One surefire sign of a toxic parish—which usually means a toxic priest too—is when church members don’t see the need to tell the truth. And so it is with St. Paul’s Dayton, where we just nuked comments from a “Jasper,” posting under the email address “email@example.com.”
So, let’s clarify a couple of points:
- Unless our buddy “Jasper” is Dan McClain, parishioners do not know what is included in a Title IV complaint. Thus, any discussion predicated on alleged knowledge of what was in a previous complaint is bullcrap and a lie.
- As for “Jasper’s” discussion of how the previous complaint was handled, that information also is a lie. Whether McClain, one of his flying monkeys or “Jasper” is the source of this lie, we do not know.
For the record, lying is wrong, except for a lie told to save a life or under duress. Lying is never acceptable in order to try to get the upper hand in a church dispute.
Even more telling is what we’re not seeing or hearing, which is any concern for others hurt by McClain. And for the record, we have listened to numerous persons not part of McClain’s family, all of whom say they are afraid of him.
Instead, we see a dog whistle from the parish in the form of “compassion, love and respect” rhetoric, which is thinly veiled church-speak for “circle the wagons, and attack the enemy.”
Let us be the first to say it: St. Paul’s Dayton is toxic. And the Holy Spirit has no use for lies, toxic manipulation, or people who can’t be bothered to learn the facts.
Finally, we note that these issues touch on the welfare of children, both in McClain’s family and within the parish. The cavalier attitude coming from the parish is appalling and disgraceful, as are the gossip, innuendo, and speculation about the mental health of others.
In short, St. Paul’s talks a good game, but there is nothing even remotely Christian about the place. And next time folks in the parish feel like getting all puffed up about their faith, be sure to ask us about parents in the church who have to rely on the food pantry to get by. This, in one of the most affluent suburbs of the city.