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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This is Unpleasant News . . .

Comes word, via the New York Sun, of a scandal breaking at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, NY, involving its rector, the Rev'd Andrew Mead. A complaint about him has been lodged with the New York Diocese alleging 16 counts of unseemly behaviour, including "sexually inappropriate misconduct." You can read the salacious details in the Sun article.

Personally, I don't think the accusations past the smell test: filed by "[E]leven current and former parishioners and a former priest," they read like a grab-bag assortment of complaints and all in all, seem like pretty small beer. I think there is a lot more to this story than reported thus far.

The good news is the St. Thomas vestry is standing behind Fr. Mead with the senior warden describing the charges as "malicious and unfounded." Let us hope so. St. Thomas Fifth Avenue is one the jewels in the fading crown of the Episcopal Church and is one the few bastions of orthodox worship in Manhattan. I don't know Fr. Mead personally but have attended many masses at St. Thomas as well as some of the many religious instruction classes they offer, some of them led by the good rector himself. He strikes me as thorough professional, theologically sound, a fine preacher and a fine man in general. I pray to our Lord the charges lodged against him are false. St. Thomas' and Fr. Mead play a vital role in orthodox worship in New York City and it would be a shame to have them sullied.


Timotheos Prologizes said...

The part about the wedding just doesn't make any sense, and the part about the reserved seat is within his right (though perhaps unwise) as is the dismissal of the priest. All assistant priests serve at the Rector's pleasure.

The Bovina Bloviator said...

Indeed, little of it makes sense, it strikes me as a Cole Porteresque laundry list (excepte Porter's are drole); rather as if a small bunch of disgruntled parishoners (only eleven, in a parish that size? Then I'd say the old boy is doing pretty well) gathered around in someone's apartment just to dredge sins they could slap onto a complaint. If this is all the malcontents could come up with I think we need not worry too much about Fr. Mead's situation.

Anonymous said...

I agree, hope and pray that the diocese will have the street smarts to know that these accusations are without merit.

I also don't want to write anything that gives any more publicity to these contemptible accusations.

But I do think that something needs to be said about the accusers. These are eleven people, who no doubt call themselves Christians, who went to a great deal of trouble to cobble together a list of "everything that they could think of that they'd ever heard anyone complain about" since 1998. put it together in a legal brief and present to the diocese for the purpose of? Destroying the ministry, reputation, family, security, and future of Fr Andrew Mead because he is a traditional, orthodox, Anglican priest who did not bow to them and their endless demands.

They want to destroy him. They believe that their vision of equality is so pure and so just that nothing that they do in pursuit of their justice is disallowed.

What they are doing to Fr Mead is wicked and evil. I leave it to others to connect the dots.