[COMMENT: Paul Moore sets the standard for that from
which the Episcopal Church must repent and recover. What can the whole
Anglican Communion do to ensure that the next Moore will be recognized for what
he is and dealt with properly?
The N.Y. Times and the bisexual bishop
By Les Kinsolving
March 25, 2008
His biography on the Internet's Wikipedia notes the following about the
late Rt. Rev. Paul Moore: "During his lifetime he was perhaps the
best-known Episcopal clergyman in the United States, and among the
best-known Christian clergy in any denomination."
On March 3, 2008, the New York Times' Paul Vitello reported, among other
"The disclosure this week that Paul Moore Jr., the late, revered
Episcopal bishop who became a national figure of liberal Christian
activism from the cathedral's pulpit in the 1970s and '80s, had lived a
secret gay life.
"In an elegiac article in the March 3 issue of the New Yorker magazine
titled "The Bishop's Daughter," the poet Honor Moore describes her
father, Bishop Moore, who died in 2003 at 83, as alternately passionate
and elusive, capable of deep "religious emotion," yet just beyond her
emotional reach. It was only after he died, she said, that she fully
realized that he had had gay relationships during his two marriages, the
first of which produced his nine children.
"Bishop Moore was a famously outspoken Christian voice. His
truth-to-power pastoring spanned almost half a century, including as
leader of the Episcopal Diocese of New York from 1972 until his
retirement in 1989. He marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
was among the early opponents of the Vietnam War, railed at presidents
and mayors for ignoring the plight of the poor, and, shortly before his
death, took the opportunity of his last sermon at St. John the Divine,
the seat of the diocese at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, to deliver
a scathing attack on President Bush and the war in Iraq."
What the New York Times either missed or covered up has been reported in
detail by Episcopal reporter David Virtue of virtueonline.org:
* Bishop Moore's homosexual lover was Andrew Verver whom Moore met on
the Greek island of Patmos. Verver told Moore's daughter, Honor: "Of
course there were other men."
* Bishop Moore's aide, the Rev. Canon Edward West, was a patron of New
York's sado-masochistic clubs, where he lay in a bathtub while young
boys urinated on him.
* The present bishop of New York, Mark Sisk, sent out a pastoral
letter which included: "The man that so many of us knew and admired led
a secret double life. ... The long-term extra-marital relations began,
according to [one] account, with a young man who had come to the bishop
Wikipedia notes that in Moore's 1979 book, "Take A Bishop Like Me," the
bishop wrote: "Many priests are homosexuals, but few have the courage to
But Moore's second wife, Brenda, who discovered his bisexuality, made it
known to his children "who kept the secret as he had asked them, until
Honor Moore's revelation in 2008."
This monumental Moore hypocrisy is comparable to this prelate's
outrageous tolerance of a widely reported (but not by the New York
Times) Harlem clergyman's brutal beatings of children, including a black
11-year-old boy, Jesse Cogdell, at Episcopal Camp All Souls in
Parkville, N.Y. I interviewed Mrs. Cogdell who verified this clergy
The Rev. Canon Clifford Seymour Lauder, rector of Harlem's All Soul's
Episcopal Church, was identified in a written report by Timothy Hughes,
a social worker in England who worked at Camp All Souls and who
commented for eight New York daily newspapers (but not the New York Times).
"I was appalled at the beatings, which were done in front of the
assembled campers by Father Lauder. I saw him cut the branches off trees
and savagely beat the campers - in some cases because they wet their
beds. I have always thought that such treatment was a cause, rather than
a cure for bed-wetting."
This report was collaborated by General Theological Seminary senior
student John Lane of historic (and $400 million endowment) Trinity
Church, New York.
But Bishop Moore and his fellow New York bishops, Horace Donagan and
Stuart Wetmore, reacted by issuing the following commendation of this
child-beating priest, a native of Jamaica: "Canon Lauder is a priest of
high dedication and great dependability. ... It is regrettable that
Father Lauder and the program he founded and still conducts have been so
harshly criticized and so unfairly publicized."
Five years after this outrage, Bishop Moore in February of 1977 went to
court to try to quash a subpoena by a federal grand jury, which, the
bishop contended, "is trying to prevent the church from funding
progressive Hispanic groups."
The "progressive Hispanic group" at issue was the Fuerzas Armades de
Liberacion Nacional, or FALN. This Puerto Rican independence group had
in lieu of ever achieving more than 5 percent of the votes of Puerto
Ricans, achieved a kind of fame by proudly claiming credit for some 10
bombings. One of these bombings took place in 1975 in Manhattan's
historic Frauness Tavern, the site of Gen. George Washington's Farewell
Address to the Continental Army.
In the course of blowing up this national historic site, the FALN
injured 40 and murdered four.
How was this group connected with the Episcopal Church? This
denomination's national headquarters appointed to its Hispanic
commission one Carlos Alberto Torres, 24, who was the subject of a
national manhunt by police and the FBI.
Senor Torres was seen in the Episcopal Church's national headquarters in
Manhattan on Oct. 25, 1976.
Eight days later, authorities in Chicago traced 200 sticks of dynamite
to an apartment reportedly rented by Torres. Inside they found the
dynamite, plus all of the paraphernalia for a bomb factory - plus
Episcopal Church letterhead identifying Torres as a member of the
denomination's National Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
The FBI subpoena - which Bishop Moore (along with radical Puerto Rican
Bishop Francisco Ruess-Praylan) tried to quash - sought to inspect files
and equipment at Episcopal headquarters.
The FBI also asserted that the FALN used the same typewriter for notes
about the Frauness Tavern bombing as well as two more bombings in
Chicago. And it asked to examine the typewriters of Episcopal national
The denomination's ranking prelate, Bishop John Allin, provided the FBI
with access to all such records and equipment.
From 1957 to 1964, when he was elected Suffragan (assistant) Bishop of
the Diocese of Washington (D.C.), Moore was dean of Christ Church
Cathedral in Indianapolis. In that city, during that time, nationally
syndicated talk-radio host Jeff Rense reports:
"Prior to his arrival at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Bishop
Paul Moore was a leading patron of the notorious Jim Jones in the years
leading up to 1961 in Indianapolis, Ind. His People's Temple was
promoted there by Moore and the Methodist now Bishop James Armstrong.
Along with Rabbi Maurice Davis, now of Westchester, N.Y., they gave
Jones his original Indianapolis temple site and sanctioned his
acceptance among the Indianapolis clergy as a 'legitimate' religious
I was not previously aware of this Paul Moore patronage of Jim Jones -
who had me as No. 2 on his "hit list" - after my series of exposes of
Jones in the San Francisco Examiner, in September of 1977 and in my
nationally syndicated column for 256 newspapers.
Possibly this was the beginning of my series of conflicts with Bishop
Moore, who had been a good friend seven years earlier, when we were both
participants in the Selma March.