Thought Reform?


Thought reform or mind control seems like something that only happens in a movie or a novel, but it is prevalent in our society today. One only has to look as far as the Catholic Church to find victims of spiritual abuse. While the stories of altar boys molested by priests have made headlines, countless victims are still suffering in silence. Whenever there is a power imbalance in a relationship, there is a danger that the person who holds more authority will abuse his or her power. It can occur on a large scale as with the Unification Church (the Moonies) or in smaller groups such as Heaven's Gate (39 members) or even in one-on-one relationships such as a priest and parishioner or a professor and a student. Victims of mind control are not crazy cult followers. They are people like me and you who have fallen into a trap set by a predatory leader. In my experience, the trap was built with trust and words and compassion which lured me into thinking that I was safe until it snapped down on me. Victims of mind control are robbed of time. Sometimes years or decades are lost while in the group or relationship. Victims of mind control lose family and friends. Most are told to end contact with outsiders. Many who are able to return to their families find the relationships fractured. Victims of mind control lose their identities. It's difficult to know who you are after being told by someone else how to feel, how to dress, how to act. It's one of the darkest and most frightening feelings in the world. There are very few facilities that treat these victims or therapists who are equipped to handle these cases. It makes for a long, lonely journey for these victims. Compassionate understanding and education by society is lacking. This novel is dedicated to raising awareness and giving a face to victims of mind control.

1. Every person should have the right to his or her own thoughts, ideology, and identity.

2. Thought reform does not simply exist in cults that are on the news. It can occur in one-on-one relationships and in small groups in your neighborhood

3. In any situation where there is an imbalance of power (priest/parishioner, therapist/client), there is potential for abuse.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chapter 6

“To sense his perfect trust,
I’d give all I ever had.”—R. Smith
Chapter 6

The unrest at the church increases throughout 2006, and the Bishop’s Canon Simon Abbott is sent to evaluate the situation. I had never heard his name until Father Will told me that he was undergoing a series of psychological tests at the expense of the Diocese. He mailed me a form the Diocese required. It was a spiritual gifts inventory to be filled out by the three people who knew Father Will best. In it I had to identify Father Will’s gifts and then rate how well he uses those gifts in the role of priest. He e-mailed the results to me instructing me not to say anything about them at church. Again, I felt special to be so trusted.

