Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Retired Bishop William Cox to be Tried by Ecclesiastical Court

A panel of bishops will proceed with an ecclesiastical trial of the Rt. Rev. William J. Cox, retired Bishop Suffragan of Maryland, on charges that he illegally performed sacramental acts without the permission of the local Episcopal bishop. News of the trial was announced during the March 16-21 meeting of the House of Bishops.

In June 2005, Bishop Cox, 86, ordained two priests and a deacon at Christ Church in Overland Park, Kan., after he was asked by the Primate of Uganda. The following month, Bishop Cox returned to Christ Church and led a service of confirmation.

In April 2005, Christ Church agreed to pay the Diocese of Kansas $1 million over the next 10 years as part of a separation agreement which allowed the congregation to retain its property, and for the clergy to be relieved of their canonical obligations to The Episcopal Church. Christ Church and its clergy subsequently affiliated with the Province of Uganda.

Bishop Cox served as Bishop Suffragan of Maryland from 1972 to 1980 and Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, 1980-1988. He and his wife, Betty, now live in Tulsa.

Two bishops - the Rt. Rev. Dean Wolfe, Bishop of Kansas and the Rt. Rev. Robert Moody, Bishop of Oklahoma – presented Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold with documentation of the alleged canonical violations last summer. Bishop Griswold forwarded the charges to the Title IV [disciplinary] Review Committee, which recently completed its investigation, determining that there were sufficient grounds to proceed to trial.

Read it all.


Anonymous Trey Garland+ said...

I was confirmed by Bishop Cox in Texas. I cannot believe that such a Godly man is going to be tried when so many other bishops are guilty of heresy and apostasy. God have mercy on us all.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The heretics will try the Godly.

That should be no surprise whatsoever.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Doug Simonsen+ said...

It's important to be clear about what is happening here. No one, to my knowledge, is claiming that Bishop Cox is not a Godly man.

The allegation is that he violated certain specific canonical rules governing the exercise of his episcopal office. It's quite likely that he knew full well he was doing so, and in conscience decided to go ahead anyway. So now the charge will be ajudicated.

The phrase "Ecclesiastical Court" makes it sound like a heresy trial, but it's not. In fact, it's not much different than if he were going to traffic court for ajudication of a speeding ticket (which, by the way, clergy are notoriously subject to receiving -- all that driving around while thinking about other things, and rushing from one appointment to the next).

Break the rules, and you risk being fined. It's nothing to do with Godliness, or lack thereof.

5:43 PM  

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