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Newark pauses episcopal search after plagiarism discovered in diocesan profile

Newark pauses episcopal search after plagiarism discovered in diocesan profile

The Diocese of Newark issued a statement yesterday to address the discovery that part of its Bishop Search materials had been plagiarized from the neighboring Diocese of Bethlehem, PA.

The Standing Committee wrote:

Last week, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Newark became aware of an issue of plagiarism involving our diocesan profile for the search for our eleventh bishop. This act is an unacceptable breach of trust and disruptive to the otherwise prayerful discernment of everyone presently engaged in our search process.

We discovered that the profile section entitled “The Bishop We Seek,” was plagiarized in its entirety from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem’s search profile. This regrettable incident reveals poor judgement on the part of an individual, who subsequently resigned from the Search/Nominating Committee which created the profile. Our Standing Committee has offered our deepest apologies to Bishop Sean Rowe and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Bethlehem.

After consulting with the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, who oversees matters pertaining to episcopal elections for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, we have modified our search process timeline and are working to prayerfully revise the profile.

The profile has been removed from our diocesan website. A revised profile will be released on January 2, 2018, after a period of prayerful reflection. At that time, the application process will be re-opened and will remain open until January 10, 2018. The screening of our applicant pool will take place in January, culminating in the extension of invitations to a discernment retreat for selected applicants, scheduled for February 19 – 22, 2018.

Individuals who have already submitted their applications have been notified personally of the temporary interruption of our search process and they have been advised that should they wish to continue in the process based on the content of the amended profile, they will have an opportunity to update their essays.

This delay and the brief reopening of applications is not expected to affect the timing of the election in May, nor installation of the eleventh Bishop of Newark in September of next year. The Rt Revd Mark Beckwith, tenth Bishop of Newark, is retiring.

Read more at the Diocese of Newark.


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I am saddened that you are experiencing this turmoil and pray that learning of these current flaws will be remediated
I read that the individual/s has resigned from your search committee …my only reason for commenting is to express hope that they too will be in a healing dialogue with you so as to learn, reconcile with their community be blessed in the process.
[Linda – please use your first and last name when commenting. Thanks – eds]

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