Confidential Evaluation
Sat, July 8, 2006 8:00:27 AM
From:  Will
To:  Lucie   

     Well, here's the analysis. It was through, complete, analytical and right on target. I received it in a large binder of more than 100 pages that described virtually every area of my personality. I will give you the highlights - confidentially, of course:
My USUAL BEHAVIOR is Proactive. When my needs are fulfilled, I feel in control, and my behaviors are generally successful and productive. However, when my needs are not fulfilled, I go into STRESS BEHAVIOR which is Reactive which means that when I feel not in control, my behavior is generally unsuccessful and unproductive. Interestingly, my STRESS BEHAVIOR is largely involuntary and automatic.
In order to be EMPOWERED, I need to maintain an environment where my needs are fulfilled. My job tends to fulfill these needs. When it doesn't, I go into stress behavior, sometimes without even knowing it. Right now, I feel most empowered and demonstrate my usual behavior at the University and feel threatened but not defeated at Church. Nothing new in any of this.
In my AREAS OF INTEREST, I fell off the charts in LITERARY, PERSUASIVE, CLERICAL AND SOCIAL SERVICES tasks. My goal in life is to serve others through BOTH my teaching and preaching professions.
On my NEEDS GRAPH, I am direct and straightforward and enjoy giving myself away. However, in exchange I need lots of downtime in order to re-charge, study and think. As a leader, I tend to focus on broad outlines rather than detailed plans.
As a priest, I need to know who is in charge or who I am responding to. If this line of authority is confused, I go into my STRESS BEHAVIOR.
Also, I have a need for constant approval as I tend to wonder about the quality of my performance. I need to know that the work I do is appreciated. The University takes care of this need with immediate feedback from faculty and students, but the church tells me what I'm not doing or what they wish I would do but seldom tells me that I'm doing a good job or that my performance is more than adequate.
I like to control my agenda and work effort. I prefer to be unsupervised because I'm a hard driver - I drive myself fairly hard each day. I have a distinct success orientation and, when in my USUAL BEHAVIOR, often make success happen. I can handle many different tasks simultaneously but I remain focused on what needs to be done and tend to resist change in my daily and/or weekly agenda.
In dealing with people, generally speaking, I usually look at the big picture before offering advice or counsel. I usually need plenty of time to make complex decisions and feel indecisive when pressured to make decisions I'm uncertain about.
Overall, I tend to be hard-driving, intense and focused. That is my USUAL BEHAVIOR and the optimum manner in which my needs are met. However, when my needs are not being met, I tend to feel helpless, listless, anxious and self-critical.
The following are my PERSONAL STRENGTHS AND NEEDS:
-Esteem: I project a certain ease and confidence as a result of my ability to be direct and to-the-point. People tend to notice how relaxed and comfortable I am around others. But I have an underlying need to feel respect and appreciation of those who are close to me. I must have ample time and opportunity to explain and justify my point of view. I go into stress mode when my feelings are hurt and may exhibit embarrassment, shyness and over-sensitivity.
-Acceptance: I am generally pleasant and have an outgoing manner that makes me be at ease and comfortable around others. I meet people easily. Yet, I have a need to spend a considerable amount of time by myself. Continuous pressure to be involved in social or group situations upsets my sense of well-being and puts me in stress mode where I tend to become impatient and withdraw.
-Organizing: I place a high value on system and order and definite strength as a result of working with a general plan. I attend to detail, anticipate difficulties and include contingencies in my planning. But, I tend to work ONLY from my own plan rather than the plans other develop for me. Since I put first things first, external interference frustrates and distracts me, and I over-react to pressures that threaten my personal freedom.
-Authority: I have a genuine respect and appreciation for people in positions of authority and I exhibit a pleasant attitude about exhibiting authority. I need to know who is in charge and need the support of others as I exercise authority. People who have difficulty handling the authority I exhibit make me impatient and uncomfortable, making provocative statements, airing opinions too freely or becoming domineering. When those in authority over me are working with me, I maintain my enthusiasm and morale and focus on the mission - getting the job done.
-Idealism and Realism: I am overly trusting in my dealings with others as long as they give me no reason to be otherwise. I need a competitive environment where there are immediate rewards and reassurance of advancement. When my personal achievements go unheeded or unrecognized, I easily become disheartened. Basically, I need a healthy dose of skepticism toward others as I work with them in order not to be emotionally destroyed when they show me they cannot be trusted.
-Reflection and Action: I have a high energy level and enjoy being active most of the time. I can summon reserves of energy when my schedule demands it. Therefore, I enjoy taking on many activities and projects and it is easy for me to ignore my body's demands for rest and recuperation. When conditions become hurried, I tend to feel rushed and less effective.
-My View of Myself: I have a pleasant and quiet persuasive demeanor. I am charming and gracious, largely a result of my positive self-image which enables me to capitalize on my personal strengths. But this extraverted demeanor hides my very real need to be in situations and surroundings that do not place unrealistic demands on my abilities. My relationships must be emotionally supportive and non-punishing. I get stressed because I find it difficult to accept blame, especially if accepting blame results in unpleasant feelings about self. But I feel much better when people balance their criticism of me with praise.
-Dealing with Emotions: I am primarily objective and practical. My empathy level diminishes when others take no steps to help themselves. I'm at ease in surroundings that emphasize the practical side and things and have an appeal to logic. I'm at my best when others treat me in a low-key, unemotional manner. This is because I'm a very emotional person, but emotion is exhausting, so I can't live there especially at work.
-Dealing with Change: I am stimulated by novelty and change, alert to start new things and easily adaptable to new ideas. Without change, I get bored and uninvolved. So, I need constant stimulation. I am at my best in surroundings that encourage individual initiative so that I can determine my own routine. When changes are unexpectedly forced on me, I respond adversely.
-Freedom or Independence: I am consistent and conventional. I have an innate respect for the value of cooperative effort, even when such effort takes the form of individual contribution. I also expect others to exhibit this spirit of independence. My work environment should encourage freedom of thought and action. When I sense a lack of support and encouragement for independent action, my otherwise cooperative nature turns unpredictable and even rebellious. In other words, I enjoy controlling myself and my activities - I resent others trying to control me.
-Thought - Making Decisions: I am matter-of-fact and tend to handle situations decisively and with outward assurance and confidence. I am able to grasp the relevant issues and form judgments quickly. But....I don't like to make decisions under pressure. I need time to gather information as matters become more complex. Because I need reflective thought, I can become frustrated by ambiguity and on the other hand, worry unnecessarily from time to time. I have an innate fear of making mistakes and being overly-judged by others as a result.
Overall, my pattern of performance is HIGHLY UNUSUAL. I am a Renaissance man who is people-oriented, systems directed and highly reflective. Most people fall into a maximum of two of the four categories. My strengths fall off the chart in three of the four categories. I am far more people-oriented (Talkers, Thinkers and Doers) than administratively oriented. My leadership style is reflected as being competitive, assertive, flexible, enthusiastic, friendly decisive, energetic, frank, logical, insightful, selectively sociable, thoughtful, reflective and optimistic.
Please do not mention these results at Church or talk to me about them on Sunday. My wife is very sensitive to who knows what about me and right now, and the church does not need to have access to this information. So I'm sharing all of this with you as a friend rather than as a priest.
So....what do you think? This was the result of three months work - and there's more to go!

