Anglican Watch

Update: Santosh Marray Title IV case is going nowhere fast, even as it damages the Diocese of Easton

Santosh Kumar Marray

Anglican Watch has spoken with several persons close to the Santosh Marray Title IV clergy disciplinary case, and we are deeply concerned, both about the lack of progress in the case, and the larger implications for the Diocese of Easton and its members.

Title IV status

Developments (or lack thereof) include:

  • The case will soon be a year old, and it’s only now been referred out for mediation. We get that the Title IV process, like much of the denomination, is slow and creaky, but one year to leave the starting gate? That is lunacy.
  • The complainants have asked the national church for a pastoral response, with zero results. That begs the question: If we cannot care for those hurt by the church, what good are we? While we recognize that efforts are slowly gearing up for a meaningful pastoral response at the national level, the fact that neither Clay Matthews nor Todd Ousley from the Office of Pastoral Development have bothered to implement this fundamental aspect of Title IV is appalling. Even worse, Ousley appears on the Title IV website, linked above, talking about the importance of a pastoral response. Hypocrisy much?
  • In written correspondence, the Title IV reference panel has breached confidentiality by disclosing the names of the complainants to Santosh Murray. We can endlessly debate whether, at this phase, a respondent can or should know the names of the complainants. But regardless of our conclusion, disclosure needs to be discussed with the complainants before it happens. That’s just basic integrity, and it didn’t happen. Shame on the reference panel.
  • As we mentioned earlier, the reference panel referred the case to conciliationAnglican Watch believes this is a mistake despite being the de facto normative first step in most Title IV cases. The reason is that we conclude that Murray is a narcissist and a sociopath, and negotiating with either is a waste of time; the abuser sees the effort as a matter of weakness, and to the extent they agree to a resolution, it’s merely an effort to buy time and regroup.
  • We are seeing burgeoning signs that Marray is retaliating for the complaints, both in significant ways and via microaggressions. Thus, both ++Curry and the Easton Standing Committee need to stand up and be leaders. Particularly appalling are allegations that Marray is punishing innocent third parties in order to “get at” the complainants; these allegations are well-supported by evidence.
  • Speaking of retaliation, Marray apparently will not be engaging with the Easton delegation at the upcoming General Convention, ostensibly because he’s been told not to do so. While members of the delegation may well be happy not to deal with Marray, as bishop diocesan, he still needs to do his job. And it is not inappropriate to expect Marray to be a professional—no claims of demonic involvement, efforts to leave his wife a widow, or any of his other nonsense.
  • As presently postured, the Marray case is unlikely to result in health or healing, as there is zero transparency or disclosure. But as Christians, we must disclose injustice and oppression, and it is well-established that, absent disclosure, unhealthy systems remain dysfunctional, even decades later. As for claims that Title IV mandates confidentiality, that is not the case, as the canons expressly provide that the Bishop Diocesan may waive confidentiality at her discretion in order to address pastoral needs.

All of this complicates an already difficult situation in which Marray has turned the Diocese of Easton into little more than badly run mini-monarchy.

Whether it’s stacking corridors of powers with sycophants and enablers, the appointment of a spectacularly unqualified layperson as canon to the ordinary, or an atmosphere of fear that prevents the standing committee from fulfilling its canonical obligations, the Diocese of Easton under Marray is a profoundly dysfunctional family system.


We also want to be clear: The complaints about Marray do not originate with just one person, contrary to the comments coming from Marray loyalists.

We also need to remind readers: There are NOT two sides to every story. There are no good racists. There are no good bullies. There are no good abusive bishops. So there is no need to take sides; we can focus on just Marray’s behavior and ask if it comports with our notion of Christianity.

Moreover, we have investigated the complaints against Marray, and Anglican Watch finds the complaints to be credible and supported by myriad evidentiary data points. Specifically:

  • Marray is abusing his power on a consistent basis. While some kindly assert that his approach derives from his experience in the Seychelles, in which a bishop is much more of an autocrat, we find that Marray’s behavior derives from a narcissistic, power-oriented personality that is unsuited to ministry.
  • While we cannot make windows into the hearts of men, we conclude that anti-LGBTQ animus is the motivation underlying some of his more egregious conduct.
  • Marray is a bully of the first order, including his bellowing about demonic forces, trying to make his wife a widow, and more.
  • It is indisputable that Marray is engaging in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” within the meaning of Canon IV.4.1 (h)(8).

Thus, Anglican Watch recommends that the matter go directly to an investigation. We will cooperate fully in supplying evidence of Marray’s abusive behavior.

Final thoughts

At this point, the best possible outcome would be for Marray to resign. To do otherwise is to cause additional harm to a small, fragile diocese.

Moreover, any effort by Marray to cling to power only further damages his reputation and prospects for future opportunities. When someone acts as badly as Marray, the only viable option is to apologize and then resign with as much dignity as possible.

From there, it falls to Easton standing committee to work with the incoming Presiding Bishop to repair and rebuild. This must happen, versus the usual laissez-faire approach we see coming from Church Center, aka 815.

The church also needs to care for those hurt by Marray. Far too often, the Episcopal Church pulls the “that happened before I got here,” routine. But that begs the question–the only reason for a new person is that the incumbent cratered. Organizations own their conduct, whether it happened a day ago, a week ago, or ten years ago.

Finally, when the dust settles, all involved need to examine the issue of whether Title IV is adequately addressing clergy misconduct. In other words, absent organizational integrity, the Episcopal Church will not survive.

We earnestly pray for health and healing for all involved.

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