Healing from Adultery

The Rt. Rev. Douglas Hahn, Bishop of Lexington, writes to his diocese about taking one year of unpaid leave for “repentance, retreat, and reflection”:

Several years ago — long before I was your bishop — I engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult woman parishioner. I was wrong, and I have regretted it ever since.

I ended the affair, confessed my sin to a priest, and worked with a therapist to understand and heal my out of character breach in behavior. I asked for forgiveness from the other party and, in time, believed the matter was resolved. Beyond my confessor and therapist, I did not reveal this matter, believing that to do so would cause greater harm to my wife Kaye, other persons, and other communities.

A few months ago this matter came to light and was passed to the Presiding Bishop’s office. I confessed to Kaye and to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and together we have sought a healing and reconciling way forward. Many people, including you, have been hurt by my behavior and their consequences. I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness.

… Now I am facing the wider consequences of my actions. Through the canonical process of the church — a process designed to help create healing and reconciliation — Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and I have reached an “Accord,” or agreement, that for a period of one year I will step away from my ministry as Bishop of the Diocese and ordained leadership. This period will begin immediately.

We have agreed that this should be a time of repentance, retreat and reflection. It will be a time of healing of hurts. I will spend this time doing whatever is possible to make this right with the Church.

Read the rest.

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