Will


It is a long and boring laundry list of personality traits some so general that it could apply to any one of us. I wondered if it could have been test results from a quiz taken on the internet because it did not seem to be presented professionally. However, I reasoned, maybe it’s because he didn’t send me the actual document but is retyping it for me. According to Father Will the analysis cost the Diocese approximately six hundred dollars and took several months. As I would find out later, the Diocese did not order Father Will to undergo any kind of psychological testing or evaluation. No money was spent on what Father Will relayed to me as a momentous endeavor to validate his place in the priesthood.
It was true that Father Will had a mentor. We were eating lunch at a local sandwich shop which was housed in a theatre. We were surrounded by artwork by local artists one of them who had done the painting of Father Will’s church. We talk about the state of affairs at the church as we eat our sandwiches which are exactly the same. He is filling me in as I have been gone for a couple of months. The phone rings and I can hear a voice, loud but gentle, speaking in carefully measured words. “It’s Simon,” he mouths. So I am quiet as they talk about Will’s progress in discerning his role in the priesthood. It is not a long conversation, but at the end of it I am convinced that what Father Will had told me about Simon was true. Simon loves Father Will and thinks he’s terrific. Simon will help him keep his church no matter what. Simon will deliver the Bishop’s vengeance upon St. John’s and teach them a lesson about who is in charge at the church. Simon Abbott is in Father Will’s back pocket ready to be used to defend and protect. Simon is a member of the clergy club.

      I feel a kinship with Simon. He is one of us. He is one of the good guys.

One of the problems that St. John’s parishioners had with Father Will was that he was a part-time priest, part-time professor, and a Dominican brother. He was hired with the vestry’s knowledge that he taught at the University, and it seemed to be okay then. Why the change? Why the outrage that he was not devoting his full-time to the church? At least that is how I received the story—the Senior Warden was stirring up trouble because he was not at the church forty hours per week. He was not available to his congregation when they needed him. I thought the notion preposterous. He was always available to me whether in person, phone, or internet. I knew that even if he wasn’t physically at the church, he was working on sermons or building proposals at his home in Katy. The parishioners accused him of parking his car on the opposite side of the street so that no one would know he was at the church office. He didn’t want to see his flock. This was not the case. Directly outside the office on the same side of the street grew a vengeful tree which dropped its sap all over Father’s Nissan Maxima. It was difficult to remove, thus he parked across the street. Such pettiness! Wasn’t the real issue whether he was a good priest serving the needs of his congregation? And he was….just parking in a different place.
The parishioners—some of them—also had a problem with his association with the Dominican Order of Preachers. They felt that this coupled with his teaching took even more time away from the church. Father Will went through a year of postulancy in the Order before he took his novice vows in August of 2006. After this he was permitted to wear the vestments of the Order which included a zucchetto, scapula, cowl with hood, and Anglican rosary. Father Will told me that people freaked when they saw him in all his Dominican glory. He seemed to remind people of that other dark father—Darth Vader. I’m not sure whether people were concerned about his involvement because of the time it took away from the church or because they were afraid he would leave the church. However, I knew Father Will as a workaholic who performed best when under stress—the kind of person who is bored easily and functions well when he has a lot to do. I also thought it strange that the church would not support him in his quest to further his ministry in the Dominican Order. Certainly being in communion with like-minded people from throughout the world and having stimulating theological conversations would only enhance his sermons and his pastoral care at St. John’s. He took his Noviate vows in Michigan and I sent him a James Avery bookmark engraved with the Order’s motto. He later told me that I was the only church member that remembered or recognized the occasion. I truly was his only supporter in the church.
While he was on vacation in Michigan to take his vows, there was speculation that he would not return to the church. A vacation was a way for him to save face while being moved to a new church.                

