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Marshall resigns after ‘conversations’

02 August 2013

EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF BETHLEHEM

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 15 July,

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 director."

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 embarrassed".

Bishop Marshall will remain bishop until 1 January, but will be on sabbatical until this time.

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