|Photo courtesy of SNAP|
June 11, 2014
*Updated with media coverage of our event at the SBC 2014 annual meeting:
*Washington Times- Southern Baptists urged to review abuse reports
As the Southern Baptist meeting concluded Wednesday, representatives of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests passed out fliers outside urging the denomination to take stronger steps to safeguard children from abuse and prevent cover-ups of clergy sexual offenders.*Associated Baptist Press:
The mother of a child sex abuse victim who is suing a Maryland ministry with ties to leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention said June 11 that a “good-old-boy” network among evangelical preachers is just as effective in covering up clergy predators as the Catholic hierarchy.
Clergy abuse victims to leaflet outside the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore
Statement from Pam Palmer of the SGM Civil Lawsuit
On Monday, June 9, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals heard our Appeal. We are hopeful but must now await the release of the Judges’ ruling, which should come in a few months. Whether we have a favorable ruling or not, the plaintiffs and their attorneys are committed to going forward with civil litigation for the cover-up of sex abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). These concerns were outlined in our Legal Complaint (2nd Amended Complaint,5-14-2013) as well as testified about, under oath, in the criminal case of the now convicted sex predator, Nate Morales.
The alleged cover-up of sex abuse by now convicted sex predator John Langworthy, a former youth Music Minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano Texas is eerily similar to the case of Morales, Youth and Worship Leader from Covenant Life Church.
SBC President Rejects Requests to Strengthen Child Abuse Prevention Measures
Two weeks ago Frank Page, President and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention sent a response to David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and Amy Smith, SNAP Leader - Texas, refusing their requests and recommendations for protecting children within the ranks of the Southern Baptist churches.
Here are those requests:
· Clergy abuse victims ask to speak at Baptist annual meeting
· Request independent review of clergy abuses & cover-ups
· Requests SBC’s top official to apologize for insulting child sex abuse advocates
You can read more about why SNAP made these specific requests and what we consider to be Frank Page’s unsympathetic response toward victims of sex abuse here
Page stands by his claim that clergy sex abuse victims, who have had the strength to come forward, including those allegedly abused at Prestonwood Baptist Church are “opportunistic.” He refuses to allow G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) - Boz Tchividjian’s organization - to conduct an independent review of the circumstances of the alleged sex abuse at Prestonwood Baptist Church in TX.
Read here for further information.
Also, please read documentation by Christa Brown of StopBaptistPredators.org on specific incidents of alleged collusion by SBC leaders in cover-up of sex abuse. (sidebar “Collusion and Cover-ups” here)
SBC and SGM Sex Abuse Link and Why I Am Involved
Major leaders within the SBC have publicly supported CJ Mahaney, my former Senior Pastor, now in the midst of what has been called by some in the media as the largest sex abuse scandal in the Evangelical church. My daughter is just one of the many sex abuse victims from SGM under Mahaney’s watch. In recent years Southern Baptist seminaries and related conferences, such as T4G (Together for the Gospel have invited Mahaney to come and teach, while his denomination (SGM) has become embroiled in multiple court cases related to cover-up of sex abuse. Such actions appear to be a direct violation of the historic resolution On Sexual Abuse of Children passed by last year’s SBC Annual Meeting:
“…RESOLVED, That we encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse…”
Sex abuse victims want more than just words!
On Wednesday, June 11th from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm SNAP will be hosting a Media Event outside the Baltimore Convention Center (where the SBC is convening). We will be handing out leaflets to SBC attendees to raise awareness about child sex abuse and the lack of response and tangible cooperation by the SBC.
If you are in the D.C./Baltimore area, come and raise awareness about how to handle child sex abuse in our churches. For more information, you can contact me [Pam Palmer] or SNAP.