Bishop Rodney Michel & Corpus Christi
The Diocese of Pennsylvania is in a state of suspended animation. Charles Bennison, our Diocesan Bishop, has been found guilty by a Church court of “conduct unbecoming a clergyman” by allegedly concealing the crime of his brother in the 1970′s. The court sentenced him to be unfrocked. This sentence has been appealed and the Bishop will no doubt continue to appeal until all remedies have been exhausted.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (i.e. the Diocesan Office) the poor old Standing Committee has been trying to act like the “Ecclesiastical Authority” they are supposed to be, in the absence of the Bishop. It may safely be said that if anyone had known that the Standing Committee was going to have to do this, a different bunch of people would have been elected. But, as Shakespeare said: “Some have greatness thrust upon them”!
After a year of struggling with our large and pretty dysfunctional diocese, the Standing Committee tired of being “a tenth of a Bishop each” (as one of them modestly put it to me) and asked a retired Bishop to come and take over the duties of the Bishop until Bishop Bennison’s case is finally decided.
By the grace of God, they chose the retired Suffragan Bishop of Long Island, Bishop Rodney Michel, who from the moment he arrived has brought new life and confidence to the diocese. He has made it his chief business to care for the clergy and has worked tirelessly in visiting the parishes, large and small.
St Clement’s is very happy to be having Bishop Michel to preside from the Throne and preach at our High Mass on Corpus Christi. This will be his second official visit to us, though it has been gratifying to see him unofficially in the pews from time to time. God has given us a Father in God in him.