Skip to comments.Personal Rule [ECUSA Bishop Bennison]
Posted on 03/16/2006 4:55:31 PM PST by sionnsar
If history is any indication, Pennsylvania Episcopal Bishop Charles Bennison should disband his standing committee any day now:
A report prepared by the Presiding Bishops Office for Pastoral Development finds little likelihood that mediation will resolve the dispute that has led the diocesan standing committee to call for the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., to step down as Bishop of Pennsylvania.
The Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, executive director of the Office of Pastoral Development and Ms. Woodriff Sprinkel reported on March 7 that given the depth of divisions that have been created over many years, the repeated leadership style preference of the bishop, and the unanimous opinion that the bishop is incapable of entering into any process without being in control of it; we cannot recommend any process of conciliation or any rigorous long-term process for addressing problems.
Bishop Matthews and Ms Sprinkel recommended that if the standing committee and the bishop still insist that some process be devised for them to address the issues that have been raised and/or to work on terms of separation through formal mediation, then the Presiding Bishops office will assist as long as the ground rules are defined by outside persons to insure that neither party tries to control the process.
After a number of meetings with members of the diocese, the standing committee and deans, Bishop Matthews and Ms. Sprinkel said that they had informed Bishop Bennison they could not recommend any long term process for reconciliation. We also told him that if he persisted in this pattern of behavior, the issues before him and the diocese would deteriorate into an ugly and unfortunate battle in which he would ultimately have to leave.
In other words, hit the road, Chuck. And I suppose "work on the terms of separation through formal mediation" basically boils down to deciding how big Chuck's severance check is going to be. But things must really be bad in Pennsylvania when even ECUSA says reconciliation is impossible.
UPDATE: Told you. Chuckie's not going anywhere:
In a letter posted to the diocesan website on March 15, the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., said he would not resign and that he stood by his Jan. 26 offer to engage in a rigorous long-term process to address our issues and work for reconciliation.
The statement came in response to the publication of a report prepared by the Presiding Bishops Office of Pastoral Development which specifically rejected the approach proposed by Bishop Bennison.
Bishop Bennison charged the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, executive director of the Office of Pastoral Development, had misconstrued the facts in his report on the situation in Pennsylvania, saying it contains a significant number of errors and inaccuracies of fact and interpretation.
Had I been permitted to be present during Bishop Matthews investigation and had a broader spectrum of people been consulted, Bishop Bennison said, a fairer and more balanced assessment of our reality may have emerged.
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