Religion: Dodging the Issue

Since last summer, four bishops of the Episcopal Church have faced charges that they broke church law by ordaining eleven women as priests without the required approval of the women's own dioceses (TIME, Aug. 12). A trial would have been embarrassing to the church, and last week the Episcopalians found a neat way to dodge the issue.

A Board of Inquiry, after deciding that at least three of the four bishops had willfully violated church law, tossed out the charges anyway. Its reasoning: whether a bishop has a right to "usurp the proper functions" of other authorities is a doctrinal issue, not...

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