Sunday, June 26, 2011

We want answers

Another report of a predator being sued for child abuse. Lest you think only the Roman Catholics have this happening - the latest one involves a man who was a known predator and yet was ordained an Episcopal priest by none other than our own Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori when she was bishop of Nevada. He told her he had abused at least one young person. But still he was allowed to go forward in the process. Every Episcopal priest knows that abusers never stop abuse - we are required to take abuse prevention courses. Bishops are responsible for seeing that all the clergy and leaders and anyone with contact with children take the prevention training. There is no "not knowing" that such a person cannot be put in a position of power like that of a priest.

I am stunned that of all people Katharine went ahead and ordained this man. It is time for the church to come clean on all the cases that are being stonewalled. The health of the church and justice for victims is at stake. We cannot hide behind a veil of secrets and attorneys. I have heard many stories of those who cannot get justice if things move beyond the diocesan level or need the national church to act (for instance in the case of bishops or cases that cross diocesan boundaries). Bishop Paul Marshall alludes to this issue in his comments at Episcopal Café. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is calling for action and truth telling.

Hopefully any who have suffered from the treatment by the Episcopal Church will come forward and know they are not alone. The Presiding Bishop and her staff need to speak -- the sooner the better - it can no longer be hidden.

For more read here and here with links to the press reports and Parry's full statement of all the abuse.


June Butler said...

Good words, Ann. They needed to be said.

June Butler said...

I don't cut the powers at 815 any slack at all when it comes to sexual abuse and cover-up.

I added another update with a link to your post.

Ann said...

Thanks Mimi

Lapinbizarre said...

Ordination would not have been involved as the Anglican Communion considers Roman orders valid.

Ann said...

regardless Lapin - he was accepted into TEC as a priest - still needs the background check and he confessed to abuse.

Clark said...

reprehensible. when will it ever stop?

JCF said...

When people at sites like Joe.My.God. bash ALL Christians as hypocritical pedophile-enablers, I always say "No, at TEC we're different."

This case STINKS.

And it's like a punch-in-the-gut.

If it reaches the top, it reaches the top. No excuses, no exceptions. The guilty have to Get Gone.

Answers, NOW!

Counterlight said...

It strikes me that despite all the psychological exams etc. how many dysfunctional people end up wearing collars.

If it comes out that our Presiding Bish received this man into the ministry knowing his background, even partially, then she should go.

GBullough said...

Some progressive Roman Catholics have been claiming that if we had female priests and bishops, we wouldn't have had the same sorts of problems. Clearly that isn't the solution. It would appear that ordained women are just as subject to clericalism and arrogance as men. Here's to Equality. We saw it when women (such as Carly Fiorina) started becoming CEO's. Now we see it with a female bishop. She should be prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of protecting kids, church members need to contact their local prosecutors and urge them to do an independent investigation into crimes committed within this church.
This is the only sure way to get this abuse stopped. Bishops, church officials, etc need to be held accountable for their crimes of cover up just like any other human being.

Let’s hope that if anyone, who suspects or has been harmed by anyone in this church, they will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, (not the church officials) expose wrongdoing, and protect kids.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"

JCF said...

Some progressive Roman Catholics have been claiming that if we had female priests and bishops, we wouldn't have had the same sorts of problems. Clearly that isn't the solution.

The solution to human sin, male and female? No.

The solution to a deformation of the priesthood, thwarting the Holy Spirit's call to the Imago-Dei-made-female? Yes, GB, it is.

Daniel Weir said...

Having read much of the reporting on this story, I have not found any mention of abuse that occurred after Parry was received. If there has been none, then the statement that abusers never stop may be inaccurate. I know of at least one case where, after investigation, there appeared only one incident of abuse. People do change. However, given the serious nature of Parry's record of abuse, the decision to receive him was a bad one.

Allie said...

In 1994 when I was in elementary school, a girl I went so school with, a seven year old whose brother was my age (10ish), was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted pedophile.

He had been in prison at least twice before for sexual assault of a minor (in 1975 and 1981 - the latter for which he only served 6 years). He had said he thought it would do it again.

He and two other convicted pedophiles moved in together in a suburban house in central New Jersey.

Imagine what it was like when our parents had to explain to us what happened to Megan.

IT said...

Speaking generally and not of this case, Is there no possibility of forgiveness or redemption? Ever?

Ann said...

Yes there is forgiveness and redemption but not being a priest again. Amends must be made - there needs to be some reparations for victims -amendment of life. But still -- no more being a priest. Actions have consequences.

Allie said...

Everyone has a right to a life, but not to be a teacher, a doctor, and certainly not a priest.

JCF said...

I'm less concerned about an abuser's being a priest, than having access to children as a parish priest.

NO ONE has a RIGHT to be around those under 18---not even if they're your own kids, much less someone else's!

I don't mind having a 1 Strike policy, when it comes to child abuse, re access to children.

[Kinda ironic I know, that this priest is alleged to have abused youth IN a monastery---one of the few places where I could posit being a priest w/ a child-abuse past might be OK! WTF was Rome thinking, in allowing children into a monastery w/o constant supervision by an outside guardian?]

Anonymous said...

Sure, he was a sexual predator.

But I'm guessing he was not assertive at all during The Process (which is a "discernment process," not a screening, meaning that one person on a committee can say, "Gee, I sense that God is saying this person is/is not called to be a TEC priest" without any kind of evidence or supporting argument of any kind. And this guy was a seminary-education White Guy with a(n Expired) Collar) at that!

Plus I'm guessing he said he was willing to work for free, I'm guessing, which is evidence of one or more of the following: a) he had no sense of boundaries or the worth of his work; b) he didn't have any chance of getting a real job; c) mostly what he was after was a source of prey, not pay; d) since he wasn't from a suspect class (a racial minority, an LGBT person, someone under the age of 60, someone who would ask hard questions in public, and so on), he was considered "called unless evidence whups us universally and undeniably that he isn't called."

Anonymous said...

We're not different at TEC. To think otherwise is self-delusion. That kind of denial leads congregations to rally around abusers and turn against victims. When that happens, everyone pays a price.
It takes courage to face our own shortcomings; it takes courage to admit our church and our leaders are profoundly flawed. Truth is hard work, but it's the first step to healing.
Bp K is still defending her decision, and the story is still gaining traction -- it was in HuffPo just before Thanksgiving.