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Pittsburgh ACNA bishop resigns over serious pastoral matter

Pittsburgh ACNA bishop resigns over serious pastoral matter

The head of ACNA’s Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh has resigned over his handling of cases of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy towards another member of the clergy. Bishop Jim Hobby resigned at the request of the diocesan Standing Committee.

Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

The diocese’s Standing Committee — which has governance and advisory roles in the diocese and is comprised of lay and clergy members — said in a statement that Bishop Hobby failed to act with “urgency, transparency, and timeliness when an accusation of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy was brought to his attention.”

The committee said the accusation did not involve physical conduct and that the accused cleric, whom it did not identify, directed the misconduct toward another clergy member. The diocese says the accused is no longer in good standing, meaning he’s no longer authorized by the diocese to do ministry anywhere in the denomination.

The Standing Committee said the bishop “inexplicably delayed in advising the Standing Committee of other formal complaints about the same clergy member” and did not share relevant information in a timely manner with the committee and a canonical investigator looking into the case.

Hobby replaced the retiring Robert Duncan as bishop of the ACNA diocese in 2016. The Former Archbishop of ACNA, Duncan came out of retirement to serve dean at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Tallahassee when its long-time dean resigned in the face of allegations of an improper relationship.

From the website of ACNA Pittsburgh diocese:

Resignation of Bishop Hobby

The Process that Led to Bishop Hobby’s Resignation

The Standing Committee reached its conclusion because Bishop Hobby:

  • Failed to act with urgency, transparency, and timeliness when an accusation of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy was brought to his attention. To be clear, this misconduct involved another adult who is a clergy member.
  • Repeatedly failed to properly follow the Canonical process for this accusation.
    Inexplicably delayed in advising the Standing Committee of other formal complaints about the same clergy member.
  • Did not share material information regarding the investigation with the Standing Committee and the Canonical Investigator in a timely manner.
  • Failed repeatedly to act in a manner that demonstrated proper concern for the victims of an abusive priest. To be clear, this abuse related to adults and did not involve physical contact.
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Eric Bonetti

This sort of approach to misconduct seems to me endemic in TEC,. Unless TEC has the willpower to push past this approach, and take all accusations of misconduct seriously, we soon will see the end of the denomination as a meaningful entity.

Last edited 22 days ago by Eric Bonetti
Thomas Rightmyer

We have learned from the experience of others how difficult it is to entertain accusations from unknown people against friends and colleagues, but we have also learned that some of these friends and colleagues lie to us about their bad behavior. The present system of inhibit, investigate, and act can seem harsh and unloving, but this case reminds us that we all need to follow it regardless of our own feelings. I’m sorry this bishop was required to resign, but I am also glad that the ACNA has acted to maintain its integrity.

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