Reverend Robert Taylor may have to find a new job. Right-wing Virtue Online reports that the gay South African native recently came under scrutiny at his Washington-based congregation:
…Taylor, Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, a man living openly in a non-celibate homosexual relationship with another man, faces possible firing following a pay raise that brought his salary up to $200,000, while he laid off staff at the landmark cathedral.
St. Mark’s Cathedral fell $100,000 short of its pledging goal in 2007, prompting the Lenten layoff of two priests from the staff. Angry parishioners forced the revelation that the cathedral dean receives more than $200,000 in annual salary and benefits. Almost every parish in the Diocese of Olympia in Western Washington has reported a decline in income during the past year.
Letters obtained by VirtueOnline revealed “significant leadership and management issues that need to be addressed in a timely and comprehensive manner”. As a result, the vestry adopted a Resolution asking that Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel appoint an independent party to assess leadership and management issues at the Cathedral.
Don’t you love how they qualify Dean’s “non-celibate homosexual relationship”.
Daddy's Submissive Boi
I bet there’e more to the raise story that what’s been shared thus far. It sounds to me like a scapegoating reason to go after a God-loving homosexual man. So sad.
He gets a raise while the church falls short of money. Sounds like he should be a politician.
This is my parish. Please understand that “Virtue Online” is a misnomer, a website that traffics in any information that makes those within the Anglican Communion look bad if they are inclusive, as is Dean Taylor and the congregation at St. Mark’s. You are correct in noting how “virtue” refers to Dean Taylor’s husband. The letters they say they have “obtained” are readily available at the Cathedral website, and copies were sent to the entire congregation. Big scoop!
It is true that the cut-backs last year took many by surprise and made a bad situation worse. However, the Dean and the vestry (the elected council) were working within the then, faulty, as it turned out, system. Since then, new systems are in place to ensure salary equity and levels commensurate with comparable positions elsewhere.
It is also true that an outside observer, a retired bishop, has been requested to assist in building toward the future. This does not include as a goal the removal of the dean by the vestry who, in my view, have worked cooperatively with the dean in creating more transparent systems for dealing with such situations in the future.
As another gay priest in the Diocese of Olympia- let me give another perspective. KJ is very accurate regarding “Virtue Online”. David Virtue’s website is hardly a good source information about any portion of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. Virtue’s assertion regarding the decline in the incomes of parishes is really unclear. Actually- St. Mark’s did not experience a decline in income, but an increase in building related expenses that would have created deficit spending. My parish experienced a significant increase in income last year. The second largest parish in the diocese, in Medina, has income that is $100,000 above what was pledged. I have not heard any evidence to support Virtue’s assertion.
It is true that Robert’s total package is pushing $200,000. But he is the administrative head of a very large and complex organization. Futhermore, St. Mark’s is located in a city (Seattle) with very high living costs and an area which has some of the highest property values. Much of his package is actually a “housing allowance” which pays for his home, a home which is often used for parish events. Robert’s package is the largest in the diocese, even larger than the bishop, but St. Mark’s is, by far, the largest parish in our diocese and Robert has made amazing strides in turning it into a great beacon of hope in the city. It is known as much more than the Episcopal Cathedral, and is a symbol of a welcoming and affirming Christianity. St Mark’s has had some internal challenges this recent year, but Robert is not in danger of losing his position.
One other issue Virtue does not address- St. Mark’s is actually a Pro-Cathedral. It is a parish church which the diocese names a cathedral. This is important because the head priests of parishes are tenured. They can only be removed under the most dire of circumstances, such as breaking the law or because the relationship with the parish is so unhealthy that the bishop feels that reconciliation is not possible. And, only the bishop can make that decision. So such a person can not actually be “fired”.
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