Regular readers of Anglican Watch know that the Diocese of Virginia under Shannon Johnston was a cesspool of dysfunction. Last week, however, we learned of yet another incident in which +Todd Ousley, bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development, ignored complaints that Johnston was covering up allegations of egregious sexual harassment by a priest in the diocese.
While the person who filed the complaint against Johnston does not wish to be named, we have investigated her claims and they are credible.
That begs the question: If Johnston won’t deal with sexual harassment, and the Office of the Presiding Bishop won’t, what recourse do victims of abuse have in the Episcopal Church?
It would appear the answer is none.
In the meantime, we note that the webpage for the Office of Pastoral Development appears to be trying to weasel-word its way around the problems it faces. Oddly, it leads with a blurb about residential program referrals, planned interventions, and mediation in the context of Title IV, while conveniently omitting the fact that Ousley is the intake officer for Title IV complaints against bishops. As a result, he has a canonical responsibility from the moment a complaint is made to provide a pastoral response to all who may be affected by misconduct—something he almost never does. As for his alleged mediation, we have yet to see a single incident in which this occurred. And he sure didn’t do anything to help the victim in this case.
In the meantime, Anglican Watch reiterates its previous position: Ousley needs to go. As in, we need a planned intervention in which Ousley gets his walking papers. And no supersized buyout, either.