Bishop Jones Trial Date Set

Episcopal News Service. August 22, 2000 [2000-122B]

(ENS) The presentment trial of Charles I. Jones, III, Bishop of Montana, is scheduled for the week of September 18 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to Josephine Hicks, lay assessor to the ecclesiastical court.

Bishop Jones is charged with violating Title IV, Canon 1, by having a sexual relationship with a parishioner and parish employee who sought pastoral counseling from him when he was the rector of a parish in Kentucky. Jones disputes the allegations, contending that he voluntarily submitted to discipline in 1993.

The Court for the trial of a Bishop consists of the following bishops: Edward W. Jones (retired, Indiana), J. Clark Grew (Ohio), Samuel B. Hulsey (retired, Northwest Texas), Robert C. Johnson, Jr.(North Carolina), Chilton R. Knudsen (Maine), Alfred C. Marble, Jr. (Mississippi), Catherine S. Roskam (suffragan, New York), Douglas E. Theuner (New Hampshire), and Arthur E. Walmsley (retired, Connecticut).

Possible sentences for an offense are an admonition, suspension, or deposition. An admonition is a reprimand and a public and formal reproof of the conduct. An order of suspension directs the member of the clergy to refrain temporarily from acting as a member of the clergy. Deposition deprives the person permanently of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God's word and sacraments.

The trial proceedings will be open to the public.