Bishop’s office offers clarifications on Ogletree Case
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