U*U Clergy Misconduct Promotes Cultures Of Secrecy, Mistrust, Manipulation, And Misplaced Anger For Generations. . .
Take Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance's word for it, as reported by "Pastor Cranky" aka Rev. Roger Jones, Family Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, in his blog post titled -
PASTOR CRANKY’S REPORT FROM THE 2011 UUA GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN CHARLOTTE
which included a brief report about Rev. Pope-Lance's "challenging lecture" about the *legacy* of clergy sexual misconduct in The U*U Movement, and how clergy misconduct (AFA*I*AC both clergy sexual misconduct and non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct. . .) "damages congregational systems for generations, promoting cultures of secrecy, mistrust, manipulation, and misplaced anger."
Pastor Cranky goes on to say that in The U*U Movement "most of the misconduct has been male ministers who took advantage of their roles by having sex with women parishioners." That is probably true of clergy sexual misconduct, which is often manifested by male U*U ministers having a fling or affair with adult "women parishioners", including the wives of male parishioners. . . but this obviously does not apply to non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct. I should add that *some* U*U clergy sexual misconduct has been female U*U ministers who took advantage of their roles by having sex with women parishioners, or at least made inappropriate sexual advances to their female congregants. And, to be sure, *some* U*U clergy sexual misconduct has been male U*U ministers who took advantage of their roles by having sex with male parishioners.
Here is the initial (flawed) comment that I posted to Rev. Jones' moderated blog -
“Her challenging lecture was about the legacy of clergy sexual misconduct in our UU movement, and how misconduct damages congregational systems for generations, promoting cultures of secrecy, mistrust, manipulation, and misplaced anger.”
Who says the anger is “misplaced”?
From what I have seen the anger is usually directed at either the UU ministers who are directly responsible for the clergy misconduct, and not just sexual misconduct I might add, and the UUA and MFC officials who fail or refuse to hold their professional colleagues accountable for their misconduct.
Comment by Robin Edgar June 29, 2011 @ 5:30 pm
Here is how "Pastor Cranky" less than crankily, indeed quite kindly, responded to my initial comment -
What I understood from her lecture is that one or two or three ministries later, people in the congregation can react disproportionately to events, words and actions that have nothing to do with sexuality or inappropriate use of authority. The lecturer gave examples from her own earlier ministries, and of those after-pastors she has known, of unexplainable outbursts of anger or passive-aggressive behaviors against people in the congregation, including clergy and lay leaders, who were not present during the times of misconduct. That is what I meant by the term “misplaced anger.” If you did not hear the lecture I’m sure it will be posted in the coming months.
Comment by Pastor Cranky June 30, 2011 @ 5:21 am
And here is how I responded to Rev. Roger Jones' explanatory comment -
Thank you for your response to my somewhat cranky comment Pastor Cranky.
It is genuinely appreciated.
With 20/20 hindsight I actually came to the conclusion that I had probably misinterpreted the “misplaced anger” bit, and came back here to post my reinterpreted take on it. My reinterpretation differs somewhat from what you have posted here but I believe that it worthwhile posting here.
It should be obvious that my original comment was speaking from the point of view of the quite justifiable anger of victims of U*U clergy misconduct which is rarely, if ever, “misplaced”. Victims of clergy misconduct usually direct their anger at either the perpetrator (i.e. abusive U*U minister) or the *perpetuators* of the clergy abuse (i.e. the leaders of the implicated congregations, and the negligent and effectively complicit UUA and MFC staff. . . who not only do little or nothing to hold the abusive minister accountable for his or her “unbecoming conduct” but even go so far as to “whitewash” abusive U*U clergy and engage in various forms of victim blaming and “shooting the messenger”).
It occurred to me later that what Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance *may* have been talking about was the “misplaced anger” which is often directed at victims of clergy misconduct who dare to complain about abusive U*U clergy by the leaders and members of the affected congregations and indeed those UUA and MFC officials who “don’t want to hear about it”. I have certainly been subjected to such “misplaced anger” and know of other victims of U*U clergy misconduct, including victims of U*U clergy sexual misconduct, who have been the target of such “misplaced anger”. In fact I received an “electronic communication” within the last week or so from one victim of UU clergy sexual misconduct who wrote about how UUA administrators of the “hear no evil” variety “got angry” at them for “unblocking their ears”. . .
As far as “unexplainable outbursts of anger or passive-aggressive behaviors against people in the congregation, including clergy and lay leaders, who were not present during the times of misconduct” goes I can see how that *could* come about if the congregation failed to deal responsibly with the clergy misconduct when it occurred and the “after-pastors” and subsequent lay leaders failed or refused to do what is necessary to clean up the mess that was left. . . In effect they would be *perpetuators* of the original clergy misconduct.
I certainly would like to hear Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance’s lecture to enter into a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what she actually said and meant. I will probably request a copy of the lecture from her soon, since it may be some time before it becomes publicly available. I would like to thank you for publicly speaking about Rev. Pope-Lance’s lecture on your blog. To the best of my knowledge you are the first and only UU minister to have done so. Hopefully you are not the last though. . .
Robin Edgar aka The Emerson Avenger
Comment by Robin Edgar June 30, 2011 @ 7:18 am