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Rift In Connecticut Church Mirrors National Episcopal Split

‘St. John's In Exile' Group Now Worships At Sister Church Since Bishop Suspended Priest
Published on 8/12/2005
TheDay.com, New London, CT

BRISTOL — Like many in the Episcopal Church, parishioners at St. John's are divided over the issue of gay clergy. But here, the rift has split the congregation in two.

Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith suspended the Rev. Mark Hansen last month and ordered the building's locks changed, stripping control from the local council. Another priest now leads services there for about 40 parishioners, some of whom are relieved to be rid of Hansen's frequent sermons speaking out against gay clerics. The suspended priest is barred from leading a Connecticut parish for six months and could be removed from the priesthood.

Another 40 or 50 parishioners who support Hansen are calling themselves “St. John's in Exile.” They have decamped to nearby Trinity Episcopal Church, where they worship under the leadership of another priest and call Smith's actions “despicable.”

Nine conservative bishops from across the country, meanwhile, have threatened to take Smith to religious court. They are preparing a “presentment,” a formal ecclesiastical charge, accusing Smith of “conduct unbecoming” a bishop for suspending Hansen.

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August 12, 2005 in "Connecticut Six", Diocese of Connecticut | Permalink


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Nine conventional bishops from crossways the country, in the meantime, have susceptible to take Smith to spiritual court. They are preparing a presentment a formal ecclesiastical charge, reproving Smith of behavior unbecoming a bishop for suspending Hansen.


Posted by: george | Jul 31, 2008 4:05:00 AM

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