Anglican Watch

Update on Daniel McClain litigation

Episcopal priest Daniel McClain

There’ve been a few developments in the divorce litigation involving Daniel McClain, rector of St. Paul’s, Dayton. These developments include:

  • Daniel’s wife, Kate McClain, has obtained new legal counsel in the case. Kate is now represented by Trisha M. Duff of Bieser, Greer & Landis, LLPAnglican Watch staff knows of Duff and is impressed by her qualifications.
  • Duff has entered an appearance in the case and motioned the court to reschedule the upcoming omnibus hearing, initially set for September 29. Defense counsel does not agree to the request.
  • Sources in Dayton report that Daniel is attorney shopping.
  • We’ve uncovered multiple allegations that McClain drinks before driving his children. While we have nothing against alcohol consumption, drinking, driving, and children strike us as a bad combination. That’s especially true when it comes to drinking midday.
  • Anglican Watch continues to pull in reports of Daniel McClain’s alleged girlfriend. We remain deeply concerned by this behavior and its potential effect on the children, the parish, and Daniel’s reputation. As we have previously said, McClain’s focus needs to be on honoring his existing marriage vows and providing stability for his children. Having a girlfriend is profoundly contrary to those goals. And if Daniel has enough money to have a girlfried, then he shouldn’t need to argue for a reduction in spousal or child support. He has made vows regarding his marriage, and those need to be the priority.
  • We believe Daniel violated the existing protective order on at least one occaision, including remaining within 500 feet of his wife AFTER he had actual knowledge of her presence. And while Daniel apparently tries to excuse his behavior on the basis that the police were with him, no one, including his wife or the police, can authorize Daniel to violate the existing protective order. Only the court can do so and it has not done so. NEWSFLASH: Clergy are required to obey the law.
  • Daniel’s playing fast and loose with the Dayton courts warrants making the protective order permanent and, in our view, should result in Kate having custody of the children.
  • As stated earlier, we also have evidence of questionable veracity on Daniel’s part, including indications that he was dating the other woman even as he claimed to be pursuing conciliation with his wife. Thus, we question the accuracy of the information he has provided to the domestic relations court and call upon him to be truthful in his pleadings. Moreover, if McClain indeed is playing games with the court and his divorce, this bolsters the conclusion that he should not have custody of the children.
  • Anglican Watch believes that the St. Paul’s vestry, Daniel’s flying monkeys, and his academic buddies know that Daniel is dating another woman while still married to his current wife. We find this shocking and appalling in light of the denomination’s claim that clergy are held to a higher standard by virtue of their ordination oath.
  • We remain deeply concerned that, even as Daniel’s “broham” and flying monkeys claim he is a doting father, he is looking for excuses to avoid paying spousal and child support. How this comports with Christian behavior escapes us, but we’d welcome an explanation.
  • We continue to pull in allegations from former parishioners and others who describe Daniel as frightening, profoundly manipulative, and “oily and ingratiating.” Moreover, we have heard from other Episcopal clergy who find Daniel disturbing and unsettling.
  • Multiple sources tell us they view McClain as troubled and disturbing and as someone who often lies to discredit those he perceives as enemies. This view may be supported by Joseph Dionsyiovich’s fabrication that a reference panel previously found Daniel innocent of all charges in the earlier Title IV case. No such thing happened, and a reference panel has no authority to make such a decision. Thus, if the genesis of this lie was with Daniel McClain, Dionsyiovich and the other flying monkeys in Daniel’s employ need to ask themselves some tough questions. Similarly, the nonsense coming from the senior warden about how an investigation must occur any time a Title IV complaint is filed is a fabrication that may come from Daniel. 
  • We find allegations that Daniel has performed multiple exorcisms to be profoundly troubling. In addition to raising questions about the accuracy of Daniel’s perceptions, we note that a bishop must approve exorcism in advance. We have yet to meet a bishop who has ever endorsed such rituals.
  • Anglican Watch finds allegations that Daniel has threatened to sue his bishop troubling. Church canons are clear that clergy may not seek redress of church matters in the courts. Thus, if these allegations are accurate, we recommend that a Title IV tribunal defrock Daniel. 
  • We have evidence that Daniel routinely refuses to take responsibility for his actions, instead preferring to discredit critics by lying. If this is the case, Daniel may have an antisocial personality disorder.
  • Multiple sources tell us that Daniel is very concerned about his reputation, which suggests he may be a narcissist.

We also believe the parish is in a tough spot in light of the lies from the vestry and other so-called leaders. Either these lies originally came from Daniel, in which case the vestry must publicly repudiate them and ask Daniel to resign. Or they come from vestry members, in which case the vestry members responsible need to retract their lies and resign. 

As for the gossip and allegations within the parish about Kate McClain’s mental health, these conversations are spectacularly inappropriate and un-Christian. Nor is there any excuse for Daniel McClain to discuss these issues or to bring them up by implication. 

And for the record, we have uncovered evidence that Daniel has done this on more than one occasion.

We reiterate the bottom line in this matter: Something is drastically wrong in a parish where gossip and discussion of the mental health of others are acceptable and normative. Since the vestry seems to regard this behavior as appropriate and normative, we urge residents of Dayton to avoid the church. And trying to use allegations of mental illness to discredit others is unethical, ugly, and a resort to tired, discredited tropes from the 1950s.

As for Daniel’s efforts to reduce child and spousal support, spare us. 

If Daniel’s wife indeed is mentally ill — and we do not believe that to be the case — all the more reason to offer love and support and to ditch the girlfriend.

Nor should Daniel get any bright ideas about retaliatory requests for protection orders and other ugly behavior. We are watching closely and will immediately publish even minor hints of misconduct or questionable veracity on his part. Nor will we be intimidated by cease and desist letters, threats of litigation, actual litigation, or anything else. Time for Daniel to act like an adult and a priest, versus a super-annuated high school bully.

Based on everything we have seen thus far, we believe Daniel McClain is a vile, vicious, vindictive little weasel. He has no business in ministry.

Lastly, our standard disclaimer: These are all unproven allegations. But we find our sources credible and stand with McClain’s wife and children.

Anyone who would like to assist Kate McClain and the McClain children financially is welcome to contact us for information on how to do so.

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