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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.
If you have questions, please contact Rev. Robert Walker, Assistant to the Bishop, at firstname.lastname@example.org