The issue of secrecy and secret deals within Anglican churches appears to be an emerging theme in today's posts. I have just received the following email from the administrator of the EPISCOPAL CHURCH DISCIPLINE: A GUIDE FOR LAITY blog.
Someone recently called my attention to the conversation at DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON HERE?.
In case that question was not rhetorical, and because the underlying content might interest an English priest and his readers in how church discipline operates on the American/Episcopal side of the pond, I send along some follow-up information. The web site below describes the subsequent seven months of legal maneuvering after the 10/2011 posting on your blog site. In effect, a priest in California was investigated by a Diocesan-appointed lawyer and indicted by a Diocesan review board, and a Diocesan trial court twice rejected the priest's attempts to avoid trial, only to have the bishop stop the trial process and sentence the priest to "life coaching".
For full details check out my blog that has some of the relevant details about the behavior of the priest which led to two of his female parishioners being assaulted (one raped) and at least a third of his parish leaving in dismay and disgust, with no repentance or disciplinary consequences. It gives new meaning to Milton's statement something like "We are unchurched because of our prelates". As you gather, this is not just some snobs being upset about church outreach to the poor, nor is it related to the church's involvement in the Occupy! movement such as at St. Paul's. Indeed, our local Occupy! events ignored the church
altogether. Maybe that's because the priest makes $100K/y and bishop twice that.
Oddly enough, the bishop who aborted the disciplinary process in this case (and who voted to over-turn a conviction in another) was recently in England (Gloucester) but this email comes too late to alert your readers.
Best wishes from
-EpiscopalChurchDiscipline (an oxymoron)