Friday, September 11, 2009

Second Dallas Episcopal Diocese priest steps aside amid investment allegations

From the Dallas Morning News-

The Dallas Episcopal Diocese's stockbroker-priest scandal is getting uglier.

A second clergyman is leaving his pulpit, at least temporarily – and he fired a parting shot Thursday at parishioners who have accused him of misconduct related to their investments.

"I'm going to respond aggressively to these charges," said the Rev. Raymond Jennison, adding that he is contemplating legal action. "I feel I've been defamed."

Jennison said he asked Bishop James Stanton for a 90-day leave of absence from his part-time post at St. David's Episcopal Church in Garland. The bishop, he said, granted the request without showing emotion.

Stanton's top aide, Bishop Suffragan Paul Lambert, later issued a news release whose tone contrasted sharply with Jennison's.

"We are hopeful Ray will use this time wisely in his consideration of this situation," it said. "Every member of the church must have full confidence in our clergy, and we believe that a dual relationship in financial matters and the mission of the church is a serious matter and may affect the spiritual and pastoral relationship which is a sacred trust."

In an interview, Lambert said it would be "unfortunate" if Jennison sued parishioners.

The priest owns First Canterbury Securities, where his disgraced colleague William Warnky worked for years.

More here-

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