Presiding Bishop, President of House of Deputies share information with Episcopal Church staff

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings shared the following letter with the staff of the Episcopal Church on Feb. 8.


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Earlier this week, we informed Executive Council that Bishop Stacy Sauls has filed a lawsuit against the corporation of the Episcopal Church, called the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), and an unspecified number of unnamed defendants associated with the church. The suit concerns Bishop Sauls’ tenure as chief operating officer of the DFMS and his departure from that job.

As you may remember, Bishop Sauls served as chief operating officer from 2011 until December 2015, when he was placed on administrative leave. Bishop Sauls’ employment with the church ended in April 2016.

The Presiding Bishop, in consultation with legal counsel, tried his best to negotiate a severance with Bishop Sauls. We believe he made a good faith and compassionate offer, but that offer was not accepted. The Presiding Bishop, as a steward of church resources, felt that he could not go beyond that offer and explain it in good conscience to the church.

As officers of the church, we are not going to comment directly on pending litigation that involves the church. We have complete confidence in one another and in the staff, officers, and leaders of the Episcopal Church. We are united in our desire to resolve this suit as quickly and compassionately as possible, and we are committed to working together to create a church culture that follows the loving, liberating and life-giving way of Jesus.

Faithfully,

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings

President, House of Deputies

Comments

  1. Rachel Whitehead says:

    Then don’t settle out of court. No matter the cost.

  2. David Duggan says:

    It would be helpful to know what is the basis for the lawsuit, what court the suit was brought in, and whether there have been any administrative proceedings before the suit was brought. If, for instance, it is based on age or religious discrimination (the latter not likely because church organizations are specifically exempt from EEO suits when religious belief is a “bona fide occupational qualification), then the claimant (plaintiff) has to file a claim before the EEOC, which has to issue a “right to sue” letter for the matter to be justiciable in court.

  3. Len Freeman says:

    Checking out the lawsuit’s full text, available at Episcopalcafe.com, it would appear that this is a much more two-sided situation than I had previously understood. Lots of issues here for both plaintiff and respondents.

  4. Ted Mollegen says:

    If memory serves, +Stacy is himself a lawyer.

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