Saturday, August 7, 2010

Defrocked bishop reinstated by church despite failures over brother's sex abuse

From The London telegraph-

The Rt Rev Charles E. Bennison Jr was suspended from his senior post in the Episcopal Church of the USA in 2007 and later removed permanently, over his failure to investigate his brother’s relationship with a 14-year-old.

But a church appeals court has now reversed that decision, despite agreeing he was wrong not to look into the case, and restored him as Bishop of Pennsylvania because the events took place 35 years ago.

In its ruling, the ecclesiastical Court of Review concluded: “We find that Appellant committed conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. Because the statute of limitations has run on that offense, we have no choice under the canons of the Church but to reverse the judgment of the Trial Court finding that Appellant is guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy under the First Offence.”

When Bishop Bennison was in his first position as a parish priest in California in 1973, he hired his younger brother, John, to help out with youth groups.
His brother, who was married and a newly ordained deacon, went on to have an affair with a girl who was then, at 14, under age.

“John, wearing his clerical collar, began picking up the minor female at school in his green Porsche automobile,” according to court documents.

More here-

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