Someone recently asked me if folks like David Crosby will ever recognize that Bob Malm committed perjury and otherwise abused his office. The answer to that question is no.
As Robin Hammeal-Urban says in her book on clergy misconduct, there’s an old saying among church judicatories, “If it’s inconceivable, it’s unperceivable.”
That means that this who cannot accept the notion that Bob Malm is a perjurer and bully will simply never be able to accept the fact that he is, no matter how clear the evidence. David’s faith has its roots in his friendship with Bob, and it’s simply not possible for him to admit to himself that Bob is a fake, a fraud.
As Robin notes, that are others who will vacillate between believing that Bob engaged in misconduct, and believing such conduct to be impossible on his part.
It is essential that congregations find ways to embrace all members regardless of differences in their experiences of misconduct. To help a faith community come to terms with congregational misconduct, members need accurate, timely information about the transgression(s) and opportunities to process that information as a community.
Of course, we all know that won’t happen.