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Bishop dismisses complaint against Paup

 
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4:00 P.M. EST March 18, 2010

Then-Bishop Edward W.
 Paup addresses members of the United Methodist Board of Global 
Ministries in 2008.  A UMNS photo by Cassandra Heller.
Then-Bishop Edward W. Paup addresses members of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in 2008. A UMNS photo by Cassandra Heller.
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A Colorado bishop has dismissed a complaint that charged the former top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries violated his ordination vows.

Denver Area Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky announced that she has “terminated the complaint process against the Rev. Edward W. Paup,” a former bishop and a clergy member of The United Methodist Church’s Rocky Mountain Annual (regional) Conference.

“Since forwarding the complaints to the Counsel for the Church, intervening events have mitigated many of the concerns raised,” she wrote in a letter dated March 9. “Therefore, after prayerful consideration, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the church to conclude the complaint process rather than proceed toward church trial.

“While I understand that some of you will have questions about this decision and how I came to make it, my commitment to confidentiality with the parties involved does not allow me to share the details.”

In a telephone interview, Stanovsky on March 18 declined to comment further on the specifics of her decision. But she said, “The goals the complainants had for this process had largely been realized.”

Paup could not be reached by telephone for comment. He resigned from the episcopacy in 2008 to become the top staff executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. A year later, in September 2009, he resigned from that position, citing health concerns.

Bishop Elaine J.W. 
Stanovsky
Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky
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He resigned less than two weeks after Stanovsky made public her investigation of a complaint that Paup “had violated the sacred trust of ordination.” The bishop said she issued the Sept. 11 letter acknowledging the complaint because of mounting rumors. No details of the allegation were revealed.

At the time, Stanovsky reported that Paup was undergoing medical testing for a possible benign brain tumor. The latest letter had no information regarding his medical condition.

The bishop said March 18 that she could not speak about Paup’s health status.

“We’re in conversation with him about his relationship with the conference and his clergy status,” she said. She added that Paup continues to be on “involuntary leave of absence” with the conference.

Last September, Paup would not address the complaint directly. “As a bishop of the church, I had to make some difficult decisions that created political enemies,” he said in an interview, but declined to elaborate. The complainants also declined to comment and requested anonymity.

In her recent letter, Stanovsky asked members of the Rocky Mountain Conference to pray for healing mercies “for Rev. Paup and his family, for the persons who brought forth the complaints, for all the people who had a role in a very long and difficult process, and for the church.”

“We are all called to be the church of Jesus Christ—to receive what we can of God’s love and grace poured into our lives, and to share it with the world in ways that heal and restore,” Stanovsky wrote. “I pray that the love of Christ may heal what the processes of the church have been unable to put right.”

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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