Amen to that!
Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, was explaining why he signed the clergy letter to Southern Baptist president Frank Page. The letter, spearheaded by Father Gary Hayes in Kentucky, was sent to Page on Thursday, July 19. As reported yesterday in the Christian Post, clergy from 5 denominations chided the Baptist president for his harsh rhetoric about clergy sex abuse victims. “Your comments…are misguided and misinformed,” they wrote.
Page, who has castigated support groups for victims raped as children by clergy, continues to toss out his rote line: “Even one instance of sexual molestation is one too many.”
Nice-sounding words, but we all know the problem is really much, much bigger than “even one instance,” don’t we? Page should know that as well. So why does he keep trying to minimize it?
How long will it be before Page acknowledges the truth? There have been countless instances of child molestation committed by Southern Baptist clergy, and in far too many of those instances, the minister was allowed to move from one church to another even after there was serious cause for concern.
What’s it going to take to stop this tragic pattern?
Dr. De La Torre had the answer. He knows what Dr. Page can’t seem to grasp. Nice-sounding words aren’t going to protect kids. What’s needed are deeds.
How much longer will it be before Southern Baptist leadership steps up to the plate and takes action similar to what other mainstream denominations are doing?
Listed below are the clergy who signed the letter to SBC president Frank Page. After Father Hayes had already sent off the letter, Rev. Karin Kilpatric asked that her name be added, and so I included her on this list.
- Fr. Gary R. Hayes, Pastor, St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Owensboro, KY
- Rev. Dr. Michael Granzen, Moderator of Elizabeth Presbytery, Elizabeth, NJ
- Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Associate Professor of Social Ethics & Director of the Justice and Peace Institute, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO
- Rev. Karl Harman, PhD (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Pastor of Dallas Center United Methodist Church, Dallas Center, Iowa
- Rev. Mark J. Powell, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN
- Rev. Aaron Turner, Minister of Worship, New Beginnings Baptist Church (SBC-affiliated), Longview, TX
- Rev. John Harrison, Ordained Southern Baptist minister, retired, Tecumseh, OK
- Rev. Gene Scarborough, Ordained Southern Baptist minister, retired, Rocky Mount, NC
- Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, Victims' Advocate
- Rev. William H. Edwards
- Rev. Karin Kilpatric, First United Church of Arvada (UCC), Arvada, CO