Suspended Philadelphia Area Episcopal bishop resumes work

Although Episcopal leaders in the Philadelphia region are urging him to resign, long-suspended Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. told them Tuesday that he intended to stay at the helm of the five-county Diocese of Pennsylvania.

At a meeting at Episcopal Church House in Society Hill, “he made it clear to us he would resume his responsibilities,” said the Rev. Glenn Matis, president of the standing committee that has run the 55,000-member diocese during Bennison’s nearly three-year absence.

It was the 66-year-old bishop’s second day at work since the Episcopal Church charged him in October 2007 with mishandling and concealing his brother’s sexual abuse of a minor three decades earlier.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania

12 comments on “Suspended Philadelphia Area Episcopal bishop resumes work

  1. A Senior Priest says:

    This article, particularly the comments by clergy and laity toward the end of it, is frankly bizarre.

  2. Cennydd13 says:

    Sorry, but I believe that he has to earn that ‘love and forgiveness,’ and he hasn’t.

  3. Already left says:

    I’ve never seen anything anywhere regarding whether or not he was paid by the diocese during his absence.

  4. Sarah says:

    Not surprising — after his financial shenanigans he also refused to resign. It was clear then that he’s simply going to force himself on that diocese, and is mentally . . . well . . .

    Poor diocese.

    Elections matter, obviously.

    It’s usually important to elect someone who is not mentally ill or power-hungry — and obviously a whole lot of TEC dioceses haven’t “live in” to that need yet.

    Which means that down the road there are . . . . “consequences” . . .

  5. Adam 12 says:

    I have heard that Bennison was frequently part of the St. Clement’s congregation during his suspension.

  6. paradoxymoron says:

    According to TEC canons, the statute of limitations is every bit as valid as confession of sin, I guess.

  7. Daniel says:

    Has a standing committee ever reduced a bishop’s salary to $1 per year in protest for his/her egregious behavior? I think I remember reading somewhere that Bennison’s wife is independently wealthy, so possibly it would not matter. Nonetheless, it sure would be a powerful symbolic act.

  8. graydon says:

    What would be a interesting scenario is for him to arrive for visitation and only a sole cleric present and not a single member of the laity. Even if that were to occur, do you think he would be dissuaded?

  9. Cennydd13 says:


  10. A Senior Priest says:

    #8… I’d be there if I were a rector in his diocese. My people (those who might come) would need the support.

  11. hunter27 says:

    Yes, he was paid the entire time, perks and everything.

  12. Larry Morse says:

    Meet the Charley Wrangel (sp) of theology. Ok, I forgive him. Now, Fang, go git him. This guy is going to give brazen a bad rep. From an American politician, I expect such chutzpah, but a priest…? Larry