Update
Tue, August 15, 2006 7:15:37 AM
Lucie,
Apparently, the Senior Warden fell on his sword last Friday, asking the Bishop's Canon why he couldn't hold even a general or committee meeting in my absence. He was given the response that the Rector is in charge of the church and no meetings can be held without my consent. Apparently, he told the Canon's secretary that the Bishop's position on this was just "wrong". The Canon's secretary then told him that the Canon will have a chat with him today (Tue). Trust me that will not be a pleasant, affable "chat".
The Bishop won't allow any meetings to be held in my absence, period. To allow the Senior Warden to do this would be to recognize his presumed authority in the church. The Diocesan response has been to treat him like a "lame duck" by ignoring him - which is what I have done as well.
Meanwhile, the emails are flying from other Vestry members who, despite their criticism of me and Catherine, are nonetheless concerned as to the exact meaning of the Bishop's letter. If I haven't read this to you, I need to - it was a good letter.
I believe there are a lot of folks at St John’s who believe I am not returning. The surprise will be on them come September 5th. Hang on - all of this is about to hit the fan. Keep the ministry at St John’s in your prayers. It's about time for me to run off the wolves and rescue the sheep and restore God's fold! I'm getting stronger every day, thanks be to God!
By the way, please keep this email address in your book as my private address and write to me at this address rather than my Yahoo (SBC Global) addresses. Feel privileged - only a few people have this address. It's just more private and secure for me. Blessings!
Will
 Father Will did return from his vacation as planned and the congregation’s response was mixed. People still wanted him gone, but maybe they were relieved, at least for the moment, that they were not without a leader.

Sun, September 10, 2006 9:55:33 PM
Lucie,
A few parishioners were surprised that I didn't return to resign. I told the congregation in my sermon that there would be healing - and justice. At the announcements, I told the congregation that I remained faithful to my discernment process and that when it was completed, I would let them know. Then I said I was glad to be their Rector, which raised a few shocked eyebrows! It feels good to put others on the defensive for a change.
Overall, it was a good day. Hopefully, I will talk to the Senior Warden this week and let him know that the Diocese has given me two options: stay or leave. I will tell him that if I choose to stay, he will be terminated as Senior Warden and the Vestry will have to undergo classes on what it means to be a Vestry. If I choose to leave, I will let the vestry know. But it will be at a time of my choosing. Meanwhile, he will conform to my decisions as the Rector and strive to mend the fences he has broken. I'm certain he will comply, aren't you?
At any rate, whether I choose to stay or go, I communicated the fact to the Church today in a very low-key manner that I am still the rector and still in charge of St John’s.
Saw Alexis today - she will chat with me before returning home this Friday. That's the news - hope you are well.
Will+

But even though Will returned in early September, it was clear that he needed to go elsewhere by the end of the month. He began interviewing at churches in Katy and Houston. The tension between the Vestry and Father Will remained unabated.
Thu, September 28, 2006 6:49:08 AM
Lucie,
     Well, I'm fine, waiting as I am for another call. I decided not to mess with the vestry - I won't be at St. John’s for a lot longer, so there's no point. The Senior Warden finally acted like a Senior Warden at our meeting last night - which was yet another "beat up on Will" session. I listened and did not respond, then moved the agenda along.
     That's a shame about Alexis. I really thought she was ready to move on after she encountered her father and was less than satisfied with the outcome. The less she has to do with him, the better. She really doesn't need to be calling him if the effects on her are negative. You and Brian probably need to talk to him about the impact his words have on his daughter. If he wants to keep in touch with her (does he even care?), he will have to change the nature of his discourse with her to avoid making statements about you.
     Sounds like you have a lot going on! As to church, go to the Anglican Church. You may not like the orientation, but it's as close to the Catholic faith as you can get. The Methodists are mired in the same problems as we are. Besides, sooner or later, many of us Episcopalians will be Anglican anyway.
Blessings to all of you. Thanks for your email.

