The text of this year’s Berry Street lecture is now up on the Web. At the Berry Street lecture this past June, Rev. Dr. Deborah Pope-Lance spoke for over an hour to some six hundred Unitarian Universalists on the topic of clergy misconduct. I found it to be a riveting lecture in June, and it is well worth reading the text of the lecture, if for no other reason than the link to the Web page that discusses whom Carly Simon might have been thinking about when she wrote the song “You’re So Vain.”
After Deborah gave the lecture in June, I was one of the many people who crowded around her, wanting to shake her hand. She shook my hand, and all I could say was “Thank you.” I meant: Thank you for telling the truth of clergy misconduct, and for doing so with grace and humor, and in such a way that rather than provoking resistance perhaps we can deal productively with the aftereffects of misconduct. And now I would add: Thank you for pointing out the role of narcissism in clergy misconduct, and thank you for pointing out how “clergy misconduct is nested in an ecology that either promotes or inhibits breakdowns in the ministerial relationships.”
But enough of this. If you weren’t at the Berry Street lecture in June, now is your chance to go read this important document.