We’re now just a few days away from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s annual convention, which is being held Nov. 17-19 in Arlington Va. One of the candidates on the slate for a seat at General Convention is Sven vanBaars, the spectacularly unethical and inept rector of Abingdon parish.
Anglican Watch recommends a no vote on his candidacy.
It is clear that vanBaars aspires to great things, including having run for at least one bishop position of which we are aware.
But vanBaars’ incompetence and lack of integrity are problematic:
- He previously served both as a Title IV intake officer and delegate to General Convention. Yet it does not appear he has done anything to ensure that the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia come into compliance with national safe church policies. If he and other members of past delegations can’t be bothered to obey votes of General Convention, they have no business returning in that role. Nor should he be a Title IV intake officer.
- vanBaars’ has misused his role as an intake officer. Under the Title IV canon, the intake officer asks two questions, no more, no less. S/he then prepares a report. The two questions are:
- If the matter complained of is true, would it be a violation of Title IV?
- If so, is it a material violation of Title IV?
- In the case of Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti, vanBaars claimed he could not conclude on the basis of the evidence in front of him whether Fr. Robert Malm had committed perjury. But that is not his job. His job solely is to act according to the canons. Thus, his misused his office to sandbag a case he didn’t want to deal with, and did so with the corrupt aid of Susan Goff and J.P. Causey.
- In the case of adulterous priest Dr. Tom Simmons, vanBaars colluded with Bishop Susan Goff to avoid providing the pastoral response to the victim, Tom K., as required by church canons. This lack of respect or concern for victims is appalling and unacceptable.
vanBaars has no business being a priest, let alone serving in any larger role,. Feel free to quote us.