It appears that the long nightmare of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania is coming to an end. According to ENS:
Bishop Charles Bennison told the diocese Oct. 9 that he would retire from office at the end of the year.
Bennison said in a letter to the diocese that the Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin, president of the diocesan Standing Committee, told him that the committee wanted to elect a provisional bishop rather than either have Bennison call for the election of a coadjutor or have the diocese elect a diocesan who would be consecrated on the day of his retirement.
Bennison, 68, could have continued to serve until November 2015, when he turns 72, the church’s mandatory retirement age for all clergy.
“I believe that the interests of the diocese are best served if the process envisioned by the Standing Committee begins sooner rather than later, and therefore I have informed the committee that I will retire on December 31, 2012,” Bennison wrote. “I will do so in the confidence that my work is done.”
Well, if his work was to destroy the diocese, he may not be completely done, but I doubt there will be many tears shed as he heads out the door:
During Bennison’s tenure, the Standing Committee called for his resignation more than once, including on the day he returned to work in August 2010 after the church’s Court of Review for the Trial of a Bishop overturned a lower church court’s finding that he should be removed from ordained ministry because he had engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. The review court agreed with one of the lower court’s two findings of misconduct, but it said that Bennison could not be deposed because the charge was barred by the church’s statute of limitations.
From virtually everything I’ve ever read about or by him, I would say that Charles Bennison was a disgrace to the ministry, to the episcopacy, and to the church as a whole. When one considers how many clergy have been driven from TEC simply for being orthodox in theology and practice, it is a measure of the denomination’s dysfunction that Bennison is retiring on his own accord.
(Hat tip: Maineiac.)
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