Philadelphia bishop suspended pending Episcopal trial
Charged with protecting accused sex offender
Nov 27, 2007
The Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia has been barred from ministry pending a church trial to determine his culpability in protecting his brother, a former Episcopal priest who was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s.
Bishop Charles Bennison has been accused of “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy” by an Episcopal Church committee and was barred from all ordained ministry by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on October 31.
As rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Upland, California, in 1973, Bennison acted “passively and self-protectively” when his brother, John, a youth minister at the parish, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female member of the youth group, according to the church committee.
John Bennison was married at the time, according to the committee’s presentment, or charge, against the bishop.