Category Archives: Abuse in the church

Clergy Abuse: Is Forgiveness Possible?

Yesterday’s lectionary reading was about forgiveness. That brings up the question: In cases of abuse by clergy, is forgiveness always possible or even desirable? Based on my own experiences with an abusive member of the clergy, I think the answer … Continue reading

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Ten Signs Your Church is Dying

Attending church no longer is normative. As a result, almost all denominations are experiencing decline. But that decline is spread unevenly, with some churches in a death spiral, others holding steady, and others doing well despite these trends. So how … Continue reading

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The Perils of the Fauxpology (Or How NOT to Fix Things When You’ve Hurt Someone)

Of all the places we spend time, you would think that churches would be places where people understand conflict and know how to work through it in positive ways, wouldn’t you? Seems sensible enough, but my experience is that churches, … Continue reading

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Eight Steps to Avoiding Toxic Clergy

Numerous studies show that there is a very high percentage of predators among clergy. Not just sexual predators, but emotional predators as well. These individuals, present in every faith system, inevitably cause lasting harm to their houses of worship and … Continue reading

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The Trouble With Title IV

I’ve written before about Title IV, which is the collection of clergy disciplinary canons in The Episcopal Church. And while recent changes are largely for the good, there remain some serious shortcomings. As illustrated by the +Bruno and +Cook cases, … Continue reading

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Shocking and Appaling: The Two Words that Best Describe the Most Recent News in the Bishop Bruno Matter

Just days after the hearing panel issued its decision in the Title IV disciplinary case against Bishop Bruno, Bishop Coadjutor Taylor has issued a letter stating that the diocese intends to proceed with the sale of the physical plant that … Continue reading

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Study Shows One in Ten Protestant Churches Have Experienced Fraud

A recent study reveals some compelling statistics about fraud, effective financial controls, and cash reserves in churches. The study, done by LifeWay, indicates that: The prevalence of fraud rises as the size of the church increases, with parishes of more … Continue reading

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The Weaponization of Faith

In a development that mirrors the decline of courtesy and community-mindedness in society generally, one of the disturbing trends in society is the increasing weaponization of faith. By this I mean the use of a person’s faith to gain power … Continue reading

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Abusive Clergy: The Aftermath 

Based on my own experiences with an abusive clergyperson, I’ve come to a realization. That realization is that there often is little that can be done to repair the harm that results, no matter how sincere the efforts may be. … Continue reading

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Bishop Lawrence: A Study in Bullying

One topic I often write about is church bullies. The recent decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which awarded almost all Episcopal assets to The Episcopal Church (TEC), versus the pro-Lawrence dissidents, underscores one of the worst organized cases … Continue reading

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