Retired Bishop Warner of Olympia restricted from ministry

Bishop Greg Rickel of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia announced today that his immediate predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Vincent W. Warner, has been restricted from exercising his ministry as a bishop or priest by the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Warner is under investigation by the presiding bishop’s office following a credible allegation of recurrent marital infidelity, Rickel said.

“I first heard the allegations several weeks ago, and promptly reported them to the presiding bishop’s office, which is the procedure required by the canons of the Episcopal Church,” Rickel said. “On Monday, I received word that Bishop Jefferts Schori had restricted Bishop Warner’s ministry.”

Rickel said that the current allegations involve neither minors nor individuals who were in the bishop’s pastoral care.

This matter will be investigated and resolved according to procedures outlined in Title IV of the canons of the Episcopal Church.

Warner was bishop of the diocese from 1989 to 2007.

“I urge clergy and lay leaders to reach out to those whom they believe might need support during this time,” Rickel said. “I also urge you to say your prayers for all involved, for this diocese, and especially for Bishop Warner and his family.”

Read the letter here.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on the story

The retired longtime Episcopal bishop for Western Washington has been barred from exercising his ministry following what his successor calls “a credible allegation of marital infidelity.”

Warner said the allegations did not involve contact with minors or individuals under Warner’s pastoral care. The retired bishop had opened a consulting business in conflict resolution.

The infidelity allegations will be investigated and resolved according to canons of the Episcopal Church.

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