A S Haley—“A Call to the Light”: The Case for Inhibiting the Presiding Bishop

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Let me be perfectly clear: the two situations are not precisely parallel, because the sexual abuse of young men went on under the noses of the responsible officials at Penn State University, who studiously ignored bringing the abuser to account, or reporting him to the police. In contrast, and at least as far as we now know, Father Bede Parry did not commit any sexual abuse of minors under the nose of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

But there -- with one big exception, as I note below -- the dissimilarities between the two cases end. For it is now undisputed that Bishop Jefferts Schori learned early on, from Bede Parry's own former Abbot, that he was a multiple-count abuser who could not continue to function as a Catholic priest (or monk) because he had "a proclivity to reoffend with minors." And she learned of this fact before she decided to receive him into her Diocese as an Episcopal priest.

Therein lies the chief similarity between the two cases: Both the officials at Penn State University and at the Diocese of Nevada (including its Standing Committee at the time, and its Commission on Ministry, as well as its Bishop) made an apparent decision to ignore the offender's history, and to place (or leave) him in a position where he would be free to continue his abuses, if he was so inclined (notwithstanding supposed "restrictions" on his ministry, which were soon forgotten altogether).

The chief dissimilarity between the two cases, however, lies in seeing how the two institutions reacted to the news of this decision to hire (or to retain) a self-convicted pederast, once the news of that decision became public.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesSexuality* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

10 Comments Posted November 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

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