Walking With instead of Walking Away by The Rev. Dennis Fotinos

NECA is glad that you are looking to read this essay. 

Dennis' essay has been moved to our new website dedicated to exploring issues that relate to clergy.

To read it, please click through to:


  1. I am delighted to learn of the NECA, but in the article itself, I question the abundance of pastoral resources provided to the pedophile pastor, even after his conviction. Were two chaplains provided for every family in the parish he ravaged? Doubtful. And one wonders about clericalism here--yes, the pastor in question and his family are surely in need, but not more than the survivors of his horrible spiritual, sexual, and legal crimes. How will it appear to them knowing that the church is providing so generously to one who used his office to abuse? When as is so often the case, survivors of clergy abuse are shunted aside, shamed, silenced, and isolated far more than this very fortunate priest is as he receives pastoral visits in his jail cell on a regular basis. It's a question of allocation of resources, and in this case at least, the focus should be on the survivors of the abuse, not the abuser.
    That said, as one who followed an abusive clergy person, I wholeheartedly agree that the church needs to provide much greater support, including informing potential rectors/vicars if there has been clergy abuse in the past, and offering generous support and training if there has been. Too often, clergy walk into these sorts of situations uninformed and the price paid is tremendous. Bishops and deployment officers in particular should be proactive on this front.
    Thank you for the work you are doing to address these matters!

  2. Clark,
    I am glad that you have found us. NECA is glad that you are engaging with an issue that can be muddy to explore and that does not have many easy answers. I also hope that you will be able to find the time to read through all the essays. Our vision from the start in this project developed with The Episcopal Woman's Caucus was that by having a collection of writers address the challenge of challenging calls that the collection as a body would better reveal themes and threads that we might better advocate for. Dennis' essay certainly highlights an important pastoral area for future consideration. Could this be a reality? Unknown, but we are glad he raised this.

    While my words are my own and my opinion my own, I also wish to share that while I can not speak for NECA and the EWC outright, it is my opinion that both ministries would stand with you in being opposition of any abuse, be it a clergy person abusing a person or persons in a parish or a parish abusing their priest. Our scope in this project however was to address an area that effects clergy. As your response evidences along with us, we all care for the church. What you raise, while important, simply is outside the current scope of the project.

    Keep reading and we are glad you are involved. As a clergy person yourself please consider joining NECA to help support our ministry of advocacy.