Connecticut Diocese Resolves Clergy Abuse Case

Rev. James Kowalski, the former dean of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, reached an agreement with the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to resolve an allegation of clergy sexual abuse against him which dates back to 1984. A young woman alleged Kowalski sexually abused her when he came to visit her during her freshman year at college. Kowalski’s connection to the alleged victim started when he was a newly ordained priest at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut, when the complainant was in middle school. At the time of the alleged abuse, Kowalski was serving at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford.

Read more

Woman Sues Megachurch for $1 Million for Mishandling Her Sex Abuse Case

In recent news, an 18-year-old-woman has hired a sexual abuse lawyer and is suing The Village Church (TVC) in Texas for more than $1 million dollars. According to the lawsuit filing, the plaintiff was allegedly 11 years old when she was sexually molested by TVC employee Matthew Tonne while attending summer camp. To make matters worse, TVC handled the initial allegations by the plaintiff poorly. Matt Chandler, TVC’s pastor, was quoted as saying “[the unnamed sexual abuser did not currently have] access to member children of TVC” because Tonne technically no longer worked for TVC. Chandler was later quoted in an email to the TVC congregation saying that Tonne was leaving TVC due to an “alcohol abuse problem”. In other words, Tonne was not leaving TVC as a result of the sexual abuse lawsuit. Tonne also received a severance package from TVC upon departure.

Read more

The Southern Baptist Convention must enact tough reform on its sexual abuse crisis

With 15 million members and more than 47,000 churches, Baptists make up the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. And ten years ago, Southern Baptists cried out to denominational leaders to create a registry of sexual abusers within the church. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) did not listen. Instead, they insisted that individual churches were autonomous and therefore sexual abuse crimes within the church were not their responsibility.

Read more