More cases of sexual abuse surface as Episcopalians flee denomination

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

The issue refuses to go away. Questions remain, answers are few and what answers there are, are ambiguous, clouded in mystery and cloaked in deception.

The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori steadfastly refuses to say anything or take any responsibility for her role in receiving a pederast monk into the Episcopal Church when she was Bishop of Nevada, knowing that he had a history of sexual abuse, by his own confession, of at least seven young men.

It is a silence so deafening that even her most sycophantic followers on the liberal HOB/D listserv are raising questions as to why she refuses to answer.

She has allowed the present Bishop of Nevada, Dan Edwards, to take the fall for her.

One liberal Episcopal blogger, John Chilton, wrote, “We remain flummoxed as to why she has had nothing to say about her role, while Bishop of Nevada, of receiving as a priest a man who had admitted to inappropriate touching. The one case turns out to have been in the public record, so it was in the man’s interest to reveal it. It turns out there were many more earlier instances of inappropriate sexual behavior by the man. Two current civil suits against the Catholic Church allege a psychological test by a Catholic institution showed he was prone to continue the behavior, and the results of this test was made available to the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada.

“Just as perplexing, the presiding bishop shifted the task of addressing questions to the current bishop of Nevada. His response was to disparage the questioners, say the man’s record as an Episcopal priest was unblemished, and to allow him to resign his orders without deposing him (for being dishonest during the reception process).

“Each one of these actions discourages people, victims and otherwise, from speaking out. It is behavior consistent of a church that seeks first to avoid bringing scandal on the church or its bishops. That’s behavior that led the Catholic Church astray, the kind of behavior we had hoped The Episcopal Church had turned its back on.”

Clearly not. Her own behavior is exactly reminiscent of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison who covered up his brother’s sexual abuse of a minor. In his case, he was found guilty, by a jury of his peers, but later beat the rap because of the statute of limitations. Charges of conduct unbecoming a priest still hangs over his head. Efforts by the Standing Committee and others to get Jefferts Schori to get rid of him have failed. The Presiding Bishop is either unable or unwilling to act against him even though she now has enhanced ecclesiastical powers.

This is not the only case.

In February, 2010 VOL wrote that Central NY Bishop Gladstone (Skip) Adams should be investigated following the arrest and ultimate imprisonment of a pedophile priest, Ralph E. Johnson, then rector of St. Paul’s in Owego.

Bishop Adams tried to conceal the priest’s behavior and, in the process, attempted to depose a godly priest for being a whistleblower.

In 2006, the now former rector of St. Paul’s Church in Owego, Fr. David G. Bollinger, claimed in a lawsuit that Bishop Gladstone Adams retaliated against him for raising allegations against Johnson.

Fr. Bollinger, now retired, said he was punished by the church for being a whistleblower and removed from his position. The bishop inhibited Bollinger six times and drew up Presentment charges against him. Fr. Bollinger prevailed in an ecclesiastical court when the charges were thrown out.

Bishop Adams said at that time, “We were never able to absolutely verify the allegations – no one came forward.”

However, the bishop said he received information he believed to be credible even though no victim came forward. “That is why we took those steps,” said Bishop Adams.

Bollinger, rector of the church from 1985 to 2005, said Adams rebuffed him after he reported the complaints against Johnson years ago.

A liberal woman priest Lauren A. Gough in the diocese at that time violently disagreed. She said this, “The bishop did know who the victim was in 2006 because I gave it to him. He was also provided with the victim’s deposition that I attended. What I don’t understand is why the federal authorities were not notified? This was clearly a violation of the Mann Act. The children (and there were a number)were transported across state lines.”

“Lies, lies and more lies apparently, and no one holds them accountable”. See her blog comments here

The truth is the national church should investigate the bishop. He should face the same charges brought against Bennison. Johnson finally went to jail.

The whole story……

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