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Episcopal Survivors condemn Episcopal Diocese of Virginia for violating canons

Episcopal Survivors Network

Diocese tacitly supports clergy adultery

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Episcopal Survivors Network (ESN today issued a vigorous condemnation of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Ecclesiastical Authority Susan Goff, diocesan chancellor J.P. Causey, and Title IV intake officer Sven vaan Baars.

The criticism arises from a Title IV clergy disciplinary complaint filed against the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal, Purcellville. Filed by a Tom K, the complaint involves The Rev. Dr. Tom Simmons, who is currently married to Tait North Simmons, daughter of Iran-Contra figure Ollie North.

Some time ago, Tom K. realized his wife was having an affair with Simmons. Video footage of the two soon came to light, along with explicit emails and other damning information.

Yet when Tom K. complained to the diocese, he was told that the diocese had determined that only a pastoral response was required — a pastoral response that did not include him or his children. This expressly violates Title IV, which requires a pastoral response any time a complaint is made to the diocese. Additionally, the diocese violated confidentiality.

Meanwhile, it appears that the affair continues.

“We are shocked, outraged, and appalled by the absolute lack of care shown to Tom and his children. The allegedly adulterous priest gets counseling, while the victim gets brushed off. 

“Something is terribly wrong with the ethical worldview of Goff and other diocesan officials. We therefore call for the immediate resignation of Goff, J.P. Causey, Sven vaan Baars, and everyone else involved in this deeply offensive situation, said Rebecca Korn, spokesperson for ESN.

“Nor is this the first, the second, or even the third time when the church has refused to care for victims of its misconduct. We are tired of the diocese’s games, its coverup, and its utter lack of integrity. It is time to clean house, starting at the top.

Details of the allegations can be found at


Rebecca Korn
Episcopal Survivors Network
(202) 650-0942
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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