Bishop Charles Bennison, inhibited bishop of Pennsylvania and under sentence of deposition, made his last appeal today before an appeals court of bishops in Wilmington, Delaware. The Court of Review for the trial of a Bishop will hear arguments for and against lifting the sentence of deposition against him.
Apparently the argument will be worked from both sides: (i) The charges were cold and old and the trial was badly conducted and (ii) even if both current and well done the punishment was too drastic.
The thing is, Bishop Bennison's real authority is not a matter of place, position or assigned power. It is a matter of the esteem given the office and the power that arises from trust and engagement. The costs, for better or worse, in all this is the that his authority on the basis of trust and engagement is gone. However the court decides, Bishop Bennison has had his day as bishop of Pennsylvania.
Now is a good time to pray for the Church, for Bishop Bennison and his family, and for the Diocese of Pennsylvania.