Friday, July 23, 2010

Secrecy must be maintained at Trinity, bishop says

From Upper South Carolina-

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina said Thursday the veil of secrecy surrounding the dispute between the suspended dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and its vestry is necessary as the church works out a “path of restoration” for the Very Rev. Philip C. Linder.

Bishop W. Andrew Waldo, who issued the suspension because Linder allegedly talked to parishioners about a burgeoning conflict, called a series of three meetings this week to provide Trinity members more information. But to attend those meetings, members must sign an oath of confidentiality.

Linder, 50, the central figure in the controversy, is not allowed to attend the meetings or make his case before the membership, Waldo said.

The dispute is rooted in leadership issues, and erupted when the vestry asked the bishop to intervene as it was preparing to dissolve its 11-year relationship with Linder. There are no allegations of criminal misconduct, Waldo said.

“We are not in a situation where we want to get some winners and some losers,” Waldo said in a telephone interview Thursday. “This is a community-wide discernment. It’s not about throwing everything on the table. It’s about a deeper discernment which has to go on in quiet places.”

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