Sven vanBaars, rector of the Episcopal parish in Abingdon Va. and a Title IV intake officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, has again been elected as a delegate to general convention. This occurred despite strenuous opposition from abuse survivors, who object to vanBaars’ refusal to follow church disciplinary canons in his role as an intake officer.
Additionally, in the case of the Rev. Tom Simmons, openly adulterous rector of St. Pete’s parish in Purcellville, Va., vanBaars, acting with the approval of bishop Susan Goff, responded to complaints about Simmon’s conduct by offering the priest counseling, while ignoring the complainant and his family.
Anglican Watch continues to oppose vanBaars and believes that adultery should be grounds for removal from ministry. Moreover, we maintain that his disrespect for church canons engenders disrespect for the church as a whole, and for the episcopacy as well.
Tellingly, the diocese has defrocked other priests for adulterous conduct.