Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop

The Bishop of Salisbury has initiated a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Rt. Rev. John Ellison for violating his ecclesiastical jurisdiction

The Bishop of Salisbury has initiated a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Hon. Assistant Bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. John Ellison, for violating ecclesiastical law.

Bishop Ellison, the former Bishop of Paraguay, is alleged to have exercised episcopal jurisdiction over a church within the geographic boundaries of the Diocese of Salisbury without the permission of the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam when he participated in a service of Thanksgiving last year at Christ Church Salisbury — a congregation of the Anglican Mission in England.

In an interview broadcast last week with Anglican TV, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen confirmed “the Bishop of Salisbury has delivered a disciplinary note to Bishop John Ellison” and charged him with violating the ecclesiastical boundaries of his diocese.

In their communique released at the close of their London meeting on 18 April 2015 the GAFCON primates gave Bishop Ellison their full backing, denouncing the “unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury.”

A spokesman for the Diocese of Salisbury declined to comment noting it was their policy not to speak to pending disciplinary cases, while the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office stated they had no comment to make at this time. Spokesmen for the Anglican Mission in England declined to respond to requests for a statement at this time, however sources familiar with the proceedings note that the complaint is in the early stages of the CDM process, and that Bishop Ellison, who currently is battling cancer, will be contesting the charges of misconduct.

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