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Bishop Edwards defends PB

Bishop Edwards defends PB

The current bishop of Nevada, the Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards defends his predecessor in Nevada and current Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, against charges that she mishandled the case of a former priest, the Rev. Bede Parry, who is now accused of sexual abuse.


Episcopal Church defends top bishop’s record in abuse case

In the Christian Century

The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse.

Jefferts Schori has remained silent on the matter, which surfaced after an alleged victim filed suit last month against a Benedictine monastery in Missouri where the priest, the Rev. Bede Parry, once lived.

Parry, a former Catholic monk, was ordained as an Episcopal priest in Nevada in 2004, when Jefferts Schori was the local bishop before her 2006 election as presiding bishop.

Her successor in Nevada, Bishop Dan Edwards, said Tuesday (July 5) that a thorough review of church records shows that Jefferts Schori “handled the situation perfectly appropriately.”

“The spin on this, that Bishop Katharine failed to follow the rules to protect children, is highly ironic,” said Edwards, who noted that the Diocese of Nevada has wrestled with problems of clergy misconduct. “She has done more to clean up this diocese than anybody.”

The civil suit [against the Roman Catholics, not The Episcopal Church,] contends that the results of [the Catholics’] psychological testing in 2000 showed that Parry was a serial abuser who was likely to offend again, and that this information was shared with the Episcopal Church prior to his ordination. “I’m really skeptical that the report ever existed. But if it did, we’ve never seen it,” said Edwards.

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Jim Naughton

David, I want to pick up on what you have said because it crystalizes a question I have been asking myself. What is the minimum that can be factually asserted in this case. It seems to me that Parry has admitted to numerous relationships that the Episcopal Church would consider sexual misconduct on the part of a clergy member, and, that if he only informed the diocese of one of those instances when he asked to be received as a priest, he was guilty of withholding information. Now those two things taken together fall a good deal short of the charges of serial pedophilia some folks are lodging--but if I have them right--and I am open to correction--they would seem to suggest that he should not remain in order.

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David Allen

Or there is nothing really here, except a closeted man who made a mistake in the past with closeted young men and now will go to his grave with the scandal.

As a gay who is also trained in human behavior and psychology, this situation sets off more than one set of alarm bells.

Contrary to what Ann has stated, the RCC does not claim to have done an evaluation of Bede Parry and then having sent it to the Diocese of Nevada in 2000, the civil claim filed against the Abbey makes that statement. And yet makes no explanation as to why it claims a copy would have been sent to the Diocese of Nevada. Bede Parry did not approach the Dio NV for consideration of reception as a priest, he was not ordained by +KJS, until 2002.

There are a number of issues here that have no more basis in fact at this moment than than that they are claims made in the civil petition against the Abbey. But it feels very much like there are folks joining a the mob mentality and are grabbing the pitch forks and tar buckets as they rush to conclusions based on very flimsy evidence.

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ATGerns

Or else, June, he is taking one for the team?

Andrew Gerns

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GrandmèreMimi

Why is Bp Edwards hanging out there all alone as the chief spokesman, when it was Bp Katharine who permitted Parry to become a priest of the church? Perhaps, he doesn't have the benefit of lawyers telling him to keep silent.

June Butler

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Jody+

I agree with June's comment above:

Why would a bishop permit a person into the priesthood whom she did not trust to be around children?

This in itself is highly suspect. How can a person be of good moral character, and have a manner of life suitable to performing the duties of ordained ministry if there is sufficient concern to issue such a directive?

In both the ordination of a deacon and priest, the congregation is asked:

Dear friends in Christ, you know the importance of this

ministry, and the weight of your responsibility in presenting N.N. for ordination to the sacred order of deacons/sacred priesthood. Therefore

if any of you know any impediment or crime because of which we should not proceed, come forward now and make it known.

I find the fact that someone could approve and then participate (presumably) in the ordination of someone with such a huge caveat completely baffling. It provides little comfort to hear that then Bishop Schori had not viewed the supposed report, because she evidently knew enough to doubt the man's character and such a doubt would seem to preclude his ordination. Hopefully more information will come out, and we will stop hurling stones at the RCC for obstruction of justice and a deaf institutional ear and instead focus on our own systemic and institutional sin, whether in the past or ongoing.

The Rev. Joseph B. Howard (Jody)

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