Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Priest Indicted in Maryland Dispute

Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Priest Indicted in Maryland Dispute

Article excerpt

A conservative Episcopal priest whose dismissal from a Maryland pulpit was upheld by a civil court will stand trial in church court for preaching in the Washington diocese without the permission of the local bishop. Samuel Edwards, the disputed rector of Christ Church in Accokeek, was reluctantly presented with a church indictment by a panel in Fort Worth, Texas, where Edwards last worked and is considered "canonically resident."

In handing over the indictment, the Texas panel said it strongly disagreed with the charge that Edwards defied the authority of the bishop. The panel noted that the circumstances necessitating the review of charges against Edwards "throw into high relief the unhappy divisions present in the Episcopal Church today."

The decisions were the latest in the nearly yearlong dispute between Edwards and Washington Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon. Dixon refused to approve his call to the Maryland church because she said Edwards would not respect her authority--he does not believe in women's ordination--and would not promise to keep the parish within the Episcopal Church. Edwards moved into the church anyway and began preaching. …

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