Anglican Watch

Bishop Holly Hollerith ignores calls to take child rape seriously

Bishop Holly Hollerith brushes off child rape victim

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

― Thomas Paine

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

On February 25, 2024, Anglican Watch covered Bishop Herman “Holly” Hollerith’s outrageous email, which he mistakenly sent to the wrong person. In his email, Hollerith states that contrary to the Title IV canons, which require clergy to report all clergy misconduct, Hollerith would not touch allegations of child rape, to use his words, with a 1000 ft. pole. Now, like far too many Episcopal bishops, Hollerith is putting the lie to notions of accountability and repentance and ignoring requests to take child sexual assault seriously and apologize for his horrific comments.

By way of background, shortly after Hollerith sent his email, we called him on his conduct.

Here’s what we said:

Bishop Hollerith:

I note that you recused yourself from the current Title IV cases involving Ousley and Curry. But don’t you think you owe “Jack” and other victims of abuse an apology? It would seem like the bare minimum for a purported Christian. Something about walking by on the other side of the road.

Your comments also underscore a key point about Title IV-you and other bishops treat Title IV as optional, to be deployed only when convenient. It’s that lack of integrity that has caused so many of us to walk away from a church that is increasingly corrupt, decreasingly relevant, and organizationally narcissistic.

Last I heard, addressing allegations of child sexual abuse were an urgent priority for the denomination – not one amenable to your 1000 ft pole policy.

As things stand, your comments are loathsome and despicable and reflect an utter lack of personal or professional integrity. I ask you to accept responsibility for your actions and the added hurt and trauma you have caused. This is not an issue where you can just shrug your shoulders, walk away, and treat it as water over the dam.

Eric Bonetti
Anglican Watch

What was the response?

You guessed it: Deafening silence.

In that regard, the critical point is that the denomination is organizationally narcissistic.

Jesus stood with the poor, the oppressed, the outcast, and those who suffered. He would have been outraged that anyone would hurt a child.

Hollerith, on the other hand, views himself as a good person. Yet he sees no issue with brushing off allegations of child rape, which is precisely the issue in “Jack’s” case.

How can someone be so oblivious and insensitive in the face of the suffering of others? The only feasible answer is that they are part of a narcissistic organization, which scholars Dennis Duchon and Brian Drake describe as:

Extreme narcissistic organizations are unable to behave ethically because they lack a moral identity. While such organizations are not necessarily unethical intentionally, they become self-obsessed and use a sense of entitlement, self-aggrandizement, denial, and rationalizations to justify anything they do. Extreme narcissistic organizations might develop formal ethics programs, but such programs will have little effect on behavior.

The paradigm Duchon and Drake describe is precisely what we see in Hollerith’s behavior. On the one hand, Hollerith touts his willingness to address abuse and has done so in emails to us.

On the other hand, something as outrageous and appalling as child rape, which should be enough to send even a hard-hearted person into fits of ire, isn’t worthy of Hollerith’s attention.


Apparently, the answer is that Hollerith is more concerned about the politics and optics of the situation, versus caring for those who are suffering.

Meanwhile, Title IV, which is basically the denomination’s ethics program for clergy, is a paper tiger. It’s a veritable extravaganza of words, people, and processes. But in real life it’s worthless, since dirtbags like Hollerith can simply apply his 1000 ft pole policy and ignore Title IV.

So, we’ll repeat our previous statement: Hollerith, along with much of the House of Bishops, is ethically bankrupt. Not problematic. Not corrupt. Bankrupt.

Any human being who, like Hollerith, can turn his back on the rape of a child is a world-class loser and utterly despicable. We cannot fathom any human being with a conscience who could ignore child sexual abuse. Nor is there any legitimate explanation for Hollerith’s inaction; we don’t want to hear any nonsense about how he’s busy, the ABC stores are out of his favorite liquor, his bunions are hurting, or any other excuse.

Not only is Hollerith morally obligated to act, but he’s now had multiple chances to do the right thing. He ignored the situation and continues to do so, so he can straight to hell, where he’s got skybox seats for the summer in the furnace rooms. Too bad we don’t believe in a literal hell.

As for Title IV, it’s about as useful as a three-legged bull on wet ice. Big, heavy, and going nowhere, fast.

Feel free to quote us.

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