Clarification Needed On Bede Parry

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Thursday, November 17th, 2011

We are pleased that the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Dan Edwards of Nevada have issued further statements on Bede Parry. In light of these statements, however, two further clarifications are needed.

First, the Presiding Bishop addresses a psychological report prepared for the Roman Catholic Church in 2000 that found he had “a proclivity to re-offend with minors.” The Presiding Bishop states:

I wrote to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Diocese of Santa Fe, receiving brief responses from each bishop, who indicated no problematic behavior.  I wrote to Conception Abbey, from whom I received only an acknowledgement that he had served there, been sent for treatment to a facility in New Mexico, and had been dismissed for this incident of misconduct. Neither then nor later did I receive a copy of any report of a psychological examination in connection with his service in the Roman Catholic Church.

In a signed statement earlier this year, however, Parry stated:

Also in 2000, I considered joining the Prince of Peace monastery in Riverside, California. Prince of Peace had me undergo a series of psychological tests. After the testing, Prince of Peace’s Abbot Charles Wright informed me I was no longer a candidate. The psychological evaluation had determined that I had a proclivity to reoffend with minors. Abbot Wright called Conception Abbey’s Abbot Gregory Polan with this information.

Abbot Polan would later share the information with Robert Stoeckig from the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas, Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the human resources department at Mercy Ambulance in Las Vegas. Bishop Daniel Walsh, Monsignor Ben Franzinelli, Bishop Joseph Pepe, Archbishop Robert Sanchez and Rev. Bob Nelson were also made aware of my previous misconduct.

The Presiding Bishop’s statement does not directly contradict Parry’s assertion that she was told of the “information” in the report. Parry did not state that she had “received” the report. Can the Presiding Bishop categorically deny Parry’s statement that she was told of the information in the report?

Second, according to the Episcopal News Service:

Edwards told ENS Nov. 15 that Parry has resigned from both All Saints and the diocese, has not functioned as a priest since the summer and will not do so in the future.

We note that Parry is still listed as a priest resident in the Diocese of Nevada on the clergy finder.

Bishop Edwards does not state that Parry has renounced his orders, but that he “resigned” from the diocese and that he will not function as a priest. We are not clear what “resigning” from a diocese is. Renunciation of orders requires a certification that the renunciation “was for causes which do not affect the person’s moral character.” Has Bishop Edwards given that certification? If he has not accepted a renunciation, has Parry’s ministry been restricted under Title IV? If neither has occurred, on what basis are we assured that Parry will not function as a priest in the future?

November 17 2011 04:33 pm | Articles