PART 7 ABUSE OF TRUST
CHAPTER 8STORIES OF ABUSE BY THOSE IN CHURCH LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Presenting stories of abuse is not meant to bias one leadership model over the other, for such will occur under both models. The purpose is to convey to the reader that each model will approach different issues in different ways, because of how they have chosen to interpret the scriptures.
The question is, does one leadership model lend itself to be more abusive of others? Does one model promote the idea that those in leadership are above reproach in their teaching and behavior?
I have tried to select articles about abuse that have already been litigated. In this way the story that has been selected is not something that has been written by a church member against someone in leadership without a decision rendered on the facts that have been presented.
After you have read these articles, I will present a brief contrasting summary of the topics that we have addressed under both leadership models. In this way, you will be able to see in a clear a concise manner the obvious differences in approach, and you will be left with one very important question to ponder.
The first story or article discusses the cover-up of a priest’s habitual sin by his peers.
VATICAN AND IRISH CHURCH COVER-UP OF WORST PEDOPHILE PRIEST LAID BARE
[email protected] December 17, 2010, 07:09 AM
The just released chapter in the Murphy Commission report on abuse in the Dublin archdiocese on abuser priest Tony Walsh reveals in horrific detail how the Vatican covered up for the man the Murphy Commission described as the worst abuser of all.
It also described how the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Ryan, wrote a strong letter of approval for Byrne despite knowing he was a dreadful pedophile.
It is hard to fathom the incredible cover up of a depraved monster and why, even now, some priests who knew but covered up are not prosecuted.
As for Walsh he recently got a 16-year-sentence—way too short for a man who should never see the light of day outside a prison in my opinion.
The Commission of Inquiry concluded that Walsh was allowed to abuse young children in the 70s, 80s and 90s even though the church knew all about him.
He abused one seven year old by tying him down on the altar with ropes from his vestments and raped him, playing Elvis Presley music to drown out his screams.
The first charge against him was made just days after he was named a parish priest in Ballyfermot, a working class Dublin suburb, but nothing was done.
Walsh was permitted to practice even though an official report by the Archdiocese in 1988 describes him as 'a very disturbed man who is always going to be dangerous.'
Archbishop Dermot Ryan knew all about this by 1984 but did nothing, except move him from parish to parish and write him a letter of recommendation.
He even won fame as a 'singing priest', one of a group of young priests who performed concerts for charity.
The Church authorities eventually sent him to Britain for treatment. The report there said Walsh was 'a very disturbed man' who 'is always going to be dangerous' and 'could not be let near schools, children, confession etc.'
Despite that he continued to serve.
Finally, when Archbishop Desmond Connell took over he demanded that the Vatican defrock him but they refused, sending him to a monastery instead.
The report shines a light on a deeply depressing and horrific moment in the history of the Irish church. Suffer little children, gets a whole new meaning41.
It’s not only incomprehensible to think that someone as a leader in the church could commit these heinous acts, but it is even more incomprehensible to think that he was not removed from his priestly position, but was rather relocated to a monastery.
The next article concerns a pastor, who had admitted to not only having sexual relations with various members of the church, but while knowingly having AIDS.OUSTED PASTOR COMPLIES, TURNS OVER KEYS, BANK ACCOUNTS AND CARPosted: Monday, October 13, 2014 12:25 PM EDTUpdated: Saturday, November 15, 2014 3:06 PM ESTBy WSFA 12 News StaffMONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery is trying to move forward after former pastor Juan McFarland complied with a judge's order to turn over keys, bank accounts and a Mercedes Benz belonging to the church Thursday.Board of Trustee Chair Lee Sandford released the following statement Friday:"The members of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church have felt and we appreciate the outpouring of love and support from the community of faith in Montgomery, the surrounding area and throughout the country as we worked to resolve this difficult situation while ensuring that we stayed within the will of God. Oftentimes we are faced with circumstances that test our faith yet we know that God is in control. We are appreciative of God's grace which covered us during these difficult times and it is God who gave us the strength to carry on. To God be the Glory for the things he has done and continues to do in our lives.First, the Shiloh church family would like to thank Judge Price for his granting of the Preliminary Injunction and we count it as a victory in God's name. We extend heartfelt thanks to Rev. Leon Ross and the Weeping Willow Baptist Church family for opening their doors to us to allow us to worship as a church family on October 12th. We would also like to thank Rev. Jay Joye and the Young Meadows Presbyterian Church family for their offer to welcome us to their worship service this Sunday. Special thanks go out to Resurrection Catholic Church and Father Emmanuel for opening up their facility to us and providing spiritual support and guidance as we went through the storm and to our excellent legal counsel, McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP Law Firm.We, the Shiloh Church family are extremely blessed that we will be able to resume our regular worship services in Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on this Sunday. We invite all members of the community of faith to come out and worship with us. We pray God's blessings on all parties involved as we move forward during this period of healing and restoration."Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price ruled against McFarland Thursday, telling him in a preliminary injunction hearing to return the property to the church's leadership. In addition to returning the property, the judge barred McFarland from the church's property.
