On Thursday, the Southern Baptist Conference launched an inventory of ministers who’ve been protected for greater than a decade after committing sexual abuse towards congregants.
The checklist, launched by the Southern Baptist Conference (SBC), adopted a report that contained greater than 700 names, with greater than 400 included by way of direct affiliation with the non secular denomination.
On the checklist are 4 people who stay in management positions throughout the denomination’s church buildings. The checklist was primarily a secret till Guidepost’s report was made public on Sunday.
“Releasing this checklist is a symbolic gesture. ‘That is the naked minimal factor we are able to do,’” mentioned Todd Benkert, an Indiana pastor within the SBC.
A lot of the knowledge within the launch is redacted at current; the redacted info is anticipated to be launched at a future date.
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Greater than a decade in the past, in 2007, SBC Government Committee employees started logging information articles and different public reviews of ministers accused of sexual misconduct.
Nevertheless, one yr later, officers led the committee to reject a proposal for a clergy abuser database. The transfer was met with direct criticism and resulted in a call to take a position greater than $2 million into an intensive investigation of sexual misconduct by the denomination’s management. The choice was made on the 2021 annual conference of the SBC.
Guidepost Options performed the seven-month investigation; an impartial agency contracted by the Government Committee after delegates to final yr’s nationwide assembly pressed for a probe by outsiders.
This week, the report was launched amid a lot controversy from the SBC’s management.
“Our investigation revealed that, for a few years, a couple of senior EC leaders, together with outdoors counsel, largely managed the EC’s response to those reviews of abuse … and had been singularly targeted on avoiding legal responsibility for the SBC,” the report mentioned.
The almost 300-page report accommodates excessive particulars about how the nation’s most outstanding Protestant denomination reacted to a rising sexual abuse disaster inside its group.
For the primary time, the report particulars credible allegations of sexual assault towards former SBC President Johnny Hunt and the way high-ranking employees maintained an inventory with a whole bunch of names of ministers accused of sexual misconduct however did nothing with it.
“Nearly at all times, the interior focus was on defending the SBC from authorized legal responsibility and never on caring for survivors or creating any plan to stop sexual abuse inside SBC church buildings,” the report mentioned.
This newest revelation reveals the all-too-common abuse perpetrated by non secular leaders, no matter denomination or religion affiliation.
The SBC has now fashioned an settlement with Guidepost to keep up a hotline for survivors and others to submit abuse allegations. Guidepost agreed to not inquire concerning the claims however will maintain the knowledge confidentially whereas the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Activity Power establishes processes.
For victims of sexual abuse or those that suspect sexual abuse by an SBC pastor, employees member, or member of an affiliated church, you possibly can name 202-864-5578 or ship an e-mail to [email protected]