Bishop Swing: Priest's History is Damaging Church
Even though the Rev. John W. Bennison has had an honorable priestly career for the past 25 years, the Bishop of California, the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, has asked for his resignation as rector of St. John’s, Clayton, because his previous history of sexual misconduct, including allegations involving the abuse of children from a previous parish in another diocese, is causing “exponential damage to the Episcopal Church nationwide.”
In a May 31 letter to the diocese, Bishop Swing praised Fr. Bennison and called for critics and supporters to “cross the barriers” and cooperate in a full investigation of previous behavior that led to a three-year deposition in the 1970s.
“I have glimpsed something of the power of Jesus’ resurrection in the ministry of Father Bennison in the Diocese of California,” Bishop Swing wrote. “Statistics emphatically predict that he would never change. But he has. I’ve witnessed it. I believe in his priesthood and have laid my name on the line for him. I have made the good name of the Diocese of California vulnerable because I have trusted him. And...he has not disappointed. Not once in a quarter of a century.”the rest