The ecclesiastical Court for the Trial of a Bishop has issued a temporary gag order prohibiting the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., Bishop of Pennsylvania, from making public more than 200 letters that Bishop Bennison claims would exonerate him of charges that he failed to report sexual misconduct committed by his brother, John.
The misconduct occurred while John Bennison was serving on the staff of a California church where Bishop Bennison was rector in the 1970s. John Bennison previously admitted to sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl who was a member of the church youth group. He was deposed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church in 2006.
Bishop Bennison maintains that he did not know about his brother’s misconduct until many years later, but in 2008, the court found Bishop Bennison guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy and recommended that he be deposed. He remains under inhibition pending appeal.