Frank Page, Moral Failure, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Southern Baptist Convention, Paige Patterson, #MeToo
Yesterday’s Washington Post article, In a #Metoo moment, will Southern Baptists hold powerful men accountable?, by Jonathan Merritt, discussed how Southern Baptist leaders asking if the #MeToo moment has arrived for the Southern Baptist Convention. He was primarily discussing Paige Patterson and other Southern Baptist leaders who have used their positions of authority to harm women.
I missed it until an alert reader notified me this morning. In that article, Merritt mentioned Frank Page, former chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. If you recall, just over a month ago, Dr. Frank Page announced his retirement, and then followed up with a confession that he was really stepping down due to moral failure (see Frank Page, President of SBC’s Executive Committee, Resigns and Later Discloses Moral Failure).
We were left with questions about that moral failure. It was very vague. Was it with a prostitute, another man, a woman from his congregation? This is an important detail for people to know and how the SBC has handles the situation.
There was supposed to be an investigation done as was reported in this article, Southern Baptist leaders do not suspect ‘legal impropriety’ in Frank Page resignation:
But, they will be looking into the matter further, said Roger S. Oldham, the spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. His comments were reported Monday afternoon by the Baptist Press, an official Southern Baptist publication.
“The Executive Committee will exercise due diligence to determine if anything has occurred that would require further action,” Oldham said.
Where are the results of this investigation? Are they public? I can’t find them anywhere.
Jonathan Merritt spilled the beans that the moral failure was with a female congregant:
The Patterson controversy comes less than a month after Frank Page casually announced his retirement as president and chief executive of the SBC Executive Committee. The next day, however, it was revealed that the resignation was precipitated by “a morally inappropriate relationship,” which reportedly involved a female congregant under his care at a church he previously pastored. The denomination responded with only a statement asking for prayers, “especially for Dr. and Mrs. Page.” In the chapel at Patterson’s seminary, the newly departed Page is depicted in honor on a stained-glass window. (Source)
Please notice the part where they were asking for prayers for Dr. and Mrs. Page. What about the victim? Where are the prayers for her? Who is caring for her? Or is she lost in the shuffle as we have seen time and again with cases like this.
When there is a sexual relationship between a church leader and a congregant, it is called clergy sexual abuse. This is illegal and criminal behavior in some states. It is abuse, plain and simple. There is no such thing as consent in a clergy/congregant relationship, just as their is no such thing as consent in an adult/child sexual relationship.
The Southern Baptist Convention needs to come clean on this!