Connecticut rector abandons defense in Title IV case

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A Connecticut rector has abandoned his defense under Title IV proceedings and has asked to “resign” from the ministry, a pleading filed by the President of the Diocesan Hearing Panel reported on 27 February 2024.

The Rev. Amjad Samuel, rector of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Shelton since 2014, did not attend a pre-trial conference and his attorney, Michael Rehill informed the court last week that he had resigned as counsel of record for the defendant.

Title IV proceedings were initiated against Mr. Samuel, a native of Pakistan, in 2021, after an attempt at mediation between the priest and his congregation and the diocese collapsed.  Samuel was accused of bullying members of the congregation and forcing people from the church who disagreed with his management style.

The president of the healing panel, Mr. Tom Smith, reported that Samuel had offered to resign from his position. However, he noted that there is no provision under the Episcopal Church’s Title IV procedures for a cleric to resign once a case had been initiated.

Mr. Smith noted the diocese would likely treat Samuel’s request to resign an an “abandonment of ministry” under the canons and remove him from the ordained ministry.

The case continues.

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