You’re getting newsy bits until I can stay awake and focused long enough to do some writing again. Here’s a local one–another sexual abuse scandal in a church.
Darwin Schauer worked for eight years as a lay pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake George, Minnesota, a small community southwest of Bemidji. He did so despite the fact that district leaders of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod knew he was convicted in 1983 of sexual abuse of a minor.
Schauer, 70, retired in 2008, but continued to fill in as a minister at Trinity up until early March, when he was arrested and charged with 15 counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
Now, the ordained pastor who replaced Schauer, the Rev. Don Kirchner, is demanding a shakeup of the Missouri Synod’s leadership in response to the fact church officials tolerated a sex offender continuing to work in a leadership position.
Let’s hope he gets it. It’s bad enough that the unearned authority of a priesthood is there to be abused in cases like this. It’s even worse that those with more authority abused their positions of trust to make it possible.
Note as well that this is one of the things that makes the structure of the Catholic church an evil in and of itself. At least this pastor has a chance of making changes. That can’t happen in a completely top-down organization with a leader who claims unique access to the mind of God.