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March 2, 2023
Open letter to the Council of General Synod
Time does not heal all wounds.
I am what you call "the complainant" in the "allegations" of sexual misconduct against Mr. Mark MacDonald. That is not how I see myself. I am the victim of Mr. MacDonald's “acknowledged sexual misconduct”.
His voice and the Primate’s have both been heard by the Anglican Church about this. Not feeling safe to use mine has felt dehumanizing. I never wanted to make any public statement about anything, but this has gone so badly for me, there are things I need the church to know:
With the Gospel of Matthew at the center, I sought resolution with Mr. MacDonald. That process failed. I wanted to go to the Indigenous church for help about it but didn't know who to talk to. I was so, so scared all the time. The General Synod process was my only other option.
The moment that I entered into the General Synod formal process, I feel that I lost all agency. The policy I had to go through has not been updated since 2005. It was not a safe process for me, and has damaged me.
I did not get input into any part of the process. Everything was by that policy.
But at the same time, I was never offered trauma counselling, even though that was in the policy. I was offered "pastoral" care, but I only got 2 people to choose from, and they were chosen by the Primate. I tried to reach out, but I didn't feel comfortable and that wasn’t the kind of care I needed.
I was given only hours notice before the statement regarding Mr. MacDonald's resignation, together with his "Pastoral Statement" were released to the public on April 20, 2022. I did not get to see The Primate's statement or Mr. MacDonald's first before they were publicized. I had to read them in the media like everyone else. I felt blindsided and it was horribly traumatic.
Because of the short notice and the confidentiality clauses in the policy, there was no one available to be of support to me when that happened. I was alone that day, watching it on the news. It was very re-traumatizing and I haven't been the same since that April 20.
I didn't get any input or choice about the investigators, but I was grateful for the work that they did. So many times, I wanted to drop out of the process, but I got through it because I thought that there would be humanity for me at the end of it. It took much longer than the policy stated. No one told me it was going to be longer until I asked them. I don't understand why I had to follow the rules of the policy but others did not. There is a final report, but I am not allowed to talk about it or show it to anyone. That doesn't feel fair either. I'm back to being afraid and feeling silenced again - this time by the church I went to for help.
I have shared all of these things with the Primate, in writing and now once again with Matthew 18:15-17 at the center, I bring them to you. I don't know if the 2005 policy has been updated since what happened to me or not, or if it is being done by the right people, but I really hope it has. I wouldn't want anyone, particularly an abuse victim, to have to go through what I did. It doesn't feel safe at all. If I had been allowed any input or agency in the process, I would not have wanted it to go in any way the way it did. Maybe this can help make it safer for others.
I hope that being able to express these things can help me begin to heal and maybe help you think of me as a real human. Others' statements about this matter and the constant labeling of me as "the complainant" have taken that away from me, and I hope that using my voice may give me a piece of that back.
Please pray for me.