Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 27, 2021 – Grace Episcopal Church, located in Alexandria Virginia, is trying to suppress public awareness of the various lawsuits against it. That’s the conclusion reached by plaintiff Eric J. Bonetti, a former member, who has sued the church in various state and federal courts.
Bonetti reached that conclusion after information on the various lawsuits was removed from the church’s Wikipedia page, located at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Episcopal_Church_(Alexandria,_Virginia).
“This is not the first time that the church and former rector Robert Malm have attempted to suppress the public’s right to know,” said Bonetti. “It is my position that, if the church and its staff are willing to engage in the behavior I have alleged in my pleadings, they should have the integrity to own up to it. Any church that is unwilling to have its actions see the light of day is one that should be avoided at all costs.”
Bonetti filed the suits after from rector Robert H. Malm accused Bonetti of threatening him and his family, and brought action in the Virginia courts seeking a protective order.
In his pleadings, Bonetti alleges that Malm perpetrated a fraud upon the courts, taking words out context from a blog published by Bonetti’s late mother, repeatedly committed perjury, and fraudulently concealed evidence.
Moreover, Bonetti alleges that Malm’s real purpose in filing the suit was to attempt to suppress criticism of his Malm’s behavior, as evinced by a written settlement proposal offered by Malm, which offered to drop the protective order in exchange for silence about Malm’s behavior. In addition, Bonetti says he has uncovered multiple emails and other documents in which Malm expressly states he was not threatened.
Subsequent to Malm’s initial lawsuit, Grace Church has shed a large portion of its membership and experienced major declines in giving. Moreover, the church’s last remaining full-time employee from Malm’s tenure recently resigned from his position.
“Unresolved conflict cannot be pushed under the rug, hidden, ignored, or suppressed,” said Bonetti. “The church’s only hope at this point is to engage in truthtelling — something it has adamantly refused to do so far. In fact, the church even named part of the building after Malm, which shows just how dysfunctional things at the church really are,” he added.
Bonetti contends that he has provided documentation of his allegations that Malm committed perjury to Episcopal bishop Susan Goff, as well as bishop Alan Gates. Both allegedly have brushed the matter off, with Goff asserting that she would not take action absent criminal charges.
Bonetti has indicated that additional lawsuits are likely in the coming weeks.