CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE (2002)

WHEREAS there is a deluge of allegations of clerical sexual misconduct; and

WHEREAS there are very heavy pressures and temptations facing our clergy that are unique to our age and culture; and

WHEREAS we align our concerns with Church father St. Gregory the Great’s dictum: “It is better that scandals arise than that truth be silenced;” and

WHEREAS the first concern of the Church of God is to offer immediate and appropriate care to victims and their families, and

WHEREAS the Church of God values open communication and dialogue with the community concerning clergy sexual abuse within the confines of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we reaffirm our commitment to be concerned for the rights, reputation, healing, and spiritual welfare of all victims; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED when there is substantial evidence of sexual misconduct of a Church of God minister involving minors, the minister will be placed on administrative leave and the Church of God will comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting of the incident to legal authorities and cooperating with the investigation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a minister who has engaged in sexual misconduct with a child will not be returned to ministry in accordance with our polity; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we sincerely pray for both the victim and the abuser, believing each to be God’s unique and loved creation; and, that we be careful to avoid any spirit of pharisaism in keeping with the expectations stated in Galatians 6:1.


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