Investigation Finds Southern Baptist Leaders Covered Up Sex Abuse Claims

Posted on: May 25, 2022 Religious Institutions Sexual Abuse & Assault

A third-party investigation, done at the request of Southern Baptists, found that for almost twenty years, leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention were ignoring claims regarding a sexual abuse epidemic within the community.
The report also stated that:

Sex abuse survivors were often ignored, minimized and “even vilified” by top clergy in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Similar to investigations of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, like the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, the investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention uncovered detailed cases of rampant sexual abuse. In addition, these reports uncovered how denominational leaders went out of their way to hinder any attempts at exposing the pedophiles responsible and eradicating the sexual abuse from the church. There’s also evidence in the report that suggests Southern Baptist Convention leaders, much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, secretly kept a private database of sexual predators – all while telling its community such a list could not be kept in order to protect the Baptist church from liability.

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee and other senior leaders are specifically mentioned as having protected, and even supported alleged abusers, akin to what leaders of the Roman Catholic Church did when its child sexual abuse scandal erupted years ago. Private emails from leaders show that concerns about sexual abuse were dismissed and any attempts at reform were rejected. Rev. Thomas Doyle is a priest and canon lawyer who, years ago, warned the Catholic Church about its own sexual abuse crisis. As with the Catholic Church, Doyle wrote to the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention back in 2007. In his letter, Doyle expressed his concern about the community repeating the same mistakes of the Catholic Church with regards to child sex abuse. He implored the Southern Baptist Convention to deal with the sexual abuse problem in its ranks and take action to make the children of the community safer.

The next annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is scheduled for later this year. Southern Baptist Convention president, Ed Litton, said in a statement, “We must be ready to take meaningful steps to change our culture as it relates to sexual abuse.” Hopefully, the Southern Baptists can put enough pressure on leadership to hold him, and the rest of the leaders accountable.

The entire article can be viewed here.

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