Help Me Stand Up to a Bully!

Help Me Stand Up to a Bully!

December 30, 2019
Petition to
Episcopal Diocese of Virginia The Right Rev. Susan Goff and
Signatures: 26,782Next Goal: 35,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Eric Bonetti

Mom was a loving parent, who enjoyed her family, her home, her friends, and her beloved pets. She was a retired registered nurse, who spent most of her life caring for cancer patients, the terminally ill, and their families. She was loved by all for her kindness, compassion, and the care that she showed to those who were suffering. She remained a loyal friend to those who had lost loved ones, and kept in touch with many for decades after their loss, offering coffee, good food, and a sympathetic ear to those in need of a little kindness.

She died in January 2020 after a long and courageous battle with COPD.

As she fought for her life, Mom deserved the love, care, and support she had shown to so many others throughout her life.

Instead, my former priest, Bob Malm, then rector of Grace Episcopal in Alexandria VA, tried to drag her into court, even as he lied under oath and claimed that she contacted him repeatedly. Bob did that to get at me.

Among Bob’s abusive actions:

  • Trying to drag Sigrid Yahner, a 75-year old woman dying of COPD, into court. (Pictured above, Mom died January 28, just 20 days after her own mother. During her last two years of life, she suffered from a severe anxiety disorder in addition to the terrible suffering of her disease.)
  • Committing perjury in writing, while advised by Episcopal church attorney Jeffery Chiow, multiple times.
  • Trying to shut down online criticism by falsely claiming that he was being threatened.
  • Repeatedly making false statements of fact and law to the court.
  • Lying to the judge repeatedly.
  • Deliberately misusing memorial donations.
  • Forcing innocent family members out of his church.
  • Threatening church members.
  • Repeatedly violating confidentiality mandated by church canons.
  • Repeatedly lying to his vestry, parish, and bishop.

Even worse, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and Bishop Susan Goff have repeatedly refused to address Bob Malm’s outrageous behavior, saying they will only get involved if Malm faces criminal charges. That’s the same as saying clergy get a free pass for almost any sort of conduct, because law enforcement and prosecutors alike are unlikely to pursue charges. That’s particularly the case with perjury, which is a notoriously difficult crime to charge and prosecute. No wonder organized religion is in a state of sharp decline when church leaders turn a blind eye to clergy misconduct.

Join me in demanding that the Diocese conduct a full, thorough, and independent investigation of Malm, then act on the results. Abuse is abuse, whether it’s sexual, financial, emotional, physical, or other. And so far, there’s been zero accountability. In fact, until recently Malm served as interim rector of St. Gabriel’s parish in Marion, Massachusetts.

No one should have to spend the final months of their life being bullied by clergy. Church should be a safe place for all persons. And clergy should be accountable for their actions. 

It is time to hold Bob Malm accountable. Learn more at .

#justiceformom @gracealexwatch

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Signatures: 26,782Next Goal: 35,000
Support now