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Bennison refuses to resign see [ECUSA, PA]
American Anglican Council ^ | 3/24/2006 | Pat Ashworth, Church Times

Posted on 03/24/2006 5:22:57 PM PST by sionnsar

Source: Church Times
Friday, March 24, 2006
By Pat Ashworth

THE BISHOP of Pennsylvania, the Rt Revd Charles Bennison, is refusing to resign, despite the recommendations of a report on his leadership style and behaviour.

The Pennsylvania diocesan standing committee has concluded that it cannot recommend any long-term process for reconciliation with the Bishop, who has been asked either to retire or resign by 31 March. The diocese has been in crisis since its convention in November 2005, but the conflict goes back as far as 1998. The diocese was described by the Revd Louis Temme, president of the committee, as "a rudderless ship" in 2000.

The Bishop has not co-operated with a string of mediation processes, which have ended in "fatigue and frustration", says the report, which was written by the Rt Revd Clayton Matthews from ECUSA's Office of Pastoral Development, after hearing representations from lay people and clergy.

The diocese is now in financial difficulties. Giving has fallen, and it has had to draw $9.6 million from its assets. The convention approved a resolution removing the Bishop's power to appoint finance and property members himself.

His resignation was called for from the convention floor, and in January the standing committee voted unanimously that he should leave. Despite suggesting he might do so "if I felt it were God's will", Bishop Bennison concluded that "a rigorous long-term process for addressing our problems" should be pursued.

The report dismissed this as unfeasible.

Forty people representing Concerned Episcopalians of Pennsylvania gave Bishop Matthews "succinct examples of insensitivity, manipulation of finances, lack of trust, fear of retribution and breaches of confidentiality" for the report. Deans expressed concerns about the Bishop's "controlling style of leadership and his disenfranchising or discounting of their abilities". They recognised him as a "brilliant person", but one who was alleged to "lead poorly" , and who had "not read the culture of the diocese well". They did not believe he could change.

The report, made public last week after Bishop Matthews's "frank and open" meeting with Bishop Bennison, concluded that he was "incapable of entering into any process without being in control of it". The standing committee reported: "We told him that if he persisted in this pattern of behaviour, the issues before him and the diocese would deteriorate into an ugly and unfortunate battle in which he would ultimately have to leave."

Bishop Bennison's response has been to declare the report inaccurate, and to re-commit himself to work for reconciliation. A special convention is meeting tomorrow to resolve the financial difficulties, and will be preceded this evening by a prayer vigil for the unity of the diocese.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 03/24/2006 5:22:59 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; axegrinder; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; ...
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2 posted on 03/24/2006 5:23:45 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006)
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