In a meeting this week, the standing committee of our diocese voted unanimously to pass the resolution below, which upholds the original intent of General Convention Resolution D034 crafted in response to the #MeToo movement. With this resolution, the Episcopal Church made an intentional effort to correct past abuses by clergy members by lifting the statute of limitations for three years, beginning January 1, 2019. This means that anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of an Episcopal clergy person may report that abuse to diocesan intake officers who handle each claim with care and confidentiality. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President Gay Jennings issued this letter encouraging a pastoral response.
The Rev. Paige Blair-Hubert penned an open letter to the House of Bishops on March 5, pointing out a strange clause in the original Resolution D034. This clause states that the lifting of the ban will “be retroactive only to January 1, 1996.” The Rev. Blair-Hubert’s concern was for those who may have experienced a traumatic event prior to 1996. The House of Bishops met March 12-15 at Kanuga in North Carolina. In response to this open letter, they reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to hear all complaints, no matter when they took place.
Our diocese has handled this by clearly stating that any claim against a clergy person will be heard and handled according to the disciplinary laws of the Church, regardless of when the incident occurred.
RESOLVED, that the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego will not dismiss a claim made against a cleric under Title IV, Canons 3 and 4(h)(1) of the Canons of The Episcopal Church on the basis that the alleged misconduct took place before January 1, 1996, for as long as the provisions of Title IV, Canon 19.4(c) are in effect; and
RESOLVED FURTHER, that it is the opinion of this Standing Committee that Title IV, Canon 19.4(c) is not limited by or subject to the provisions of Title IV, Canon 19.4(d); and
RESOLVED FURTHER, that this forbearance shall be followed by the Standing Committee in its capacity as ecclesiastical authority, by the Intake Officers of this diocese and by the Reference Panel of this diocese.
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