Bishop Issues Decision in Connecticut Parish Dispute

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Bishop Ian Douglas met with members of St. Paul’s, Darien on the evening of June 14th, as was previously announced (see the Café’s coverage of the events leading up to this meeting here). From the diocesan media release:

“The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, visited St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Mansfield Avenue in Darien, Conn., at 6 p.m. on June 14, 2018 to deliver his decision regarding the vestry’s (lay leaders’) request to end their relationship with their priest, the Rev. Canon George I. Kovoor. The Bishop concluded that, ‘maintaining a relationship between the two parties going forward is the faithful way to live into our unity as the Body of Christ.’

” Accordingly, the Bishop decided that the pastoral relationship between the vestry and rector continue and that Canon Kovoor, ‘remains the duly elected, canonically recognized, and episcopally installed Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien’ with all rights and responsibilities of the office.

“Recognizing that additional reconciliation is necessary, the ‘godly judgment,’ as the Bishops’ decision is known by church canons (laws), also directs both the vestry and the rector to engage in specifically named training in order to facilitate reconciliation, a biblically-based approach to addressing situations of conflict that is frequently absent in contemporary culture. The godly judgment also asks the current consultant and coach to continue working with the vestry and rector to effect healing and restoration to unity.”

The full text of the release is available on the Episcopal Church in Connecticut’s website.

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Eric Bonetti
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Eric Bonetti

I am very happy to see this healthy approach to conflict, including the fact that +Douglas seemingly is taking it seriously, and wish every blessing on all sides to the dispute.

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