The next day I e-mailed Father Will to find out how the vestry meeting went, and he responded the next day.

Fri, September 29, 2006 8:28:57 AM
Lucie,
     I will let you know when things happen with me. The Vestry meeting on Wednesday night was ok – got beat on for about 45 minutes by the D and S families who complained about me not marrying their daughter in the church (because they didn’t want to go through pre-marital counseling) and a number of other “issues” which were just that – issues pertaining to them not me! They asked when St. John’s was going to get a “full-time” priest and indicated that sometimes, they drive down Hwy 36 and my car isn’t parked in front of the Church. They suppose that I have nothing better to do with my time than sit in the church office waiting for them to pass by on Hwy 36! It’s not that they want to see me or need counsel or anything else. It’s that they want to see my car parked out in front of the church so that they can know that they’re getting their “money’s worth” from their priest. What they don’t consider is everything I do at the church that they benefit from and the 20 hours per week I physically spend on the premises. Much of the time, my car is parked in the back lot because the sap from the trees in front is hard to scrub off my car. My average work week at St. John’s is 42 hours. Seems these families can come to Vestry meetings to voice complaints but not come to church to worship. Hmmm….. problem with priorities? Is it OK for me to talk to them about that? Heavens no! That would be insulting, right? LOL
In my opening remarks, I told the Vestry that there was pain all around. We can talk about the pain and arouse psychological reaction or we can forget the past and move on to the future. Not exactly what they wanted to hear. Several members indicated before the meeting that I owe the Vestry an apology for my bad behavior at the July meeting. As you know, after being goaded for an hour, I finally lashed back at them, which caused the sequence of events in August. So, apparently when someone does something to hurt me, it’s my fault because I responded negatively to it. Mind you, I did not bring this on and am certainly not going to apologize because a bunch of people are trying to (unsuccessfully) run me off. So Wednesday, I sat quietly, listened and didn’t respond, which irritated folks even more. One Vestry member indicated that I was “passive-aggressive”. I thanked her for the comment and said, “Is there anything else?” Then finally, when nobody had anything else to whine about, I said, “The Lord be with you” and went into the business meeting. I think I handled things very well actually. I don’t have to get upset when small minded people decide to rail on me.
     The Vestry decided to sell the house on the property we just purchased across from the church. It’s a dump and needs lots of repairs. Get the house off the property and then we can use the property for a parking lot? a possible building site? Who knows? Earlier this year, the Vestry was so excited to scrap the building plans in favor of buying that property and now that they have it, they have no idea what they’re going to do with it. That’s what happens when folks don’t think and include God in their decisions before making them. So, $170K that was earmarked for the new building has gone to buying that property. The Vestry knew that I didn’t like the idea in the first place – they gave no thought as to how the property fits in with the church’s mission statement or goals but they bought it anyway. So, we have already scrapped what was to be a fine new facility that we worked hard on for nearly two years. We have lost the money invested in architects and fund-raising professionals – that’s just gone – not to mention the fine efforts of a Building and Grounds Committee who worked their hearts out for 18 months paving the way for a new building to be erected on our property – a building that could have given us the parking we needed and served the needs of the community as well as the church’s needs.
     For the first 5 years of my 6-year ministry at St. John’s, my ministry goals and the church’s goals were similar if not identical. Lamentably, this changed in 2006 with the election of this Vestry. So now, realizing that my goals and the church’s goals are no longer the same and are not likely to ever be the same again, I have arrived at the sad conclusion that it’s time for me to move on. No point in staying and fighting for that which I cannot win. It’s best to go someplace else that needs and wants my ministry skills. I have not told anyone on the Vestry what my plans are, so this is still very confidential. There will be time to say “good-bye” when the time comes – and its coming shortly, I hope. My goal at St. John’s now is to ensure that the church will survive my departure and stay intact. Personally, I think it won’t but will pray and do everything in my power to ensure that it does.
OK – I’m done. Thanks for reading this lengthy missive.
Thanks for being a friend.
Blessings,
Will+

All was quiet and it seemed a peace agreement had been reached between Father Will and the vestry. I thought it might be possible for him to stay at St. John’s after much kissing and making up. I thought we had won. In an instant messenger exchange in late November Father Will informed me that he had pulled off a coup in the vestry meeting by asking for forgiveness. He suggested that all parties put aside their personal feelings and do what is best for the church. He had caught them off guard, he said, since they usually came to vestry meetings prepared for battle. It was a triumphant night as feelings were put aside, injustices and personal snubs were forgiven and the focus was put back on the church’s mission. We won…and we congratulated ourselves for pulling it off. Father Will was smug, rightfully so, as he told me how he pretended to be sincere, asked forgiveness, and then bowed his head in prayer. It wasn’t wrong, we thought, to play with the vestry…it was just another victory in our game.

