Corrupt Episcopal bishop Alan Gates strikes again

By | February 4, 2023
Corrupt Episcopal Bishop Alan Gates

Editor: Earlier today, we heard back from Nancy Gossling, president of the hearing panel, who pointed us to the diocesan communications person. We have not heard back from her. Hopefully the hearing panel will redact names as needed, while promptly fulfilling the canonical requirements of posting all documents filed by or with the hearing panel. But then, this is DioMass.

When it comes to following church canons or instilling confidence in clergy disciplinary processes, Massachusetts bishop Alan Gates is a disaster on wheels. Indeed, in the past, Gates has brushed off criminal conduct by a priest on the basis that the matter will be settled in court. (Parents, beware. As things stand, we have no reason to believe Gates won’t take the same approach to issues like child sexual assault.) Same for Gates’ minion and canon to the ordinary, Bill Parnell, who is about as unethical as they come.

That said, something resulted in a cocklebur up the good bishop’s backside, and he’s got a Title IV case going against the Rev. Douglas Anderson, rector of Church of the Advent, in Boston.

True to form, the diocese has published notice of the upcoming hearing on its website. And while there is a discussion underway about redacting documents, most critical papers have not been published. Among the omissions is the diocese’s statement of alleged offenses.

That limited disclosure violates the intent of Title IV.13.3, which makes clear that disclosure should be broad:

The documents covered by this Section are all documents filed with or issued by the Hearing Panel or by any party or person including but not limited to motions, briefs, affidavits, opinions, objections, decisions, notices, challenges, and Orders. (emphasis added)

So why the absence of data? By releasing only bits and pieces, the public and church media are left to wonder what is involved. Is Anderson a child predator? A rapist? An embezzler?

In other words, we have the worst of all worlds.

Some will respond by saying, “Of course not. If that were the case, the bishop would have suspended Anderson.” * But that doesn’t logically follow. We already know that Gates ignores Title IV canons when it suits. Among those he has ignored:

  • Ignoring the provision that all matters complained of are assumed true for intake purposes.
  • Disregarding the obligation to provide a pastoral response every time a complaint is made to an intake officer.
  • Telling complainants to solve their matters in court.

And these omissions underscore a key point: Gates fails to understand that Title IV is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to discern the truth, to work towards health and wholeness, and to live into the baptismal covenant. It’s not an inconvenient side issue. And ignoring the requirements of Title IV does grave, often irreparable, harm to the church and all involved.

Anglican Watch has contacted the diocese for information, and we will continue to provide updates on the case. We also note that we are aware of several problem priests to come from the Church of the Advent; this appears to be a parish that attracts troubled personalities.

In the meantime, let’s hope that the diocese visits website to read about best practices for Title IV communication, including the recommendation that all documents be on diocesan letterhead. Nor does stiffing the media or failing to disclose the underlying issues help the church, victims of misconduct, or anyone else. We cannot be in right relationship with each other if we do not know the truth.

And let’s hope the hearing panel shows more integrity than we have seen thus far from Gates, Parnell, and Gayle Harris. None have demonstrated leadership or ethical conduct regarding clergy discipline—and integrity in any organization starts at the top.

* We are told that Anderson indeed has been suspended, but have been unable to independently verify this.

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What other “problem priests” have come from Church of the Advent?


Looks like he was only at Church of the Advent for 3 years, and it was his 3rd church posting after ordination, so I don’t know if it’s fair to say he “came from” that parish.


As an Anglo-Catholic I’m loath to admit it, but you’re right, that may be a contributing factor.

No Narcs Thank You

I knew the Malms well when they lived in the rectory. They like to portray their home life as idyllic, but I cannot tell you the number of times Lindsey went to hide out in nearby parishioners’ homes because her parents were in one of their legendary arguments.

Even worse, Bob has convinced Lindsey that it’s all because Leslie is evil. Any parent who would do that to a spouse and play the kids like that is bad news. And Lindsey self-medicates with food.

Speaking of kids, narcissists view their children as extensions of themselves. James has played the same sports, in the same years, etc., as Bob. Nowhere does anyone ask James what he wants to do. Even his name—James Robert Hiller Malm—speaks volumes.

And watch Bob when someone has a nicer car or something than he has. He gets very loud and hostile and attempts to intimidate the other person, versus just being happy for the other person.

What’s really sad is when narcissists get old. It’s a lonely time for them, and Bob had better hope that Leslie outlives him. Or he’s going to wind up like his dad — a lonely old hoarder who dies on the floor of his bathroom alone.

Such a sad, toxic, dysfunctional family. Hopefully Leslie gets out and gets help. I hope James turned out okay—he was a sweet kid when I knew him. Not sure about the girls—Lindsey is bad news.

Worst of all, Grace Church is damaged goods. People have no idea how dysfunctional the place is after Merrow and Malm. There are people who’ve been there for decades who just assume that’s how church should be—do something the altar guild doesn’t like, and you get shunned for the next year.

The place is not a church. It’s a mean girls sorority.


Since our fearless leader and editor likes to pull his punches, I am going to weigh in. 1) Malm is a crazy piece of shit, a lying piece of trailer park trash, and has no business being a priest. 2) Gates is a ballless wonder. Anyone who brushes off Malm’s conduct has no business being a priest or a bishop.

I know. Not very tactful. But their conduct enrages me.