Any clergy considering coming to Grace Church, the clergy perjury parish, needs to be aware not only of the mess that is the parish, but of the myriad challenges that will confront them if they come to the parish. Key among these is the blind clericalism to which the church adheres.
In the case of the Roman Catholic church, many dioceses are in the process of dropping the names of abusive clergy from their buildings.
But at Grace Church, there remains a total unwillingness to examine perjuring priest Bob Malm’s conduct. Moreover, clericalism at Grace Church is simply over the top, with an unfortunate tradition in recent years of naming parts of the building after former clergy.
As a result, we now have the Malm Narthex, in honor of perjuring priest Bob Malm and dedicated to the Glory of God.
I certainly cannot speak for God, but somehow I don’t think she likes being associated with Malm’s perjury, defamation, lies, and bullying. And she surely is not happy at perjuring priest Bob Malm’s forcing Mike out of the church just 16 months after being received into it. Jesus welcomes the outcast. Bob Malm creates the outcast.
While we’re engaging in adulation of perjuring priest Bob Malm and feeding his narcissistic need for attention, why not name a few other things after some of his notable traits? For example, we could have the Perjury Pulpit, the Bullying Baptismal Font, the Lying Lawn, the Shunning Sanctuary. Heck, we could even have the Financial Mismanagement Facebook page. Or if we want to align perjuring priest Bob Malm’s time with the church with appropriate symbolism, the “Robert Hiller Malm Sewer Line. Dedicated to the Glory of God and Flushing the Resources of the Church Down the Drain.”
Needless to say, this hyper-indulgent clericalism will make life difficult for newcomers. And while gratitude for the positive aspects of Malm’s tenure with the parish certainly is appropriate, it is toxic when it blinds the church to Bob Malm’s abusive conduct and prevents accountability. (No, I am not going to refer to perjuring priest Bob Malm’s time with the parish as “ministry.” Any priest who engages in perjury and bullies the dying discredits those clergy who really do selflessly serve their parishes, often with limited pay and little time away.)
Nor is his bad behavior confined to me. Even Malm’s demands for a personal residence were for his exclusive benefit—the outcome was profoundly expensive for the parish, and Bob certainly did not return the favor by acting as a faithful steward of the church’s time, talent and treasure.
I’d also note that the recent trend at Grace Episcopal, the clergy perjury parish, towards idolizing outgoing clergy conveniently turns a blind eye to the sins of the past. This includes previous rectors with ties to slavery, who opposed the ordination of women, and more.
There’s even the issue of the rector, whose name I have forgotten, who briefly served until accused of being homosexual. Why isn’t part of the building named after him? At least we have no record of him being a perjurer. And by the way, when I last researched him, it appears that after leaving holy orders, he went to San Francisco, where he worked for a non-profit. As I recall, he would have been quite old when I researched the matter in 2014, and thus he likely now is deceased. Today a hazy, dim portrait of him hangs in the hallway outside the clergy offices, very close to a cross that reminds us that God loves him, even if the parish didn’t.
Speaking of, as the parish continues its endless babbling about becoming the Beloved Community, I don’t see any repentance for the homophobia described above. Has the diocese or parish ever contacted him or his heirs/relatives? Of course not. If not dead, he’s certainly gone and, to use the famous excuse of Episcopalians everywhere, “It’s time to move on.” And like all abusers, church leaders will say, “Well, but it was so long ago. We’ve changed!”