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Heather Cook Deposed

The Diocese of Maryland has accepted the resignation of Heather Cook as suffragan bishop, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has announced an accord in which Cook accepted a sentence of deposition from ordained ministry.

The diocese announced at 3 p.m. (EDT):

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland today announced the acceptance of the resignation of Heather E. Cook as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. This means that Cook is no longer employed by the diocese. The acceptance of Cook’s resignation is independent of any Title IV disciplinary action taken by the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs announced:

The office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has released information concerning Heather Cook of the Diocese of Maryland.

Pursuant to Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Cook have reached an Accord. Under the terms of the Accord, Bishop Cook will receive a Sentence of Deposition, pursuant to which she shall be “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God’s word and sacraments conferred at ordination.”

As such, Cook will no longer function as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church.

The Accord resolves all ecclesiastical disciplinary matters involving Cook.

This Accord is separate from any resolution of employment matters involving Cook and the Diocese of Maryland as well as from criminal matters pending in the secular courts.

Cook still faces a criminal trial on June 4 on more than a dozen charges, including manslaughter, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. She has pleaded not guilty in the death of bicyclist Tom Palermo.

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