Key point 3-01. In general, clergy have the legal authority to do those things specifically authorized in their employment contract, in their church's constitution or bylaws, or by specific delegation of authority from the church board or congregation.
What authority do clergy possess by virtue of their office? In general, they have the authority to do those things specifically authorized in their employment contract, in the church's constitution or bylaws, or by specific delegation of authority from the church board or congregation. In addition, state law confers authority upon clergy to perform certain functions.
Actions by clergy that are not authorized may be void. For example, one court invalidated a minister's attempted unilateral expulsion of 29 members of his church since neither the church charter nor bylaws authorized him to take such action. Smith v. Riley, 424 So.2d 1166 (La. ...
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