Sources close to the matter tell Anglican Watch that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his ethically bankrupt Bishop for Pastoral Development, Todd Ousley, continue to largely ignore the Title IV complaint filed against Dallas Bishop George Sumner. The complaint involves documented retaliation for opposing sexual harassment connected with St. James Church in Texarkana, Arkansas. Ousley is a direct report to the presiding bishop.
While there has been some behind-the-scenes activity, we are told Ousley still has not even bothered to contact the victim, Rich Daly, who was fired in retaliation for his opposition to the conduct in question. That is in express violation of the Episcopal clergy disciplinary canon, Title IV, which makes a pastoral response one of the first and most essential components of a Title IV case. That pastoral response needs to include all affected parties, including the victim, the parish, and more. The lack of a pastoral response reflects a lack of respect for St. James, the victim, and women in general.
Also, Ousley’s conduct is consistent with his role in the Bishop Hougland disciplinary case, in which the latter was rewarded for his extramarital affair with a golden parachute. At the same time, the injured Michigan dioceses were largely ignored until it came time to foot the bill.
Nice going, Todd. And as a supervisor and presiding bishop. Curry is equally guilty.
And Ousley dared to cite the case as a shining example of Title IV at its best.
So, Anglican Watch is calling BS on Michael Curry. If he believed in the Way of Love, he’d act to protect women from sexual harassment. And he’d have the spine to protect priests who speak out, as required by Title IV, which guards whistleblowers like Rich Daly.
Further, Curry needs to be a leader and a manager. That starts with telling Ousley to lead by example and follow the canons. So far, Curry is proving to be a spineless wonder and a big part of why the Episcopal church is dying. And as an African American, Curry should be particularly sensitive to the cost of standing up and doing right.
In fact, to quote Curry when he gave Stacy Sauls and other dregs of life at church headquarters the heave-ho:
Our task as staff is to serve The Episcopal Church in such a way that it can serve the world in the Name and in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. We are therefore all called to strive for and adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct embodying the love of God and reflecting the teachings and the way of Jesus.
And if Curry doesn’t have the spine to fire Ousley, the first order of business for the next PB must be overturning tables and chasing the moneychangers out of the temple.
The first to hit the bricks must be Todd Ousley. Nor does Ousley warrant a golden parachute. We’re thinking something more like a quick kick in the backside, followed by retirement. Ousley has the Reverse Midas Touch, and everything he touches turns to caca.
And while we are cleaning house, Ousley can take Bishop George Sumner and David J.A. Halt, rector of St. James Texarkana, with him. Any priest or bishop willing to tolerate sexual harassment, then lie and try to cover it up, is clergy in name only.
As to members of St. James and the Dallas standing committee, Anglican Watch is here to tell you Rich Daly did not retire. The longer you persist in this lie, the more damage you do to your parishes, the diocese, and the Episcopal Church. We have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and even less patience for liars who cover it up. No one wants to be part of a church where sexual harassment is okay.
It is time to come clean, make restitution, and be transparent. If you can’t or won’t do those things, it is time to tender your resignation.
And if the those mentioned above won’t do any of the above, Anglican Watch has this to say to plaintiffs’ attorneys: Call us. We will gladly assist with an EEOC case, a local court trial, or an action in federal district court suit.
And for victims who may be afraid to come forward or retain legal counsel, this is the sort of case that attorneys take on a contingency fee basis. So please do not hesitate to stand up for yourself and other women.
Lastly, to our friends at Church Insurance, who pay for defense counsel without regard to the underlying ethics or merits of the case, we are happy to testify about your conduct. Perhaps the best time for that testimony would be when the jury considers punitive damages.