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.
Susan Goff, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and parish leaders are all committed to a policy of denial and evasion. No evidence to the contrary will ever be sufficient to engender a meaningful response from these so-called leaders.
As a result, I now fully believe that the parish and the diocese ultimately will collapse from their own internal rot and ethical decay,