Well-placed sources today provided further details about Greg Lisby, a former Episcopal priest convicted in a child pornagraphy case. Specifically, then bishop of the diocese of Newark Mark M. Beckwith ignored repeated complaints from an individual at General Theological Seminary (GTS) about Lisby allegedly bullying them over that person’s gender identity. These should have served as warning signs that Lisby had boundary issues and was not a suitable candidate for priesthood.
To protect the victim, we cannot name that person. But we believe Beckwith repeatedly ignored pleas for help and that the victim now has PTSD.
These issues underscore a key reason clergy discipline in the Episcopal Church is a failure: It ignores warning signs. Judicatories only pay attention when someone gets seriously hurt, and only if it involves sex.
Also, Beckwith’s handling of this situation underscores the fact that the church talks a good game about inclusion, but the reality often is far different.
Anglican Watch condemns both Beckwith and GTS officials involved in the matter.