For Immediate Release
September 22, 2023
GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS – After three days of testimony and an evening spent in prayerful deliberation, a jury of Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño’s clergy peers found her not guilty of violating The United Methodist Book of Discipline on the four charges she faced.
Rev. Dan Hurlbert, chair of the Western Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, responded shortly after the trial, writing, “In accordance with ¶ 2704.1.c of The 2016 Book of Discipline which states, “the jurisdictional committee on the episcopacy may suspend the respondent pending the conclusion of the trial process,” Bishop Carcaño’s suspension is concluded. She will resume her episcopal duties in the California-Nevada Annual Conference and the United Methodist connection. The Committee on Episcopacy is grateful to all the participants in the trial for their prayerful work, and we look forward to supporting Bishop Carcaño in her ministry going forward.”
Western Jurisdiction College President Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank was present as the verdict was announced. “The focus of God’s work is creation, healing, and restoration. We join God’s work of healing and restoration in the Western Jurisdiction and California-Nevada Conference. My heart and prayers are with everyone who has been involved in this process.”
Bishop Carcaño has been on suspension since March 2022 while the investigation was started, then paused while she appealed to the United Methodist Judicial Council, then returned to the Western Jurisdiction to try and reach a just resolution between all parties. Ultimately, that could not be achieved without going to trial.
During the trial, the Church argued that Bishop Carcaño’s actions broke the sacred trust that binds all ordained United Methodist clergy, including bishops. Retired Mountain Sky Conference Elder Rev. Janet Forbes served as the Church’s counsel, with supporting counsel Richard Marsh. The complainants, all serving under Carcaño in the California-Nevada Conference, brought forward complaints regarding conference finances, the pastoral leadership of the bishop and issues of harassment.
“Now the healing begins, and I recognize that it’s not going to be an easy path, but we must try. I commit myself to this hard work of healing and restoration,” noted Bishop Carlo A. Rapanut, secretary for the WJ College of Bishops, who was also present for the trial. “May this serve as an opportunity to provide a witness to the world as we live out our Christian values of grace, forgiveness, justice and love.”
The trial came after an 18-month suspension of Bishop Carcaño. She is the first bishop in The United Methodist Church and the first Methodist bishop in nearly 100 years to face a trial.
WJ Communications Team Lead