The ousted pastor arrived in the Mercedes around 4 p.m., surrendered it to the church, and drove away in a different Mercedes with an unidentified woman.
The ruling against the pastor came several hours after Judge Price called a morning recess for the courtroom, packed with more than two-thirds of the church's members. Juan McFarland sat on the very back row and had to be called to the front by the judge to join his co-defendant.
Both McFarland and his co-defendant, Marc Peacock, Sr. were being sued by church members who say they voted McFarland out of the church by an 80-1 margin after he admitted from the pulpit to having sexual relations inside the church building - with congregants - while knowingly having AIDS. McFarland has also admitted to drug abuse and misuse of church finances. Still, the pastor refused to step down.
McFarland did not say a word during the hearings, had no legal counsel and chose to represent himself. He left the courtroom and stepped onto an elevator with two men after the judge ruled against him.
Peacock was being sued for his alleged role in helping McFarland change the church's locks, bank accounts and for threatening to shoot deacons if they returned to the church's property. However, during Thursday's hearing, Peacock resigned his membership with the church and was subsequently removed from the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claimed McFarland passed a new church constitution in 2013 giving himself total control of the church while only a few members were present, and it sought the termination and removal of both McFarland and Peacock from all aspects of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church's operations…
WSFA 12 News first broke this story, which has since been seen around the country and world, and spoke exclusively with members of the church and Juan McFarland, himself. The pastor confirmed to WSFA 12 News by both telephone and text message each of the shocking details that lead to the public outcry and his ouster from the pulpit42.It’s hard to imagine something like this going on in the hierarchy of the church. They should be without reproach in all aspects of their life. It’s difficult to imagine going to church in order to grow spiritually, and then at some point finding out that those in leadership were gratifying their flesh over and over and over again.
The next story is about a church, which hid bank accounts from the congregation, while using the money for costs associated with clergy misconduct. SECRET ACCOUNTS PAID FOR CLERGY MISCONDUCT, AND LEFT CHURCH OPEN TO FINANCIAL ABUSEBy Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public RadioJan. 23, 2014The Rev. Stanley Kozlak served nearly three decades in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. But then he fathered a child and the archdiocese needed him gone.Removing Kozlak quietly wouldn't be cheap, but church leaders knew how to move money discreetly. The archdiocese held two secret accounts, controlled by the archbishop, designed to make problems like Kozlak disappear.To get him out of active ministry, Archbishop Harry Flynn agreed in 2002 to pay the fallen priest $1,900 a month "disability" for life, plus $800 a month in rent for life, and $980 a month "to replace the social security payment until Father Kozlak reaches age 67 when he would receive his full social security." Kozlak's package was part of a secret financial system that let archdiocese leaders divert millions of dollars away from traditional church work to deal with clergy misconduct.Internal financial reports show the archdiocese used the stealth accounts repeatedly, paying nearly $11 million from 2002 to 2011 — about 3 percent of overall archdiocese revenues in those years — for costs tied to clergy misconduct under Flynn and his successor, Archbishop John Nienstedt.The system allowed archdiocese leaders to remove priests who had committed child abuse or other infractions without attracting attention. Lax accounting controls let church leaders cut checks to make problems go away.The secrecy, however, also left the church vulnerable to embezzlement.Today, the archdiocese is facing a slew of lawsuits over clergy misconduct that threaten to cripple it financially at a time when schools and churches are closing, donors are aging and there's concern over two major fundraising campaigns.The archdiocese says it can weather a financial storm. Local parishes, however, could be hardest hit over time. Pastors are already feeling the financial pushback from Catholics who donated to the church believing their money went to benevolent causes.Millions, however, went for very different purposes.Thousands of pages of private, internal archdiocese documents analyzed by MPR News detail a stealth financial system that included payments to persuade priests to leave active ministry, financial support for children fathered by priests and money for legal settlements.Archdiocese leaders made payment decisions with little consideration of how they might hurt the church's budget, said Scott Domeier, a former top archdiocese accountant who exploited the secrecy to steal more than $650,000 from the archdiocese.The clergy misconduct budget was so well concealed that a trained eye wouldn't notice the spending, Domeier said.Payments associated with clergy misconduct came from separate, secret accounts, depending on the type of behavior involved. One such account, numbered 1-515, paid costs connected to priests accused of sexually abusing children. Account 1-516, meanwhile, paid costs related to the abuse of adults, or to financial misconduct. Items with these codes included expenses for therapy costs for victims and priests43.My own thinking about this is that you can’t make this stuff up. Church members that faithfully gave financially to the church were unaware of these secret bank accounts that were used to settle various types of misconduct by those in leadership instead of being used for benevolent causes.
