Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ex-stockbroker leaves priesthood amid Dallas Episcopal scandal

From the Dallas Morning News-

The man at the center of the Dallas Episcopal Diocese's clergy-discipline scandal has quit the priesthood, church officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. William Warnky's resignation ends a church inquiry that kicked into high gear last month after a Dallas Morning News investigation revealed a series of problems: He defrauded an ex-parishioner while serving as his stockbroker, lost his securities license, failed to pay child support, was put on probation for contempt of court and didn't pay federal income taxes.

"He made the decision that could have been made for him," said Bishop Suffragan Paul Lambert, the diocese's No. 2 official. But "we weren't [yet] in a position to judge his guilt or innocence."

Warnky, who was the part-time priest in charge of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, near White Rock Lake, declined to comment.

He did not cite specific reasons for his resignation, Lambert said.

"He did it for the benefit of the church," the bishop said.

By renouncing his vows as a priest and not being defrocked, Warnky leaves open a window for returning to the ministry. Lambert called that only a theoretical possibility, because Dallas Bishop James Stanton and his counterparts in five surrounding dioceses would all have to approve.

Lambert described himself as exhausted by a long day of meetings and many days of dealing with unhappy situations.

"I feel like I've been rode hard and put up wet," he said.

More here-

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