Territory of the People bishop resigns after sexual misconduct allegations

By

Brenda Still

Lincoln McKoen, former bishop of the Territory of the People. Photo: Contributed

Lincoln McKoen, former bishop of the Territory of the People, resigned and relinquished his exercise of episcopal ministry on June 10 following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Archbishop Lynne McNaughton, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of B.C. and Yukon, announced to the diocese the next day that McKoen had resigned due to allegations of “inappropriate sexualized electronic communications” to an adult resident outside the ecclesiastical province with whom he was in a pastoral relationship. These communications included text and images.

In subsequent remarks reported by the CBC, McNaughton said that McKoen would not be able to serve as an Anglican priest anywhere in Canada. She added that the alleged misconduct is not a criminal offence by law.

The resignation followed an earlier decision by McNaughton to inhibit McKoen from his duties as diocesan bishop and begin disciplinary proceedings by the provincial synod, following the allegations received on May 27. “The Territory of the People and Anglican Church of Canada have a strictly enforced, zero tolerance policy in regard to misconduct,” McNaughton said at the time.

In her June 11 statement to the diocese, the metropolitan said McKoen “acknowledges that the allegations are well-founded.” The Territory of the People is offering pastoral care to anyone affected and has established an interim steering committee for the diocese.

McKoen was elected bishop of the territory in January 2020 after the retirement of former suffragan bishop Barbara Andrews.

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