Spotlight on corruption: DioMass intake officers Starr Anderson and the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas

Corrupt intake officers Intake officers: the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas and Starr Anderson

Abuse in a church setting has been described as soul murder, for it destroys or seriously injures the divine light inside each of us. But bad as church abuse is, there is something worse. That something is church intake officers who refuse to follow church canons that address abuse and otherwise engage in corruption.

And so it is with Starr Anderson and the Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas.

Both are known to have brushed off allegations of clergy misconduct that doesn’t involve sexual misconduct, including allegations of felonious conduct by clergy. In several instances, they haven’t bothered to interview the complainant.

Even worse, they refuse to provide the pastoral response mandated by Title IV. Thus, they ignore the whole concept of Title IV as a discernment and healing process.

When asked about these issues, one of the two responded by saying she was following orders, presumably from the diocesan chancellor or corrupt Canon to the Ordinary, Bill Parnell. But that reasoning went out with the Nuremberg trials, violates ordination vows, and abrogates the notion of personal responsibility. It also makes both complicit in the underlying misconduct.

Anglican Watch reminds both that the role of intake officer involves only two things under Title IV:

  1. Assuming the matter complained of is true, would it be a violation of the canons?
  2. If so, is it a material violation?

Intake officers have no investigatory powers except to understand the matter complained about. They have no authority to ascertain whether something actually happened, assess the complainant’s veracity or motivation, or take any action except as specified in Title IV, including drafting the initial report.

When Anderson and Keith-Lucas take it upon themselves to violate church canons, they:

  1. Damage their reputations.
  2. Impair the church’s reputation.
  3. Demonstrate that the church wallows in structural sin.
  4. Discourage abuse victims from coming forward.
  5. Cause, in the words of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, “often irreparable damage to the reputations of all involved.”
  6. Take on the role of the January 6 insurrectionists, who decided they didn’t have to follow the rule of law because they had particular knowledge, had instructions from the president, etc.

We also note that, as bishop, Alan Gates has a canonical mandate to follow the canons and ensure the intake officers do as well. Thus, Gates is every bit as corrupt as these two unethical dirtbags.

Given the corruption both have displayed, they should resign as intake officers. Nor does the Sleeping Beauty defense cut it-if they are going to sign up for the gig, they are accountable for doing it right and following the canons. Winging it is a travesty of disrespect to those with the courage to come forward. It also demonstrates zero trauma awareness.

As for Keith-Lucas, Title IV reminds us that, by her vows, she has agreed to a higher standard of conduct. Thus, she should resign from holy orders.

Ironically, Keith-Lucas works at the MIT Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life. In a recent article, she bloviates about the importance of curiosity, but her interest in the world around her does not appear to extend to learning about and honoring church canons.

Similarly, Anderson should withdraw from all leadership positions in the diocese. What good is she if she doesn’t have the integrity to follow the Title IV canons?

Will they do so? Of course not. Neither has integrity, underscoring that they are unsuited to be intake officers.

We will be covering additional corrupt intake officers in future posts, but we’ll conclude with the words of one member of the Diocese: “Between the two of them, they are about as useful as a three-legged bull on wet ice.”

The Episcopal Church faces a grim future with diocesan officials like these two. Hopefully, future leaders will treat these two as benchwarmers until they grasp organizational and personal integrity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version