Some time ago, we received the email above, allegedly from Virginia Bartlett, a former member of St. Paul’s Montvale. The email itself illustrates why all involved should participate in the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center initiative.
Several clarifications are in order:
- Emailing a priest whom one has never met does not create any presumption of privilege. Bartlett herself states she has never met Pastor Jill.
- We are not sure what “pastoral privilege” is. Perhaps Bartlett refers to the clergy-pentitent privilege. In case of the latter, the term refers to discovery in legal matters. There is no litigation under way, nor has Bartlett made a confession.
- Any legal privilege that might otherwise exist was waived when Bartlett made malicious, untruthful statements.
- Bartlett’s reference to being pro-inclusion is a red herring, as is the case with her accompanying narrative. At issue are:
- Bartlett’s manipulative behavior.
- Her fabrications about being told to shut up.
- Her unfair claim about not feeling safe.
- Moreover, no one seeks inclusion when confronted with dishonest, manipulative behavior such as this. As one Anglican Watch reporter puts it, if this is the church, no thanks, you can keep it.
- By her own statement, Bartlett is neither a member of St. Paul’s, nor of any Episcopal church. Recall that she stated in her original correspondence that she is no longer Anglican. Moreover, her name has not even appeared in the St. Paul’s directory for several years.
- For the reasons stated above, Bartlett indeed has taken sides in the matter. Further, she appears to be trying to manipulate her way out of the situation.
Anglican Watch does not accede to this sort of manipulative behavior. We will continue to call a spade a spade. We decline Bartlett’s request to remove her dishonest and deceitful email.