Here is another interesting point of reference. Under Title IV, the Episcopal disciplinary canons, the reference panel, which is responsible for referring a case for resolution, has four options for dealing with a complaint. These options include:
- No further action except for the pastoral response mandated by Canon IV.8 at the time of intake.
- Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10.
- Investigation pursuant to Canon IV.11.
- Referral to the bishop for possible agreement on terms of discipline pursuant to Canon IV.9.
Instead, the diocese attempted, with Bishop Shannon’s full knowledge, to dismiss my complaint at the reference panel stage, thus violating its own canons, or laws.
- Breached confidentiality by improperly combining, and disclosing, the existence of an independent complaint, filed by my mother.
- Failed to provide the pastoral response mandate by Canon IV.8.
- Inserted snotty, rude, dismissive language, accusing others of behaving badly, despite the fact that Title IV only covers clergy. (The latter changes on January 1, 2019)
- Ignored written documentation that misuse of donations was illegal.
- Improperly contacted respondents during the intake phase of the case.
- Makes an interesting assumption, which is that anyone would want to have anything to do with The Episcopal Church after this experience.
My take: It is, shall we say, duplicitous and disingenuous to violate church canons, then accuse others of behaving badly. And you have to love a church that argues that the canons mean that it has an ownership interest in all parish property within the diocese, and yet it is free to disregard the very same canons any time it feels like doing so.