The bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut acknowledge with deep sadness the death of Thomas Palermo on December 27, 2014, as a result of being struck by the car of the Rt. Rev. Heather Cook, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Our sadness is magnified by the announcement today that Bishop Cook has been arrested on charges of manslaughter for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, sending text messages while driving, and leaving the scene of an accident. This is a profound tragedy for all involved, and especially for the Palermo family, Bishop Cook, and the leaders and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Bishops Ahrens and Douglas have assured The Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, of our prayers for all concerned. We trust that the due processes of the judicial system and the disciplinary canons of The Episcopal Church will be faithfully and effectively implemented. Our hearts are heavy; yet we place our trust in the resurrected Lord who both joins us in our despair and brokenness and guides us on the way toward light and hope. We ask the people of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to hold all of these sad circumstances in your hearts and to offer prayers for healing, restoration and reconciliation.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan
January 9, 2015