Philly Episcopal bishop's church conviction overturned

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Charles Bennison has been reinstated as the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania following a church court ruling overturning his conviction on charges of covering up a sexual relationship between his brother, also a priest, and a 14-year-old girl in California more than 30 years ago.

Bishop Bennison was tried before a church court in June 2008 and charged with conduct unbecoming a clergyman. He argued that he didn't know about the sexual relationship, but the lower court determined otherwise.

He appealed. In May, the bishop appeared before the church court of appeals, composed of eight bishops from around the nation. Last night, the bishop was informed that court members had reversed the lower court's decision.

Bishop Bennison leads a five-county area around Philadelphia.



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