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Anglican bishop suspends priest opposed to ordination of gays

.- The Episcopalian bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut has suspended a priest who disagreed with his support of an openly gay bishop. Bishop Andrew Smith issued a decision Wednesday inhibiting Rev. Mark Hansen, pastor of the 200-member St. John’s Church in Bristol, for six months. Another five priests have been under the threat of inhibition since April.

The inhibition suspends Rev. Hansen’s priestly functions in the Diocese of Connecticut, but he still remains a priest. However, if the situation is not resolved in six months, Smith can remove him from the priesthood. The bishop has invited parishioners to a meeting Sunday to discuss the situation.

The Connecticut Six, as they have come to be known, had asked for a different bishop to provide oversight shortly after Bishop Smith voted for the ordination of the openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in 2003.

In letters sent in March, Bishop Smith told the six that the diocesan standing committee had determined they had abandoned communion with the church.

The six parishes responded Wednesday that while they would welcome Bishop Smith at any time, their clergy and congregations "believe it would be inappropriate for him to preach or to preside over the Eucharist."

They assert that Bishop Smith has abandoned "scriptural authority and biblical norms."

Rev. Hansen believes his bishop has done “an end-run around due process” and he plans to take his case to the archbishop of Canterbury in England.


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