From: Lucie Pawlak
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 5:07 PM
     Got your letter to the parish. That was a good, proactive step. Hope the warm fuzzy feeling from Vestry meeting is still warm and fuzzy.
--lucie

Mon, December 4, 2006 6:37:51 PM
Lucie,
   Wish I could agree with your assessment. But…..as things go…..Vestry members are angry that I wrote the letter without their consent. I don’t need Vestry approval to send a personal letter to my flock. I never spoke on their behalf. I spoke only for myself. Nor did I suggest that the Vestry has offered forgiveness. I mentioned that I asked for reconciliation. I sincerely thought I had attained it. I guess not. Ugh! I just can’t win! Yesterday, I relieved the Senior Warden from his duties.
No warm fuzzies.
Keep me in your prayers.
Will+

Later in December, Father Will received the call from St. Paul’s in
Southeast Houston. He was overjoyed, but I felt like he had given up. The unrest continued anyway until the day he left for St. Paul’s in February.
I really believed Father Will was being unnecessarily persecuted by the parishioners at St. John’s. I didn’t understand why they didn’t see the man I saw. He was overjoyed, but I felt like he had given up. He wrote a letter to his parishioners without the knowledge of the vestry regarding the happenings at the church over the last year.

Wed, January 3, 2007 1:51:49 PM
Lucie,
     Thanks for your email. The point of the letter is simple: it is just to continue to stir the pot of anti-clericalism at St. John’s. To be “fired” is more dramatic because, in the former Senior Warden’s mind, it points at what he and others understand to be abusive authority. It’s almost as if he’s saying: “Look at that priest – look how he’s creating chaos in the church!” In this vein, the letter is a typical CYA mindset. He intends to return as Senior Warden when I leave, or so he thinks, so he has to prepare the congregation for that now by pointing at my firing him as an abuse of authority. That way, when the church needs a savior later, they will remember that good, holy, wonderfully Christian man was ruthlessly and unnecessarily relieved by the priest and call him back to save them from collapse. That’s the strategy. I could say it’s typical good ole’ boy Chalmers thinking.

Glad you arrived home safely!

Will+

I submitted my letter of resignation as the church person who did the bulletin, newsletter, and submitted various articles for the newsletter. I wanted no ties to the church. It was a bit harsh as it blamed the vestry for the demise of the ministry of a great man. Father Will responded to me in an e-mail regarding the letter.

Wed, January 17, 2007 7:57:01 AM
Lucie,
     I read your letter. It is how you feel and feelings are non-negotiable. It appears as though the former Senior Warden will once again assume control of the church. It is my understanding that the present Senior Warden and Junior Warden will resign after January 28. That would be a good time for you to submit your resignation as well. I know
that some of the younger couples are already looking elsewhere for a church home.
     The problems you mention in your letter are inherent at St. John's - they are built right into the fabric of the parish. The church had an opportunity to move forward to greater possibilities by becoming a parish. They have chosen to reject this opportunity. As a result, God has placed me elsewhere. Whenever a church rejects the prophet's mission, that is an indication that God will move that priest along to someone who may accept his mission and vision for the church. That's how I see things right now.
And I think this is a healthy view of things.
Thanks so much for your support and friendship. As always, let's continue to keep in touch!
Will

I really believed Father Will was being unnecessarily persecuted by the parishioners at St. John’s. I didn’t understand why they didn’t see the man I saw. Father Will had been studying the epistles of the apostle Paul during this trying time. How appropriate, I thought, that Father Will would feel this kinship with Paul. Both are persecuted because of their beliefs. Though Father Will hasn’t been thrown in jail, certainly his workplace is suffocatingly confining. His ministry is being held captive at the hands of the vestry in a struggle for control of the church. As Father Will told me, the priest is the leader, the prophet of the church—not the laity. The key to the church is in the priest’s possession, not the congregation. It is his church and he calls the shots.

No comments:

Post a Comment