WOW… on the On Our Way Home forum, +Rick Painter breaks his silence. Incredible insights, as always, from Bishop Rick (I always enjoy saying his name fast as in “bishopric”).
Click here to see the post by +Painter or see below…
I have just been reconnected to the internet after having been off during our recent selling, buying, remodeling, and moving into our new church facility. So, I come a little late to this conversation.
This is my first time ever to post on this, or any blog, forum, or what have you. I have read with a broken heart many of your posts. Also, I have experienced anger, disgust, and downright indignation at some of the posts.
First, unless you sat with us in the HOB in the CEC you do not truly know what we confronted and what we did not confront. Most of the confrontations had to take place out side of the “official” meetings because of the “controlled atmosphere”. Even when we were told we could speak out we knew it would be turned on us and used against us.
Last year someone posted my letter in support of +Ken Myers and his wonderful wife, Shirley. In that letter I called the CEC a “cult”. I have since been blamed for ” making the CEC a cult by my calling it one”. Interesting. The point of that letter was my being appalled that none of the Patriarch’s Council had responded to their letters…in any fashion at all. As a member of the HOB when they wrote us I responded to all of the Bishops with that letter. I would do so again.
A few simple facts:
I, as did others at other times, made personal trips to San Clemente to confront +Adler regarding his personal problems and the overall problems in the CEC. I did this at least three times, at my own expense, not my church’s or my diocese’s. Also, I confronted him publicly and privately at various meetings of the leadership, both in SC and other venues. In addition, there were many very loud phone confrontations between +Adler and me.
Several of us confronted him over the debacle he led in Manila. He was warned that the CEC was coming apart if he did not change, get help, and/or step aside for the good of the communion. All of this he refused, denied, ignored, used against us, and on and on ad nauseum…
Some of we Bishops had quit “having a drink” with the others and some of us never smoked. I quit along with another Bishop I will not name because I refused to allow my conduct to contribute to the continued disintegration of a church…I have never smoked anything, period. For this I, and others were ridiculed…so be it.
I am the Bishop that watched +Adler leer at Shirley Myers that fateful night. Everytime he got up to go in the house I would go in to be sure she was not alone with him. I was so angry that I did not say something for fear of starting a physical fight with the man. (That had almost happened on another occasion.)When he brought up his most recent “revelation”, read heresy, I and another Bishop left for the hotel. I haved since apologized to Shirley and +Ken for failing them that night by not speaking up. Ever been so disgusted and mad you did not know what to do? Then you can understand where I was…no excuse.
Those of you that have questioned whether what he did was “sexual harrassment” or not…need to understand that is not the issue, although by definition it is exactly that! The issue is this man was, and sounds like still is, wrong and refusing to deal with it. I am not his judge and I pray every day for the man…but, those of us with training enough to be psychologists, and some were, did confront him, repeatedly, to no avail. And, when we talked with the others in leadership they would “marginalize” us or tell us it was “being taken care of”.
Further, the structure of the CEC leadership was such that the HOB was absolutely powerless to effect change, correction, or any such thing. All…repeat, all decisions were made by either the Patriarch’s or Primate’s Council which in actuality boiled down to +Adler getting his way. In the end, that was not always the case in those two privy councils…but, it had been for so long it was BAU.
I realize I open myself up to all kinds of responses, so be it. Please know I have thought long and hard before I have undertaken to add my two cents worth.
I am praying for Joni, Victoria, Celine, et al at St. Michaels’. I pray for Fr. Barry, Fr. Cuthbertson, and Fr. Olkie and thier families…these are good men. I pray for +Kessler, Cn. House and the other SM clergy, we all had some great times together and these are good people that, like all of us, got caught up in something that went out of control. I pray for Betty and the Adler family…how heartbreaking all of this is. I pray for Dan Sharp and his precious wife Priscilla, how sad. I pray for those trying to lead the CEC out of and forward from this mess. God have mercy on all of us.
In closing one of the Bishops that left said something that really describes what happened to us, “They, our leadership, took advantage of our goodnes. They used the things our parents and grandparents built into us, against us…character, honor, loyalty, and such old fashioned traits”.
Thanks Mike for allowing this overly long post.
Pro Dei Regno,