From the Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon:
I sent out the Legal Document ( linked below) sent to the Presiding Bishop concerning the refusal of Bp Dixon to accept the Revd Mr Edwards with this comment -- a comment based on some personal experience of the two cases! here is my comment & the response of the lawyer for Sam Edwards and the parish of Accokeek. Let us hope that he is right and I am wrong for he is the expert and I am the pessimistic observer of the ECUSA and its antinomianism!
<<(IN THE TWO MOST RECENT CASES OF THIS KIND SUBMITTED TO THE PANEL OF 5 BISHOPS BY THE PRESIDING BISHOP, THE VOTE HAS BEEN 5 TO ZERO IN FAVOR OF THE BISHOP HAVING THE RIGHT NOT TO ACCEPT ANY PERSON WHOM HE OR SHE DEEMS TO BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR HIS OR HER DIOCESE. IF THE REV'D SAM EDWARDS ACTUALLY WINS HERE IT WILL BE A MAJOR REVERSAL OF THE TREND IN THE ECUSA. I CANNOT SEE THE VOTE BEING BETTER THAN A 3 TO 2 IN FAVOR OF THE LADY BISHOP)>>
Chuck Nalls responds:
With due respect to Dr. Peter (Toon), I must make several brief points as
the complainants' counsel in both cases. I do so mindful of "pre-presentment
publicity", but please understand that I am an advocate of a position.
First, the charges filed are on procedural grounds. If the simple language
of the objection period (30 days) has no meaning, then no language of the
canon has meaning. It is a point I have made in other contexts in which the
issues are a bit less distinct. However, here we are not dealing with the
Righter matter, nor are we involved with the qualification question that my
predecessor at the Canon Law Institute faced with the Orris Walker case
(detestable on the merits).
Dixon sat on her procedural rights. Jane Dixon did not satisfy a deadline.
If the post-modern church is in the business of parsing words such as a
simple deadline (define "is", for example), what are our hopes for
Scripture? The question is called.
Second, with any tribunal, it is a tenuous proposition to anticipate
outcome. As counsel ecclesiastic and temporal, I hope and pray I am proven
right. We seek a simple reading of simple language. If I am not, then there
is no justice available in the ECUSA canons. I will, however, await the
decision of the Review Panel and, I trust, the trial court.
Third, as those I defend know, I stand with our brothers and sisters who are
witness to the faith in ECUSA. It is a tough road for them. However, I
must ask Fr. Peter and the rest who are in ECUSA--if this doesn't fly, if
even human rule has no meaning, if canon which must be based on Scripture is
fluid, can you in Christian conscience stay--can you stay in ECUSA?