May 05, 2005

Jury's verdict: Deliver from evil


Some Methodist leaders will be tempted to blame Teresa Norris or a Greene County jury for the pain they have heaped upon the church's West Missouri Conference.

They should resist the temptation.

The damage to the church was self-inflicted. Norris could not have sued the church, winning $2 million in actual damages and $4 million in punitive damages, if conference leaders had done the right thing in the first place.

The right thing would have been to take seriously the growing stack of complaints that pastor David Finestead sexually harassed women on his staff and in his congregation. Instead, church officials moved him from Kansas City to Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield and left him there while more complaints poured in.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2005 10:45 AM