Anglican Watch

Fundraiser: Help David Duggan with legal fees

David Duggan

Recently, Anglican Watch covered allegations that the Diocese of Chicago, acting under the guidance of assisting bishop Chilton Knudsen, abused the legal system by falsely claiming that church member David Duggan was a threat to the church. 

Today, we are writing with a seemingly improbable request: That readers consider helping Duggan with his legal fees. More on that in a moment, but for now, here is some background:

Duggan and Anglican Watch have profoundly different views on marriage equality and the ordination of LGBTQ+ seminarians. We are on the record as supporting both, and our editor is openly gay and happily married to his husband, Mike.

However, we also believe in something more substantial, which is inclusion. Real inclusion, not the sort that requires thinking like us, acting like us, or being us. God’s love is big enough to encompass all. And God can sort these issues out in time — last we heard, God neither needs nor wants Anglican Watch’s help on these matters.

Moreover, one of the significant problems with the Episcopal church is its tendency to jam itself into side-streets. No one cares what this tiny denomination, comprising mainly elderly persons on the East Coast, thinks about most issues. Reasonable people can and do disagree on many issues collateral to the Gospels, and that is okay.

But regardless of one’s faith perspective, or even if one is an atheist, abuse of the legal system is wrong. There was no reason for the Diocese to bring legal action against Duggan. Nor was there any justification that we can see for Chilton Knudsen to breach Duggan’s request for confidentiality, as set forth in his letter.

Nor is this a case of the Diocese today not knowing of the problem.

Indeed, Anglican Watch wrote to Chicago Bishop Paula Clark, asking her to use this Lent to resolve the matter.

Instead, in true Episcopal fashion, we met with deafening silence. We sense that the Diocese doesn’t know what to do, so it’s sitting on its hands.

That doesn’t cut it. We are against bullying and oppression of every sort. And we have firsthand experience with clergy who, like perjuring priest Bob Malm, exploit the differences in perceived power to abuse the legal system. And yes, we know that calling a priest a perjurer would be defamation per se were the claim false. Thus, we empathize with Duggan and want to do everything we can to assist.

So, Anglican Watch is taking a stand and asking persons of goodwill to assist Duggan with his legal fees. We are told that many who have done so have received a complimentary copy of Duggan’s award-winning devotional publication “Glimpses of Grace, Reflections of a Life in Christ.”

To help, please send checks in care of Duggan’s colleague, Mr. Leslie Blau:

Leslie A. Blau, PC,
Client Funds Account
566 W. Adams Street
Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 443-1600

And yes, some will not understand or agree with our position. But the church is, or should be, big enough for persons of many perspectives. And we cringe every time the Episcopal Church abuses its power via the legal system.

We conclude with the words of Elie Weisel, Holocaust survivor and advocate for the oppressed, who wrote, “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”

We are grateful for those with the courage to call the church to accountability, even when we disagree with them. And we reiterate our call to Bishop Paula Clark and the Diocese to step up to the plate, show integrity, and fix this situation.

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