Support the Café

Search our Site

“Regrettable error.” ACNA bishop’s leave – allegations of mishandling of sex abuse charges

“Regrettable error.” ACNA bishop’s leave – allegations of mishandling of sex abuse charges

ACNA’s Bishop of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, Stewart Ruch III, has announced a leave of absence over a “regrettable error” in mishandling sex abuse charges. The Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) was formed in 2009 by former members of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada over issues of sexuality and orthodoxy.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has issued a July 10th letter. An extract:

I [have] received a request from the Bishop’s Council (Standing Committee) of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest asking that the Province take up oversight of the investigation into mishandling of abuse charges in the diocese. The Bishop’s Council has also requested a review of their diocesan leadership structures. I have agreed to both requests.

A Provincial Response Team is being formed by Provincial leaders to take oversight of this process, committed to act with thorough professionalism and with deep care for the survivors. This team will include diverse representation of women and men with experience in these areas. We are prayerful and hopeful that this will help bring forth truth and confidence so healing and restoration can be facilitated.

The Provincial Response Team will be responsible to select all appropriate entities for this investigation and for the care of survivors.  The Team will continue to engage with the survivors throughout the investigation and to conduct this investigation with transparency and integrity.  The Province takes this seriously and desires to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) and to “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27).

Additionally, I will appoint a team in coordination with the Provincial Governance Task Force to review the diocesan leadership structures and cooperate with the Provincial Response Team to any extent necessary.

From Prominent Anglican bishop takes leave of absence amid ongoing accusations of mishandling abuse allegations (RNS):

Bishop Stewart Ruch III of the Anglican Church in North America’s Upper Midwest Diocese had known since 2019 that former lay minister Mark Rivera had been charged with felony child sexual abuse. But he did not tell people in his diocese about the abuse allegations until last month — which Ruch has called a “regrettable error.”

At least 10 survivors’ allegations of abuse by Rivera have been reported to the diocese since 2019, with allegations including rape, assault, child sexual abuse and grooming.

RNS adds, “In recent years, ACNA has had several high-profile cases of abuse and sexual misconduct.”

Bishop James Hobby of Pittsburgh resigned in November 2020 for mishandling abuse allegations about a priest in his diocese. Bishop Ron Jackson of the Great Lakes diocese was defrocked in 2020 after pleading guilty to sexual immorality due to a longstanding use of pornography. In 2019, an investigation by GRACE, a nonprofit that deals with sexual abuse at Christian organizations, found that a high-profile priest at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Tallahassee had sexually harassed men at the church.

Bishop Ruch chaired an ACNA taskforce that developed a Pastoral Statement on Same Sex Attraction & Identity. The statement was issued early this year and caused a stir in the denomination.

Victims and victims advocates have responded to Ruch’s letter contains falsehoods

Ministry Watch: Anglican Diocese now seeks long delayed transparency, accountability

Church Leaders: A Victory With Too Great a Cost’—ACNA Diocese Will Make Abuse Report Public

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café