Priest resigns after conviction for soliciting sex

Published May 1, 2005

Canon Ed Coleman, who was convicted of soliciting for the purposes of prostitution last December, resigned as priest and rector of the parish of Hampton in the diocese of Fredericton on March 31.

The announcement was made by the diocese on April 12.

Mr. Coleman, 48, was granted a conditional discharge by Provincial Court in Sussex, N.B., in December. The victim was identified as a young male when the original charge was laid by Sussex RCMP in Hampton provincial court July 29.

The charges relate to an incident outside a church in Midland, N.B., on the evening of July 1. Neighbours of the Midland Baptist Church called the RCMP to report a disturbance in the church’s parking lot.

After charges were laid, Mr. Coleman was placed on medical leave of absence and sent to the Southdown Institute in Aurora, Ont. The centre offers holistic psychological, medical and spiritual diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for religious professionals.

Claude Miller, bishop of the diocese of Fredericton, announced last July 30 that Mr. Coleman’s indefinite leave with pay would continue until the resolution of the charges and the completion of an internal review by the diocese.

“I am deeply saddened and troubled by the events that led to the charges and my prayers remain with the victim as well as Mr. Coleman and his family,” Bishop Miller said last December. “I commend Mr. Coleman for taking responsibility for his actions and assure all involved that the church will continue to support them in any way possible.”

Ordained in 1984, Mr. Coleman served in his native Newfoundland before going to the diocese of Fredericton in 1992.

He served as rector of the parish of Renforth and as Anglican chaplain at the Saint John Regional Hospital prior to his appointment as rector of the parish of Hampton.


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