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trouble in Philadelphia

Bishop Charles Bennison of the Diocese of Pennsylvania says he won’t resign, according to the Living Church yesterday. Earlier in the week it had published this article: Church Report Concludes Reconciliation Unlikely in Pennsylvania.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania has its own website, independently of the diocesan one. The report which triggered this latest round in the long-running dispute is available here as a PDF. The Standing Committee explains why it has published it in this covering letter. For the attachments to the report go here and scroll down.

The Bishop’s reply to this amazingly frank report is in another letter, also available as a PDF here.

Next Saturday, 25th, a special diocesan convention will meet to try and agree a budget for the diocese, which was rejected at the previous convention. The entire Standing Committee had previously called for Bishop Bennison’s resignation. Earlier, the Regional Deans had proposed mediation.

Update 24 March The Church Times has Bennison refuses to resign see.

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The Rev'd Lois Keen
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The Rev'd Lois Keen

A small correction: the special convention regarding the budget for the Diocese of Pennsylvania is Saturday a week, the 25th of March, not this Saturday. [CORRECTION NOTED; THANKS] A comment: The Diocesan Council repudiated the request of Standing Committee for Bp. Bennison’s resignation. Further, many of us here in Pennsylvania recognize that what is being acted out here has its roots not in Bp. Bennison’s episcopate but many years before. The hope that ousting this or any bishop in order to make everything okay is a vain one, since it ignores the systemic problems here. Bp. Bennison’s management and leadership… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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What a tragic impasse: far be it from me to deny that the same ol’/same ol’ problem of *human sin* was alive and well in the Episcopal Church… 🙁

Lord have mercy!

David Huff
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It’s worth noting that rightwing extremists of the AAC/Network stripe have had +Bennison in their sights for years.

The following comment by Fr. Jake on his website has details:

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/terry137/114247935182146696/#220393

George Conger
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George Conger

How many of these right wing extremists are on the Standing Committee? None.

One can safely say the fell hand of the IRD, Freemasons, the Illuminati, neo-conservatives, the Trilateral Commission (add the bogeyman of your choice here), is not present.

Dave
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Dave

Dear Lois et al, I don’t understand why you are defending Bp Bennison? It is not just the diocese’s Standing Committee that is heavily critical of Bennison but also the Deans AND the folk sent by the Presiding Bishop’s office. All these unanimously agree that he should go and they are hardly “right-wing extremists” !! Furthermmore, the Diocesan Council didn’t repudiate the Standing Committee’s decision completely – but decided to not support the call for the Bishop’s resignation in favor of a process that might bring about reconciliation.. This was assessed by the folk from the Pesiding Bishop’s office… and… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Off topic but it’s my blog, what George is referring to is I presume http://www.trilateral.org/ (I confess I had never heard of it and had to look it up).

As for the Illuminati, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati

faithwatch
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faithwatch

Rev’d Lois,
My prayers are with you. I don’t know much about +Bennison, other than some of his comments which are quoted in Network propaganda. What a terrible situation! I am surprised that PB Griswold is involved in discipline here. Where is the discipline for those bishops who are involved in aiding outside bishops to cross diocesan borders without the consent of the diocesan bishop?

God’s peace

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Can we all just agree, here, to *pray for reconciliation* (whether +Bennison stays on as bishop or not), and not pour more gasoline on the fire?

*Sometime conflicts are personal, w/ no ideological considerations whatsoever, but

*A time of divisive ideologies (and the *distrust* such division engenders) can complicate even the most strictly personal conflicts

(It’s a paradox that way)

I don’t know any of the particulars here, beyond the links given. I *do* know that Our Lord says we should always go the extra mile w/ our brother or sister… Pray, folks!

Prior Aelred
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I was going to thank Mother Keen for the clarification, but then further comments got me all confused again. I am reminded of a comment Desmond Tutu made when someone criticized his successor, “He has a difficult time dealing with many issues, whereas all I had to do was take a stand against apartheid and I knew I was in the right.” Sometimes the main problem in a diocese is the responsibility of one person & changing that person can fix things, but all too often scapegoating a person is a convenient way of avoiding dealing with deep & complicated… Read more »

Rittenhouse
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Rittenhouse

This is not a theological dispute, but a matter of incompetency on the part of the Bishop. He is a divider, his financial dealings are questions, and has the support of very few parishes. He is simply unable/unwilling to be bishop of PA.

Marshall Scott
Guest

Faithwatch said, “I am surprised that PB Griswold is involved in discipline here.” Note that the Presiding Bishop has not been involved in discipline. He offered to assist in consultancy and in reconciliation if it were possible. Consultants did come, and did express an opinion. Discipline per se could only happen if appropriate charges were brought by clergy and laity of the diocese or by other bishops, and the appropriate procedures were completed. By the same token, formal discipline can only happen if someone chooses to file charges. It would be hard to begin charges against bishops of another province… Read more »

faithwatch
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faithwatch

Ah ha! Thank you Marshall for the clarification. I have learned so much about ECUSA from my fellow bloggers as we watch events unfold.

God’s Peace1