CNI bishop deposed for secession

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The Executive Council of the Church of North India has deposed the Bishop in Chotanagpur in Jharkhand state in eastern India from the ordained ministry after he withdrew his diocese from the church last month.

In a statement released on 11 August 2020 released under the signature of the moderator, the Rt. Rev. P.C. Singh, the synod “unanimously resolved” to depose the bishop from holy orders and remove him from all church offices for having committed acts of rebellion and indiscipline for attempting to withdraw the diocese from the church.

India’s Protestant Church has laicized one of its bishops after he revolted and declared his diocese an autonomous church.

“The instrument of election and appointment as bishop in the CNI issued to him by the moderator stands withdrawn and his ordination as priest and consecration as bishop are withdrawn. Hence, from today, he will be known as Mr. Basil B. Baskey,” it said.

Bishop Singh appointed the Rev. Jolja Kujur as the moderator’s commissary for the diocese until the appointment of a new bishop.

Bishop Baskey announced on 17 July he was withdrawing the diocese from the CNI, and his diocesan synod endorsed the decision on 27 July. The CNI responded by placing the bishop on involuntary leave on 21 July. Last week the moderator’s commissary attempted to take possession of the diocesan offices but was rebuffed by the bishop’s loyalists.  The control of the diocesan property remains in the hands of the bishop and is expected to be the subject of litigation.