Southern Baptist leader bemoans the abuse crisis, vows action

Jennifer Weed, left, and Nisha Virani, both of Birmingham, Ala., to show the outside of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting to be held on Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, at a rally in Birmingham, Ala. For Such a Time As This protest is a call for a change in the way in which the SBC views and treats women, and to demand action in the fight against child sexual abuse within the institution. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – it’s to Share a stage with the tears of the survivors of child sexual abuse, and the president of the Southern Baptist Convention apologized on Wednesday for the abuse crisis and capacity of his denomination, and outlined a series of steps to do something about it.

“We are broken-hearted and angry,” he said ds., J. D. Greear, as the largest AMERICAN protestant denomination, was nearing the end of the two-day national conference. Please give us the courage to make the changes that a sincere repentance is necessary.”

In an impassioned speech, and is preceded by the prayers of lament, Greear, the blame for the crisis, and the years of cover-ups. He says an anti-abuse curriculum is offered to all the SBC churches and seminaries, and he told me that the SBC should do a better job in the screening of potential leaders.

“Father, please forgive us,” he prayed, after the call, a series of the sins of the people.

The Rev. Russell Moore, head of the SBC’s public policy arm, said the abuse crisis was the result of demonic forces at work in the church.

“The key question is: what are we going to do,” Moore said in an address.

Moments earlier, dozens of victims of abuse and their supporters stood in prayer for the survivors of sexual misconduct. Some wept openly.

An abuse survivor, Stephanie Davis was on the podium and received a standing ovation following a video presentation, in which she talks about her experience. Davis said that she had been abused as a teenager by a music minister who went to seminary and worked in churches up until last year. “No one has ever told me it wasn’t my fault,” she said.

“We have to be able to get to it,” she says in the video, and for the church to stand up for the victims and for the perpetrators to account.

On Tuesday, the first day of the meeting, the delegates adopted the SBC’s first-ever measures that are directly aimed at the prevention of child sexual abuse committed by priests, and co-workers. A provision for a permanent commission to review accusations of abuse at the member churches, and to recommend that action, if warranted. The two other proposals, if ratified, will see you again next year, this would indicate that the church was able to be removed from the title is wrong, cases of child sexual abuse, and discrimination on the basis of race.

The audit committee is assigned to review the misuse cases of four women among the nine members. However, the delegates to adopt a proposal for the replacement of a member of the opposite sex-by Susan Codone, an engineering professor and a sex abuse survivor, whose personal story was featured in the recently released ABC report.

Some of the activists, abuse survivors continue to be skeptical about the SBC’s commitment to a robust anti-abuse approach, and call for quicker action to create a database summary, to be credible the accused perpetrators, which can be shared among the SBC’s 47,000 member churches of the area.

Xavier Torrado, executive secretary of the Southern Baptist church in Puerto Rico, he said, additional training, and new tools that have been adopted to combat sexual misconduct on the part of vital interest.

“We’ve known for many years that the pastors do not have the skills or the resources or the knowledge of how to do something about it,” said Torrado, whose duty it shall be to the education of the ministers of the new measures.

As well as in Front of you, as a mother of five children, all of whom with the husband, Matt, in Front of you is a shepherd, in a two-campus church in Tallahassee, Fla., said the denomination’s actions this week would be to let the municipalities know that it is to protect children from abuse, it is important and necessary, as is the reporting of the alleged misconduct.

“I think that’s what we’ve done and said you will empower people,” she said. “It will cause people to be more vocal at the local church level, and if they see something they are uncomfortable with.”

Crawford’s church, the City Church in Tallahassee, all of the requirements, including a background check, and have a six-month waiting period for anybody who is a volunteer with the child, ” she said. “The world in which we live, this is the place where all the parents have to be vigilant because of the dangers that are ever-present,” Crawford said.

The SBC’s meeting comes as the U.S. Catholic bishops are gathering in Baltimore for an expansion of the sex-abuse crisis in the roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the US, and had 76.3 million users as of last year, down from 81.2 million in 2005.

The Southern Baptist Convention, said it was of 14.8 million by 2018, a reduction of about 192,000 from the prior year.

The sexual abuse was a high-profile issue in the SBC in 2018, with the national meeting in Dallas, texas, after which, Greear, formed an advisory group to draft recommendations on how to deal with the problem.

The pressure is on, the SBC will be intensified in the past few months, however, due to the articles published by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, claiming that the hundreds of Southern Baptist clergy and staff members have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years, including a dozen who go to the church’s task, while more than 700 of the victims, with very little in the way of justice, or a few times.


Crary reported from New York.

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