Anglican Watch

DioNY brushes off allegations of racism at Trinity Wall Street

Trinity Wall Street

Earlier, we covered allegations of racism by multiple persons at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), including a student and a former instructor. The instructor, a minority, had requested nominal downtime following the challenges of the pandemic and to deal with the trauma of the continuing microaggressions minorities typically experience in the church. As a result of her request, she was fired; she responded by filing a Title IV clergy disciplinary complaint against Trinity Wall Street, which now owns CDSP. Title IV complaints also were filed in California, where CDSO is located.

Not surprisingly, the Diocese of New York (DioNY) wasted no time in brushing off her complaints about structural racism, even as it was busy confessing — and granting itself absolution — over its past role in slavery. Nice. 

And while in 100 years, the tiny vestiges of TEC, including Trinity Wall Street — may be similarly doing a Episco-pology, liturgy and all, don’t expect meaningful action in this lifetime on structural racism.

Speaking of Title IV, we have not heard specifics, but we’re prepared to bet that DioNY ignores the Title IV requirement of a pastoral response, which often is where issues get resolved behind the scenes. 

A pastoral response also is mandated by church canons:

Pastoral Response is a vital component of Title IV. It is one of the first priorities to accompany all phases of the process for all participants. The canonical requirement for Pastoral Response is one of the important differences between past disciplinary processes and Title IV. Title IV.8 details a structured response and the goals to promote “healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life and reconciliation among all involved or affected.”

It is the Bishop’s responsibility to provide for the appropriate Pastoral Response. Often the Intake Officer facilitates implementation of the Pastoral Response, coordinating with the bishop and Advisors to those involved. In this section, church leaders and other experts emphasize that best practices mandate Pastoral Response be given not only during the process but after the Title IV proceeding ends. Additionally, all agree that the time to plan and train for proper Pastoral Response does not start with a Title IV proceeding, but rather long before a Title IV complaint is filed in a diocese. Most of the experts recommended a team approach for Pastoral Response. It’s important that the diocese be sensitive to the needs of individuals and provide Pastoral Response accordingly.”

Indeed, if anyone is taking bets on whether there is a pastoral response, Anglican Watch is in. Bets start at $100.

Speaking of, Anglican Watch is not alone in recognizing that, for a denomination that claims to be inclusive, TEC is profoundly exclusive, with two individuals controlling virtually every aspect of church governance. 

Learn more in this insightful piece by a canon law professor and delegate to General Convention. Moreover, General Convention is one of the largest parliaments in the world.

What a sordid mess.


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