One of the sad things about the current situation is that neither Grace Church, nor the vestry, nor the diocese/bishops, nor the Canon to the Ordinary, understand the long-term problems that are being caused for Grace Church or the diocese by their failure to disclose Bob Malm’s misconduct. And leadership at all levels is so wedded to their approach of deny, obfuscate, cover-up, litigate, and sit in splendid silence that I don’t see any possibility that they will ever have the introspection to understand that they are destroying both Grace Church and the diocese.
What makes the situation even more sad is that there are leaders at Grace Church who know enough about change management to understand they dilemma they face, but they simply are not taking action. These include Elizabeth Legere and Tracy Enger. Similarly, assistant Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson and Canon Mary Thorpe both should know better, based on their training and professional experiences.
I’d also be prepared to bet that, if we discuss an out of court settlement, the first thing the diocese will insist on will be NOT admitting liability. The second will be confidentiality. Thus, true to form, the diocese will not follow a Christian model of healing, but a corporate model. (For the record, the latter is not going to fly with me. For once, the diocese is either going to conduct itself as a group of Christians, or I will hold it fully accountable at law. And if the church manages to win in court, that will be just that much more evidence that there is nothing Christian about Grace Church or the diocese, and I will share that with the world. The evidence is already there for the diocese and all the world to see: Bob Malm is a perjurer. Pure and simple. He committed his perjury as rector of Grace Church, and with the full knowledge and express approval of Bishop Susan Goff.
Clearly, DioVA does not take clergy misconduct seriously, or treat those who have experienced misconduct with respect. It would rather engage in cover-up than tell the truth. And it has done so, even in cases involving egregious sexual harassment of female church employees. (In one particularly ugly case, Bishop Shannon Johnston swept the whole thing under the rug without telling the victim, then claimed that he couldn’t discuss the matter with her as it was confidential. Very typical of my experiences with the diocese, and it is shocking and appalling that any bishop would think this is an acceptable way to handle sexual harassment of women. Or any other human being. Feel free to quote me.)
See for yourself.