Yet-to-be-disclosed allegations of child abuse are rocking a politically connected Midlands, S.C.-area Episcopal congregation, sources familiar with the rapidly escalating drama tell FITS.
In response to the allegations, a super secretive meeting of the membership of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, S.C. has been called for next week. Of course it’s unlikely anything will come from this conclave given the extent to which powerful church leaders are endeavoring to keep it under wraps.
“Father Phil Webster and Bishop Andrew Waldo have decided in their pastoral discretion that it is important to the health of the St. Mary’s community to share certain factual information with the members of the parish concerning recent matters affecting the life of that community,” an email from the congregation’s senior warden Steve Mungo reads.
Mungo, of course, is the powerful CEO of Mungo Homes – a regional builder headquartered in Columbia, S.C.
Mungo’s missive further states next week’s meeting will “be open only to the membership and paid staff of St. Mary’s” and that “the matters discussed in the meeting will be strictly confidential.”
In fact to ensure confidentiality, “membership status will be verified at the door, and the signing of a legally binding confidentiality agreement will be required.”
Ummm … what?
Assuming members make the cut (and sign the church’s “speak no evil” blood oath), there’s still no guarantee they will get to the bottom of things.
“This will be an informational meeting with limited opportunity for question and answers to clarify the information presented by Father Webster and Bishop Waldo,” the email concludes, urging members to “sit in silence to listen for the voice of God.”
What sort of allegation has prompted such secrecy? According to our sources, the church is grappling with a child abuse allegation involving one of its aforementioned leaders – an allegation which is said to have initially been made by a teacher at Dutch Fork Elementary School. Of course nothing came of the allegation because Dutch Fork is part of Lexington Richland School District 5 – a notoriously corrupt administration which is joined at the hip with the Mungos.
Oh … and Mungo Homes spends huge money advertising on the local mainstream media, too.
Mungo was not immediately available for comment. Nor was Webster, who was vacationing with his family this week. Offices of Lexington-Richland 5 were closed Friday, rendering district officials unavailable for comment.
Stay tuned … the St. Mary’s congregational meeting is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 1 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.