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#85070 - 11/17/02 05:39 PM It isn't just Priest
Chey-Wy Offline

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
"Any time you can avoid a trial, it's good," she said. "We would not want any further harm done and it would be excruciating for
the accusers. But I'm relieved that our constitution allows me to report enough to the Presbytery so that there will be no question
as to the gravity of this matter."
I found this article in the New Your Times. I thought is was interesting. I have been saying all along that the Presbyterians are covering up. Tell me what you think?


November 16, 2002

Minister Quits After Allegations of Abuse

NEW CASTLE, N.Y., Nov. 15 A prominent Presbyterian minister here who worked to make that denomination more
hospitable to gays and lesbians has left the ministry after facing charges from the church's governing body that he sexually
abused adolescent boys.

In explaining his decision, Jack S. Miller, who for 30 years led the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco the denomination's
largest in the Hudson Valley region said in a Nov. 9 letter to the congregation that he wanted to avoid the pain that would
result from a church trial.

The case is a rare example of sexual misconduct allegations within a Protestant denomination at a time when the Roman Catholic
Church has been beleaguered by charges of sexual abuse by priests.

In his letter, Mr. Miller, 58, also told his 1,100-member congregation for the first time that he is gay. He made vague references
to past improprieties, writing that while he denied the "specifics of the misconduct charges, I openly acknowledge that many years
ago, before I came to accept myself as a gay man, I did things that were wrong and inappropriate to my position as minister."

The local governing body, the Presbytery of Hudson River, first brought the allegations against Mr. Miller last summer, placing
him on administrative leave in mid-August. The Presbytery revealed few details to the congregation, but parishioners learned that
it had brought charges after some men complained that Mr. Miller sexually abused them in the 1980's, when they were teenagers.

The congregation, whose church has a Mount Kisco mailing address, was devastated and divided, with many rallying to Mr.
Miller's defense and others expressing their anger with him.

Harriet H. Sandmeier, the stated clerk of the Presbytery, said today that the governing body had been in touch with detectives
from the New Castle Police Department about sexual misconduct complaints against Mr. Miller, but that the allegations could not
be pursued because the statute of limitations had run out. She would not elaborate on the nature of the complaints. The police did
not respond to messages left today.

Efforts to locate Mr. Miller were not successful, but Judy Aydelott, his lawyer, said that his "letter says it all," adding that he "felt
compelled to resign so that perhaps the church could come together again."

By relinquishing his status as an ordained minister, Mr. Miller loses the title "reverend" and may no longer perform pastoral or
administrative functions. He also cannot be tried by the Presbytery.

In his letter, he said his decision was motivated by his wish not to hurt the gay rights movement within the denomination.

His church has helped lead a continuing fight to change an amendment to the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
that effectively prohibits gays and lesbians from holding church office, whether as a minister, a deacon or an elder. The 1996
amendment requires that such leaders be married to a member of the opposite sex or, if single, remain celibate.

Mr. Miller has officiated at gay unions, another contentious issue within the Presbyterian Church. Last month, he and three other
Presbyterian ministers were sued by a member of the church from Virginia for refusing to comply with the amendment.

"I am now aware that the separate charges pending against me will be used to discredit the cause and also discredit" his
colleagues, he said in the letter. "As much as I cherish my ministry, I cannot let my personal situation be used to undermine this
higher cause or to damage the careers of my friends."

He added, "In the mid-1980's, I voluntarily sought professional help for my issues, which enabled me to recover fully and to set
my personal life on solid ground."

Some parishioners said today that they were relieved at Mr. Miller's renunciation of his ministry, because the 150-year-old
church would be spared an ugly, protracted trial.

Others said the resignation was a tragic finish to a career that had many high points.

Indeed, on Thursday a group called Friends of Jack sent parishioners invitations to a reception in January to "honor the life and
ministry of Jack Silvey Miller." The reception is to be held at the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester; a $10 donation
was suggested.

"It's a sad moment in the life of the church," said Ken Godshall, an active member for 20 years. "He served the church and
individual members very well for 30 years."

The exact details surrounding the sexual abuse charges may still come to light despite the cancellation of the trial. Ms. Sandmeier
of the Presbytery of Hudson River said she was obligated under church law to outline the charges against Mr. Miller, as well as
to report his renunciation, at the governing body's meeting in early December. The meeting is open to the public.

Any time you can avoid a trial, it's good," she said. "We would not want any further harm done and it would be excruciating for
the accusers. But I'm relieved that our constitution allows me to report enough to the Presbytery so that there will be no question
as to the gravity of this matter.

Copyright The New York Times Company

From "Lion King" "The Circle of Life" with Lyrics

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba [Here comes a lion, Father]
Sithi uhm ingonyama [Oh yes, it's a lion] (Repeat)

Siyo Nqoba [We're going to conquer]
Ingonyama nengw' enamabala [As lion and a leopard come to this open place]

#85071 - 11/18/02 02:19 AM Re: It isn't just Priest
orodo Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...

It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"


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