Bishop Todd Ousley, the Title IV intake officer for bishops in the Episcopal church, has bitten the dust. That’s the word on the street as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s office begins the search for a new Title IV intake officer for bishops. The job posting is here.
For years, we have reported on Ousley’s corruption. That includes:
- Refusing to address situations in which bishops diocesan either refuse to hear Title IV cases, or simply issue a pretextual notice of dismissal without more. In those cases, Ousley routinely states that these “issues remain a diocesan matter.” That conveniently ignores the underlying circular reasoning, which is that the very reason the complainant has contacted the Office of Presiding Bishop is that they are not getting the care they need at the diocesan level.
- Ignoring the plain requirement of a pastoral response to all affected in every case in which a Title IV complaint is filed.
- Ignoring the notice requirements of Title IV, including providing notice of dismissal and right of appeal.
- Routinely finding excuses to side with bishops, regardless of the veracity of the complaint, who is hurt by the dismissal, or whether the claim is indeed a Title IV offense.
- Failing to honor commitments made to complainants.
Indeed, in several cases Anglican Watch is following, Ousley is covering up and ignoring child sexual abuse complaints that were shrugged off at the diocesan level. This is unacceptable, profoundly unethical, and may result in civil or criminal liability. And we are more than willing to testify and provide documentation in any criminal or civil complaint filed against Ousley.
Simply put, there are no circumstances under which it is acceptable to ignore child sexual abuse. None. And Ousley needs to be held personally responsible for these failures.
We also are reminded of the debacle involving Whayne Hougland, in which Ousley looted church coffers to provide Hougland with a golden parachute, while ignoring the needs of those hurt by Hougland’s behavior. In short, Ousley added insult to injury, then had the chutzpah to claim that this was a shining example of Title IV at its finest. If that is Title IV — or TEC — at its finest, all we can say is, “No thanks, you can keep it.”
Our hope is that whoever takes over will have the integrity to go back through complaints previously filed with Ousley and provide pastoral care and a meaningful response whenever possible. And we hope that, when a bishop diocesan refuses to comply with the provisions of Title IV, the presiding bishop’s office will act with integrity and treat the failure to comply as a Title IV violation—which, per Title IV, it is.
Church members and the hierarchy also must recognize that much of the damage Ousley has caused is irreparable. And while we’re glad Ousley no longer has Title IV responsibilities, the change is too little, too late. These issues should have been addressed years ago, even before Ousley came on the scene.
As things stand, Ousley is the poster child for corruption in the Episcopal church and has caused profound harm to thc church and its members. And our only further advice to Todd Ousley is, “Don’t let the door hit you. And while you’re at it. look up the meaning of the word ‘introspection.’”
As for the presiding bishop, Michael Curry, perhaps we are starting to see him taking integrity issues seriously. We hope so.
Indeed, there’s only one downside to the news, which is that Ousley remains in his other roles, including as head of the Office of Pastoral Development.
But leadership is first and foremost by example, and Ousley is unqualified to serve as a school crossing guard, let alone bishop, given his ethical lapses. Not to mention he is not qualified to train incoming bishops, given his fabrications about the authority of the Office of Presiding Bishop (PB) — including his falsehood that the PB cannot tell bishops what to do. That is at express variance with the language of Title IV, and Ousley either doesn’t know what Title IV says, or doesn’t care. Thus, he is either incompetent or indifferent, or all of the above. His presence reflects badly on the church at every level.
Again, Todd Ousley’s tenure has been a debacle for the denomination. And we’re prepared to bet that Ousley will never take responsibility for his conduct or do anything to make it right.