[Allan Haley] Bishopsgate Plot Thickens: Complaint Timed to Intimidate Witness

Posted by The_Elves

Bishop Howe writes, in part:
I am at a complete loss to know how the filing of this brief could constitute an offense for which any of us could be charged!

At this point, formal “charges” have not been filed. A “complaint” has been submitted, but we have not been told who filed it.

My understanding is that Bishop Matthews (Director of the Office for Pastoral Development, and “Intake Officer” regarding this matter) could dismiss the complaint on his own reconnaissance - unless the Presiding Bishop were to direct otherwise....

Well, Bishop Howe -- and any others who may be wondering about both the timing and the substance of these complaints -- let me shed some further light on the matter for you.

It turns out that in the Diocese of Quincy litigation, each side was scheduled to file last Friday, June 29, a list of the witnesses, both lay and expert, whom they plan to call to the stand at the trial scheduled for next April.

What a curious coincidence, then, that on the day before the Anglican Diocese of Quincy had to file its statement (i.e., on June 28), one of the Bishops which they planned to list as an expert witness received an email from the Intake Officer, the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, that a complaint had been lodged against the Bishop for providing testimony earlier in that same case.


When it comes to Church property litigation, Bishop Buchanan and those attorneys all work directly for the Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Who just happens to be the "Diocesan Bishop" with authority to agree to dismiss the complaints filed against the Bishops.

Enough said. This whole affair reeks to high heaven.

Read it all [Update: Also available on Anglican Ink here]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

Posted July 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Is the intimidation of a witness who gave a deposition or who is to appear in a civil court to give testimony a crime?

July 3, 10:07 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:

Curmudgeon asks some very pertinent questions:

“What a curious coincidence, then, that on the day before the Anglican Diocese of Quincy had to file its statement (i.e., on June 28), one of the Bishops which they planned to list as an expert witness received an email from the Intake Officer, the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, that a complaint had been lodged against the Bishop for providing testimony earlier in that same case.

To drive the point home, the Intake Officer did not say in his email anything like “Of course, I find the acts alleged could never constitute an offense under the Canons, and will be recommending dismissal of the complaint.” No, instead, what he said was just the opposite: “In the next few weeks, I will institute disciplinary proceedings [under the new Title IV] ...”

The timing of the complaint, and the instant notification by email to the concerned Bishop, while hinting at several weeks delay in actually looking at the sufficiency of the charges, could not be a coincidence.

It has to have been a calculated effort to intimidate—not just this particular Bishop, but any of the nine Bishops who might be thinking of offering testimony on behalf of the Diocese of Quincy.

And now, your Curmudgeon comes to the most disturbing question: Who knew??”

A. S. Haley deals with the issue of bishops of TEC who obviously would have known, including +Buchanan and Presiding bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.

But he also mentions two attorneys (and one firm) who are most likely to have known the full implications of +Matthews’ actions:

As for attorneys, there is only one law firm which is involved in both cases. And there is one attorney in that law firm who also happens to be the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor. His name is David Booth Beers.

There is also only one attorney on the Presiding Bishop’s own staff who also could have known about all three items, and she used to work under Mr. Beers. Since then, she was hired by the Presiding Bishop as her “Special Assistant for Property Litigation”—i.e., the Quincy case, among others. Her name is Mary E. Kostel.

It would seem that Mr Beers and Ms Kostel each have some serious questions to answer.

July 3, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
3. c.r.seitz wrote:

Who, then, one might ask: actually filed the complaint? There is supposed to be a written record, etc, according to the letter of Title IV. Did the various alleged organisers of this simply alert someone locally and have them file a complaint—both in Quincy and in Texas? Or did they simply proceed without this due to the time urgency of a 28 June deadline? Or was the deadline a matter of information previously known to someone locally?

BTW, I am aware of the deadline as would be other expert witnesses for the Provisional Bishops’ side in this.

July 4, 2:33 am | [comment link]
4. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Good question, Dr. Seitz.  You are not alone in wondering who filed the complaint from the diocese of Forth Worth. Don’t you just luv the transparency of TEC! [Yes that last remark is sarcastic.]

July 4, 8:37 am | [comment link]
5. Jill Woodliff wrote:

I’ve been an Episcopalian over three decades.  I never once heard a complaint about the old Title IV disciplinary process.  One now can’t help but wonder if part of the rationale for the new Title IV legislation was to aid and abet the property litigation.  Are we the bride of Christ or the bride of Goodwin Procter?

July 4, 8:54 am | [comment link]
6. David Keller wrote:

#5’ While there remain pockets of Christianity in TEC, essentially the heirarchy, General Convention and Executive Coucil, along with the vast majority of clergy and laity are no longer Christians in any orthodox sense. Jesus has become a good man who wants us to be nice to each other, one of many co-equal prophets or philosophers who can show us A way to God. So the answer to your question is “not the bride of Christ.” The rub is TEC doesn’t want the orthodox to stay, but they won’t let them go. That sounds downright pharoesque.

July 4, 10:33 am | [comment link]
7. Cennydd13 wrote:

1.  AnglicanFirst, it has been my experience as a juror that the answer to your question is that intimidation of a witness is a Federal crime punishable by a prison sentence.

July 4, 11:47 am | [comment link]
8. SC blu cat lady wrote:

#3 and all, You know the question that keeps coming to mind is- WHY? Why would any group of people write up and send in a complaint against these clergy ????  I understand that the complainants in the Forth Worth case are most likely to be disappointed, bitter,etc but to resort to this when the law suit is not over yet seems premature to me.  I wonder if there was some *encouragement* from outside Fort Worth. We will never know until the time comes when someone who knows what has happened in this complaint and others like it decides to come forward and explain. Will it happen? I certainly hope so.

July 4, 8:30 pm | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

Blu Cat Lady, good questions. If you or others have contacts in the Church of England, let them know about this. 

Too many in CofE have no real comprehension of what the liberals have done in TEC since they took over.  The more in CofE that become aware, the more that you are likely to have public comment and condemnation made about them.  While extremists like Katherine Schori probably do not care about “respectability” within the Communion, there are other liberals in TEC who do.  It all helps to increase the pressure.

July 4, 11:03 pm | [comment link]
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