The last article is one involving a pastor taking advantage of a church member for financial gain.NINTH CIRCUIT ENFORCES JAPANESE JUDGMENT AGAINST CHURCH UNDER CALIFORNIA UNIFORM-FOREIGN-COUNTRY MONEY JUDGMENTS RECOGNITION ACT ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLE By Mendoza Robledo, AdrianaSuffolk Transnational Law Review , Vol. 37, No. 1 , Winter 2014 Article excerpt:Ohno v. Yasuma, 723 F.3d 984 (2013).The California Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (the Uniform Act) allows a California court to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment. (1) The Uniform Act provides courts with nine discretionary grounds for non-recognition of foreign judgments. (2) In Ohno v. Yasuma, (3) the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed whether the enforcement of an international judgment against a church constituted state action in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution. (4) The court also addressed whether enforcement of the judgment is repugnant to public policy and therefore not covered by the Uniform Act. (5) The court held that enforcement of an international award did not constitute state action, triggering constitutional analysis, and that enforcement of the award is not against public policy. (6) Ohno, a citizen of Japan, became a member of the Saints of Glory Church in that country in 1994. (7) She predominately practiced at the Tokyo branch, where worshipers listened to sermons given in California by the principal pastor, Yasuma. (8) Saints of Glory members were required to contribute one-tenth of their incomes to demonstrate obedience. (9) After Ohno lost her job, Yasuma convinced her to live in a Church-affiliated residence in Tokyo with other church members. (10) During that time, Ohno discontinued use of her prescribed anti-depressants and tranquilizers because Yasuma discouraged the use of medications. (11) During this time, damage to Ohno's nervous system caused her depression and general ataxia to worsen; as a result, Ohno delved deeper into the Church and its ideology. (12) Beginning in 2001, Yasuma encouraged Ohno to make large money transfers to both himself and another Church minister. (13) In January of 2002, Yasuma began spending several hours talking with Ohno and pressuring her to tithe more of her income. (14) Within two months of these conversations, Ohno had transferred the majority of her assets totaling JPY68,678,424 to the Church. (15) Approximately one year after these transfers, the Church ordered Ohno to leave claiming she was not obedient to Jesus Christ. (16) A few years after Ohno left the Church, she resumed taking her medications and came to the realization that the Church had taken advantage of her illness and her fear of not obeying Jesus Christ. (17) F.Y.I. : JPY refers to the Japanese Yen. In relation to the exchange rates 1 USD-US Dollar is approximately 120.31 Yen. Therefore 68,678,424 Yen is equal to about $570,846.00 US Dollars.Ohno filed a complaint in Japan in 2007 against Yasuma and two other Church members under tort and unjust enrichment claims. (18) The focus of her claims was on the donation of approximately USD500,000 to Saints of Glory Church under the stress generated by Yasuma's threatening conversations with Ohno. (19) After two years of litigation in Japan, the Tokyo District Court held that Yasuma and Saints of Glory had illegally induced Ohno to make substantial payments during a time when she was not psychologically stable. (20) The Tokyo District Court awarded Ohno USD843,235.66, which included the large transfers made to Saints of Glory in 2002 as well as damages for pain and suffering. (21) Furthermore, Ohno brought an international diversity action in the United States District Court for the Central District of California for the enforcement of the Japanese judgment against Yasuma and Saints of Glory under the Uniform Act. (22) The district court enforced the judgment against Yasuma and Saints of Glory under the Uniform Act and held that the Japanese Judgment was not repugnant to public policy or the Free Exercise Clause44. (23)… Wow! Again, I am stunned. This church required that its members tithe, along with also promoting the belief that they should not take medication. This particular member’s mental and physical state, without the use of her medications, was severely affected. Instead of the leadership of the church recognizing this, they used this as an opportunity to take most, if not all, of her money. To make matters worse, she was asked to leave the church because she was not obedient to Jesus Christ.
I’m only guessing, but I wonder if at some point while she was living in church housing that she ran out of money and could no longer afford to pay rent along with any other related expenses. This is just conjecture on my part.
After reading these articles I can tell you that I became agitated and angry in my mind. While it’s difficult to imagine anyone in the leadership of a church involved with perpetrating these kinds of atrocities on its members it is of utmost importance that you, if you are a church member, are being taught about who you are as a new creature in Christ; how to walk in the spiritual qualities of the Holy Spirit; and how to have a divine perspective on the many situations that will occur, both in your own personal life and within the church.
In the next and final chapter, I will present a brief comparative summary of the characteristics of the two leadership models side by side. Following the contrasting summary, I was initially going to ask one question, but after consideration I will present two thought-provoking questions.
Endnotes41Patrick Roberts, ”Vatican and Irish church cover-up of worst pedophile priest finally laid bare”, 2010, 20 Nov. 2014 ˂ http://www.irishcentral.com>. 42 WSFA 12 News Staff, ”Ousted pastor complies, turns over keys, bank accounts and car”, 2014, 21 Nov. 2014, ˂ http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/26772387/ousted-pastor-complies-turns-over-keys-bank-accounts-and-car>.43Tom Scheck, ”Secret accounts paid for clergy misconduct but left church open to financial abuse”, 2014, 22 Nov. 2014, ˂http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/catholic-church/2014/01/23/secret-accounts-kept-clergy-misconduct-quiet-but-left-archdiocese-finances-exposed/>.44 AdrianaMendoza Robledo,”Ninth Circuit Enforces Japanese Judgment against Church under California Uniform-Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act”, 2014, 23 Nov. 2014, ˂https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-366863540/ninth-circuit-enforces-japanese-judgment-against-church>.
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