Saturday, August 31, 2019
Earlier, I posted about the recent Virginia Supreme Court decision, in which the court held that even non-hierarchical churches in the state may potentially be liable for negligence when it comes to the actions of their clergy. That’s a problematic ruling, particularly for the diocese, which wants to be hierarchical when it comes to property rights, but wants to be congregational in polity when it comes to clergy discipline that doesn’t involve sexual misconduct. Like Bob Malm and his repeated nonfeasance and misuse of his office as rector.
So, with that in mind, here is an email from parish employee Jenni Faires to both diocesan officials and parish officials, clearly establishing that all involved have had full knowledge of Bob’s conduct. Moreover, my emails to Susan Goff and Shannon Johnston, which were ignored, establish that the diocese has washed its hands of the matter. Indeed, when the issue of Bob’s deliberate misuse of memorial donations came to light, Bishop Johnston told the Title IV intake officer that he didn’t want to get involved, although I am told he fully understood that Bob’s conduct was illegal. Later, intake officer Caroline Parkinson covered up the matter, claiming that “mistakes were made.” That is a lie: Bob’s conduct was done with full knowledge and intent. It was in no way a “mistake.”
Meanwhile, chalk up another incident of remarkably stupid behavior on Bob Malm’s part apropos free speech. Apparently, nowhere in his education did he read about the First Amendment, or the notion of “prior restraint.”
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Here’s another good example of Bob Malm’s lies and misrepresentations.
The first screen cap is a message I sent to Bob when things heated back up in the summer of 2017, after several communications from parishioners that were hateful and homophobic. Note that I discuss the importance of publicly saying that bullying is not okay, and of reminding people that both sides had put the matter behind us. What the email does NOT include:
- Any discussion of a public forum.
- Any discussion of an apology from Bob.
Now, in Bob’s subsequent email to Bishop Shannon and Canon Pat Wingo, see how Bob describes my email. Note his references to a public forum and an apology, and his claim that I asked him to take responsibility for the conflict. These are, to be blunt, lies.
I’d add that apropos Mom and other family members, several of whom have independent grievances against Bob, Bob indeed has made no effort to resolve their concerns. In fact, he has never discussed the matter with them. And, of course, there is Bob’s little antic of taking words out of context roughly one-third of the way through his endless run-on sentence.
Meanwhile, Bob’s email underscores an important point: Bob Malm is a liar. Or, to use Sugarland Chiow’s phrase, a “serial liar.”
As such, Bob should not be serving as a priest, and you can quote me on that.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Here’s a great email from Bob Malm to diocesan officials, in which we see several things:
- Bob prattling on about how “we can’t allow” people to protest or criticize the church.
- Bob attempting to inflame the issue by referring to shootings in other states, and possibly imaginary encounters with parishioners.
- Bob demonstrating what appears to be paranoia, as he talks about the need for a proactive policy to address protests and online criticism.
So, in the spirit of cooperation, here is my suggested language to be added to the canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia:
As God’s church, we are called to a life of holiness and service to our Lord Jesus Christ. While members of the The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and church members canonically resident within the diocese, are permitted to question church policies or decisions, they may not engage in public protests or online criticism of church policies or decisions. Those doing so shall be repelled from communion, until such time as the bishop diocesan or, in his or her absence, other ecclesiastical authority, shall determine that they have repented and seek to lead a Godly life.
Too bad Bob isn’t equally proactive when it comes to misconduct within the parish, like married couples who allegedly have openly adulterous relationships with other married parishioners.
Meanwhile, both Bob Malm and Donald Trump appear to have an unfortunate tendency towards totalitarianism—in Bob’s case, to a degree unknown even in the monarchical Catholic church.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
See for Yourself: Another Email from Bob Malm Lobbying the Diocese and Demonstrating Questionable Veracity
In this email, Bob pulls in a reference to a church shooting in Chattanooga as he tries to inflame fears within the church. He also falsely represents our exchange of email from the previous summer when I offered to try to mediate this conflict. We did not, at any point, discuss a public forum, nor did we discuss Bob apologizing. (The latter is worthless, as my experience is that an apology from Bob Malm is nothing but pretty words, carefully chosen, as Bob attempts to regroup and move onto other things. In short, an apology is never an expression of remorse, as Bob appears to lack empathy for others.)
See anything Christlike here? Nope, me neither.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Someone recently asked me about +Shannon, and rumors swirling about the abrupt news of his departure, as well as the recent departure of other key personnel in the diocese. Specifically, I was asked if the allegations about +Shannon potentially covering up a case of sexual harassment have anything to do with another recent departure, presumably that of Pat Wingo.
By way of clarification, the allegations to which I am referring do not in any way suggest that Pat Wingo engaged in sexual harassment.
More than that I cannot say, except that +Shannon has a dubious track record when it comes to dealing with clergy misconduct. That includes his whole approach of, “tell the wardens about it.” But as anyone who ever worked in HR knows, there are times when, for a variety of reasons, those experiencing abuse or harassment simply cannot deal with the issue locally, or with these directly involved. In those situations, it is highly inappropriate to insist that they do.
In my case, I can also say that +Shannon has turned an appallingly blind eye to Bob Malm and Jeff Chiow’s actions, and the damage they are doing to The Episcopal Church. As a result, it is fair to ask, “Why even have a bishop if he or she won’t deal with clergy misconduct? In what sort of sick religion is it okay to bully the dying? In what sort of church is it okay for clergy to refer to their own parishioners as “sick,” “twisted,” and “dysfunctional,” as Bob Malm has done?”
Indeed, per the diocese, bullying, workplace harassment, and deliberate misuse of church funds are not of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church. I have it in writing, reviewed and approved by Bishop Shannon personally.
My opinion is that all of this points up a larger truth, which is that we are really seeing just how troubled the Diocese of Virginia and Grace Episcopal church have really become. And no wonder Bob Malm doesn’t want to tell parishioners that this sort of thing is inappropriate—it’s his modus operandi, even if done behind the scenes. Something about a house divided....