The Very Rev. Philip C. Linder, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, was suspended today by the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, apparently over a leadership dispute between Linder and the vestry of the downtown Columbia church.
Bishop W. Andrew Waldo issued the suspension after Linder violated ground rules for the mediation process, according to a statement circulated to lay leaders of the church.
The news sent shock waves through the close-knit Episcopal church, which is in the midst of a $7 million restoration of the Gothic cathedral.
“To govern conduct during the mediation process, the Bishop established certain ground rules, called pastoral directives,” the statement said. “Dean Linder violated those directives. Please be assured that these matters do not involve any breaches of moral standards.”