Anglican Watch

Nate Luong case underscores need for comprehensive national database of clergy misconduct

Nate Luong

We recently covered the shocking allegations of child sexual abuse involving former ELCA pastor Nate Luong. While we won’t rehash the specifics, his final two positions as an ELCA pastor illustrate why there is a need for a comprehensive database of allegations involving Episcopal clergy.

In both positions, Luong stayed for a brief period. One went 13 months. The second, more recent position only went for a few weeks before Luong resigned, apparently due to allegations about his sexual misconduct.

We don’t know why the previous position only went for 13 months, although it looks suspicious. Even junior clergy typically stay 2-3 years before they transition. And indeed, Loung’s last gig is questionable, even without the allegations.

Thus, a national database would allow judicatories to spot possible warning signs, including rapid job changes. But as previously proposed and rejected, any such Episcopal database would only include significant offenses. Thus, issues like these would endlessly churn along behind the scenes.

Anglican Watch hopes the next General Convention will adopt a comprehensive database. That’s particularly the case when, as here, the new Title IV intake officer, the Rev. Barb Kempf, appears to be off to a faltering start, ignoring the various complaints now on her desk.

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