A lawsuit underway in Mobile, AL, seemingly illustrates the Episcopal Church’s propensity for mishandling conflict.
In a legal complaint filed in state court in August, former St. Luke’s Episcopal lower school headmaster Dr. Darren Pascavage alleges the school’s board of trustees fired him without cause after he complained repeatedly about mold and structural issues in the buildings and a non-working fire alarm system.
The lawsuit appears to be moving towards a significant showdown following the removal of the case to the federal courts. A review of the pleadings indicates that the court struck Pascavage’s initial complaint as an impermissible “shotgun” pleading or overly broad recitation of random allegations.
Unfortunately, if St. Luke’s is faithful to form, the school’s approach will be similar to the Catholic church’s approach 20 years ago–lie, deny, obfuscate, and throw money at defense counsel.
As a result of the disparate resources available to the parties, St. Luke’s may win the case, regardless of the merits. But when that happens, the result often is a case of the Episcopal Church winning the battle while losing the war, as people see that integrity plays no role in the church’s decision-making process.
Therefore, while Anglican Watch expresses no opinion on the case’s merits, we call on all sides to seek a mediated, just outcome for all parties.
As things stand, the nuclear option is unlikely to produce any winners in this conflict.