Here is a copy of the letter that Bishop Shannon Johnston sent to Grace Church some time ago. It’s notable for several reasons:
- At the top-most level, the bishop expresses suppport for clergy who have engaged in shunning and retaliation; the latter is now specifically grounds for clergy discipline under church canons. You’d think a bishop of all people would hold to a higher standard, but you’d be wrong. No wonder things are a hot mess at Mayo House and Bishop Shannon is headed for the hills.
- The letter falsely claims that these matters were investigated and resolved long ago. That’s facially untrue. The intake officer has no investigatory authority, but may make such inquiry as is needed in order to “understand the matter complained of.” (That is the exact wording.) Having dismissed my complaint outright, having failed to provide the pastoral response required under the canons, and having allowed Bob Malm to disclose the matter to Jeff Chiow, Jeff Aaron, and others in violation of the canons, the matter also was not resolved. Not from the perspective of canon law. Not from a practical perspective.
- Given that Bob out-and-out lied at one point during our meeting with the Bishop, I’d hardly say he’s to be commended. His exact falsehood: “Having resigned from the vestry, you were no longer eligible to serve as a trustee.” Too bad none of the trustees have been vestry members (nor should they be, as a practical matter).
- In my one-on-one discussions with Bishop Shannon, he acknowledged that the matter was not appropriately handled. Yet here, he claims that it was and everything is copacetic. So which is it? Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.