We recently raised a toast to the news that Todd Ousley is losing his role as the intake officer for Title IV clergy disciplinary complaints against bishops. But this is only a partial solution, and Todd Ousley needs to resign as head of the office of pastoral development. And no one with a scrap of integrity should apply to the newly created intake officer position until Todd Ousley leaves.
Ousley is the bishop who heads the Office of Pastoral Development (OPD). As such, he is responsible for issues like diocesan elections, training new bishops, and more. He’s also part of the team that reports to the presiding bishop.
The new Title IV intake officer position was created after years of frustration with the OPD. Even before Ousley, the OPD routinely ignored all but the most egregious cases of Title IV. And it ignored the provisions of Title IV on a consistent basis.
For example, the office typically doesn’t even bother to respond when a Title IV case is filed. As a result, complainants never learn the outcome of the case, and they cannot file a timely appeal.
Nor does OPD provide the pastoral response mandated by Title IV in every instance when a complaint is made.
Even worse, Todd Ousley has told Anglican Watch staff that the presiding bishop does not have the authority to tell bishops what to do. And yes, there are witnesses. But more importantly, that runs counter to the express provisions of Title IV.
Nor are these relatively minor issues. Ousley is known to ignore documented cases of child sex abuse. He does not comply with the mandatory reporting laws. And he is famous for saying, “This remains a diocesan matter. Please do not contact me again.”
A prime example is the Whayne Hougland debacle, in which Ousley, true to form, ignored those hurt by Hougland’s extramarital affair. But just as TEC rescued Ousley after his diocese in Michigan imploded, Ousley took damned good care of Episco-bro Hougland. This included raiding diocesan assets to reward Hougland’s misconduct with a golden parachute—and then, dumbass Ousley had the chutzpah to claim that this was an example of Title IV at its finest.
In other words, Todd Ousley and the OPD are among the worst offenders when it comes to honoring church canons. There is no reason they should be spreading the damage.