October 10, 2005

Rector: Bishop Suppressing Sexual Misconduct Investigation

The Living Church Foundation


It has been more than three years since an unexpected visitor told the Rev. David Bollinger that a former rector at St. Paul’s Church in Owego, N.Y. “molested” him when the man was 12 years old during an unsupervised overnight trip. Since then Fr. Bollinger says others have come forward with similar complaints. The accused continues to be licensed as a non-parochial member in good standing of the Diocese of Central New York.

On May 31, the diocese served Fr. Bollinger with a 90-day notice of inhibition, charging him with possible criminal misuse of his discretionary fund. The inhibition was extended for another 90 days following a meeting of the standing committee on Sept. 8.

“This has been the summer from hell for me and my family,” Fr. Bollinger said. “My wife and I have borne the brunt of this madness. Every morning we strategize how we are going to get through the day.”

Fr. Bollinger denies misuse of any Church funds. “I have always operated above board and with the full knowledge and agreement of the vestry,” he said. “I have used that fund for much good in this community.”

The vestry at St. Paul’s unanimously agrees and distributed a letter to every congregation in the diocese, every bishop in the Episcopal Church and everyone else who received the notice of inhibition after the standing committee, citing concerns that it might prejudice its proceedings, refused to receive it for their meeting.

Posted by kshaw at October 10, 2005 06:09 PM