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Diocesan Bishop

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NEWS
November 13, 2008 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
August 11, 2010 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Members of a sex-abuse victim support group picketed the headquarters of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Tuesday to protest the reinstatement of Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., who had been suspended nearly three years for concealing his brother's sexual abuse of a minor. "It's heartbreaking that he has been returned on a technicality," said Karen Polisir, president of the Philadelphia area chapter of the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She was joined by two SNAP members from Lancaster County who were abused as youths by Roman Catholic priests.
NEWS
February 1, 2006 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania yesterday said that concerns about "fiscal management and trust" were why it was calling on Diocesan Bishop Charles E. Bennison to step down. On Jan. 24, the standing committee, the bishop's top advisory body, unanimously called for Bennison's ouster by March 31 but did not publicly explain its reasons. Yesterday, its 10 members issued a brief letter explaining that its "agonizing" decision "followed years of repeated attempts at reasoning with the bishop about fiscal management and trust matters.
NEWS
June 20, 2008 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A special committee of the Episcopal Church USA has found no basis to try Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. for allegedly misappropriating assets of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. In November 2006, the diocesan standing committee filed a formal complaint with the presiding bishop's office in New York alleging that since 2000 Bennison had used millions of dollars without canonical authority or the required consent of the standing committee. It asked for a church trial to remove Bennison as head of the five-county diocese.
NEWS
September 26, 2009 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
April 20, 2005 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
"It was a tremendous experience to be in the Sistine Chapel as an elector in this very important moment in the history of the church," Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said in an interview yesterday evening. "I know we were all very conscious of the great responsibility before us, and it was very consoling to know that millions of people around the world were offering us solidarity and support. " He described Pope Benedict XVI as a man "filled with energy and insight" who will see his role "as successor not only to St. Peter, but to Pope John Paul II. " Although some observers have speculated that Pope Benedict's pontificate will focus on combating secularism and moral relativism in the West, Rigali said he was "not aware of these as themes" that played a role in the conclave's choice of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
NEWS
May 22, 2001 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Citing irreconcilable theological differences, St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntingdon Valley has severed its 82-year membership in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and joined a conservative Anglican body. The 300-member congregation on Sunday officially renamed itself St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church and joined the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, an African denomination that has criticized liberal trends in the Episcopal Church. The Rwandan body is one of 38 national churches, or provinces, making up the worldwide Anglican Communion.
NEWS
April 3, 2001 | By William R. Macklin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
William H.S. Jerdan, 85, retired national presiding bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church, died Thursday of heart disease at the Summerville Medical Center in Summerville, S.C. Bishop Jerdan was born in Philadelphia, earned his master's of divinity degree at Temple University, and, in the 1940s, founded Calvary Reformed Episcopal Church on Cottman Avenue in the Northeast. In 1987, he became presiding bishop and chief pastoral leader of the theologically conservative denomination.
NEWS
January 7, 2007 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Faced with a revenue shortfall of $631,000, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania met in a special convention yesterday and cut 18 percent of its program budget for 2007. The convention reduced spending for this year to $2.82 million from the $3.45 million the annual convention approved in November. "This is a transitional budget to get us through this year," Kenneth R. Werner, chairman of the diocesan committee on finance and property, told the 400 delegates at the Philadelphia Cathedral Church of Our Saviour in West Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 4, 2002 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Three months after the nation's Roman Catholic bishops ordered sweeping changes in how dioceses respond to sex-abuse cases, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is still waiting for a special commission's report before fully implementing those mandates. "Many aspects of the charter can't all be done overnight," said archdiocesan spokeswoman Catherine Rossi. "We could have thrown things into place, but the cardinal [Anthony J. Bevilacqua] wants it done thoughtfully and comprehensively.
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NEWS
August 11, 2010 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Members of a sex-abuse victim support group picketed the headquarters of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Tuesday to protest the reinstatement of Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., who had been suspended nearly three years for concealing his brother's sexual abuse of a minor. "It's heartbreaking that he has been returned on a technicality," said Karen Polisir, president of the Philadelphia area chapter of the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She was joined by two SNAP members from Lancaster County who were abused as youths by Roman Catholic priests.
NEWS
January 1, 2010 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Rev. David Moyer, the outspoken former Episcopal priest who unsuccessfully sued his bishop in 2008 for sacking him, has filed a malpractice lawsuit against the lawyer who represented him - often free - for many years in his battles with the diocese. The suit, filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, alleges that prominent Philadelphia litigator John Lewis and the firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads failed to adequately represent Moyer in the unusual trial against Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. and then failed to file an appeal when the jury rejected their claim.
NEWS
December 7, 2009 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Archbishop of Canterbury warned yesterday that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles' election of a lesbian and former Philadelphia priest as a bishop threatens to further divide the worldwide Anglican community. On Saturday, the diocese's annual convention by a narrow margin chose the Rev. Mary Glasspool, 55, as its next suffragen, or assistant, bishop. If approved by the Episcopal House of Bishops, Glasspool would be the denomination's first openly gay female prelate. Glasspool, who was assistant to the rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill from 1981 to 1984, lives in an open relationship with her long-term partner, Becki Sander.
NEWS
September 26, 2009 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
May 21, 2009 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has been named bishop of Saginaw, Mich., by Pope Benedict XVI. Cistone, 60, will be installed July 28, the fifth anniversary of his ordination as a bishop. He succeeds the Most Rev. Robert Carlson, who left Saginaw last month to become archbishop of St. Louis. The Diocese of Saginaw counts 120,000 Catholic members. Cistone was in Saginaw yesterday for the announcement. In a statement he said it was "humbling and exciting to be given the opportunity to serve God's people as a diocesan bishop.
NEWS
November 13, 2008 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
June 20, 2008 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A special committee of the Episcopal Church USA has found no basis to try Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. for allegedly misappropriating assets of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. In November 2006, the diocesan standing committee filed a formal complaint with the presiding bishop's office in New York alleging that since 2000 Bennison had used millions of dollars without canonical authority or the required consent of the standing committee. It asked for a church trial to remove Bennison as head of the five-county diocese.
NEWS
March 21, 2008 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Christians across the region and the world observed Holy Thursday yesterday with services marking Jesus' last supper and, in some traditions, his creation of the priesthood. Among the many marking Holy, or Maundy, Thursday locally were about 60 priests and deacons of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. They joined with Assisting Bishop Allen L. Bartlett at a "chrism Eucharist" to reaffirm their ordination vows and witness his consecration of the holy oils they will use throughout the liturgical year.
NEWS
November 16, 2007 | By Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans
Episcopalians in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and elsewhere have spent the past couple of years engaged in overt and behind-the-scenes conflict focused on the contentious figure of our diocesan bishop, Charles E. Bennison Jr. But for any healing to happen in this divided and disenchanted judicatory, we are going to have to turn the analytical lens on ourselves. Bennison currently is under ecclesiastical inhibition, or suspension. In articles, he has been dubbed as "disconnected," a "weak Christian," and a man "void of substance" - and that's just a sample from a flood of condemnatory adjectives.
NEWS
November 4, 2007 | By David O'Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With just 15 hours left in his active leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. made no mention of his imminent suspension during yesterday's annual diocesan convention. Bennison learned last week that the Episcopal Church USA was suspending him as diocesan bishop on allegations that he concealed his brother's sexual abuse of a minor three decades ago, when the brother worked as a youth minister in Bennison's suburban Los Angeles parish.
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