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Top Southern Baptists stonewalled sex abuse victims

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, have been stoning and discrediting survivors of sexually abused clergy for nearly two decades in a bid to protect their own reputation, according to a scandalous 288-page research report released Sunday. These survivors and other stakeholders The Southern Baptists have repeatedly shared allegations with the SBC Executive Committee, “only to be confronted, again and again, with resistance, stoning and even utter hostility from some within the EC,” the report said. The seven-month survey was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, an independent company set up by the Executive Committee after representatives of last year’s national meeting pushed for an independent inquiry. “External advisers have largely controlled the response to these reports of abuse; and have focused solely on avoiding liability for the SBC,” the report said. faced the constant urge that the SBC could not take action because of its citizenship “Autonomy – even if it meant that convicted criminals continued to serve without notice or warning to their current church or church,” the report added. SBC President Ed Leighton said in a statement Sunday that he “deeply regrets” the victims and thanked God for their work that SBC is pushing right now. He called on Southern Baptists to mourn and prepare to change the culture of the doctrine and implement reforms. “I pray that Southern Baptists will begin to prepare today to take deliberate action to address these failures and to chart a new course when we meet together in Anaheim,” said Litton Among. set up a permanent governing body to oversee comprehensive long-term reforms related to sexual abuse and related misconduct within the SBC. Provide a comprehensive resource toolkit that includes protocols, training, education, and practical information. The sexual abuse scandal was highlighted in 2019 by a landmark report by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News documenting hundreds of cases in southern Baptist churches, including several in which alleged perpetrators remained in the ministry. Last year, thousands of representatives at the SBC National Assembly sent the message that they did not want the Executive Committee to oversee an investigation into its own actions. Instead, they overwhelmingly voted to set up a task force to oversee the review by third parties. SBC President Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, appointed the panel. The members of the Executive Committee had a week to review the report before it was made public on Sunday afternoon. The recommendations of the panel based on the Guidepost findings will be presented at the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim on June 14-15. In February, the Executive Committee demanded a public apology and a confidential settlement of sexually abused survivor Jennifer Lyell, who was misdiagnosed by the dogma’s internal news service when it decided to make its story public in March 2019. Lyell revealed that after learning that the man accused of abuse, a former South Baptist seminary professor, had recently returned to the Ministry. She said she told her story to prevent the man from engaging in further abusive acts. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Leaders of the South Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, have exposed and discredited survivors of sexually abused clergy for nearly two decades as they try to protect their reputation, according to a scandalous 288-page research report released Sunday.

These survivors, and other interested Southern Baptists, have repeatedly shared allegations with the SBC Executive Committee, “only to meet, again and again, with resistance, stoning and even utter hostility from some within the EC,” the report said.

The seven-month investigation was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, an independent company contracted by the Executive Committee after representatives at last year’s national meeting pushed for an independent investigation.

“Our investigation has revealed that, for many years, some senior EC leaders, along with external advisers, largely monitored the EC’s response to these reports of abuse … and focused solely on avoiding liability for the SBC,” he said. the exhibition.

“In the service of this goal, the survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, did not believe or faced the constant backlash that the SBC could not take action because of its policy of ecclesiastical autonomy – even if it meant that convicted criminals “they continued their ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or church,” the report added.

SBC President Ed Leighton said in a statement on Sunday that he “deeply regrets” the victims and thanked God for their work that has pushed the SBC so far. He called on Southern Baptists to mourn and prepare to change the culture of the doctrine and implement reforms.

“I pray that Southern Baptists begin preparing today for deliberate action to address these failures and set a new course when we meet together in Anaheim,” Litton said.

Among the key recommendations in the report:

– Establish an independent committee and later set up a permanent board to oversee comprehensive long-term sexual harassment and related misconduct within the SBC.

—Create and maintain an Offender Information System to notify the community of known offenders.

– Provide a complete resource toolkit that includes protocols, training, education and practical information.

—Limit the use of non-disclosure agreements and political arrangements that bind survivors to sexual abuse confidentiality, unless requested to do so by the survivor.

The sexual abuse scandal came to the fore in 2019 from a landmark report by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News documenting hundreds of cases in southern Baptist churches, including several in which alleged perpetrators remained in the ministry.

Last year, thousands of representatives at the SBC National Assembly sent the message that they did not want the Executive Committee to oversee the investigation of its own actions. Instead, they overwhelmingly voted to set up a task force to oversee the review by third parties. SBC President Ed Litton, pastor of the Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, appointed the committee.

The members of the Executive Committee had one week to review the report before it was made public on Sunday afternoon. The recommendations of the working group based on the Guidepost findings will be presented at the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim on 14-15 June.

In February, the Executive Committee offered a public apology and a confidential settlement to sexually abused survivor Jennifer Lyell, who was misdiagnosed by the name’s internal news service when she decided to publish her story in March 2019.

Lyell has publicly revealed that she was a survivor of sexual abuse after learning that the man she accused of abuse, a former Southern Baptist seminary teacher, had recently returned to the ministry. She said she presented her story to prevent the man from engaging in further abusive acts.

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The Associated Press’s religious coverage is supported through the AP’s partnership with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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