How irresponsible are some pastors in the wake of the current pandemic?
Journalist Julie Roys has a damning story about one megachurch pastor in Naperville, Illinois, just west of Chicago.
On Tuesday of this week, Pastor Marty Sloan (above) of Calvary Church of Naperville — a megachurch with thousands of weekly attendees — informed his staff that one of his assistants (Pastor Angel Escamilla) tested positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, that pastor’s family members showed symptoms of the disease.
He then told his staff to keep that information a secret:
“If pressed for information (about the Escamillas’ health) you should confidently reply with the following: ‘Please understand that if I knew anything about anyone’s medical condition I would not be at liberty to speak’ and then stop talking.”
That’s bad enough. But to make matters worse, Sloan knew about the sickness for more than a week before that email went out… and yet continued to film online-only services with staffers and volunteers, including sick members of Escamilla’s family.
One of the staffers who videotaped a service now has COVID-19.
That’s bad enough. But to make matters worse, when staffers asked to remain home so they wouldn’t be at risk (because this was a large-enough gathering), Sloan basically threatened them:
The staff member said that when several staff objected due to concerns about infection, Sloan asked them if they wanted to remain “essential,” because if not, that could change.
That’s bad enough. But to make matters worse, the only reason Sloan informed the church about any of this is because Roys emailed him with questions, suggesting she was going to publish an article about it. He never responded to her, but hours after her inquiries, he sent a letter to the full church letting them know about the infections.
How many people at Calvary were exposed to the virus because Sloan didn’t care enough about their lives to stop filming services immediately when he knew something was up?
Roys has more details at her site. None of them make Sloan look any better, including the fact that he took a trip to Florida earlier this week, with his son, to pack up his belongings from his college dorm. In other words, someone who was obviously exposed to the virus took a plane and other forms of public transportation long after everyone was on lockdown in Illinois.
It’s unbelievable recklessness from a pastor who doesn’t seem to give a damn who he hurts as long as the product keeps churning out. How despicable.
(Image via Calvary Church)