The pelican papers

A big bird’s eye view

Pelican essays

Many of these jottings originated as posts to Web logs. It’s a selection, so not everything on the blogs will be found here. Amateurs who blog learn the hard way not to change Internet service providers without updating one’s blog e-mail account, which results in losing control of the blog. No more posts. No more interaction. And, perhaps worst of all, no way to take the darn things down. I’m “republishing” some of this stuff here hoping to restore the interactive dynamic. I’m still hoping for conversation, even anonymously, with clergy in crisis, especially those who have been deposed for sexual misconduct.

Of a displaced elder

Healing a Wounded Heart, by Judi Goolsby

These essays originally were posted as a Web log titled “A Prodigal Priest.” I hoped then, in May 2005, that other clergy in crisis might find the site and be willing to talk about their lives as ordained ministers displaced from pastoral duties. None have come in from the cold. I lost control of the blog a while back. The old blog is still out there, but dead as a doornail.

I hope this new arrangement will revive the possibility of response.

Here’s the first posting at “A Prodigal Priest,” which became the blog’s introductory passage, posted May 28, 2005.

“Some years ago, I searched high and low for Web sites that dealt with the issues of deposed clergy. Found none. It would be a few years before the Roman Catholic Church would take its awful plunge into public dismay over what had been kept under wraps so long, so there weren’t any victims’ Web sites, either.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to know from the Internet. I did know I had something in common with others who had been deposed, and that we might have something to say to each other. Maybe what I wanted to hear was just a word to persuade me that I wasn’t going crazy, that this nagging, centripedal tug toward ministry was not an aberration. Actually, I’m still not sure it isn’t. In many years of wrestling with these issues, I haven’t had a conversation with another deposed Episcopal priest. My guess is that they’re either hiding out, as I did for many years, or have fled to such far reaches that my circle of interests and friends will never find them. Then again, maybe not.

“So, now I have a blog. Imagine. My hope is that a few deposed clergy will come in from the cold for a conversation about life after deposition.”

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