusion if particular Bishops absent themselves from the General Convention sessions of the House of Bishops in whole or in part for reasons other than that loving kindness and good sense allow. The roll is called each day, but that does not prevent bishops from leaving for a time and returning at will. While there is good reason for this (no substitute being available even on half days as is the case for Deputies) non mandatory attendance except for leave, makes it possible for members to absent themselves for reasons which they claim carry political / theological weight. (Let the Reader understand.)
My sense is that it would be helpful if, as happens with members of the House of Deputies, all Bishops in attendance at the General Convention and who register be expected to attend all sessions, unless otherwise excused.. Failure to do so, particularly at General Convention, might then be viewed as dereliction of duty. With more clarity in such a rule perhaps future walk-outs of bishops for what ever worthy cause, would be viewed as evidence (howbeit partial) of intent or actual abandonment of this fellowship, and abandonment of this communion.