Anglican Watch

Spotlight on Abuse: Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson

Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, hypocrite

With the nominations process gearing up to identify potential candidates for the next presiding bishop, there’s one person whose name may come up—but shouldn’t. That is Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, an assisting bishop for the Diocese of North Carolina. She previously was an assisting bishop in Virginia, where we had ample opportunity to see her in action.

So what’s the problem with Brooke-Davidson? Simply put, she’s two-faced and indifferent to abuse. Thus, by turning a blind eye, she becomes complicit and an abuser herself.

Specifically, she was copied numerous times on issues involving illegal conduct by Bob Malm, a priest canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Malm’s behavior includes facially perjurious statements made under oath that involve Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti.

To make matters worse, the Diocese of Virginia (DioVA) has, until recently, consistently ignored the provisions of the Title IV clergy disciplinary canons. (But let’s not count DioVA out just yet–the diocese has shown a remarkable ability when it comes to corruption.)

But when these issues were raised with Brooke-Davidson, she sat silent.

For the record, we get that assistant bishops have relatively little say in anything. But in Brooke-Davidson’s case, she had enough say to sit on the disciplinary committee that handled the ironically named Bishop Love case. 

Even more ironic is that the church’s complaint about Love revolved around his refusal to marry same-sex couples, which violated national church policy.

That begs the question: Why is it not okay for Love to violate national church policy when Brooke-Davidson and the other Virginia bishops busily ignore national church policy on clergy discipline? And what does that say about Brooke-Davidson’s integrity?

It’s also helpful to note that, as a former attorney, Brooke-Davidson is exceptionally well-equipped to understand the importance of complying with canon law. So she’s got no excuse.

And as standard in the Episcopal church, Brooke-Davidson is trying to ignore her past nonfeasance, hoping the issue will disappear. No sign of apology or repentance at all, and we’d be astonished if she ever did show that level of integrity.

So, before anyone gets any bright ideas about nominating Brooke-Davidson for a full-fledged bishop slot, or heaven help us, presiding bishop, it’s important to see her for what she is: A hypocrite full of pretty words and zero substance. She also has significant issues with integrity.

On a more significant level, one of the things that is killing the denomination is its hypocrisy. And folks like this knucklehead are the living examples that tell Episcopalians that hypocrisy is okay and just part and parcel of the gig.

Bottom line, Brooke-Davidson abuses her authority as bishop. Her sin involves not only those things done, but those things left undone. Thus, she might be okay making the rounds of episcopal visits, handling paperwork, and attending church meetings. But she lacks the integrity to address anything substantive and has damaged the church’s reputation.


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