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Title IV proceeding against Dunkle dismissed

Title IV proceeding against Dunkle dismissed

The Intake Officer of the Diocese of Florida has, with the concurrence of the Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard, dismissed a Title IV complain brought against the dean of The General Theological Seminary.

Bishop Mark Sisk, President of the Seminary’s Board of Trustee,s wrote a letter to the Board which has been posted on Facebook:

Attached please find a notice of dismissal of the Title IV complaint brought against Dean and President Kurt Dunkle in The Episcopal Diocese of Florida. The dismissal is based on a report by the Title IV Intake Officer and the findings were accepted by the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, the bishop of the Dean’s canonical residence.

The allegations against Dean Dunkle have been now been thoroughly reviewed from an ecclesiastical, administrative and legal perspective by us and by two independent parties, who agreed  that this matter  should be dismissed.

This brings to a close a difficult chapter in the history of the General Theological Seminary that has caused great distress to everyone who loves this Seminary, including Dean Dunkle and his family. Two years ago the Board charged Dean Dunkle with the difficult but vital mission of ensuring that the Seminary can continue as a viable institution missionally and financially.   The Board  continues  to recognize  that the status quo is simply not  sustainable.

Under Dean Dunkle’s leadership, the Seminary has made significant progress in carrying out the Board’s directive to address our daunting financial challenges and implement our vision of how we educate and form a new generation of Church leaders to take on the pressing issues of a changing world. We all recognize that the work of change agents in times of dire need is not always  appreciated.

The Board expressed its full support of Dean Dunkle following the completion of the independent legal review it commissioned, and today, we reaffirm that support and thank him for his efforts. For the good of the institution, its students, and the Church, the entire Seminary must now come together. The Lombard Peace Process is facilitating that effort.

There is much left to do, and more change ahead. It is time to fully focus on building on our strong legacy of serving the Church.

Please feel free to share this letter with others who may express interest or concerns.

Posted by Andrew Gerns


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Emily Windsor

I have no dog in this fight; but I followed the transcript from complaint, through the process, to the end.

All the Dean did was write to the Faculty group in a condescending tone about scheduling policies when he ought to have been listening –instead– to their problems with the new schedule.

That’s all it was: poor communicating.

Murdoch Matthew

Pertinent quote from the Tom Ferguson link posted by Gary:

Bishop Richard Grein of New York falsely accused a priest of financial misconduct, removed her from her post, placed the woman he was having an affair with in her place, divorced his wife, and married the woman he had appointed. A settlement later reached with the diocese of New York paid a financial settlement and agreed to remove any paperwork from the priest’s file that had to do with financial misconduct, essentially admitting the charges were not valid. Three ecclesial charges were filed against Bishop Grein but no disciplinary action was ever taken.

Mark Sisk was a silent coadjutor while this was going on, and arranged for a celebratory retirement for Grein in the cathedral church.

Title IV charges were filed against Grein. Bishop Sisk wrote a letter to the diocese:

“I regret to inform you that a civil complaint was
recently made against The Rt. Rev. Richard Grein, retired Bishop of New
York; The Rev. Anne Richards, former canon for Ministry Development,
and the Rev. David Rider, Interim rector at Grace Church, Manhattan.
This action is based upon decisions made during Bishop Grein’s tenure.
Additionally, ecclesiastical charges were filed with the Presiding
Bishop against Bishop Grein.”

“The civil complaint has to do with a labor dispute concerning the
dismissal of the Rev. Janet Kraft as Associate Priest at Grace Church,
Manhattan. The ecclesiastical charges revolve around the same event and
accuse the three named parties of conspiracy.”

“Unfortunately, there are occasions when the exercise of episcopal
responsibilities is such that some parties in a dispute are not
satisfied. Obviously this was such an occasion.””As a point of information, you should know that, in the
case of the a bishop, ecclesiastical charges were filed with the
Presiding Bishop, who has 90 days to refer the matter to a Review
Committee if he believes such referral is warranted. The Standing
Committee of the Diocese is not involved in cases concerning a bishop
and will therefore play no role in the ecclesiastical charges.

“I find it sad that such charges have been brought against a
retired bishop in the Diocese he has served faithfully and well for so many years.”

The facts are not in dispute, but they don’t seem to matter to Mark Sisk.

Gary Paul Gilbert

The desire for closure on the part of the powerful denies ongoing injustice. The historic episcopate, according to the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral is supposed to be “locally adapted.” But in this case a bishop as head of the board of trustees stands for injustice, while his predecessor (who retired with many questions about his ethics) is invited to preach in the seminary chapel. What kind of model is this for future priests of the church?

Gary Paul Gilbert

Gary Paul Gilbert

Daniel Berry, St Luke-in-the-Fields

“This brings to a close a difficult chapter in the history of the General Theological Seminary that has caused great distress to everyone who loves this Seminary, including Dean Dunkle and his family.”

Yet another of Bishop Sisk’s facile assessments, to which I would reply, “I wouldn’t bet on it.”

Chaz Brooks

What point is there in nursing grudges? The faculty got their jobs back, the dean is staying, and that’s that.

Bob McCloskey

In connection with Gary Paul Gilbert’s comment, it is quite ironic that Bishop Grein was invited to be the guest preacher at one of General Seminary’s recent and decreasing chapel services. It is also very clear to me and to many of my alum friends and classmates [excluding the Chair of the Board] that Bishop Sisk continues to dig a deeper and deeper hole. Recent pronouncements provide little solace that things are getting better, – indeed they are increasingly inflammatory and embarrassing to many.
Lionel you are absolutely correct, No chapters are being closed – only put on the shelf wide open.

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