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B.C. Anglican bishop resigns over alleged sexual misconduct

·2 min read
Lincoln Mckoen worked at parishes from Newfoundland to B.C. before he was elected bishop in the B.C. Interior in 2020. (Territory of the People  - image credit)
Lincoln Mckoen worked at parishes from Newfoundland to B.C. before he was elected bishop in the B.C. Interior in 2020. (Territory of the People - image credit)

An Anglican bishop based in Kamloops, B.C., has resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct.

In a written statement shared with the church community, the Anglican Church of Canada said Lincoln Mckoen was alleged to have sent "inappropriate sexualized electronic communications" via text and images to an adult with whom he was in contact in his role as priest or bishop.

"Lincoln Mckoen acknowledges that the allegations are well founded," said the statement from the national church's leader, Archbishop Linda Nicholls.

The person resided outside of the Interior B.C. territory Mckoen had been leading, according to Nicholls.

As bishop, Mckoen presided over 17 parishes from Merritt to Prince George, a large area the church calls "Territory of the People." He was elected to the role last year.

"It's a massive, sacred trust that is placed on me by God and the people of the territory," Mckoen told the church's Anglican Journal at the time.

"Being from outside of the Territory, I need to work to earn everyone's trust and to get to know each parish, pastor and congregation."

According to church documents, Mckoen previously worked in Battle Harbour, N.L., in southern Ontario, and at remote B.C. parishes in Campbell River, Alert Bay, Fort Rupert and Kingcome Inlet.

Bishop suspended June 1

Anglican officials said they first received allegations of sexual misconduct about Mckoen on May 27.

On June 1, the church announced Archbishop Lynne McNaughton had "inhibited" Mckoen, essentially suspending him from his role.

A statement said the church "expressed a commitment to ensuring that those who hold positions of trust or power in the church do not take advantage of, or abuse, that trust or power."

Two weeks later, the church released a statement to parishioners saying Mckoen had resigned.

"Its obviously very distressing to church members in this area. Their care is essential right now," Joseph Vesci, director of communications for the Anglican Church of Canada, told CBC News in early June.

Vesci declined an interview with CBC after details of the alleged misconduct were made public.

He said that in the Anglican Church, "matters such as these are under the jurisdiction of individual dioceses."

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