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Some of you may know that for six months our church has undergone an investigation of our former pastor. Last week the Report was published that recommended discipline. Our Bishop of the C4SO diocese presented the Report to our former priest and, to make the discussion short, our pastor has resigned.
Our family uniformly admired and appreciated Jay Greener, so we were taken by surprise by both the investigation and then the Final Report. So much had we appreciated him that he appears in a couple of my books and I want today to apologize to his victims for what we have written about him.
Here is a brief summary from the Final Report (p. 29):
There are clearly two different stories being told. One is a story told by those harmed by Mr. Greener and those who have sought to advocate on their behalf. The other is a story told by Mr. Greener that denies any inappropriate actions. Pellucid found the accounts of those who were reported inappropriate actions to be credible and compelling. While it is normal for the same events to be interpreted and retold in different ways by different people, the recollection and interpretation presented to Pellucid by multiple women and multiple advocates has been consistently clear, specific, and consistent with similar stories across time, even when individuals were describing the same events without any knowledge of another person’s recollection and interpretation of those events.
To all the survivors of these inappropriate actions (detailed as power, emotional, sexual misconduct) I want to say two things to all the wounded:
First, I believe you and what you say. I cannot say this often enough or loud enough: I believe you.
Second, I am, and my daughter and I are, very sorry for writing admiring statements about him that have wounded or deepened your wounds.
I have always believed a concrete story is better than an abstract one, so I have named names. This tragedy in our church has stopped me in my tracks about using names and personal stories, and it has made me suddenly far more cautious.
We continue to wrestle with whether or not there were events or statements we missed that could have tipped us off to any unacceptable abuse.
One more time, we’re sorry to all the survivors of his misconduct. Our Bishop often says, “Pastors are called to the cure of souls, not to the wounding of souls.”
(I have turned off comments to this newsletter.)