CNN International Anchor, Charles Hodson, Who Joined Church of England Because of 'Higher Calling,' Resigns Over Affair

(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/MorpiumsVideos)Charles Hodson.

After a very public conversion process to become an ordained deacon in the Church of England just 13 months ago, CNN International business anchor Charles Hodson has been defrocked after confessing to an adulterous affair with one of his parishioners.

"The events in question took place more than half a year ago," noted Hodson in statement reported in the Times.

"In February 2013 I started an adulterous relationship with a woman, and two months later declared the relationship to my wife, my vicar and my diocese, requesting that I should not be ordained priest. I have not acted as a minister or worn my clerical collar since 21 April," he explained.

He stressed that although he was ordained deacon in July 2012 he was only in training for the priesthood and was not a priest.

"This difficult matter was comprehensively addressed some time ago with my diocese and also with those personally affected," he added.

Last June, shortly before he was ordained a deacon, Hodson revealed on CNN's Belief Blog that four years prior he was shocked when a priest suggested he joined the order.

"My eyes probably bulged like footballs. A priest? Me, of all people? How could anyone suggest such a thing?" he wrote before sharing how he embraced the idea.

"That lasted for about two seconds. And then came a realization, deep, clear and inescapable, that everything that had happened in my life so far had been preparation for this moment. As Jesus says to his disciples shortly before his crucifixion, 'You did not choose me but I chose you.' (John 15:16)," he noted.

But Hodson, who is considered a leader in international business journalism, fell off his holy seat and it was a shock to his wife Heike Bernhardt, 51, who told the Times that the affair was a "big surprise," and she confirmed her husband was now living with his mistress.

"It was a woman he met at his parish after he was ordained. He is not living with me anymore," said Bernhardt.

The couple reportedly ran a Bed & Breakfast at a 16th Century farmhouse on the outskirts of Taunton, Somerset.

Hodson, considered a leading authority in international journalism with an audience of around 200 million worldwide, revealed that when he first told his wife that he was going to become a priest, she brushed it off as a phase.

He wrote:

I'm not sure I remember too much of the conversation after that, but I do recall stepping out into the car park afterwards and saying to my wife, "Do you know what? I have just been asked whether I'd thought about being a priest, and perhaps I really am called to be one."

 My beloved smiled knowingly and indulgently. "The latest fad," she remarked, "You'll have forgotten all about it by next week."

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