Christa Brown, with StopBaptistPredators.org has written an excellent blog post about the appointment of Jan Daehnert as interim executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the apparent practice of the Convention to conceal the identity of known clergy abusers. You can see the whole post at Texas Baptists’ Keeper of Secrets. I’ve excerpted just a bit of it below. It is well worth reading the whole piece.
Daehnert once tried to justify the BGCT’s secrecy by explaining that the information is given “in confidence by congregations that have had ministers confess or where substantial evidence has been uncovered.” They are reporting “something that is very troubling,” said Daehnert.
Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? The information is “very troubling” indeed, and that is exactly why it should NOT be kept secret.
Can you imagine what the response would be if a Catholic bishop were to say, “The information I have was given to me in confidence by priests who confessed to sexual abuse or by others in the parish who presented substantial evidence of abuse, and therefore I can’t disclose it.”
Nowadays, no one would accept that sort of excuse from a Catholic bishop.
So why do people accept it from Baptist leaders?…
…Upon his appointment, Daehnert said he hopes “to begin the healing” at the BGCT.
The only way “to begin the healing” is with absolute transparency, openness and accountability. That’s not going to happen until the BGCT tells people all the names of the reported clergy sex abusers who are listed in that secret file.
Parents are entitled to be warned; kids are entitled to be protected.