Bishop’s office offers clarifications on Ogletree Case

Rev. Robert Walker

Rev. Robert Walker

WHITE PLAINS, NY — The Rev. Robert Walker, assistant to Bishop Martin D. McLee of the New York Area, issued the following statement today as a means of providing clarification to what he characterized as “inaccurate reporting” regarding the resolution of the charges filed against Dr. Thomas Ogletree:

There has been some confusion and inaccurate reporting following the March 10 press conference announcing the Just Resolution in the case of Dr. Thomas Ogletree.  The following will hopefully clarify the terms and outcome of the Just Resolution in the case of Dr. Ogletree.

First, the charges against Dr. Ogletree were not “dropped.” Rather they were “resolved” by a just resolution process as outlined in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. The judge of the court, Bishop Clifton Ives, accepted the agreement between the Church and Dr. Ogletree as provided by United Methodist law.

Secondly, this Just Resolution applies to this case only and not to all present or future cases. The Statement by Bishop McLee seeks a new way forward by calling for a non-juridical process for resolving complaints against those performing same-gender weddings in favor of “theological, spiritual and ecclesiastical conversation.” This does not equate to a blanket dismissal-in-advance of every complaint filed against those performing same-gender weddings.

Thirdly, every Bishop is bound by the United Methodist Book of Discipline to follow the complaint process, which has a clear preference for just resolution over church trials. Bishop McLee will continue to follow the “Administrative Fair Process” as described in Paragraph 363 in the Book of Discipline which outlines the steps of the complaint process, just as he did in the Ogletree case.

We continue to pray as this journey toward what some describe as “a better United Methodist Church” continues.

Ogletree was accused of performing the same-sex wedding of his son, which is prohibited by the United Methodist Book of Discipline. 

Rev. Walker can be reached for futher information at rmwalker@nyac.com.

UMReporter Staff

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14 Comments on "Bishop’s office offers clarifications on Ogletree Case"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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dan
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The following quote is from the NY Times and attributed to Bishop McClee, “While many insist on the trial procedure for many reasons, I offer that trials are not the way forward,” Bishop McLee said in a statement attached to the resolution of Dr. Ogletree’s case. “Church trials result in harmful polarization and continue the harm brought upon our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.” #1 Why does the Bishop fail to point out that disobedience to the connection by purposely violating both the letter and the spirit of the law of the BOD and ignoring the ongoing will of… Read more »
Well, well , well
Guest

“This does not equate to a blanket dismissal-in-advance of every complaint filed against those performing same-gender weddings.”

IF THERE IS NO A BLANKET THAT IS?

Wes Andrews
Guest

………….it depends on what “is” is…………. the Bishop should run for political office ……..

“Bishop” McLee acts the coward by speaking through a spokesman. Really? He’s that busy?

xnlover
Guest
Yes, the BoD “includes the trial process,” but whereas some bishops, such as Scott Jones, seem to opt for the trial process over “just resolution,” Bishop McLee is committing to work out a just resolution to such cases in preference to taking the case to trial. Since it is possible that in certain cases a just resolution cannot be reached, Bishop McLee, in spite of his “commitment to a cessation of church trials,” may find himself needing to arrange for one. I believe his commitment is to be read not as “I will never again allow one of these cases… Read more »
dan
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xnlover, What in the end was the “just resolution” for Dr. Ogeltree? Given the history, many, many conversations, pain, and endlessly repeated statements on where the UMC stands on “officiating homosexual uniting services or weddings” are you really going to tell us that the Bishop’s response was “just” or created “resolution”? Given the reality of OUR climate we all know better and so do you. All it did was create a larger divide and increase the distrust of the average UM in the pew for leadership. (The UM’s own survey a few years back showed this to be a big… Read more »
Chap
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I am still having a hard time with the fact that the charges were against a pastor who was peeforming a commitment for his OWN son! I grew up in the United Methodist church as a preacher’ s kid, I understand the BOD and how it applies to church but to say that I or any PK are second class because of our sexual orientation and who love hurts to the very core. The debate about this rule has been going on at many general conferences over the years but to take this next step to say a pastor’s can… Read more »
Bruce
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The following will hopefully clarify the clarification of the “just resolution” of the charges filed against Dr. Thomas Ogletree. The just resolution is a decision that has nothing that resembles a decision except it allows us to pretend we have reached a just resolution of this complaint only. The next time a similar complaint is received, we will once again go through the process of a just resolution with a decision based on the precedent set by this just resolution. Why would a just resolution such as this not immediately trigger a complaint for not keeping their promise to uphold… Read more »
xnlover
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Actually, tyranny is the imposition of law on others without their having any recourse but to obey or to face severe penalties. “To “willfully ignore or disobey a law one does not like” is anarchy, not tyranny – though some might call it “civil disobedience” if the law is disobeyed out of regard for conscience and a sense that the law is unjust. But Bishop McLee is no anarchist; the clarification Rev. Walker has provided shows Bishop McLee’s intention to adhere to the BoD, and your characterizing this as “disobedience” is misguided. Just because you don’t like a particular outcome… Read more »
Bruce
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Unequal enforcement of law is tyranny to those who are not the beneficiary of having their charges settled by just resolution. As questioned elsewhere in this thread, I ask what laws are worthy of enforcement, and which should be ignored. BTW, I am indifferent as to the outcome of these charges. I just have a problem with the methods bishops choose to use for areas of church law they don’t like. What would life be like if all of us chose our behavior on the basis of our individual conscience? There are likely to be as many with a bad… Read more »
jeff
Guest

It’s funny how the people who want to run everyone else’s lives, call those who stand up for equality, tyrants. They said the same thing about Abraham Lincoln.

James
Guest

how many explanations of the explanations do we need? Sounds like the government….

james
Guest

unfortunately, the umc moves ever in lock step with the government. I wonder how many explanations to explain the explanation we are going to be “treated” to. Very sad commentary.

MethodistPie
Guest

Even the bishop’s office seems aware that Martin McLee messed this up. Though, in this instance, the back peddling is welcome.

Chad Holtz
Guest
The clarification is still weak in that nothing was done in the end. Call it “resolved” if you will, in the same way a guilty thief might call his case’s dismissal “resolved.” In both cases nothing happens, and the promises of “deep listening” is pointless. Has Bishop McLee even looked at the clergy “discussion” boards regarding homosexuality? The time for talk is long past. The ship of the UMC is sinking and unless some real leaders emerge, along with a radical call to repentance, it will be gone completely. http://umcholiness.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/will-the-captain-of-the-uss-umc-please-stand-up/
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