Office of Due Process

Sacred Scripture urges us to settle our disagreements within the Church community. (I Cor 5:1-7) Concern for the dignity of the human person and the protection of each person's rights are an essential part of the church's mission as a true witness to the spirit of the Gospel.

However, rights without institutional safeguards are meaningless. With this in mind the Bishop of Portland has established a service in this diocese to assure that the actions of persons in authority will embrace the church community's sense of fairness in their conduct.

A person in the diocese having a dispute or grievance arising from the exercise of office or position (cleric or lay) may present the matter to the Office of Due Process. (Some disputes, such as matters of doctrine, are not appropriate for mediation). A trained mediator will attempt in an impartial manner to assist those persons to construct a solution with is satisfactory to both sides. This is the process of MEDIATION.

What is Mediation?

It is a method of resolving disputes with the aid of a third party who helps people find their own mutually satisfactory solution.

Why Mediation?

  • Mediation is a good alternative for resolving disputes because it
    reaches solutions quickly
  • equalizes power of both parties
  • provides communication skills
  • minimizes bitterness and hostility
  • costs less, both emotionally and financially, than adversarial processes

Responsibilities of the Office

  • To have as a primary concern the reconciliation of the parties in a dispute
  • To receive and hear a grievance from any person of the diocese who seeks this service
  • to assist in the wording of a formal petition, stating the grievance with precision and verifying that it truly expresses the position of the petitioner
  • to attempt to motivate and assist the parities in settling a dispute between themselves, while suggesting possible areas of compromise of other suitable solutions
  • to give and receive assurances that strict confidentiality will be observed by each person present

Who are the Mediators?

They are women and men located throughout the diocese who have been selected for their maturity and capacity for impartiality. These mediators have received professional training and undergone supervised practice in mediation skills.

How to request mediation:

Contact: 207-773-6471 and request the Office of the Tribunal or email [email protected]