Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Bishops Demand Philadelphia Bishop Resign

Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Bishops Demand Philadelphia Bishop Resign

Article excerpt

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops has called for the "immediate and unconditional resignation" of Bishop Charles Bennison of Philadelphia, who had been charged with not reporting his brother's relationship with an underage girl.

"As the House of Bishops, we have come to the conclusion that Bishop Bennison's capacity to exercise the ministry of pastoral oversight is irretrievably damaged," the bishops said September 21 in a resolution passed overwhelmingly during their meeting in Phoenix.

Bennison was removed from ministry in 2007 after being charged with "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy." He was found guilty in 2008 for failing to investigate or discipline his younger brother and fellow priest John Bennison for an affair with an underage parishioner in the 1970s.

The elder Bennison was reinstated as bishop in August, however, after a church appeals court ruled that the statute of limitations on the charge had expired.

Episcopal Church spokeswoman Neva Rae Fox said the vote by the House of Bishops was unprecedented. …

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