Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary

Pro Publica Database of Credibly Accused Priests Added

Thanks to the generous efforts of non-profit investigative media organization Pro Publica, data on more that 6,000 Catholic priests has now been added to our online database. A few reflections: A data import of this sort is, especially now in the early phases, of necessity clunky. The category field of the existing database therefore has been used to… Read More »

Reflections on Spiritually Abusive Church Tenth Presbyterian

Ed: I recently asked Phil Snyder, who is being sued by his former church, Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, about an upcoming hearing in the matter. Below are his thoughts. My conclusion is that the church’s efforts to silence Phil via this lawsuit, as well as its apparent smear campaign, in which it claims that Phil is mentally ill… Read More »

Why Me? The Importance of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Training

For several years, I served as a diocesan sexual misconduct training and prevention facilitator. The experience was tremendously rewarding, and meeting people throughout the diocese a wonderful opportunity. That said, my sense was that even the most motivated cringed at the prospect of spending the better part of a Saturday in a classroom. And it wasn’t hard to… Read More »

Breaking News: Greg Kelley, Alleged Child Abuser Whose Conviction Was Overturned, Sends Threatening Emails to Fellow Blogger

If my experience with Episcopal priest Bob Malm has taught me anything, it’s the importance of maintaining free speech. That includes standing up for fellow bloggers. So, before we go any further, let me say this to Greg Kelley: I’m publishing about you too. If you want to make Amy “highly regret” anything, I guess you’ll need to… Read More »

Vt. Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown On Inclusion

Shannon MacVean-Brown, the newly elected bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, recently spoke to National Public Radio (NPR) about the challenges facing The Episcopal Church (TEC) particularly in a region where relatively few attend any church, and where TEC has a small footprint. Her comments on inclusion are noteworthy, particularly as they pertain to abuse. “If the… Read More »

Moving Forward to Address Clergy Misconduct

Years ago, activists within The Episcopal Church began clamoring for the development of programs to prevent and address sexual misconduct. The move came at a time when the church was struggling to find ways to include those who historically had been marginalized on the basis of gender, national origin, sexual orientation, and other criteria. Many among those groups… Read More »

Things I Think

The following excellent observations on abuse of power and church is courtesy of the Rev. Richard Newnham, His blog is here. 1. I talk a lot about how the “business model” has usurped the “family model” of church governance…the “congregation” has replaced “employees” and they have as much say about how the church is run as the average… Read More »

Long-Term Effects of Church Abuse

Reprinted with permission. Stephen Parsons, a retired Anglican priest, publishes Survivingchurch.org, a blog dedicated to church abuse of every sort. After church on Sunday I took part in two conversations over coffee which indirectly touched on the church abuse issue.  Neither mentioned in any way spiritual/sexual abuse, but each of them reminded me how much and for how… Read More »

Interim Ministry: A Vital Step Towards Congregational Health?

I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve often been no fan of interim ministries. Why? Because these interregnums are too often periods of turmoil and confusion, in which churches and their members are left to flounder, while giving and membership collapse. But when understood and done correctly, interim ministry is a vital step towards congregational health. Part of… Read More »