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Nude art photos land priest in trouble: The Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 2012 p 6. October 11, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Missouri, The Episcopal Church.
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The Rev. John Blair

An Episcopal priest who maintained a sideline as an artistic photographer is under investigation by a church disciplinary board.  The Diocese of Missouri must determine whether the Rev. John Blair’s photographs are art or pornography.

Last week the diocese announced that complaints had been made to the church and his employer about photos published by the priest on his website.  A chaplain at Christian Hospital in St. Louis, Mr. Blair was dismissed on 12 Sept 2012 by the hospital after they reviewed his art work.  The St. Louis priest was also asked to stand down from the Order of St Francis and released from his vows.

Mr. Blair’s photographs have since been removed from the internet, but his work had been exhibited in local art shows and galleries. “My work is about identifying and affirming the beauty and mystique of the models with whom I work,” the St. Louis priest wrote on his website.

The Rev. Daniel Smith, an aide to Missouri Bishop George Wayne Smith, said an investigation had been launched under Title IV of the church’s disciplinary canons to determine whether his conduct was “unbecoming a member of the clergy.” The seven-member board will then give its recommendations to the bishop for further action.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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