Anglican Watch, the unofficial watchdog organization for the Episcopal Church, filed a Title IV clergy disciplinary complaint earlier this week against Alan Gates, Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts. The filing follows allegations that the Rev. Richard Losch, then serving a parish in Marblehead, MA, raped a boy at a Boy Scout camp in the mid-1970s.
Losch, who denies the allegations, is facing felony criminal charges in the matter. As a matter of law, Losch is innocent until found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
At the heart of the complaint is the allegation that Gates was contacted multiple times via email about the matter yet did nothing. Similarly, Starr Anderson, one of the intake officers for the diocese, was contacted by email but appears to have taken no action.
The complaint further notes that the diocese has made no effort to provide a pastoral response to the alleged victim. Moreover, the complaint further asserts that Gates and canon to the ordinary, the Rev. Canon William Clay Parnell, have improperly sandbagged other cases involving allegations of criminal conduct by clergy in the diocese, telling complainants to go to court if they want resolution.
The complaint comes at a time when Gates already has announced his pending retirement. Meanwhile, observers believe the diocese may be slow-walking a Title IV complaint against the rector of Church of the Advent, Boston, in order to allow the respondent to retire with a full pension — despite allegations that he sexually harassed an adult female connected with his previous parish, then lied about the matter to investigators.
Because the complaint includes Gates, Parnell, and the diocesan Title IV intake officers, it has been filed with both the diocese and the national intake officer for bishops.