Episcopal court finds bishop guilty of hiding abuse by brother
Victim says Bennison walked in on encounters
Jul 29, 2008
An Episcopal Church court has unanimously found Bishop Charles E. Bennison guilty of not responding appropriately to sexual abuse committed by his brother against a teenage girl more than three decades ago.
The 64-year-old Bennison, who has led the Philadelphia-based Diocese of Pennsylvania since 1998, was convicted June 26 by the nine-member panel of “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.”
The panel of five bishops, two other clergy and two laypeople will now decide the bishop’s punishment, which can range from admonishment to ousting him from the clergy.
As a married youth minister at Bennison’s parish in Upland, California, in the early 1970s, his 24-year-old brother, John Bennison, initiated a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl that continued for more than three years.