Covenant is Next Step in Response to Abuse and Exploitation

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs

July 9, 2018

Following a special listening liturgy on July 3 to acknowledge the #MeToo movement and hear personal stories of abuse, harassment and exploitation, bishops meeting at The Episcopal Church’s General Convention in Austin adopted a covenant that commits them to seek changes. The document, which applies only to bishops, is entitled “A Working Covenant for the Practice of Equity and Justice for All in The Episcopal Church.”

The stories which were read by bishops during the liturgy had been chosen from more than 40 testimonial letters submitted. Names and identifying information were redacted, but the readings and silence within the liturgy was both dramatic and profoundly uncomfortable for those attending. The Covenant is meant as a first step in the Church’s response.

Bishop Audrey Scanlan of Central Pennsylvania said that plans are underway to create a toolkit to help dioceses create their own kind of listening events to begin the hard work that is needed. “Sexual violence, aggression, exploitation and harassment exist in our church. We can’t let that be the last word,” she said.

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