THE Bishop of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Rt Revd Paul
Marshall, has announced that he will resign, explaining that "a
number of circumstances and conversations have made it very
difficult for me to continue."
In a letter written to the standing committee of the diocese on
Bishop Marshall wrote: "It was my long-held intention to serve
you as long as the canons permit. Life contains surprises, however.
A number of circumstances and conversations have made it very
difficult for me to continue as bishop of a diocese that I have
come to love with all my heart. I will resign for the canonical
reasons of 'advanced age' as of December 31 of this year."
The Church's constitution states that he could have served until
the age of 72. Bishop Marshall is 65.
On Wednesday evening, Bishop Marshall said: "Simply, I've not
been well, and have talked this through with doctors and spiritual
In 2010, Bishop Marshall spoke of inheriting a "good" diocese
that "brings out the best in people, even me sometimes". He wrote
in his resignation letter: "I doubt that there are many bishops who
have had as much satisfaction over 17 years."
In 2007, he criticised the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord
Williams, for a perceived distancing of himself from the Episcopal
Church in the United States (
News, 19 January, 2007). He described the Anglican Covenant as
an attempt "to turn a fellowship into a curial bureaucracy", the
work of a "virtual lynch-mob".
In 2011, he accused the Episcopal Church of hiring lawyers to
"threaten and cajole diocesan bishops not to reveal multiple
sex-abuse cover-ups at the highest level lest former leaders be
Bishop Marshall will remain bishop until 1 January, but will be
on sabbatical until this time.