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Baptist Quotes Show Knowing Blindness

If you believe what Baptist leaders say, then you have to believe that they know the denomination has a problem with clergy sex abuse. Religion writers and scholars have also pointed it out. Yet, when it comes to actually doing something about the problem, Baptist leaders seem blind. They recite their mantra of “congregational autonomy” and wash their hands of the problem, and all the while, reported perpetrators still stand in Baptist pulpits.

What kind of leaders continue on a path of blindness

even while knowing that kids are at risk?


  • “We shouldn’t enjoy this Catholic mess too much. We’re waiting on the other shoe to drop, and when it does, don’t be surprised if there is more and more within our ranks.”

Bobby Welch, prior president of Southern Baptist Convention, 2002

(Note: Why would any religious leader think there might be anything at all to “enjoy” about the “Catholic mess”???)

  • “I know that this has happened on multiple occasions....”

  Frank Page, current president of Southern Baptist Convention, 2006

  • “The problem of clergy sexual abuse is not just a Catholic issue – the problem extends to Protestant denominations as well. Studies have shown no differences in its frequency by denomination, region, theology, or institutional structure....Decentralized denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention...have no national policies....Sexual misconduct is routinely covered up...Church officials largely have not been responsive.”
    Joe Trull, editor of Christian Ethics Today & former professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and James E. Carter, former director of minister/church relations in the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Ministerial Ethics, 2004 at pages 162, 164.

  • "I deal with this matter far too often...and the cover-ups that far too often accompany it."
    a vice-president of the SBC's International Mission Board, as quoted by Michael Spradlin, president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
  • “Clergy sexual abuse is a significant problem among Baptist ministers.... Many churches react by trying to conceal the incident....”
    Christian Life Commission report to the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1999