Have you ever had a moment of profound cognitive dissonance? Where you look around and think, “What the heck just happened?
We just had one of those moments in the Daniel McClain Title IV case.
Fortunately, the Diocese of Southern Ohio has suspended McClain. But, unless there is a pastoral directive lurking out there that we have not spotted, there is a huge problem afoot: McClain is free to talk with the congregation.
In fairness to the Diocese, these days about all that’s left of St. Paul’s are Dan’s flying monkeys, sycophants and enablers. Everyone else is long gone, so in many ways it’s hard to imagine any new topics of conversation.
But our research leads us to conclude that Dan lies. A lot. Even to his attorneys.
So by allowing Dan to communicate with parishioners, the diocese is setting itself and the parish up for a tsunami of conflict and trauma, all stirred up by Dan and potentially based on a flood of his tawdry fabrications.
We also remind the diocese that one of the first and highest priorities is a pastoral response for all involved. A pastoral response is not the same as pastoral care, but the latter may be part of the larger effort.
We also encourage the relevant judicatories to read Robin Hammeal-Urban’s excellent book “Wholeness After Betrayal: Restoring Trust in the Wake of Misconduct.” It’s an excellent read, insightfully written, and done with compassion. Particularly valuable is the discussion of the Christian mandate to disclose on multiple levels.
As for Dan, he is prohibited by the Diocese from holding himself forth as Episcopal clergy.
We have our doubts as to both his ability and his willingness to comply, and so extend this warning to him: We are watching you. If you play games, we will find out, and we will publish. No telling folks your case is fast drawing to a close. No telling people that “it’s just an investigation.” No fabrications. No poor-little-me antics. No pulling in your clergy friends for flying monkey attacks. And no declarations of divine fiat during Lent—there’s nothing even remotely divine about you.
Again, we are watching. And we have eyes all over the place, so don’t try it.