Saturday, June 25, 2011

Head of the Episcopal Church Might Get Dragged Into Catholic Abuse Scandal

One of those tragic abuse stories hit the papers regarding the Catholic Church. See
Ex-leader of boys choir at Missouri abbey admits sexual misconduct

You have to get down to almost the end to pick up this twist:

.......Parry, 69, became a priest in the Episcopal church in 2004 and for the past 11 years had worked at All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas, most recently holding the positions of organist, choir master and assisting priest.

He resigned Thursday and said he’d also asked to be removed from the priesthood.

Bishop Dan Edwards, of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, confirmed to The Star that Parry had resigned from All Saints.

“That is a done deal,” Edwards said. “But resigning from the priesthood is a more complicated kind of thing. It’s a process called renouncing your orders and has to go through a disciplinary process, and I cannot comment on that disciplinary process. What I can say is that I have referred the matter to the chancellor of our diocese.”

Edwards said Parry did not have contact with children or youth in his ministry at All Saints....

So you are an assisting Priest and in all that time yo had no contact with youth and children. Even if THAT is true why was that restriction placed ?

Then we hear the big boom!!

..........After the plaintiff reported the abuse in 1987, Parry was sent for three months of treatment at Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico. Then he stayed in the Southwest, working at Lutheran and Catholic parishes.

In 2000, the lawsuit says, Parry underwent psychological testing because he was considering entering another Catholic monastery.

The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors,” the lawsuit says.

The results were provided to Conception Abbey, the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Episcopal bishop for the Diocese of Nevada, the lawsuit says. Yet from 2000 until Thursday, Parry was employed by All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas.

In an interview Thursday with The Star, Parry admitted the allegations.

“When I left Conception Abbey in ’87, it was for sexual misconduct,” he said. “But that was all that was ever said or known.”

Parry said after treatment he was placed on leave for three years, which meant he could not live in the monastery.

After serving about two years as the music director at All Saints, Parry noticed “they needed clergy, and I felt called. I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me. And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

The bishop at the time was Katharine Jefferts Schori, now presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. Parry said, however, that he did not tell her about the incidents before 1987 at Conception Abbey.

A spokeswoman at the Episcopal Church’s national office said Thursday that “we do not comment on lawsuits or allegations” and referred questions to the diocese in Nevada...........

Well oh well!!

Now a Little bit of fairness here to the Primate of the Episcopal Church. Any informed Catholic that keeps up with sex abuse cases knows this lawyer. So I am not taking everything he says as GOSPEL. However it if it is true that the report was forwarded to her as Bishop then she has got some explaining to do!! Or perhaps not since the media might yawn and go that is just for Catholics.

Now I am curious to see how this story is followed up. During the bad 70's and 80's quite a few Priests left the Catholic Church and became Episcopal Priests. For what its worth I saw the spokesman from SNAP estimate it was at least 400. What happened to all these people. That number would not include former Catholics that were Catholic Seminaries but left or those that failed for whatever reason to get into seminary and then migrated over to the TEC.

Second this is not the first time we have seen this happen in the Episcopal Church. Lets look at the very recent case of the now deceased Bishop Steven Tsosie Plummer . You can see the tributes here. You can see wonderful obit here. You can read about the wonderful school they are building here.

Oh and you can read how he admitted he sexually abused a teenager and had to be removed from active ministry here .

Needless to say if this happened to a Catholic Priest today he would be out the door forever!

Returning to the topic of the Nevada Priest MCJ had a post on it here. See I-WON-EE . Now what is striking is these are no fans of the current leadership of the TEC. Yet they make some important distinctions in this case. I make those in Catholic circles but when I do I am accused of saying this is all "no big deal".

Yet I do agree with the points they are bringing up. Perhaps a case can be made that the Episcopal Church operated in the right manner here in both cases. (THOUGH THAT ALLEGED ABUSE REPORT IS A SMOKING GUN).

But if so then why are Catholic Priests that had an encounter with a teenager decades ago treated differently. Why are Catholic Bishops treated differently than Episcopal Bishops? It looks like the current head of the TEC might have been going along with the medical advice at the time.

WHO KNOWS! We might never know if this story go no further and media does not care to investigate.


SJ Reidhead said...

You have made my day. I would love to see our ultra liberal Presiding Bishop get caught with something.

Seriously, we have rules for this sort of thing. I began working with kinds in the Epis. church in about 1999 here in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. I had to have 8 hrs of class time on child abuse, etc. Had another 16 hours of a class for law enforcement, social workers here in NM. Then every couple of years the whole certification must be renewed.

There are background checks. You cannot be alone with a child unless someone who has a certificate and has passed a background check is present.

We have one of the most conservative diocese in the country. One would think in a liberal diocese they would be even more picky about such a thing. There is a bottom line 'buck stops here' thing in the church.

The Pink Flamingo

P. S. I let my certificate expire because I was always being called in to do stuff and was tired of it.

James H said...

I actually think what is going to get her is that it appears she faked her resume when she was running for Presiding Bishop. Its amazing so many people knew likly and said nothing