It’s amazing, really. At a time when the rate at which The Episcopal Church is shedding members is surpassed only by the losses of the Presbyterian Church USA (and even that is questionable), the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is going pedal-to-the-metal in its efforts to drive away members. How does it do that? Chiefly through its incredible blind arrogance and belief that somehow people cannot exist without the church. In short, that it is, in the words of Saturday Night Live, “specccial.”
- Conveniently overlooks Bob Malm’s misconduct.
- Assigns blame for the problem in the victims of Bob’s misconduct.
- Demonstrates an utter lack of understanding of the dynamics of abuse, which is that victims often behave in ways that are not rational or helpful, up to and including things like alcoholism and suicide.
- Ignores the fact that Title IV applies only to clergy. As in, clergy are always responsible for maintaining boundaries, full stop. And, as illustrated by the +Bruno case, in which allegations swirled about the conduct of parishioners, clergy are supposed to be accountable for their conduct, regardless.
- The outrageous and appalling conclusion set forth in the most recent Title IV notice of dismissal that perjury by members of the clergy is acceptable as long as there is no criminal violation.
- The fact that the diocese has repeatedly ignored the requirement of a pastoral response in all Title IV cases, including those involving dismissal. (Indeed, mapping out a pastoral response should be one of the first things to happen when a complaint is filed. But I guarantee you that the diocese has done nothing in this regard. Indeed, a pastoral response should be implemented from the moment a complaint is filed.)
- The fact that the diocese itself has repeatedly breached confidentiality in this matter, including through its violation of the Title IV whistleblower provisions.