Church Attorney to Bishop Bennison: Don’t Release Letters

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The ecclesiastical Court for the Trial of a Bishop has issued a temporary gag order prohibiting the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., Bishop of Pennsylvania, from making public more than 200 letters that Bishop Bennison claims would exonerate him of charges that he failed to report sexual misconduct committed by his brother, John.

The misconduct occurred while John Bennison was serving on the staff of a California church where Bishop Bennison was rector in the 1970s. John Bennison previously admitted to sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl who was a member of the church youth group. He was deposed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church in 2006.

Bishop Bennison maintains that he did not know about his brother’s misconduct until many years later, but in 2008, the court found Bishop Bennison guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy and recommended that he be deposed. He remains under inhibition pending appeal.

Read the whole thing.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania

4 Comments
Posted May 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. TomRightmyer wrote:

Tacky behavior all around.

May 31, 7:57 pm | [comment link]
2. Creighton+ wrote:

It is sad and amazing that the deposed bishop does not understand the social dynamics of abuse by his brother and his role in covering it up.  Abused persons are emotional confused and a teenager cannot make an informed decision.  The person responsible is the person with the power, his brother and priest and himself.  The power differential makes it impossible for her to bear equal responsibility for what happened and these letters prove absolutely nothing for those who understand the dynamics of sexual abuse and the misuse of power that lead to the abuse.

Sadly, this depose bishop has no understanding of these dynamics, nor can he admit to the Church or before God his sin an failure.  He continues to try to justify himself and this shows his lack of compassion, as well as, his inability to under the abuse that took place and his role in it.

No repentance here.  Rather, rationalization and justification in the face of reality.

June 1, 7:47 am | [comment link]
3. Henry Greville wrote:

The deposed bishop’s compulsion to continue lying and self-justification in this matter suggests that the most Christian sentence of all would be not just deposition, but deposition and exorcism.

June 1, 11:14 am | [comment link]
4. Cennydd wrote:

Chuck ‘em, Chuckles!

June 1, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
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