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Statement on May King Problem

THE CAW PRECEPTS

(Excerpted from the CAW Membership Handbook)

  1. Be Excellent to Each Other!
  2. Be Excellent to Yourself!
  3. Honor Diversity!
  4. Take Personal Responsibility!
  5. Walk Your Talk!

Church of All Worlds Board of Directors
Statement Regarding Former May King

A few weeks ago, word of an incident got out sending questions and debate rippling through the community.

In short:
The fellow standing as the King from the May 2016 - May 2017, was accused of inappropriate behavior with a child. After discussion with the CAW Board, he has stepped away, passing on the vestments and the crown to the land. The Church, for its part has released him from his bonds to the land, and asked that he not come back nor participate in Annwfn or CAW events until further notice.

Some clarification:

What is a May King?

For Annwfn & CAW, the May King is a ceremonial title and set of responsibilities honoring a member of the community as the physical embodiment of the Divine God (along with his partner the May Queen - Divine Goddess). They reign for 1 year, from May to the following May. They become a focal point for energy and magic in the community. As the King and Queen fare, so fares us all.

Is the May King a Priest or official representative of the Church?

No. The May Couples are selected from members of the laity. Part of the lesson of CAW is that everyone is Divine and host to the Gods/Goddesses. We want all to know that the Clergy or the Church for that matter, are not your only channel to Divinity, everyone is a Divine channel. The title and duties are ceremonial, empowered by the community. CAW Clergy and Church Officials are allowed to participate, but gain no additional consideration or power. The 2016 May King is not even a member of the Church of All Worlds nor has he ever expressed any desire to be. Had he been Clergy he would have been bound by the oath included on the Clergy Application. (see attached) ++

What was the accusation?

The 2016 May King was accused,circa 2012, of inappropriate sexual behavior with his, then, 5-year-old daughter. The accusations were made by the child and precipitated the divorce. The details are in the divorce proceedings and are a matter of public record. The Board of Church of All Worlds was made aware of the accusation in late March 2017, via 3rd-hand accusations.

Does CAW have procedures / practices in place for such accusations?

Yes we do. All such matters are taken up by the Clergy first. As counselors, confessors, spiritual guides, and scholars, they are trained in conflict resolution and various communication methods, our Clergy are most qualified to find truth and harmony. The task is meant to be shared with the Clergy Council. If an administrative response is required or requested, the Board of Directors of the Church may seek out all pertinent information, and has in rare cases held open "hearings".

What happened this time?

As soon as the Board was made aware of the accusations, we sought the truth behind the accusation. We asked our High Priestess to trace the source of the accusation and report back. We asked The May King if there was any grain of truth to the accusations. He submitted a sworn Affidavit to the Board indicating that the accusations had been brought up in court and dismissed. When his ex-wife provided us with court documents the records indicated that there was enough truth to the allegations that Child Protective Services felt there was a credible threat, and that the court mandated he not see his daughter except with therapeutic supervision. He then corroborated that there was, in fact, an incident of inappropriate sexual contact, though totally “innocent.” We could not reconcile the facts presented with his sworn statement, which means his statement contains lies of omission.

What is CAW’s stance on such things?
The Church’s stance on matters of sexuality and child abuse are made clear in The Earth Religion Anti-Abuse Resolution written by Morning Glory Zell on May 22, 1988. (see attached) +
Though we foster openness and freedom of sexuality and relationships and the many ways that may manifest, we hold strict boundaries when it comes to anyone under the legal age of consent. Once back in the early 90s, we had an incident of sexual contact between a man who was not a member of the Church and some minors. Hearings were held and he was banned from CAW & Annwfn events. The Church advised the mothers to file charges (none did). When Annwfn’s Caretakers were accused of child abuse, and demands were made to ban them from the land, we investigated. For the safety of all people involved, any and all allegations brought to us need to be thoroughly investigated. But we are not a court of Law. We are not in the business of prosecuting allegations nor punishing sinners. If someone comes to us, penitent and seeking redemption, we as a Church would offer guidance and support. We protect more people by taking in those at risk, guiding them and keeping them under close observation while fostering their growth. But in this imperfect world, we accept his departure and hope that all involved can learn greater integrity.

The Earth Religion Anti-Abuse Resolution was written by Morning Glory Zell on May 22, 1988 and subsequently adopted by virtually every Pagan and Wiccan Path and Tradition, starting with the Church of All Worlds. Re-affirmation may be a purposeful act for us today:

Earth Religion Anti-Abuse Resolution

We, the undersigned, as adherents of Pagan and Neo-Pagan Earth Religions, including Wicca, or Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, practice a variety of positive, life-affirming faiths that are dedicated to healing, both of ourselves and of the Earth. As such, we do not advocate or condone any acts that victimize others, including those proscribed by law. As one of our most widely-accepted precepts is the Wiccan Rede's injunction to "harm none," we absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse, and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of individuals. We offer prayers, therapy, and support for the healing of the victims of such abuses. We recognize and revere the divinity of Nature in our Mother the Earth, and we conduct our rites of worship in a manner that is ethical, compassionate and constitutionally-protected. We neither acknowledge nor worship the Christian devil, "Satan," who is not in our Pagan pantheons. We will not tolerate slander or libel against our churches, clergy or congregations, and we are prepared to defend our civil rights with such legal action as we deem necessary and appropriate. ♥

++ From CAW Clergy & Ministerial Application

(NOTE: In view of the epidemic of sexual and other forms of abuse currently surfacing in certain other religious organizations, the protection of innocents is a primary concern of the Church of All Worlds. Therefore we require prospective Clergy to sign a sworn statement that they have never perpetrated criminal abuse or victimization of others. We will not license or ordain any persons who have been so convicted in the past, nor any persons who for reasons of neglect or abuse have been compelled by the state to surrender the custody of minor children; and it is our policy to immediately suspend Clergy standing upon any such charges being filed, and revoke Clergy standing upon conviction for any crimes involving abuse of children or others. We offer compassion, counseling and support for abuse victims and their families.)

I solemnly affirm that the information I have given in this Clergy Application is true and accurate, and that I have never committed or been convicted of any form of abuse or criminal acts involving the victimization of others. Nor have I been compelled by the state to surrender custody of children for reasons of neglect or abuse. I hereby give my permission for the CAW Clergy Review Board to conduct a background check on me at their discretion.” (Australian CAW Clergy are required to have a blue or yellow card.)

++ The Purpose of the Church of All Worlds is as follows:
1. To do all in our power to increase the total degree of consciousness, individually, collectively, and synergistically, at all levels of Being, in the unfolding course of emergent evolution;
2. To aid individuals and groups in the maximal actualization of Human potential and the realization of ultimate individual freedom and personal responsibility; to help people become what they potentially are;
3. To work toward the development of life-affirming alternatives to hatred, prejudice, intolerance, war, violence, greed, and all of the societal and individual actions and policies which leave humankind paralyzed by fear, ignorance, alienation and guilt, and to work to dispel apathy towards these situations;

Church of All Worlds
Board of Directors
April, 2017

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