As many now know, an independent commission in the UK recently released a scathing report on abuse in the Church of England. The report had its genesis in allegations of abuse involving Bishop Ball, who had ties that extended all the way to the British royal family.
Sadly, the report sounds very much like the Diocese of Virginia and the way the latter handles allegations of clergy misconduct, particularly in regard to Bob Malm’s ongoing abuse of power. Indeed, change the names and you have my experience, almost verbatim.
Noting that the Church of England had, in multiple cases, protected its reputation at the expense of victims, it went on to outline in damning terms an ongoing series of reprehensible moral failures, including:
- Discounting Ball’s conduct as “trivial and insignificant” while displaying “callous indifference” to the complaints of victims.
- Delaying a proper investigation into the matter for two decades.
- Failing to have sufficient regard for the well-being of those injured by Ball’s abuse.
- Issuing an unconvincing apology.
- Giving a popular priest preferential treatment, while demonstrating a lack of compassion for the victims.
This willingness to utterly disregard all moral and ethical reference points when convenient appears to me to be endemic in organized religion, and particularly prevalent in The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Indeed, the only thing the latter appears to do well is to litigate over property. But without love or compassion, or genuine concern for others, why bother? The litigation, which I foolishly supported, was a complete waste of time and money. In short, it was the proverbial case of two bald men fighting over a comb.
Here’s a screen cap summarizing the findings in the Church of England report.