As we watch the train wreck unfold that is Grace Episcopal the clergy perjury parish, there’s a key point that has to be kept in mind: Even now, there is zero accountability in the parish.
Examples of this disconcerting lack of accountability are myriad:
- The church’s decision to name part of the building after a perjurer, Bob Malm.
- The refusal of the diocese to in any way hold perjuring priest Bob Malm accountable.
- The decision by vestry members to return bullying jackasses like Alison Campbell to positions of leadership.
- The refusal of the church to acknowledge its misconduct, including spoliation of evidence, lying to the courts (as in Jeffery Chiow’s lies about how I never practiced law, and never served as a police officer), Bob Malm’s perjury, and Kelly Gable’s defamation.
- The failure of the diocese and parish leadership to address unresolved conflict and problems within the parish during Michael Guy’s feckless stint as interim.
- The refusal of Jason Roberson and others to speak out, including about Bob Malm’s bullying.
- The vestry’s lies to the parish, including that Bob Malm wasn’t a bully. Not only are parishioners well aware that Bob is a bully, but his perjury, his decision to go after Mike, his conduct during litigation, and his decision to try to drag Mom into court in violation of state law, even as she was dying, prove the underlying point.
- The fabrications from people like Jason Roberson, with his claims that Grace is doing great. In case he or others haven’t noticed, let me spring it on you: It’s not.
- The continuing role of bullies in church ministries, like Linda Waskowiscz. Over the years, Linda’s caused all kinds of misery and tears in the altar guild, even as she talks about how wonderful people in the church are. So why has no one said, “Either treat people with respect or leave.”?
- Welcoming an alleged child molester, even as the church tells people like Mike he is unwelcome.
- The continuing role of people like Jeff Chiow in the parish, despite his various fabrications in court pleadings and more.
- The failure of Anne Turner to acknowledge and address the problems in the church. Yes, she has talked about pain in the church, but that is a very modest statement — much like telling a person whose house is on fire that they chose the wrong color paint for the living room. That may be the case, but it’s hardly the whole story, or the most important issue at hand. Indeed, pain is a natural consequence of unresolved conflict and misconduct within any organization, and the longer folks try to ignore it, the more intractable it becomes.
Nor does it work to say that these issues are in the past — much like the cancer that is racism, the effects of slavery and Jim Crow linger to this day. And such is the case with Grace Church, the clergy perjury parish, where the church’s refusal to own up to its misconduct is causing an existential crisis.