November 20, 2013 |
A jury of Methodist pastors ruled Monday that a Lebanon County, Pa., minister violated church doctrine when he presided over his son's marriage to a man - a decision that the Rev. Frank Schaefer said was made out of love, not as an act of rebellion. The verdict was not unexpected; Schaefer, pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona, admitted that he knew he was going against church doctrine by ministering to his son, Tim, at his wedding. A red-eyed Tim Schaefer left the building after the verdict was read, and was greeted by applause from supporters in the chilly night air. "I'm obviously very saddened, so what we're hoping for tomorrow is a light sentence," he said.
June 23, 2010 |
Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has been named bishop of the 244,000-member Diocese of Harrisburg. McFadden, 63, will become the 10th bishop of Harrisburg at his installation Aug. 18. He succeeds Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who left last year to head the Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., diocese. "I come with only one agenda, and that is to share with you my faith in Jesus Christ," McFadden said at a Tuesday news conference in Harrisburg.
June 22, 2010 |
Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has been named bishop of the 244,000-member Diocese of Harrisburg. McFadden, 63, will become the 10th Bishop of Harrisburg at his installation August 18. He succeeds Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who left last year to head the Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Ind. diocese. "I come with only one agenda, and that is to share with you my faith in Jesus Christ," McFadden, 63, said at a Tuesday news conference in Harrisburg.
March 19, 2010 |
Suspended Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. will get his last chance to make a case for reinstatement as head of the Diocese of Pennsylvania when he goes before a church appeals court in May. In September 2008, a lower church court found Bennison guilty on two counts of failing to respond adequately when, as a new rector decades ago, he learned that his younger brother was having sexual relations with a minor. John Bennison had been youth minister at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Upland, Calif.
September 26, 2009 |
A court of the Episcopal Church USA has rejected a request from deposed Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. for a new church trial. Bennison, head of the five-county Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania since 1998, was suspended from his duties nearly two years ago on charges that he had concealed his brother John Bennison's sexual abuse of an underage girl about 35 years ago in California. At the time of the abuse, Charles Bennison was pastor of a parish outside Los Angeles, and John Bennison was his youth minister.
March 3, 2009 |
After biding its time for years, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania has asked a civil court to remove the Rev. David Moyer as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, and to declare the diocese as owner of the renegade parish's property. Moyer, a vocal critic of liberal trends in the Episcopal Church, has served as the parish's rector and lived in its rectory since 1989, even though he was deposed as a priest nearly seven years ago. Last week, the diocese informed him and Good Shepherd's vestry that it had petitioned Montgomery County Orphans Court to order the parish to transfer the title to its buildings, as well as all other assets, to the diocese.
February 5, 2009 |
A special court of the Episcopal Church announced yesterday that it has unanimously reaffirmed its decision to defrock the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison Jr., 65, and remove him as bishop of the 55,000-member Diocese of Pennsylvania. Bennison's lawyers said that they were disappointed and that he would appeal. In June, following a four-day trial, a seven-member Court for the Trial of a Bishop found Bennison guilty on two charges of "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" for concealing his brother John's sexual abuse of a minor girl about 35 years ago. John Bennison was the youth minister in his brother's parish in suburban Los Angeles, where the teenaged victim was a member.
November 13, 2008 |
In hopes of salvaging his career, suspended Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. yesterday asked a special church court convened in Philadelphia to reverse its recent sentence removing him from holy orders. Defrocking a priest or bishop is "the ecclesiastical equivalent of the death penalty," Bennison's attorney, James A. Pabarue, told the nine judges. Their sentence, he said, was "unduly harsh and unsupported by the evidence. " In June, following a four-day trial here, the Court for the Trial of a Bishop unanimously found Bennison, head of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, guilty of failing to intervene in his brother John's sexual abuse of a teenage girl more than 30 years ago in a California parish where Bennison was rector.
October 23, 2008 |
Midway through a civil trial in which a priest is suing the Episcopal bishop who defrocked him, the judge hearing the unusual case suggested yesterday that the dispute might belong in a church court, and he appeared close to throwing it out of Montgomery County Court. The Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, alleges that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., suspended head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, "fraudulently" removed him from the priesthood six years ago without a hearing before diocesan officials.
October 20, 2008 |
Just three weeks after a church court ruled that he should be removed from office, Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. faces the start of an unusual civil trial today that could cost the financially struggling Diocese of Pennsylvania millions of dollars. Bennison, 63, is being sued for damages in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas by the Rev. David Moyer, who alleges that Bennison used fraud and deception to defrock him as a priest of the diocese six years ago. Moyer's attorney, John Lewis, said that Moyer v. Bennison appears to be the first trial in American jurisprudence involving "the ecclesiastical discipline of a priest in a hierarchical church.