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Bishops Vow: No Free Passes for Bishops on Behavioral Issues

Beloved Ones,

This weekend, Julia Ayala Harris, President of the House of Deputies (PHoD), announced that after being elected to her position, she experienced an “incident of unwanted and non-consensual physical contact” from a bishop. So many women, including me, have stories like the one that our PHoD tells in her letter. This type of behavior is NOT acceptable in the church, and our systems still need work to address how we talk about and respond to these types of situations. As my friend Megan Castellan says in a recent blog post, “How can we love one another when we have embraced a system that allows the powerful to continue to misbehave? How is it loving to have different standards of accountability for different orders of ministry? How is it loving to protect the institution over the children of God who have been hurt?”

Many bishops issued a letter encouraging the House of Bishops to take up this issue at our next meeting. Although I was unable to be a signer on this particular letter due to a miscommunication, I want you to know that I stand with them and that this is a high priority for me. In the Diocese of Ohio, we will continue to have honest conversations about how we love each other and hold each other accountable as the Body of Christ.

God's Peace,


The Rt. Rev. Anne B. Jolly

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