In light of recent high-profile cases in which bishops have faced no consequences for violating church canons, more than three dozen Episcopal bishops have signed a letter calling for accountability for all bishops. The letter is being circulated for signature in advance of the upcoming meeting of the House of Bishops.
Anglican Watch endorses the letter and calls on all Episcopal bishops to sign it. And we are happy to see several friends have already signed, including Susan Snook, whom we greatly respect.
For far too long, Episcopal bishops have operated with zero accountabiluty. Indeed, Todd Ousley once told us directly during a telephone conversation that the presiding bishop does not have authority to discipline bishops. (yes, there was a witness.) That statement runs counter to the exact language of the canons and is BS. Simply put, it’s nothing more than an excuse to avoid taking action.
We agree with the signatory bishops that a review of church canons needs to happen. Among other things, bishops need to know they will face discipline for not following Title IV, for sandbagging Title IV complaints, ignoring complaints, and claiming that allegations of sexual harassment, child rape, or criminal conduct are “not of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church.”
We also note that there are a great many more bishops with serious ethical issues that are not referenced in other publications. These corrupt bishops include those who flagrantly ignore the provisions of Title IV and include:
- Glenda Curry (a signatory on the letter, Curry is ignoring multiple child abusers in her diocese.)
- Alan Gates.
- Shannon Johnston.
- Susan Goff.
- Todd Ousley.
- Chilton Knudsen.
- George Sumner, who personally retaliates against clergy who resist the sexual harassment of women. Todd Ousley’s office has been ignoring the case for months now.
- Michael Curry.
We have said it many times and we say it again: If the church is to survive, it must take the baptismal covenant seriously at every level. The notion that clergy can do whatever they want and keep their sinecures needs to end, and it needs to end now. There is no room for corruption in the Episcopal Church.
A copy of the letter is below.
As for bishops who choose not to sign, expect to be named in this publication.