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Just How Sour Are Those Grapes?
Abstract: Details of Bishop Ron Warren's "cross appeal" of the verdict he won against Pr. Bradley Schmeling.
A statement dated March 16, 2007 appeared on the Southeastern Synod Web site clarifying the "cross-appeal" submitted by Bishop Ron Warren on March 9.
Bishop Warren asks the ELCA's Committee on Appeals ("CoA") to affirm the DHC's decision to remove Pr. Schmeling from the clergy roster, a decision that was within the DHC's authority under the ELCA Constitution, By-Laws and Continuing Resolutions ("CBCR").
Bishop Warren's cross-appeal also asks the CoA to rule that the DHC exceeded its authority on two issues raised in its decision: (1) that the DHC exceeded its authority by staying its decision to remove Pastor Schmeling from the ordained clergy roster, a power given only to the Committee on Appeals; and (2) that the DHC exceeded its authority by making policy recommendations to the Churchwide Assembly, another prerogative limited by the ELCA's governing documents to the Committee on Appeals.
Finally, concurrent with his Notice of Cross-Appeal, Bishop Warren asked the Committee on Appeals to provide an appellate briefing schedule which would give the CoA time to reach and publish its decision in advance of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly ("CWA") in August 2007. Pastor Schmeling has requested the CoA to delay any briefing or decision until after the CWA has concluded. Bishop Warren's cross-appeal and proposed schedule, however, provide the CoA with the opportunity to provide its conclusions on this case as part of churchly deliberation in advance of the Churchwide Assembly.