From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
SENATE CHAPLAIN DENIES WRONGDOING IN LAWSUIT
05 May 1996 07:34:37
95036 SENATE CHAPLAIN DENIES WRONGDOING IN LAWSUIT
By Alicia C. Shepard
Religion News Service
WASHINGTON--The newly named chaplain of the U.S. Senate is being
sued by a woman who claims he tried to talk her out of having an
abortion and then refused to counsel her after she attempted
Elisabeth Saret, 29, filed a 16-page lawsuit in Los Angeles
Superior Court against the Senate Chaplain-designate, the Rev.
Lloyd John Ogilvie, 64, and his First Presbyterian Church of
The suit was filed Jan. 6, two weeks before the Senate chose
Ogilvie to be its 61st chaplain, Saret's attorney, Nancy E.
Fitzhugh, said Monday. An amended complaint was filed Jan. 23.
"Based on the interests of my client, we'd rather litigate this
in the court and not the media," Fitzhugh said. She said the suit
was not timed to Ogilvie's confirmation. "I confess (the
confirmation) took me by surprise," said Fitzhugh.
Saret claimed in the suit that she became pregnant as the
result of an affair with a church elder, Clifford Woosley, 44,
whose child she bore last February.
Ogilvie tried to talk her out of having an abortion and
encouraged her to let Woosley and Woosley's wife raise the child,
according to the complaint.
Ogilvie said he had not seen the complaint but denied advising
Saret against an abortion. The chaplain-designate also denied
Saret's claim that he refused to continue counseling her after she
"I was deeply concerned that this person has these continuing
problems and that she's using someone of a high national profile
to gain attention," Ogilvie said in a telephone interview Monday
from Nashville, Tenn.
"... True to my own faith and the church's policy, my practice
is to encourage individuals to consider the strong option of
keeping the child or placing the child for adoption," he said. "My
practice is not to advise individuals directly against abortion
since doing so mitigates one's exercise of free choice." Ogilvie
said he spoke with Saret, a former law clerk at Woosley's firm, for
one hour and never saw her again.
"... The relationship between Mr. Woosley and Ms. Saret
originated in the workplace, not the church," Ogilvie added in a
statement Monday. "Mr. Woosley confided in me prior to my meeting
with Ms. Saret that the two had had an intimate relationship.
Believing his behavior was inconsistent with his role as elder in
the church he offered his resignation. I accepted."
Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.), a Presbyterian, sought out Ogilvie
for the Senate chaplain's post. For 23 years, Ogilvie has
ministered to a celebrity-studded flock at the Hollywood church.
He is the author of more than 40 books and has a nationally
syndicated radio and television show, "Let God Love You."
"We are still trying to figure out what the heck this is all
about," said Hatfield press aide Julie McGregor.
Ogilvie, who will replace retiring Senate Chaplain Richard C.
Halverson, is slated to begin the $115,700 post March 11.
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .