Magazine article The Christian Century

Charges Dropped against Episcopal Bishop

Magazine article The Christian Century

Charges Dropped against Episcopal Bishop

Article excerpt

Ecclesial charges against the Episcopal bishop of Washington were dropped by a church review committee which found the complaints against Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon without merit. Dixon is locked in a heated legal battle with the conservative rector of Christ Church in Accokeek, Maryland.

Dixon vetoed the call of Samuel Edwards earlier this year because she said he would not recognize her authority as bishop and would not promise to keep the parish in the church. Edwards, a former leader of the church's conservative wing, does not believe in women's ordination. When Edwards refused to leave, Dixon filed suit in federal court, asking a judge to uphold her authority as bishop and force Edwards out; mediation talks recently fell apart in that case.

Edwards responded by filing ecclesial charges against Dixon, accusing her of "intentional, material and meaningful" violation of church law. Specifically, Edwards accused Dixon of ignoring a church law that gives a bishop 30 days to reject a rector's call. Edwards claimed that Dixon waited longer than 30 days, while the bishop said she could take as long as she needed.

A nine-member review committee ruled September 5 that Dixon was correct in her handling of the case. …

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