As wave after wave of scandals hit the Catholic and Southern Baptist churches over allegations of sexual abuse, pastor Liam Goligher and Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia appear determined to drag their church into the same quagmire. Indeed, recent emails that I have received suggest a profound lack of concern for victims of sexual abuse, as well as the possibility of a coverup by church officials.
- If Liam Goligher and Tenth Presbyterian really care about victims of sexual and other forms of abuse, why wouldn’t they treat Phil Snyder’s efforts as a welcome opportunity to speak up on behalf of possible victims?
- How could Session have already addressed the issue when the parties seemingly most effected/involved hadn’t been there during the discussions?
- Why wouldn’t the church itself have called the police? Isn’t that the criticism of the Catholic church, that it tries to handle allegations of abuse internally?
- Why would the church excommunicate Phil and apparently falsely claim he was being threatening if it didn’t have anything to hide?
- Why would Dave Collins state in his email that Session now considers the matter to be “closed,” without stating an outcome? Moreover, the reference to matters “directly observed,” sounds very much like an effort to silence a whistleblower, especially when coupled with the shallow reference to “prayer and encouragement.”
- Why would the alleged victim fear possible retaliation from church officials if Tenth Prsbyterian is a safe environment? My experience is that when people fear reprisals there’s a high likelihood that spiritual abuse is occurring right behind the scenes.
- Why on this green earth would you ever bring legal action against former parishioner (as in filing for an injunction)? As in my case, when a church goes to court with a member it invariably reveals that, right behind the scenes, it’s a very troubled place. And just like the Catholic church, the ends don’t justify the means.